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General Forestry => Forestry and Logging => Topic started by: nativewolf on April 29, 2019, 08:58:55 AM

Title: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on April 29, 2019, 08:58:55 AM
We've had a few discussions on the topic of Cut-to-Length machines and I thought I'd start a thread to discuss some of the trends.  

Just painting a picture:  Sort of three harvesting methods competing in the US.  Whole tree- Feller buncher, skidder, slasher/loader.  Shovel Logging- feller, excavator, processors, and CTL- processor & forwarder.  


CTL tidbits in no particular order:

Another note on processors.  I hear that some mills in the south are now requiring that their loggers have processors on the landing which I think may hasten some change.  

Locally and very relevant to me: Tigercat dealer was unable to show me a forwarder in person, turns out there are 2 new tigercat forwarders in the US and one was made in 2018.  Seems to me that Tigercat is having trouble figuring out a market placement.  They have some great tracked harvester machines but boggie driven harvesters and forwarders seem to challenge them.  The manager in the local dealer was great, very responsive.  Just clear that CTL was not something they have experience or backing to support.

Komatsu, JD, Ponsse are the clear 123 in Europe and the NA markets, just depends on location to determine rank.  Even in Finland JD still gets a nice chunk of the market share (behind Ponsse) which I find interesting.  Here in NA Ponsse has a very strong resale value but is hampered by the lack of equipment financing (ask me how I know  :() and high initial prices. In the south things are different: JD and Komatsu have the financing but dealer support is still lacking they appear to do well in the PNW where dealers offer better support.  Ponsse mobile support teams might be an option for JD and Komatsu and give loggers the comfort to know they will not be stranded with millions of dollars in equipment in the field.  



Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Wudman on April 29, 2019, 10:14:40 AM
The biggest strike against cut to length operations in the Southeast are the mills that they would have to feed.  The modern pine mills in the southeast are set up to accept tree length material, computer optimize on the in-feed deck and cut to (optimized) length.  Across much of the south, the distinction between "chip and saw (small log material) and larger sawtimber has blurred.  That material is not separated in the woods, but it is sorted to the optimal saw line at the mill.  Without that in-woods merchandising, CTL loses any advantages.  In areas that still has multiple log sorts, CTL could still be competitive.

Years ago, I attempted to set up a CTL crew to operate in a second thinning (pine plantation) environment.  We were looking at merchandising on the small log sort.  I never was able to make it fly.  Before that, back in the mid 80s, we were playing with some of the smaller scale Scandinavian processors (Bobcat sized machines) merchandising 10 foot wood onto railcars.  The machines were not rugged enough to do what we were attempting and they were down more than operating.  The loss of that short wood market put an end to that venture. 

In a Southern U.S. venture, the next strike against CTL is cost.  A typical sawhead, 2 skidder, loader with pull through delimber and groundsaw will run circles around a cut to length operation on both production and cost.  We demoed a processor on one of our high production pine crews.  Looking at output from that machine, versus our conventional operation, we couldn't justify the cost.  We found out that we had a pretty DANG good loader operator that it was competing against.  This was in two thin plantation wood, so the only separation was some topwood. 

Wudman  
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on April 29, 2019, 11:04:17 AM
One plus for CTL in the SE is a Canadian mill bought a bunch of pine mills down there, and they are demanding CTL wood. That's why you're seeing more of the roadside processors.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Southside on April 29, 2019, 11:07:43 AM
Processor on the landing I can see working well, but CTL makes no sense in a plantation pine clear cut, just never keep up with a buncher and monster grapple skidder.  
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: timbco68 on April 29, 2019, 11:58:40 AM
the biggest strike against CTL is cost per ton I believe. If all you are producing is basically pulpwood, you can never overcome the added cost of such expensive and complicated machinery vs. hotsaws and big grapple skidders. If you can merchandise the heck out of your product and gain added value, you might have a bit of a chance. Europe is not America and I have seen some production figures on their pine 1st thinnings. They might have 2 guys running state of the art CTL where over here one man could produce the same numbers with old iron and you would have starved to death long ago. That being said, there is more and more CTL around. I believe once you scratch a little deeper you will find that quite a few of the guys that run it get a better price per ton from the big mills. Remember its not what IS always better, it's what is PERCEIVED as better for FSC or whatever supposedly green certification you want. I ran timbco one summer for a guy that had 3 conventional crews and 2 CTL. He ended up getting rid of the CTL because it's cost was 10$ per cord more than the conventional operation.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on April 29, 2019, 07:29:42 PM
Some mills used to pay a premium for CTL wood, UPM Blandin most notably. But things keep tightening up and that has went away, from what I understand. You can't just use cost per ton when you're comparing CTL and conventional equipment. There's a lot more to the story. First off, up in our country our CTL machines rarely get shut down due to weather. The forwarders more often than the harvesters obviously, but we can basically work year round whereas conventional equipment runs 7-8 months in a really good year. So ones out making money while the other has 5 pieces in the yard costing. I certainly agree that on a big clearcut, a conventional crew will bury a CTL outfit. One other thing that the south has a hard time figuring out, is that a CTL thinned pine stand tends to have higher residual value because there is less damage to the trees in the stand. Plywood logs can't have catfaces in them, can they? A lot of agencies up here have "ctl only" on their pine thin contracts for this reason. There's certainly a place for both systems, but the south could stand to open their minds up and see the benefits of ctl for pine thinning, IMO
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Ken on April 29, 2019, 08:08:15 PM
CTL has certainly become the dominant system here on the east coast of Canada.  Full tree systems were prominent until about 10 years ago.    Due to the fact that many of our woodlots, industrial lands and crown owned forests have not had effective management over the past few decades another increasingly common harvest method is to have a buncher go ahead of the harvester.  Seems to work really well in the crappy stands as the harvester can now spend time processing as opposed to cutting small unmerchantable stems out of the way.  I'll find out first hand starting tomorrow as we have added a buncher to the crew.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Riwaka on April 29, 2019, 09:03:53 PM
The US south will be cost efficient logging systems with the pine over supply?

There Are So Many Forests In Southern US That It?s Wrecking Timber Prices | The Daily Caller (https://dailycaller.com/2018/10/09/united-states-south-timber-markets/)

Ponsse sent a few bit of machinery to Florida for the hurricane cleanup
Ponsse in Florida
Jamie Flannery Interview- Washington County, Florida Hurricane Michael Debris Removal - YouTube (https://youtu.be/x4bF_D5kq4I?t=22)

Skidders - weiler will be in the north american market sometime.
There are a number of European 'skidder' makers
Russia with the trade restrictions - buy non-nato where possible.
noe-forstmaschinen | NF210-4R (https://www.noegmbh.net/nf210-4r)  (Germany)
HSM, Welte, Camoux, Irum    Haas Timberhawk (timberjack 240 evolution)

Tigercat is still developing their rubber tire machines. They have a mid sized harvester in development to join the 1135 and 1185.  (Quebec - 1085 forwarder/ clambunk 8x8, self loading etc to pull full length trees with on soft ground)

Tigercat - Australia tracked-processors felling and forwarders (clear cut pine)

