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April 2019 | $7.20

s e l a c s e n i p l A TY

F O L S T H vel G o h I s n a HE outh Afric NZ

ISSN 1176-0397

rk in o first S w o t es o g r e d loa

How do we attract new blood into forestry?

Logging Alaskastyle


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LG29342

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contents APRIL 2019

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FOREST TALK Hi-tech plan to boost forestry; major Rotorua forest nursery changes hands; big Kiwi companies to create forestry portfolio; government changes may undermine forestry training; prisoners pitch in to plant trees; NZ contractors line up for ‘monster’ Tigercat; Volcanic is 100th certified contractor; Jacks joins Weinig at LIGNA; Komatsu buys TimberPro; Waverley sawmill closure puts 65 out of work; pollution crackdown unsettles China wood market; i.Log swing yarder control system gets a boost; log export market delicately balanced; investing in the future of forestry; John Deere marks forestry milestone. SHAW’S WIRE ROPES IRON TEST The first Alpine shovel yarder has been putting in the hard yards in woodlots

34 around the Waikato over the summer in preparation for a unique future, where it is destined to become a very high-tech harvesting machine to rival its bigger, purpose-built brothers. The NZ Logger Iron Test team visited Complete Logging, which has leased this first Alpine, to get first-hand experience of the machine before the electronic upgrade begins. 34

SPECIAL FEATURE: NEW BLOOD It’s getting harder to fill vacancies in the forest these days and there is a desperate need to inject new blood into our crews, management companies, mills and service suppliers before this situation turns into a fullblown crisis. The good news is that there are positive steps being taken around the country to fill those boots, which are highlighted in our new series.

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BREAKING OUT Think of Alaska and what immediately comes to mind is a frozen tundra where only the tough can survive. Surprisingly, there is a thriving forestry sector and Kiwi logger, Brian Reader, has experienced it for himself.

DEPARTMENTS 2 editorial 54 top spot 56 fica 58 new iron 60 classifieds

April 2019 | NZ LOGGER 1


from the editor

April 2019 | $7.20

s Alpine scaleY

T LOF S T el H HEIGuth African shovNZ

ISSN 1176-0397

PHOTO: JOHN ELLEGARD

first So work in goes to loader

How do we attract new blood into forestry?

Logging Alaskastyle

The first Alpine Shovel Yarder in New Zealand is working with Complete Logging in the Waikato.

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2 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

Attracting new blood F

ORESTRY – ALONG WITH MANY OTHER SECTORS – IS FACING THE critical issue of how to attract new people to work in our industry. Dare we call it a crisis? That would be scaremongering, for sure. But the lack of new blood is becoming a regular topic of conversation whenever I visit crews, talk to forest managers and listen about the manpower issues faced by mills. The fact is, they are all struggling to put bums on seats or hands on the controls of vital machinery and equipment. And it’s only going to get worse because we have a rapidly aging workforce and those of us born in the Baby Boomer years (me included) are either very close to retirement age or we’re already in the golden years. We can’t go on working forever, especially in physically and mentally demanding roles. The question of how we’re going to replace the retiring boomers, and others who leave the industry for various reasons, has been focusing the minds of many forestry people in recent times, but we don’t seem to have established a clear-cut strategy on how to deal with it. Various people and organisations are doing some great things to attract new blood, but it often seems like they’re acting in isolation from other parts of the industry and there is most definitely a lack of coordination. A disconnect, if you like. I’m not criticising those efforts at all, what I am conscious of is the fact that we could be so much more effective if the industry collaborated more and acted in unison. There appears to be duplication in some activities, such as training initiatives and promotional efforts, while other excellent ideas struggle through lack of funding and resources. Even more frustrating is that we sometimes don’t get to hear about the many good things that are happening in this space, which means they are never shared, replicated and built upon in other parts of the country. We could do so much more and deliver even better results by adopting a coordinated approach, with one person or organisation taking a leading role. Recently I read that OneFortyOne Forestry, which now owns Nelson Forests, has appointed an Industry Careers Champion for its operations in the Green Triangle in South Australia. I like the idea and it would be great if the forestry industry as a whole had someone doing a similar job here in New Zealand. When I first took over the editorship of NZ Logger back in 2008 I lamented that forestry was plagued by a ‘silo’ mentality – too many people operating in isolation and not knowing what’s going on elsewhere. This still seems to be the case today. Unless we work effectively together we won’t see much progress in attracting people into the industry. We’ll just see more poaching from fellow contractors and companies. That’s why, starting this month, NZ Logger is running a series of articles covering this subject and, most importantly, highlighting the good things going on to attract new blood, as well as training and retaining them. If you, or someone else, are doing something good in your neck of the woods, let us know because we want to share those stories and spread the ideas. NZL


forest talk

Major Rotorua forest nursery changes hands ONE OF NEW ZEALAND’S LARGEST PINE tree growing operations has changed hands following the sale of Rotorua Nursery. After 12 years at the helm, Grant Hastings has sold the business to a new company led by former Scion research nursery manager, Peter Harrington. The company, which supplies around 10% of the planting stock in New Zealand, will now be known as Rotorua Forest Nursery and continue to operate from its large site at Owhata, near Rotorua airport. Grant started the nursery in 2005 and built a reputation for high quality bare root planting stock, which led to the business outgrowing two sites before moving to its current location in 2012. Grant has been retained as a consultant to the new management. New owner, Peter Harrington, has been in

the forest industry for over 40 years, working for several of the major forest corporates over that time. He has managed forest nurseries for nearly 30 years, most recently as manager of the Scion research nursery and he also helped set up Minginui Nursery for Ngati Whare. During his time at Scion, Peter was involved in some of the leading-edge research into nursery practises and how they impact on early growth and survival in the forest, including the importance of a healthy soil biota and the requirements of Radiata pine with mycorrhiza, beneficial bacteria and Trichoderma. He is now taking these learnings and introducing them into the management practises at Rotorua Forest Nursery, which is already gearing up for a bumper year of plantings, boosted by the One Billion Trees programme.

Staff at Rotorua Forest Nursery preparing young trees for the next planting season. Rotorua Forest Nursey supplies seedlings and cuttings to a range of forest growers across the North Island, from some of the largest corporate forests, to farm foresters and small block owners. NZL

Hi-tech plan to boost forestry BOOSTING FOREST PRODUCTIVITY, TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY AND skills and reducing environmental impacts are at the heart of a newly announced initiative. Te Mahi Ngahere I te Ao Hurihuri, or Forestry Work in the Modern Age, is a new $29.3 million, 7-year collaboration between Forest Growers Research Ltd (FGR), forestry machinery manufacturers and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). First hinted at in NZ Logger almost two years ago, it aims to develop a new in-forest harvesting and log sorting system specific to New Zealand’s forests, using automation and robotics. “Technology is increasingly important in improving safety, skills and productivity, and protecting the environment,” says FGR Chief Executive, Russell Dale. “Our industry relies on people, but labour shortages and rising costs in harvesting forests and transporting logs are holding the industry back and reducing our ability to grow. “Our new programme with MPI aims to automate the tasks after felling that have traditionally required substantial labour. These include log branding, log sorting and scaling. “We also want to boost the efficiency of forestry operations, take people away from hazardous harvesting roles and give them the skills they need for the future.” MPI’s Director Investment Programmes, Steve Penno, says at the heart of the new programme is creating sustainable benefits for New Zealand, by delivering economic, environmental and social outcomes. “This new programme brings key industry players together to tackle common challenges facing our forestry industry, and will deliver solutions that keep people safe, and boost their skills and capability,” says Mr Penno. “It’ll also help to bridge the gap between demand for our logs and the shortfall in labour. All of these are essential for a thriving forestry industry. “The social, environmental and economic outcomes expected under the programme are at the core of the Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures programme we launched last year.”

4 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

FGR’s Harvesting Programme Manager, Keith Raymond, says as harvesting shifts to forests planted in the 90s and onto steeper land in smaller, more isolated holdings, the industry faces the challenge of reducing costs and improving efficiency to maintain our international competitiveness. “Current technology and processes mean logs are handled between eight and twelve times before they’re loaded for export. “Unless we make a fundamental shift in our forest harvesting operations, New Zealand may have difficulty meeting demand and remaining competitive. We believe our programme can deliver this shift.” The programme is expected to deliver operational cost savings across industry of $27.5 million per annum by 2025, increasing to $76.8 million per annum by 2031. MPI’s investment is up to $11.7 million over the life of the programme, while the industry co-investors will put in around $17.6 million. There are four work streams: • develop new, portable forest harvesting and logistics products from design through to prototype development and testing, including a new centralised log sorting hub • improve forestry residue management and debarking • identify the specialist skills and knowledge required to operate the new products, and provide training and support for forest workers, and • commercialise and deploy new systems and processes. Environmental benefits will include better forestry residue management and the associated reduction in harvesting debris, water quality management benefits and less chemical fumigation through onsite debarking, and fewer earthworks. The programme will potentially enable harvesting of an additional 1.65 million cubic metres of wood that would otherwise be uneconomic to harvest, valued at $190 million per annum. It follows FGR’s successful Steepland Harvesting programme, which acted as a catalyst for a new wave of innovation in harvesting on steep land and helped New Zealand to become recognised as a world leader in harvesting innovations. New Zealand companies are successfully exporting the new technology to North and South America. NZL


forest talk

Big Kiwi companies to create forestry portfolio AIR NEW ZEALAND, CONTACT ENERGY, Genesis Energy and Z Energy have formed a partnership to establish a forest portfolio to sequester carbon and help meet their annual requirements under the Emissions Trading Scheme. Dryland Carbon LLP, or Drylandcarbon, Chief Executive Anthony Beverley says the partnership aims to produce a stable supply of forestry-generated NZU carbon credits for the four companies, which will also expand New Zealand’s national forest estate. Mr Beverley says Drylandcarbon will target the purchase and licensing of marginal land across the country but will focus on where New

Zealand has traditionally seen the strongest forest growth rate. “We are targeting the highest growth areas as the purpose of the partnership is to sequester as much carbon as we can,” he says. The portfolio strategy is to both acquire land and license land, he says, adding: “We see this as a really good opportunity for us to partner with landowners. We think there is a really compelling opportunity with landowners with marginal land that are looking for partners with capital and carbon expertise.” The portfolio will focus on permanent forests but will also look to include some rotation forests. “Because of our carbon focus we

would prefer some of the more remote, more difficult land as it’s more cost effective.” The initial plan is to plant exotics but the aim is to transition to natives over time. Forestry planting has emerged as a key element of the government’s efforts to tilt the New Zealand economy towards action on climate change, land erosion, water quality and regional unemployment. The government has committed to help fund around half of its ‘One Billion Trees’ initiative on land unattractive to commercial foresters. Drylandcarbon is currently engaging with farming and regional communities around establishing carbon forests on private land. NZL

Government changes may undermine forestry training

Prisoners pitch in to plant trees

COMPETENZ, ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S LARGEST INDUSTRY TRAINING organisations (ITOs), says Education Minister Chris Hipkins’ proposed reforms sector could undermine critical workplace and apprenticeship training, which is vital in addressing New Zealand’s skills shortages. “The changes the government has proposed in its Vocational Education and Training review are more complex and far-reaching than we expected,” says Competenz chief executive Fiona Kingsford. “It’s unprecedented. There is no doubt the VET system needs modification and funding needs to be realigned to deliver what our industries need – but these changes are too radical. “In a time of critical skills shortages, the last thing we want is a reform that risks undermining workplace training and apprenticeship programmes.” New Zealand’s skills shortage is acute. Research has shown that for every $1million of government investment into tertiary education, the industry training system produces 306 qualified people – people who are able to immediately contribute to New Zealand’s economy – while polytechnics produce 50. “Taxpayers are getting a much better return on investment through industry training compared to other tertiary options and it is disappointing that the ITPs (Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics) have dominated the government’s proposed changes,” says Ms Kingsford. She says Competenz currently looks after 20,000 apprentices and trainees across 3,500 New Zealand businesses, including forestry. The direct relationship between ITOs and employers is a key factor in the success of apprenticeship and workplace training. She adds: “The role of ITOs is crucial and with our direct line to thousands of employers, we understand the demand for trades better than anyone else. When we surveyed employers last year, they told us that ITOs perform a critical function and need more funding. The VET goes against what industry is saying. “We need evolution not revolution.” • This month, NZ Logger begins a series on worker shortages across the forestry industry and how we can address these. See page 34. NZL

A PILOT PROGRAMME WILL SEE RELEASE-TO-WORK prisoners training and working in the forestry sector as part of the One Billion Trees Programme. Developed jointly by Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, the pilot will involve up to 15 prisoners from the Northland Regional Corrections Facility employed to plant seedlings as part of the 2019 season. They will also work towards an NCEA Level 2 Qualification as part of the programme, supporting their reintegration and providing potential employment opportunities once released. “It is these sorts of initiatives that are really at the core of what the One Billion Trees Programme is all about,” says Forestry Minister, Jones. “Yes, it’s about planting trees, but it’s also about providing employment opportunities and helping fill skill shortages. This pilot could pave the way for prisoners who are at the end of their sentence to find employment in the forestry sector – one of our most successful industries.” The pilot will be located in Northland with Crown Forestry joint ventures needing planters in this area for the upcoming season. Corrections Minister, Kelvin Davis, says this pilot expands on the successful release-to-work programme already in place in New Zealand prisons. He says: “A good proportion of people in New Zealand prisons participate in employment or industry training. This is a great opportunity to expand our release- to-work programmes while also supporting regional employment opportunities and helping to reach the government’s goal of planting one billion trees by 2028.” NZL

April 2019 | NZ LOGGER 5


forest talk

There’s already high demand in New Zealand for Tigercat’s new ‘monster’ 890 swing machine.

