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TigercatTigercat launches new 850 log processor

The Tigercat 850 log processor is a purpose-built roadside processor that the company says delivers outstanding performance and impressive fuel economy.

Designed for high volume roadside processing, the Tigercat 850 offers many advantages over excavator conversions, says the company, including better service access, higher cooling capacity and processor head optimized hydraulics. The Tigercat FPT N67 engine delivers 159 kW (213 hp) at 2100 rpm for Tier 2 and Tier 4f emission compliance.

WaratahPlus AppWaratah Forestry Equipment releases WaratahPlus app

Waratah Forestry Equipment has released the new WaratahPlus mobile app, available as a free download from the App Store for Android and iOS platforms.

The new app provides contractors and their equipment operators with more accessibility to information for setting up and servicing their Waratah 600 series machines. Intended to help with daily maintenance and other in-field procedures, the WaratahPlus app helps increase uptime by providing operators with the information needed to quickly service their machine.

The new reference tool provides a quick overview of key adjustments and helps answer basic service questions. The menu includes selections for service, setup, calibration, diagnostics and safety-related information.

Step-by-step processes help outline procedures so operators can quickly perform required actions. Caution notes help ensure safety measures are followed when any work is performed on the head.

The Waratah 600 series 3- and 4-roller line includes the HTH616C, HTH618C, HTH622B, HTH622C 4x4, HTH623C, HTH624C 4x4, HTH624C, HTH625C and HTH626 Series-II.

SMS Equipment heavy equipment technician wins top award

The Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) has awarded SMS Equipment Advanced Certified Technician Clayton Kennon as AED’s inaugural Technician of the Year for Canada.

“The AED Foundation is excited to honor technicians like Clayton for their hard work and passion to the equipment industry through our Technicians of the Year Awards,” says Jason Blake, Executive Vice President and COO of The AED Foundation.

“Clayton is a leader, mentor, and go-to guy for our technicians,” says Larry Gouthro, General Manager, SMS Equipment. “We can always rely on Clayton in a tough situation or tight deadline to pull through. His dedication is contagious.”

Gouthro adds that receiving the AED Technician of the Year award demonstrates the first rate service SMS Equipment delivers.

PonssePonsse celebrates 25 years in North America

Over the last quarter century, Ponsse has successfully staked its claim in the forests of North America, but the legend began in 1957 with a frame saw held by a farmer’s son in Northern Savonia, Finland.

In 1995, Ponsse North America established a North America subsidiary in Atlanta, Georgia. Sensing opportunity and demand for cut-to-length machinery in the Great Lakes region, the company found its way north and fully took root moving its North American headquarters to Rhinelander, Wisconsin in 1997.

Today, the brand that began in a small village in Finland has now changed the forest industry landscape of North America, supported by many dealerships and service centres across the continent.

From the launch of the Scorpion in 2014, to the much-anticipated launch of the Bison in June 2020, Ponsse says that it has always defined the cutting edge of innovation and performance in forest machinery.

Pollard Lumber pioneers next generation JoeScan laser scanners 

Pollard Lumber is blazing the trail with new technology for their recently upgraded bucking line. The Georgia-based sawmill recently installed the world’s first next-gen JS-50 laser scanners by JoeScan.

The new Nelson Brothers Engineering (NBE) optimizer receives geometric data from a single overhead bank of 12 dual camera JoeScan laser scanners. The scanners are arranged linearly in 12 zones with 65” between each zone. This setup allows for stems up to 65’ long to be scanned with a very short infeed. It also allows for optimized solutions to be delivered before the stem reaches the saw. This speed is critical for the bucking line to keep up with the pace of the rest of the mill.

“There’s a misconception that bucking optimization is easy because the cuts are simple to make,” says Andy Pollard, Vice President at Pollard Lumber. “But every other decision downstream depends on this first bucking solution.”

Two Alberta forestry regulatory bodies officially unite

Two forestry regulatory bodies in Alberta, one regulating university forestry graduates and one regulating technologists graduating from two-year forestry diploma programs, have officially united into the Association of Alberta Forest Management Professionals (AAFMP).

“We issue annual practice permits for foresters and forest technologists in Alberta,” says Carla Rhyant, AAFMP executive director. “To protect the public interest, we ensure that registrants are qualified, committed to lifelong learning and education throughout their career and we facilitate a disciplinary and complaints process.”

At present they have about 1,500 registrants, split almost equally between foresters and forest technologists. It took about 10 years to accomplish the unification.

The AAFMP operates under the new Alberta Regulated Forest Management Profession Act and uses set standards and job competencies for individuals to achieve registration. They also review credential assessment applications for out-of-province applicants who may have followed a different educational and accreditation pathway within their home jurisdiction.

Many Alberta companies require forester and forest technologist accreditation as part of their wood product certification programs and forest management compliance requirements with the provincial government.

Brandt now delivers Deere forestry offering coast-to-coast-to-coast in Canada.

The Canadian forestry equipment industry saw a major shift in late-2019 as the Brandt Group of Companies announced that they had reached an agreement to purchase the assets of John Deere-owned Nortrax Canada Inc. and Nortrax Quebec Inc.

The acquisition of Deere’s dealer network in Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador unites all John Deere Construction & Forestry dealerships in Canada under the Brandt banner.

