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Logging and Sawmilling Journal October/November 2011

December/January 2012

On the Cover:

It’s a busy time in B.C. forests as the industry is enjoying healthier lumber markets in the U.S. and still strong demand from China. All of that is helping to keep B.C. loggers such as Mike Closs, and his Link-Belt carrier/Waratah processor combination, very active. (Photo: Paul MacDonald)

Logger training
A new Logging Fundamentals Training Program on Vancouver Island is helping to fill a growing labour gap created by the retirement of skilled workers.

View from the Top:
Interview with Don Demens, President of Western Forest Products
Western Forest Products is now the major player in the forest industry on the B.C. coast, being the region’s largest lumber producer. Company President Don Demens talks about Western Forest Products’ $125 million capital plan, making strategic investments in its facilities, including new autograding equipment.

Major mill upgrade at Canfor Radium
Canfor has reopened its operations at Radium Hot Springs, B.C., following a $38.5-million capital investment to upgrade the sawmill and build a new planer mill. When the mill is running at full capacity later this year, it’s expected to produce 240 million board feet annually.

Special Focus —
Saskatchewan forest industry comeback

Edgewood Forest Products has an edge
Access to quality wood fibre is giving Saskatchewan’s Edgewood Forest Products, which started operations in early 2012, the opportunity to produce higher quality products.

Solid sawmilling success in Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan’s Dean Christensen has built a solid small sawmill business, and is now looking at expanding his product line beyond white spruce into birch and tamarack.

Planning for the future in the next year province
Like many loggers, Saskatchewan’s
A & A Logging feels fortunate to have survived the recent industry downturn, and is now considering what it needs equipment-wise to move into the future.

stability in Saskatchewan forests
Norrish Logging is sensing that stability is returning to Saskatchewan’s forest industry after a downturn that took its toll on the mills and contractors alike.

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

The Last Word
Is remote command and control of logging equipment the way of the future? Columnist Tony Kryzanowski believes it is.

Tech Update — Log Haul Trailers



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Supplier Newsline

First CAN on-board weighing system introduced by SI Onboard

Vishay Precision Group has announced that SI Onboard, a brand of the VPG On-Board Weighing product line, has introduced what the company says is the first digital on-board weighing system in North America.

The industry’s only weighing system based on the CAN standard and to feature tilt compensation, the SI Onboard 9150 provides extremely high accuracy regardless of truck position, simple calibration through set-up wizards, detailed real-time diagnostics, and a graphic color TFT display.

The 9150 system is optimized for underbody on-board weighing in a broad range of truck makes and models, including forestry and logging, to optimize payload, prevent costly overloading fees at truck scales, and to reduce vehicle maintenance by preventing overloading.

The 9150 on-board weighing system provides gross or net vehicle weight with high accuracy, as well as axle group loading and overload alarms for truck and trailers. While other weighing systems can be prone to errors when loading occurs on uneven ground or on a slope, the 9150’s tilt compensation measures the tilt angle of the truck and trailer in both pitch and roll axes. The measured angles are used to compensate the readings from the load cells to ensure accurate weighing regardless of the truck’s position.

High Strength plasticHigh strength plastic alternative developed for slider/pusher lug

A B.C. company, Northern Plastics Ltd., has developed a high strength plastic alternative to metal slider/pusher lugs used in sawmills and planer mills.

The patent-pending snap-on slider/pusher lug eliminates welded-on steel lugs, and the company says it installs in a snap.

Made from durable Northane 75D material, Northern Plastics says it is gentler on wood products and can be quickly changed out in the event of breakage.

It mounts on a 3/8” X 3” X 3-1/2” welded flat bar chain mount.

Cat feller buncherNew Cat track feller bunchers feature bigger undercarriage, more power

The new Cat B Series track feller bunchers, to be introduced at the Oregon Logging Congress in February, feature a new, upsized undercarriage, more horsepower and a new hydraulic design for improved multi-functioning performance.

“Major enhancements to these track feller bunchers will give loggers faster cycle times, more uptime and longer machine life,” said Keith Hicks, Caterpillar Forest Products product performance engineer.

The Cat 522B is a leveling machine for select or clearcut logging in rough, steep terrain. The Cat 521B is a non-leveling model best for plantation thinning, swamp logging, medium production clearcut, and high production biomass applications.

All the undercarriage rolling components of both models have been upgraded to D7 size hydraulic excavator type. “Track shoes, link assemblies, idlers, track rollers and undercarriage frame structures have all been upsized. Undercarriage life expectancy even in tough terrain is going to increase significantly,” Hicks said.

The B Series limited tail-swing machines have the same industry-leading strong drawbar-to-weight ratios as the previous models and a full 35 inches of ground clearance from front to back—two inches more than the previous models. “Strong drawbar pull, along with even better ground clearance and the ‘open tunnel’ undercarriage design make for a highly maneuverable machine that easily climbs steep slopes,” Hicks said. The 522B can be ordered with a high drawbar option, boosting drawbar performance by 13 per cent for logging in extremely demanding steeper terrain.

The swing capacity of 61,000 lb-ft is another advantage of the Cat track bunchers when working on steep slopes. “The strong swing torque gives the operator the ability to swing big loads up slopes,” Hicks said. “The combination of swing and lift capacity with improved multi-functioning will reduce cycle times and increase production. And the balance between lift and tipping load capacity gives the machine the stability loggers need to be safe working in steep conditions.”