NZ contractors line up for ‘monster’ Tigercat TIGERCAT HAS UNVEILED ITS LARGEST-EVER SWING MACHINE and forestry contractors in New Zealand are already lining up to buy it, sight unseen. Local distributor, AB Equipment, has several confirmed orders for the new 890 swing machine just a few weeks after the factory announced its latest heavy-duty, purpose-built forestry carrier that can be configured for loading, shovel logging or processing. Two are due to arrive this month. Weighing 47,900 kg it is the largest, highest capacity machine in Tigercat’s purpose-built forestry product line, coming in at 7 tonnes more than the 880, which was itself regarded as one of the biggest ‘diggers’ in the bush. Mark Hill, Product Manager for AB Equipment, says interest in the new Tigercat 890 has “has been strong, with deliveries now pushing out to 2020”. The first 890 is expected to go to work with a central North Island crew later this month and Mr Hill says AB Equipment is also in the process of organising a Demo Day to show off the newcomer straight after the HarvestTech conference in June. Statistically, the 890 towers over its 880 stablemate. Its height is around 50mm greater and ground clearance goes up 27mm and it’s got a lot more metal to be able to support the 13,540mm boom and arm, compared to the 11,355 boom and arm on the 880. The bigger boom and arm is assisted by a larger swing bearing to provide increased capacity and swing torque. The twin swing drive system reduces gear tooth loads and a massive single-piece, forged pedestal strengthens the undercarriage and improves durability. A new, longer F7-172 heavy-duty 10-roller track frame with a wide stance carbody gives the 890 exceptional stability. Track

6 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

components are co-designed with Berco to provide maximum durability in forestry applications. The 890 logger shares the modular main hydraulic valve with all other Tigercat 800 series carriers for improved parts commonality. With the ability to easily swap out a valve section, the modular design simplifies maintenance. New larger capacity valve sections are used for main, boom and stick circuits to provide higher flow rates and improve efficiency. The new machine runs the bigger Tigercat FPT C87 engine, which delivers 245kW (330hp) at 2,000 rpm in both Tier 2 and Tier 4 emission options. It has plenty of cooling capacity with an automatic variable speed fan for improved fuel efficiency and an automatic reversing cycle to clean the heat exchangers. Another fuel saving feature is the energy recovery swing system through a closed loop drive that feeds power back to the engine when swing decelerates, reducing fuel consumption and recovering energy for other machine functions. Tigercat says service access is outstanding, thanks to the poweroperated side engine door and overhead roof. And, it adds, the entire upper assembly is designed for extreme duty. Heavy wall side bumpers and a solid, cast counterweight protect the upper assembly from impacts when swinging. Convenient walk-up access to the rear entry door leads to a generous interior cab, similar in proportions to the 880, including the full-length front window and additional floor windows provide clear sightlines. A high output climate control system keeps the operator comfortable, even in temperature extremes. LED lighting and the new rear-view camera system improve operator visibility. NZL


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forest talk

Pictured, from left, are Fiona Ewing and Steve Yeoman with the Volcanic Plateau Logging crew, the 100th forestry crew to get an industry tick of approval for its safety. Photo: Matt Jordan - Jordan Creatives.

Volcanic is 100th certified contractor TAUPO-BASED VOLCANIC PLATEAU LOGGING HAS BECOME the 100th forestry contractor to be awarded Safetree Contractor Certification. It comes less than a year after the first contractor achieved certification – MCH in Nelson – and the milestone has been hailed as a great achievement by the Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC), which runs the scheme Volcanic Plateau Logging director Steve Yeoman says he and his eight-man crew are pleased with the achievement. “We take a lot of pride in our work,” he says. “So, it’s great to have our good work practices officially recognised by the industry.” The award was presented to the crew by Fiona Ewing, National Safety Director of FISC. The certification scheme was set up to reduce injuries in forestry and Fiona says it is great to be awarding the 100th certificate adding: “This scheme is helping to lift safety standards in forestry and it’s great to see so many forestry contractors joining.” She stresses the importance of health and safety to forestry as an ongoing issue, citing the fact that six forestry workers were killed on the job last year and the first fatality of 2019 occurred in mid-February near Tolaga Bay.

8 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

“People like Steve and the Volcanic Plateau crews are showing that it is possible to work safely in forestry,” says Fiona. Steve has a second crew with his brother Vincent, Volcanic Plateau Harvesting, which was the 101st to become certified. “It’s also great to see forest owners investing in the safety of their contractors,” Fiona says. The Volcanic Plateau crews work for forest owner Timberlands, which contributed to the cost of getting certified. Forestry is in Steve’s blood. His father works in forestry and he studied forestry at Canterbury University, planting trees in the holidays. After his OE, he returned home to a harvesting manager role and then moved into contracting with the Ribbonwood Group. This crew morphed into Volcanic Plateau Logging ten years ago, which Steve runs with his wife and co-director, Julie Yeoman. Steve says the process of getting certified was pretty straightforward, including a site visit by an auditor who watches and talks to crew members to make sure safety plans are actually being put into practice. “It’s quite user-friendly,” adds Steve. “We’re already pretty focused on safety because that’s just part of running a good business. But the audit was an opportunity to have an independent person look at what we are doing and confirm that it is good practice.” NZL


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forest talk

A Dimter S90 Opticut cross-cut saw.

Jacks joins Weinig at LIGNA NELSON SAWMILL EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS, WR JACK, IS JOINING one of its suppliers at the world’s largest solid-wood machinery specialists next month. Weinig is planning a huge 5,000 square metre stand at the Ligna exhibition in Hannover from May 27 – 31, significantly larger than its presence in 2017. That’s because the German machinery specialist has much more to show its customers this year, according to WR Jack, which is taking a party of New Zealand sawmillers to the event. Weinig will be displaying a wide range of specialist machinery including Powermat moulders, Dimter crosscut saws, rip saws, finger-jointing, grinding and a host of other technologies – much of it enhanced with live demonstrations.

A highlight will be Weinig’s developments in its product unit, Planing and Profiling. In the high-performance sector, the new Hydromat generation will have its world premiere, with a performance potential of up to 300m/min. Also on display will be the Powermat 2400 3D, which allows for contour milling from the right and left during through-feed – not possible until recently. Another machine that should draw interest is the Powermat 3000, for feed speeds of up to 100 m/min, it covers every requirement, from pre-planing with hydro technology to builtto-order production. WR Jack says there are still hotel rooms available for the duration of the show for those who want to join the tour. Contact Jacks at sales@jacks.co.nz or call 0800 522 577. NZL

Komatsu buys TimberPro KOMATSU AMERICA HAS PURCHASED fellow forestry equipment manufacturer, TimberPro, cementing a relationship that has been getting closer in recent years. Based in Shawano, Wisconsin, TimberPro grew out of the Timbco business established by industry pioneer, Pat Crawford, after he sold that company to Partek in 2000 – his claim to fame being the introduction of levelling cabs to allow harvesters to fall on steep land. Pat bought back the wheeled division in 2002 and went on to develop a range of purpose-built forest machines and attachments, offering tracked feller bunchers and harvesters, forwarders, wheeled harvesters and felling heads under the TimberPro brand name. At that stage he was already 77 years

10 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

old and was famously quoted as saying “retirement to me is a dirty word” when asked why he continued to work hard in the business. TimberPro machines have been sold through the Komatsu Forest network in New Zealand and Australia for some time, filling an increasing demand for purpose-built equipment. “Acquiring TimberPro will strengthen the company’s position in the full-treelength market and enables us to offer a highly competitive range of products for professional logging,” says Komatsu America’s CEO, Rod Schrader. Komatsu America is a US subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd, the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of construction, mining, forestry and compact equipment, in addition to forklifts. NZL

Waverley sawmill closure puts 65 out of work THE CLOSURE OF THE WAVERLEY SAWMILL HAS forced 65 out of work and threatens the livelihoods of others in the small, South Taranaki community. The Waverley Sawmill, which has been in business since the 1930s, was the largest employer in the town but its closure came after the owner decided it is no longer viable in light of continuing high log prices. The business had reportedly been sold recently to Far East Sawmills, which owns the Tregoweth Sawmill in Te Kuiti, forests in Northland, a forestry harvest company and a transport fleet. It was reported that the mill needed a new kiln among other upgrades, in order to increase its capacity to compete in a volume-driven market but the investment required was considered too high. Locals say the closure will affect the whole community of 800 people, including transport companies, builders, contractors, shop owners, schools and sports clubs. NZL


forest talk

‘Indestructible’ felling wedge launched A KIWI START-UP IS RE-INVENTING THE felling wedge to improve safety for manual fallers cutting down trees in New Zealand forests. Specialising in high-tech resins and industrial design, Forest-tek has released a new range of wedges that are designed to improve safety and prevent injuries associated with product failure of standard wedges, which are made with commodity resins. “The forestry industry currently uses wedges that are made with the same grade of [ABS] plastic used in kids’ toys, so it’s not surprising to see wedges break under the repeated high impacts of logging,” says Graeme Rundle, Managing Director of Forest-tek. The standard wedges currently used in the forest inevitably crack under repeated impact, he says, which often results in debris that can cause serious facial and eye injuries. In contrast, the new Wedgetek felling wedges are manufactured with a high-molecular-weight engineered resin, resulting in an extremely impact-resistant wedge. Mr Rundle says: “I would challenge the logging industry to try and break one of these wedges – they are indestructible. “They will handle repeated heavy impact for

at least twelve months without a build-up of internal stress. It is the build-up of internal stress which leads to product failure – and resulting injuries.” And he would know. Mr Rundle has more than 35 years’ experience working in mechanical engineering and design, specialising in plastics. After talking with forestry industry Health & Safety representatives and logging companies, Mr Rundle says it became clear to him that current wedge manufacturers “use sub-par materials and resins” that are unsuitable for the demands of logging. Mr Rundle’s start-up, Forest-tek is now offering a range of extremely impact-resistant products designed to improve safety in the forest, including Wedgetek felling wedges and high-impact, ballistic-grade harvester and heavy machinery screens. He goes on to say that cheap materials in popular wedges end up being more expensive, as a result of their short life span. “Broken harvester saw chains have taken lives in the past, or left operators horrifically injured. High-impact, laminated resins and smart application of these technologies can prevent a

Pollution crackdown unsettles China wood market

rogue chain from breaching the cab. Choosing the right materials can literally save lives.” Wedgetek felling wedges come in 8-inch and 10-inch sizes and feature a barbed face to prevent fly-back, as well as a flat face for easy stacking. Wedgetek prices start at $16.50 per wedge and Mr Rundle says the higher quality and technically superior materials will lead to an extended lifespan, making the wedges very cost-effective. NZL

FANTASTIC EMPLOYMENT & BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Logging Contracting

Our client is looking to put in place structures in order to employ and bring a key staff member through to potentially an ownership position in the future. With this in mind, we are seeking to employ a logging industry person with aspirations to ultimately own all or part of a professional logging company. You will require excellent communication and management skills with the ability to relate to people working in all parts of the industry. You must also have the desire to learn the business from the ground. You should be prepared to live within the region in which the business is based (Central North Island). Core skills should include: • Comprehensive grapple yarding knowledge • Understanding of modern logging techniques • Leadership ability • Mechanical aptitude The initial role is to manage a hauler crew and then progress to managing a larger operation. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone who enjoys the logging industry and has the drive and skills to manage a professional logging business with the scope to grow into an ownership position.

LG29112

THE WOOD MARKET IN CHINA IS NERVOUS FOLLOWING a recent crackdown on pollution in one of the major timber processing centres, which comes on top of continued trade tensions with the US and the aftermath of New Year celebrations. These factors are being further exacerbated by declining consumer demand within China, fanned by a cooling economy. Together, these headwinds have impacted trade and prices at the Zhangjiagang timber market, one of the largest in China. Zhangjiagang city also happens to be the country’s largest distribution centre for imported timber, with 28 timber markets around the Zhangjiagang Port covering an area of more than 1 million square metres, housing some 2000 timber traders and hundreds of timber processing mills. Its importance is highlighted by the fact that Zhangjiagang accounts for about 25% of all timber imports. It’s this concentration of the industry that has led to an environmental crackdown in the city, as wood processing plants become the focus of attention because of their poor pollution abatement technologies. Most of the timber enterprises around the Zhangjiagang Port are family workshops, which have no effective measures to deal with pollution and led to an investigation of the city’s industries in 2018. As a result, 60% of wood processing enterprises around Zhangjiagang Port have been forced to close due to environment control problems since the beginning of 2018. Coupled with the cooling domestic economy, this has forced many small enterprises to close. NZL

Graeme Rundle and his ‘indestructible’ Wedgetek falling wedges.

Please email your application along with a CV to: Garth Beker – garthb@bfa.co.nz or via post to Beker Findlay Allan PO Box 1091 Taupo 3351

April 2019 | NZ LOGGER 11


forest talk

Above left: This Madill 124 working with Ribonwood Logging has been upgraded with the i.Log control system, providing a tidier and nicer cab to work in. Above right: All the electronics and valving are neatly mounted on this compartment door under the cab.

i.Log swing yarder control system gets a boost THE NEW ZEALAND-DEVELOPED I.LOG SYSTEM FOR UPDATING the controls of tired old swing yarders has received a boost in this market. The people behind i.Log have signed an agreement that allows Shaws Wire Ropes to market and sell the system on their behalf in New Zealand and Australia. Software engineer Tony Taylor and good friend Brett Henderson have been working on swing yarder control systems over the course of the past 15 years. But i.Log came about after Tony established his own company, Optimal Control Design Ltd (OCD), four years ago to concentrate on automation systems for mobile machinery, such as forestry equipment. Between them, Tony and Brett have been able to engineer i.Log systems on 14 swing yarders across New Zealand, from as far apart as Invercargill and Dargaville. But it has taken time and Tony reckons the sales and marketing is best handled by people with more resources, allowing him to spend more time on the engineering side. “Brett has been contracting to Shaws for a while and Jonny Schick’s close ties with the cable logging industry made it obvious that the i.Log Swing Yarder Control System would be better marketed and sold directly through his company because of its wider reach around New Zealand,” says Tony. It also means that Tony can devote more time to bringing “a heap of other products” to the market in the near future under the i.Log brand name. Currently, the focus is on the i.Log Swing Yarder Control System and Tony says: “The i.Log system has been designed primarily as an upgrade to existing swing yarders, replacing their old system if they had one, or the old mechanical levers and air toggles. Tony and Brett prefer to retain the older style air regen handle and have it incorporated into the new system, as past experience has proven that this handle is more reliable and more widely accepted. “It’s normally done as part of a complete rebuild or refurbishment of the machine. We pretty much rip out the old gear and hosing, throw it away and fit the i.Log board with all of the valving and the screen into the cab, then hose and wire it all up. “Brett Henderson and I work very closely together on these refits, as he is probably the most knowledgeable person in New Zealand

