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Logging and Sawmilling Journal November 2014

May 2015

On the Cover:
B.C.’s Valley Pulp & Sawdust Carriers Ltd has hauled a lot of different materials in its decades of operation—but the company has now expanded its operations to hauling logs in the B.C. Interior, and it is working for several forest companies operating in the region. Watch for the story on Valley Pulp & Sawdust Carriers in the next issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal (Photo courtesy of Valley Pulp & Sawdust Carriers).

Prince George: a century
of sawmilling

The City of Prince George—home to the Canada North Resources Expo—is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2015, and it has a rich sawmilling heritage over that century.

Seizing the moment —in logging
Log Commander Enterprises, owned by the Webster Brothers—Ryan and Curtis—of Quesnel, B.C. has chosen to seize the moment in the logging upturn, expanding their fleet of logging equipment by a factor of four in the last 18 months.

Back to the future—with phase logging
Forest company Tolko Industries is revisiting the past with its Innovative Phase Logging program in the B.C. Interior, and it is delivering detailed—and valuable—information on logging equipment performance and production.

Recipe for recovery
A major planer upgrade at Tolko’s Soda Creek Division stud mill operation in Williams Lake, B.C. is going to help expand its range of products and improve grades and recovery at the mill, a solid recipe for improved competitiveness.

The latest in logging tools
Northeastern B.C. logging company Hi-Sky Enterprises has introduced some new Komatsu machines into its logging equipment line-up to provide their employees with the latest in logging tools, and make sure they are able to keep moving wood efficiently to meet the needs of their customer, lumber giant Canfor.

Going full tilt
New logging operation Full Tilt Contracting is looking forward to doing exactly that—going full tilt—in the not too distant future, helped along by solid logging equipment and an experienced crew.

Cranking out the lumber at Idaho Forest Group
Attendees at the recent Small Log Conference got a first-hand look at Idaho Forest Group’s new Lewiston, Idaho upgrade and its focus on a HewSaw SL250 3.4 installation that is already cranking out six million board feet a week—with room for more production.

Energy—but with a green footprint
A new wood-fired district energy system in the B.C. Interior is delivering multiple benefits, including solving the issue of residue disposal from a local sawmill using a Bandit 1390 XP 15 inch drum chipper, and in the process delivering energy that has a greener footprint.

Taking charge on the marketing side
Having had success manufacturing and marketing red pine product, Ontario’s Heideman sawmill recently made some acquisitions, and has now taken charge of marketing its finished white pine product.


CLICK HERE for the Canada North Resources Expo Showguide


Tech Update: Skidders

Supplier newsline

The Last Word


 CLICK to download a pdf of this article


By Tony Kryzanowski

John Deere L-SeriesJohn Deere

The new John Deere L-Series skidder has entered the forest with features that promise to increase uptime and productivity, while lowering daily operating costs for loggers.

Described as a ‘game-changing’ machine and John Deere’s most reliable and productive skidders ever, the company says that the L-Series skidder redefines expectations of what a skidder can accomplish for any logging operation.

The L-Series skidder is the first John Deere forestry machine to launch with Final Tier 4 engines.

The transition to a Final Tier 4 engine also means the introduction of an innovative new John Deere-designed Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) and drive train. What this means for loggers is that there is no need to shift gears.

All L-Series skidders feature more robust heavy-duty axles, including a rugged new Outboard-Extreme axle, which is standard on the 848L and 948L, and optional on the 748L.

L-Series skidders boast significantly more horsepower, stability and grapple options for superb responsiveness and steady multifunction performance. New larger grapples—up to a massive 22.3 sq. ft. on the 948L—give loggers more flexibility to configure a skidder to best match their application.

A newly designed arch and boom configuration also provides a better view to the grapple for easier and more efficient operation.


One of the best all-terrain, all-weather vehicles on the market is the KMC track skidder with its three unique features—balanced weight distribution, torsion bar spring suspension, and high speed steel track, says the company.

