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Demo 2008 hits Atlantic Canada

The Demo International equipment show only happens every four years and this year’s event—being held in Atlantic Canada for the first time—is a must-see to keep up to speed with new technology and techniques in logging.

By Paul MacDonald

It’s the biggest logging equipment show in North America this year and it’s not to be missed: It’s Demo International 2008, being held in Halifax, Nova Scotia from September 18 to 20.

This is the first time Demo has been held in Atlantic Canada and everyone involved—from the Canadian Woodlands Forum (CWF), to host company Ledwidge Lumber, to show organizer Master Promotions— are working all-out to make the show a success. This will mark the 11th edition of the CWF’s flagship live forestry equipment show.

While times are presently very challenging in the forest industry, Peter Robichaud, executive director of the CWF, said that perhaps the best way loggers can view taking the time to attend Demo is that it is an investment in the future— their future and the industry’s future.

“Everyone is toughing it out right now,” says Robichaud. “But the industry is going to come out of this downturn.” And when it does emerge, loggers want to be able to hit the dirt running good equipment.

“The forest industry is cyclical and may be down now, but there is a good future for the industry, and a healthy long-term demand for wood products,” Robichaud adds.

“It may be tough right now, but there is a need for loggers to look down the road to see what equipment is going to make them successful next week, next month and next year and further into the future.” And a big part of being successful is loggers making sure they are as up-to-date as possible with technology, from harvesting right through to handling biomass.

More than ever, loggers have to be efficient, and they’re looking for further efficiencies when it comes to replacing their existing equipment. And the best place to see the best in logging equipment in North America this year is at Demo International 2008.

There is going to be a huge variety of logging equipment—and logging expertise— at Demo 2008. “It truly is a onestop shop for logging equipment.”

Fuel efficiency is an example of where improvements continue to be made with logging equipment. While late-model machines are generally fuel efficient, major equipment manufacturers are continuing to make improvements in this key area—an important consideration with sky high fuel prices. “High fuel prices are hitting everyone,” says Robichaud.

Regardless of where you are in the equipment buying cycle, Demo will be of interest. “Some loggers may be thinking about getting some equipment in the next while—they may be sitting on some well-worn equipment. Well, the show is for them. But it’s also for the loggers who may be looking for new equipment next spring.

”The equipment is all going to be there at Demo 2008, and they’ll be able to see it live and in action.”

As its name states, that’s one of the unique aspects to Demo—it’s about equipment being demonstrated, in the bush, in real time. Dozens of pieces of logging equipment will be working around a tight, three kilometre loop that will be action-packed in terms of demonstrations.

“There’s no dead space in that loop,” says Robichaud. “Wherever you turn, there will be the opportunity to see another piece of equipment or supplier.” Over 100 exhibitors will be represented, with everything for the fully mechanized logger to the small scale operator.

While there are a number of very good regional forestry shows right across the country, Robichaud notes there is only one logging equipment show that receives this kind of full support from equipment manufacturers. “And that’s Demo.

“We’ve been very encouraged by the response by the equipment manufacturers. They usually go all-out with the equipment demonstrations and displays— and this year will be no different. They’re going to be very well represented.” And Ledwidge Lumber, a mid-sized, family-run forest company, has been involved all the way through, and is proud to host Demo 2008 on one of its sustainably managed woodlots.

Ledwidge Lumber, the Canadian Woodlands Forum and Master Promotions, have all been working hard to make this show a success. Planning for the show started more than two years ago. “It’s taken a lot of work on everyone’s part to pull this together.”

Robichaud reports that there is a definite buzz about this being the first time Demo has been held in Atlantic Canada. That will be reflected in the show itself, with part of the show being directed to the many small private woodlot owners in the region.

An added feature this year is a predemo conference on bioenergy. The CWF and Canadian Bioenergy Association (CANBIO) will co-host the technical conference, “Bioenergy: Developing Trends and New Opportunities for a Changing Forest Industry.” This two-day event will take place on September 16-17, in conjunction with Demo.

Also new is a forwarder operator contest. The competition is designed to showcase operator skills, add a measure of fun to the festivities, demonstrate the latest machine advances, and recognize the nation’s top forwarder operators. The Forwarder Operator Challenge—sponsored by the CWF and Komatsu Forest LLC—is open to all experienced forwarder operators from across Canada.

With these kinds of high interest features, there’s very good reason why people make a point of attending Demo from right across the country, says Robichaud. In addition, there’s all kinds of informal information exchanges between people at the show. “Demo is a once in every four years opportunity to get out there and talk with people from throughout the forest industry, see all the iron and what will work for your operation,” says Robichaud.

Further information and updates on Demo are available at www.demointernational.com.