May 22, 2018 - With 25 pieces of equipment and 80 employees, Fennell Forestry is one of the largest logging contractors in South Australia. Siblings, Wendy and Barry Fennell purchased Fennell Forestry from their parents five years ago. As CEO, Wendy Fennell manages the day-to-day operations and brother Barry works on new business development.Like many young people, Wendy didn’t know what she wanted to do for a career when she was deciding on a university program. “I like money so I went into accounting and thought I would see where that went,” she says. At the age of seventeen, just before going to university, she worked alongside her father, travelling to job sites and helping him in the workshop. The following year Wendy went to the University of South Australia to study accounting but arranged her days so she only had lectures on Monday and Wednesday, allowing her to drive back home to work in the family business.While attending university, Wendy got her B-Double truck licence. “We only had two trucks then and Dad and I would do night shift. We had drivers on during the day, and for some extra capacity, we’d jump in at night,” explains Wendy.Wendy wanted to be more involved in the family forestry business so she changed some of her courses to focus on occupational health and safety. “The company was relatively new at this time so I helped formulate all the safety material. It was really good to have a real live business to work with. I was able to put my knowledge to good use.”Wendy had one more year of university left when the family business won its biggest contract. “I was two years into my three-year degree and I decided to do the last year by correspondence and come back to work. And I’ve been here ever since,” she states.As CEO, Wendy has a lot of daily responsibilities and is pulled in many different directions throughout the day. However, she highly values her visits to the operations to engage with her employees. “I see the staff as they come through the depot but I like getting on site as much as possible to catch up and have an overall look at what’s happening.”Prioritizing what needs to get done each day is critical to her role and she spends a lot of the time giving direction to the leadership team. “My main goal is making sure our machines are always running. So planning preventative maintenance, addressing safety aspects and making sure we are working through the required logistics,” Wendy expresses. “I really love learning about the equipment and how we can get the best out of it. There is always something on the go and it’s always evolving.”Wendy has been in the business for 25 years and people are still surprised when they find out what she does for a living. “I guess they don’t really understand exactly what I do and they are typically shocked at how much knowledge I have of the machinery.” She knows some female skidder operators and truck drivers in the area but does not know of any other female forestry business owners.When asked why she thinks there are so few females working in the industry she explains, “It is the image of the forestry industry over here that deters women. It really needs to be uplifted to showcase the careers possible. In Canada, most people understand what forestry is all about. Here in Australia there are still people that live in this area that have no idea what goes on behind the trees. People still believe that you get a job in forestry if you couldn’t get a job anywhere else. People think it is second-class, but it isn’t. With all the new advanced technology and innovation, the careers in this industry are quite good and the jobs are well paid, dynamic and interesting. We need to be promoting the industry better, especially to young people and to women.”Fennell ForestryFennell Forestry is a major plantation timber harvest and transport company, with an industry history spanning 27 years. The company runs a blue gum chipping operation, a pine harvesting operation and a transport business, operating 24-hours per day from Monday to Friday with three crews on pine and one crew on the chipping side. The pine side of the business produces 11,500 tonnes of wood each week and the chipping side produces approximately 4 500 tonnes. “We harvest about 560,000 tonnes of pine and 200,000 tonnes of chips annually,” Wendy states.The company ran excavator for many years. As equipment developed and the business grew, they looked into purchasing purpose-built and decided on a Tigercat H855C harvester. “Once we went to purpose-built, we never went back,” Wendy states. “We have over 25,000 hours on that first harvester and it has held up great.”Fennell Forestry now has nine pieces of Tigercat equipment: two feller bunchers, two skidders, a 1085C forwarder, three H855C harvesters and a new H855E harvester. Wendy purchased the company’s first 1085C forwarder last February. “We are not in steep ground so there was a debate between Barry and I if we should purchase the 1085C. We weren’t quite sure if it was the right fit for our job but it is proving to be doing very well.”Managing a growing businessThere are definite challenges to managing a