Jock Haris High Country Logging Australia - YouTube (https://youtu.be/0w9g-5Ryu5A)

After the forwarder has left the saw logs in a stack. The self loader truck - dry roads so not likely to get stuck.
Euro extendable log trailer in Australia - YouTube (https://youtu.be/qWeRf2MuG6U)
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: kiko on April 29, 2019, 09:50:04 PM
I feel CTL will not ever be sustainable in any marketable way in the Southeast for two main reasons.
1.  The same person responsible for beating a new skidder down in two years will be trying to run a harvester or forwarder .  I have seen it first hand.  Those that made a go at it had to import operators from the North and from Europe.  
2. It is in the mills best interest to buy raw materials for a cheap as possible. Some of those that have made the jump to a processor have not received any increase in per pay, except on a per tract basis.  The  Canadian mills cornering the local market is not so they can increase cost of raw materials by paying more for the product because you use a electronic measurement device.  A log tape is just as accurate and cheaper to boot.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: quilbilly on April 29, 2019, 10:33:50 PM
Out here, pnw, we thin with ctl both tracked and wheeled. Small gypos will thin with an old cable skidder which in my opinion can still do an admirable job, but that is getting less and less.
 Shovel logging is soft on the soil and fast, as long as you're less than 5 swings from the landing start getting more than that and you lose advantages over a grapple skidder. More guys are doing it for the lack of ruts and state of WA rules. I know a number though that wish the bosses hadn't gotten rid of the skidders.
  Tethering is getting to be a big deal out here and you didn't mention tower logging either. No one uses a slasher delimber combo out here, at least not new. We have an old setup like that and with our type of wood a three man skidder, loader, processor crew will just make a setup like mine look silly.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on April 29, 2019, 10:38:11 PM
@nativewolf (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=24089) Shovel logging here is done differently then even down in the south, everything here has a tread of being big 300 sized shovels is pretty common. The big bonus is youíre making less trips on the ground well swinging but you do need more roads to handle the volume coming out as well as make it efficient. CTL is mainly a thinning practice out here with either a track skidder or a forwarder mainly long log thins are done anymore because of mills not wanting shorter wood lengths. We were told Deere had that many units going to Russia as well but was a year out on a new set because of Russia and South American demand. Thereís at least one of those big boy Tigercats cutting up here on a line and thereís a forwarder around they had at the OLC this year itís a big girl just like the harvester, but we did like the way stuff is laid out for future improvements like running on a line for long logs.
@Wudman (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=624) Iíve been around the big outfits out here some with a single processor they could do north of 50 loads a day if the mills and trucks could handle a good processor operator can move fast plus the sorting as well as the brush piling is already done.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on April 30, 2019, 07:10:50 AM
@quilbilly (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=30292) with the tethering now how many guys really need a tower vs something like a 5040 or 568 with drums and a grapple carriage to do most of the work now?
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: quilbilly on April 30, 2019, 09:01:46 AM
@quilbilly (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=30292) with the tethering now how many guys really need a tower vs something like a 5040 or 568 with drums and a grapple carriage to do most of the work now?

I think you're right. You're still going to see towers for long hard work where you need to hang a lot of line. I think tethered bunchers are going to get rid of handcutters completely. I got in an argument with my pops about tethered bunching, he's still stuck in the 70's. I think a tethered buncher followed up by a grapple off a tower will become really commonplace. Starting to already.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: chevytaHOE5674 on April 30, 2019, 09:14:51 AM
Conventional long wood crews are a dieing breed UP here. 90% of our logging is hardwood thinnings and 90% of that is state/fed/TIMO ground and they have restrictions on how long of wood you can ground skid, slash utilization, rutting, landing size etc. Many contracts with the state stipulate max length of between 17 and 26 foot for skidded wood, that means long wood guys need to buck to length in the woods. Also many contracts stipulate tracked equipment so that kicks out most skidder crews. Generally CTL crews driving on a slash mat do less soil damage that a grapple skidder. Landowners like that when things are all done there is basically no landings on a CTL operation as they just deck logs roadside without need for a large opening.

Only buncher/skidder/slasher crews left are doing clearcuts of low grade wood because that is about all they are they are able to cut due to contract stipulations.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on April 30, 2019, 09:24:50 AM
@chevytaHOE5674 (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=8040) That's good insight.  Makes more sense of market direction up there in MI.

@quilbilly (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=30292) I completely left off the tethering but yeah, that is key trend.  When synchro tethers are standard options of harvesters you know that the demand is there.  So when you say hanging a grapple off a tower?  You mean you have an automated grapple that can be remote controlled because the feller has organized all the material in a straight line for yarding system?  We're just not steep enough here in VA to really see much grapple work.

@skeans1 I had not heard of the demand for CTL in south america but it does not surprise me either, similar to russia.  Roads logistics can be very challenging.

Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Claybraker on April 30, 2019, 03:44:54 PM
I feel CTL will not ever be sustainable in any marketable way in the Southeast for two main reasons.
1.  The same person responsible for beating a new skidder down in two years will be trying to run a harvester or forwarder .  I have seen it first hand.  Those that made a go at it had to import operators from the North and from Europe.  

Would that be an opportunity for operator training with some sort of manufacturer neutral  certification?   Given the current cost and complexity of equipment now I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: quilbilly on April 30, 2019, 04:40:17 PM
The tethered buncher has organized everything. I've heard word of a remote control grapple with saw but haven't seen anything in person.

https://www.summitattachments.com/summit-grapple-carriage/

 He is a small grapple setup. Something like this would be used to "pick" corners or other small volume yarding, perhaps even corridor thinning.
  Redirect Notice (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=%23&ved=2ahUKEwj9s8Cc1vjhAhUJqp4KHSuEAi8QwqsBMAx6BAgHEBA&usg=AOvVaw0VTJzWxrN8ZFOD4xbU2nov&cshid=1556656762581)
 
This is a 124 madill. A bit bigger swing yarder.
  The main issues with anything that has yarder in the name is they cost lots of money to buy and maintain.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: snowstorm on April 30, 2019, 05:44:29 PM
some body must think ctl works by the looks of all the new gear in bangor. deere has a lot of new gear valmet has several new machines. dont know about ponsse havnt been over there in a while
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Riwaka on April 30, 2019, 06:12:04 PM
Valmet? - do those machines with the red paint have a Komatsu sticker somewhere on them anywhere?

System for heading towards tower semi-autonomous operation  (dc equipment electronic control system)
google keywords dc equipment,  falcon 171, autonomous control

iLog system for swing yarders (not showing up on google yet) shaws (nz) point of contact.

