The January/February 2017 issue of Timber Harvesting magazine features Covington, Virginia’s Fitzgerald Excavating and Construction, Inc., Brunswick, Georgia’s Tidewater Equipment Company, and Cataldo, Idaho’s Paul Sverdsten Logging. The issue also features the annual 2017 Equipment Directory, highlighting products, manufacturers and trade shows. Other articles cover the latest in logging business management software, trucking safety and the latest industry news and new machinery and products.
In the January/February 2017 edition of My Take, Timber Harvesting magazine Executive Editor DK Knight reflects on 50 years of the trucking sector journey. Knight writes, “Much like a New Yorker named Trump, the transportation sector of the wood fiber supply chain has received lots of attention of late. Moving wood fiber safely and effectively from forest to market has never been a cinch, but it has evolved into a monumental challenge, the degree of which varies from one region to another, and even within a given region. How did the trucking sector get from there to here? It’s a long story that has many parts, actors, and contributors. Reflecting on developments over the last 50 years, here are some things that come to mind… Haul distances are longer, thanks to changing market dynamics that, despite some new plants for established and new generation products, resulted in downsized or shut facilities.”
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Timber Harvesting magazine Senior Associate Editor David Abbott travels to Covington, Virginia to visit Fitzgerald Excavating and Construction, Inc. It’s not a sight one sees often on a logging job: suburbanites jogging on a residential cul-de-sac sidewalk as a loader fills a tractor-trailer. But it’s not uncommon in the world of Davey Fitzgerald, Jr. of Fitzgerald Excavating and Construction, Inc. The company specializes in clearing timber, often for residential development, in the metro areas around Washington, DC, far to the east from its home base in Covington, Va. “They call me the urban logger,” Fitzgerald, 35, says of his peers in the southern portions of the state, who are accustomed to more rural settings. “When they come up here, the amount of traffic is what blows them away. The biggest question they ask me is how our trucks manage to haul in all this.”
Timber Harvesting magazine Contributing Editor Jordan Anderson visits Tidewater Equipment Company in Brunswick, Georgia. Founded in 1947, Tidewater Equipment Co. today ranks among the nation’s largest logging equipment distributors with 16 locations in five southeastern states. The privately owned organization has existed longer than any of today’s leading manufacturers have made purpose-built logging equipment. It continues to grow, fueled by strong relationships with customers and manufacturers and leaders that emphasize faith, family and dedication to the job. Tidewater is Tigercat’s oldest dealer, having taken on the line in 1993 when newcomer Tigercat offered only a wheel-type feller-buncher, and is one of Tigercat’s largest dealers in the world.
Timber Harvesting magazine Associate Editor Jay Donnell has the opportunity to visit Paul Sverdsten Logging in Cataldo, Idaho. Paul Sverdsten started his logging business in 2009, but it’s worth noting how he got there. Sverdsten’s family has a long history of logging in Idaho. His grandfather bought his first team of horses and started logging in 1922. He built up a large company and sold it to his three sons in the 1960s. When the logging industry took a major downturn in 1983, they went bankrupt. That’s when Paul, his brother and a cousin started a logging outfit called Triple Tree Logging. They logged together for five years and then went their separate ways. Paul took one of the line machines and line skidded for several years. Beginning in 1993 and until 2009, Sverdsten joined logger Dave Weingart.
Timber Harvesting magazine’s annual Equipment Directory is a comprehensive listing of products, services, manufacturers, suppliers, trade shows, and industry trade associations.
Like most loggers, Kurt Bisballe, principal in Bisballe Forest Products, Lake City, Mich., had much rather be in the woods than in the office. He prefers being on the job, seeing first-hand what is working well and what needs improvement. Preferences aside, the reality is that he brings the most value to his customers and employees when he is able to spend more time in the woods and with his customers, notstuck behind his desk. Yet somehow he found himself spending more and more hours in the office as his business grew, trying to ensure that landowners and employees were being paid properly, and that, in turn, he was also being paid properly by the mills. And then, of course, there were the countless hours spent analyzing job performance and production information after the fact to see if he was actually making money.
J.J. Lemire, Director of Loss Control for Forestry Material Insurance Company, discusses logging truck rollovers. Lemire writes, “Have your ever been affected by a truck rollover? Most, if not all, of these incidents are preventable. In a very small number of cases, some rollovers occur due to the action of other drivers, while some occur due to equipment failure. Rollovers happen more often with log trucks than with chip vans. Log trailers have a higher center of gravity than a typical cargo load. It takes .4gs (gravitational forces) or less to roll over. A car must exceed 1.3gs to roll over; a pickup 1.1. For an SUV, it’s .8. It’s extremely easy to exceed the g-forces on a log truck.”
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