12 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

when it comes to the mechanics of a swing yarder.” Of the 14 swing yarders that have been upgraded, Tony says six have the branded i.Log swing yarder control system, while the other eight have a previous version, not marketed as i.Log, but almost identical. Tony goes on to say that the main attributes of i.Log are that it is a fast and reliable system designed to control the machine’s winches and braking systems, incorporating monitoring systems to provide vital information on the machine’s engine, transmission, water cooling and hydraulics. Developed with the operator in mind, it has easy-to-use screen navigation and basic control layouts that make the i.Log system a “breeze to operate”. From a safety viewpoint, it has selectable logging modes for different settings, which allow the operator to concentrate on operating the swing yarder, making for a safer working environment and helping to eliminate expensive damage. Tony says the system is reliable and uses rugged industryproven hardware, including in-built diagnostic and monitoring systems to reduce downtime and provide vital machine information. Maintenance is simplified because a large amount of the original old hosing and valving has been eliminated, replaced by a simple and centralised control board. The i.Log system helps to increase production with its in-built distance measuring system that gives information on both the actual drag distances, as well as information on previous drags. This allows the operator to return the rigging to the right spot faster. Quicker cycle times increase production and lower costs. i.Log can record important information, like stem counts and drag counts, along with any monitoring alarms, thus providing historic information on the machine’s vital pressures, temperatures and levels. It’s flexible enough to be configured to suit almost any machine configuration. Engine and transmission controls, and different winch configurations, make the system easy to adapt to any requirements. And the operator ends up with a much nicer working environment, since virtually all the older stand-alone gauges are removed from the cab, with the information now displayed on the screen. NZL


forest talk

Log export market delicately balanced THE FIRST SIGNS THAT LAST MONTH’S WARNINGS BY LEADING New Zealand banks that log exports could be coming off the boil are now being felt in the marketplace. This was confirmed when At Wharf Gate (AWG) prices for logs delivered to ports around New Zealand decreased on average NZ$5 per JASm³ in March from their February highs. The drop in the AWG sale prices for export saw logs saw the PF Olsen Log Price Index decrease $3 in March to $134. But the index is still $6 above the two-year average, $9 above the three-year average and $17 higher than the five-year average, so there is still room for optimism. Furthermore, PF Olsen says the drop in AWG prices last month is largely due to increased ocean freight costs for export logs, which offset a modest lift in CFR log prices in China of US$1 per JASm³. Total softwood log stocks increased across China during the Lunar New Year holiday period to just over 4.1 million m³, as expected. Daily uplift from the ports has steadily increased since the holiday period with current estimates between 60-70,000m³ per day. The rate of offtake over the next month will likely determine the market direction for the next three-to-six months. Emerging from the holiday shutdown, PF Olsen says that the China log market is currently sitting at a sensitive point. “Based on current CFR log prices and the China retail prices the log buyers cannot make a profit from New Zealand Radiata logs,” says PF Olsen in its latest Wood Matters report. “This does make Chinese log buyers quite discerning in log quality to ensure they are getting the quality of the grade they purchase. “It is unlikely alternative supply can increase dramatically in the short term, so the New Zealand log exporters expect further modest CFR price increases over the short term. Any pressure

from competition will likely come initially in the lower grades as this volume can easily be replaced in construction markets with Uruguayan or other lower-cost logs. “While the US has delayed indefinitely an increase in tariffs on China goods, there is still a lot of negotiation to occur before a deal is concluded and tariffs lifted by either side. Once a deal is agreed, it is expected an easing of tariffs will be stepped rather than a complete removal. This means the sentiment about log supply from the US hasn’t changed.” PF Olsen says that favourable pricing of Southern Yellow Pine (SYP) has seen volumes out of the US recover overall slightly since the last quarter of 2018 and should New Zealand Radiata prices hold, or slightly increase, the SYP price may improve slightly, underwriting some volume growth. Similarly, competitive pressure is coming from Uruguay, helped by the recent freight cost reduction. It warns that both Uruguay and Brazil now have a much-improved understanding and management of quality control after earlier significant issues and their log export volumes to China are building. Prices for New Zealand domestic log sales in March are mostly unchanged from February as supply is largely locked in for the quarter. The settled weather around the country has caused log supply to increase with some mills and in particular those buying pruned logs, reporting an abundance of log supply. At the same time, domestic wood mills are reporting buoyant sales in the first months of 2019, helped by settled weather. For those mills exporting timber, the Australian market remains slow due to reduced housing starts, while Asia is starting to pick up again following the Lunar New Year and the European clearwood market remains strong. NZL


forest talk

The 5,000th John Deere swing machine emerges from the factory in British Columbia.

John Deere marks forestry milestone JOHN DEERE HAS CELEBRATED PRODUCTION OF ITS 5,000TH Forestry Swing Machine at its Langley, British Columbia factory. The John Deere 2656G Log Loader has been purchased by US contractor Bighorn Logging and its owner was presented with a plaque and joined other guests in a tour of the John Deere-Hitachi Specialty Products (DHSP) factory. Meanwhile, John Deere has announced upgrades to its machines sold to forestry customers in New Zealand. CablePrice has confirmed that some of the changes will be seen on swing machines this year, including:

• larger final drives on the 2654G and 2656G models, along with 2154G and 2156G models as they are specc’d with the same undercarriage for our market • shovel and axe mounts • addition of a USB port on the side entry cabs for device charging and relocating the auxiliary and USB ports to behind the seat • fuel filter shut-off valve • low level alarm for the hydraulic reservoir fitted as standard, and • improved left hand side door-structure. NZL

Investing in the future of forestry EIGHT OUTSTANDING STUDENTS HAVE been presented with inaugural forestry scholarships by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Forestry Minister Shane Jones at a special awards ceremony at the University of Canterbury. The Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau scholarships were developed to encourage young and talented individuals into New Zealand’s growing forestry industry. They are available to Māori and/or female students enrolling in a Bachelor of Forestry Science or Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Forest Engineering. “Developing skills, capability and leadership for New Zealand’s forestry sector is a priority for the Government and Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand),” says Ms Ardern. “These scholarships are the first step

14 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

towards an exciting and rewarding career in forestry for eight exceptional individuals, who in turn will strengthen the future labour pool in this vital industry.” The 2019 recipients are: Robyn Patient from Waikuku Beach; Jessica Stock from Tasman; Cole Grace from Gisborne; George Fanning-Ihaka from Dargaville; Nicholas Melvin from Winton, Thomas Brown from Matamata; Max Gomez from Dunedin and Hannah Humphreys from Wanaka. Ms Ardern adds: “Over the last five years less than a third of graduates of forestry degrees were women. While the industry is a significant employer of Māori, Māori are under-represented in the professional and scientific areas of the industry. “We hope this group of talented scholarship recipients will pave the way for

the future and encourage other women and Māori to enter higher education within the forestry sector. Mr Jones says the One Billion Trees Programme is about planting the right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose, and for this we also need the right people. He says: “As technology and science change the way we do things, we need people who can work with robotics, help develop new forestry products and processes, and take them to the market. Our scholarship recipients add to the pool of talent that can accomplish this.” Further Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau scholarships will be awarded for the 2020 and 2021 academic years – applications for the next round open in June and close on August 15. NZL


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iron test

The Alpine shovel logger was created with woodlots in mind.

s e l a c s e n i p l A Story & photos: John Ellegard

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In the not-too-distant future, this Alpine shovel logger will be fully automated to work autonomously on the slopes.

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T’S A RARE THING TO FIND A MACHINE THAT HAS BEEN developed specifically with harvesting woodlots in mind. Even rarer when that machine ends up providing small-scale crews with the sort of sophisticated high-tech wizardry that only larger, well-resourced contractors working in corporate forests have been able to access. The Alpine shovel yarder is such a machine. Or it soon will be. With the yarder components engineered in South Africa and then incorporated into an excavator here in New Zealand to suit our local logging environment, the Alpine is about to be transformed into a highly automated machine that can accomplish most of the work itself. A Forest Growers Research programme is funding the development of a prototype automated grapple carriage and hauler control system for the Alpine, involving stem recognition camera software that relays information back to the main machine to control yarder functions. It’ll be a very sophisticated piece of kit when the project is finished. Not unlike the developments taking place to automate the Falcon 171 tower hauler that was Iron Tested in the February issue of NZ Logger. The programme is at an early stage, but the first Alpine Shovel Yarder in New Zealand recently started work with Rotoruabased Complete Logging to provide practical experience with the machine before the high-tech stuff gets fitted. Whilst it would be fair to say that the Falcon 171 tower and Alpine shovel yarder sit at either ends of the operating spectrum, they’ll both end up working in a similar fashion in a few years……..with minimal human input. It’s the future of logging.

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That’s why the NZ Logger Iron Test team has travelled to a woodlot overlooking picturesque Lake Karapiro in the heart of the Waikato, so we can get a taste of the Alpine shovel yarder programme in its infancy and find out from Complete Logging’s owner, Major Nelson, what he thinks of the product of the South African/Kiwi joint venture so far. Our Alpine report coincides with a renaissance of interest in excavator-based yarding that is currently under way in New Zealand. The concept of converting an excavator/loader into a nimble yarder isn’t new – it’s been around for donkey’s years. American and Canadian loggers have produced a variety of them, which they refer to as yoaders. Here in New Zealand, the Harvestline is the bestknown example and EMS has developed it into a very impressive machine, exporting some to overseas markets. Traditionally, shovel yarders were suited to relatively low production operations or in combination with ground-based systems and sales have waxed and waned over the years for a variety of reasons. But as more woodlots come up for harvesting the advantages of compact shovel yarders have seen these systems return to popularity. Woodlots, or small-scale forests (ie those under 1,000 hectares), make up around 30% of the national plantation estate and, as many of them mature, it is predicted they could yield up to 15 million cubic metres per year across the nation from 2020 through to 2035. However, a large percentage of these smaller forests have been planted on steep land and are tucked away on the back of farms, often on narrow windy county roads where access is limited and it’s more difficult to employ larger pieces of equipment. These forests are often located further from mills and ports, compared to corporate forests, which adds even more to the cost.

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Complete Logging has taken the first Alpine shovel yarder to go to work in New Zealand.

Forest Growers Research (FGR) says cable logging costs are a critical component affecting the economics of harvesting on small, steep sites and has a plan to help with that in the new harvesting research and development programme. These costs have steadily increased over time, from $32.40 per tonne in 2009 to $39.40 per tonne in 2017, according to a study by Rien Visser, of the University of Canterbury. FGR believes shovel yarders have the potential to reduce access and logging costs, as their smaller footprint means they are well suited to harvesting compact, steep terrain forests. And by enhancing the operation of a shovel yarder with new technology, there’s also potential to lift the productivity to match larger purposebuilt yarders and make them really pay their way. For a start, they are more versatile than larger yarders, able to operate effectively on smaller landings or from a roadside, as no guy lines are required to support the tower. This is a major advantage in terms of space requirements, along with reduced set-up and move times. Labour costs are also lower than other more conventional yarder systems, since a shovel yarder requires a smaller crew. The capital cost and flexibility of shovel yarders make them suitable for short haul distance, steep slope logging in difficult-to-reach areas or where it may be uneconomic to use larger towers or swing yarders. They’re easier to transport in and out, too. So why go with the South African-developed Alpine Shovel Yarder? The idea goes back several years when Rotorua-based forestry consultant, Spencer Hill, teamed up with a South African, Riaan Engelbrecht to establish and run an operation in Malaysia that was harvesting small diameter Acacia stems to supply pulpwood to local markets. They started by using the simple, early version of the Alpine Shovel Yarder system, which incorporated a two-drum live skyline, mainline and clamping carriages with strops and breaker-

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outs. The early version was on a 20-tonne excavator and pretty slow, struggling to do 70 tonnes a day. Along with that, Spencer recalls, training six breaker-outs proved to be difficult and the project was going to require 600 breaker-outs to meet forecast production levels, “a hiding to nowhere, so we approached Alpine to develop a grapple that could operate with our two-drum shovel yarder”. Alpine designed the first Alpine Grapple Carriage (AGC1). It arrived with their new 35-tonne shovel yarder and on day one produced 200 tonnes in a day and continues to do so 8 years on. That same operation now has 20 shovel yarders producing over 150,000 tonnes per month and the really impressive thing is the low maintenance costs of that shovel yarder fleet. The advantage of the Alpine Grapple Carriage is that it dispenses with the need for another drum and line, which is required to open a standard mechanical grapple. And being very light, it can pull in more wood per drag than with a heavier motorised carriage and grapple. It’s also designed to work with the Alpine Shovel Yarder, although it operates equally well on other yarders. On his return to New Zealand, Spencer took his experiences in Asia to the forerunner of FGR, Future Forest Research, and they jointly developed a relationship with Alpine to fine-tune its carriage to suit New Zealand harvesting requirements. A number have subsequently been sold to local contractors through Spencer’s Logpro sales and leasing business, with the first customer being Major Nelson at Complete Logging. But the prospect of putting an Alpine Shovel Yarder to work in New Zealand was never far from his thoughts and a discussion with Major saw Spencer put a proposal for Complete Logging to lease a machine that would effectively become the development mule for the integrated PGP-funded harvesting programme proposed by FGR. The programme, called ‘Forestry Work in the Modern Age’, kicks

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off this year and is aimed at automating harvest operations to further drive productivity, environmental sustainability and safety in the forest. The Alpine project forms a key part of that programme, among other initiatives. At the same time, Spencer has formed a new partnership venture called Alpine Logging Equipment Ltd to take over the distribution of Alpine products here and in Australia, and to provide a full back-up servicing operation. Heading up the new entity in the role of Managing Director is Andy Bedford, whose Rotorua company, Total Hydraulic Solutions Ltd, is involved with the engineering and development of the Alpine for our market, including the build and fit-out of machine number one that is now working with Complete Logging – this includes installation of the winch set and marrying it with the base machine’s hydraulics, control system and building the 12-metre tower extension to the dipper arm. A very neat-looking package. That’s all fine and dandy, but it still doesn’t explain precisely what drew Spencer, Andy and Major to the Alpine because, on the face of it, the big yellow machine looks like any other shovel yarder. The key feature is the innovative high-torque, high-speed, doubledrum interlock winch set sitting atop the engine compartment. This has been specifically designed for a high-speed, running skyline grapple yarding system and the controls that govern it are ideally suited for automating various functions. What makes the Alpine winch set unique is that it is both mechanically and hydraulically interlocked by means of a third (interlock) hydraulic motor. During inhaul and outhaul, oil is fed from the tail motor into the third motor. Tension in the tail rope is

regulated by simply varying the pressure in the tail rope motor. This system operates as a fully regenerative braking system, with only minor energy losses, resulting in the aforementioned high line speeds, since all the excavator’s power is going directly into hauling in the load. Initial observations show that the inhaul and outhaul speeds of the Alpine Shovel Yarder are not far off those measured on larger haulers and swing yarders. More on that shortly. The Alpine winch set fleets the ropes, ensuring they have a longer life, which will also reduce wear and tear on the drums themselves. The winch sets are built by Alpine in South Africa and then shipped out to New Zealand to be mated to a suitable excavator base. Alpine builds a number of different winch set options including 3-drum skyline, 2-drum skyline and the running skyline and have different sizes depending on the size of the base machine. Alpine now supplies winch sets to its local market in South Africa, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, North America and South America. Ideally, the first system to arrive here should have been fitted to a brand new excavator but the local Alpine team chose a secondhand Komatsu PC400 for the base machine to try and keep costs down. However, the costs associated with bringing it up to near-new specification and fixing faults to ensure Alpine warranties were not going to be breached was probably not far off the price of a new excavator. A second winch set is already on its way here so the customer for Alpine number two – and all subsequent orders – should bear that in mind. But what is clear from the first Alpine Shovel Yarder now working in New Zealand is that the whole package has been engineered very well, not just the winch sets. Total Hydraulics has done an excellent

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The Alpine carriage and shovel loader are designed to work together.

