July 29, 2015 - The federal government recently announced that it will invest approximately $16.5 million across nine Asia-Pacific Gateway transportation infrastructure projects in British Columbia, designed to support Asia-Pacific trade and boost the competitive advantages of Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway. The announcement was made by Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt.

"The Harper government is committed to helping our exporters reach fast-growing Asia-Pacific markets,” said Raitt. “These projects will help create jobs and economic growth in local communities and ensure that the Asia-Pacific Gateway remains North America's gateway of choice to Asia." 

The projects are expected to create jobs and economic growth by reducing bottlenecks, addressing capacity issues and enhancing the efficiency of the transportation system in moving goods, services and people to and from the fast-growing Asia-Pacific economies.

The following projects were selected to receive funding from the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund (APGCTIF), in response to a call for proposals that was launched on March 13, 2015:

•Deltaport Terminal Road and Rail Improvement Project, Truck Staging Project - Port Metro Vancouver;
•Lansdowne Road Extension and No. 2 Road Upgrade - City of Richmond;
•Bridgeview Drive Improvement Project - City of Surrey;
•Knight Street and Marine Drive Intersection Improvements - City of Vancouver;
•Inter-Regional Commercial Corridor Travel Time System (ICCTTS) - City of Surrey;
•Railway Information Crossing System - British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure;
•13th Street and Bellevue Avenue Rail Crossing Improvements - District of West Vancouver;
•Boundary Road Highway 97 S to Highway 16 W Connector Conceptual Design - City of Prince George; and
•Truck Route Study - District of Squamish.

This funding is conditional on the projects meeting federal eligibility requirements under the APGCTIF and the signing of a contribution agreement. To date, the federal government has invested close to $1.4 billion in APGCI infrastructure projects.
July 14, 2015 - Komatsu America Corp. recently introduced the new WA380-8 wheel loader. 

With a 6.69 litre, 191-HP Komatsu SAA6D107E-3, variable geometry, turbocharged and after-cooled Tier 4 Final certified engine, the WA380-8 uses up to six per cent less fuel than its Tier 4 Interim predecessor. 

Komatsu’s SmartLoader Logic software combines with a lockup torque converter, which activates in second, third and fourth gears. Together, the system is designed to provide optimal engine torque for improved acceleration, hill climbing, a higher top speed and fuel savings.    

 “With one of the highest breakout forces in its class and excellent balance, this machine is made for tough digging tasks,” said Craig McGinnis, Komatsu America product manager. “The WA380-8 is ideal for carrying pipe, sand and other aggregates, site clean up and support, digging into piles and backfilling.” 

Komatsu designed the machine’s Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter (KDPF) and other after treatment components to work in harmony with the engine for efficiency and long life. A selective catalyst reduction (SCR) assembly is incorporated to further reduce NOx emissions using diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). The engine uses an advanced electronic control system to manage the air-flow rate, fuel injection, combustion parameters and after treatment functions to optimize performance, reduce emissions and provide advanced diagnostic capability.

In-cab enhancements and features include:
•A new, air-suspension, high-back, heated seat that softens machine vibrations for operator comfort, and cast frame members for increased strength;
•Seat-mounted electronic pilot control levers with F-N-R switch for operator comfort and convenience;
•Pioneering Komtrax telematics system and monitor that provides key machine metrics, including KDPF status, DEF-level data, fuel consumption, plus performance information collected and sorted by operator ID;  
•Komatsu auto idle shutdown to reduce idle time and save fuel;
•Auxiliary jack and two 12-volt ports;
•A seven-inch, full colour, high-resolution monitor with ecology guidance to support more efficient machine operation; and 
•A dedicated, full colour, seven-inch, rear-view monitor comes standard.

Additional features and benefits
•Swing out cooling fan with wider fin spacing and standard auto-reversing fan for ease of cleaning; 
•Gull-wing engine doors that provide quick, convenient access for daily checks and service items; 
•Full-rear fenders are standard; and
•Additional hinged panels at each side of the machine for easy access to regeneration components.

The WA380-8 and every other Komatsu Tier 4 Final construction-sized machine, whether rented, leased or purchased, is covered by the Komatsu CARE program for the first three years or 2000 hours, whichever comes first. Komatsu CARE includes scheduled factory maintenance, a 50-point inspection at each service, and up to two complimentary KDPF exchanges and up to two DEF tank flushes in the first five years. With all labour, fluids and filters covered by Komatsu over this period, Komatsu CARE lowers ownership costs, raises resale value and improves equipment uptime and availability.

Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd. Through its distributor network, Komatsu offers a state-of-the-art parts and service program to support its equipment. Komatsu has proudly provided high-quality reliable products for nearly a century. For more information, visit www.komatsuamerica.com.

Note: All comparisons and claims of improved performance herein are made with respect to the prior Komatsu model unless otherwise specifically stated. Materials and specifications are subject to change without notice.

©2015 Komatsu America Corp. All rights reserved. Komatsu America is an authorized licensee of Komatsu Ltd.  KOMATSU, KOMTRAX and Komatsu CARE are registered trademarks of Komatsu Ltd. All other trademarks and service marks used herein are the property of Komatsu Ltd., Komatsu America Corp., or their respective owners or licensees.   
June 29, 2015 - Cat’s track feller bunchers and track harvesters have recently been upgraded to boost efficiency, performance and productivity in the woods. Four models, which can be configured as feller bunchers or harvesters, are available to suit diverse logging applications and environments around the world.