Felling carriage - closer to production, but still be a development category. Not really in the forest operation handbooks/ rule books yet.
The Future Is Now: Falcon Felling Carriage Prototype (https://www.dcforestryequipment.com/en/future-now-falcon-felling-carriage-prototype/)
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: snowstorm on April 30, 2019, 06:27:07 PM
valmet is easier to spell than komatsu
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on April 30, 2019, 10:08:13 PM
The tethered buncher has organized everything. I've heard word of a remote control grapple with saw but haven't seen anything in person.

https://www.summitattachments.com/summit-grapple-carriage/

 He is a small grapple setup. Something like this would be used to "pick" corners or other small volume yarding, perhaps even corridor thinning.
  Redirect Notice (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=%23&ved=2ahUKEwj9s8Cc1vjhAhUJqp4KHSuEAi8QwqsBMAx6BAgHEBA&usg=AOvVaw0VTJzWxrN8ZFOD4xbU2nov&cshid=1556656762581)
 
This is a 124 madill. A bit bigger swing yarder.
  The main issues with anything that has yarder in the name is they cost lots of money to buy and maintain.
Thereís guys here that bunch piles with a tethered machine then drop a pin with the mapping software so the carriage will stop at the bunches from what I understand.
@quilbilly (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=30292) with the tethering now how many guys really need a tower vs something like a 5040 or 568 with drums and a grapple carriage to do most of the work now?

I think you're right. You're still going to see towers for long hard work where you need to hang a lot of line. I think tethered bunchers are going to get rid of handcutters completely. I got in an argument with my pops about tethered bunching, he's still stuck in the 70's. I think a tethered buncher followed up by a grapple off a tower will become really commonplace. Starting to already.
There will always be a place for a hand cutter but here comes the problem with the ground that will be left and the wood who is going to want to get broke in anymore? What Iím waiting for is the state to come up with some hard fast rules on how steep they can actually go hopefully before someone gets hurt or worse.

Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Corley5 on April 30, 2019, 10:22:16 PM
A good way to go broke fast is hand cutting hardwood pulp in N. Michigan.  Especially if you're legit paying comp on the saw hand. 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: kiko on April 30, 2019, 11:02:05 PM
I feel CTL will not ever be sustainable in any marketable way in the Southeast for two main reasons.
1.  The same person responsible for beating a new skidder down in two years will be trying to run a harvester or forwarder .  I have seen it first hand.  Those that made a go at it had to import operators from the North and from Europe.  

Would that be an opportunity for operator training with some sort of manufacturer neutral  certification?   Given the current cost and complexity of equipment now I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.
Training might work, might not...
Imagine a squirt boom on processor or forwarder....

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/25160/10141~0.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1540861401)
 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: timbco68 on April 30, 2019, 11:29:49 PM
That's actually impressive in a sad kind of way.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on April 30, 2019, 11:37:32 PM
I feel CTL will not ever be sustainable in any marketable way in the Southeast for two main reasons.
1.  The same person responsible for beating a new skidder down in two years will be trying to run a harvester or forwarder .  I have seen it first hand.  Those that made a go at it had to import operators from the North and from Europe.  

Would that be an opportunity for operator training with some sort of manufacturer neutral  certification?   Given the current cost and complexity of equipment now I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.
Training might work, might not...
Imagine a squirt boom on processor or forwarder....

(http://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/25160/10141~0.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1540861401)

Might be worth setting up the controls and locking the system like the old TJ TMC was where you set it to 50% of full speed but the operator can adjust what they think is full power when in reality itís 50% of full speed. Itís always amazing what some guys can do when paid by production as well, is that skidder in a clear cut or a thin?
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on April 30, 2019, 11:43:47 PM
I don't know what it is down there...they just destroy stuff. I think the only way you get around it is hiring people from outside the field and training them the way you want. Ponsse told me they took a machine once out of Alabama, I don't remember if it was a repo or a trade, a couple years old and 6-8000 hours and they were PARTING IT OUT! Because it was trashed so bad! Can you imagine buying a $600K machine and destroying it in 6000 hours?
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on May 01, 2019, 07:38:21 AM
Right, I mean Ponsse new warranty program gives full coverage to 6000 hours, with an active care package you basically change oil and hoses and they do the rest.  But to kill a machine at 1/3 of normal use is crazy.  Well maintained Ponsses are going to 20k+ hours nowadays. 

I am actually hiring outside the industry.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on May 01, 2019, 08:27:45 AM
We have a forwarder that is at 30k hours. One of our contract harvesters is over 30k. That machine started out down south, and got it's hardest use down there (by Captain Kirk, who you met in Alabama, Nativewolf😊). That machine used to get serviced by kiko. It's a small world, isn't it?
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on May 01, 2019, 09:37:34 PM
We have a forwarder that is at 30k hours. One of our contract harvesters is over 30k. That machine started out down south, and got it's hardest use down there (by Captain Kirk, who you met in Alabama, Nativewolf😊). That machine used to get serviced by kiko. It's a small world, isn't it?
The man can get some trees down but he's not gentle.  Glad to hear it is still doing well.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on May 01, 2019, 10:41:46 PM
I just found out today that one of the CTL outfits (2 teams) from up here is down around Savannah, GA. My buddy talked to his old boss down there, he was trying to talk him into coming back down and cutting down there again. He said he's getting paid a premium for the bucked wood, when they were running CTL before they could barely get the mills to take their wood because they wanted it tree length.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on May 03, 2019, 07:45:22 AM
Huh, that's interesting but I guess not surprising.  

The next upgrade for CTL is greater processor to mill connectivity.  Really no reason why they should not be JIT (just in time).  
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Riwaka on May 03, 2019, 09:03:39 AM
Does on processor accoustic testing happen in Lob pine? for saw log/ chip nsaw?
Might better segregate ctl logs off the feller/ processor  which is saw vs pulp.
Manual Accoustic testing of red pine.
Hitman ST300 Acoustic Velocity Instrument - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtRQpx9H9jE)

Later system tried on a waratah.
HITMAN PH330 by fibre-gen | inFact Ltd (https://www.infact.co.nz/hitman-ph330)
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on May 03, 2019, 01:19:18 PM
Huh, that's interesting but I guess not surprising.  

The next upgrade for CTL is greater processor to mill connectivity.  Really no reason why they should not be JIT (just in time).  
Just in time systems wouldnít work unless the mill systems changed at least out here with our scaling thereís no way theyíd trust a machine to scale every stick.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: mike_belben on May 04, 2019, 12:30:33 PM
I drive 300-500 miles a day in TN, carolina and a touch of Nga.  See about 20 loads of tree length pine to 1 load of bucked HW on average. Have passed plenty of equipment dealers, tons of mills and tons of clearcuts.  I have never seen a CTL machine in the southeast.  Not on a job, not on a trailer or on a dealer lot.  Theres probably 5 new knucklebooms over at delks right now.  

The south .. Atleast where the trees are, is predominantly rural.  Rural people see land as a thing that produces either a crop or a subdivision, and we hate subdivisions, its where the invaders live.  So whether its a crop of beans, wheat, corn, hay, beef or lumber..  We dont really care.. They all have a look of their own that is just part of the natural world, stumps and slash included.  We are not preconditioned to think of a clearcut as ugly or to think of undeveloped land as requiring a tidy parking lot with sidewalks and mulched retaining wall hardscapes like urban regions are all going to.

Roll down the west side of durham NC on apex hwy [55] and there is not a native planting in sight.  Every spec of material there, from the fill dirt to the luxury apartments that are being built one ontop the other, came on a truck.  Those people demand beauty at any cost, but they dont have land to sell a crop off of. 

