WoodWeek – 1 July 2015

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. Well that’s half the year gone! Yes, just like that! The good news is the sunshine is hanging around for a minute longer every day now as we head for the cold part of winter. Could be a good time to go and inspect the forest industry in Fiji or somewhere like that.

HarvestTECH 2015 was an awesome event with a record number of delegates who were all there to hear what was happening in the latest developments for logging steep slopes. One of the most noticeable trends was the high proportion of logging contractors who were there and loving every session.

There were too many great presentations to pick a winner, but practical people making the most of applied technologies was certainly the highlight of the two days. To round out the excellent technology and people-focused sessions the fact that FIEA “brought back Buck” (Shelford) for a superb after-dinner presentation really made it all worthwhile. FIEA would like to thank all of the speakers, delegates and sponsors for making this a fantastic outcome for everyone involved.


Photos courtesy of John Ellegard, NZ Logger
Left: Dale Ewers from Moutere Logging speaking at HarvestTECH 2015
Right: Ross Wood from Wood Contracting Nelson speaking at HarvestTECH 2015


This past week the Waiariki Institute of Technology was sentenced in court under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for two failures. Firstly, for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employee while at work, and secondly, for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of any employee while at work harmed any other person.

Meanwhile, in market news, reports from North America indicate that log and lumber exports continued to post substantial decline during the first quarter of the current year. The rising strength in US dollar has hampered log trade with Asian destinations. As the volumes of US logs going to China had grown substantially in recent years this decline should help contribute to inventory reductions in the Chinese ports.

In today's "People on the Move” news, the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum has appointed experienced health and safety leader, Francois Barton (41), as its new Executive Director. Francois took up his new role just over a month ago after being a real thought-leader at both MBIE and WorkSafe NZ. He had been running Worksafe NZ’s national programme team, which has delivered major safety campaigns in construction, agriculture, forestry and manufacturing.

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Waiariki ordered to pay after tutor injured

Tertiary provider sentenced after tutor seriously injured in forestry class - Waiariki Institute of Technology was sentenced today and ordered to pay reparation of $40,000 after a tutor was seriously injured during a forest operations course.

The tutor’s injuries were extensive – fractures to the right shoulder, the lower back, a leg and five ribs. He also had severe abdominal pain and swelling, a collapse in both lungs and bruised vertebrae. He has needed ongoing physiotherapy and further surgery is likely. He is unable to work.

The tertiary education provider was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court today under the Health and Safety in Employment Act for two failures. Firstly for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employee while at work, and secondly for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that no action or inaction of any employee while at work harmed any other person.

The tutor – who had not taught a tertiary course before - was employed to teach this basic pre-trade programme where students are primarily taught how to operate a chainsaw. Tree felling is not part of this course. Students usually take the course before starting a forestry apprenticeship.

On 26 August 2014 the students had completed the six week theory part of the course and were in their third week of the practical section. The firewood yard where lessons were usually taught had run out of wood so the lesson was held on a Marlborough farm.

The tutor discussed the hazards of the lesson with the students and filled out a hazard identification and assessment form. The students were told to stand near a van while the tutor manually felled the two trees.

After that the students trimmed and cut the felled trees. The tutor decided to fell a third tree which was 24 metres high, on a significant lean and with a large branch jutting out the back. The students were standing closer to the tree than they should have been – the tutor was aware of this.

The tutor asked one of the students to “spot” for him while he made a cut in the tree. The tutor then inadvertently cut the ‘hingewood’ of the tree and when the final cut was made, the tree fell in an unintended direction, crushing him.

WorkSafe New Zealand’s investigation identified a number of health and safety breaches. “Waiariki Institute of Technology should have assessed the tutor’s competence in tree felling before he taught any classes,” says Jo Pugh, WorkSafe’s Chief Inspector of Assessments in the Central region. “They also should have provided a written process for tutors on how to source wood safely and on when tree felling could occur.”

“Waiariki Institute of Technology has reviewed its policies since the incident, sent all tutors a copy of the best practice guidelines for tree felling and had tutors attend a refresher course on tree felling.”

“But this serious incident could have been avoided if simple safety steps had been in place in the first instance,” says Jo Pugh.

Source: Scoop News

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US export logs to China down

Market reports from North America indicate that log and lumber exports continued to post substantial decline during the first quarter of the current year. The rising strength in US dollar has hampered log trade with Asian destinations.

The log shipments out of West Coast docks have reported sharp decline during this year. The demand from China- the primary destination of US lumber exports has slowed down significantly. Chinese importers have turned to Russia and New Zealand as rising strength in US dollar makes trade with the US less profitable for them. Consequently, harvest levels have also reported huge declines.

