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Globalstar SPOT X satellite messagingStay connected and safe with Globalstar SPOT X satellite messaging

The Globalstar SPOT X provides 2-way satellite messaging to stay connected to family, friends, and colleagues whenever the user is outside of cellular range, including direct communication with Search & Rescue services in case of a life threatening emergency.

SPOT X even provides users with their own personal Canadian mobile number so others can message them directly from their cell phone or other SMS devices at any time. Other features:

  • Exchange messages with any cell phone number or email address from virtually anywhere in the world with the SPOT X system. 
  • Send an SOS to the 24/7 Globalstar Search & Rescue centre, message back and forth about the nature of the emergency, and receive confirmation when help is on the way. 
  • Select from 2.5, 5, 10, 30 or 60 minute tracking intervals, and let family, friends and others follow progress with SPOT’s easy-to-use, Google Maps interface.
  • It is possible to quickly and easily let everyone know you are okay.
  • The built-in compass and programmable waypoints help with navigation.

Gilbert Mass Timber PlanerGilbert mass timber planer enters the market

Gilbert has added a mass timber lumber planer to its product line.

The company says the planer is designed to meet the high expectations of the engineered wood industry for the production of glulam timber, CLT timber and all types of beams.

The equipment has a heavy duty frame and is designed to plane mass timber up to a thickness of 16” and a width of 36”. Furthermore, the Gilbert Automatic Positioning System, which controls the cutterheads and axes, ensures optimal operating precision allowing for the production of high quality lumber.

“Our clients are breaking new ground in engineered wood products and we are pleased to offer Gilbert’s expertise to support them in their projects with our high quality equipment,” says Heidi Danbrook, sales director at Gilbert.

Gilbert’s first mass timber planer is now running in a glulam operation in Arkansas.

BID Group opens research and development centre

The BID Group has launched a research and development centre dedicated to supporting its seven design and manufacturing plants across North America. The location selected for this new centre of excellence is St-Georges de Beauce, Quebec.

The second phase of the new facility is now complete, showcasing a total investment of $1.5 million and a 5,000 square foot expansion to the existing plant. The company says that the R&D Centre will allow the BID Group to maintain its technological lead in the sawmilling industry and in the delivery of turnkey solutions to the marketplace. The centre also signals a strong commitment to the 450 employees in Beauce as well as the 1,800 employees across North America.

“This investment is one for the future of our company and our workers in Beauce and across North America,” says Simon Potvin, Executive Vice President, Wood Products Operations, at the BID Group.

With over 35 years of experience and facilities throughout North America, the BID Group is an integrated supplier of turnkey solutions for equipment, technology, data analytics and service to the forest products industry.

John Deere L-Series II skidders, wheeled feller bunchersNew John Deere L-Series II skidders, wheeled feller bunchers introduced

Continuously evolving to better its machines and exceed customer expectations, John Deere has introduced the new L-Series II skidders and wheeled feller bunchers.

The new L-Series II machines feature a simplified design, providing a reliable, powerful solution, while still maintaining the productivity-boosting features of the original line, including an increase in hydraulic speed, large grapples and an improvement in weight distribution, says the company.

“With the new L-Series II machines, we wanted to build upon the best features of the original machines, while also simplifying the design to increase reliability,” said Brandon O’Neal, product marketing manager, John Deere Construction and Forestry.

“Listening to our customers, we reworked the machines, making significant improvements under the hood. The new L-Series II machines offer decreased downtime without any changes to power and productivity.”

The new, simpler L-Series II models enhance customer experience by reducing maintenance and increasing uptime due to a number of part changes. Other changes to the machines include a reduction to the complexities of the electrical and hydraulic systems and improvements to component placements.

”They (John Deere) rerouted it so the wires wouldn’t be so bunched up in the machine,” noted Wayne Sugg of Sugg Logging, who was one of the first loggers to test the new machines.

“Since we’ve had the L-Series II, we’ve put 300 hours on it and haven’t had any downtime whatsoever. Uptime is important, because if the wood’s not going out getting on the trucks, I’m not making any money.”

The L-Series II machines also include changes to boost productivity. The new skidder models offer increased grapple squeeze force of up to 10 per cent. Articulation steering sensors improve the operator experience, ultimately increasing productivity. A new two-speed 4000 winch replaces the previous single-speed winch.

In addition to the new changes, the L-Series II skidders and wheeled feller bunchers retain the productivity-boosting features that loggers liked in the original models.

From a comfortable operator station to durable axles and rugged, large grapples, the L-Series II models offer loggers the features they need to tackle tough jobs.

The cabs on all skidders and wheeled feller bunchers are equipped with features designed to maximize comfort, ultimately increasing productivity. Amenities like the efficient HVAC system, improved ergonomic controls and storage space offer the creature comforts that loggers desire. Joystick steering and an optional rotating seat reduce strain on the operator’s body.