Head southwest on 73 toward pinehurst or wadesboro or mt gilead and youll see miles of land around the singlewides.  The pine harvest slash will end 5 feet from a bedroom window.  These people have land.  They care about dollars per acre on that crop and thats that.  Is ctl gonna bump up the profit?  No?  Sorry, my cousins hotsaw crew will be here tuesday.  

If one wants to be a CTL in the south its gonna be swimming upstream.  Youll need to leave the region to find it, fix it yourself, run it yourself and make less than the other crews pouring a pail of 303 per day into a 1992 prentice hooked to a 5ton that havent had a payment on them in decades.  The crew makes $13/hr on a 1099, fixes the stuff themselves and slams out truck after truck after truck 6 days a week.   Can you compete against them?   Not without someone elses money i reckon.  Yes theyre hillbilly rednecks doing it all wrong, but you wont believe how much footage they put up with fence wire and hoseclamps.

Can they work all year?  Not unless deer season gets cancelled.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: RT roosting on May 13, 2019, 05:44:27 PM
I feel CTL will not ever be sustainable in any marketable way in the Southeast for two main reasons.

I will admit I have no experience in CTL, but I have wondered if a CTL combi/dual machine would work well in the South on small woodlots 5-15 acres, stream corridor thinnings, possibly steeper sloped areas, etc...    

These are higher cost harvest types, but the combi machine would actually benefit you in these instances as moving costs would be less with just one machine and on corridor harvests the skid distances wouldn't be as much of a factor.  I would think it also would work well for cleanup after larger high production crews when they get rained out with small acreage left.

I could be wrong, but it would seem like if you could get 4 loads per day with one machine in these type stands (cutting 12-20" pine most of the time) it would work, but I don't know if that is reasonable.  I have had this thought in the back of my head for a few years after seeing a few try second thinning down here and fight a slow death.  Just felt like it wasn't the right application, too much low value pulpwood with lots of processing to justify the precision equipment.   
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on May 13, 2019, 11:45:27 PM
RT, the combi machines are typically only suited to smaller wood. You're hanging a harvester head off of a forwarder crane, so the capacity is pretty limited. They are out there though. 
    I just heard of a crew from up here, that went down with 2 Ponsse CTL crews to Georgia cutting predominantly pine. A little birdie told me a lot of the things that were fighting previous CTL efforts, are coming around to where it's not an uphill fight. There's a logger down there that's been in the game for a long time, that's thinking it's time for a CTL crew. He'll likely import an operation from somewhere else though.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: WDH on May 14, 2019, 07:42:35 AM
Interfor, which is the largest lumber producer in Georgia at close to a billion bf/year at seven mills has converted all the mills to cut to length.  Most loggers still use the traditional tree-length equipment but use ground saws to cut the logs to the multiple lengths.  Everything is skidded tree length to the landing and then the logs are de-limbed, topped, and cut to multiple lengths with the groundsaw.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: RT roosting on May 14, 2019, 10:17:41 AM
RT, the combi machines are typically only suited to smaller wood. You're hanging a harvester head off of a forwarder crane, so the capacity is pretty limited. They are out there though.
    I just heard of a crew from up here, that went down with 2 Ponsse CTL crews to Georgia cutting predominantly pine. A little birdie told me a lot of the things that were fighting previous CTL efforts, are coming around to where it's not an uphill fight. There's a logger down there that's been in the game for a long time, that's thinking it's time for a CTL crew. He'll likely import an operation from somewhere else though.
Thanks barbender, I hadn't thought about the difference in size of combi machines.  It's a shame as I felt there might be a good fit to use one for specialized logging down here.  
I think more mills will shift to cut to length going forward.  Historically the mills owned the land and mills throughout the South, and as such they designed mills to maximize production from the land base all the way through to market.  Since most of the mills are now independent of the land, Weyerhaeuser being the exception, I think the trend will increase especially considering there is an oversupply of logs so they don't have to push for everything.   
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: chevytaHOE5674 on May 14, 2019, 10:23:27 AM
You can get a timber pro combo machine and run a respectable size head (logmax 7000 size or equilivant) on it and cut just about anything you could want with a machine.

If I was ever crazy enough to get back into the woods biz that is the route I would go.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on May 14, 2019, 10:48:05 AM
Chevy, I always forget about the Timberpro machines- their cranes are completely capable as either a forwarder or harvester. But they are big, and who knows where things will end up with Komatsu buying them out.
  RT, another thing- cleaning up around the margins and such is a good way to go broke. One problem my buddy had when he was cutting with his Ponsse down there in GA, was that many of the foresters only wanted to use him for exactly the situations you describe. The conventional crews would cut all the high production/easy access wood, and he'd get to cut the difficult terrain, near houses, etc. Production was poor, and he finally came back north. If you could get a good enough harvesting rate, you could make it work but it's tough.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Plankton on May 14, 2019, 11:00:43 AM
Are the mills down south upping price per mbdft when switching to ctl? to account for the more time it takes for the logger and what would seem to be a time saver for the mill versus whole tree.

 Up here in the northeast we make out fine production wise with slashers on the landing or ctl equiptment in the woods since hardly any mills I know of take tree length but it's a whole different scenario up here.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on May 14, 2019, 03:49:25 PM
If youíre using a processor on the landing do you really need a bump? Time and speed should be the same or slightly faster since you sort/pile well processing plus youíll have less waste to take back out in the brush for slash.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: kiko on May 14, 2019, 08:11:10 PM
Y'all come on back! I am tired of working on skidders and rubber tired bunchers anyway.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: RT roosting on May 15, 2019, 10:19:07 AM
Barbender - I hear what you are saying - a steady diet of junk is bad no matter what you are dealing with, and higher rates a lot of times aren't able to compensate for lack of production.

I just saw the one machine where you aren't paying labor, workers comp, you use less fuel, probably less maintenance cost, and the ability to cut a much wider variety of tracts and ground types and best of all no employees!    However I'm guessing price of one is in the $650k range and for just one piece of equipment that's tough to overcome.

I'm assuming your buddy cutting in GA was using traditional 2 machine setup?  Any ideas what kind of production he was getting? 
      
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on May 15, 2019, 01:19:09 PM
I get where you're coming from, RT. My buddy actually demoed a Ponsse Buffalo Dusl when he was in Georgia. He wasn't impressed with it as a harvester at all. As I said before, it still had the forwarder crane (way less lifting power, waaay less swing power), and then you have the long forwarder frame to contend with. He said you end up processing over the wheels all the time👎 I think they would work ok in small diameter wood, but they really are limited as a harvester. The Timberpro is it's own beast, they look completely capable as harvester. 
  I don't remember what kind of production they were getting down there. They speak tons and we speak cords, not to mention that the wood is way heavier down there😊
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on May 15, 2019, 03:53:12 PM
Barbender - I hear what you are saying - a steady diet of junk is bad no matter what you are dealing with, and higher rates a lot of times aren't able to compensate for lack of production.