FO IN S P integration job that looks like it has come from an OE factory. Don’t they say that if it looks good, it should be good? Arriving at the Karapiro woodlot site, this will be the second opportunity for NZ Logger to see the Alpine in operation – the first was at an FGR industry demonstration that took place between Rotorua and Te Puke last October. We were only able to get up close for a limited time at the end of the demo, so we’re looking forward to an extended acquaintance today. One thing that struck us at the demo was the positioning of the winch set on top of the engine compartment, rather than installing it on the tail, which would have allowed easier access to the engine. It’s still a talking point as we admire the Alpine and with Major over on the opposite slope, re-positioning the backline, I take the opportunity to discuss this design feature and other details with Andy Bedford, who is also on site today. “The idea was to try and keep it within the existing length of the machine, for easy transporting,” says Andy, noting that it can be trucked in one piece, compared to traditional swing yarders. There’s a large hydraulic ram that lifts up the winch set when access to the engine is needed and it only takes a few minutes to pop up and install the safety bar, and there’s plenty of room to work underneath once it’s raised. Sitting the winch set above the engine shifts the centre of gravity more forward than rear mounted winch sets, which can unsettle the machine if there’s a heavy load coming up in the grapple and the operator wants to raise the bucket off the ground to swing the boom around to drop stems to one side. During the test we saw the tail twitch a couple of times when the bucket was raised and Andy

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says that’ll be cured by fitting a couple of tonnes of counterweight on the tail, which will add to the overall 51 tonnes. However, he and his team are looking to position the winch set further back on future machines to provide more balance, without compromising length and transportability, depending on the buyer’s requirements. Spencer says that mounting the winch-set at the back of the excavator does make the whole machine a lot longer, so in countries like Canada where they commonly yard to narrow steep roads with high rock banks at the back, it is better to have a machine that is as compact as possible. Since the Alpine Interlock winch-set is longer than a simple interlock winch-set, it would stick out even further to the back, which is why Alpine has gone for a top mount. But if a customer requests a rear mount and can cope with the extra length, then Alpine will oblige. On closer inspection, the first thing that strikes you is how beautifully engineered and strongly built it looks, with all the internals made from top-of-the-line German componentry. The manufacturer claims that the winches are easy to maintain and are expected to be low maintenance due to the high-quality components used. In spite of the compactness of the overall design, the winch drums themselves are still a good size. The winch set we are looking at holds 530 metres of 19mm mainline and 1,100 metres of 16mm tail rope, however from now on the standard drum configuration offered here in New Zealand will hold 530 metres of 19mm mainline and 1,050 metres of 19mm tail rope. This gives the Alpine shovel yarder an effective maximum haul distance of approximately 450 metres. Longer distances are possible

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by using extensions. Interestingly, the rope capacities are only slightly less than those offered by the majority of larger swing yarders operating in New Zealand. The two main attributes of hydraulic winches are line pull (tonnes) and line speed (m/sec). To increase the line speed means reducing line pull and Alpine has struck a good balance between fast line speed and sufficient line pull. The size of the base chosen does not affect the line pull, but the smaller the base the slower the line speed, so careful consideration and machine selection is required to get the ultimate performance, especially if grapple harvesting is the preferred logging system. Having re-positioned the backline machine, Major joins our group discussion and enlightens us to the fact that he and the Complete Logging crew are no strangers to shovel yarding, as they owned the second Harvestline built in New Zealand. That one burnt out and was replaced by another Harvestline (build number three, Major thinks), which continues to work for his other crew and is going pretty well. It was a combination of the Alpine’s mechanical/hydraulic interlock technology and a very favourable leasing deal that tempted Major to put his hand up to be the guinea pig to trial this first Alpine in New Zealand, along with the lure of being involved in seeing it upgraded into a highly automated machine in the not-too-distant future. It’s still very much a hands-on yarder, but since it entered service at the end of October it has been successfully logging in three different woodlot locations. Has it met expectations? “Yeah it has,” says Major. “It’s so fast and the way it’s set up has allowed me to reduce manpower on the ground. I’ve taken a spotter off and I pretty much operate this myself without any assistance. I can

The 12-metre tower on top of the dipper arm provides a good amount of deflection in most locations for Complete Logging.

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With an excavator bunching stems down in the valley, Major Nelson is able to bring up two or three at a time.

still do a line shift by myself. It’s just changed the whole game for us. “It has made a big difference to the operation – as well as dropping a man it’s more productive and a lot safer not having someone out there spotting.” The reduction in manpower has brought the total complement on this site down to eight people, but we should explain that this is a combined yarding / ground base operation, which explains why it’s a big crew for woodlots. “The hauler part is really just me in this machine and a digger down in the valley bunching,” says Major. This particular setting has good deflection, so we’ll be able to put the fast line speed to test. Performance, of course, depends on

the choice of base machine and fortunately there’s a good choice of machines that have sufficient hydraulic flows to drive the winch set. The Komatsu PC400 delivers 690 ltr/min flow, for example, and its hydraulic system is easy to tap into, according to Andy. That translates into an impressive 9 metres per second outhaul line speed with an empty grapple. Inhaul line speed depends on the load and deflection, but 5 m/s with a three-tonne payload is not out of the question. The main winch motor delivers 12 tonnes of line pull on an empty drum and the tail drum motor delivers 10 tonnes, which also means the tail has an impressive 10 tonnes of breaking capacity. Major takes me and Iron Tester, Stan Barlow, up to the cab

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Above: A lovely piece of engineering – the interlocking motor sits in between the drive motors for the winches. Left: This handy storage compartment built into the rear of the Komatsu is among upgrades that come as part of the Alpine package. to explain how he controls that performance and in spite of the presence of extra pedals on the floor for braking, he tells us that everything pretty much happens through the joystick controls. The main and tail drum speed and line pull is regulated through simply altering the displacement of the respective hydraulic motors, by tapping buttons on the joysticks. Sounds simple…….until you take a look at the number of buttons on each handset. In addition to the usual eight buttons, a pair of toggle switches and triggers on each of the main joystick pads, there are separate pads with ten buttons each. A total of 42 individual operations. None of them labelled. Hope Stan is taking notes. What do they all do?

“On my left side we can change the haulback speed and main speeds on the go as it’s coming in, so these top two buttons control the mainline speed and I can also control the power as well,” explains Major. “So, if I’ve got a heavier stem, I can adjust that on the go as it’s coming in. You can watch the pressures as that happens (on the large screen fixed to the right pillar), so you can make the changes from that. “When it starts reading red it means back off the power. I’ve got a tension monitor but I don’t take much notice of that, I take more notice of the pressure gauges. When they come up red you back off until it’s in the green. You’ve also got that on the tail line as well, so

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you’ve got displacement and speed. And then you’ve got tension. “On the triggers, you can hold down to lock out your tail drum and put it into an independent mode. At the moment it’s in interlock mode so when you go to send the gear out it will automatically spin like our Harvestline on both drums but with these triggers you can hold them both closed and it will stop the tail drum and feed the mainline out independently, so it’s like a dropline. “You can independently run the skyline and stick it in independent mode and if you want to change from 5/8ths to 7/8ths rope you can. I’ve got 5/8ths on here at the moment so I can run a bigger line if I want to run a skyline. “You’ve got your foot pedal there for your independent brake just to help out, but once you put the park brake on everything locks and it will just stay there. And I have the buttons for the grapple, so that’s tail clamp on and tail clamp off, main clamp on and main clamp off and that one is your rotator. “On the right side you’ve got your horn and you still control your main boom up and down, your dipper, your winch in and out, so the slower you pull it the slower the winches will move. The more aggressive you are, the more aggressive the winches will be. “To select your gear going out you hold your finger on the left trigger and you can select inhaul and outhaul, and you see that come up on the screen. “When you set it up you pre-select the settings for inhaul and outhaul and you can set it to haul different settings. We have quite good deflection now and I can put a bit more speed

on it and I can go into the settings and reset the inhaul and outhaul, and when it clicks in I’ve got either power or speed. If I am doing a downhaul pull I can give it a bit more tension, too.” Got all that? Don’t worry, you won’t have to remember all those things in future because most of it will be automated and it’ll just be a case of pushing one button to send the grapple out to a predetermined spot on the hill, where the onboard camera will recognise a stem (or bunch of stems) and guide the tongs down to precisely grab and return the load to the landing. Some of those buttons will become redundant very soon as the first upgrade becomes available. Andy tells us that the software that will automate all those functions is being developed in New Zealand by his team and it will not only go onto Alpine’s sold locally, but also those going into Australia and other international markets. It’s all very hands-on at the moment, so we ask Major to demonstrate how it works first, before Stan replaces him in the hot seat. Walking the machine to a clear space on the edge of the landing before plonking down the bucket to anchor the tower, the advantage of having no guy lines is immediately apparent. Quick moves are a doddle. Down in the valley, the loader operator has already laid out a number of bunches for Major to grab and he’ll even hand up stems from his grapple where necessary. As Major sends out the carriage and grapple, the speed of the outhaul is also immediately apparent – it’s like a greyhound setting off

Above: There are no guy lines, just the bucket dug into the ground to support the boom and weight of stems arriving in the grapple. Main: A large piston lifts the winch set off the bonnet to allow access to the engine.

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1: The main and tail drums are lagged to ensure the rope fleets tidily and don’t tangle. 2: The strawline drum is located down on the front right of the deck, next to the boom. 3: The Alpine is mainly controlled through the two joysticks, rather than the pedals on the floor. 4. The touch screen displays important information to the operator, including drum pressures. 5. Still only 30, Major Nelson took over the ownership of Complete Logging three years ago from Keith Travis.

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after a hare. We’ve not seen a carriage shoot off out of the traps so quickly. Before we know it, Major has guided the grapple down onto a pair of stems and is already hauling them back to the landing. We time it. Over the space of half-an-hour, he brings in roughly one haul every three minutes. OK, they’re not very big stems, averaging around 0.75 piece size, but it’s still ultra productive. Major works very precisely. He needs to, because if he makes a hash of the grab he almost loses a whole cycle of time opening and resetting the grapple on the trees again. He doesn’t miss a beat. “This system works well with the carriage,” notes Andy, “they are a match made in, well, the factory. They’re designed for each other.” Before long it’s Stan’s turn and he approaches the task with a mix

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of anticipation and apprehension. Stan has driven a lot of traditional swing yarders over the years and also tested one of the latest Harvestlines 18 months ago, but it still takes time to acclimatise to a brand-new machine. In the cab, Major shows him the ropes, literally. The main touch screen shows him the pressures he needs to keep his eyes on, along with a small camera view of the ropes coming off the winch. The tension monitor above the touch screen won’t be needed. Once he sends the carriage down the hill, Stan will be glued to the big TV below the touch screen to pick out the stems on the ground. In difficult settings, Major also has a CutOver Cam positioned on the side of the hill to provide another view of proceedings, but it isn’t required today as Stan can clearly see the stems on the ground

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from the Alpine. Remembering which buttons operate the functions he wants to use is the issue he’s having to adjust to right now, so Major is on Stan’s shoulder for much of the test, until he starts to feel a little more comfortable. You can read his impressions on page 32. “It’ll definitely be much easier to operate when we do the next upgrade,” reassures Andy. “It’s not that difficult to automate those functions, the technology already exists and it’s just a case of applying it. When Stan comes back this will feel like a different machine. “The biggest challenge for us – and everyone trying to automate yarders right now – is to make the camera differentiate between a stem and a stick on the hill. There’s still a way to go until we achieve that.” Andy says that Mountain Logging in Australia is using a GPS

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system to record waypoints of where stems are bunched on the hills, which are then transferred to the Alpine they operate in Gippsland “but they are on rolling country, so it’s easier for them to do that”. Major is not too fussed about trying to use GPS to locate logs in his operation as he reckons he can easily see stems on the ground and it’s just a case of putting the carriage in the right position to drop the grapple. But he is anxious to see automation reduce the number of functions he has to use. That’ll make life more relaxing in the Alpine cab and help him to keep a more watchful eye over other parts of the Complete Logging operation. For other contractors considering a shovel yarder like this, the attraction will be in the ability to have a modern, reliable and effective yarding option for woodlot harvesting that’s priced around the same as an average Auckland home. NZL


iron test: Stan Barlow

FULL OF PROMISE IT’S HARD NOT TO FEEL OVERWHELMED in the cab of this new Alpine yarder – there’s so much going on. I found myself looking all over the place; at the camera, at the information, the rope distance, the pressures in terms of overrevving it or having too much weight on it was a little confusing to take in at first. And the complexity of all those buttons…….. But gradually it all started to make sense and by the end of the Iron test I was feeling my feet and enjoying just how good this machine is. Man, it’s fast. You can’t help but be impressed with the line speed, the braking system, even with the drag when I sort-of overloaded it – I’ve never seen anything like this where a yarder this size can hold that sort of weight and hold that line speed. This thing is competing with the smallest of our swing yarders and it’s working just as well. There’s a lot of potential for a machine like this out there. The combination of the carriage and how the yarder system seems to work nicely together is impressive. Once you get used to the grapple set-up and how it works, it’s very good. Maybe for a new person jumping on without any

experience of an accumulator carriage, perhaps it would be helpful just to have a manual grapple while they get used to it. Even for someone like myself, who has yarding experience, it’s not hard to mess up. And it you do make a mistake, you’ve got to pull the carriage back again to charge up the accumulator. It doesn’t take any prisoners, you’ve got to be very precise. But I reckon It makes you a better operator. I’ve worked yarders where most of the functions are on the joysticks, but this one took quite a bit of getting used to because there’s so much to remember. I can’t wait to see how they simplify the controls, because it will be a much easier machine to operate and probably much smoother, too. It does feel a little clunky now and Andy says the new software that’s going in soon will overcome that. I do like the way you just work off the pressures on the screen, trying to keep them in the green zone. Simple to understand. The camera worked well and I could easily see the wood, helped by the distance reader telling you when you’re getting close to where it last grabbed stems and then it’s just a case of guiding the grapple down.

Iron Tester, Stan Barlow.

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With the bucket planted in the ground you don’t have the luxury of easy sideways movement with the boom, but I still found it easy to control that grapple movement, forward or back, and placing it on the logs. If you really needed to get some sideways movement you can lift the bucket and swing, provided it’s stable. I didn’t feel experienced enough to do that in the test, though. In the hands of someone like Major, who demonstrated that when you do have a very proficient operator at the controls, the Alpine is excellent at pulling wood. It has lots of promise for the future. NZL

Since it arrived last October, the Alpine shovel yarder has improved productivity for Complete Logging.