growing company. Wendy and Barry are always looking for new innovative ways to operate and grow but without sacrificing or losing what made the company successful in the first place. That is why they decided to enroll in the Business Growth Program offered by the state of South Australia. Wendy wanted to establish how to effectively grow while holding true to the company’s core values.Dr. Jana Matthews, who has worked with a lot of large companies in the U.S., was brought over by the state of South Australia to run the Business Growth Program. Fennell Forestry was the only forestry company in the program. Companies from a wide variety of industries participated — from a pharmaceutical company to an event planning business and a Hollywood film agency. The program had multiple growth experts in to discuss common pitfalls, the different stages of growth and how to effectively advance a business when you’re rapidly growing. “It was really good to understand. We have good foundations in our business and it helped us ensure we keep those as we expand,” Wendy elaborates. “Dr. Matthews would tell us things that needed to be done and I’d think to myself that our business didn’t need it but in the end she was right.”The Green TriangleFennell Forestry’s success story is built upon South Australia’s thriving Green Triangle timber industry. Reflecting its name, the Green Triangle is one of Australia’s major forest regions, covering an area of six million hectares (15 million acres). It has extensive plantation softwood and hardwood resources. The Green Triangle spans between the states of South Australia and Victoria with ready access to the capital cities of Melbourne and Adelaide. Processing activities are centred around the cities of Mount Gambier in South Australia and Portland in Victoria, which also provides the region’s port.Fennell Forestry continues to ensure it has the proper infrastructure and personnel to support the growth. The company has its own workshop, an operations manager helping support both the logging and transport side of the business, a full time operator trainer and a training room for classroom sessions, as well as a large parts warehouse with plenty of inventory.Wendy and Barry make a great team. “You can’t beat being in business with family because you know those core values are the same.” Wendy acknowledges that she and Barry are very different. “I am more structured and he’s got the random thoughts and entrepreneurialism. I like to get in and do things with structure and see things out. Whereas Barry is always moving forward, looking for the next improvement.” The balance in personalities definitely contributes to the company’s success. “I think that’s what makes it work so well,” says Wendy.Work-life balanceOn top of all Wendy’s work responsibilities, she is a single mother of two with eight-year-old, Flynn and six-year-old, Hudson. Her boys really enjoy watching the equipment run but they have other career aspirations at this stage in their lives. Hudson wants to own a pet store and Flynn wants to be the next Shaun White (a professional snowboarder).Wendy enjoys family ski vacations, recently visiting Whistler, B.C., and New Zealand. “Flynn wanted to try snowboarding, but you couldn’t snowboard until you were eight, so I had to go back when he was eight, and that’s where we went last year. The boys have been hooked on the Winter Olympics, telling me all about it when I get home from work,” she says.Wendy doesn’t mind working as hard as she does. She always makes sure she wakes up with the boys and is there to put them to bed. “It throws everything out of whack, when I have to be away at night,” she says. She keeps it structured so the boys always know when she will be home.Wendy has managed to help build a booming business, excel as CEO and have a beautiful family — proving you can do it all. “I love my kids and my work. I have a great team around me and I appreciate them all. It’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure.”This article originally appeared in Between the Branches, April 2018, the official publication of Tigercat Industries Inc.
May 9, 2018 - Given the challenges faced by Canada’s logging contractors, it’s vital to have numbers behind the story.
May 1, 2018 - For the past decade, employers and forest industry stakeholders have increasingly been challenged to find well-trained, competent people to meet their staffing needs.
March 29, 2018 - When Al and Erin Fitchett look out their picture window, across the west arm of Kootenay Lake near Nelson, B.C., they see the steep forests of the Selkirk Mountains stretching off in the distance. They also see scattered traces of the loggers who came before them, men and women who made their living sustainably harvesting the mature fir, hemlock and cedar for the local sawmills.
March 23, 2018 - Like many successful loggers, Liz Bernier and Joel St. Onge had the operations side of their business nailed down. They had the growth curve to prove it. Yet as they grew, they outgrew some of their business practices. That’s where the Business Skills program from FPInnovations entered the picture.