I just saw the one machine where you aren't paying labor, workers comp, you use less fuel, probably less maintenance cost, and the ability to cut a much wider variety of tracts and ground types and best of all no employees!    However I'm guessing price of one is in the $650k range and for just one piece of equipment that's tough to overcome.

I'm assuming your buddy cutting in GA was using traditional 2 machine setup?  Any ideas what kind of production he was getting?
      
Most of the Timberpro machines will use more fuel or the same as the two machine setups. One thing to look at is youíll be down production since youíre cutting for a while then yarding, in thinning we do about 3 loads a day so around 75 to 100 tons a day of logs and pulp now cut that in half plus loading time.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: RT roosting on May 15, 2019, 09:55:39 PM
Thanks Skeans and Barbender, the dream is officially dead.  I would need the production to be in the 3-4 loads/day range to make work.  Our wood may be heavier so processing might be quicker to get to the tonnage, but I think it is still a stretch.  As you mentioned still have loading time to factor in, and unless you can somehow schedule trucks or have set out trailers there is going to be a lot of switching going on.  

Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: chevytaHOE5674 on May 15, 2019, 10:10:35 PM
Good buddy of mine has an 8wheel timberpro harvester with a logmax 7000 head on it. He has no trouble putting 70+ cord of wood on the ground every day using not much more fuel than the Ponsse and JD machines I ran did. His forwarder burns more fuel per hour than the "euro" machines but his can swing a lot more wood a lot faster as well. The crane will lift a house if needed.

My reason for wanting a good combo machine is I dont want an employee, no workers comp, no expensive insurance on the hired man and machine, one machine to move, etc. But everytime I get serious about it my wife smacks me back to my senses. Haha
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on May 15, 2019, 10:40:41 PM
@chevytaHOE5674 (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=8040) 
Our newer 1270G is running around 3.5 an hour in fuel our old school TJ1210B has a Perkins 6 is about 2.5 an hour. I canít say how much wood we could do in a clear cut being we donít hardly do them, but doing the lengths we have to do out here 32ís 36ís it takes more time to produce then short logs. I get the big bonus on insurance and moving costs everything has to pay out to make worth while.
Is my math right heís cutting roughly 150mbf a day?
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on May 15, 2019, 10:42:14 PM
Thanks Skeans and Barbender, the dream is officially dead.  I would need the production to be in the 3-4 loads/day range to make work.  Our wood may be heavier so processing might be quicker to get to the tonnage, but I think it is still a stretch.  As you mentioned still have loading time to factor in, and unless you can somehow schedule trucks or have set out trailers there is going to be a lot of switching going on.  
What we use for loading instead of a forwarder is a shovel/log loader to load the trucks the landings are smaller and the roads stay cleaner. What lengths are you guys running down there?
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: RT roosting on May 16, 2019, 09:30:50 AM
Yeah I thought about the possibility of a high hour cheap loader.  That way if it works drivers could load themselves, reducing down time of machine.  For pine we generally cut ply multiples 17' 25' etc... and sawmill lengths 10, 12, 14, 16, and multiples.  

We generally get about 50' of logs out of our pine and then 20 feet of pulp per stem.  I figured most of the cut lengths would be in the 16' to 25' range.    
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Claybraker on May 16, 2019, 02:33:55 PM
What about smaller tracts, 10 acres or so. Leave a few TPA for a seed source for regeneration and aesthetic value. Operating at the margins is an easy way to go broke slowly, but figuring a way to profitably exploit an underserved market can be quite profitable, or so I've heard.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: snowstorm on May 23, 2019, 06:17:43 AM
We've had a few discussions on the topic of Cut-to-Length machines and I thought I'd start a thread to discuss some of the trends.  

Just painting a picture:  Sort of three harvesting methods competing in the US.  Whole tree- Feller buncher, skidder, slasher/loader.  Shovel Logging- feller, excavator, processors, and CTL- processor & forwarder.  


CTL tidbits in no particular order:

Another note on processors.  I hear that some mills in the south are now requiring that their loggers have processors on the landing which I think may hasten some change.  

Locally and very relevant to me: Tigercat dealer was unable to show me a forwarder in person, turns out there are 2 new tigercat forwarders in the US and one was made in 2018.  Seems to me that Tigercat is having trouble figuring out a market placement.  They have some great tracked harvester machines but boggie driven harvesters and forwarders seem to challenge them.  The manager in the local dealer was great, very responsive.  Just clear that CTL was not something they have experience or backing to support.

Komatsu, JD, Ponsse are the clear 123 in Europe and the NA markets, just depends on location to determine rank.  Even in Finland JD still gets a nice chunk of the market share (behind Ponsse) which I find interesting.  Here in NA Ponsse has a very strong resale value but is hampered by the lack of equipment financing (ask me how I know  :() and high initial prices. In the south things are different: JD and Komatsu have the financing but dealer support is still lacking they appear to do well in the PNW where dealers offer better support.  Ponsse mobile support teams might be an option for JD and Komatsu and give loggers the comfort to know they will not be stranded with millions of dollars in equipment in the field.  
1 of those tigercat forwarders was in bangor me last week for the show
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: snowstorm on May 23, 2019, 06:18:49 AM
along with the owner of tigercat
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on May 23, 2019, 06:26:37 AM
@snowstorm (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=12565) Yep I've taken a look at them, they looked ok.  The tigercat dealer in Virginia, a big dealer in tigercat skidders, loaders, harvesting machines has never sold one.  They did look around the US for ones for me to demo.  That's how I know they had 2 new ones for sale on dealer lots.  

Interesting thing though, in the Richmond VA logging expo Tigercat also came with a 1075.  I am beginning to think it is a demo machine  :D.  

When the dealer manager says..."well maybe a Tigercat forwarder in VA is not the most logical thing"....you have an issue. 

In other news Ponsse US market share is now at 53%.  Komatsu has been paying most of that market share loss and Ponsse has been the beneficiary.  
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on May 23, 2019, 06:43:25 AM
@nativewolf (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=24089) 
Did they say how much of that is just from one operator?
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: makeri_drvr on May 23, 2019, 10:52:42 AM
We tried CTL in the 80's in VA. Thinning pine cutting 8ft post. There is no incentive for mills to subsidize the higher cost lower production of CTL. Most are set up for tree length now. Mills don't care about stand improvement because very few own any timberland anymore. The heavy underbrush in the South is hard on processors. A traditional sawhead is just tougher. I also found the short steep ground gave the forwarder a problem. Now I was using Iron Mules and a Lokomo Makeri that were small machines nothing like the stuff available now. But after owning it and trying to make it work and working on a high production conventional crew I wouldn't try CTL again. 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on May 23, 2019, 12:37:40 PM
@makeri_drvr (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=42857)  Welcome to the forum.  Sounds like you may know @wudman.  In the most productive pine plantation area  (coastal GA) in the US they are changing from whole tree to CTL, so either a CTL operation or a processor on landing.  Plusses and minuses 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: mike_belben on May 23, 2019, 11:35:40 PM
Theres nothing wrong with a buncher and knuckleboom.  

The economics will not change much until a government entity forces them to change.  There are too many sawmills for any one to dictate the whole market, atleast in NC and TN in my opinion.