The log export market has been going through a rough patch for some time now. However, upbeat domestic log demand had been easily compensating for the continuing drop in exports. Currently, domestic demand has also started to wane, noted industry participants. According to statistics, the log export from the Port of Longview totaled 29.43 million board feet during the first quarter of the current year, 45% lower when compared with the exports during the corresponding quarter last year.

The export data released by the US Forest Service indicates that log exports dropped sharply by 20% in 2014, in comparison with the year before. The lumber and log exports from Washington, Oregon, Northern California and Alaska declined 13% year-on-year in 2014.

Despite the recent rise in Russian Ruble, export trade with US continues to remain expensive on account of rising strength in US Dollar. This has forced many Chinese importers to switch to Russia and New Zealand to meet their import requirement. Also, slowdown in Chinese housing sector has led to increased imports by China, which in turn has contributed to the substantial decline in log export volumes from US West Coasts.

The industry anticipates phenomenal recovery in US housing starts. This would propel the demand for finished wood products. As a result, more logs will land up in domestic sawmills rather than being exported to Asian destinations. The stability in US housing sector may lead to higher log prices, going forward.



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Leaders forum appoints new director

People on the Move - The Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum has appointed experienced health and safety leader, Francois Barton (41), as its new Executive Director. Francois took up his new role just over a month ago.

Francois has the right mix of experience and personal attributes to lead the Forum during an important time for health and safety in New Zealand, Forum chair Rob Jager says.

“In his roles at WorkSafe NZ, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Department of Labour, Francois has led several high profile campaigns to raise health and safety performance in New Zealand.

“He was also one of a group of people at the Department of Labour whose vision and hard work led to the establishment of the Forum in 2010.

Francois has the ability to think strategically and creatively, Rob says.

“He is an effective team player and proven relationship manager. He has a deep understanding of the important role leadership plays in lifting health and safety performance, and his career choices reflect his personal commitment to making life better for working New Zealanders.

Francois established and currently runs Worksafe NZ’s national programme team, which has delivered major safety campaigns in construction, agriculture, forestry and manufacturing.

Previously, as MBIE’s Southern General Manager, he was involved in early discussions that led to the development of the Canterbury Safety Rebuild Charter.

His previous policy roles included contributing to the government’s Workplace Health and Safety Strategy, and working with industry to create a safety culture self-diagnostic assessment tool.

WorkSafe chief executive Gordon MacDonald, who is a member of the Forum, says Francois is a great choice for the role.

“While I’m sad to lose Francois from WorkSafe, I think he will be an excellent person to run the Forum - particularly while the new health and safety legislation is being embedded.”

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New Forests purchase in NZ

New Forests acquires New Zealand forestry right in transaction with Iwi partnership in Lake Taupo region

Sydney-based investment manager New Forests has announced the purchase today of a 4,000 hectare forestry right in the Hautu-Rangipo region near Turangi in the central North Island of New Zealand. The right was acquired as part of a back-to-back deal with Hautu-Rangipo Whenau Limited (HRWL), a newly formed T?wharetoa Limited Partnership. HRWL was established to purchase the forests and underlying land from the Crown.

The forestry right will be held by Taupo Estate Limited, a New Zealand company managed by New Forests. New Forests manages more than AUD 2.5 billion in forestry, land, and conservation investments on behalf of institutional clients. The company has ten years of experience investing in New Zealand, Australia, and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

“New Forests is pleased to partner with HRWL in this transaction” said New Forests’ CEO David Brand. “The forestry right purchased by Taupo Estate Limited will further diversify our investment portfolio and aligns with our interest to manage properties for a combination of social, environmental, and economic benefits.”

The pine plantation is part of a larger 8,500 hectare purchase of Crown Land surrounding the Tongariro-Rangipo Corrections Facility that was purchased as part of the Tuwharetoa Deferred Settlement Process and sees the return of T?wharetoa whenua. HRWL is a partnership that includes two major T?wharetoa forestry trusts, T?wharetoa farm trusts, and a collective hap? entity.

HRWL Chair Clinton Ellis said the T?wharetoa partnership made up of six large T?wharetoa economic entities is looking forward to building a relationship with New Forests.

"The partnership with New Forests is a long-term investment and provides us with confidence that the land and forests will be managed in line with both our cultural and economic objectives. We look forward to working with New Forests,” said Mr Ellis.

The sale of the forestry right secures investment for the future management of the plantation resource, which supports the strategic and commercial objectives of HRWL.

The radiata pine plantation has been managed on a pruned regime and is expected to supply multiple domestic processing customers and export markets. The day to day operations will be managed by NZ Forest Managers Limited, who will seek to achieve FSC Forest Management certification of the plantation resource.

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AFPA welcomes native wood waste about face

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomed the reinstatement of native forest wood waste in the Renewable Energy Target (RET), which was voted through the Senate on Monday. The bill will cut the RET from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000 gigawatt hours. The legislation included allowing burning of native wood waste to be counted as a renewable energy source.

