Editor’s Note: From time to time, Logging and Sawmilling Journal Publisher Anthony Robinson will be sharing his reviews of forest industry-related products in the magazine, and on our website.
As those who work with Anthony can attest, he does personally put anything he uses through a very grueling workout!
Anthony comes by giving products a hard time honestly—before working in publishing, he worked as a treeplanter, an operational forester and at a sawmill, in Australia. So a thumbs-up rating from Anthony is well-earned!
Since purchasing our 2.4-acre property on the B.C. Coast, we have had a huge amount of work to do in clearing brush, removing potential fire ladders and taking down over 30+ trees, including western red cedar, fir and hemlock. For the large trees, we had a hand faller in training, Melie de Jonge, come in and fall some very big trees on our property—and you read about that in our November/December issue of LSJ here:
But for the most part, your friendly Logging and Sawmilling Journal CEO/Publisher has been filling the role of a part-time tree care professional.
That’s where the HAIX Protector Prime Orange Boots have come into play. I was able to get a pair as part of a long term “wear test” from the manufacturer (www.haixca.com).
Straight out of the box the boots were super light and comfortable. I wear a Size 11 U.S. in the wide configuration, and have always found the width of boots to be an issue. But the sizing was perfect, and the width was also spot-on.
Given that the HAIX boots have a full steel toe and full leather construction, I was very surprised how light they are. I was expecting something much more heavy and cumbersome.
I wore the boots in all conditions, snow, heavy rain and during the heat of summer—and they have performed well in all conditions.
They support my feet and ankles well, provide great protection against scrapes and abrasions while bushwhacking, and of course while operating a chainsaw. They offer high ankle support (flexible, but not too much) and I love the waterproofness of the boots (pretty incredible, actually!).
Our steep coastal property requires me to hike and work in all weather conditions throughout the year, while carrying saws and numerous other things.
I worked with the Strait Timber crew (see the story on Strait Timber in this issue of LSJ) for the better part of a week and felt great the entire time. Helping to operate a portable sawmill requires not only stacking of lumber and offcuts, but occasionally picking up the chainsaw to buck or trim a log or board. Situational awareness and safety while cutting is always at the forefront of anyone’s mind, but having these boots on makes it even nicer.
These boots definitely get a thumbs-up from me!
Check out the Protector Prime boots I am using here: https://www.haixca.com/haix-protector-prime-orange
Until next time—stay safe out there!
BID Group has announced a strategic capital investment of $4.7 million towards the modernization of its equipment to increase production capacity in its Saint-Georges and Saint-Éphrem-de-Beauce facilities in Quebec.
In Saint-Georges, preparations are underway to introduce state-of-the-art equipment, including a new large band saw, a plasma cutting table, two CNC machine tools and a CNC Multi-task Mazak Integrex to increase its machining capacity. These changes represent a cumulative investment of $2.4 million.
Similarly, BID’s Saint-Éphrem-de-Beauce facility is actively being prepared to accommodate new equipment, namely an Automated Part Storage System, a CNC boring machine and a grinder with a robotic feeding system to increase production for Comact BLADE cutting tools. The collective investment for this equipment amounts to $2.3 million.
Through the incorporation of this new equipment, BID Group aims to increase its ability to deliver an extensive range of innovative technologies to its highly valued customers while enhancing operational efficiency, says the company.
“We are grateful and privileged to receive the ongoing trust of our customers, whose achievements are propelling the demand for such investments. We are enthusiastic about our efforts to modernize our presence in Quebec’s Beauce region and to contribute additional employment opportunities to our current workforce.” said Simon Potvin, President of Wood Processing, for the BID Group.
Start-up and installation of the new equipment began in April 2023 and will be carried out until June 2024. The equipment modernization initiative will result in the creation of multiple new jobs, primarily for industrial mechanics and machinists.
Husqvarna has recently introduced two new chainsaws, the 560 XP Mark II and 562 XP Mark II.
The new generation is developed on a completely new platform where one of the key objectives has been to keep and further enhance maneuverability, with an eye set on increasing productivity.
Both new chainsaws are designed for superior movement. A key aspect for increased maneuverability is the narrow chainsaw body that brings the front handle closer to the centre of gravity of the saw, meaning it is easier to move the saw from side to side. With their slim design, and excellent power-to-weight ratios, the new saws deliver exceptional maneuverability, says the company. Husqvarna says that forestry professionals will find these chainsaws easy to handle in various working positions throughout the day.
The Mark II is developed on a new platform where one of the key aspects is to further refine the maneuverability from previous generations.