All models have been upgraded with the new Cat PRO (Parallel Reach Operation) System, which gives operators the ability to complete a smoother, more fluid harvesting motion. One joystick either extends or retracts the work tool by combining both the main and stick boom functions. For feller buncher configurations, the head is kept level as well. By combining these functions in one joystick, the operator can efficiently move the head in a planar, parallel motion relative to the ground.

“The Cat PRO System makes operation much easier, especially for new and less experienced operators. They can learn the machine more quickly and boost their speed and productivity because of the simplified joystick movements needed to fell a tree,” said Jared Dunn, product application specialist for Caterpillar Forest Products. “The simplified movements also can increase efficiency for seasoned operators and lessen operator fatigue. The system can be turned on and off easily with a button on one of the joysticks or a button on the display.”

The Cat PRO System is adjustable for differing applications and varying slopes. Through a few minor adjustments, the trajectory of the boom and the head tilt on a feller buncher configuration can be modified for applications on steeper slopes.

The machines also have new enhanced power management software tailored for the unique engine-hydraulic interactions in a forestry application. “This software delivers a higher level of machine performance in the track feller buncher and harvester product lines,” Dunn said. “Operators tell us performance and therefore efficiency has greatly improved.”

LED lights as standard equipment is another upgrade to the full line. 

“LED lights perform better than halogen in night time operations and are favored by customers around the world,” Dunn explained. “They are more energy efficient, have a longer life span and greatly improve visibility at night.”

The line consists of two near-zero tail swing feller bunchers, the Cat 521B and 522B, and two full tail swing machines, the Cat 541 Series 2 and Cat 552 Series 2. The 522B and 552 Series 2 are levelling machines. As part of the upgrades, the 541 Series 2 has been reengineered to increase hydraulic flow to the stick and main boom cylinders to boost the speed and overall productivity of the machine. On average, cycle times are now 18 per cent faster, while maintaining excellent lift performance. 

“The 541 Series 2 — especially with this update — is well-suited for harvesting lodgepole pine in western Canada and working in high-production eucalyptus plantations where boom speed is critical,” Dunn said.

The Series 2 and B Series machines are equipped with the 226 kW (303 hp) Cat C9 ACERT engine. The C9 is a common engine design with a proven track record of reliability and durability in the woods. A high capacity cooling system and on-demand reversing fan help to optimize performance, durability and fuel efficiency. 

Two or three hydraulic pumps, depending on the configuration, power the hydraulics to give loggers the performance they need. 

“The strong hydraulics and the combination of swing and lift capacity helps increase production, while the machine’s balance between lift and tipping load capacity provides for excellent stability,” Dunn said. “The strong swing torque also gives the operator the ability to swing large loads uphill.”  

Large structures such as swing bearings and booms have been designed for longer life and durability. The tracks and all undercarriage rolling components are high-grade to extend track life, cut repair costs and increase stability. The 552 Series 2 features 345 excavator-size chain for increased durability on steep slopes. Other models have 330 track chain and rolling components. All machine models are offered with the option of star carrier rollers, which help with track retention and debris shedding in uneven terrain.

Both the B Series and Series 2 machines have a full 889 mm (35 in.) of ground clearance from front to back. “Strong drawbar pull, along with this ground clearance and the ‘open tunnel’ undercarriage design, makes for a highly maneuverable machine that easily climbs steep slopes and clears obstacles such as large stumps and rocks,” Dunn said. 

Both leveling models also feature a unique three cylinder leveling system, which is the only one in the industry that provides two way simultaneous function throughout the full range of motion. The design of this system reduces stress loads into the carbody and roller frames.

For more information visit www.cat.com.



Machine Specifications




521/522 B Series

541/552 Series 2

Gross Power @ 1,800 rpm

226 kW (303 hp)

226 kW (303 hp)

Lift capacity @ X reach

6,100 kg @ 6.2m*

(13,500 lbs @ 20.5 ft*)

9,400 kg @ 6.6 m*

(20,700 lbs @ 21.5 ft*)

Swing torque

87 kNm (64,500 ftlbs)

100 kNm (74,000 ftlbs)

Tractive effort ratios

1:1.19 - 1:1.21

1:1.1 – 1:1.3

Track Pitch

216 mm (8.5 in)

216 mm (8.5 in)

Ground clearance

889 mm (35 in)

889 mm (35 in)

Fuel tank size

856 L (226 gal)

1181 L (312 gal)

*Feller buncher configurations only


Caterpillar Forest Products is a leading manufacturer and worldwide marketer of timber harvesting, millyard, road-building and land management equipment. Products are marketed under the Cat, Prentice and CTR brand names through a global independent dealer network. Caterpillar Forest Products is a division of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at www.caterpillar.com.
June 9, 2015 – Marc Paquet, founder and area sales manager of Primary Equipment Limited, has been named a distributor for RMT Equipment’s full line of VEI loader scales and Track-Vision safety cameras to their customer base in Northern Ontario.

“My relationship with RMT’s managing director Hugo Lariviere, vice-president of operations and sales goes back to day one,” says Paquet. “I’ve sold VEI scales for years, but Primary Equipment has only been carrying the RMT products since late 2014. Customer feedback to date has been very positive.”

A five-year-old, family-owned and operated business, Primary Equipment caters to the mining, forestry and construction sectors. The company serves a relatively large geographical area from Parry Sound, Ont., to Thunder Bay, Ont. Paquet says this keeps him on the road “almost every waking moment.” 

