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Author Topic: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment  (Read 1258 times)

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Offline KBforester

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Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« on: October 15, 2013, 07:09:53 pm »
Does anyone have any experience or information on management company or landowner sponsored programs that provide incentives to loggers to invest in CTL equipment??

I have a lot of respect for my contractor and the work they do with the equipment they have (Grapple/Buncher combination), but the properties I manage (55K acres) are just screaming for CTL equipment. I'd hate to just kick them off the job because they don't have CTL. In this region, a quality company is hard to come by. And by in large, CTL equipment hasn't really caught on. My loggers are resistant to the idea.

I've heard of companies/large landowners providing incentives to loggers to invest in CTL, but I'm coming up short with real life examples or studies.

Any thoughts or experiences? If not, what would it take to make it worth your while to invest in CTL?
Trees are good.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 07:20:15 pm »
I don't know of any specific offered incentives for going to CTL equipment, but many have done so here since that is the preferred method allowed by many landowners.
~Ron

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2013, 07:49:07 pm »
There is a program in Minnesota where a small part of the work comp payments for all businesses went into a fund to promote a safe workplace for everyone. They had grant money available, up to $10,000 per application on a cost share basis for projects that made the workplace safer. Since logging is one of the more hazardous industries, logging contractors had priority for their projects and many used the funds to buy safer equipment. The stated goal in logging was to get all loggers off the ground and into machines where there was less chance for injury.

In the earlier years, there were not enough applications and the money accumulated in the fund until the state raided the fund to cure a budget shortfall. I think the program is still operating with limited funds so the grants are less to spread what funds they have left to more applications.

So you might look to your state for any similiar programs and perhaps you can lobby your legislature to start some type of grant program. However, with the cost of the CTL machines today, it takes a very large investment to jump in. With new harvesters that cost over $500K and forwarders about $400K, it takes someone that is already well financed to get into CTL. And used equipment carries a high risk so it's hard to get financing for used equipment.

What kind of woods are you managing? Is it mostly dense hardwoods or more to softwoods and aspen? The reason I ask is because if you are a good CTL operator, you have to be able to move high volumes of pulpwood to keep up with the payments. Hardwood thinings take the biggest machines to handle the larger diameters and more difficult delimbing. So the lower volumes must be higher value wood to stay even.

I try to stay with pine thinings or clearcuts although I am now facing a hardwood job that I have to cut.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 07:59:39 pm »
Does anyone have any experience or information on management company or landowner sponsored programs that provide incentives to loggers to invest in CTL equipment??

I have a lot of respect for my contractor and the work they do with the equipment they have (Grapple/Buncher combination), but the properties I manage (55K acres) are just screaming for CTL equipment. I'd hate to just kick them off the job because they don't have CTL. In this region, a quality company is hard to come by. And by in large, CTL equipment hasn't really caught on. My loggers are resistant to the idea.

I've heard of companies/large landowners providing incentives to loggers to invest in CTL, but I'm coming up short with real life examples or studies.

Any thoughts or experiences? If not, what would it take to make it worth your while to invest in CTL?
  when do i start? irving has ads in the newspaper looking for would be contractors. they will buy you new equipment and offer advice. i saw there ads it the houlton paper a few weeks ago. on there youtube vids they were looking for oo to haul wood for them. no experience needed. you would go to there truck driving school them to the dealership they own and pick out your new westernstar

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 08:06:21 pm »
when the  IP had 2 mills and a million acres of land in maine they were all for it. even heard rumors that they paid more for the wood. now that verso took over they have no land nor do they have a land owner assistance program. now sappi is big in the land owner assistance   

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2013, 08:29:42 pm »
The logger that I have is CTL. I went to talk to him once and he was on the phone with someone about how he makes CTL pay for him AND the land owner. Does not chip at all.He did tell me the local bio mass plant will buy you a chipper,take a little off each load for the payment of the chipper. He uses the brush to keep him from rutting the land.
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Offline JDeere

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 08:29:49 pm »
Irving does not really buy you the truck, but they will finance you for years if necessary. My understanding is then you can only haul for them and also you have to get all your parts from them. I have no experience with Irving but I was talking to a major equipment supplier in Northern Maine last week and he told me many of the Northern guys work like dogs just to get by with the payments, etc.
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Offline snowstorm

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2013, 08:39:58 pm »
irving seems to be the company everyone loves to hate

Offline barbender

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 11:05:00 pm »
You have to put out a steady stream of wood to make payments on a CTL team. You have more breakdowns and the breakdowns are more expensive than the typical skidder breakdown. The bottom line is it costs more per cord/ton to put it on the landing CTL. In some regions that has kept CTL from making inroads (the South in particular).
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Ken

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2013, 04:26:14 am »
CTL is certainly the harvest method of choice for most industry these days.  As demand for forest products increase and industry looks for more wood they may have to help contractors invest in order to meet their requirements.  Irving, the biggest player in these parts have been assisting some contractors with new gear for several years although you may have to give up your first born if you are not efficient enough to pay for it.  Lots of people have tried new gear and failed.
Lots of toys for working in the bush