  If i own a paid off conventional iron quiver and the mill tells me its time i borrow a half million for CTL gear to suit their needs, im shaking hands, walking out the door for the last time, selling it all off and buying a few end dumps. Loggin aint the only way to earn a livin.  If the mill wants CTL they can buy the gear themselves. 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on June 22, 2019, 05:38:34 PM
I see in the latest edition of Timberline that 3 loggers in the Mississippi and Alabama have put waratah on the landings.  

@Skeans1 (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=37446) also sent me a link to the latest Komatsu head which is supposed to compete against the h8hd head and even go on a tracked machine.  Not out yet, due in early 2020.  

Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on June 22, 2019, 09:06:17 PM
I saw that too- I don't really consider that "CTL" myself when it's just a processor working on the landing. I don't doubt it works for them, but why wouldn't a pull through and a deck saw work the same?
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on June 22, 2019, 09:14:46 PM
The mill owner is requiring all logs are processed, ie cut with a processor head instead of a bucksaw.  
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on June 22, 2019, 09:32:33 PM
I saw that too- I don't really consider that "CTL" myself when it's just a processor working on the landing. I don't doubt it works for them, but why wouldn't a pull through and a deck saw work the same?
Itís no different then up here speed, size of the landing, and you have another machine that can load or shovel turns out with. 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on June 22, 2019, 11:28:21 PM
NW, hypothetical question here- if it meets specs how can they tell the difference? I get if they're cutting company properties they can have equipment requirements or preferences, but on open market wood if the length, diameter and sweep are good and limbs trimmed flush, how can they turn it away? "We need to see some feed roller marks on these?"😊 I know there's treelength crews in middle Georgia that are shipping wood that they are hand bucking with a tape and a chainsaw. One fellow would like to get a CTL contract crew down there again, he thinks things are finally in place for it to take off. Maybe the roadside processor will be the answer for down there, they are definitely more gorilla proof. 
  I don't know if you saw the Timberline magazine article, I think it was this winter, that featured Grand Marais, MN logger Stan Nelson. He was running 2 Ponsse Scorpion Kings and an Elephant and Buffalo forwarders. He packed up this winter and headed to near Savannah, GA to cut for one of the mills down there. We'll see how it works out. It helps us up here- the markets suck and everyone that bags up or leaves helps the rest of us out😁
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Riwaka on June 28, 2019, 06:21:28 PM
I don't know if this was posted earlier on here? ponsse simulator for log cutting at the stump etc


At the moment the machine operator training is training for a specific machine. 
The John Deere simulator that does the JD wheeled harvester/ forwarder functions is around us$80K . The JD tracked loaders and wheeled/ tracked feller buncher simulators were mentioned the other day and there is a waratah simulator too.

Jussi the Ponsse trainer and the Ponsse  simulator.
ReadyQuipPONSSE - YouTube (https://youtu.be/9U7tKMebwoA)
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on June 28, 2019, 07:18:18 PM
NW, hypothetical question here- if it meets specs how can they tell the difference? I get if they're cutting company properties they can have equipment requirements or preferences, but on open market wood if the length, diameter and sweep are good and limbs trimmed flush, how can they turn it away? "We need to see some feed roller marks on these?"😊 I know there's treelength crews in middle Georgia that are shipping wood that they are hand bucking with a tape and a chainsaw. One fellow would like to get a CTL contract crew down there again, he thinks things are finally in place for it to take off. Maybe the roadside processor will be the answer for down there, they are definitely more gorilla proof.
  I don't know if you saw the Timberline magazine article, I think it was this winter, that featured Grand Marais, MN logger Stan Nelson. He was running 2 Ponsse Scorpion Kings and an Elephant and Buffalo forwarders. He packed up this winter and headed to near Savannah, GA to cut for one of the mills down there. We'll see how it works out. It helps us up here- the markets suck and everyone that bags up or leaves helps the rest of us out😁
I assume that the precision on the top cut and log length is a tell tale sign but more telling would be not having one on landing and mill buyer inspecting landing and it is in your contract.  Mostly though, I would think (you tell me) that it would show on the specific precision of the cut lengths and diameters.  
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on June 29, 2019, 01:02:43 AM
NW, I guess the point I was trying to make, and perhaps more of a question, is whether they are demanding it is run through a processor? The sense I get from the guys in GA is that the mills want it cut to length now. Maybe a better term would be "bucked"? From what I understand, they want it pre-bucked now. Most stuff in GA was tree length previously, now the mills are looking for logs pre-bucked to their specs, and they must not care about how it's done- as I mentioned prior the one crew is hand bucking.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on June 29, 2019, 06:50:50 AM
NW, I guess the point I was trying to make, and perhaps more of a question, is whether they are demanding it is run through a processor? The sense I get from the guys in GA is that the mills want it cut to length now. Maybe a better term would be "bucked"? From what I understand, they want it pre-bucked now. Most stuff in GA was tree length previously, now the mills are looking for logs pre-bucked to their specs, and they must not care about how it's done- as I mentioned prior the one crew is hand bucking.
Oh gotch...could be.  The mill spec changes constantly though...I don't know I thought it was also no more pull through delimbers?  And @kiko (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=15160) might know better...did they require a processor or not?  
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: WDH on June 29, 2019, 08:22:26 AM
There is Company in Georgia, a Canadian company, Interfor, that owns and operates seven sawmills.  They require that all logs be cut to pre-set multiples.  The way that they are bucked to length does not matter.  Some loggers have gone to processors, others use ground saws.  When I had timber cut last year, The logger had a ground saw which is a chainsaw bar operated tremotely by the loader operator.  The determine the pre-set lengths, they pounded t-posts in the ground so they they could pull the butt even with the proper t-post and buck the log with the ground saw. 

In 2016, I had a tract of 30 year-old planted pine clearcut.  The process was to fell the trees with a feller buncher, skid to the landing with one grapple skidder, de-limb and cut to length with a processor, and load the trucks with a knuckleboom loader.  This crew was getting 14 loads per day with this set up. 

Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on June 29, 2019, 08:36:41 AM
I think one more thing need to be cleared up there CTL or Cut To Length which is an in the woods process of falling the truck, limbing and then bucking the log at the stump. There is also Tree Length yarding with road side processing which is a very common process, most have a processor sitting back behind the sort piles limbing the trees through well bucking/sorting the logs.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on June 29, 2019, 08:53:27 AM
@Skeans1 (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=37446) Absolutely right, sorry to confuse anyone.  I am just watching trends and this addition of processing heads on the landing is different (for the south) and could make it easier for someone to market wood cut via a CTL process.  So absolutely right that this is not CTL ...just using some of the same technology in the process on the landing only.  
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on June 29, 2019, 09:13:11 AM
@nativewolf (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=24089) 
Possibly but less likely unless youíre going to be doing lengths like we do on the forwarders and if the land owner wants all that slash left like that personally I wouldnít unless itís a thinning.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Riwaka on June 30, 2019, 04:59:31 AM
Rayonier that operates in a few places (HQ-Atlanta) are looking at volume 'scaling' rather than weight of logs over a weighbridge.