One of the most impressive features of the new chainsaws is said to be their trustworthy endurance. Improved cooling and filtration ensure that these chainsaws can tackle even the toughest jobs without breaking a sweat, says the company.
Long time Logging and Sawmilling Journal contributing editor Tony Kryzanowski has just published his first novel called ‘Flycatcher’.
A Canadian-based action thriller with a romantic backdrop, the story is built around the controversial and ongoing issue of Quebec separatism. Readers so far have described the novel as non-stop action and tough to put down. Flycatcher is the first of an intended three-book series, but this first book stands alone as a complete story.
Tony has been working as a contributing editor and journalist for over 40 years and says that adding to his skills as a novelist was both a challenge and deeply gratifying.
“I’ve had an idea for this novel for some time, but I wasn’t going to publish it unless I felt that readers would get value for the time they spent reading it,” he says. “Spare time is so tough to find these days, so I wanted to make sure that reading this novel was very entertaining and worthwhile.”
Tony adds that while the novel was exciting to work on, he will continue to work full time as a contributing editor for his primary clients, and enjoys the work he does for them.
Books are available at www.tonykryzanowski-writer.com.
The new Tigercat 612 dual winch skidder is specially designed to operate in selective harvesting applications, extracting high value timber in steep or sensitive terrain conditions.
Its platform was created to manage the extraction function in challenging terrain selective felling applications, while preserving the value and quality of the residual stand. The machine can be equipped with a dual winch, a movable back shield and fairlead system, as well as a crane and front blade tongs.
The 612 is equipped with the Tigercat FPT N67 Stage V engine, delivering 208 hp. Combined with Tigercat’s efficient drive system, the 612 handles adverse terrain while minimizing wheel spin.
A narrow stance allows for easy navigation through tight trails and rough ground conditions. The movable shield can be used as an anchor while winching. The dual winch and moving fairlead system allow the operator independent control over two separate cables when operating in tight stand conditions. The optional heavy-duty crane and blade tongs offer even more versatility for extracting, maneuvering and sorting logs.
Eltec Forestry Equipment, a leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art forestry machinery, has taken a bold step towards sustainability by introducing a ground-breaking solution that will redefine the industry, it says.
In collaboration with Interlube, which specializes in the production and distribution of biodegradable fluids for heavy equipment, Eltec now offers a range of certified biodegradable fluids, including hydraulic fluids, greases, antifreeze, gear oil, and more, as factory-direct options for their customers.
By incorporating these biodegradable fluids into their equipment, Eltec says it has eliminated the environmental impact that can arise from fluid spills in the field. This innovation not only safeguards the surrounding ecosystems but also promotes sustainable forestry regrowth by eradicating the toxic footprint associated with traditional equipment that utilizes petrochemical-based products.
“We are incredibly proud to be the first forestry equipment manufacturer in the world to offer biodegradable fluid options to our customers,” said Patrick Element, President of Technologies Element Inc. “At Eltec, we are committed to leading the industry in environmental stewardship, and this partnership with Interlube allows us to provide a sustainable solution that benefits both our customers and the planet.”
Eltec’s factory-direct biodegradable fluid options are now available to their extensive dealership network. This not only empowers their partners to offer environmentally conscious alternatives to their client base but also ensures a stable supply chain for these high-performance fluids. The partnership with Interlube guarantees that the biodegradable fluids provided by Eltec are rigorously tested and certified for heavy equipment in mining, construction, and now the forestry sector, says the company.
The introduction of biodegradable fluids by Eltec demonstrates the company’s dedication to sustainable practices, setting a new standard in the forestry equipment manufacturing industry, says the company. By using these fluids, customers can now actively participate in environmental conservation without compromising performance or productivity.
Industries across Canada are seeing a large portion of their workforce retire without the ability to replace them, and the forestry sector is no exception.
To address this issue, Forests Ontario, the province’s leading non-profit dedicated to the creation, preservation, and maintenance of forest and grassland habitats, and the Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA), with support from an advisory committee, collaborated on, ‘Bridging the Gap Between Ontario’s Youth & the Provincial Forest Sector’, an Employment Ontario research project known simply as Bridging the Gap. It is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
The objectives of the Bridging the Gap research project were twofold. First, the project generated a detailed understanding of job vacancies and the associated training and educational requirements needed to fill these openings. Secondly, the project provided critical insight into the perceptions of youth and Indigenous youth, teachers, and parents with respect to forestry and the forestry sector as a potential area of employment.
According to Bridging the Gap research, to effectively compete with other industries and attract and retain a workforce that can sustain continuous growth, the forestry sector will need to build better awareness and engagement with youth, so they consider forestry as a viable, enticing option when choosing their career paths.
