Wood Business

Features Harvesting Logging Profiles
Survey snippet 8: Are contractors downsizing?

Oct. 10, 2018 – We know bigger is not always better, and profit can be at the expense of expansion. This may help explain a jump in the number of contractors across Canada who own just one to three machines.

October 10, 2018  By  Maria Church

In our 2018 CFI Contractor Survey, a quarter of loggers say they own between one and three pieces of equipment, excluding pick-ups. This is up significantly from the results of our 2016 survey, which saw 15 per cent who own one to three.  

The corresponding drop is in all other categories, aside from those who own 11 to 20 machines (up 2% to 22%) and those who own more than 100 (doubled to 2%). See how the numbers compare in the chart below.


Percentage of contractors who report machine numbers, excluding pick-ups.


Regionally it’s contractors in Ontario and Alberta that have the largest fleets, 57 per cent and 50 per cent respectively own more than 21 pieces, followed by the B.C. Interior at 41 per cent and the B.C. Coast at 23 per cent. Coastal contractors appear to be limited to fewer than 50 machines. Companies owning more than 100 pieces are only found in Alberta and the B.C. Interior.

A majority of Quebec contractors (52%) own just one to three machines, followed closely by Atlantic Canada at 47 per cent. See the regional breakdown in the chart below.

Percentage of contractors who report machine numbers, excluding pick-ups.

Missed last week’s survey snippet? Find a collection of reports published to date here. Look for more news from the CFI 2018 Contractor Survey in our enews over the coming weeks, with a final digital report in December and a summary in the November/December print issue. Be sure to subscribe to our free enews to get all the latest industry news.

The survey was conducted in June 2018 by independent research firm Bramm & Associates, generating over 275 replies to a detailed list of questions. Respondents were distributed according to the geographic breakdown of the forest industry, with 40 per cent in Western Canada, 25 per cent in Quebec, and the rest found in Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and central Canada. Within B.C. responses were split between the BC coast and Interior. Many thanks to our sponsors for making the research possible – Hultdins and Tigercat.

Print this page


Stories continue below