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By Mary Bullwinkel
The highlight of the 2012 Pacific Logging Congress (PLC) held in early November, in Arizona, was the group’s visit to the Caterpillar Tinaja Hills Demonstration Center. Along with technical interactive sessions for those attending, members of the PLC also had an opportunity to operate Cat equipment, including a 240-ton mining truck and the D7E bulldozer.
“It provided a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of us,” said 2012 PLC President Stanwood “Woody” Murphy. “We thank Caterpillar Forest products, Caterpillar Finance, and Tinaja Hills Demonstration Center and Staff for hosting the first day of the (PLC) convention,” he added.
Classroom to Cab
One of the classroom sessions was titled Tier IV and Technology. This session touched on machine operator training solutions to prepare for the arrival of Tier IV machines, such as recognizing the alert indicators that have been incorporated into the cab to maintain the aftertreatment component functionality, as well as overall machine health.
Following the classroom sessions, members of the PLC enjoyed a two-hour “view and operate” opportunity for the full line of Caterpillar equipment at the Tinaja Hills Demonstration Center. Stick time in the D7E electric track type tractor and rides in the 240-ton mine truck were very popular.
The Cat D7E was designed to meet the growing demand for powerful yet highly maneuverable track-type tractors. By adapting electric drive technology to bulldozer applications, Caterpillar has developed a tractor that delivers a balance of heavy-dozing and fine-grading performance. The tractor also combines diesel-electric hybrid technology to burn less fuel and consume fewer fluids and parts for reduced owning and operating costs.
Many of those attending the PLC were able to see these large mining trucks in action during a tour of the nearby Freeport McMoran’s Sieritta Cooper Mine. At this mine, 26 trucks are working continually 24-hours a day.
The event culminated with the President’s reception, dinner, and auction. $38,000 was raised by the auction, and proceeds will fund educational projects, including a new scholarship fund set up by the Pacific Forest Foundation. Individual scholarships of between $1,000 and $5,000 will be awarded by the scholarship committee starting in the 2013-2014 school year.
Special thanks were given to this year’s sponsors: Caterpillar, Port Blakely Tree Farm and Pacific Lumber & Shipping, Longview Fibre, Doosan/Cascade Trader, Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, the Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau, Superior Meetings, Hawthorne Timber Company, Schmidbauer Lumber, West Fork Timber Company, Murray Pacific Company, Pape, Feenaughty, Bearhaven Consulting, Weyerhaeuser, Humboldt Redwood Company, Ritchie Brothers, and Dennis Hubbard.
Planning is already underway for the next two years of PLC gatherings. Under the leadership of Graham Lasure of Winter Harbour, B.C. Canada, the 104th Annual PLC will take place in Las Vegas, NV, November 4–6, 2013. A theme will be selected shortly, and details of the gathering will be posted soon on the PLC website. www.pacificloggingcongress.com
The 105th PLC will feature the 7th Annual Live in the Woods Show at the Port Blakely Tree Farm in Molalla, Oregon. On-site educational tours are planned for students attending schools in the surrounding areas. The event is scheduled for September 25–27, 2014, and Duane Evans will preside over the gathering.