Paquet’s company is designed to be a one-stop shop for sales, service and parts. He says the addition of the RMT’s loader scales and backup safety camera systems definitely complements his business.

“The RMT products have helped us sell our used equipment,” says Paquet. “When a customer buys a used loader, he usually wants a VEI loader scale installed. When a customer buys the scales, they may come back for a loader later on.”

Factory-trained by RMT technicians at the firm’s Quebec headquarters, Paquet does all the installs himself. 

“Installing RMT loader scales and safety cameras on customers’ equipment keeps me busy in the off-season,” he says. “It also lets me know who may be in the market for a loader.”

Paquet says he appreciates the support he receives from RMT Equipment. 

“The folks at RMT have been great. When we need something, they’re always there for us.”




June 5, 2015 — The Forest Machine Business Division of Komatsu America Corp. introduces its PC210LL-10 Log Loader. The log loader features an EPA Tier 4 Interim certified engine, a flywheel horsepower of 158 HP (118 kW) and is designed to offer upwards of 10 per cent lower fuel consumption than the previous model. The PC210LL-10 replaces the former Tier 3 PC200LL-8 model.

This newest addition to Komatsu’s Dash-10 series of log loaders weighs 65,118 lb. (29,537 kg) in Road Builder configuration. It is also available in Log Loader and Processor Head Carrier configurations.

The PC210LL-10 is equipped with the KOMTRAX 4.0 technology, which wirelessly sends machine operating information to a secure website. Data such as operating hours, location, cautions, fuel consumption and maintenance alerts are relayed for analysis. The KOMTRAX 4.0 fleet monitoring system increases machine availability, reduces the risk of machine theft (compared to machines that are not KOMTRAX-equipped), allows for remote diagnosis by the distributor, and provides a wealth of other information for business efficiency and productivity.

Special features include:
- EPA Tier 4 Interim Certified Engine with 7 per cent more HP and provides up to 10 per cent lower fuel consumption than the Tier 3 engine on the previous model. 
- The Komatsu Tier 4 Interim engine uses an advanced electronic control system to manage air-flow rate, fuel injection, combustion parameters, and after-treatment functions to optimize performance, reduce emissions, and provide advanced diagnostic capability.

Komatsu developed the hydraulically actuated Komatsu Variable Geometry Turbocharger (KVGT) and an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valve for the PC210LL-10 that is designed to provide better precision in air management as well as longer component life.

The Komatsu Diesel Particulate Filter (KDPF) has an integrated design that does not interfere with daily operation, updates the operator on its status and allows the operator to choose where and when to regenerate.

Hydraulic system
The integrated design uses a closed centre-load sensing hydraulic system with variable speed matching. Variable matching allows the engine speed to adjust based on the hydraulic pump output for both light and heavy-duty applications.

The PC210LL-10 Log Loader configuration features adjustable flow controls for boom, arm, heel and grapple functions for fine tuning hydraulic response to individual operator preference.

Additional enhancements have been made to reduce hydraulic loss, for better efficiency and lower fuel consumption. High-pressure hydraulic pump outlet screens are standard.

Upgraded major components
All major components on the new PC210LL-10, including the engine, hydraulic pumps, motors, and valves, are exclusively designed and produced by Komatsu. The loader uses a high carbody with reinforced front idlers, higher capacity recoil springs, ski-type full length track guiding guards, straddle-mounted carrier rollers, HD swivel guard and front/rear pull hooks.

The swing system and undercarriage components on the PC210LL-10 are from the next-size larger Komatsu excavators for work in demanding logging applications. The larger final drives and motors provide high drawbar pull for shovel-logging applications. Updated full-length support skitype track roller guards help increase track life in tough logging conditions. The rear compartment covers on the PC210LL-10 are more than three times thicker than those used on comparably sized excavators, and the compartment doors also feature stronger door hinges.

New Komatsu forestry cab
The new ROPS/OPS/FOPS/TOPS/FOG/WCB/Oregon OSHA certified Komatsu forestry cab (and more) provides a more comfortable and quiet work environment. The reinforced framework of the cab is specifically designed for tough forestry applications. The operator platform is mounted on viscous damper mounts for low vibration levels. The high-back, fully adjustable seat is air suspended and heated for enhanced comfort. The cab is available with a 48” (1220 mm) hydraulic tilt or a 7” (177 mm) fixed cab riser and has two 12-volt ports and an auxiliary input to connect external devices.

The cab has a new high-resolution 7” LCD color monitor with enhanced capabilities that displays information in 25 languages for global support. The operator can easily select from six working modes to match machine performance to the application. These working modes include Power Mode, Economy Mode, Lifting Mode, Breaker Mode, Attachment Economy Mode and Attachment Power Mode. The new monitor panel also provides Ecology Guidance (operational efficiency guidance), operational records, fuel consumption history, and utilization information. A standard rearview monitoring system, with the camera integrated into the counterweight, allows the operator to view directly behind the machine with the push of a button.

Purpose-built front equipment options
Purpose-built front equipment options are available for each of the three, loader configurations. For the Road Builder, there is an HD boom and HD arm with one actuator piping for application versatility. A special boom/arm arrangement without bucket cylinder and linkage is available for the Processor Head Carrier configuration. For the Log Loader configuration, there is a 36 foot reach live heel forestry boom with a 52 inch opening grapple, or two types of 34 foot Butt-N-Top forestry booms.

Convenient maintenance and serviceability
The PC210LL-10 provides easy service access to reduce costly downtime. The new model has longer handrails that surround the upper structure for easier accessibility. The radiator and hydraulic oil cooler are mounted side by side, making it easier to maintain and service. A new battery master disconnect switch is now standard.