The L-Series II skidder models feature the powerful Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which combines the smoothness of a hydrostatic transmission with the fuel efficiency of a lockup torque converter. This combination enables the skidders to boast excellent fuel efficiency, longer engine life and enhanced operator comfort.

Offering a one-button Quick Dump feature, the wheeled feller bunchers improve efficiency with the push of one button to release trees in a single, smooth motion.

Additionally, the head-tilt and arm functions are combined to help minimize fatigue while improving productivity, says the company.

Equipment finance companies create joint venture

Canadian Equipment Finance & Leasing Inc and Proven Financial Group Inc have created a joint venture which they say will leverage more than 200 years of combined equipment finance experience.

The joint venture will operate under the brand name, Canadian Equipment Finance (CEF).

Through this joint venture, they say that customers will benefit from an expanded number of financing solutions, national representation, further diversification of expertise, and both brokerage and direct funding capabilities, as CEF becomes a leading provider of equipment financing in Canada.

CEF is an equipment finance and leasing company specializing in debt financing solutions to various industries, including forestry.

John Deere introduces TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager Technology

John Deere has announced the release of its TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager technology offerings, new streamlined software solutions for loggers designed to enhance machine connectivity and communication.

Available for John Deere wheeled-cut-to-length equipment, the revolutionary TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager software is another way John Deere is continuing to help customers optimize machines, increasing productivity, says the company.

“Understanding that our customers need access to real-time data to help increase production and accurately manage their business, we developed a streamlined, integrated solution: TimberMatic Maps for operations on-board the machines and TimberManager as an Off-Board, management solution,” said Matt Flood, ForestSight product manager, John Deere.

“In today’s challenging applications and environments, loggers need the right tools to maximize their visibility to machines, jobsites and their businesses to increase profitability.” The TimberMatic Maps system is used in G-Series harvesters and forwarders, utilizing a mobile network to share real-time production information between harvester and the forwarder, as well back to managers in the office. Managers can access the data using TimberManager, a web-based solution for a PC, tablet or mobile phone, allowing loggers to follow progress of the work site. Combined, the software provides complete visibility to the operation from land harvested to the machines at work, streamlining communication and increasing efficiency when shift planning.

The data shared is collected by the sensors on the harvester, while the location of the production is collected through the GPS technology. Information is automatically transmitted to the TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager systems, providing real-time updates to operators and managers both on and off the jobsite.

One of the key benefits of TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager is the ability to plan work that needs to get done in a day. The map provides the precise location, volume and species of timber with the network of logging routes, allowing operators to efficiently work.

As timber is transported, the operator can mark the map to indicate it has occurred, providing an exact volume count of the timber taken to the storage area. This helps the manager track the volume of timber at the storage area, simplifying planning for trailer transports and the onward transportation of timber.

Additionally, the map allows all operators to add markings, pointing out other challenging terrain factors such as an area with soft ground, making it easier to plan routes. The real-time updates provide on demand visibility to the entire crew.

Quebec’s Maibec sells two lumber mills to Groupe Lebel

Maibec has sold two lumber mills located in St-Pamphile, Quebec and Masardis, Maine to Groupe Lebel of Rivière-du-Loup. The 315 Maibec employees will maintain their employment with Groupe Lebel.

“This transaction allows the Maibec employees who work in both sawmills to join a family-owned Quebec company that is well established in the Lower St-Lawrence lumber industry,” said François Tardif, President of Maibec Groupe. “Lebel will continue to develop its sawmilling sector and will be able to face new challenges in this sector with renewed confidence.

“Maibec will now focus on growing its pre-stained exterior siding’s systems based on lap sidings and shingles manufactured with solid wood or wood-based engineered material,” he added.

Maibec Inc is a family-owned company from Quebec which has been involved in wood products manufacturing since 1946.

Groupe Lebel is a family business that has been working in forestry for over 60 years. Headquartered in Rivière-du-Loup in the Lower St. Lawrence region, it is deeply rooted regionally in 13 municipalities in Quebec and two in Ontario. Once the transaction is complete, the company will employ approximately 950 people.

Hultdins SuperCut 150New Hultdins SuperCut 150 accepts two bar and chain sizes

The new Hultdins SuperCut 150 saw unit is described as very strong, based on the time-proven SuperCut100, but it can now accept both .404 and 3/4” saw bars and chains with the same holder.

This has been accomplished through a new two-piece bar holder design with an 80 per cent increase in surface area between the bar holder and tension device, which provides full support over the entire length of the tension device. Both the bar holder and tension device are also now hardened.

The new stronger design allows for 3/4” bars up to 38” in length. To change from .404 to 3/4” saw bars and chains only requires a different sprocket, hub and chain catcher.

The SuperCut 150 is available with multiple saw motor options up to 32 cc and also features improved serviceability of the tension device to allow for simpler replacement of the saw chain.