This common sense policy, which was a Coalition election commitment, was supported by cross- bench Senators. This cross-bench support was vital in voting down an amendment put forward by the Australian Labor Party and supported by the Greens and Senator Lazarus to stop the reinstatement of native forest wood waste in the RET.

AFPA Chief Executive Officer Mr Ross Hampton said, “The use of native forest wood for the primary purpose of generating renewable electricity is not eligible for renewable energy certificates under this legislation. The use of offcuts and by-products of sustainable forestry operations to generate renewable electricity makes sense. After all, what could be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than using a waste product to generate electricity, noting that our forest industries plant more than sixty million trees every year?”.

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Ocean Freight Index

The Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) closed yesterday at 608 points, an increase of 2 points (or 0.3%) since March.

The BSI (Baltic Supramax Index), published by the Baltic Exchange, is the weighted average on 5 major time-charter routes. It is based on a 52,454 mt bulk carrier carrying commodities such as timber.



Source: Capital Link Shipping

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World markets for forestry gear upbeat

World demand for forestry equipment market (including both purpose-built and converted machinery) is forecast to climb 4.5% annually to $9.3 billion in 2019. This will represent moderation from the 2009-2014 pace of increase, a period during which market gains were bolstered by a rebound in roundwood production from lows posted during the 2009 global recession.

Felling equipment accounts for the largest share of world forestry equipment sales, followed by separately sold parts and attachments, and extracting equipment. On-site processing equipment and all other forestry equipment account for remaining demand. The fastest market gains will be posted by harvesters and forwarders, supported by increased use of cut-to-length harvesting methods relative to tree-length and whole-tree systems.

Geographically, US and Canada together represent the largest forestry equipment market, accounting for one-third of global product demand in 2014. Western Europe is the second largest market, with a 22% share of all equipment sales in 2014, followed by the Asia/Pacific region, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Africa/Mideast region.

The US will record the largest increases of any forestry equipment market in dollar terms through 2019, supported by a pickup in economic activity and construction expenditures, a healthy capital spending environment, and growth in roundwood output.

Brazil, a considerably smaller but still sizable forestry machinery market, will register larger increases in percentage terms, expected to average 6.5% per year through 2019. A number of smaller national markets -- including New Zealand, Poland, Finland, and Indonesia -- will also post above average demand gains.

Source: Reportsnreports.com

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Company fined after worker loses leg

Tree Scape Limited has been fined $24,750 and ordered to pay reparation of $35,000 after an employee had his right leg amputated after it got pulled into a wood chipper machine.

Tree maintenance company Tree Scape Limited was sentenced in the Manukau District Court on Friday under Section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act for not taking all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees at work.

On 16 December 2013 the employee was working as part of a crew removing a roadside tree near power lines. After the last of the large branches had been fed into the chipper, the employee noticed several small branches had not been picked up by the in-feed rollers. The employee used his right foot to kick the branches into the rollers and at the same time his left leg shifted on some loose gravel. His right foot was pulled in by the chipper rollers and he suffered serious harm.

WorkSafe New Zealand’s investigation revealed that Tree Scape Limited could have extended the chute of the chipper from 850mm to 1,500mm to ensure employees were safe.

“Wood chippers are obvious hazards,” says WorkSafe Chief Inspector, Keith Stewart. “Tree Scape Limited could have complied with the Australian standard AS4024 for machinery guarding by extending its chute. Since the incident this standard has been adopted in New Zealand and is now AS/NZS 4024:2014.

“This would have ensured that staff had less opportunity to come into contact with the chipper. This life-changing injury could have been avoided.”

Source: Scoop News

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Call for Papers - ForestTECH 2015

FIEA’s annual ForestTECH Australasian conference series is well established itself as the principal technology event for new and emerging technologies for forest owners and technical foresters. For the last two years, around 700 delegates have participated.

Last year, remote sensing, data capture and inventory management was the focus for technical foresters from throughout Australia and New Zealand. It provided a much needed update on technologies being rolled out and used operationally by leading forest managers.

This year, November 2015, is planned for this year’s ForestTECH 2015 series in both countries. The focus is on showcasing new developments in mobile applications, communications, remote sensing and cloud-based systems to improve forest planning, management and operations.

How best to handle a myriad of forest data being brought in from a variety of sources, managing and analyzing and providing information that can be used by forest managers, planners and field staff will be covered. Industry leaders, early adopters of this new technology and some of the emerging technology providers in this space will be presenting.

Forestry Apps and the number of mobile forestry applications being developed are also continuing to rise exponentially – from measurement of wood volumes out in the field through to scheduling and logistics of wood flows. ForestTECH 2015 will provide a timely overview on e-Forestry Apps for laptops, tablets, or smartphones that have been developed, are available, and are adding value to forestry companies around the world right now.