The machine is also equipped with the exclusive Komatsu Equipment Management Monitoring System (EMMS), which continuously monitors critical systems, as well as the planned maintenance schedule. EMMS provides enhanced diagnostic features, giving operators and technicians greater monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities to minimize diagnosis and repair time.

All Komatsu Dash-10 Log Loaders are covered by Komatsu CARE, Komatsu’s complimentary scheduled maintenance program for three (3) years or 2,000 hours (whichever occurs first). Factory-certified technicians use only Komatsu genuine parts and fluids to perform these services.

May 7, 2015 - Finning International Inc., a Canadian company and Caterpillar's largest heavy equipment dealership globally, recently announced it has reached an agreement to purchase the operating assets of the Cat dealership of Kramer Ltd. for approximately $230 million, subject to working capital adjustments. 

"Expanding Finning's Western Canadian operations into Saskatchewan is a great strategic fit and represents a compelling growth opportunity for our company, employees, customers and shareholders,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Finning International. “We have great respect for the Kramer family legacy and everything they have achieved. We will build on their strong heritage by growing the business, providing our customers with a terrific experience, and contributing to communities in Saskatchewan. This acquisition is also a testament to our current Finning employees in Canada who have worked tirelessly to put us in the strategic and financial position to make this opportunity possible.”’

In 2014, the acquired dealership business generated approximately $275 million in revenue. Finning will become the approved Cat dealer in Saskatchewan in July of this year, subject to customary closing conditions. After a remarkable 70 years of service in Saskatchewan, the Kramer family has decided to retire from the equipment dealership business.

"It's been an honour to lead the Kramer Cat dealership for the past 23 years and I am proud of our organization's many accomplishments,” said Tim Kramer, president of Kramer Ltd. “Having spent considerable time with members of the Finning team, I am confident Finning will be a great addition to the province of Saskatchewan and our employees are joining a successful Canadian business that cares about its employees, customers and the community."

This acquisition combines complementary capabilities, customer bases and highly skilled employees across Finning's territory in British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon, Northwest Territories and part of Nunavut with Kramer's presence in Saskatchewan.

The two companies already share common customers who operate across these adjacent territories and will benefit from the continuity and support of a single dealer. Customers will also benefit from improved equipment and parts availability, world-class product support and access to Finning's extensive branch network of 50 locations.

For Finning, Saskatchewan is a highly attractive growth opportunity that diversifies its revenue base into sectors such as potash and uranium. The acquisition will be funded with cash and will be immediately accretive to earnings per share.

Joining Finning is a talented and dedicated team of 475 Kramer employees with a deep understanding of the local market and well-established customer relationships throughout the province at parts, sales and service locations in Estevan, Kindersley, Battleford, Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current and Tisdale in addition to Cat Rental Stores in Regina and Saskatoon.

Tony de Sousa will be based in the Saskatchewan headquarters, which will remain in Regina. Tony has been with Finning for 39 years and has extensive senior leadership experience in sales, service and operations. He and his family will move from Edmonton to Regina.

"I've known Tim Kramer for many years and have tremendous respect for the business he, Don and the entire Kramer family have built in Saskatchewan,” said de Sousa, vice-president of Finning Saskatchewan. “I’d like to extend a heartfelt welcome to Kramer employees to the Finning family. I'm looking forward to learning from their experience, customer relationships and understanding of the local market."

"This is a historic day for Finning,” added Juan Carlos Villegas, president, Finning Canada and chief operating officer, Finning International. “We are passionate about keeping our employees safe, enabling our customers' success and building communities. With that in mind, we are pleased to appoint Tony de Sousa as the executive to lead the Saskatchewan operations. In addition to his impressive experience, Tony brings a genuine commitment to developing our people, growing our business and serving our customers."

In support of this acquisition, Finning's financial and legal advisors were RBC Capital Markets and Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, respectively.

About Finning
Finning International Inc. is the world's largest Caterpillar equipment dealer delivering service to customers for over 80 years. Finning sells, rents and services equipment and engines to help customers maximize productivity. Headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., the company operates in Western Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, as well as in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

About Kramer
As the Caterpillar dealer in Saskatchewan, Kramer sells, rents and provides service to diverse market segments across the province. Founded in 1944, Kramer employs approximately 475 people, including approximately 160 mechanics, and operates seven dealership operations in Regina, Saskatoon, Estevan, Swift Current, North Battleford, Kindersley and Tisdale, as well as rental locations in Regina and Saskatoon.

Forward-looking information
This report contains statements about the Company's business outlook, objectives, plans, strategic priorities and other statements that are not historical facts. A statement Finning makes is forward-looking when it uses what the Company knows and expects today to make a statement about the future. Forward-looking statements may include words such as aim, anticipate, assumption, believe, could, expect, goal, guidance, intend, may, objective, outlook, plan, project, seek, should, strategy, strive, target, and will. Forward-looking statements in this report include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to: expectations with respect to the economy and associated impact on the Company's financial results; expected revenue; expected free cash flow; EBIT margin; ROIC; market share growth; expected results from service excellence action plans; anticipated asset utilization; inventory turns and parts service levels; the expected target range of the Company's net debt to invested capital ratio; and the expected timing and financial impact from the proposed acquisition of the operating assets of the Caterpillar dealership in Saskatchewan. All such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the 'safe harbour' provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws.