A complete re-configuration of both the implement and travel hydraulic circuits and new compensator valve spools smooth out and improve multi-functioning. “The operator can maintain a steady rhythm when activating several functions simultaneously,” Hicks said. “A more efficient hydraulic system also requires less horsepower, so fuel consumption is reduced.”

The hydraulics can be configured for either high or low flow attachments. The Cat HF B Series felling head operates on low flow. This frees up oil to run other machine functions while simultaneously maintaining maximum open and close arm speeds.

The B Series machines are equipped with the Cat C9 ACERT engine delivering 303 hp of gross power, 20 hp more than the previous models.

The 522B features the only two-way simultaneous leveling system in the industry. This unique three-cylinder design significantly reduces stress loads into the leveler structure, lower frame and track frames, and lasts longer than two-cylinder leveling systems.

DCTWood residuals hauler earns major safety recognition

DCT Chambers Trucking Ltd. has just received the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering’s (CSSE) ‘Achievement Recognition Award for TruckSafe Organizational Excellence,’ sponsored by WorkSafeBC.

DCT Chambers, a Vernon, B.C.-based firm which specializes in hauling wood residuals across the Pacific Northwest, became the first B.C. carrier in its class to earn WorkSafeBC and the Trucking Safety Council of BC’s Certificate of Recognition (COR)—the highest honor in the industry—in 2011. This certification, along with a comprehensive Occupational Health & Safety program for all staff and an excellent track record, caught the CSSE’s attention.

Some of DCT’s unique safety initiatives include: weekly tool box talks with a supervisor’s safety committee, satellite technology systems to monitor driving practices, safe-driving rewards, driver involvement in the development of the driver’s handbook, and dispatch and area managers in constant contact with drivers.

Rotobec hydraulic grapple sawRotobec hydraulic grapple saw powered by Hultdins increases efficiency

The Rotobec RCH404 and 750 saws mounted to the Rotobec HD log grapple provide a significant increase in efficiency and safety for those using a saw in active forestry applications, says Rotobec.

All HD and SHD Rotobec log grapples are saw-ready when equipped with the correct rotation. The RCH saw is available in two models, the RCH404 and RCH750.

Features include hydraulic saw bar return, automatic hydraulic chain tensioning, larger oil tank for lubrication, and proportional chain lubrication.

Rotobec uses a robust saw frame design, engineered and built by the company. The hydraulic saw bar return eliminates the need for an air tank and compressor.

PhotocellPhotocell helps improve sawmill production

ScanMeg now offers a new area photocell to build on the reputation of the original model, of which over 10,000 units have been installed in sawmills all over the world.

The Type PIII has all the features of the original and more. Sawmills have claimed from a three to five per cent increase in production simply because of the almost complete elimination of downtime due to photocell problems. The new units have a separate control unit (PCU) that resides in a junction box. All the parameters of debounce, latch, light-dark, cell annulment, and the all-important minimum object size are accessible through the PCU on the fly.

The units have a special “click-click” install where no tools are needed. The emitter and receiver cables are identical—the PCU sorts out which is which. Leads are color-coded so users can’t make a connection mistake.

Esri equips field staff with mobile access to geographic data

Knowing exactly where to cut trees is of course essential to running sustainable and safe forestry operations. Field operators need up-to-date and accurate forest information so they can intelligently develop their harvest strategy. Tolko Industries Ltd. is addressing this challenge with Esri’s mobile geographic information system (GIS) solution.

Through the mobile GIS, field staff can now identify where they are relative to cutblock boundaries and efficiently conduct harvest operations. Esri Canada presented Tolko with an Award of Excellence for this outstanding GIS application.

Tolko has been using Esri’s Arc GIS technology in its Okanagan Woodlands operations for many years to support essential business processes including forest data management, harvest planning and analysis.

Tolko deployed the ArcGIS for Mobile solution on ruggedized tablet computers mounted on feller buncher equipment. The tablets’ built-in GPS signal allows field operators to determine their exact location and work within cutblock boundaries displayed on the GIS.

Hitachi Zaxis Dash-5 excavators debut

The second group of new ZX Dash-5 excavators has been released by Hitachi. The ZX470LC-5, ZX670LC-5, and ZX870LC-5 models replace the predecessor ZX450LC-3, ZX650LC-3, and ZX850LC-3 units.

These new Dash-5 excavators are more productive, says Hitachi. Greater horsepower combined with optimized hydraulics for bigger arm and bucket digging forces result in more material moved per gallon of fuel.

The roomier cab has more side-to-side foot room and a larger door with more glass for better visibility to the side.

An updated light package with two cab lights and one additional boom light and a hydraulically driven reversible fan for cleaning debris from the radiator screen are new on the Dash 5’s. The fan runs only when needed, reducing noise, fuel consumption, and operating costs.

Hitachi says the IT4 Isuzu-cooled EGR engine platform is less complex to maintain than selective catalytic reduction systems while delivering the productivity, fuel efficiency, and reliability customers have enjoyed with Tier 3 models. A new exhaust filter consists of a diesel oxidation catalyst/diesel particulate filter. It requires no daily attention due to its 4500 hour service life.