Feb. 26, 2018 - In the Rouge-Matawin wildlife preserve, a crew of young foresters is busy at work in a predominantly softwood sector about an hour’s drive away from Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Que. An operator in new six-wheeled Tigercat 635G skidder that arrived a few short weeks ago is hauling a heavy load of tree-length wood through swampy and steep terrain.
May 25, 2018 - The government of British Columbia is making changes to give rural communities additional economic and land management opportunities, by allowing them to increase the size of their community forest.Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, made the announcement today at the BC Community Forest Association AGM in Burns Lake.“We want to make sure we’re providing a strong economic base for rural communities,” said Donaldson. “This change will help to give community forest operators more options to create local employment opportunities, and also benefit First Nations.”A community forest is a long-term agreement to manage Crown land that may be held by a local government, community group, First Nation or community-held corporation. Rural communities and First Nations see community forests as a tool to manage the local Crown land base, to provide benefits to the residents and help support their local economies and provide long-term employment opportunities. There are 57 community forests in the province.“We have been actively working with the provincial government to strengthen the role of people and communities in decisions around the resources they depend on for jobs and community well-being,” said Erik Leslie, president of the BC Community Forest Association. “These are welcome amendments, and are being implemented after full consultation with those affected.”The change is as a result of amendments to the Forest Act and Community Tenures Regulation. With the change, the expansion of a community forest will be allowed, provided there is available area. Expansions of less than 100 hectares will follow a simplified process, whereas expansions of greater than 100 hectares will require a thorough process, including a management plan and community engagement.
May 24, 2018 - For the 22nd consecutive year, IKEA Canada co-workers will join Tree Canada to plant over 2,000 trees and shrubs in 17 communities across Canada as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability and support for local communities.
May 24, 2018 - The government of British Columbia is starting a discussion on improving wildlife management and habitat conservation, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has announced.“The diversity of wildlife in British Columbia is one of our province’s greatest treasures,” said Donaldson. “Working with Indigenous peoples, wildlife stakeholders and the public, we want to build a strategy that more effectively manages our wildlife for future generations. We’ve dedicated $14 million over three years to do so.”The province's unique landscapes and climate is home to one of the richest wildlife resources in North America. Three-quarters of Canada's mammal species are found in B.C., with 24 of those species exclusive to B.C. In recent decades, alteration of habitat due to expanded human populations, expanded natural resource development and impacts from climate change have placed increasing pressure on certain wildlife populations, some of which are now in decline.As part of the government’s commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, collaboration with Indigenous peoples is an integral part of developing a new provincial wildlife strategy.The discussion paper, Improving Wildlife Management and Habitat Conservation in British Columbia, poses eight questions for discussion. Engagement is the first step in a four-step process to develop the strategy: Hold online engagement and face-to-face sessions with Indigenous communities and key stakeholders. Develop policy options to address priority concerns emerging from the engagement. Release a policy intentions paper for public engagement. Implement a new wildlife management and conservation strategy in 2020. The comment period will end on July 31, 2018. The public is invited to provide input by visiting: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/wildlifeandhabitat
May 18, 2018 - Alberta is protecting more than 6.7 million hectares of boreal forest in the northern part of the province.
May 10, 2018 - Manitoba's Pineland Forest Nursery is no longer viable as a provincially operated entity and will shut down operations on Dec. 31.