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New blood breaking out

Age concern I

T’S NO SECRET THAT FORESTRY IN New Zealand is grappling with how to replenish our greying workforce. The average age across our industry is creeping up into the 50s, which means that we have a large proportion of workers who are either drawing a pension or very close to doing so. Not a problem if you have a steady flow of youngsters coming in at the other end. We don’t. And in recent years the situation has been made worse by central government’s lack of support for trade-related training – even the graduate courses at the University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry are crying out for more students. And, let’s face it, forestry hasn’t done itself many favours with the public relations fallout caused by its poor safety record. Many parents are actively dissuading their offspring from “putting their lives at risk” by coming into forestry. The cracks have tended to be papered over through persuading older workers to stay on longer than they otherwise might have done and by introducing mechanisation to reduce the need for manpower. This has seen the average size of crews reduce by approximately 20% over the past decade, particularly those working with towers and swing yarders. But mechanisation can only go so far and many crews are now facing 34 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

pinch-points for workers skilled in operating loaders, harvesters and yarders. And that has led to poaching of people with the right skills from other contractors. Forest management companies aren’t immune from such practices and sawmills/wood processors are similarly affected. Logging transport firms, too. In fact, the shortage of log truck drivers in some parts of the country is so acute that when drivers are off sick or not available for work, it has led to harvesting operations being shut down for periods of time as log inventories overwhelm landings, causing contractors to lay off their staff. This, in turn, affects the flow of wood into mills. It’s a vicious circle. Low rates of pay have been blamed for the lack of interest in forestry jobs in the past but that can’t be used as an excuse these days because some in-demand operators can command upwards of $100,000-plus. In fact, the pay rates for those entering forestry are now as good, if not better than for youngsters going into trade and industrial jobs in Auckland and other cities and major towns. Take a look at the Trade Me jobs website and you’ll see as many as 100 jobs advertised at any one time, most offering excellent rates of pay. Forestry is not alone. Shortages are being reported in many trades and industries across the country and they are already

Increased mechanisation has masked the growing issue of fewer people being employed in forestry to replace the ageing workforce. Story: John Ellegard

mobilising to encourage recruits to fill their vacancies – the building and transport industries being the most active. Forestry needs to mobilise its resources to attract new blood or risk being left in the wake. Some activity is already happening in various parts of the country. Training courses for young unemployed are up and running in Northland and on the East Coast, with others in the pipeline. These are in their early stages and it’s too soon to tell if they are making an impact and what needs to be done to up the tempo. With this in mind, NZ Logger magazine is taking a look at how the industry is responding to the (lack of ) manpower issue and we aim to champion the groups and individuals who are stepping up to meet the challenge. In this issue, we are focusing on current attempts to attract new blood and what’s being planned. In the next issue we’ll highlight what is being done to train new recruits and also lift the skills of those already working in forestry to fill the gaps starting to appear in equipment operating and other areas, and how we are going to retain the people we already have. NZ Logger can’t be everywhere, so if you or your organisation is doing something to help bring people into our industry let us know (email editor@nzlogger.co.nz). NZL


Concentrate on boosting silviculture numbers and these will flow through to harvesting crews, says FICA

Silviculture will lead the way T HE ANSWER TO ATTRACTING NEW blood into forestry in New Zealand is to drive it through silviculture and the One Billion Trees programme. That’s according to the Forest Industry Contractor’s Association (FICA), whose CEO, Prue Younger, says silvicuture has the most pressing needs at present and that is where much of the focus is going. “The silviculture sector is where we are driving it because we believe that if you spend time fixing that up then that will become a good feeder for harvesting contractors and it rolls on from there,” says Prue. “It makes sense as far as a very good career pathway that we can develop across the industry.” She says that FICA recognises that there are shortages across the board in forestry and says there is a real pressure on crews at the moment, mostly being dealt with by not replacing people as the resources are not there. A survey of FICA members on employment and other issues conducted in conjunction with Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology was carried out late last year. Around 130 crews were questioned and 18% told surveyors the threat of losing key staff and skills was keeping them awake at night, with almost 60% identifying skill shortages as a significant business risk. Insecurity of work also rated high. More than 85% of participants indicated business in 2019 was expected to be similar or slower compared to 2017/2018.

However, Prue adds that good employers don’t seem to be losing as many people and don’t have quite the same churn as those who “need to lift their game a bit”, which is where the turnover is mostly happening. “But there is pressure on certain points, such as the silviculture sector, where it’s huge,” says Prue. “That’s been driven by the Billion Tree planting programme, which has not only put pressure on the contractors but on the forest companies, because business as usual is getting quite difficult. So where they thought they were going to have a planting schedule running to plan, it’s going to get upset by the pressure put on by the Billion Tree planting.” With that planting programme due to be spread out over ten years, the pressure to attract new entrants through silviculture is likely to remain at a high level. Prue says FICA has put its hands up for a $1million government funding application to cover off many of the areas it has been working on over the last 18 months with the Silviculture Action Group to help with focused solutions to finding additional workers. “If we focus solutions on fixing this sector up, inadvertently we fix everything else up,” she says. “But it’s not just one single bullet, we believe there are a number of things that have to happen to sort the industry out.” These include: • Identify and recognise need, and develop an industry-wide marketing plan,

• offer discounted membership to FICA, so more silviculture contractors can come on board to enable them to have a say on training and capability building, • roll out the Generation training programme from Gisborne to other areas to build more effective training bases across the country, • develop a careers package for schools and school advisors, • collaborate with government agencies so they can provide some sort of subsidy, relief or support, and make more use of programmes like Mana & Mahi and Work The Seasons, • extend the Contractor Certification programme to develop a Code of Ethics to lift the culture and working environment. On that last point, Prue says: “There’s also an element of helping the wellbeing of our workers in general by developing an industry Code of Ethics, which means we can promote the whole forest industry as having a code for people looking at it as a career for themselves or loved ones. “Those operating under the code would mean we would pay a living wage. We will engage as a first priority with the Certified Contractors to promote this.” Prue also says that the changes currently being studied through the review of the vocational training model need to be looked at by forestry because it will have “quite an impact on our industry”. NZL April 2019 | NZ LOGGER 35


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New blood

East Coast pulls out stops to make forestry attractive ”

Above: The Blackstump crew from Gisborne has been the face of the Eastland Wood Council’s ‘Forestry for Life’ programme.

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HE GISBORNE REGION HAS SOME OF the most pressing needs in the country when it comes to manpower shortages in forestry. Many harvesting crews are operating short-handed on a regular basis and some even had to stop work when there weren’t enough drivers to man log trucks last year and landings started filling up, which led to lay-offs for a short time. It’s a problem that is causing concern for the Eastland Wood Council (EWC). But just how much of a problem is not fully understood, so the wood council is currently undertaking a survey of all employers involved in forestry in the region to find out. Two training courses have recently been started on the East Coast to help increase the number of people coming into the industry for the first time, but more needs to be done, acknowledges the CEO of EWC, Kim Holland, adding that a number of initiatives under its ‘Forestry For Life’ programme have been helping to improve the perception of the industry, as well as lift its profile even further. She says ‘Forestry for Life’ is an initiative undertaken by the Eastland Wood Council aimed at both the industry and the wider community. This included providing the local Gisborne Herald newspaper with ideas each month where ‘Forestry for Life’ has been

38 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

focusing on a relevant topic, expanding and explaining it to create a better understanding of the industry for all. This helps reach the wider community in addition to the one-infour people who already work for, or are associated with, forestry. But concern still remains about how to attract enough people to work in the crews as they face an increase of 50% in the tree crop over the coming years. “With the growth that is coming on in this region we’re not that confidant we are going to get the numbers of people coming through to meet the demand right now," says Kim. “We’re doing everything we can to get people into the industry to make up the shortfalls.” To understand what they are dealing with, she says they need more information about the number of people in the industry and the current shortages, along with projections into the future. “The last survey is out of date and we are in the process of doing a new survey to judge our needs,” she says. “People are throwing numbers and figures around, but we haven’t got any foundation for that. People tell us they need twice as many as they have now, but we don’t know that and we don’t know what sort of people they need (digger drivers, fallers, loader operators etc).”

The results of the survey should be available by May and then the EWC will analyse the figures and formulate a programme to address the most pressing needs first and then plan for future requirements. How they attract people will be one of the biggest challenges, says Kim. “People with a whanau/familial connection with forestry are always likely to come into the industry or they’ll know someone and that’s always the easiest place to make a start,” she says. “But it is a big issue. We have to make it attractive, so people want to come into the industry.” The two training courses established last year have helped to focus attention in the Gisborne region on the opportunities available in forestry, as well as offering a way to enter the industry. The EWC is backing the Generation programme, previously detailed in this magazine and it’s now on its second intake. The separate, longer induction programme run by Manaia Safety has just wrapped up its first course. There are also efforts under way to provide training for truck drivers in the region, which EWC is involved with. These, and other programmes will be covered in greater detail in the May issue of NZ Logger magazine. NZL


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New blood

‘Grow Me’ aims to stem losses in the lower north F ORESTERS IN THE LOWER NORTH Island have launched a programme called ‘Grow Me’ to try and stem the losses from the industry and build knowledge about job opportunities. “A lack of employees (is) a key area of concern for SNI Wood Council Board members,” says Erica Kinder, CEO of the Southern North Island Wood Council. “Our members feel there is a lack of knowledge of all the jobs currently available and the qualifications that are needed right across forestry, transport, shipping and processing, especially in such a growth phase. There is a lack of young people in our workforce and the companies are struggling to hire them in such a competitive environment.” There is also concern about negative publicity surrounding forestry and Erica says these factors led to the creation of the ‘Grow Me’ to engage more with schools, the public and students. She says the programme has been designed to install a sense of pride in those that are participating, by showcasing their workplaces and their lifestyles. “The ‘Grow Me’ programme will deliver a much wider understanding of our industry,” says Erica. “Along with the career options available comes a much wider knowledge of our workplaces, what we do, and why we do it. We should be generating a much larger pool of prospective employees for our members, along with a sense of pride in showcasing our sector. “Our members love nothing more than showing people around their work places and this gives a real validity to our programme. I expect to see an immediate increase in the number of secondary school graduates entering our sector workplaces and tertiary training facilities next year, along with goodwill created in our local communities.” The SNI Wood Council covers six main regions; Wellington, Taranaki, Manawatu, Tararua, Wairarapa and Whanganui. This provides a total of 87 Secondary Schools to target with ‘Grow Mr’ initiatives. “After initially focussing on this

40 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

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Above: The joint Southern North Island Wood Council / Toi Ohomai stand and McCarthy log truck at the Rural Games in Palmerston North. area, our programme could easily be used by other Wood Councils for similar promotions,” adds Erica. The ‘Grow Me’ programme is based around the school calendar, with an activity launched each term to keep the schools engaged throughout the year. Three different ‘Forestry Big Day Out’ events are planned for the first term, covering three key areas, with careers days in second term, a ‘forest intern’ scheme for the third term and school presentations during the fourth term. Engagement with schools starts in January, with a comprehensive plan that they can follow for the year and participate in. SNIWC will be employing a Regional Coordinator based in Palmerston North and another one based in New Plymouth to assist with extending these activities. Erica says: “Our website provides the calendar and structure, with Facebook and Instagram providing real-time updates and a continuous feedback on the activities. “There is an information pack provided to schools with all the information on our sector, posters and hard resources that they can hand out to interested students – these have been modified for each region.”

She goes on to add that the SNIWC will also announce scholarships for study towards forestry qualifications at this year’s Training Awards in Palmerston North on May 10. The first event was the Rural Games in Palmerston North last month, where SNIWC joined with McCarthy Transport and Toi Ohomai, to show off a fully laden log truck where the 30,000+ crowd were invited to count the log rings, find blind spots around the truck and try out the harvesting simulator. A member of the Future Foresters helped out on the stand. SNIWC is also holding Big Day Outs for secondary school pupils in New Plymouth on June 14 and another in Manawatu on June 21, with Tararua and Masterton to follow later in the year. These will introduce students to the industry in their local area, giving them an idea of where the forests are and what is going on in the industry with different jobs and skills. They’ll include a silviculture workshop where students learn about pruning and planting and have a go with loppers in a young stand of trees, visit a logging crew, a sawmill or log yard and possibly a visit to a tree nursery, or scaling operation. Each region will have a different schedule, based around available resources. NZL

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New blood Breaking Out

Outsourcing recruitment – the Southland way T

HOSE CANNY FORESTERS DOWN IN the lower South Island have taken a lead from their Scottish roots by outsourcing the task of attracting new recruits to their industry. They’ve handed that role to Venture Southland, a joint initiative of the Invercargill City, Southland District and Gore District Councils, to develop ideas to boost employment in the region. Three years ago, Venture Southland set up Youth Futures to connect employers with secondary school students with the aim of encouraging them to look at careers with local industries. Allison Beckham, Youth Futures Coordinator, says: “Our main target is the primary sector in its wider sense, which includes forestry and wood processing, manufacturing and trade support. In Southland, everything revolves around the primary sector. “We have employee excellence partners and there are 31 of those at the moment

42 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

and Rayonier/Matariki Forests is one of them. Richardsons, which runs Niagara sawmill, is a founding partner. “This issue is not forestry’s alone, we have a lot of problems attracting new blood into all parts of the primary sector. Working in all weathers and uncomfortable conditions is part of the perceived problem. Attracting young people and training are the two key issues. “We try and provide realistic opportunities for young people to a) find out about these industries and the many jobs that do exist for them and b) connect them with employers who are user-friendly and understand that they are going to have to train, mentor and support these young people. Make sure they are well looked after and make sure they stay because churn is a waste of money and time and also leads to disillusioned young people who won’t go near it again. “I organise employer talks in schools and workplace visits. Last year we did 16

talks involving 1,400 young people, mainly Year 10 and 11, which is quite a good age to get them thinking about things. It involved speakers from over 40 companies. “Mark Grover, from Rayonier, is a very strong supporter and uses the talks as a personal development opportunity for his younger staff. They share the load to bring someone new and that is how I met Acacia Farmery, who is part of the Future Foresters group and has been helping me with our Forestry Day.” Another key part of the programme is to provide careers advisers, parents and adults with information, says Allison, as they generally don’t understand what the modern jobs are like. “They think of traditional jobs like doctors, nurses, lawyers, dentists and teachers – they kind of get those, they are easier to promote to people because they understand those jobs,” she says. “So we take teachers and young people to the jobs. We’ve done a couple of forestry tours


on a smaller scale because of health and safety issues of being on a busy skid site.” To overcome this problem, Allison organised a larger Forestry Day on March 21 at the Salvation Army complex at Winton, which was designed to accommodate a larger number of pupils and also cover a wider cross-section of job opportunities. The day drew 70 pupils from as far apart as Invercargill in the south and Milton in the north to see a range of activities and displays. These included a drone demonstration, talks on new technologies, viewing a logging truck and a processing machine on a transporter and experiencing a machine on a portable simulator brought along by Hurring Logging. “Acacia and I sat down and thought about all the different aspects of forestry and how we would promote it as a holistic industry, so we went from harvesting and management into downstream processing and also the sustainability side and why forestry matters,” says Allison. “It was a great success.” She’d like to do more of these events, but is the only employee working with the youth and her time is limited. Venture Southland has applied to MBIE for three extra staff under the Provincial Growth Fund to expand the programme and give Allison more assistance. NZL

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Opposite page: Aurora College students on a tour of a Southland forestry operation, organised by Rayonier. Below: Waiau Area School pupils visit the new remanufacturing plant at Niagara sawmill in Invercargill.