ForestTECH 2015 will showcase a wide range of technologies and innovations, including:
- Mobile apps
- Managing and using big data
- Tablets & smartphones
- Satellite imagery
- Online data management tools
- Wireless infrastructure
- M2M and opportunities for foresters
- Real-time analytics
- Cloud-based platforms
- Remote sensors

At this early stage of planning, FIEA is seeking expressions of interest from technology providers, researchers and forestry companies to be involved in this year’s ForestTECH 2015 series. If you are interested in presenting or exhibiting, please send details through to brent.apthorp@fiea.org.nz by Monday 6th July.

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John Deere celebrates 50 years of skidders

John Deere’s first skidder was introduced in 1965. The milestones achieved over the past 50 years include:
1965 – John Deere enters the skidder business with the 440 cable skidder, which used a 41 kW (59 hp) engine. It allowed loggers to extract trees with more operator comfort for better safety and productivity.

1973 – At 107 kW (145 hp), the 740 becomes John Deere's largest skidder to date. It features new blade and winch options, along with a larger grapple for increased productivity.

1983 – The D-Series is produced. It uses a new dual-function grapple with a 300 cm (120 in) opening, which makes the 640 well suited for work with bigger bunches. It features a larger clutch and thicker radiator to improve reliability and longevity. A new oscillation damper also keeps the grapple under control during transport.

1991 – The E-Series is launched. A sealed, isolation-mounted operators' station reduces engine noise and heat. An electronic monitor provides information on vital machine functions. It has a wider wheel base for increased stability. It makes use of load- and speed-sensing power steering for quick response, and the 90 degrees of articulation improves manoeuvrability.

1995 – G-Series is introduced: This new skidder is wider and has a longer wheelbase for unmatched stability. A new differential lock switch can be engaged while on the go. A new grapple with individual tong cylinders provides up to 50% more clamping force. All G-series grapples provide continuous 360 degree rotation. Closed centre hydraulics provides quick response and secure clamping force.

2008 –The H-Series machines use 6.8L Tier 3 engines for reduced emissions and increased productivity. Automatic load detection adjusts and maintains the grapple's clamping force if a load is jarred.

2015 – John Deere’s latest skidder is released, the L-Series. It contains heavy-duty axles that can extend life up to 15,000 hours. The skidders use Continuous Variable Transmission that is capable of delivering more power to the ground and prolong engine life. The cycle times of the boom, arch, and grapple are claimed to be up to 40% faster. The largest grapple available for the L-Series is 25% larger.

Source: www.deere.com

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Tasmania government seeks investors

In Tasmania the state government is calling for expressions of interest from private operators interested in processing or exporting woodchips in Tasmania's south.

Wood residue has had to be transported to the state's north for export since the closure of the Triabunna woodchip mill four years ago.

Advertisements have been placed in newspapers and the Government said it hoped to select a successful tender by the end of the year.

Since the closure of the Triabunna woodchip mill, taxpayers have been funding road subsidies to truck residues to Bell Bay in the north.

The Tasmanian Government is not ruling out sinking public money into a new woodchip port in the south, as it seeks private interest in the venture.

Read more >>

Source: ABC News

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Jobs


... and finally ... a tale about knowing your customer

A disappointed salesman of Coca Cola returns from his Middle East assignment.

A friend asked, "Why weren't you successful with the Arabs?"

The salesman explained, "When I got posted in the Middle East, I was very confident that I would make a good sales pitch as Cola is virtually unknown there.

But, I had a problem I didn't know to speak Arabic. So, I planned to convey the message through three posters...


First poster - A man lying in the hot desert sand...totally exhausted and fainting.
Second poster - man is drinking our Cola.
Third poster- Our man is now totally refreshed.

Then these posters were pasted all over the place."

"That should have worked," said the friend.

The salesman replied, "I didn't realize the Arabs read from right to left."

------------------------


An Indian walks into a cafe with a shotgun in one hand pulling a male buffalo with the other. He says to the waiter: 'Want coffee.' The waiter says, 'Sure, Chief. Coming right up.' He gets the Indian a tall mug of coffee. The Indian drinks the coffee down in one gulp, turns and blasts the buffalo with the shotgun, causing parts of the animal to splatter everywhere and then just walks out.

The next morning the Indian returns. He has his shotgun in one hand, pulling another male buffalo with the other. He walks up to the counter and says to the waiter 'Want coffee.' The waiter says 'Whoa, Tonto! We're still cleaning up your mess from yesterday. What was all that about, anyway?'

The Indian smiles and proudly says:
"Training for position in United States Congress:
Come in, drink coffee, shoot the bull, leave mess for others to clean up, disappear for rest of day."



That's all for our mid-week wood news roundup.

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