May 8, 2018 - Bruce Larson, Tara Marsden and Rick Monchak have been appointed to the Forest Practices Board for two-year terms, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, has announced.Larson, who will also serve as vice-chair, has been a professor at the University of British Columbia’s faculty of forestry since 2002. He has a PhD in forestry from the University of Washington and a masters degree in forestry from Yale University. Larson is a member of the Canadian Institute of Forestry and an honorary member of the Association of BC Forest Professionals. He was awarded the Canadian Institute of Foresters, Forestry Achievement Award in 2015.Marsden has a master of arts degree in political science from the University of Northern British Columbia, and has worked with First Nations governments across northern B.C. on land and resource governance and management issues. Marsden is the sustainability director with the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Office in Gitanyow. She also served as the BC Leadership Chair for Aboriginal Environmental Health at the University of Northern British Columbia and has been an instructor at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. Marsden is a member of the Gitanyow First Nation.Monchak is a professional forester with a long history of working on the B.C. coast. Monchak, who retired from TimberWest in 2017, holds degrees in biology and forestry from the University of British Columbia. A member of the Coast Region Implementation Team and Silviculture Sub-Committee, Monchak has experience in every aspect of forestry operations and administration. He was awarded the Association of BC Forest Professionals Distinguished Forest Professional in 2013, and was the Coastal Silviculture Committee Silviculturalist of the Year in 2016.The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board audits forest and range practices and appropriateness of government enforcement on public lands, investigates public complaints and current forestry issues, participates in administrative appeals, and makes recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.More information on the Forest Practices Board is available online: http://www.bcfpb.ca
March 29, 2018 - As a business owner, you do not simply purchase a wood grinder or chipper, you invest hard earned money in an asset that over time is expected to produce revenue for your business. To maximize this revenue, the machine must work consistently and efficiently, producing a merchandisable product for your market. Machine downtime and inefficient operation will create excessive expenses increasing operating costs, which reduces your gross profit.
Feb. 26, 2018 - This year’s challenge consisted of mid-size, full-size and HD entries – 10 trucks total – all vying for a win in what is now the 11th year of the Canadian Truck King Challenge. We tested 10 2018 pickup trucks covering the 2500 HD segment; two midsize and five full-size pickups completed the rest of the 2018 entries. A complete list of scores by model reveal our choice for the winner of the 2018 Canadian Truck King Challenge.
Jan. 23, 2018 - Ponsse celebrates two important milestones today. The biggest extension project in the company's history has reached the topping-out phase, and the factory has produced the 13,000th forest machine made in the Vieremä facility in Finland. Ponsse machine number 13,000, a PONSSE Ergo 8w, was delivered to the company's German customer FoWi GmbH & Co. This also marks the beginning of Ponsse's and German distributor Wahlers Forsttechnik GmbH's jubilee year: 25 years have passed since Ponsse and Wahlers signed their contract on distribution and service collaboration in the German-speaking regions of Europe. The seeds of this collaboration were sown already in the early 1970s when Einari Vidgrén, Ponsse's founder, was logging on a storm devastation sites in Germany. Quality and flexibility through investments The current production facility investment is the biggest in Ponsse's history: the factory will expand from the current 2.7 hectares to 4 hectares. Most importantly, the investment contributes to ongoing improvement and development of quality, flexibility, safety and productivity of Ponsse's operations. The extension of production facilities enables the company to respond to changing market situations with more flexibility, and to tailor machines to customer requirements more efficiently in a serial-production environment. The new facilities in Vieremä will be completed by the end of the year, and will be the most advanced forest machine production facility in the world. Our strong focus on the development of cut-to-length forest machines requires constant development of our production operations. That is the only way we can fulfill the needs of our customers and stay at the forefront of technology in the demanding forest machine market. A safe, modern factory is also an important investment in our employees, says Ponsse's president and chief executive officer Juho Nummela. The Ponsse factory in Vieremä currently employs 570 employees, 390 of whom work in production tasks. All Ponsse forest machines are made in Vieremä, Finland. New factory in operation by end of year New assembly lines and storage facilities housed in the new extension will be phased in gradually during 2018. Relocation to new facilities starts in March with warehouse operations. New smart warehouse technologies make production warehouse logistics more efficient and increase the degree of automation considerably. Warehouse automation covers 15,500 storage slots for small items and components and 3,900 pallet positions. After the warehouse relocation, a new harvester head assembly line will move to the new facilities. A new assembly line for base machines will be in operation by the end of the summer, and by end of 2018 cabin and crane assembly lines will also be renewed. The amount of production-time testing used to support quality control will increase in all production lines. High-quality work from local experts Starting with earthworks, most of the factory extension has been built by local companies. The massive project was split into several smaller parts to enable local companies to offer their services. The main contractor, construction company U. Lipsanen, delivered the factory extension project that was started one year ago to Ponsse today.
