When quantity trumps quality
Nov. 26, 2014 - Operating in the woods around Williams Lake, B.C., Ilnicki Brothers' Logging is a contractor that works closely with Tolko to supply logs to the company's two sawmils in Williams Lake. Over the last decade, the quality and size of the logs in the region has deteriorated so that the company has had to adapt – finding ways to process more logs by the hour.
In order to accomplish this feat, it has purchased a Southstar harvesting head that is capable of handling several small logs rather than processing only one log at a time. On the day Canadian Forest Industries visited the site, the contractor was into some large, green logs but the quality of the trees on the cutblock was evident on the drive in.
Premium logs had been harvested in the first and second passes – what remains are the small, dead pine that have long since died and have been passed over previously for this reason. The only way to keep a profitable margin when working with small, dead bettle-killed wood is to work more efficiently.
This is what the Ilnicki Brothers Logging likes about the Southstar head – it can pick up three or four small logs, line them up, trim the ends and process them together. What it sacrifices in accuracy, it makes up in speed. Occasionally, a sawlog that was mixed in with others bound for the biomass pile will end up in the wrong pile but the company is so happy with the machine that it plans to purchase a second one.