After being crowned the winner in the HD version of the Canadian Truck King Challenge in the fall of 2010, I asked GM to provide me with a truck for long-term testing and in January they obliged. This would be the 2011 HD Chevrolet Silverado, a truck that just last year was completely overhauled – starting with the chassis and working up to the engine packages. Over the six months, I put 14,000 km on the truck. It went back with 27,000 km on the engine. It had one oil change while I had it (now due for another) and I’ve had to add DEF (diesel emissions fluid).

In 2008, in the face of a global economic meltdown, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) made the decision to axe the Sterling truck brand. It also decided, after much scrutiny, not only to save Western Star from the guillotine but also to inject some cash into the brand and give it a dedicated team of engineers and marketers.

Sometimes small is beautiful. That certainly rings true when it comes to live logging events like DEMO International. The more action and gear you can pack into a tight loop, the better for everyone.

Maybe Kermit the Frog had it right when he said “it’s not easy being green.” Certainly, log haulers would have to agree after several rounds of government-driven, emissions-related up-charges have jacked up the costs of new trucks while offering little in return in the way of improved reliability or performance.
The first of three rounds with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-related technological changes came in 2002, when all engine manufacturers but Caterpillar adopted exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Caterpillar, for its part, came out with its own technology dubbed ACERT, and even though it spent several years and millions of dollars looking at EGR, the company decided to stay on its own path.

There are few applications, if any, that are more gruelling for commercial truck tires than logging. And so you could forgive a logger for being cynical about the reliability and practicality of retreads. But what highway fleets have learned, and some off-road fleets as well, is that there’s simply no more effective way to reduce your tire costs than by investing in brand name tires and getting multiple uses out of the casings.

For 2011, the Canadian Truck King Challenge was a heavy duty event that took advantage of the fact that three Detroit builders each unveiled a new Heavy Duty pickup truck in the past year: a rare occurrence. These trucks – the Chevy Silverado HD, Ford Super Duty and Ram HD – were each delivered as crew cab diesel-powered versions. The three were similar in most respects and the tests were conducted back to back and all on the same day. As always, we tested at our private IronWood test facility near Head Lake, Ont.

With a mandate to promote education within the forest industry, the PLC show in Oregon gave school kids a good look at career opportunities.

Not to diminish the difficulties Canada’s forest industry is currently facing, but if you think you’ve got it rough, talk to one of your truckers. In addition to dealing with all the recessionary challenges that are currently facing forest companies, truckers have their own issues to contend with.

Just under two months before the doors open for the Resources Expo in Prince George, B.C., all indications are that the three-day event will be a major success.
The show, which will run from June 3 to 5, is the first event to place all of the province’s central and northern major resource industries under one roof. The show will also include a face-to-face job opportunity and training component.

It takes just a few minutes of sitting across the desk from Deon Hamlyn in the circa 1920s building that houses the offices of Kruger’s Corner Brook Pulp and Paper (CBPP) mill in western Newfoundland to discover how passionate he is about productivity and machine utilization in the woods. A few more minutes with Hamlyn, who is one of the division’s logging operations superintendents, and he is pulling electronic components and mobile satellite devices out of a storage cupboard to illustrate the progression of electronic datalogger equipment that has been developed over the years by the FERIC Division of FPInnovations.

There’s something just a little different about Millson Forestry Service in Timmins, Ont. Maybe it’s the warm and friendly greeting you get from Nikita, the rescued shepherd cross who hangs out in the warmth of the office all day, or it might be the laid back, nothing is too much trouble sentiment you glean from Sue and Dave Millson, the husband and wife team who run the company.

The most stringent emissions standards ever for heavy-duty diesel engines are just around the corner, and they’ll be accompanied by a hefty price increase. Over the past couple of months, truck makers have been announcing 2010 pricing, and if you haven’t been paying attention you could be in for a real case of sticker shock when it’s time to replace your ride.

Canada’s forest industry literally consumes pickup trucks; they are tools and they have to work. That’s why truck buyers across the country have followed the Canadian Truck King Challenge with interest over the past three years – it tests trucks the way they are used – in the field. And that is always of interest to commercial and private buyers alike. Also many of these rigs do double duty. In fact, companies like Ford have estimated that as much as 25% of its SuperDuty trucks also serve as tow vehicles for RVers, boaters, snowmobilers and the equine crowd. Not to mention how many half-tons also haul groceries.

It’s a new year, and with it comes new regulatory burdens for the trucking industry. Most notably in '09, it’s the mandatory use of speed limiters in both Ontario and Quebec. As of January 1, it has been illegal for any heavy-duty truck built since 1995 (when electronic speed governors became a standard engine function) to not have that limiter set at a maximum speed of 105 km/h.

An idle machine is the devil’s workshop as far as the forest industry is concerned. Whether it’s in the mill yard or out in the bush, we like to see our rolling stock rolling. If there’s a piece of iron with too much time on its hands, the assumption is we have too much iron.

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