Sept 2004 - The Logging and Sawmilling Journal
The best in logging technology
The much-anticipated Demo International 2004 show in Quebec will feature the absolute latest technology in wood harvesting equipment, and more.
By Paul MacDonald
It only happens once every four years, but when it does happen, it is huge. From September 14 to 18, the woods around Forêt Montmorency, northeast of Quebec City, will be home to Demo International 2004, North America’s largest interactive exhibition of the latest technologies in wood harvesting equipment and sustainable forest operations. If you’re looking for any kind of harvesting technology, it’s almost certain to be at Demo 2004. And since the emphasis is on “Demo,” the equipment will also be hard at work in the Quebec forest. “We call it the Olympics of the forest industry shows because it’s held every four years and features the most advanced equipment in the industry,” says show manager Mark Cusack of Master Promotions, which is producing the show.
Demo 2004, as with preceding Demo shows, is sponsored by the Canadian Woodlands Forum. The show fits very well with the CWF’s mission: a commitment to sustainable forest management through effective, quality woodlands operations. The 2004 show is the 10th edition of Demo. The Quebec show is expected to be the biggest Demo yet, with more than 100 exhibitors and 200 pieces of equipment on display on a 200-hectare site. The variety of equipment on display will be extensive. “It will all be here over the three days, from feller bunchers and processors to skidders and delimbers right through to the logging trucks,” says Cusack. “Demo 2004 will cover the industry from out in the bush to the mill gate.” Show organizers expect to draw attendees from a broad cross section of the industry, from woodlot operators to contractors to the woodlands managers of the major forest companies. “There’s something there in terms of equipment for all these groups,” says Cusack.
They are expecting minimum attendance of 10,000 over the three days, and are shooting for 15,000. Those interested in attending Demo 2004 can pre-register on-line at www.demo2004.ca. “We’ll have things well set up for the large number of on-site registrations—and we expect there will be a lot—but people may find it convenient to register in advance.” Many have taken advantage of the Internet link, with pre-registration being very strong, he reports. To handle the large number of people attending Demo 2004, transportation has been well planned out and will be easily accessible. Starting at 9 am every day of the show, there will be shuttles running from the parking and registration area to the site. Shuttles will be the only way into the site—no private vehicles, with the exception of first aid vehicles, will be permitted on site for safety and traffic control reasons.
With the show loop road being 4.5 kilometres, and there being an awful lot of equipment to see alongside that road, shuttle buses will also be continually doing circuits aroundthe site. It’s been eight years since the last Demo in Eastern Canada—the most recent Demo was held in 2000 in Kelowna and was extremely successful—and forest industry people from throughout Canada are expected to be well represented at this year’s show in Quebec. In addition, forest industry representatives from the United States, Australia and Central America have already registered. Attendees from more than 25 countries are expected to be at the show.
As mentioned, Demo 2004, like its predecessors, differs from many forest industry trade shows in that the focus is on live demonstrations. There will be some static displays of equipment and services, but attendees will be able to go up and down the main looped road through Forêt Montmorency and see equipment in its element. “There are a lot of good forest industry shows out there, but there is nothing like Demo,” explains Cusack. “The other shows have a lot of equipment, but they are static—there are no demonstrations of the equipment working in a forest environment. That’s the unique feature that Demo has to offer.” Many major equipment manufacturers are using Demo 2004 as the venue to “showcase” their new harvesting equipment.
The world’s leading forestry equipment manufacturers will be exhibiting at the show. “The companies are pulling out all the stops in terms of displaying their new equipment,” says Cusack. The timing of the show is thought to be good, with a general optimism in the industry because of rising lumber and pulp prices. Some logging contactors have held off on equipment purchases the last few years, due to tight industry conditions. Many are expected to be considering the purchase of new equipment now due to their existing equipment having run its effective life, and generally improving industry conditions. According to some industry officials, that pent-up equipment demand is just waiting to be released. “A lot of these people attending Demo are going to be looking for new gear,” says Cusack. In addition to the major equipment manufacturers, Cusack notes that suppliers—from producers of GPS equipment and hoses to engine manufacturers—will also be well represented. “It’s pretty complete in terms of both the logging equipment, and what woodlands people need to make that equipment run effectively.”
An interesting demonstration this year will feature a different kind of horsepower, the old fashioned kind. Looking back at the industry’s history and heritage, there will be a horse logging contractor on site, doing falling by hand and skidding wood out the old fashioned way, by sled. While there is a small amount of horse logging now done in Quebec, the industry is only two generations removed from a time when horse logging was a fairly major component of harvesting in the province. The harvesting done by the modern equipment at Demo will be carried out in a very environmentally acceptable manner.
The site is on the University of Laval’s Experimental Forest lands, and as such, environmental standards will be very high. This was emphasized at meetings by the organizing committee, which included representatives of the university and exhibitors. “All of our exhibitors understand and support this,” says Cusack. “They know that this is the way logging has to be done today, and that equipment and operations have to be designed accordingly.” The Canadian Woodlands Forum and the University of Laval, Demo’s host, have invested a lot of time and effort in prepping the show site. Heavy equipment was working on the site through the summer and more than $250,000 was invested in building the looped road. Wood that is harvested during the show will be sold to recoup some of the costs of building the road. The Demo site features a mix of hardwoods and softwoods, and some regen, and is a model of mixed use. In addition to forestry activities, the experimental forest also accommodates hunting, fishing and skiing.
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