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Logging and Sawmilling Journal November 2013

November 2013

On the Cover:
A Komatsu WA450 front end loader takes a load of logs from Schiller Contracting at the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation sort yard in Revelstoke, B.C. Watch for a story on Schiller Contracting and the work the company is doing in steep slope logging in southeastern B.C. in a future issue of Logging and Sawmilling Journal (Photo by Paul MacDonald).

Life after the beetle
The journey has begun on what the future of the B.C. Cariboo—home to some of the most forest industry-dependent communities in the entire province—could look like in the post-mountain pine beetle era.

Loggers—and wildlife protectors
B.C. logging contractor Ivan Larson—who is past president of the B.C. Wildlife Federation—has a special passion for maintaining wildlife habitat as part of the company’s logging operations. Their motto: “creating wildlife habitat since 1929”.

Moving forward with changes in the woods
Langille Bros. Contracting have had to roll with a series of big time changes in the Nova Scotia forest industry, but they’ve responded to the changes with advanced equipment, including the first John Deere 1910E forwarder in the province.

Equipment trail-blazers
Quebec’s Élément Group is doing some trailblazing, manufacturing a line of feller bunchers in the province—branded under the Eltec name—with a plant in Val-d’Or, and a research and development team in Quebec City.

The Edge
Included in The Edge, Canada’s leading publication on research in the forest industry, are stories from the Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Alberta Innovates - Bio Solutions, FPInnovations and the Alberta Distance Learning Centre.

B.C. sawmill closures

It’s all in the details for Nova Scotia sawmill
The Groupe Savoie operation in Nova Scotia focuses closely on details in the woods and in the mill, working with its log suppliers to ensure it receives high quality hardwood timber, and ensuring it gets maximum lumber quality and value in the mill.

Re-start for White River
The re-start of the White River sawmill—through a company headed up by Tembec veteran Frank Dottori—is helping to bring the economy of this small northern Ontario town back to life.

The Last Word
Jim Stirling says that when it comes to logging disruptions by First Nations groups, perhaps it’s time to start sending the bill to band councils.

Supplier Newsline

 

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Roby Savard of Jean-Marc Savard and SonsProudly showing off their new Eltec feller buncher is Roby Savard (above) of Jean-Marc Savard and Sons, which harvests for the Tembec Senneterre operation in Quebec. Roby’s father, Jean-Marc, invests in new equipment on a regular basis, and feels it is important to work with the most modern harvesting technology

Equipment trail-blazers

Quebec’s Élément Group is doing some trailblazing, manufacturing a line of feller bunchers in the province—branded under the Eltec name—with a plant in Val-d’Or, and a research and development team in Quebec City.

By Martine Frigon

A family of Quebec entrepreneurs who made the decision to manufacture feller bunchers in Canada is seeing some traction in sales.

With more than 30 years of involvement in the forest industry, the Quebec-based Élément Group in 2012 acquired the intellectual property and manufacturing rights to the family of purpose built track feller bunchers and harvesters formerly owned by Volvo Construction Equipment. These harvesting products are said to offer the latest in engineering technology with benefits such as fuel efficiency, high performance and operator comfort.

The new 220, 270 and 310 series of bunchers are now being manufactured by a division of the Élément Group, Technologies Element PSW Inc, under the Eltec brand, in Val-d’Or, in northwestern Quebec. The machines are all powered by a diesel engine made by Volvo with Volvo Advanced Combustion Technology (V-ACT) with 324 hp. The engine uses high-pressure fuel injectors, a large capacity turbocharger, air-to-air intercooler and electronic engine controls to optimize machine performance.

The company has two buildings totalling more than 21,000 square feet in Val-d’Or, as well as a research and development team in Quebec City.

The company’s management team is betting that they will be able to not only sell their equipment in Quebec and other provinces, but also export outside Canada. The objective of Technologies Element PSW Inc. is to produce more than 40 machines a year.

In business for three decades in the
forest industry as a dealer and contractor, the Élément Group includes Jacques Element, the company founder, his sons Steve and Patrick, the latter being the current CEO, and brother-in-law, Patrick Ouellet.

Cutting the ribbon and entering the new field of manufacturing feller bunchers are the management of Technologies Élément PSW. From left to right: Patrick Ouellet, Steve Élément, Jacques Élément and Patrick Élément.

Cutting the ribbon and entering the new field of manufacturing feller bunchers are the management of Technologies Élément PSW. From left to right: Patrick Ouellet, Steve Élément, Jacques Élément and Patrick Élément.

The new venture received funding assistance from the Quebec Government, $313, 218, for employee training. Added to this is a repayable loan of $257,250 for start-up operations.

The Eltec machines have already attracted customers like Jean-Marc Savard, a forestry entrepreneur in Senneterre, Quebec.

Owner of an Eltec 270 bought during the summer of 2013, he had previously been renting a 220 machine. “The Eltec 270 is a great machine—it does not overheat, which is a big plus,” he says. “I was able to keep the harvester head I had, and simply put it on my new machine.”

Working for Tembec Senneterre since 1982, the 64-year-old entrepreneur—who doesn’t even think about retirement—works with his son Roby, 41. They have six employees, who operate equipment on two 12-hour shifts, five days a week. “We are very lucky,” Savard says, noting they have not had difficulty recruiting and keeping employees.

They’ve also been fortunate with their contracts over the years, he says. “Despite the crisis in the forest industry, we have always worked full time. In fact, we did not really experience the industry crisis, the closures, and the layoffs. We work 46 weeks a year on average, and always for the same client, Tembec Senneterre.”

The terrain on the public lands licenced to Tembec Senneterre is relatively flat, with no steep ground, and the logs are 10 to 20 centimetres in diameter, on average. The logging operations are concentrated in black spruce and jack pine, harvested in strips of 300 metres.

While some contractors carry out extensive repairs on their equipment to keep them as long as possible, Savard would rather invest in new equipment every four years. He feels it is important to work with the most modern harvesting technology.

Savard doesn’t really have any plans of retiring at the moment. However, he began to slow down his activities and works only on the maintenance side, leaving the operations of the feller bunchers—including the new Eltec 270—to his son
and his staff.

 

 

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