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New blood

Bussing forestry careers message to schools F

ORESTRY IS CATCHING A BUS TO schools around New Zealand to let them know of career options in the industry. The InZone bus is now proudly sporting forest livery to help in the challenge to attract school leavers into forestry. It will be touring New Zealand over the next few months visiting secondary schools and attending careers expos, promoting the range of forest careers to pupils who are deciding what they’ll do after their school days are over. InZone’s Peter and Donna Doake were sponsored by Mike Pero for many years to take their bus to schools throughout New Zealand to promote a range of careers. Now the Forest Growers Levy Trust has decided to take the opportunity further to raise our profile to potential employees and grab the forest industry branding rights for InZone. This means that for 20 weeks this year, InZone will be visiting schools encouraging young New Zealanders to put their future in the forest industry. The bus carries 26 video kiosks where the school pupils can view profiles of people already in a particular industry, with 11 of them forestry branded. During the past two years these videos have included profiles of people just starting out in the industry or young foresters in forest training. InZone will be coordinating with local wood councils and forest companies to get their messages into schools and other events, such as the National Fieldays at Mystery Creek in June and the careers expos in the main centres. A main selling point to get InZone access into secondary schools will be that forestry is a green industry, and in particular is the main engine for fighting climate change. Longer term, it is envisaged that the InZone bus can be adapted to use as a mobile meeting room suitable for forest industry meetings, especially for farm foresters. Says Peter Doake: “We are delighted with forest sponsorship and the opportunity to carry the forest message into schools. “It’s a fit with our views on the benefits of forestry to New Zealand and our long experience with what works to communicate to Generation Z.” NZL

Above & below: Forestry will be appealing to young people about careers in our industry through the InZone bus this year.

44 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

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Breaking Out

Where the wild things are

Veteran New Zealand logger, Brian Reader, decided to take a busman’s holiday and call in on an old mate in Alaska to sample harvest planning and logging in one of the more remote parts of North America, rather than traipse around Europe with his wife. Although some aspects of this type of remote harvesting were familiar, many others were totally alien and he’s written a brief recollection of his encounters.

I

ASKED FOR A DAY OFF WORK, OR MORE to the point a day to rest. Boy, did I need it. Backtracking in time revealed that I’d worked five days in New Zealand, flown for twenty-three hours non-stop, worked three

days in Alaska in the field and they were ten-hour days. I was mentally and physically tired and in need of a little time out. We had departed Auckland two hours behind schedule which messed with my connecting flight at Los Angeles. My wife

was flying on to Europe and I to Seattle and then on to Juneau in Alaska, so we parted at LA. Travel alterations saw me flying up the west coast of the USA where views of both Yosemite National Park, which we had visited in 1989, and Mt St Helens (which had erupted not too long before) were seen. The huge crater and forest destruction, mud and ash deposits, caused by the Mt St Helens eruption had to be seen to be believed. Efficient travel arrangements barely gave me time to catch a connection from Seattle to Juneau on Air Alaska. Unbeknown to me at the time, my luggage got left behind. Accommodation in Juneau was within walking distance and after confirming my flight with the sea plane company for early the next day I checked out some of the

Above: Operations base at Port Houghton, south-eastern Alaska – a three-storey barge with ‘taxi’ on top. Left: Float planes are used for most get-about needs, such as supplies, mail and town trips.

46 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

Hella Lo


local sights. There were huge black crows all about the town – scary, big, noisy birds. Juneau is a very pretty town/city/port and very popular with cruise vessels (love boats) of which six were berthed. Having no wish to miss my flight to camp (Port Houghton) I was up and about three hours prior to flight time and at the dock ready to go. There were float planes seemingly by the hundreds, moored like a Kiwi boat marina. Alaskans use planes as New Zealanders would use cars – it’s how they travel. We got away on time, myself the only passenger to accompany the tobacco chewing pilot. On board we had lots of stores and mail to be delivered to a logging camp (Hobart Bay), which we duly did. The flight was spectacular – every vista impressed me, from the miles of trees, to the blue of the sea, to the heights of the

mountains, to the glaciers, which appeared ageless. We flew over a mother whale and her young calf just cruising without a care in the world. Camp when we arrived was a three-storey moored barge complete with everything that 30-to-40 people need to function, within reason. From cookhouse to rooftop helicopter pad, from drying room to boiler

room, from fuel storage to food storage – self-sufficient, indeed. I was directed to my sleeping quarters shared with three other blokes, one of who was my good cobber Dallas Hemphill, whom had made this whole trip possible. We were buddies from New Zealand Forest Service days in both Golden Downs, where we had met as 19-and-20-year-olds, followed by

Right: Halibut (a big flounder) at an estimated 200lb – note the fuel drum in the background.

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Breaking Out

Above: Dallas Hemphill stands on the one of the felled Alaskan trees. Left: Redwood stands, visited during Brian’s first trip to the US.

Kaingaroa, then Fletcher Forests, Taupo. Dallas had left a message for me to call him on the radio on my arrival. This I did and after a short welcome he asked me to find and read a short book titled Bear Attacks, which was in the barge library. As I read through the pages I’m thinking “what have I gotten myself into here”. The theme seemed to be if you're attacked PLAY DEAD – yeah right, just lay there while some foul breathed mince-meat (you) eating animal terminates your existence. If the float plane had still been there I might have gotten back on it. Just kidding. This was my introduction to logging Alaskan-style. To understand the scenario, I will describe some of the realities. The area that my buddy Dallas and his colleagues are working is 60-to-70,000 acres in the south-eastern part of Alasa, over which a comprehensive harvest plan had to be written. This sounds straightforward enough as we in New Zealand know harvest plans – but this is not New Zealand. The area is similar to much of our own

48 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

Fiordland, having practically untouched rain forest on heavily glaciated terrain (and with lots of rain and bugs, too). While you may think that harvest planning is an art form in New Zealand, they seem to take it to extremes in North America. Protection of fresh and marine water quality is especially important because of the abundance of salmon and other aquatic life. The basis for the study being done during my trip was a logging and transportation plan developed for the entire area by Dallas’s firm, which was reconnoitered and laid out in the field to determine what the environmental impacts would be and how best to minimise these. Because there was no road access, it was also necessary to identify and evaluate a camp site and ‘dumps’ where logs would be watered and formed up into rafts for towing to mills. This plan, once field-verified and mapped, then formed the basis for the entire environmental study. It had to be fieldmarked in detail and accurately mapped to permit proper assessment of the impacts by scientists, who worked closely with the

logging engineers doing the layout. All parties worked collaboratively to develop a plan with minimal environmental impact. The field season was preceded and followed by map-making, analysis, and the writing of voluminous reports, over a twoyear period. The layout crew consisted of about 10 professional logging engineers, paired up with helpers who were typically forest engineering students or fresh graduates. They work with experts such as foresters, hydrologists, fisheries biologists, soil scientists, archaeologists, wildlife biologists, landscape architects and others, as an InterDisciplinary Team. And if you think that complicates matters for loggers, there are other issues to contemplate, such as: • Blocks containing no commercial volume – areas on which inadequate volumes existed are regularly encountered • Too steep to harvest • Too wet, ie lots of West Coast-type pakihi terrain. So, it seems that there is plenty to


Breaking Out

overcome to successfully harvest in Alaska. But there’s more. If there was an identifiable (or suspected) reason to question the logging plan and consequent harvest, there were officials (government staff ) on site going over plans daily and regularly asking questions. This made progress very, very slow and difficult at times, which must have frustrated the hell out of those trying to get the job done. Regularly we needed to return to a planned site to obtain further detail for those asking the questions. Predominant species in this region of Alaska are Cedar, Hemlock and Spruce. Cedar appears like New Zealand Totara on the trunk with Lawsoniana foliage. It has a very scented aroma when breaking the

50 NZ LOGGER | April March2019 2019

bark and had, at the time, values exceeding US$2,000 an average tree. I heard a planning forester comment that he had seen Cedar trees worth better than US$5,000, two of which would pay for the construction of one skid site. Cedar wood is white and hugely popular with Asian buyers. Spruce appears very similar to New Zealand Kahikatea trunk-wise, with 1.5-to2-metre diameters not uncommon and they are also very similar form-wise, tall, straight and cylindrical. Hemlock has coarse, rough, serrated bark and seemed to co-exist with Cedar and Spruce as a forest type. When a setting plan (known as units) was initially accepted for harvesting, some really detailed planning commenced. Give or take

a few staff, five very experienced men led the field operations with 15 near- or partgraduated harvesting engineers making up the field crew. Each morning at twenty-to-thirty-minute intervals, four men departed by helicopter from the barge top roof in a Jet Ranger 206 helicopter to spend ten hours in the field. The detail required for each unit included: • Unit boundary marked with tape • Graded access identified and taped • Four deflections established – maps were very poor so this needed to be done manually • Back spars and individual tie-back stumps identified, taped and described • Identify approximate volume by species.


Above: Training to use a handgun in case of wild bear attacks is essential for the Alaskan logger.

Above: Log loading American style – no skid as we know them, it’s all done roadside. Not too different to New Zealand timber cruising from our indigenous logging past, but that’s still a heap of detail. Unit locations could be considerable distances apart. For different reasons the road grades linking units became engineeringly testing, to say the least. Two hundred miles of log truck grade road was planned for the operation, all of which needed to be taped. The use of taping was for the possibility that the operation would not proceed and the tape would break down leaving no trace of any activity. Different

colours of tape were used as appropriate to indicate specific tasks. Road grade tape was different to unit boundary, which was different to other tasks. We used orange, blue, red, candy and combinations of colors. Roading ended at the sea edge, where logs would be stored prior to being formed into a sea raft to be towed behind a tug to the point of domestic use or loading onto an export vessel. I spent a day with a crew of people engaged in sea floor survey to establish the benchmark for the purpose of future monitoring. This would enable the quality of marine life to be maintained and it also enabled us to eat huge paddle crabs as a part of our evening meals – magnificent. These people used underwater recording devices, I kid you not. No tasks for me that day, being boatbound. I did however observe Brer Bear foraging along the beach half a mile away for an hour and was startled somewhat when Brer Whale surfaced 200-to-300 yards off to port coming up for air. Does a bear shit in the woods? Most surely he does and the thoughts when seeing bear crap and figuring “where are you and have you had breakfast” is not a hunting experience I’ve had in New Zealand. The terrain in which we worked climbed high in altitude and the trees became more stunted, giving way to meadows, rock, snow and ice. There was a resident population of mountain goats living above the bush line and an aerial survey needed to be undertaken. I did a little homework

(groveling) and scored a back seat in the helicopter. What an indescribable experience that morning was, swooping through the sky like a huge bird of prey – up, down, here, there, next gully, next range, goats-a-plenty. Back to barge life. In the environment that we lived and worked, there were two strict rules; no alcohol, no women. So that meant a COMPULSORY trip off the barge to town by float plane to get a drink (no women for me, being married). We were gone in the morning, absent one night, back the following day. From memory this was every six-to-eight days and allowed one to freshen up, drink some, go to a movie, whatever spins your wheels. On my leave to town I rested, ate easy-over eggs and bacon sitting on a bar stool and then toured the town on foot. In mentioning no women, one of our cooks was of the fair sex. On returning from the field one day laying on the dinghy deck was a flounder. This was no ordinary fish but Brer Halibut – our lady cook and her son had caught it and it took them three hours to land. Prior to landing it on the boat they’d shot it. This appears to be normal practice and seeing the size of it I can understand why. The Halibut was estimated to weigh around 200 pounds (90kg) and that wasn’t considered big! Shooting these huge fish means you don’t have to worry about these beasties flapping about the floor of a runabout boat. Back to bears for a moment. Peckerhead, as the helicopter pilot was known, picked up myself and my pommy mate after work

April 2019 | NZ LOGGER 51


Breaking Out

Above: Amazing 1.5-metre DBH Spruce and Hemlock in a mixed species stand. one day and as we became airborne he commented “how long has that bear been there”. We were totally unaware that it was there, about 100 yards behind us. I carried the semi-automatic short barreled shotgun the next day and so became the gun BEARer. Peckerhead was a US Army trained pilot and had seen service in Vietnam. Dallas needed to return to mainland USA and was keen to take a salmon home with him for his wife, Nori. Early afternoon the day before his departure saw us trolling for a fish but we constantly hooked up seaweed, of which there was an abundance. We just couldn’t avoid fouling our lures. Our endeavours were interrupted momentarily by a seemingly massive whale surfacing for air within 100 yards of us – any whale seemed huge to me. We eventually did catch a fish for Dallas to take home. I asked Dallas if I could borrow his selfprotection device, a handgun, the calibre of which I’ve forgotten, while he was absent from camp in case I came across any bears (I didn’t, thankfully). He willingly agreed and by the time he returned and the gun was handed back, the ammunition count had diminished – for good reason. After work one evening, I was lure fishing off the stern

of the barge catching a dozen Dolly Varden which are a sea trout – fiesty wee fish of 2-to-3lb and fine sport – and needed to fire off a few warning shots. I spent three glorious weeks in that environment and the differences between logging in New Zealand and up on the Pacific North West are many. Over there, it still feels like pioneer logging in many respects, because these are all natural forests, not plantations and it’s like being one of the first to set foot there. Trees are typically one metre in diameter and much, much larger than anything we log here in New Zealand and you can get threeto-five long logs per stem. Where possible, trees are cut (bucked) to length on slopes that defy a Kiwi logger’s comprehension – a very skilled undertaking. They don’t have skids as we understand them and most extraction is via cable, even on relatively flat land, with extracted logs accumulated at road edge for loading. Trucks are loaded by track-based boom loaders with a very long reach, so they can recover any logs escaping over the road edge. I recall that the attention to full diameter square cut log ends was shabby by NZ

standards, but OK by theirs. Often barely half diameter square cut. I believe this is because the wood is so much more valuable so as little waste as possible is made. After my three-week stay I departed by floatplane back to Juneau, on to Seattle, then over the Arctic Circle and Greenland to Heathrow to rejoin my wife and spend four weeks touring the UK. My Alaskan experience is one that remains a wonderful memory and I’m forever grateful to Dallas for making it happen. There were times that I struggled. There seemed to be all manner of pesky insects constantly sucking your blood – mosquitoes, sandflies, no-seeums. You were always aware that there was something out in the forests that could make a meal of you in a much bigger way. And the high humidity and short night darkness hours meant that I never slept too well. However, the sheer beauty (I took a couple of hundred photographs) of the state, the animal presence, and the work experience made for a very special memory for me. Dallas’s operation had a further three months to be completed and the volumes were then to be tendered/auctioned for the real loggers to come in. That would have been a mammoth task. NZL

T O

52 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

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top spot Safety/performance/quality

It’s all about performance IN THIS ISSUE WE’RE CONCENTRATING ON photos, rather than words, as we continue to highlight as many of our 2018 top achievers as we can before we bring you the first results of 2019. If you have recognised people in some of these and thought you could do just as well, our challenge to you is to come on board and show us what you have got. Sponsors – They don’t have to do this but they choose to! Awesome companies, awesome people and awesome support! They back you and your workmates to succeed as professionals, so why wouldn’t you support them. They believe in what we do and what you do. So a big ongoing thank you to our Strategic Partners – STIHL and NZ Logger and sponsor SWAZI. The best way to keep our industry working is to get out and support those businesses that support New Zealand. Participating Companies This competition wouldn’t be what it is without our participating companies. We understand the commitment it takes from them to be part of Top Spot and value their ongoing support and feedback.