As part of a mission of creating a safer and more productive steep-slope logging industry, New Zealand-based logging equipment manufacturer DC Equipment has acquired the renowned Madill brand from B.C.-based Nicholson Group, who have held the brand for the last 12 years.
With a rich, impactful history dating back to 1911, Madill will now have a new lease on life after being acquired by DC Equipment, says the company. Ownership of the Madill brand, which is synonymous with cable logging across the globe—and is known to loggers across North America—has changed hands through a range of multiple ownership structures, from competing manufacturing equipment companies through to international investment groups over the last several decades.
Former owners Nicholson Group had owned Madill since 2011 and incorporated its equipment line-up into their current operation, including the manufacturing of their own debarker equipment range.
“On behalf of Nicholson, we are delighted to announce the sale of the Madill brand of forestry equipment manufacturing rights to DC Equipment,” said John Jennings, Director of Capital Sales for Nicholson Manufacturing.
“After a successful and fruitful relationship with our agents and distributors, including Modern Machinery, Great West Equipment, Matdil Parts and Service, and Porter Equipment in New Zealand and Australia, we would like to express our deepest gratitude for their unwavering support over the past decade,” said Jennings.
“Their dedication to sales, parts, and service has been instrumental in reinforcing the Madill brand’s reputation for reliability and performance in the forestry industry. We have the utmost confidence that DC Equipment and agents will continue to provide customers with outstanding products and services. We look forward to the future growth and success of the Madill brand under DC Equipment’s stewardship.”
The owner and founder of DC Equipment, Dale Ewers, who is also a logger in New Zealand, has had a connection with the Madill brand dating back 40 years. “It was a childhood dream to own a Madill tower yarder,” says Dale. “Madill is known for its durability, ability to perform and longevity, which is important in this industry—and those strong equipment features align with our current brand, Falcon.”
Ewers believes adding the Madill brand and intellectual property under the DC Equipment manufacturing umbrella provides an opportunity to achieve the company’s mission of “creating a safer and more productive steep-slope logging industry throughout the world,” and also opens up additional benefits to other industries.
Ewers sees this as a stepping stone to not only helping the forest industry progress but also providing customers with the solutions they need. “We’re not here to be the biggest manufacturer; we’re here to provide the best solution for our customers,” he says.
While more will be disclosed soon, Ewers was quick to mention that Madill will always be Madill: “There’s history, heritage and a heck of a lot of customer loyalty there that needs to be recognized.”
“We don’t plan to reinvent Madill products—we believe there’s tremendous heritage, and the Madill machines work exceptionally well in steep slope ground. However, we do see an opportunity to integrate some of DC Equipment’s current and future technology and innovation.”
Madill by the numbers—an impressive track record
With a mission to create a safer and more productive steep-slope logging industry after a series of incidents affected the forest industry, Dale Ewers started DC Equipment to mechanize and de-risk the environment of steep-slope logging operations. Since 2010, DC Equipment has been a manufacturer of a range of steep-slope logging equipment, under their Falcon brand. The range, including motorized grapple carriages, winch assist machines, yarders, and camera systems, has been a popular option for logging contractors working in steep-slope terrain.
With over 1,000,000 operational hours across the product lines and zero harm, DC Equipment says it is now looking to provide logging contractors across the world with a more integrated solution by including automation, data capture, and a transition into lower-emission machinery—and, now, with the addition of the world-renowned Madill brand.
Need to know:
If you’re interested in information on how to become a Madill stockist or distributor, please contact DC Equipment via the DC Equipment website.
David Cochrane, 77, founder of the Waratah Group, passed away in April, in New Zealand.
A true visionary, Dave started Waratah General Engineering Ltd. in Tokoroa, New Zealand, in 1973 with the development of a mechanized processing head designed to withstand New Zealand and North American logging conditions. He was recognized world-wide as an industry-leading forestry equipment innovator who created the foundation of what Waratah is today.
Dave’s legacy lives on through Waratah’s reputation, through its motto: Built To Work—supporting its customers, so they can outsmart and outperform the others, says the company.
The entire Waratah team expresses its deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones, as does Logging and Sawmilling Journal.
Dave and the equipment he developed continue to have a significant ripple effect on the forest industry on both sides of the Pacific.
This year, Waratah Forestry Equipment is celebrating 50 years of innovation within the forestry industry and thanking its customers for decades of trust and loyalty to the brand.
Waratah customers are a testament to the company’s reliability and legacy, says the company. While the industry has changed over the last 50 years since Dave founded the company, its dedication to innovation and customer service has remained steadfast.