Lolatel Inc.Iotatel Inc provides remote network connectivity solution

Iotatel Inc is a Vancouver Island-based start-up backed by FPInnovations. The company’s primary goal is to provide remote logging facilities with reliable, highly available networking connectivity.  

Today, Iotatel provides a network connectivity solution for forestry camps in remote locations using Cradlepoint’s COR IBR900 ruggedized LTE router for quick, reliable, cloud-managed deployments.

With Iotatel’s customers spread all over the region, remote network management is critical. Cradlepoint’s NetCloud platform also enables a single pane-of-glass view for remote management and network operations. Since installing the Cradlepoint solution, network performance for these remote sites has improved by a factor of 10 times or more, says the company.

Iotatel works with forestry and logging camps that are at log sort facilities. The facilities are almost always in semi-remote locations or areas where wired Internet connections including ADSL, cable, fibre, and more are unavailable or cost-prohibitive.

Prior to implementing the Cradlepoint solution, the facilities were using small USB-based cellular modems and low-powered access points. This did not provide adequate bandwidth or capacity for a regular staff of 10 to 20 employees’ client devices, nor did it provide the network coverage required throughout the yard. They were experiencing significant packet loss and network drop out. 

For these remote logging facilities, Iotatel chose a comprehensive solution including Cradlepoint’s COR IBR900 routers and NetCloud Manager, with the option to add dual modem Extensibility Docks in the future. The IBR900 acts as the Internet gateway, then the network is built using point-to-point microwave links and WiFi access points to provide coverage across the facility.

Rezatec offers free tree species guide

Whether you’re the owner of a small private woodland or a forestry company responsible for millions of acres, Rezatec has created a free, useful guide on identifying and mapping tree species distribution.

Understanding what tree species you have and where trees are is critical for effective forest management and commercial decision-making. The ‘Earth Observation for Tree Species Mapping’ guide explores the common challenges of identifying species using traditional aerial technologies and how satellite data can be used to quickly, accurately and cost-effectively identify and map tree species distribution.

“It shows you what’s going on in the entire forest, not just small parts of it, giving you a complete and accurate picture of tree species and their location,” said Tim Vallings, vice -president, global resources at Rezatec.  

Rezatec presents the data in an online portal which makes it easy to understand for any stakeholder, as well as taking the risk out of commercial ventures and supporting informed business decisions.  

Tree species identification from satellite data requires calibration plots of less than 1 per 100 acres. Compared to other methods, this represents a significant saving in operational time and money.

The key benefits of using satellite data in tree species mapping are:

  • Savings of up to 80 per cent in operational expenditure
  • Refreshes up to every week
  • Tree species accuracy up to 90 per cent

So far, Rezatec have mapped tree species distribution to meet a variety of requirements across an expanding list of locations around the world, including the UK, U.S., Europe, Canada and Australia. Their robust methodology enables an ever-growing number of species to be classified with 80 to 90 per cent accuracy, says the company, supporting informed commercial decisions. Rezatec can apply confidence limits for risk assessment, and as a result can create data suitable for a range of users.


Logging and Sawmilling Journal
October 2018

On the Cover:
Fallers in B.C’s coastal forest industry work in tough ground—and safety is paramount. E&B Helicopters has the back of fallers, and the forest companies, operating on the coast, through providing air transportation and emergency evacuation services. Its Medevac (Medical Evacuation) capable helicopters are able to get in to spots where B.C.’s Air Ambulance Service machines can’t reach. Read all about E&B and its president, Ed Wilcock, and the services it offers to fallers beginning on page 14 of this issue. (Cover photo courtesy of BC Forest Safety Council).

Newfoundland’s new forestry voice
The new Newfoundland and Labrador Forest Industry Association will be better able to present industry’s case to the provincial government—and present it with a common voice.

Rebound at Rutherglen
Columbia Forest Products’ Rutherglen, Ontario veneer mill has reopened and is now looking at expanded production, thanks to a rebound in plywood production—and demand for veneer from a soon-to-be-expanded Columbia plywood plant.

The Go-to-Guys for loggers
E&B Helicopters provides air transportation to coastal forest industry companies, being the go-to-guys for getting loggers to work in remote areas—and sometimes being the first responders in case of serious accidents.

Continuing to battle the beetle in B.C.
The mountain pine beetle infestation in B.C. may be in the forest industry’s rear mirror, but it now has the spruce bark beetle to deal with, and loggers are well into the salvage and control measure mode.

Nine-axle trucks get traction in B.C.
It’s been a bit of a haul, but nine-axle logging trucks have finally gained traction in B.C. now that the rigs’ potential benefits are better understood and appreciated.

Stacking ‘em up in Saskatchewan
A new Sennebogen 830 M-T log handler’s stacking ability has boosted yard capacity for Saskatchewan’s Edgewood Forest Products—and is helping the mill feed the appetite of its new sawline.

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 and FPInnovations.

The Last Word
Short rotation woody crop deployment in Canada is now at a crossroads, says Tony Kryzanowski.


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