The landmark deal was a strategic move by Brandt to create the country’s first and only coast-to-coast-to-coast equipment dealer network, opening the door for the Regina-based company to deliver seamless access to Deere products, parts and support services to Canadian loggers, it says.

Now a truly national entity, the company offers a 6,000+ unit new and used equipment inventory, employs more than 800 certified service technicians and delivers parts anywhere in Canada from their $90+million inventory—the largest in the industry, says Brandt.

The deal has further established the firm’s position as a premier privately-held Canadian company and the largest John Deere dealership in the world.

“Delivering strong, consistent support for our customers is always our #1 priority at Brandt,” says Brandt President and CEO, Shaun Semple. “The addition of Nortrax’s impressive branch and distribution network gives us the ability to take care of loggers anywhere in Canada, no matter where their contracts take them.”

The acquisition of Nortrax was a logical next step for the family-owned company, the latest in a series of expansions beyond the borders of Saskatchewan, starting 25 years ago.

The story of the Brandt Group of Companies’ began in 1932 with Regina-area electrical contracting firm, Brandt Electric. Gavin Semple, the father of current President and CEO Shaun Semple, began working in sales with the company in 1972, soon acquired controlling interest and was joined by Shaun in 1984.

Building on that foundation, the Semple Family became John Deere’s exclusive construction and forestry dealer in Saskatchewan in 1992 and expanded the business into Manitoba and southern Alberta in 1995 with the acquisition of three more dealerships. In 1999, they purchased additional dealerships in Edmonton, Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie, Alberta. By 2001, a dealership had also been established in Milton, Ontario and in 2002, Brandt was able to acquire 13 dealerships in British Columbia.

In 2013, five more locations were added in the Atlantic Canada region, bringing the total to 27 full-service branches.

The recent addition of the Nortrax locations gives Brandt 56 full-service dealerships and 100+ service points across Canada.

From Day One, the Semple Family has focused on customer support as Brandt’s #1 priority. To help ensure the success of their customers, the company has expanded the breadth of its offering significantly over the years to include significant offerings from some of the top equipment suppliers in the world in forestry (Hitachi), roadbuilding (Wirtgen, Hamm, Vögele, Kleemann), underground excavation (American Augers, Trencor, Ditch Witch), truck rigging and specialized transportation (Camex – acquired by Brandt in 2018), positioning technologies (Topcon, iVolve), machine monitoring (JDLink, FleetWise), utility and heavy haul trailers, and more.

The Semples recognized along the way that they could add additional value for their customers by leveraging their extensive manufacturing capabilities to design and produce built-for-purpose attachments for the equipment that they sell. Their Brandt Equipment Solutions division now markets a 3,000+ unit catalogue of Deere-optimized custom material handling attachments such as buckets, blades, thumbs and couplers along with forestry-specific products such as log grapples for swing machines and skidders. They also do machine conversions for specialized construction and forestry applications where John Deere does not otherwise offer a standard solution.

“We have customers working in highly-specialized environments where it is necessary to customize standard logging equipment to meet their production requirements,” says Neil Marcotte, senior vice-president of sales – manufactured products, Brandt. “For example, we recently collaborated with Deere to adapt the arm on a 959M tracked harvester to work with our power grapple in steep-slope conditions on Vancouver Island. It required a custom mount and modified hydraulics and has performed exceptionally well for our customer. We’ve since had a number of requests for more of these units.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to help Canadian loggers succeed, pure and simple,” concludes Semple. “We now have the reach to work shoulder-to-shoulder with them anywhere they go in Canada. That is very satisfying.”

Logging and Sawmilling Journal

On the Cover:
Alberta forest company Millar Western recently invested in a new Andritz 35-tonne overhead portal crane for the log yard at their sawmill in Whitecourt, and some $10 million into completely modernizing the Whitecourt planer mill. Investments have also been made in the Whitecourt sawmill’s primary breakdown line. Read all about the upgrade beginning on page 18 of this issue (Cover shot by Tony Kryzanowski).

Biofuel projects planned for Alberta—and maybe Newfoundland
British biofuel company AEG has switched its focus to Western Canada and the U.S., but it is still interested in a biofuel plant for Newfoundland.

From farming to forestry…
The Lusted Family started out in farming, but made the transition to logging back in 1995, and has grown significantly since then—these days it has upwards of 20 pieces of equipment to do harvesting work in B.C.’s southern interior.

Millar Western starts its second century...with mill upgrades
Millar Western recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, and the Alberta forest products company has started its second century in business with a capital expenditures bang—by investing $36 million in its operations.

Equipment Combo
Logging contractor Ian Kerr is working with smaller Canadian and European logging equipment to thin the forests of B.C.’s West Kootenays region, leaving a light footprint—and achieving better wood utilization.

Canada’s Top Lumber Producers!
Logging and Sawmilling Journal’s annual ranking of Canada’s Top Lumber Producers, and industry outlook, co-ordinated with top ranked industry consultants Forest Economic Advisors (FEA).

Equipment evolution
Christian Roy followed a steady path toward becoming a mechanized logging contractor, with his equipment evolving—his highly efficient harvest team now consists of two Ponsse Scorpion harvesters and a Ponsse Elephant King forwarder.

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

The Last Word
Canada has won the interim softwood lumber tariff fight, but a long term trade reset is needed, says Tony Kryzanowski.


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