The 85th Annual Oregon Logging Conference got a boost in attendance and visitors. Pre-registered attendance was up 18 percent and exhibitor participation was up 17 percent at the February event compared to a year ago.
This year’s displays by suppliers to the forestry industry included several first-time exhibitors, noted conference manager Rikki Wellman. “The icy weather caused only minor challenges for those planning to attend,” she said, “and many still came out to review the latest technology in logging equipment.”
The theme of the event, ‘Green Trees Matter. Healthy Forests = Healthy Future,’ “reflected the importance of our industry,” said conference president Craig Olson. Keynote speaker Travis Joseph and speakers at conference panels and seminars “all touched on topics impacting our industry, the importance of forests, and the products that are provided,” said Olson.
Joseph, president and CEO of the American Forest Resource Council, said his organization needs help advocating for logging and the wood products industry. The idea that loggers destroy forests and environmentalists protect them and are saving the planet is a lie with “dangerous implications for communities, forests, the environment, and the future,” he said.
“We have to stop letting ourselves be bullied about environmentalism by a bunch of hypocrites and celebrities,” added Joseph, who urged loggers and others in the industry to work together to get their message across.
This year’s seminars and panel discussions included such topics as business succession planning, electrification of equipment, workforce development, new technology, advocacy for the industry, and more. “The Oregon Logging Conference was packed with unique opportunities for forestry and natural resource professionals to network and learn more about their trades,” said Wellman.
Nearly 300 students from 14 Oregon high schools attended the fifth annual Future Forestry Workers Career Day. They interacted with industry professionals and learned about job opportunities and careers in sawmills, reforestation, truck driving, equipment operation, welding, and diesel mechanics. Students also had an opportunity to use virtual timber harvesting technology provided by the Oregon State University Forestry Department.
The Oregon Women in Timber dinner-auction generated proceeds of more than $150,000 to benefit the organization’s Talk About Trees forest education program that is made available to pre-K through grade 8 students. A luncheon event raised more than $15,000 for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, and other auctions raised $27,000 for the Oregon Logging Conference Foundation scholarship program.
The Log Loader Competition was won by Bryan Chipps of Green Diamond Resource Co. Zane Bryant of Bryant Logging won second place, and Ross Cribbs of Black Rock Timber won third place.
Along with the traditional contest to guess a net scale load of logs, this year’s conference also included a contest to guess the net scale of a load of chip and saw logs. The two winners were Jay Messerle of Messerle & Sons Logging and Mike Edwards of Lone Rock Timber.
A number of manufacturers and other suppliers displayed new or improved equipment or technology, including those that follow.
John Deere exhibited a 2956G crawler log loader, which provides an excellent combination of engine horsepower and hydraulics capability. Its design helps simplify transportability and also helps save on transportation costs due to its width and weight. A new mounting of the log deflector adds strength to the right-front corner of the machine and enhances debris shedding. Other changes increase visibility to the right track and integrate a rearview camera, light, and JDLink antennas into the counterweight for added protection.
Tigercat Industries displayed the new 920 dozer. The TCi 920 dozer is designed as a forestry dozer. It features impact resistant belly pans and is built stronger and more robust for working at logging sites. It has a closed loop track drive system and a six-way blade. The cab is quiet and comfortable with a heated and cooled air ride seat, ergonomic armrest-mounted joysticks, and a large touchscreen machine control interface.
TrackGrip displayed the improved Keto 870C-360 head. The new track design offers up to 10,000 hours of usage. The main saw has a remote bar position and cutting control in the valve system for a sensor-free saw housing. A Technion xLogger computer runs TRIPLE length measuring software using Keto’s dual track measuring hardware, which means no measuring wheel issues. The 360 Keto-made rotator is purpose designed for harvesters with up to 50 tons capacity and lots of torque. It is also available for aftermarket sales.
Axis Forestry unveiled the new Rebel T22 processor head and wireless Cypress Robotics Gen 6 controller. The Rebel T22 is fully designed and manufactured in Canada using American steel. It is specifically built for the North American logger and is best suited for wood up to 24 inches in diameter. The Rebel T22 is designed tough and features Axis Forestry’s exclusive Cypress Robotics technology. The feature-rich wireless Cypress Gen 6 controller makes operation easy even for new operators. With Axis-made sensors and controller, the Cypress Gen 6 has extremely accurate measuring.
DC Equipment displayed its new Falcon Winch Tandem Carriage and new Falcon Winch Assist. The Falcon Tandem Carriage allows tower yarder crews to log using a grapple carriage without raising and lowering the skyline; it enables easy extraction around sensitive zones where the skyline cannot be lowered. The Falcon Tandem Carriage features a remote control braking system and reduces wear and tear on the yarder and grapple carriage. The Falcon Gen 4 is the latest generation of the Falcon Winch Assist. A dual mode enables it to winch for both track and wheel machines, and an improved swept-back rear design increases functionality in tight areas, such as benched roads.
Equipment NW exhibited the Sany line of excavators, which are designed to work seamlessly with forestry mulching, harvester and felling heads without costly and time-consuming modifications. Sany machines also feature a 5 year – 5,000 hour warranty.
Weiler exhibited the new B758 track feller buncher. It is powered by a Cat C9 Tier 3 engine that produces 303 hp. Equipped with the Weiler 201 bunching saw, it has a maximum reach of just over 28 feet. The machine has tractive effort of 104,000 pounds and features leveling capability.
Peters & Keatts Equipment recently began representing Brandt and its line of heavy haul trailers and exhibited at the OLC. Brandt heavy haul trailers feature a patent-pending booster stability system that locks the booster axle when backing up or traveling over 37 mph. They are built for durability and come with a 1-year bumper-to-bumper warranty on all components.