Our ongoing thanks to Rayonier/Matariki Forests, Wenita Forest Products, Port Blakely, Crown Forestry, Brand Logging, CMH Logging, Hauraki and Moehau Logging, Thomassen Logging, Te Waa Logging, Lakeland Cable Logging, Logged on Logging, Pakiri Logging, Inta-Wood Forestry, Otautau Contractors, Heslip Forest Contracting, Waikato Forestry Services, Hodgson Silviculture, Makerikeri Silviculture, NJ Simns Forestry Services, SAS Forestry, XMen Forestry, Central Forestry Services, Mangoihe Logging, Kohurau Contracting, Tohaia Forestry Harvesting, Kuru Contracting, Dennis E Hayes Logging, Swain Logging, Lumberjack Logging, Ernslaw One, Blue Wood Logging, Mike Hurring Logging, McCallum Logging, Whisker Logging, Kaha Logging, Lahar Logging, Dempsey Logging, Moutere Logging, JBD Harvesting, McDougall Logging, Forest View Logging, Kimberley Logging, Dewes Logging, X Men Harvesting, Pakiri Logging, Storm Logging, Lumberjack Logging, Eastside Logging, Veal Forestry,

Brand Logging 101’s Allan Dalziel (left), who was first in Forwarder for 2018, Adrian Van’t Wout (centre), who was second in Machine Operation on the Landing for 2018 and Sam Able (right), who was third in Forwarder for 2018.

54 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

McHoull Forestry, Pride Forestry, Halley Forestry, Penetito Forestry, FM Silviculture, Forest View Forestry, Wayne Cummings, Rodco Forestry, Johnson Forestry, Pro Forest Services, Eastside Logging and Norwest Logging. Into safety? Into performance? Into quality? Contact Shane Perrett on 0274 781 908, 07 3483037 or at primefm@xtra.co.nz, NZL

Anthony Dempsey, of Dempsey Logging 8, was first in Two Functions for 2018.

Charles Wipaki, of Moutere Logging 7, was second-equal in QC / Skid Work for the full year.


top spot Safety/performance/quality

Chris Winter, of Kaha Logging 15, was second in Felling for 2018.

Claudio De Paris, of Dempsey Logging 8, was third in Ground Base Extraction in 2018.

Corey Carmichael, of Kaha Logging 15, was first in Shovelling for 2018.

Jake Veal (right), of Veal Forestry, receives a certificate for the Most Improved Silviculture Crew of 2018 from Glenn Bradley, Ernslaw One Forest Supervisor.

Luke Eder, of Brand Logging 103, was second in Mechanised Felling for 2018.

Mohi Paul, of Lahar Logging 4, was third in Poleman for 2018.

Steven Hawira (right), of Lahar Logging 4, receives his certificate and Stihl chainsaw prize for finishing first in Felling for 2018 from Noel Meads, Ernslaw One Operations Manager.

Lahar Logging 15’s Wiremu Stevenson (left), who was third in Machine Operation on the Landing for 2018, Corey Carmichael (centre), who was first in Shovelling for 2018 and Chris Steel (right), of JD Harvesting, who was second in Ground Base Extraction for 2018.

Tyler Barham, of Lahar Logging 4, was second in Breaking Out Cable for 2018.

April 2019 | NZ LOGGER 55


www.fica.org.nz

Prue Younger, CEO Message Forestry work is often carried out on remote work sites with limited access to basic services such as electricity, water and toilets. It is obviously important to take responsibility to provide where practical on all sites where forestry work is carried out, a toilet and to discuss this with your workers. Now that there is written guidance from Worksafe and I am sure that a majority of us do not have a problem with that but I also know from what I have heard it is costly and often with some areas on the sites, there is little chance that the toilet will be used, they become smelly and are often in disrepair. Where the conversation gets interesting is the fact that in the same legislation, the employer has to provide an adequate supply of suitable toilet paper. Now what do they really mean there? It is the triple thick or the single wax coat that you get in city public loos. I go on to read that due to the mobile nature of forestry operations, the type of sanitary conveniences, when provided, will vary from operation to operation. When sanitary conveniences are provided, cleaning to a high standard is required. With an all women silvi crew being engaged recently which is great, I took this and everything that is required and decided to venture out to see what our contractors are actually doing, what they see as appropriate and what toilet paper they do use!!! Interesting the replies to what has been a light hearted opinion piece this month.

Regional Voice Tony Shanahan – Big Bark Loading, Gisborne

As a contractor I have been responsible and put a portaloo in

& QC so things are about to change. I guess what has been done in the past – “bury it” – can no longer be the norm. These sanitary units come with their issues though and the biggest issue we see is the instability on windy sites with the next issue being hygiene and making sure they are serviced. If they are left without using the proper chemicals they are disastrous. Most crews have portaloos now but there is a cost to incur and it’s a question of where that responsibility lies, with the contractor or the principle. Portaloos were not made for many of the locations they are dragged to so it's opportunity to

Chris Wise – Havendale Logging, Masterton to sort out a chemical toilet for our crews, but it’s not just the crews it’s the truck drivers, it’s the inspectors, the auditors, trainers. I think it is easier to entice woman into the forest if they see that you are upholding your obligations to make sure the social responsibilities are sorted. Key to a good ablution is that is has to be private, secure and most importantly not be smelly. Actually I did a bit of investigation around it and it’s not something that is practical. There are chemicals involved and now the option furnacing the goods is available but that’s an principles get on board, there are better outcomes, like with multiple crews actually putting a septic tank in with a 10ft container, that’s fully functional and all kitted out, the results are outstanding. It’s important for everyone involved to site and ticking the box is easy, but that is not reality or ideal.

Kerry Gavin – Gavin's Logging, Hamner Springs

For us at Gavin' Logging we have the supply of the toilet as part of our contract with the forest owners and it’s the second year that it’s been like that so we are pretty fortunate really. The provision also covers the hire cost, cleaning and the moving around from location to location. There was an initial apprehension at the start about how this would all work but

everyone is coming around to seeing it being of use. Especially when it is being serviced and cleaned, that makes it a bit more inviting. We are a fully mechanised ground based crew but for the guys working in extraction its probably not practical however we do have to think about the truck drivers and visitors on site. We don’t have any woman in the crews and I guess like they used to, guys have just roughed it but it is part actually not allowed to be moved by us as it's not on wheels so we have to rely on the hire company and they can be a day or two behind us relocating. One thing we have to let the hire container due to the smells that permeate out. The issue of it being hard to keep upright on a windy site, means we need to the ideal location all the time. I guess if we were paying for it, I might have more to say but its been a bonus to have forest owners take that on.

Joe Taute – CNI Silviculture, Rotorua

It has been an interesting change to our thinking with our new crew of ladies on board just recently as previously the call of nature was to just head to the bush. Towing around a one of those – as long as they are tended, they stay in a useable state which falls on our crews as the hire company logistically can’t do that every day. We have learnt quite a bit about the excessive movement, there is the issue of the liquid moving excessively and then that follows with the smell. When you are on the move every 2-3 days with the silvi crew, the units don’t handle the bush roads too well either. It will be interesting to work out how we are going to manage as we hit planting as it will be impossible to put a trailer behind a trailer. The wind is another factor that we are constantly up against, the units are not stable at all so this adds to the list of logistical challenges. a cost of business that will have to get passed on or is it the Worksafe however were suitably impressed that we were ahead of the game and had our sanitary responsibilities sorted for our new crew.


new iron

JOHN DEERE FOR KIMBERLEY On the East Coast, Kimberly Contractors and the team at Log 22 recently took delivery of a strong and powerful John Deere 2656G shovel logger. Purpose-built from the John Deere swing machine factory in Canada the machine comes ready for work in New Zealand conditions. Well spec’d with a live heel and Ensign grapple, the machine is impressing the Kimberley team. Sold and supported by the team at CablePrice Gisborne.

SUMITOMO & DUXSON FOR HURUNUI Tom Murray, of Canterbury-based Hurunui Logging, has taken delivery of this new Sumitomo SH240TLFS fitted with a Duxson grapple. The new machine was delivered to one of his crews working near Mount Barker. Callum, the operator (pictured), is very impressed with the overall performance of the new Sumi especially the slew, lift and track power. The machine was sold By Steve Varcoe, of AB Equipment.

CAT FOR A&R A&R Logging recently acquired this Cat 538LL featuring a 1730 Ensign grapple. This purpose-built forest machine is impressing with its speed and power, reach and fuel economy. Sold by Heath Stewart of Gough Cat.

HITACHI FOR JKL Jody Knowles, of JKL, is the proud owner of a new Hitachi ZX 360LCH5B, which has been well spec’d for cut-over work with an extensive Pro-steel guarding package, high and wide undercarriage, single bar grousers and a custom live heel quick hitch system to change between the heel and digging bucket. The boys at JKL are really impressed with the track power and overall performance of the new machine. Pictured, from the left, are Badie, Deano, Jason, Josh, Jody and Brian. Proudly supplied and supported by CablePrice, Hastings.

58 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

THIRD DOOSAN FOR WAITUHI Doosan number three has gone to work for Waituhi Land Preparation, based in Taumarunui. This DX 225LL road builder spec’d machine joins two other units in the company’s land-prep operations in the central North Island. It comes direct from the factory with a purpose-built high and wide, 30-tonne undercarriage, double grouser shoes, factory under-guarding and a long range fuel tank, making it perfect for this application. The machine was supplied by Priceright Parts and Machinery, Rotorua.


new iron

KOMATSU FOR FML MT HESLINGTON MADILL Aaron Clark, of Mt Heslington Contractors, has stepped into a Madill 2250C tilting feller buncher that runs beside his Hyundai R380LC-9 and R290LC-9 H/C. Aaron has been a great customer, says Porter Equipment Manawatu/Wellington Territory Manager, Josh Hunter, who made the sale.

Kevin Williams and Mike Fraser of FML 820, based in Nelson, have recently taken delivery of a new Komatsu PC 270LC-8, which arrived with an Active guarding package and Ensign 1730IH grapple. Kevin is very impressed with the new PC 270LC-8, saying it has “heaps of power in the tracks, lift and slew”. Pictured, from left, are Jason Holleyman, Doug Cooper, Stu Jary, Craig Mant, Kevin Williams, John Kosar (Komatsu Forest NZ), Graham Brewer and Sam Cullen. Photo: Jason.

TWO CATS FOR STUBBS Stubbs Contracting has taken delivery of these two Cat Forest Machines. The Cat 538LL FM is equipped with a 1730 Ensign grapple, while the Cat 552 II Harvester has a Woodsman 1350 felling head for working around the East Coast/Gisborne region. The sale was made by Heath Stewart of Gough Cat.

FIRST DOOSAN FOR CTC CTC Logging has taken delivery of its first Doosan forestry log loader, a factory-built DX 300LL that has gone to work in the Napier crew. The new machine is fitted with PRP guarding and an Ensign 1530 grapple. Pictured, from left, are Charlie and Toby Puklowski. The machine was supplied by Priceright Parts and Machinery, Rotorua.

FAST ELTEC Fast Logging has taken delivery of its second Eltec from Shaw’s Wire Ropes, this time an FH417L, which is performing felling and processing duties in the Tokoroa region. Smiley, owner of Fast Logging, is pictured here on delivery day ready to jump in the cab to check out the machine’s full potential.

April 2019 | NZ LOGGER 59


new iron

WOODSMAN PRO & TIGERCAT FOR THOMASSEN Thomassen Logging has taken delivery of another Woodsman Pro head. This is Ron’s first Woodsman Pro 850, which is working in his stem crew, fitted to a Tigercat 880D and is running the Loggic control system. The sale was made by Steve Mellar, of AB Equipment Taupo.

JOHN DEERE FOR ANDERSON Karl, from Anderson Forestry Contracting in the deep south, has taken delivery of his first new John Deere 959MH, fitted with a SATCO 3L2T processing head. The John Deere 959MH is known for its stability, power and comfort, and Karl is getting excellent production due to these features.

NZ LOGGER classified

Forestry Insurance Solutions LG23616

0800 55 54 53 info@stal.co.nz

www.sweeneytownsend.co.nz

Forestry Insurance Solutions

60 NZ LOGGER | April 2019


NZ LOGGER classified

CONTRACTORS PLANT NZ LTD 59 Broadlands Rd - Taupo

EQUIPMENT SALES

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HIRE

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INCLUDES NEW TRACKGEAR

* Price includes new SALT trackchains and sprocket segments delivered with machine on pallet.

Cat 527 Track Skidder: NZ new, genuine Cat 324DFM Log Loader: 4,000 hours, full forestry guarding, Cat FM spec, purpose built cab, high-wide, winch and fairlead. Later ball trunnion PAT complete new undercarriage system. John Deere 548GIII Grapple Skidder: 5,700 hrs. NZ new, blade. genuine low hour machine presented in excellent condition. $315,000 plus GST $P.O.A Popular size for woodlot harvesting. GST ROTORUA PALMERSTON NORTH$155,000 plus CONTACT: PHIL TODD

E: philt@heavymachineryservices.co.nz

M: 027 595 0019

P: (07) 345 4343

LG29358

Cat 320CFM Log Loader: FM machine with purpose built Cat 330DL Harvestline: 3 drum machine complete with Cat 324DL Log Loader: cab, high wide, Ensign grapple. drop-line carriage, grapple, radios, blocks. Approx: only Always popular and this unit is tidy. Very good $55,000 plus GST undercarriage, Ensign grapple. $P.O.A $125,000 plus GST 3,000 hrs on H/Line conversion. Ready for work.