Unless otherwise indicated by us, forward-looking statements in this report reflect Finning's expectations at May 6, 2015. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, Finning does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Forward-looking statements, by their very nature, are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions which give rise to the possibility that actual results could differ materially from the expectations expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements and that Finning's business outlook, objectives, plans, strategic priorities and other statements that are not historical facts may not be achieved. As a result, Finning cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by these forward-looking statements include: general economic and market conditions; foreign exchange rates; commodity prices; the level of customer confidence and spending, and the demand for, and prices of, Finning's products and services; Finning's dependence on the continued market acceptance of Caterpillar's products and Caterpillar's timely supply of parts and equipment; Finning's ability to continue to improve productivity and operational efficiencies while continuing to maintain customer service; Finning's ability to manage cost pressures as growth in revenues occur; Finning's ability to reduce costs in response to slowing activity levels; Finning's ability to attract sufficient skilled labour resources to meet growing product support demand; Finning's ability to negotiate and renew collective bargaining agreements with satisfactory terms for Finning's employees and the Company; the intensity of competitive activity; Finning's ability to raise the capital needed to implement its business plan; regulatory initiatives or proceedings, litigation and changes in laws or regulations; stock market volatility; changes in political and economic environments for operations; the integrity, reliability, availability and benefits from information technology and the data processed by that technology. Forward-looking statements are provided in this report for the purpose of giving information about management's current expectations and plans and allowing investors and others to get a better understanding of Finning's operating environment. However, readers are cautioned that it may not be appropriate to use such forward-looking statements for any other purpose.

Forward-looking statements made in this report are based on a number of assumptions that Finning believed were reasonable on the day the Company made the forward-looking statements. Refer in particular to the Outlook section of this MD&A. Some of the assumptions, risks, and other factors which could cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements contained in this report are discussed in Section 4 of the Company's current AIF.

Finning cautions readers that the risks described in the AIF are not the only ones that could impact the Company. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to the Company or that are currently deemed to be immaterial may also have a material adverse effect on Finning's business, financial condition, or results of operations.

Except as otherwise indicated, forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any non-recurring or other unusual items or of any dispositions, mergers, acquisitions, other business combinations or other transactions that may be announced or that may occur after the date hereof. The financial impact of these transactions and non-recurring and other unusual items can be complex and depends on the facts particular to each of them. Finning therefore cannot describe the expected impact in a meaningful way or in the same way Finning presents known risks affecting its business.
May 5, 2015 - Ontario is investing in the forest roads which connect industry to Ontario's natural resources, as part of the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario's history. The provincial govement is committing $60 million to the program in 2015-16.

The government is also making the province's forestry sector eligible for the $2.7 billion Jobs and Prosperity Fund to help increase production capacity and expand into new markets, while ensuring resources are managed sustainably. This will also help modernize the forestry sector and facilitate the production of value-added products by supporting new technologies.

The government will continue with reduced stumpage rates for 2015-16 for poplar and white birch trees to further assist the competitiveness of Ontario’s forest sector.

“I am very pleased with our government’s unprecedented support to the forestry industry in Ontario," said Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "The $60-million investment to the forest access roads program, the continued reduction in stumpage for poplar and white birch, and the fact that the forest industry will now have access to the Jobs and Prosperity fund, are a huge win for an industry that generates $11 billion in economic activity in 260 communities across Ontario.” 

Over the past ten years, $605.2 million has been provided toward the forest industry’s expenditures on the construction and maintenance of public forest access roads that support forest harvest activity.

Annually, Ontario invests in the construction and maintenance of over 21,000 km of forest access road infrastructure. This is equivalent to travelling across Canada and back.
May 5, 2015 – Camoplast Solideal Inc. recently acquired Eastwood Tyres to strengthen its position in the Asia-Pacific market. The business will assume immediate responsibility of the Eastwood facility in Auckland, New Zealand including all staff, inventory, receivables, and equipment.

“We are committed to being the global reference in delivering enhanced mobility solutions for the off-the-road market,’’ says Gregory Fossey, vice-president and CEO of Asia-Pacific at Camoplast Solideal. “We are always on the look out for businesses willing to join us and help achieve this goal.”

The Eastwood acquisition marks Camoplast Solideal’s first true brick and mortar venture into the New Zealand market. Building off Eastwood’s established network, the business will continue to grow its material handling and construction tire distribution business by providing the right tire, for the right application at the right time. 

Eastwood’s existing material handling service footprint will also help grow the Camoplast Solideal service network throughout the country. 

“We look forward to continuing a strong relationship with Eastwood. As one team, we will deliver superior, reliable products and services for real needs and applications for our clients,” said Fossey.

Camoplast Solideal and Eastwood Tyres have enjoyed a 25-year manufacturing and distribution partnership. Together, they will be ideally placed to improve upon the already-strong relationship with tire dealers and distributors in the region. 

The acquisition further demonstrates the organization’s unyielding commitment to maintain their leadership position in the market by growing their footprint to provide excellence in both product delivery and mobile tire service.

About Camoplast Solideal
Camoplast Solideal is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of off-road tires, wheels, rubber tracks and undercarriage systems to serve the material handling, construction, agricultural and powersports industries. It employs more than 7,500 dedicated employees and operates advanced R&D centres and manufacturing plants in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Camoplast Solideal is a supplier to leading original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and distributes its products in the replacement market through its global distribution network. 
April 30, 2015 - Canadian Forest Industries’ first resource roads management maintenance webinar drew approximately 25 attendees interested in learning how to extend the lifetimes of the roads they maintain and build.

