Email American Loggers Council
 

ALC Executive Vice President
Daniel J. Dructor
Email Daniel

 

P.O. Box 966
Hemphill, TX 75948
T: 409.625.0206
F: 409.625.0207



May, 2016 As We See It: The Pendulum

By the time this editorial is published, members of the American Loggers Council (ALC) will have completed their annual trek to Washington, DC to visit with the lawmakers of this country who create and pass legislation that governs our industry, and the agencies that are charged with implementation of that legislation.

Approximately 65 representatives from the ALC will have carried the four main issues that are currently on the table to our elected officials, including 1) Future Careers in Logging, 2) Federal Interstate Truck Weight Reform, 3) Wildfire Funding reform, and 4) changes to the federal timber sale program which would help create efficiencies within the USFS and increase the timber sale volume currently being generated by the USFS.

Many of you who read this column probably realize that these are the same issues that we have carried to the Hill year after year, and yet they are still not resolved.  There has been incremental progress over the years, and that is what keep us going back.  A great word of advice came to me recently when communicating with Mike Beardsley who used to be the Executive Director for the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, and now works in business development with the Varney Insurance Agency and American Loggers Insurance.  Mike wrote:

“Be a good thing to point out to everyone at the meeting that that is how the environmental lobby operates.  They’re relentless and are ok with incremental change so long as momentum is heading their way.  That’s what leads to the really big changes eventually.  That’s also why they kick and scream and try to crush every small attempt to turn halt or shift the direction things are going.  Even if it appears you are not making headway, a halt to the slide is a momentum shift: Every pendulum “stops” before it changes direction.”

Mike nailed it on the head.  While the pendulum might still be swinging a little in one direction, we have effectively slowed it’s progress and are looking forward to the day when we see it moving in the other direction.  Only through our persistence and the education of our policymakers can we make this happen.

Please stay active in your State, Regional and National Logging Associations.  With our combined efforts, the pendulum will change its course.

Richard Schwab is the Procurement Manager for M.A. Rigoni, Inc., a full service timber harvesting and forest management company located in Perry, Florida.

 

The American Loggers Council is a non-profit 501(c) (6) corporation representing professional timber harvesters in 30 states across the US. For more information, visit their web site at www.amloggers.com or contact their office at 409-625-0206.

Morbark sold to New York-based investment firm

Isabella County’s sixth-largest employer, started almost 60 years ago by legendary local tinkerer turned businessman Norval Morey, has been sold to an investment company specializing in distressed properties with growth opportunities.

Officials at Winn-based Morbark, manufacturer of wood chippers and other deforestation equipment shipped worldwide, told employees on Monday that the company has been sold to an affiliate of Stellex Capital Management.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

An Overlooked Connection: Clean Water and Forest Product Markets

The role that forests play in the water cycle is widely known and celebrated. Yet, many are unaware of the contributions of forest product markets in the forest/water relationship.
Monday was International Forests Day. Tuesday was World Water Day. In 2016, there will be no better opportunity to discuss the vital role that forests play in the global water cycle and forestry organizations throughout the world are using the two days to draw attention to this important dynamic.
The facts, proliferated in blogs, tweets, webinars and infographics all underscore the same basic message. Forests are the lynch pin of the natural water filtration infrastructure and must be maintained to keep fresh water inventories stable, to say nothing of growing to meet an increased demand from a growing population.
The value of environmental services performed by natural systems can be elusive, but a recent survey shows that as forest coverage increases, the costs of water treatment in the area decreases significantly. Areas with at least 60 percent forest cover require half as much water treatment investment than areas with 30 percent forest cover. This implies that forests then, save municipalities millions of dollars in avoided infrastructure investment and for now, this incredible value of “green infrastructure” that forests deliver to society on a daily basis generates no economic return for the forests or the people who own them.
Instead, the burden of economic return falls to the tangible products forests provide – everyday items that make our lives more comfortable, such as household paper products and lumber to build or improve our homes. This is a crucial point and often missing from the discussions about the non-revenue generating value that forests provide.
Over half of the forests in the Unites States are privately owned, a majority of them by small landowners who maintain those acres as forests in order to provide for their families. While generations of family forests owners have been proud to provide all of us with “green infrastructure” free of charge, without opportunities for an economic return, the maintaining those acres as forest becomes more difficult.
The good news is forest inventories in the United States, and their contributions to the natural water cycle, have been stable for over a century. This stability is the result of growing and diverse markets for wood and wood fiber — a distinction often overlooked or lost in our increasingly noisy social media landscape.
Private forest landowners plant 4 million trees per day, or 2.5 billion every year. These trees are not planted because forest landowners are being paid for the water filtration services they will provide. They are planted because of their value in other markets, and the environmental services they provide are a free benefit to society.  In this way, forest products markets are the unsung heroes in the natural water cycle and so as we celebrate International Forests Day and World Water Day, they should be recognized for their oft forgotten contribution to global clean water inventories.

AFEX Fire Suppression Systems and John Deere have teamed up to make it easy for loggers to protect their machines from the threat of fire.