Komatsu PC220LC-8 Log Loader: 11,000 hrs, full guarding Daewoo 290LL Log Loader: Kawasaki 65ZIV: package, Ensign grapple, good undercarriage. Logger boom, heel, grapple, high-wide. Tidy machine, square back Ensign log forks. $135,000 plus GST $65,000 plus GST $45,000 plus GST

Trades Considered – Finance Available (normal lending criteria applies)

Contact: Peter Wilson Mobile: 0274 948 742 or 07 378 6844 Email: cplnz@xtra.co.nz Contact: Phil Todd Mobile: 0275 950 019 or 07 345 4343 Email: philt@heavymachineryservices.co.nz April 2019 | NZ LOGGER 61


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LG26876

NZ LOGGER classified

Tyres that mean business.

STAYS ON THE JOB.

Nokian understands the cost of downtime for a busy contractor. That’s why the entire Nokian foresty tyre range is built to stand up to the harshest of conditions and heaviest of applications. To get the best from your gear, choose Nokian.

Call us on 0800 NOKIAN (0800 665 426) or email info@nokian.nz to find a dealer.

April 2019 | NZ LOGGER 65


t

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66 NZ LOGGER | April 2019

Bush Cube 5000lt Geniune Honda motor, lifting frame, Puisi mechanical meter. Business changed so no longer require. View at Everything Mechanical Broadlands road Taupo. $7000.00 or reasonable offer. Ph 0278079514.

LG29347

• Easy to fit - easy to clean

L G 2 8 7 1 4

UPER OUGH

NZ LOGGER classified


NZ LOGGER classified

www.chains.co.nz ENGINEERED WITH EXPERIENCE... 30.5x32 $10150.00 + GST per pair 35.5x32 $13495.00 + GST per pair Both with 2 tightening tools per pair

Tree Hugga

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April 2019 | NZ LOGGER 67


s e c i v r e S y r t s e r Waratah Fo

Floor Stock on Hand Just arrived in, low hour 624C harvester, H16 computer, Alpine rollers, auto tension mainsaw, 3/4topsaw, colour marking system. Balance of new warranty applies

$220,000

Waratah 624C Harvester

NEW STOCK NEW

NEW

FL95 Series II Brand new floor stock, Fixed saw box felling head with 1000mm log cut. Ready to replace any existing felling head plug and play. Auto tension main saw $85,000 Intimidate any steep slope with this specialist – the new Waratah FL95.Boasting Boastinganan extreme Intimidate any steep slope with this specialist – the new Waratah FL95. extreme downslope tilttilt angle, auto tension saw, extra-large cutting and grapple capacities, and weight in in thethe downslope angle, auto tension saw, extra-large cutting and grapple capacities, and weight right place for maximum carrier stability, it will help you get more work done faster. Plus, its optional right placesaw for box maximum carrier you stability, help you or getout more work done faster. retractable is just where need it it will when felling, of the way when shovel logging. With the FL95, you’ll see challenging work dominated from a new angle. With the FL95, you’ll see challenging work dominated from a new angle.

NEW

FL85 Series II Brand new Floor stock, small felling head ideal for small 20 ton carrier, auto tension saw $69,000

www.Waratah.com

New Waratah SG360RS Grapple with Supersaw 650S Extra heavily reinforced model for the toughest jobs in the forest and excavator applications, Strong cushioned cylinder reduces shock loads, ¾ Saw unit SC300 Integrated mounting of saw motor, No hoses in the saw box, Simple installation Introductory Pricing $38,500

www.Waratah.com

NEW

For information contact: For more more information contact:

Waratah at 03 9747or4200 0800 4WARATAH 0800 492 728

NEW

USED

Waratah 852 Log Grapple

Waratah 864 Log Grapple

Rebuilt 626 Bigwood

Heavy duty fleet and stack grapple. High pressure cylinders allow mains pressure to be used in grapple circuit. Price $27,750

Heavy duty fleet and stack grapple. High pressure cylinders allow mains pressure to be used in grapple circuit. Price $29,550

Rebuilt 626 Bigwood - New motors, line bore, new pins, hydraulic valve bank reseal, repaint. New TimberRite automation system. Price $185,000

USED

USED

Waratah 618C Used unit with TR100 Controller Coming soon POA

USED

Waratah 622B TimberRite Head only. Softwood spec. Ready to go As is price $42,500.00

FL85 Series II Used unit As is price $40,000

Jason Huitema - Customer Support +64274864227 www.waratah.com

LG29359

*prices exclude GST and are valid for a limited period.


YC230-8LCF YC310-8LCF

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POWER BY CUMMINS • HYDRAULICS BY KYB & KPM • HIGH + WIDE OPTIONS • STRONG • SMOOTH • BASE WEIGHT 22360KG •

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50S

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COMMON COMPONENTS • VALUE • RELIABILITY • POWER

• BULLDOZERS • LOADERS • WIDE FORESTRY RANGE • STRONG & RELIABLE • OUTSTANDING VALUE

s, te

0800 344 425

riod.

LG29359

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John Giltrap 0274 329 921 john@diggalink.co.nz

CHRISTCHURCH / TAUPO

www.diggalink.co.nz


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CATERPILLAR 336DL

CATERPILLAR 336DL

2013. Very tidy CAT 336 fitted with Waratah 625. Undercarriage rated at 70% left. Most of its life has been on a skid. Approx. 8,000 hrs. 00 Rotorua #E0119001

2013. Tidy low hour unit with Waratah 625C. 8,060 hrs.

$337,000.00

Whangarei #E1018107

$334,000.00

$495,000.

NOW

JOHN DEERE 848H 2012. Popular John Deere Grapple Skidder on 35.5 tyres, includes 6,000 series winch. 9,800 hrs.

$210,000.00

Taupo #E0518052

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VOLVO EC360CL

WAS

WAS

Log Processor with Waratah HTH626 Big 00 Wood head. Devine engineering ROPS, FOPS, OPS and forestry guarding. Approx. JOHN DEERE KOMATSU GD655-3 NOWWAS WAS 11,000 hrs.770GP Tidy grader ready for work. 4,055 2008. 14ft moldboard, rippers, space

$250,000.

hrs.

$310,000.

00

NOW

Hastings #E1217095 $307,500. Whangarei #E1018108

00

$182,000.

$225,000.00

wheel & carrier. Groeneveld greasing system, Trimble machine control & new cutting edge. 6,476 hrs. Invercargill #E1018105

NOW

$180,000.00

$310,000. NOW

Gisborne #E0918101 Whangarei #E1018108

$250,000.00 $307,500.

2008. Tidy low hour skidder with winch. Near new front tyres and good rear tyres. 6,160 hrs. Whangarei #E1018102

$170,000.

00

NOW

$165,000.00

$250,000. $337,000.

00 00

NOW

$334,000. $225,000.00

WAS

2007. Direct drive skidder in good mechanical condition. 6000 series winch. 7,849 hrs.

$180,000.00 NOW

$175,000.00

Whangarei #E0818088

2014. 14ft Excellent example of a late 2008. moldboard, rippers, space model & 630D Tigercat Skidder.greasing Winch wheel carrier. Groeneveld & grapple. 4,500machine hrs. system, Trimble control & new cutting edge. 6,476 hrs. Invercargill #E1018105 Hamilton #E0917063

Branch Network Whangarei 43 South End Avenue, Port Whangarei (09) 470 0433

Auckland 1102 Great South Road, Panmure (09) 270 1360

North Shore 39 Anvil Road, Silverdale (09) 426 1280

Hamilton 29 Norman Haywood Pl (07) 850 8429

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Hastings #E1217095 Whangarei #E1018107

TIGERCAT 630D KOMATSU GD655-3

WAS

NOW

$76,500.00

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Log Processor 2013. Tidy lowwith hourWaratah unit withHTH626 Big Wood625C. head.8,060 Devinehrs. engineering Waratah ROPS, FOPS, OPS and forestry guarding. Approx. 11,000 hrs.

JOHN DEERE 748H

WAS

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VOLVO EC360CL CATERPILLAR 336DL

Nelson #E0718076

$79,500.00

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TIGERCAT 630C

WAS

2008.grader Well set up,for very tidy 4,055 Log Processor, Satco 424 processing Tidy ready work. 00 head with measuring system. Approx.14,500 hrs. hrs.

WAS

2010. Trinder Log Forks, Groeneveld auto lube, rear radiator guard, full mud guards, one owner driver from new. 16,342 hrs.

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SUMITOMO JOHN DEERESH350LHD-3B 770GP

JOHN DEERE 624K

00

JOHN DEERE 1910E

WAS

$385,000. $182,000.

00

NOW

$300,000.00 $180,000.

WAS

2016. Tidy low hour 1910E Forwarder, Powertrain warranty to Jan 2019. 4,100 hrs. Hastings #E1118115

$450,000.00 NOW

$430,000.00

Rotorua 117-131 Tallyho Street (07) 349 0610

Palmerston North 20-28 El Prado Drive (06) 356 1880

Greymouth 65 Preston Road, Blaketown (03) 769 9005

Gisborne 15 Solander Street, Awapuni (06) 867 0928

Wellington 41-51 Bell Road South, Gracefield (04) 568 4289

Christchurch 29 Waterloo Road, Hornby (03) 349 0610

Hastings 1400 Omahu Road (06) 879 8170

Nelson 5 Kotua Place, Richmond (03) 541 0200

Invercargill 203 Clyde Street (03) 211 0256


NZ LOGGER classified

Cable harvest contractor required • 4 year contract • Guaranteed annual volume • 15 mins from Whanganui (all in one location) • Relocation costs & crews looking to take the next step considered

EXPOSE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE

Get the right exposure through NZ Logger magazine and capture the Forest industry buyers directly.

LG29341

027 526 0606

LG18594

Contact Cam Eyre - NZforestry

CONTACT TRISH TO ADVERTISE

mobile. 021 925 600 phone. 09 571 3544

NOW AVAILABLE FOR HIRE

visit us on

LG26859

www.facebook.com/RWFSfieldservice

Ph: 07 348 0501 Email: Info@rwfs.co.nz Mob: 027 817 9448 Workshop 41 Riri Street, Rotorua April 2019 | NZ LOGGER 71


2x Fully Reconditioned Komatsu D155-5

• WITH TILT BLADE AND WINCH

Written tenders only to atanner@tannergroup.co.nz to close on 30th April 2019. More photos and details by email or phone Alan on 027 475 7775. LG25750

LG29350

• WITH TILT BLADE AND RIPPERS


FOR SALE: Clark F665, 666, F667, Cat 525B Grapple Skidder, JD648G, TJACK 460, 560. DOZERS: Caterpillar, D4H, D6C, D6H, Komatsu D65 + D85, tie back dozers, D85/21. Excavators: Caterpillar 320, 322, 325, 330, B,C & D. Hyundai 250/9 Volvo 240C log rigged. Teebar manufactured and sold. Wheeled loader WA470/3.

Lakeland Heavy Machinery Ltd

Branches now in the NZ LARGEST RANGE OF SKIDDER FOR SALE: Clark 664, 666C, 666B, F67 Grapple Skidders No rth & South Island CHAINS, HEAVIER HEA AND BETTER Komatsu D65/6 and D85/21 log rigged, CAT 936, 950B and Komatsu WA470/ wheeled loaders, buckets or forks.

Forestry Tyre Chains NZ LARGEST RANGE OF SKIDDER

Branches noNZ w in LARGEST the North & South IslSTOCKS and

Super Heavy DutyHEAVIER AND BETTER CHAINS, 35.5x32 - Weight 10000kg 30.5x32 - Weight 950kg 29.5x32 28L Super Heavy Duty 23.5x26 30.5x32 - Weight 950kg

Forestry Tyre Chains

OF DOZER

NZ LARGEST + DIGGER STOCKS CHAINS, OFROLLERS DOZER + DIGGER IDLERS, CHAINS, SPROCKETS ROLLER available Roller rebuilding/reshells Track press service IDLERS, Mini Excavator tracks SPROCKETS

35.5x32

Heavy 29.5x32 Duty

30.5x32 -23.5x26 Weight 650kg Heavy Duty Machines

30.5x32 - Weight 650kg

Zaxis 270Standard with teebar. Teebars in stock. D7H with30.5x32 winch - Weight 365kg Machines

Roller rebuilding/reshells available Track press service available Mini excavator tracks also available

PC350/6 with teebar or grapple DYH with winch

Cat and Komatsu Pumps Komatsu Pumps

WE QUOTE HEAVY TRACK CHAINS WE DUTY QUOTE HEAVY DUTY TRACK CHAINS BONING OUT DISMANTLING 525 CAT 518,CAT 525A B & C, Clark, WRECKING, SKIDDERS, John Deere TJack. BULLDOZERS, LOADERS, Excavators all makes, CAT EXCAVATORS All Models, 3x 33OD Cat, FOR SALE: Dozer parts

NYLON / FIBRE DRIVE GEARS NYLON / FIBRE DRIVE GEARS

CAT D5B, D6D, D7H D65 & D85 KOMATSU POA TRY US WE ARE FOR WORTH IT! SALE: More Machines On Our Website NEWParts PARTS, CAT, KOMATSU, New Clark off the shelf MACHINES $2476-$6884 + gst. Grouser Bar From $36 per 3 EXCAVATORS metres HITACHI & SUMI ADJUSTERS DOZERS + DIGGERS Scrap Handling units also 32.5x32 FIRESTONE available Used Tyres RECOIL SPRINGS AVAILABLE 126-136 View Road, PO Box 1976, Rotorua Email: info@heavy-machinery.co.nz • Phone: 07 347 0765 • Fax: 07 349 2325 • Mob 0274 945 886 ROTATING GRAPPLES TO FIT 1 TO 40 TONNES ROTATING GRAPPLES MACHINES $2476 to 30K + gst. TO FIT 1 TONNE TO 15 TONNE Shears, dredge buckets

126-136 View Road, PO Box 1976, Rotorua Email: info@heavy-machinery.co.nz

• Phone: 07 347 0765 • Fax: 07 349 2325 • Mob 0274 945 886 Check our website for more info www.heavy-machinery.co.nz

Check our website for more info www.heavy-machinery.co.nz

EXCAVATOR WORLD

Hokitika South Island BULLDOZERS EXCAVATORS SKIDDERS

ALL NEW STOCK

ORS EXCAVAT FOR SALE

er in 0/3 30 tonn Hitachi EX30 et or grapple. ck bu r de or nice + GST $39,000

LG25750

• • • •

Buckets Cabins Final Drive Parts Grapples

• • • •

Pump Parts Ram Seal Kits ROPS Slew Drives

ALL MAKES, NEW WINDOWS, NEW DOORS + PANELS, NEW RADIATORS AND COOLERS, ENGINE KITS + GASKETS, COMPUTERS, FINAL DRIVES AND PUMPS


Logger ad March 2019.pdf 1 21-Mar-19 3:20:25 PM

GO

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S-6x31 YOU NEVER

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BACK.

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Swaged 6x31 rope is the new standard in the forestry industry. Our high performance rope provides improved

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NZ Logger April 2019  

NZ Logger April 2019  

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