Offline CTL logger

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2013, 07:55:58 am »
I think the bottom line on CTL is after the million dollar investment and the learning curve is steep if you don't have good backing or cash in the bank to make payments while you learn a new type of operation you will most likely fail. I'm not trying to sound like a know it all but 5 tears ago I was running a bunch of trucks and now I'm full bore CTL no more trucks and I owned tri axle log trucks for 13 years just wanted a new direction. If you purchase the wrong equipment it's tough to get rid of it and replace it with something that works better. You also need to know how to fix things yourself I couldn't imagine calling the dealer everytime something breaks and waiting for them to show up. Time is literally money with this equipment and if you can diagnose and fix what's wrong you'll be back running sooner. Just my 2 cents.

Offline KBforester

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2013, 05:31:42 pm »
Thanks for the replies. I certainly have the land base for a CTL system. We keep the one crew going all summer, all winter, and a good chunk of fall. I see a cut back in harvested volume in the future, but I think production would be reduced some what with a CTL anyways.

Is there any point in upgrading a small tracked feller buncher by adding a CTL head? I'm just thinking of ways to keep costs down... I assume that if that made sense, then everyone would do it.
Trees are good.

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2013, 07:41:13 pm »
what do you call a small tracked machine? the boom might work for a fixed mount head. with a dangle it wouldnt have much reach. a new head would most likely be over a 100k. i asked what a new keto cost like the one i have and was told 125k

Offline KBforester

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2013, 04:07:50 pm »
 
what do you call a small tracked machine? the boom might work for a fixed mount head. with a dangle it wouldnt have much reach. a new head would most likely be over a 100k. i asked what a new keto cost like the one i have and was told 125k

JD 753 J, Nearly new. I figured it would be expensive. I talked to him about it, he said he would rather go all into CTL if he did it at all, rather than add to and existing machine.
Trees are good.

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2013, 08:46:49 pm »
753 is plenty big enought. i dont know how much oil they flow to the hot saw. a ctl head is going to want 85gpm . it costs more per cd for ctl is the landowner willing to take less stumpage money? the machines are more complex. you have to be able to fix most of it yourself. there are a few extra costs such as bar oil, bars, chains. it all ads up. and plan on at least 6 months to get up to speed. find some one that is ctl and watch it for a day

Offline KBforester

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2013, 09:16:19 pm »
I'd say the landowner is willing to take a reduced stumpage. Yes, after the initial purchase, my biggest fear is they won't give it long enough of a chance to prove itself, or get to know the machine. I know in Finland, the training they put their operators is pretty intense, and we just through people in and expect everything to be ok. I've worked with processors before, and really like what I see.
Trees are good.

Offline 1270d

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2013, 08:58:33 pm »
I'm curious what are the things you like about CTL vs tree length operations.  We run both types (I'm on the CTL side).  It seems that skilled and conscientious operators are what makes a nice job.

Offline Kemper

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2013, 09:44:11 pm »
Well put.

I'm curious what are the things you like about CTL vs tree length operations.  We run both types (I'm on the CTL side).  It seems that skilled and conscientious operators are what makes a nice job.

Offline KBforester

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2013, 05:17:13 pm »
Well the next 20 years, our staple wood is going to be topping out 3.5" in a 16' stick. Spruce, Fir, and paper birch. Right now we are going through our last good chunks of mature hemlock stands... we are leaving them mature hemlock stands... but we aren't going to go through them again for another 15+ years.

The reasons I'm not happy with tree length operations:

-Trails are too wide. Less space occupied by trees, less cords/acre/year growth.
-Trail side damage. If I keep on them to keep their trails as narrow as possible, the trade off is going to be damaged trail side trees.
- Ruts. Obviously a forwarder can make ruts too... but preemptive armor to the trail makes way more sense than damaging the soil first, then fixing it later. I sepend thousands of $ every year fixing ruts with the excavator, its just not fun. Its just marine clay/ glacial till here.... and peat.
- As far as I'm concerned, the fewer crew members I have to work with the better. People don't think of that often, but if you need to say one thing to every person on the job when you do an inspection on a tree length crew... you might be talking to twice as many people... who all want to bi**, or talk about their weekend.  ::)

I don't want to seem like I'm slamming all tree length operations. When I'm cutting a mature hemlock stand and the stem to stem spacing is compatible with wide trails and the ground is decent, it comes out great. But I'm just about out of that. 
Trees are good.

Offline barbender

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Re: Insentives for loggers to invest in CTL Equipment
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2013, 05:28:48 pm »
If you are doing a lot of thinning, or small openings, and don't have much space for landings, CTL is the only way to fly IMO. 8 wheel forwarders with tracks under the bunks have a very light footprint too, if rutting is a problem. On the other hand, we do a lot of clearcuts with CTL, I heard a forester complaining that we don't knock down enough of the underbrush. I suppose they were after Aspen regen, and it won't with any shade.
Too many irons in the fire