Raleigh, NC – As of March 27, 2016 AFEX systems will be available as a factory-installed option on John Deere tracked feller bunchers, wheeled feller bunchers, and skidders. Simply choose the appropriate option code at the time of purchase to ensure your machine will be delivered with a factory approved fire protection system. The cost of the system will be included within the financing package, making for improved cash flow. Contact an AFEX Specialist at (919) 781-6610 or visit deere.afexsystems.com to learn more about this program.

AFEX and John Deere have also partnered with Paladin CustomWorks to offer AFEX on any John Deere vehicle platform. Contact AFEX or Paladin to learn more.

Tigercat releases Tier 4f equipped D-series harvesters

New for 2016 are the H855D and LH855D harvesters equipped with the fuel-efficient Tigercat FPT N67 Tier 4f engine operating at 210 kW (282 hp) for North America and Europe.
Tigercat FPT engines offer improved reliability, lower long term maintenance costs and full support by Tigercat and the Tigercat dealer network. Tigercat will continue to offer the H855C and LH855C for markets that do not require Tier 4 emissions compliance.

The H855D series harvesters are available with two-piece or telescopic ER boom systems. Tigercat’s patented ER boom technology allows the machine operator to extend and retract the boom on a horizontal plane smoothly and quickly using a single joystick. The stick boom or ‘reach’ joystick controls both the main and stick booms simultaneously, resulting in the attachment moving either away from or toward the operator. The main boom and tilt functions operate in the traditional manner to adjust the height and angle of the attachment.

The engine and hydraulic system are specifically designed to achieve maximum performance and minimum fuel consumption in harvesting and processing applications. High horsepower allows the carriers to maintain hydraulic flow as the pressure increases, maintaining quick feed speeds and significantly boosting productivity. The H855D series carriers are an excellent fit with the Tigercat 575 harvesting head.

For steep slope applications, the LH855D features Tigercat’s patented leveling system, providing exceptional stability in steep slope applications. It uses two massive hydraulic cylinders and heavy steel sections for a solution that is both simple and robust. Due to the unique geometry of the leveling system, the machine is well balanced on slopes. In addition, the ramped undercarriage (both the front idler and the rear gearbox are set higher than the centreline of the undercarriage) allows the machines to easily drive up over rocks and stumps.

– See more at: http://www.tigercat.com/tigercat-releases-tier-4f-equipped-d-series-harvesters-for-north-america-and-europe/#sthash.HHlpT72P.dpuf

Peterbilt: $2,000 CASH rebate to American Loggers Council members

Peterbilt is pleased to offer the American Loggers Council (ALC) the following rebate incentive:

 

Program Details:
• Members receive a $2,000 CASH rebate on Models 567, 367, or 365.
• Limited to three (3) rebates per member for calendar year 2018.
• ALC members must be in good standing for at least 90 days prior to taking retail delivery.
• ALC members must take retail delivery between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018. Retail delivery is defined as the time the ownership of the truck is transferred from the Peterbilt dealer to the customer.

 

Other Details:
• Request for customer rebate incentives must be received by ALC within 90 days of taking retail delivery.
• Allow 6 to 8 weeks for check to process.
• This program may not be combined with any other rebate offers from Peterbilt.

 

For information on ALC memberships, contact Danny Dructor at 409-625-0206 or Americanlogger@aol.com.

Policymakers Should Recognize America’s Leadership in Forestry, Manufacturing

Every year it’s estimated the average U.S. citizen uses the equivalent of a tree 100 feet tall, and 18 inches in diameter. We use 3.5 times more wood than we did in 1970. Yet, despite our leadership in the sustainable logging and manufacturing of softwood and hardwood lumber, the United States is a net importer of wood products.  These are important facts as policymakers continue to raise concerns about illegal logging abroad and the safety of imported wood products here at home.

Timber harvesting in the United States has remained well under sustainable limits. For the past 50 years, removals have remained below two percent of standing tree inventory, while net tree growth was near three percent. Currently, the volume of annual net timber growth is 36 percent higher than the volume of annual timber removals.  The gap in net growth and removal is even larger on federally-owned forests, where harvests have declined over 80 percent over the past 20 years. Much of this overgrowth has contributed to an increase in unnaturally severe catastrophic wildfires.

Meanwhile, deforestation rates continue to climb in countries in Asia, Africa and South America, which commonly source wood products exported to our country. A significant portion of this wood is illegally logged. And over the past year, a major retailer has made national headlines for selling imported wood products with high levels of certain chemicals linked to high cancer rates.

For years, a complex web of counterproductive federal forest policies have significantly reduced sustainable forestry and wood products manufacturing in the United States. Because there will always be demand for wood products, it should come as no surprise to some that our supply has been outsourced to other countries that don’t share our concerns for consumer safety and conservation.

American forestry has significantly evolved over the past several decades. Thanks to advances in science and technology, it is possible to sustainably harvest timber and manufacture wood products while maintaining the health and productivity of our forests — public and private. If environmentalists and policy makers are serious about combating illegal logging abroad, they should support increasing the supply of wood fiber here at home.

