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Survey snippet 9: Refreshing the fleet

Oct. 18, 2018 – Despite worrisome rates and profits margins reported in CFI’s 2018 Contractor Survey, a strong majority of Canadian loggers are still planning to replace at least one machine in their fleet within the next two years. Half of them will be shopping for three or more.

October 19, 2018  By  Maria Church

Just 14 per cent of contractors are not looking to replace any machines, while 6 per cent will purchase 11 or more. Region plays a large factor in the likelihood of replacement.

Percentage of contractors planning to replace machinery within two years.

These numbers are in keeping with the results of our 2016 contractor survey. There was a decrease in the percentage of loggers planning to replace three to five pieces, which was offset by a slight increase in all other categories, including those not planning to purchase any machines over the next two years, up 2 per cent from 2016 results.

Percentage of contractors planning to replace machinery within two years.


Not surprisingly, the further east you go the less likely contractors will be replacing their fleet. Nearly half of Atlantic region loggers (42%) are not looking to purchase over the next two years, the largest percentage by far.

In spite of large fleet sizes in Ontario reported last week, the region’s loggers appear to be avoiding machine replacement over the next two years. None are planning to replace more than 10, and 17 per cent say they will not be replacing any.

Quebec with its majority of small operations has the largest percentage of contractors planning to replace one to two machines. The B.C. Interior leads the pack for replacement plans, with 68 per cent replacing three to 10, and another 12 per cent replacing 11 or more.

Percentage of contractors planning to replace machinery within two years.

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.

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