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2011 OREGON LOGGING CONFERENCE Review
Despite the snow, rain and sleet, and an ever-struggling economy, the 2011 Oregon Logging Conference was still a success.
The traditional Wednesday “meet and greet” at the Eugene Hilton ended with warnings of snow. Enough snow fell to shut down schools,causing the cancellation of the school tours for upwards of 700 fourth and fifth grade students. In addition, the organ izers of the High School Skills competition decided to cancel the Saturday event based on travel conditions.
The snow may have kept some away, but the Wheeler Pavilion was full for the presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Lynn Michaelis.
Log Loader Competition
The 2nd annual log loader event got off to a slow start due to weather, with only seven competitors on Thursday. Fifteen showed up on Friday. Winners this year were:
- First place, Ross Cribs of Van Well Timber, with a time of 4:30. (He placed second last year.)
-Second place, Zane Bryant of Bryant Logging, with 4:33.
-Third place, Aaron Bunt of Lone Rock Timber, with 4:48 Seminars
The seminars weren’t as affected by the weather. “All of the professional logger seminars were well attended,” says Rikki Wellman, OLC Conference manager. As usual, the selection of topics was varied — from technology to managing road runoff.
As always there was new equipment on display including:
-Caterpillar’s 568 Forest Machine
The 568, which replaces the Cat 330D FM, delivers more performance, while consuming less fuel.
Highlights include a 16 percent increase in horsepower, more efficient hydraulics, longer track frames for more stability, and ground-level accessibility for maintenance.
The 568 is available in a general forestry configuration for road building, site prep, and processing; and in a loader version for log loading, shoveling, butt-n-top loading, and millyard applications. The 568 is the largest in the four-model FM line.
The 568 is powered by the new 319 net hp Cat® C9.3 ACERTTM engine. The electronic-controlled high-pressure air system includes a new turbo, a new cylinder head design, and an integrated valve cover and thermostat. The fuel system includes a new high-pressure pump, electric priming pump, injectors, and high-durability fuel lines. And the standard fuel capacity has been increased to 317 gal.
-D&L 180 Degree Swing Blade
The new swing blade offers a diesel powered motor with hydrostatic drive so there is no gearbox. It has its own built-in edger, allowing the operator to cut the log and edge the limber in the log without turning the log. Even large beams up to 10x20 can be cut without log turning.
D&L offers an insertable tooth blade so they can be quickly and easilychanged in the field with little down time, and the rails break down into 10 foot sections for portability. It has a number of safety features, including a double riving knife that follows the saw in the cut either direction, preventing the operator from putting the saw in the cut backwards. Options include slabbing bar, plant blade, and slab sanding disc.
-Fiber-gen Hitman PH330
Fiber-gen offered an automated wood quality measurement, which garnered interest from mills this year. The patented processor head attachment determines wood stiffness, enabling value-based decisions of log segregation and delivery. The Hitman PH330 is easy to re-configure to fit the most commonly used head types.
The system uses proven acoustic technology to test stiffness progressively up a stem prior to making log cutting decisions. The head then cuts the logs to meet user determined stiffness specifications, so harvesting crews can match logs to the mill’s wood strength requirements.
-Madill is back
The Madill forestry machines haven’t been available for a couple years, but that’s all changed. Nicholson Manufacturing Ltd. is bringing the machines, which have been a part of the forest industry for the past 60 years, back to the northwest. The first machines will be delivered this spring.
Representatives from Modern Machinery were available at the show to talk about what Modern and Madill have in store for the Pacific Northwest.
-Multitek Firewood Tumbler
The firewood tumbler is designed to be powered off your existing firewood processor or set up to run electrically in line with your operation.
The tumbler includes fork pockets for easy movement around your firewood operation. It can also be adjusted higher and lower depending on yourconveyor setup. The tumbler features a 4’ diameter, 10’ long trammel barrel for sorting chips and debris away from the wood, as well as an adjustable position collection system. It comes with a 3-postion offshoot to direct the finished product, and can be purchased with an optional vulcanized belt discharge conveyor for loading semi trailers.
-Real Tuff Baler
The Real Tuff balers can bale everything from wood shavings to aluminum cans. Built to last, they offer a quick return on investment. The heavy-duty and easy-to-use baler has been around for years, but only recently are they fully automatic. This upgrade allows a single operator to bale and bag 120 bales per hour — or 20,000 pounds of shavings into 30pound bales in less than 6 hours.
It’s simple — the operator just putsthe machine in start position, places a bag over the chute, and presses the start button. The cycle time to bale, bag, and eject is about 20 to 25 seconds.
These “plug-n-play” encoders were designed for loggers. Easy access toin-the-field diagnostic LEDs provide an instant view of the encoder’s function.
They are resistant to the electrical surges commonly found in mobile hydraulic machinery, and they provide maximum protection from moisture, vibration, and shock. The rugged encoders have also been tested and rated per military spec for shock and vibrations.
Exhibitors & Displays The exhibitors outside had it tough this year, battling the wind and cold temperatures. But demos, like Peterson Pacific Corporation large exhibit with remote control chippers, proceeded anyway. Rikki says she got comments from attendees that ranged from “the OLC’s not the good ol’ days” to “the show is a lot better than I thought it would be.”
Comparing the industry today to what it was years ago isn’t realistic though, she says. “It’s a new day. The industry is meaner and leaner. Instead of a company sending an entire crew to the show, that crew’s working, and a couple guys are attending. They have equipment to pay for and need to work when they can, now that log prices are the best they have been for a while.” Most of the exhibitors felt the caliber of attendees was high. “I talked to some exhibitors who felt this show was the best they have had in a couple of years.”
If you noticed there were fewer machines outside in the display areas, that was due to a lack of dealer and manufacturer inventory. “That’s a good sign,” says Rikki. “Inventory that has sat on dealers’ lots for the past couple of years is now selling, and in some cases, manufacturers couldn’t get machines built in time for the show.”
Some of the Fun
There was a lot of fun to be had during the conference. Three award-winning wood carvers Ryan Anderson, Mark Colp, and Bob King wielded their chainsaws, creating breathtaking sculptures for the crowds. OLC jazzed up Thursday and Friday nights’ sawdust bowl this year, by including music sponsored by Peterson Pacific Corporation.
The industry once again demonstrated their generosity by donating their hard earned money to worthy causes. The OLC scholarship fundraiser brought in $2,500, and the OWIT auction raised over $60,000 for the Talk about Trees program. The OWIT also received a $5,000 donation from the Northwest Ford Dealers Advertising Association. New Ol’ Days Rikki says, “We may never see the good ol’ days again, but those of us who remember them will have great memories forever. Now it’s time for us to look ahead, not behind. It’s time to start our NEW ol’ days.”
CLICK HERE for a pdf of the equipment reviews.