Glen Legere, research leader of the resource roads group for FPInnovations, kicked off the presentation by discussing road surface distress and failure modes.

In B.C. alone, at least 450,000 km of road are unpaved.

“The conditions of the roads are directly related to transportations efficiencies,” he said. 

This includes transportation efficiency factors such as cycle time and speed, safety, and user costs – like fuel consumption and vehicle maintenance costs. 

He said dust, corrugation, ravelling, potholes and ruts are the most common distresses.

“Dust is very often caused by lack of fines, prolonged dry conditions and excessive winter sands,” he said.

Legere offered causes and solutions for each of the distresses, and added that one of the most destructive forces that cause potholes on resource roads is poor drainage, which often comes from poor crown.

To prevent potholes, his recommendations included maintaining crown at four to six per cent, offering additional training for grader operators and having slope meters in graders.

He then discussed cost-benefits and life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA).

“Life-cycle cost analysis is about looking at roads as long-term investments,” said Legere.

LCCA can effectively combine and quantify the costs and benefits that are expected to occur over time.

By using “discounting,” it is possible to evaluate the tradeoffs between initial rehabilitation costs and future maintenance costs, including all anticipated costs and benefits over the life of a road network, he explained. 

“The objective is to find the most cost-effective solutions,” said Legere.

Maintenance costs that should be incorporated into an LCCA include routine grading, snow removal, winter sanding, annual reshaping, dust control, repairs, stabilization and resurfacing.

Legere also shared a few of FPInnovations’ latest technologies, introducing the crowd to various tools for planning, monitoring and managing resource road maintenance, including its FPDat Grader and FP Trak, which are currently available for purchase.

FPInnovations is also currently reviewing use of existing smartphone road roughness apps for research purposes.

If each member of the crowd could only take away one lesson learned from the webinar, it should be LCCA-related, according to Legere.

“Use the LCCA approach to make strategic decisions. This is the key message today,” he said.







April 28, 2015 – Kenworth now offers the Meritor Front Steer (MFS) non-drive axle family rated from 12,000 to 14,600 pounds in standard and wide track options for selected Class 8 trucks and the Class 7 Kenworth T370.

The axles, which are fully compatible with both disc and drum brakes, are available for applications such as linehaul, pickup and delivery, construction, refuse, logging and mining.

According to Meritor, the new MFS axles offer up to a 55-degree turn angle for excellent maneuverability and vehicle stability. Unique Easy Steer bushing technology helps reduce steering effort and provide longer life. Durability, low maintenance and ease of service are provided by a combination of low-friction bushings, double draw keys, and integral thrust bearing and seal designs. Easy Steer king pin bushings, computer-designed and optimized I-beam construction, and stiff axle assembly combine to deliver tight turning radius along with superior vehicle control and longer tire life.

“Meritor’s Front Steer non-drive axles provide a great wheel cut for added maneuverability and are designed for long-life with minimal maintenance required,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director. “It’s a nice addition to the Kenworth product offering that will benefit our customers.”

April 17, 2015 - Resource Roads I – Maintenance management solutions 

Date: April 29, 2015

Presenter: Glen Legere, FPInnovations

Canadian resource road networks, composed primarily of unpaved roads, provide year-round access for sectors such as forestry, energy and mining, as well as general public access for remote communities and recreation. 

Maintaining safe and reliable access to these roads in a cost-effective way is a huge challenge. The level of maintenance, such as grading and resurfacing, will vary for each road and is strongly dependent on factors such as traffic volume, road surfacing quality, season of use and climate. 

Resource roads are an important asset and should be managed with a long-term vision while incorporating life-cycle costing analysis (LCCA) principals where transportation and maintenance costs are optimized. 

This webinar will discuss road surface distress and failure modes, cost-benefits of LCCA and tools for planning, monitoring and managing resource road maintenance.

And all of this for only $25!

To register for the webinar, click here.

March 31, 2015 - I joined the Truck Loggers Association (TLA) in January as the new executive director after working for 10 years as a financial analyst for ERA Forest Products Research – an independent financial research shop located on the Sunshine Coast. As an analyst, I viewed the B.C. forest industry from 30,000 feet, as part of a broader global industry perspective following world markets and trade. In my new role, I’m standing on the stumps alongside B.C.’s coastal forest contractors. And, from my new ground level view, I can see the turbulence created by the challenges facing B.C.’s forest industry on a regional level.

The most serious challenge I see facing TLA members today is contractor sustainability. We need to ensure contactors can create jobs and make investments that are necessary for stable community economies, while at the same time ensuring the log supply to sawmills remains intact. It is clear the supply chain is at risk because, despite a market rebound in forest products over the last few years, the balance sheets of many contractors are unhealthy, in contrast to many of the licensees.

For any industry to flourish, the entire supply chain needs to be healthy. What we have now for the B.C. coastal forest industry is a supply chain where some links are strong and some are crumbling under severe strain.

No Logger, no logs
Such a situation is unsustainable. How can TLA members attract new workers to the industry when they cannot offer them the wages or job security provided by other natural resource sectors where their skills are also valued? Conversely, how can TLA members take on the time and expense required to train new workers to work productively and safely when contract rates are unsustainably low? You could say contractors are in the bight, between a falling tree and a cliff.

When the contracting community is unhealthy, it means rural community stability and the outlook for the entire forest industry is at risk, too. Since the recession, more than 25 B.C. contractors have sought insolvency protection. Each time that happens, the economic ripples are felt across the community. People in rural towns lose well-paying, local jobs and suppliers who lent money in good faith all lose out as well. The examples are numerous and the situation is getting worse.

