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Logging and Sawmilling Journal November 2014

June/July 2015

On the Cover:
British Columbia has been slammed with forest fires this summer, with more than 200 wildfires burning around B.C. in mid-July. For an update on the current wildfire situation, please go to Logging and Sawmilling Journal’s website at (Photo of helicopter working on a controlled burn at the Cisco Rd. forest fire near Lytton, B.C. courtesy of BC Wildfire Service).

B.C. sawmill explosion, fire ruled accidental
A coroner’s jury has ruled the explosion and fire at the Lakeland Mills sawmill in Prince George, B.C. in 2012 as accidental, and it made a number of recommendations to help prevent such a tragedy from occurring again.

Business-minded logging
Long-time coastal logging contractor Ted Arkell of Dyer Logging has found the challenges of logging have changed over three decades in the business, with a need to be far more business-minded to make a return on your equipment investment these days.

A Re-start for Rough and Ready Lumber
A significant investment in the small log line at Oregon’s Rough and Ready Lumber has resulted in better aligning production to the local log supply—and delivered solid economic benefits to a hard-hit part of the state, with the re-started sawmill.

Successful move into log hauling for Valley Carriers
A long-established, family-owned B.C. trucking firm, Valley Pulp & Sawdust Carriers, has recently expanded into log hauling, and is finding their already established trucking base—and their focus on their customers—gives them an edge in this competitive business.

Building operator loyalty
Alberta logging contractor Ted Freake finds that when it comes to the people who run his equipment, it pays to take the time to train operators—sometimes from scratch—with the goal of building loyalty and long term employee relationships.

Avoiding logging equipment fires
Nate Burton, Technical & Safety Services Manager of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, on the top five causes of forest equipment fires, and how operators can avoid them.

Returning to logging
The ongoing recovery has seen some contractors returning to the forest industry—New Brunswick’s Greg Davis and Wade Regan have now returned to the industry, and moved from a chainsaw/cable skidder operation to mechanical harvesting and a harvester/forwarder set-up, to better ensure their success.

DEMO show is on the way
Planning for the largest live equipment logging show in North America next year—DEMO 2016, to be held at the UBC Research Forest near Vancouver—is well underway, with recent planning meetings firming up the details for DEMO.

Canada North Resources Expo: another winning show
The Canada North Resources Expo, held in Prince George, B.C. at the end of May, was a huge success, thanks to features like a 30 per cent boost in outdoor exhibition space and the show hosting the first Northern B.C. Safety Conference.

The Edge
Included in this edition of The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Alberta Innovates - Bio Solutions and FPInnovations.

The Last Word
Given the changes that have occurred in the Canadian forest industry—and what’s to come—Tony Kryzanowski says it’s time for the Canadian forest industry to refresh its research and development priorities.


Supplier newsline



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equipment fireTop 5 causes of forest equipment fires... and how operators can avoid them

By Nate Burton, Technical & Safety Services Manager Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Logging equipment fires can have a human impact in terms of injuries—and be expensive in terms of property damage, and lost production. Equipment fires increased through the industry downturn, possibly a consequence of squeezed revenue and earnings.

“Contractors appear to be doing more with less,” said Chris Colello of Acadia Insurance, an insurer of logging operations. “This may involve ‘double shifting’ putting on more hours in a shorter time.”

Aging equipment, fluid leaks, and worn electronics result in more fires, Colello said.

Machines are generally equipped with fire suppression systems (often at insurer request), but operators can help prevent fires.

“The work environment is as dirty if not dirtier than even agricultural harvesting,” said John Walker of Walker Fire Forensics. “You move a tree, debris falls. Processing and chipping creates more debris. This ‘trash’ finds its way into the engine compartment.”

Top Causes

Debris accumulation is a cause of forestry equipment fires. But not the only one. Here are five causes of forest machine fires and how operators can help avoid them:

  1. Debris in the Engine Compartments
    Leaves, needles, twigs, and sawdust will build up, particularly around engines. This highly combustible debris must be removed frequently—once a day is not enough. Make it a habit, check for debris at breaks and if needed, take time to remove it.

  2. Hotter-Running Tier 4 Engines
    Tier 4 engines run 15° to 20°F hotter than earlier engines, so it’s more critical to remove debris. The injector pump’s fuel bypass to the tank is warmer, too.

  3. Debris Ignited by Rotating Components
    Slow rotating parts can rub on debris until it ignites. Remove this debris to prevent fires.

  4. Altered Electrical Systems
    Unauthorized and inadequate modifications and ‘temporary repairs’ to electrical systems frequently lead to shorts, overloading, and fires. Never add unauthorized electrical components to wiring. Only use power outlets provided by the manufacturer.

  5. Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel Ignition Hazard
    Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD) poses a greater ignition hazard than earlier diesel with higher sulfur content. The absence of sulfur allows static charge buildup in fuel delivery systems. Higher fuel tank temperatures (see #2) make vapours more combustible should a spark occur, resulting in a fire or explosion.

    Bonding and grounding machines with the fuel delivery system is now important when refueling. A simple wire connection between the equipment creates bonding; an electrical path between the tank and the ground creates grounding, to help dissipate static charge and reduce spark potential.

    Direct any fuel system bonding and grounding questions to your fuel system supplier, and review the Association of Equipment Manufacturers bulletin on “Best Practices during refueling” at

Safety is everyone’s job. Hazard awareness and reduction keeps everyone working, minimizes injuries and property losses while improving work conditions for all.