Made in New Brunswick
By Andrew Macklin
July 22, 2013, Simcoe, Ont. – Travelling to the M&R Plourde wood harvesting operation near Tracy, N.B. (approximately 40km south of Fredericton) provided Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup and York MLA Carl Urquhart with their first opportunity to see the quality of the province’s forest industry.
They met with Michel and Richard Plourde, Serge Landry of A. Landry Fabrication and members of the A.L.P.A. equipment sales team, and representatives of AV Group who have mills in Nackawic and Atholville. M&R Plourde is a contractor who supplies wood to the AV Group sawmill in Nackawic.
Plourde recently purchased a new Landrich Track Harvester from A.L.P.A. Equipment, who is also distributor of Terex, Hyundai and Ponsse equipment in Eastern Canada. The Landrich Track Harvester is a specialty piece of woods equipment manufactured by A. Landry Fabrication of Balmoral. The company began full commercial production of the wood harvester in 2010 and they have produced 20 units to date.
"Our government views a strong forest industry as an important driver of job creation and economic growth,” says Minister Northrup. “We are seeing a return to stability in the industry. It's encouraging to see local contractors re-investing in equipment upgrades and it's especially pleasing to see a New Brunswick-made harvester at work."
The Landrich Track Harvester is powered by a 275 hp Mercedes-Benz Tier III diesel engine. The hydraulic system features a flow capacity of three independent circuits that are generated by oversized displacement pumps in order to set the engine RPMs for maximum efficiency. The Landrich has a drawbar pull of 61,400 lbf and a maximum cutting radius of 32’8”. The Landrich is equipped with the Ponsse H8 harvesting head with a dedicated pump with priority over the other hydraulic systems, increasing delimbing power without affecting fuel consumption.
Currently, A. Landry Fabrication employs 15 people who are building six to 10 of the Landrich units each year. The company’s five-year goal is to annually produce 100 of the large mechanical harvesters. This would require a new manufacturing facility and would create 70 to 80 new jobs.
"This just seems like a great made in New Brunswick story," added MLA Urquhart. "We have these good hard-working fellows from McAdam using new state-of-the-art equipment from Balmoral to harvest woodlands at Tracy and haul it to the mill at Nackawic."
The purchase of the Landrich Harvester by Plourde also provides a benefit to the AV Group, who is currently switching over its operations to cut-to-length equipment.
"AV Group and the New Brunswick Forest Industry is working closely with Minister Northrup and the government of New Brunswick to ensure a long term, sustainable wood supply and competitive position for New Brunswick companies in a global marketplace," said Mike O'Blenis, vice-president of fibre supply and government relations with AV Group. "AVG continues to invest in the province to secure the future of its mills, employees and communities they support, as well as continuing to support private woodlot owners with a secure, long-term market for hardwood."