The KMC track skidder can skid logs on steep slopes, sensitive soils or wet areas where it is not feasible to operate expensive shovel logging, cable yarding systems or conventional rubber-tired ground skidding equipment.

The KMC has the ability to skid logs on up to a 40 per cent adverse gradient, favorable slopes to 50 per cent, and up to 55 per cent with site-specific risk assessment of the operation. The KMC can also skid in areas of environmental concern with less soil compaction or site disturbance than any other ground skidding equipment, says equipment dealer, KMC-KOOTRAC/Kootenay Tractor.

The KMC tracked skidder is not designed to replace other ground-based, skidding equipment. It is designed to be more effective when integrated with existing equipment. It will increase production while reducing the operating cost of existing equipment by working the areas where those machines are not designed for, thus reducing the wear and tear on the equipment.


Tigercat has launched the 610E skidder—its latest Tier 4 engine-equipped offering. The 610E is designed for the North American small skidder size class.

Tigercat’s Tier 4 solution can be packaged into a physically smaller engine enclosure. This provided the 610E design team with some flexibility to develop a machine layout that optimizes operator sightlines, while factoring in access to service points, machine balance, overall size and weight.

The 610E comes standard equipped with Tigercat’s exclusive EHS drive system. EHS is capable of providing exceptional tractive effort as well as high top speed, says the company. This is accomplished with advanced computer logic and the ability to take one of the drive motors offline when high tractive effort is not required. In this case, all pump flow is directed to one hydraulic motor, increasing both travel speed and motor efficiency.

The compact 610E skidder is agile and durable, making it ideal in tight spaces, soft soil conditions and selective logging applications. The ergonomic ‘Turnaround’ equipped cab provides the operator with comfort and clear sightlines.


The Cat D Series wheel skidder has great pulling power and increases productivity while reducing operating costs, says Caterpillar.

The operator can steer, back up and activate arch, boom and grapple functions simultaneously. It is more stable and agile and gives a smoother ride, says Caterpillar. Gears in the six-speed transmission are more evenly distributed in the working zone to maximize efficiency on any terrain. The torque converter allows the machine to ease smoothly into a start when the skidder has a heavy load in the grapple, and then the proven lock-up clutch automatically engages and the transmission goes into direct drive for high efficiency hauling and up to 15 per cent faster travel speeds in the same gear. The cross-flow configuration and compartmentalization of the engine and cooling system with reversing fan maximize efficiency and reduce debris collection.

The cab tilts for easy servicing. Equipped with the 275 hp Cat C7.1 ACERT engine, the 555D is the largest, most powerful skidder in the Cat line.


Débusqueuses Awassos Inc. manufactures compact skidders for low impact. Because of the way they are manufactured, they can easily be equipped with many options, resulting in a finished product built in an optimal way for any kind of operation.

It is also possible to speak with the tech department in make special requests, which are reviewed with the customer prior to production, so customers receive what they need.

The skidder is built on a robust frame, driven by a hydrostatic transmission, with the best hydraulic components available. Powered with an 80 hp diesel engine, weighing from 10,000 lbs to 11,000 lbs and seven feet wide, the Awassos skidder is said to be easy to move, gentle on the soil, but ready for work in demanding forest conditions, says the company.


The Tanguay TG88 track skidder is available in a clambunk or “L Boom” grapple configuration with a huge payload capacity of 35 tons.

Powered by a 400 hp engine, the eight-wheel drive TG88E comes with a choice of track width up to 60” wide for low ground pressure. The 100 per cent hydrostatic drive provides incredible manoeuvrability and perfect traction for minimum ground disturbance.

The TG88 clambunk and its powerful loader with a swing planetary is the machine of choice to economically load and skid tree length logs to roadside over long distances.

The “L Boom” grapple skidder version is also very productive over shorter distances.

This track skidder is an effective and safe alternative to challenging steep slopes, and wet and deep snow logging conditions where conventional ground base skidding was not even possible to consider.

Designed and manufactured in Canada, the TG88E is by far the world’s largest skidder and may open the door to year round operations.