Dec. 21, 2017 - Following FPInnovations and Laval University’s industrial NSERC Chair recommendations, Alberta Transportation recently changed its Winter Weight Premium (WWP) policy allowing an estimated average of 8 days of WWP extension.
Dec. 21, 2017 - Traction-assist equipment has been gaining traction in B.C.’s forestry industry in recent years. In recognition of the health and safety considerations that arise from new technology, WorkSafeBC has created an equipment inspection checklist to help employers ensure safety requirements are being met. The checklist is available on worksafebc.com, and is divided into eight sections according to the relevant regulations: emergency site-specific procedures; operation of traction-assist equipment; safe work areas; radio-controlled equipment; equipment guarding and emergency escape; equipment inspection and maintenance; rigging and attachment points; and anchors.Download the full list.
Dec. 6, 2017 - Chevy recently partnered with John Deere at its world headquarters to show off its newest version of the HD Silverado pickup. The reason? A work-related backdrop is vital to understanding the needs of the HD truck owner and frankly what looks better than some spanking new construction equipment towed by shiny 2018 Chevy pickups?
May 25, 2018 - Connected logistics startup LoadDocs is tackling one of the logging industry’s most vexing daily challenges: completing paperwork out in the bush.
May 22, 2018 - Manufacturer of forestry, biomass, tree care, sawmill, and wood recycling equipment Morbark debuted two new machines at this year’s Expo Richmond show: the 6400XT Wood Hog Horizontal Grinder and the 50/48X Whole Tree Drum Chipper.“Morbark listened closely to our customers when we developed both the 6400XT Wood Hog and the 50/48X Drum Chipper,” said Michael Stanton, Morbark's director of industrial sales. “We took our previous proven design technology and added the features our customers want and the versatility they need when we created these high-production units.”6400XT Wood Hog horizontal grinder“The Model 6400XT is the newest model in Morbark’s next-generation platform of horizontal grinders,” said Stanton. “Industry demands for high-production mobile units that meet stringent logistic restrictions but remain economically viable were the leading drivers during the design phase.”The 6400XT includes many feature improvements present in the smaller 3400XT, introduced last year. The infeed bed is 24 inches (60.96 cm) longer than previous Morbark grinders in the 1,000-plus horsepower range and has sloped sides. This configuration improves operator sight lines for more efficient loading of material. Standard on the 6400XT is a removable infeed chain return floor, which allows excess material to fall away to minimize the wear on the floor, bed chain and inserts, particularly useful in land-clearing or other applications with dirty material.Also similar to the 3400XT is the focus on transportability. The 6400XT weighs in at less than 96,500 lb (43,772 kg) and measures 11’5½” (3.49 m) wide with the standard Caterpillar 325L undercarriage with 600mm double grousers, allowing the unit to be transported to nearly all domestic and international markets.“When we introduced the 3400XT last year, our customers responded very favorably,” explained Stanton. “It had a major impact on the market, and we expect the 6400XT to be as well received.”The 6400XT has several operator-friendly features focusing on accessibility for daily maintenance, including: The extended 31.5″ wide (80 cm, 25% increase) platform between the hood and engine for ease of changing grates and access to diesel engine A fixed work platform for better access and safety during common grate and hammermill maintenance A hydraulic hinged door and hood locking system to provide quick access during grate changes — the hydraulics unlock with a simple turn of a knob A consolidated area for oil and hydraulic filters An independent hammermill drive tensioning system for ease of adjustment The larger feedwheel (40″/101.6 cm diameter, an increase of more than 15%), which raises 17″ (43.2 cm) above the current 4600XL yoke and 11″ (27.9 cm) above the 6600 yoke to allow better access to the hammermill during insert inspection Another key improvement is the 42″ x 61″ (107 cm x 155 cm) solid-plate rotor with 3″ (7.6 cm) retaining rods and a 42″ (106.7 cm) tip swing. The standard hammer pattern is 18 hammers with 18 rakers, but like all Morbark rotors, it can be configured to multiple patterns for various application requirements.The standard engine options for the 6400XT are the Caterpillar C27, 1,050-hp (783 kW) engine or Caterpillar C32, 1200-hp (895 kW) engine, both Tier 4 Final.Morbark’s proven and exclusive driveline protection system is standard on all Wood Hog models. The externally adjustable, break-away torque limiter helps to protect the driveline and hammermill from catastrophic damage caused by contaminants.50/48X whole tree drum chipper“The most productive portable drum chipper in the industry has become even better,” added Stanton.The 50/48X was updated to a similar design layout as Morbark’s other industry-leading industrial drum chippers with a sloped infeed, reverse-pivot top feed wheel, bottom feedwheel, externally adjustable anvil and Advantage 3 drum assembly that can come as 10-knives for fuel chip or 20-knives for micro-chip applications.Making it easier for customers to perform routine daily maintenance guided many of the new improvements. This focus resulted in the development of: A hydraulic hinged door and hood locking system to provide quick access to the drum during knife change intervals Large work platforms on both sides for easier and safer drum inspections A consolidated area for oil and hydraulic filters, easily accessible from the ground or maintenance platform An independent drum drive tensioning system for ease of adjustment An increased area between the engine and chipper base for easy access during general engine inspection and belly band removal Other improvements focused on performance and production. The powerful top feedwheel was enlarged more than 15 per cent to 40″ (101.6 cm), and the enhanced hydraulic system now includes a direct drive Poclain motor for the top and bottom feedwheel that eliminates previous chain and sprocket drives and provides more torque. The 50/48X can be equipped with a Caterpillar C27, 1,050-hp (783 kW) engine or Caterpillar C32, 1200-hp (895 kW) engine, both Tier 4 Final. The PT Tech HPTO15 hydraulic clutch is now standard, which allows flexibility across a wide range of chip sizes.“The Morbark 50/48 has long been the industry standard for high-production mobile fuel and micro-chip applications, and we strongly feel these improvements will minimize downtime, increase production and provide overall customer success,” stated Stanton.“For both of these high-production machines, we focused on improving the experience for the customer with features that increase performance and production and make routine checks and maintenance easier,” said Stanton. “We deliver on our promise of making heavy-duty equipment that helps enable our customers to succeed.”
May 16, 2018 - Bandit Industries Inc. and Germany-based ARJES GmbH are partnering to bring ARJES’ line of slow-speed shredders and crushers to Bandit customers worldwide.
May 15, 2018 - Hybrid technology lowers the fuel consumption and emissions of forest machines while increasing their efficiency.
May 15, 2018 - Guests at the 2018 Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Expo had the first-ever look at CBI’s newest horizontal grinder: the Magnum Force 6800CT.
May 2, 2018 - On a mission to continuously improve machine efficiency, John Deere is excited to announce the integration of Waratah’s TimberRite H-16 Control System on John Deere tracked harvesters and tracked swing machines equipped with Waratah 600-Series Harvesting Heads. Previously only available for the 200- and 400-Series Waratah heads, this productive and efficient system has been expanded for use with the 600-Series heads, providing loggers with a solution that enhances connectivity for data and information sharing.
Overwhelming support for continuation of the softwood lumber boardMay 23, 2018 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced…
New paperwork tool for loggersMay 25, 2018 - Connected logistics startup LoadDocs is tackling…
New tech to improve forestry value chainMay 23, 2018 - Remsoft, a leader in optimized planning and…
Women in logging: Fennell ForestryMay 22, 2018 - With 25 pieces of equipment and 80…
79th Maritime Lumber Bureau AGM
May 29-31, 2018
OptiSaw: Mill OPtimization & Automation Forum
June 5, 2018
Introduction to Process Safety
June 5, 2018