The processor allows for near continuous diameter measurements down the stem. If the volume of the log is 'measured' and the individual log identified and then the sum of the individual volumes of the logs put on the truck, you can tell the mill accurately what volume is headed their way.
The truck does not need to go over the weighbridge (so often?)

Accurate volume of wood fibre might be a better than weights that vary with mud and moisture levels etc. 


Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: kiko on July 01, 2019, 08:15:06 PM
I know I am a pessimist about this whole CTL or stationary processing. With out more pay for the logger per ton it is unaffordable in this market, with this labor pool, and proprietary software.  This idea for calculating volume at the landing... when there is a CAN failure between the many modules to bring this
data from the joystick buttons to the mill office the cost of maintenance and repair will fall on the logger; just to have the right to sell a product that they cannot demand their price. Everybody down the chain makes money until the logger, and he makes just enough to pay the bills,sometimes, unless he has quota and inventory. Commercial chicken farming is the same game.  You can refuse a price on your cows. 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on July 02, 2019, 07:52:43 AM
@kiko (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=15160) That is actually how I feel about most logging, CTL or Whole Tree.  I think most guys in south harvesting for big mills are little more than slaves.  They need to wise up and unionize or leave logging or something.  Most of the loggers have tremendous debts and having spent several months with various bankers it was the universal feeling that if I was opening a sawmill they were much more interested, because sawmills have done well in the bankers eyes. Loggers...not so much.  I suppose free market will take care of this in the long wrong but the free market is pretty brutal in that process, families are ruined in a business so centered around small family operations.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on July 02, 2019, 08:21:40 AM
Just curious whatís the difference between the south and the NW?
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: WDH on July 02, 2019, 08:39:05 AM
Mainly terrain.  Most of the South is relatively flat where 99% of the time wood can be skidded tree length with grapple skidders to a landing.  A good bit of the Pacific NW has much steeper ground. 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on July 02, 2019, 08:53:20 AM
@WDH (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=4370)
The terrain is different yes but almost all of it is done mechanical tree length to a landing on clear cuts. We have quotas, thereís no guarantees and we have the labor issues as well I guess what Iím getting at is what is the big difference we all have the same issues to deal with but the big difference I see from the outside looking in is theyíre unwilling to learn a new kind of logging.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Southside on July 02, 2019, 09:11:40 AM
They need to wise up and unionize


That was sorta tried in far northern Maine, late '90's maybe it was early 2000's.  Never got off the ground and it didn't look like it would have been a solution anyway.  There is a new push to try that again, but it's mostly politically driven, and knowing who is doing the driving it won't benefit those who would need it the most.  
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: mike_belben on July 02, 2019, 09:15:08 AM
Just curious whatís the difference between the south and the NW?
Culture and cost. 
Exactly what kiko said. Going CTL to please a mill is just like lease purchase on a tractor.  JB Hunt or swift or whoever can buy the trucks by the dozen and write them off, but theyd rather trick you into buying it and running it exclusively for them so that they can move their lowest freight on forced dispatch schedules, keeping the shipper happy... And also relieve themselves of the risk of machinery trouble, labor trouble, market trouble, whatever.  You sign the equipment purchase, youre doing whatever the finance man says until the repo man takes the burden off your shoulders or you pay it off.  Whether there is any spread left for you is irrelevant to the bosses. And it aint you when youre buried in debt. 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: mike_belben on July 02, 2019, 09:16:25 AM
They need to wise up and unionize


That was sorta tried in far northern Maine, late '90's maybe it was early 2000's.  Never got off the ground and it didn't look like it would have been a solution anyway.  There is a new push to try that again, but it's mostly politically driven, and knowing who is doing the driving it won't benefit those who would need it the most.  
I am proud of chattanooga for refusing the UAW into volkswagen.  One detroit is enough.  They did a bangup job over there. 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on July 02, 2019, 09:46:04 AM
Yeah overall I'm not a big fan of unions though in germanay they have done wonders for the workers, of course workers control 40% of many company board seats.  Basically VW is a german employment scheme, I guarantee you the german workers won't loose a job if Chatanooga has issues.  Any good engineering job will also go right back to germany as fast as they can move it.  In my previous life Continental AG was my largest client and I watched them move every good white collar job they could move back to germany.  Buy motorolla, move jobs, tire plants- all engineering back to germany.  To VW and the other german companies US is just a location for place to source low skilled grunt labor behind a paywall or to source extracted resources.  In sum, they are treating us like they treat Brazil or Nigeria or Thailand.  It's not a compliment.  In some things, especially rapidly moving fields like software or genetics the germans lag terribly and actually try to buy US talent but that usually fails because they are too proscriptive.  

Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on July 02, 2019, 09:53:58 AM
Mainly terrain.  Most of the South is relatively flat where 99% of the time wood can be skidded tree length with grapple skidders to a landing.  A good bit of the Pacific NW has much steeper ground.
The other difference, and this is huge, is the landownership base.  In the south 60%+ of timber is owned by non commercial, non public landowners.  Mostly less than 1000 acres.  Most tracts are under 100 acres.  You don't move and sit on a job for a year, you move every other week often.  If you sit for a couple of months that is big.  Mill density used to be really high, but is now consolidating tremendously.  Combine bad education, few professional foresters, short term decision making, poverty and you have conditions that supported a lot of small family owned logging companies.  Company with a skidder and a feller buncher and 2 trucks, 2 brothers and maybe a cousin or son.  That is the quintessential southern logging company.  There are hundreds and they all compete viciously.   If they can rip off a landowner many do so, it is the rare opportunity for profit.  If they go to work for a mill the mills guarantee the cash flow to grow and upgrade but never enough margin to create a profit and enable the loggers to escape the mills chokehold.   
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on July 02, 2019, 09:55:52 AM
Just curious whatís the difference between the south and the NW?
Culture and cost.
Exactly what kiko said. Going CTL to please a mill is just like lease purchase on a tractor.  JB Hunt or swift or whoever can buy the trucks by the dozen and write them off, but theyd rather trick you into buying it and running it exclusively for them so that they can move their lowest freight on forced dispatch schedules, keeping the shipper happy... And also relieve themselves of the risk of machinery trouble, labor trouble, market trouble, whatever.  You sign the equipment purchase, youre doing whatever the finance man says until the repo man takes the burden off your shoulders or you pay it off.  Whether there is any spread left for you is irrelevant to the bosses. And it aint you when youre buried in debt.
Great analogy Mike.  Exactly like this.  They hook these poor loggers, most of whom are ..not smart nor well educated.  
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: kiko on July 02, 2019, 01:45:51 PM
Skeans, would you fell, skid, buck and load $10/ton? Some around here do.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Southside on July 02, 2019, 02:32:52 PM
Just curious whatís the difference between the south and the NW?
Another difference is the size of the timber. We are growing more and more designer pulp in this area, so the quality saw logs that would pay more is less and less. I shake my head at some of the clear cuts I have seen, there can't be anything left for the landowner. 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: barbender on July 02, 2019, 03:31:13 PM
It seems unsustainable, low harvesting rates are a common problem in the entire US. I've never been able to figure how a raw material we produce, has enough value in it to provide mill employees, foresters, basically everyone else up the chain, with decent wages, health insurance, pension etc. but not for logging companies and their employees. At some point, something will have to give. Basically, there's too many loggers. No matter the region, if the mill has plenty of supply at $x/ton, they're not going to volunteer more. There is value in the raw material, but we're willing/forced to produce it too cheaply because we're competing with each other. 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on July 02, 2019, 06:32:21 PM
Yep too many loggers and entry costs is low and for some reason you get poorly educated guys trying to be loggers that would make more $ as plumbers.  Honestly the free market needs to get going here and clean it up.  Actually in my area the recent pulp mill closing is forcing lots of guys to leave market or discuss leaving.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Maine logger88 on July 02, 2019, 07:23:00 PM
Skeans, would you fell, skid, buck and load $10/ton? Some around here do.
so thatís why the southern equipment I looked at when I was in the market was beat to death then. Have to run the wheels off it to make payments and no money to maintain it then. I always figured southern machines would be better shape that northern machines where they didnít get beat to death on rocks and rough terrain till I looked at a couple lol
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: quilbilly on July 02, 2019, 08:22:36 PM
Skeans, would you fell, skid, buck and load $10/ton? Some around here do.

