Wood Business

Virtual Event
OptiLog 2021
June 15, 2021 at 1:00pm EST

2:55 p.m. – 3:25 p.m.
Resource roads: off-road truck platooning comes to the timber industry

Speakers: Joseph Putney, director of commercial systems, Robotic Research, LLC, and Jan Michaelsen, lead researcher, transportation, FPInnovations

Truck platooning is not a particularly new idea, but it has been gaining ground in recent years to link trucks on the highway, yielding benefits such as lower fuel consumption and making it easier to transport more goods. A more challenging problem is electronically linking trucks for off-road transport or use over rugged terrain for industries such as timber harvesting. The U.S. Army has already started using autonomous truck technology developed by Robotic Research for platooning unmanned transports in combat situations. The same technology is now being applied to logging and other industries. This presentation will review innovations in autonomous truck systems, including off-road platooning, and its impact on the timber industry.


Joseph Putney

Joe Putney is the director of commercial systems for Robotic Research, LLC, makers of robotic and autonomy technology for transportation and mission-critical operations, including off-road truck automation for forestry, mining, agriculture, and other industries.



Jan Michaelsen

Jan Michaelsen has worked at FPInnovations for more than 35 years in the areas of transportation and energy efficiency. He has been a research advisor for FPInnovation’s Transportation and Infrastructure group since 2018 and works, in concert with a group of 22 researchers and technicians, towards improving transport operational and energy efficiency, road construction and maintenance, trucking safety, and maintenance practices in both on-road trucking and forest operations. His experience covers many areas including transport system optimization, energy efficiency of transport and off-road operations, driver training, load securement, log trailer design, truck specifications, and off-highway trucking. Jan earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Forestry from the University of New Brunswick in 1982, and is a member of the Ordre des Ingénieurs Forestiers du Québec.