Auctioning our future?
And it seems every month, more logging equipment is going to auction by those who can no longer see a positive future. In the winter issue of Truck Logger BC, the article “Tough Decisions Facing The Logging Sector” highlighted two contractors leaving the industry. Bryan Gregson of Copcan Contracting, based in Nanaimo, B.C., explained it this way, “We were constantly told our rates were too high but at the same time, the return on the capital we had invested in equipment was simply not there anymore.”

Bruce Jackson of Bruce Jackson Contracting, based in the southern B.C. Interior, talked of a similar situation. “Is there recognition for fuel costs, rising wages, parts or repairs? The answer is no. The industry standard rate is what you get. Take it or leave it.”

Many TLA businesses are multigenerational and have operated in the same area for decades as licensees come and go. We lose a vast knowledge base when a contractor leaves the industry. However, without a serious discussion on rate-related topics, we will lose the contractors needed to support the growing global demand for our forest products, which means this is not just a contractor issue, but one that threatens the entire industry and the communities they support.

 


David Elstone - David is the executive director of the Truck Loggers Association

 

 

Dec. 4, 2014 - On February 26, 2014, truck drivers who haul containers to and from shipping terminals at Port Metro Vancouver and who are members of the United Truckers Association of British Columbia stopped work. They were joined two weeks later by members of Unifor – Vancouver Container Truckers’ Association. The drivers were protesting low wages and long wait times at port terminals.

Because the economy of British Columbia is dependent on commodity exports, the reaction to the work stoppage was one of great concern.

“If we cannot deliver coastal forest products in a timely and dependable manner through Port Metro Vancouver, we will lose our customers to offshore competitors,” said Coast Forest Products Association president and CEO Rick Jeffery. “This will have a disastrous ripple effect that will reverberate through our companies, impacting thousands of jobs and lives as well as the stability and economies of our communities and the province.”

The work stoppage, which cost an estimated $885 million per week, went on for almost a month, with drivers and their employers trading accusations and threats.

The other players – Port Metro Vancouver, terminal operators, ocean carriers, freight forwarders and customers – called on the truckers and the trucking companies to settle so that everyone could get back to work.

After the B.C. government threatened back-to-work legislation, there was a last-minute flurry of negotiations, and on March 27, Premier Christy Clark announced a settlement. And with that, the estimated 1,800 striking truckers got behind the wheel again and headed back to the port.

The news of the settlement was met with both a sigh of relief and a sense of resignation. The 2014 disruption followed similar walkouts in 1999 and 2005, and some people believe there could be more of the same in the future.

Critical port
Port Metro Vancouver, where the container truckers ply their trade, is huge in area and in importance to the local, provincial and national economies. Port jurisdiction covers more than 600 kilometres of shoreline, which border 16 municipalities, one treaty First Nation and 28 marine cargo terminals.

It is Canada’s largest port and is tied for second place (after Los Angeles-Long Beach) on the west coast of North America. In 2013, the port handled a record 135 million tonnes of cargo, an increase of nine per cent over 2012.

Port Metro Vancouver is served by a small army of licensed trucks, most of which are owner-operated. The trucks move thousands of containers throughout the Lower Mainland, the port’s hinterland. Trucks account for about one-half of the traffic in and out of the port, the other half moving by rail.

Trucks move approximately 1.3 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) per year through Port Metro Vancouver. Based on 2011 economic impact study figures, the value of those goods is approximately $46 billion. Specialty grains, animal feed and such forest products as pulp, paper and lumber are the main commodities exported in containers from Port Metro Vancouver.

Truckers’ strike hurt forest industry
“Exports of Canadian softwood lumber to Asia – Japan, China, Taiwan and South Korea – increased dramatically beginning in 2008,” Council of Forest Industries (COFI) president and CEO James Gorman said. “But then they fell in the first quarter of 2014 due to the Vancouver port strike.”

According to COFI’s estimates, softwood lumber exports from B.C. to Japan and from B.C. to China each fell by almost 40 per cent between the third quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. The negative impact is not surprising because of the symbiotic relationship between Port Metro Vancouver and the forest industry. Softwood lumber is a big player at port terminals, says Gorman.

“The export of wood products is critical to the successful economics of the port,” he said. “Measured by tonnage, 32 per cent of outbound shipments come from the forest industry. No other economic sector is close to that.” In addition, Gorman says, almost two-thirds of total container exports carry forest products.

Eight years ago, five out of six containers that were shipped to Port Metro Vancouver from China returned empty. “Now it’s less than one in three,” Gorman says. “The difference is forest product exports to China.”

What caused the strike?
There were two main causes of the work stoppage at Port Metro Vancouver, says Gordon Payne, chairman of Harbour Link Container Services Inc. in the Vancouver suburb of Delta, B.C. For several years the truckers have had long waits to gain access to the port, and, once inside to complete a transaction.

“Before the work stoppage was called, some truckers had been waiting three to four hours for a single pick-up or delivery,” Payne said. “Because most of the truckers are owner-operators and are paid by the job, the lengthy waiting times reduce the money they earn. It’s no surprise they were upset.”

Severe winter weather in eastern North America had made the congestion worse; there was a shortage of intermodal rail cars, which caused containers to back up at Port Metro Vancouver’s terminals.