People in the northwest clear cut for around that rate all the time. I think we are a touch higher than that but just barely. Maybe 11-13 would be the norm but $10 isn't crazy. Also most guys up here don't sit on a job for a year. 2-3 months is more common for a bigger outfit. Small guys like my pops and I are in the 2-4 week range.
 Southern outfits sound like what PNW was about 30 years ago. Used to be lots of 3 man crews. 4 man crews are the most common here, and many of them are still family owned. They just have 500k in equipment or more.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Peter Drouin on July 02, 2019, 08:28:01 PM
nativewolf, I know some loggers up here you would not want to call to there face. [not smart or well educated.]  ::) 80% of the truckers and loggers here do well.
I know one guy 24 years old has a logging truck making big $$$. 
You just have to get off your butt and work. ::)
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Peter Drouin on July 02, 2019, 08:52:24 PM
And yes I do know of what group you speak of.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: kiko on July 02, 2019, 09:08:10 PM
I was always told the reason CTL works up north is because they get paid more .  Go figure. The market seems to be cornered all around.  I just have trouble making the numbers work.  5 loads at 10/ton.  $1400 a day gross ?    I am not a logger, and don't want to pry about personal finances, but is my math right?
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: nativewolf on July 02, 2019, 09:19:11 PM
nativewolf, I know some loggers up here you would not want to call to there face. [not smart or well educated.]  ::) 80% of the truckers and loggers here do well.
I know one guy 24 years old has a logging truck making big $$$.
You just have to get off your butt and work. ::)
Oh I have had plenty of issues, once you've been in some places I've been they don't look look so scary.  One area I worked in was tough zone.  If you *pithed your neighbor off they would settle matters by puttling an ap landmine in the path from the house to the outhouse.  Boom, loose a leg or the kid or the wife.  That was for a neighbor...
But here...truckers are doing well.  Very well.  Luke Mill closed and most of the hundreds of truck loads a day and associated driving is already absorbed into Northern VA/Eastern WV/W MD economy and hardly missed a boat (obviously not the case of the mill workers).  Loggers..not so much prime RO logs going for just above tie log pricing, several going under, 2 quit and sold equipment and turned to truck driving.  
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on July 02, 2019, 09:22:02 PM
Skeans, would you fell, skid, buck and load $10/ton? Some around here do.
Kiko I donít hardly ever clear cut so I canít say what the rates are right now, to the size of the tract last clear cut we did outside of our own was a 10 acre block it didnít take much more then a week cut, yarded, bucked/sorted. Just going off of what that job was we werenít too much more on just the logging rate what helps is production a two man brush side in that stand was able to do 8-10 loads a day with 4 sorts. Do the rates need to come up? Yes, hereís the big question how much of the wood is just pulp theyíre producing is the rate for pulp lower then the log rate? Innovation in the industry is needed as the work force ages and the younger generations are harder to get into the industry one of the innovations is processing equipment that can Merchandise plus load as needed.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: kiko on July 02, 2019, 10:25:14 PM
To clear things up, I am not against CTL / Processing.  I spent some time years ago as Ponsse mechanic and enjoyed the machines and certainly saw the astectic valve of a CTL logging job.  I also have some amount of processor repair experience , but on Waratah only. Many have tried the CTL here and could not make it pay.  Processing has been seeming successful for a hand full and ended in bankruptcy for most.  So I guess it all about the logging rate. The John Deere dealer does have a brand new processor with a Waratah on the yard .
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: kiko on July 02, 2019, 11:12:22 PM
I should say I did a lot of work for a man that owned Ponsse machines. I was not a Ponsse technician.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on July 03, 2019, 04:34:47 AM
To clear things up, I am not against CTL / Processing.  I spent some time years ago as Ponsse mechanic and enjoyed the machines and certainly saw the astectic valve of a CTL logging job.  I also have some amount of processor repair experience , but on Waratah only. Many have tried the CTL here and could not make it pay.  Processing has been seeming successful for a hand full and ended in bankruptcy for most.  So I guess it all about the logging rate. The John Deere dealer does have a brand new processor with a Waratah on the yard .
I think we need to clear up the difference between CTL Cut To Length is a harvesting system that is full processing at the stump which is much more expensive to do as well as not always more environmentally friendly. Processing road side or cold deck side is with tree length wood where the processor is limbing/bucking(processing) well sorting, this kind of style of work can be very productive and accurate if done correctly. Pull thru a simple pretty bullet proof system accuracy is pretty poor unless youíre hand bucking especially for multiple lengths, landing sizes are much larger not a huge deal with a clear cut, slash build up requires the shovel to stop processing to clear the shoot vs just moving down to the next deck.
Kiko are you starting to see the shovels down there?
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Ianab on July 03, 2019, 06:10:23 AM
The processing at the landing is the norm here. Pine logs are sold depending on size and grade, so you will see a truck heading down the road with a full load of similar logs. (length / dia / grade)

One landing might be sending logs to 4 or 5 different destinations, depending on who is paying best for each grade. Even export logs will go into different grades. They are sold per ton, so they want a load of "x' grade going over the weighbridge at the port. 

How the logs get "made" may vary, but it's all processed on site. Smaller operators will use a "shovel" for sorting  / stacking / loading trucks because it's such a multifunction machine. It can build trails and handle hazard trees etc . And a skidder for actually dragging logs any rela distance. 
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: kiko on July 03, 2019, 02:15:48 PM
Skeans,. I have only experienced one highland job that shoveled. He had a Barko 595 Track machine and I was trying to fix the skidder. Most of the swamp loggers shovel, but they are mainly pulling up the end of the mat and bunching it for the skidder.
Title: Re: CTL Market
Post by: Skeans1 on July 03, 2019, 03:06:34 PM
@kiko (http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=15160)
Didnít know if the guys had adopted them for loading use since you can travel between decks without having to hook up to the trailer.