Back in the 1970s in New Zealand, Dave oversaw the manufacturing of a delimber-feller-buncher with a four-roller fixed head to meet local loggers’ heavy-duty delimbing needs.
Following that innovation, a red grapple processor manufactured for the Canadian markets marked the start of the 600 Series line. It cemented Waratah’s place as the original red head in the industry.
The company’s products entered Canada in 1990 when the first Waratah harvester heads were imported from Waratah General Engineering.
The proven success of the product in Canada led to Dave being instrumental in setting up Waratah Canada in the late 1990s.
John Deere purchased both Timberjack and Waratah in 2000.
Southstar New Zealand
(2007 – 2010)
The sale of Waratah included a non-compete period during which Dave occupied himself by building his new home at Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand. If that wasn’t enough, at the same time he also built his new boat, a 52-foot Wave Crusher and—with his favourite bottle of Scotch whiskey in mind—he called it "Gentle Spirit".
Dave had a bigger plan: he wanted to get back into the forestry industry, taking a group of his trusted friends with him.
In July 2007, Dave and five shareholders launched Southstar Equipment and released the first two processors in March 2008, the Quadstar 450 and the Tristar 585, at the AUSTimber Show in Mt. Gambier Australia.
(2011 – 2016)
In late 2011, Southstar was acquired by a small group of Canadian investors, with the vision to develop the product in the Western Canadian market.
Although no longer a shareholder, Dave remained an integral part of the business, working closely with the engineering team and assisting the newly formed Canadian business with his many years of experience in the Western North American market.
Southstar set up a head office and assembly plant in Kamloops, British Columbia in the heart of Western Canada’s lumber producing region. In May 2012, Southstar sold its first TS585 processing head into British Columbia through Woodlands Equipment, to Randy Spence, a local Vernon-based contractor.
Because the company was still operating on a relatively small scale, Southstar and its team were able to make innovative changes at an accelerated pace. Something that Dave believed was fundamental to the success of Southstar was listening and taking loggers’ concerns into consideration, making changes that reflect real-time needs, and based on customer feedback from the field.
Working with this philosophy, Dave was exceptionally proud to have been part of a team that worked to take its attachment product line to the next level, focusing on innovation and improvement above all else.
Southstar’s growth soon began to accelerate with expansion into the Western U.S., South America, and back into Australasian markets. This exponential growth saw Southstar acquired by Quadco Inc in April 2016 before being acquired shortly after by its current owner, Komatsu Forest in 2018.
Today, we only need to visit a logging site or forestry show to see the influence Dave had across the globe. “Dave Cochrane will be remembered as a true visionary of the industry, the godfather of forestry mechanization,” says Jeremy Disher, of Southstar Engineering. And it all started with Dave in a small logging town, in New Zealand.
On the Cover:
Despite the current industry downturn—following the lumber market going on a tear through the pandemic—the B.C.-based San Group is continuing on a strategy that involves acquisitions and equipment upgrades. The purchase of the Acorn sawmill is part of that strategy, and the company now plans a number of upgrades at the facility. In a year when the B.C. forest industry has been marked by permanent sawmill closures, Kamal Sanghera, the San Group’s CEO, notes that the company is working hard to make investments—and create jobs—in the province. Read all about the developments at the San Group beginning on page 12 of this issue. (Cover photo courtesy of the San Group).
Have mill/will travel …
Wood-Mizer’s LT40 portable sawmill is a solid fit for the Have Sawmill, Will Travel, custom sawmilling/customer-focused approach of B.C.’s Strait Timber.
Switching gears in Alberta … to forestry
Alberta contractor Backwoods Forestry Solutions is switching gears, going from logging solely for the oil patch to logging for the forest industry.
San Group keeping busy with acquisition, upgrades
B.C. forest company the San Group has been busy lately, with the company working on completing a new small log line, and purchasing the Acorn sawmill, with plans for upgrades.
Shortage of logging truck drivers moving along autonomous trucks
A severe shortage of logging truck drivers is among the drivers for an initiative to customize autonomous truck driving technology on Canadian resource roads by 2026.
Landrich 2.0 gets two thumbs up
The equipment operators at L.E. Spencer—including 78-year-old Lloyd Spencer—are finding the outfit’s new Landrich 2.0 harvester to be a very good fit for their New Brunswick logging.
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 (CWFC) and FPInnovations.
The Last Word
The B.C. Interior town of Houston is waiting for a Canfor sawmill decision to come this summer, but also planning for beyond that decision, notes Jim Stirling.