Increasing the domestic supply would require restoring balanced management to the over 30 percent of our nation’s forests owned by the federal government. Reasonable reforms would boost American manufacturing, reduce imports made of illegally sourced material, help restore the health of forests around the world and support good jobs for working Americans.

2015 ALC Annual Report Now Available Online

The American Loggers Council (ALC) lives its mission by supporting professional timber harvesters every day through our advocacy, our programs, and our passion for their businesses, families, and communities.

The year 2015 marked the 21st year that the American Loggers Council has represented the professional timber harvesters here in the United States, and we welcomed two new State Association members, Minnesota and West Virginia, into the organization this year! While we celebrated that accomplishment during our annual meeting in Eureka, California, we also recognized that the year could once again be best described as a period of gradual recovery for the timber-harvesting industry.

Read more about ALC’s 2015 in review by clicking here to download our annual report.

TEAM Safe Trucking: Elevate The Standard

TEAMEnthusiasm is building for the ambitious plan of TEAM Safe Trucking (TST), a broad-based non-profit group seeking to elevate the standard and performance of the American forest industry’s deeply troubled transportation sector, which organizers contend is the most serious problem confronting the wood fiber supply chain.

TEAM Safe Trucking is developing a module program that will embrace awareness/education and intensely focus on driver training. It can be tweaked for use in different regions and sub-regions and will be available to those who have log/chip transportation operations or are exposed to such operations. Drawing on a $5,000 commitment from Forest/Loggers/Mauck Insurance Agencies, based in Newberry, Mich., along with other resources, the group expects to launch a web site by spring and have the program in gear by August.

Now regional in scope, TST expects to expand its program nationwide as it secures additional funding through donations from stakeholders and from grants. Virginia Tech University has committed funds and a graduate student to conduct log/chip truck accident research, beginning later this year. The two-year study will help guide the project’s work going forward.

Consisting of logging companies, paper/wood products manufacturers, truck and trailer manufacturers, insurance companies and logging and forestry association representatives, the organization aims to emulate the success of TEAM Fire, another cooperative effort created 20 years ago that eventually drove down logging equipment fire incidents and claims, lowered insurance premiums and helped make automatic fire suppression systems more affordable.

TSI guided by Rick Quagliaroli, owner of Swamp Fox Agency, Inc., an established South Carolina-based business that interfaces with forest industry interests in three states. According to him, many loggers and log truckers now do a commendable job but the industry’s trucking segment overall is performing poorly, resulting in increasing mishaps and multiple forms of costly, disruptive, traumatic fallout. This is forcing some truckers to the side of the road and causing some insurance providers to abandon the market.

“TEAM Safe Trucking’s goal is to set a high standard for driver training and continuing education, and we’ll focus the training program specifically on hauling logs and chips. The program will be designed to help make the industry’s log and chip trucking segment safer and more efficient, and every party that has an interest in trucking will need to ‘buy in’ for it to be truly successful. It will take some time. For the good of the industry as a whole, we’re asking for support up and down the line.”

For more information, email or call Quagliaroli: rick@swampfoxagencyinc.net, 843-761-3999; or Jimmie Locklear:  jlocklear@forestrymutual.com, 910-733-3300.

Tigercat Releases D-Series Shovel Loggers

Tigercat has released the D-series shovel loggers in North America. Operating at 210 kW (282 hp), the Tigercat FPT powered S855D and LS855D meet Tier 4 emission requirements. Tigercat FPT engines offer improved reliability and lower long-term maintenance costs. Best of all, the engines are fully supported by Tigercat and the Tigercat dealer network. Tigercat will continue to offer the C-series shovel loggers in South America, Australia and New Zealand.

The S855D series shovel loggers are a uniquely versatile solution for steep slope and sensitive site logging applications. The LS855D is a quick, nimble and powerful carrier  — well suited to felling, pre-bunching and shovel logging on steep terrain. The LS855D is commonly equipped with a feller director boom and the Tigercat 5195 directional felling head for felling and shovel logging.

Alternatively the carriers can be equipped with a live heel boom system and grapple for pure shovel logging. Along with the high flotation undercarriage, this is an excellent configuration for southern US style log mat-based lowland logging applications.

With the patented Tigercat ER boom and energy recovery swing system, the S855D series shovel loggers can cost effectively forward wood to roadside in steep or wet soil conditions up to distances of 80-100 m (260-330 ft). A shovel logger can be strategically located in challenging parts of the cut block to forward trees to the skidder or fell and bunch for a yarding system.

Unlike excavator-based shovel loggers with add-on forestry packages, the S855D and LS855D are purpose-built for heavy duty forestry applications. The efficient hydraulic system is optimized for shovel logging and felling with a directional felling head.

The LS855D is equipped with Tigercat’s patented leveling system, providing exceptional stability in steep slope applications. It uses two massive hydraulic cylinders and heavy steel sections for a solution that is both simple and robust. The unique geometry of the leveling system promotes balance, poise and stability on slopes. In addition, the ramped undercarriage allows the machines to easily drive up over rocks and stumps.

For more information visit http://www.tigercat.com/tigercat-releases-d-series-shovel-loggers/

© AMERICAN LOGGERS COUNCIL, 2018