New technology to clear the air
The work disruption ended with the adoption of a 14-point Joint Action Plan to address the truckers’ concerns. The Plan was developed by the federal and provincial governments and Port Metro Vancouver, all of which have jurisdiction over different parts of the port’s operations.

According to the terms of the Plan, the federal government agreed to boost the trip rates paid by truckers by 12 per cent over 2006 rates.

There is also a new escalating fee arrangement to compensate truckers for excessive wait times. The fees – which are in fact penalties – will be paid by the terminal operators to the truckers. Drivers will be paid $50 after 90 minutes of waiting. After two hours that fee will go up by another $25.

Also part of the Plan is the Common Data Interface (CDI) project, which will collect digital records of truck entries and departures at gates and terminals. After the data has been collected and crunched, it will be used to help co-ordinate multi-shift operations and develop a centralized appointment scheduler for container trucks.

The CDI will also complete the installation of GPS technology in container trucks at the port. According to Transport Canada, which is helping to finance the initiative, GPS in every truck will provide a complete, accurate and real-time base of data which will provide routing and operational information to help manage congestion and wait times.

Is the settlement a solution?
Although the truckers have been back at work for six months, not all of them are pleased with the settlement and some of them have been making noises about going off the job again. The forest industry has its fingers crossed.

“Port Metro Vancouver is a vital link to the world economy for B.C. and for Canada,” said COFI’s James Gorman. “It is critical to have a lasting solution.”

There is certainly some reason for optimism. “Turn-times have gone down a lot since early July, between eight and 15 per cent,” said Philip Davies, principal of Davies Transportation Consulting Inc. in Vancouver. “That’s a significant decrease.”

On the other hand, says Darryl Anderson, managing director of Wave Point Consulting Ltd. in Victoria, B.C., a return to work does not necessarily mean a lasting solution. “Since trucking operations are so complex, it will take significant leadership and time for industry to define exactly what the Plan will mean in practical operational terms,” Anderson said. “I’m confident that everybody involved knows what’s at stake. The question is, can they put aside their individual short-term commercial interests and act for the benefit of the long-term health of Port Metro Vancouver? It’s uncertain.”

What will happen next? “It’s an ongoing adventure,” said Davies.

 

Sept. 24, 2014, Abbotsford, BC – A mix of industry professionals totaling 10,362 gathered at TRADEX in Abbotsford, British Columbia, September 19-20, 2014 for TRUXPO, Western Canada's largest commercial trucking show. Held biennially, TRUXPO is THE event where industry meets to source and compare new products and see the latest in commercial truck and transportation equipment and services.

"This year's show was an unquestionable success," said Mark Cusack, National Show Manager. "Traffic was steady throughout the two-day event and attendance surpassed our expectations. Exhibitor feedback about the quantity and quality of visitors has been overwhelmingly positive. And we were thrilled that members of the Indo-Canadian community came out in especially high numbers in support of their industry."

"We found the quality and volume of the traffic up from previous years at TRUXPO," said Kevin Olson-Brooks, Sales Manager with Harbour International Trucks, an exhibitor with this year's show. "The show was well-attended and customers seemed to be relaxed and enjoying themselves. Advertising was up this year, which definitely drove traffic into the show."

"It was an awesome show – the best in the past eight years," said Johnny Z with ZZ Chrome, who also exhibited at this year's show. "We don't usually sell at the show, but we sold over $30,000 in equipment. I also talked with several other exhibitors and they indicated it was the best show ever!"

A variety of special features helped to bolster attendance at TRUXPO 2014 – including the BCTA Sector Update Conference, which took place immediately prior to the show opening; an industry luncheon with keynote speaker Michael "Pinball" Clemons; an educational component with seminar sessions geared to drivers and industry personnel; special performances by multicultural entertainment; and a professionally organized and judged Show & Shine.

The success of this year's edition would not have been possible without a strong relationship with our presenting partner, the British Columbia Trucking Association (BCTA).

"BCTA has always been proud of our affiliation with TRUXPO, but the 2014 show amply demonstrated that partnering with Master Promotions Ltd. was a wise choice," said Louise Yako, President & CEO, BCTA. "The additional events and promotional activities provided great value to the show's exhibitors and visitors alike. It was energizing to be at TRUXPO to see so many industry people enjoying the show, being exposed to and learning about new technologies, equipment and opportunities, as well as having the chance to re-connect with old friends and make new acquaintances. Participation in the show demonstrated the strength of the industry and the fact that the future is very bright."

The next edition of TRUXPO will take place in 2016; stay tuned to www.TRUXPO.com for details.

Sept. 11, 2014 - The TLA would like to announce that Dwight Yochim, RPF, Executive Director of The Truck Loggers Association since September 2012, is no longer with the Association.

"Over the past two years, Dwight has been a strong supporter of the coastal forest industry and has led significant initiatives to ensure recruitment of young people into forestry," said Don Banasky, TLA President.

"The coastal forest industry is growing. It's a renewable industry with significant potential to create jobs and provide local, well paid career opportunities for young people," said Banasky. "Dwight made sure the opportunities were identified through completion of the BC Forest Sector Labour Market & Training Needs Analysis and subsequent development of the British Columbia Coastal Forest Industry Human Resource Strategy which he led. We thank Dwight for his hard work and wish him every success in the future."

Looking forward, the TLA will now be seeking a replacement for this challenging and rewarding role as an industry leader and advocate for the TLA membership.

For more information, contact:
Brenda Martin
Director of Communications
The Truck Loggers Association
T 604.684.4291 ext. 2
C 778.339.7554
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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