Suppliers Fill Exhibit Space at Oregon Logging Conference

by | Apr 11, 2024 | 2024, March/April 2024, TimberWest Magazine

EUGENE, OREGON – This year’s Oregon Logging Conference attracted a record number of industry professionals to view exhibits from suppliers and participate in seminars, panel discussions, and other presentations.

The 86th annual event was held for three days with very favorable weather conditions for February: sunny skies and warm temperatures.

This year’s conference included a lineup of speakers who talked on steep slope logging regulations and other topics. Keynote speaker was U.S. Forest Service chief Randy Moore.

The entire Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds in Eugene was packed with over 10 acres of millions of dollars of equipment on display outside and more than 150,000 square feet of indoor exhibits, educational seminars and events, and social activities.

“I was very pleased with the turnout, the weather and the speakers,” said OLC president Steve Henson. “The OLC team did a great job putting on a first-class conference.”

U.S. Forest Service chief Randy Moore, the keynote speaker for the conference, talked about forming partnerships to address the critical impacts of wildfires. He also fielded questions from the audience, critical of Forest Service response to recent wildfires, and indicated a willingness to open a dialogue between the Forest Service and those impacted by the agency’s decisions.

“We need to aggressively step into the partnerships that (Moore) laid out and hold the Forest Service accountable to work with the logging industry to save our forests,” said Henson.

Topics of current interest were the subjects of seminars and panel discussions. Many of those attending earned Professional Logger credits to stay certified and up to date on several issues. Subjects addressed included scaling and quality of lesser log species, steep slope logging, updates of the Private Forest Accord, the Washington Forest Practices Act, and how to influence unelected boards and commissions.

“The Oregon Logging Conference was packed with unique opportunities for forestry and natural resource professionals to network and learn more about their trades,” said conference manager Rikki Wellman.

More than 860 high school students and teachers from nearly three dozen schools attended the 6th annual Future Forestry Workers Career Day, held in conjunction with the conference. Industry professionals at this hands-on event provided students with information and the tools they need for entering the logging, forestry, heavy equipment operation, diesel mechanics, wildland firefighting and other related fields. Students learned about both current and future job opportunities. A forestry skills relay was included in the event. Students from high school forestry clubs competed in activities such as cable splicing, choker setting, crosscut and single buck sawing, compass and pacing, and more.

Log loader competition was a popular attraction and drew 18 participants. Contestants demonstrated their skill, speed, and efficiency while operating Link-Belt log loader.

The log loader competition attracted 18 participants. The contestants demonstrated their skill, speed, and efficiency while operating a Link-Belt log loader. They had seven minutes to stack log blocks end-to-end, matching numbers or colors on predetermined marks on the ground.

The winner was Zane Bryant, owner of Bryant Logging; he claimed the top spot with a time of 3:09:98. Second place was Bryant Logging shovel operator Jeremy Staats with a time of 3:12:25. Third place went to Chuck Walker with a time of 3:32:94.

There were plenty of activities for children during the Family Day portion of the conference – like letting them try their hand on an old-fashioned two-man crosscut saw.

The Talk About Trees dinner-auction was a huge success with a sellout crowd of 480 people. It raised $143,000 to help support the Oregon Women in Timber Talk About Trees forest education program, which is offered free to pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade students.

More than $28,000 was raised at auctions to benefit the Oregon Logging Conference Foundation scholarship program. Also, a fundraising dessert function collected more than $20,000 to benefit Paws Assisting Veterans, an organization that provides trained service dogs to veterans.

The Oregon Logging Conference is a significant boost to the local Eugene economy. Figures were not immediately available for the impact this year. However, last year the conference contributed nearly $9 million to the local economy. The figure was expected to be higher this year based on increased participation and attendance at the conference.

Young logger tries his hand on an equipment training simulator.

Young logger tries his hand on an equipment training simulator.

New Machines Debut at OLC

A number of forestry industry suppliers exhibited new products at the Oregon Logging Conference or made announcements coinciding with the event.

Triad Machinery debuted the Tigercat LS857 shovel logger. Based on the popular and successful 855E platform, the LS857 shovel logger represents a reimagining by Tigercat designers of what a steep slope carrier should look like.

The Tigercat LS857 shovel logger has more leveling capability, superior cable management in winch assisted applications, and a series of design enhancements, including increased boom lift and improvements to service access. The switch to in-tank hydraulic filters improves filtration and extends service intervals, and the shape of the fuel tank increases usable volume.

The LS857 exhibited at the OLC was equipped with Tigercat’s new live heel feller-director boom set. The new boom system has nearly 36 feet of reach, a live heel for added utility, and the versatile, highly productive 5195 directional felling saw pinned to the end of it.

Peterson Cat showcased a new Weiler M860 mulcher with a factory-installed 825 mulching head. Building on the Cat 586C site prep tractor, the Weiler M860 features a Cat C9.3B Tier 4 Final engine that generates 375 hp and a 113 gpm hydraulic pump. It can cut through trees up to 16 inches in diameter or clear a path more than 8 feet wide in one pass.

Dyna Products exhibited the new SC-16 Rapid Split firewood processor, which features an automatic cycle for increased productivity. The company also implemented robust safety measures, including interlocks that prevent the plunger from engaging when doors are open.

The log deck was redesigned to accommodate 4-foot logs on two deck arms and 8-foot logs on three deck arms. The engine was rotated 180 degrees, facilitating easier maintenance.

The SC-16 Rapid Split also introduces two standard vertical wedge holders, simplifying wedge accessibility and enhancing operational convenience. A new 4.3-inch LCD engine control panel features an intuitive interface for enhanced control and monitoring, and the panel features an emergency stop feature.

Wallingford’s announced a new partnership with HSP Gripen, a Swedish manufacturer of forestry grapples. Gripen grapples feature end position dampening standard on all models and a unique globe design. They provide the highest degree of filling with soft rolling and smooth releases, preventing clutter and allowing operators to focus on the next load.

Hoffman Boots displayed its new Grizzly boot. It features a stout 10-inch upper, carbon finish on the outside leather, and a waterproof membrane. The Grizzly, the newest addition to the Hoffman Boots line of outdoor boots, is available with a Vibram or calk sole.

FAE announced a partnership with Papé Machinery to bring its premium land clearing, construction, and agriculture equipment to more customers in the Pacific Northwest. Papé Machinery, a leading supplier of equipment for forestry and other industries, will sell FAE tracked carriers and attachments in Oregon, Washington, Northern Idaho, Nevada, and Hawaii. FAE tracked carriers with mulching attachments, like the PT-300, already are used widely in the West, particularly for wildfire prevention.

Sennebogen, the German manufacturer of material handling equipment, including machines for handling, sorting, and loading and unloading logs at the landing and the mill, was notable for its large exhibit at this year’s OLC.

Forestnet

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