Friday Offcuts – 7 August 2020

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In this issue we’ve featured a number of international tech related stories which we think you’ll find an interesting end of the week read. To start with, both start-ups and established automakers have been putting in a significant effort to progress the future of autonomous trucking. Where appropriate, we’ve covered through this newsletter, new advances and operational trials that have been undertaken over the last few years. A recent report details eight autonomous truck companies that are currently working on the concept. One of these, a California-based firm TuSimple, has also just revealed their own ambitious plan to begin piecing together a network of autonomous trucking routes in the US. The idea is to scale up and service the entire contiguous US by 2023. The autonomous freight network they’re suggesting is going to usher in a whole new era of automated freight transport.

In Argentina, they were meant to be celebrating the launch of their new SAOCOM 1B satellite, manufactured in Argentina. It had been scheduled to be launched last week from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The launch date has now been put back to later this month. It’s being managed by experts from Argentina's National Commission for Space Activities (CONAE) and it’s going to be used for forest monitoring. Just over the quarantine period, 21,000 ha has been deforested, an area equivalent to the city of Buenos Aires, a Congressional Natural Resources Commission heard this month. The technology is using microwave rather than optical sensors enabling images to be collected through cloud cover, rain and at night. According to CONAE, there’s only one other satellite like this developed by the Japanese space agency. The L-band radar technology may later be sold by Argentina and Japan to other countries.

From Australia, we’ve included a story on progress that’s being made on the uptake of a technology that was launched earlier this year enabling easy and affordable assessment of wood quality in standing trees. The technology has been put to the test by growers and processors from across the industry. Already, close to 20 companies have purchased IML-RESI instruments (using small-diameter drilling technology) or actively exploring the possibilities. Further details on the project and access to the online wood quality assessment platform can be found in the story below.

And from Canada, the University of British Columbia has come up with a new rapid inexpensive DNA detection method that can be used to identify pests and pathogens, like Asian gypsy moth, in less than two hours. This provides a substantial time saving compared to the several days it currently takes to send samples to a lab for testing. What’s more, the tests can be carried out in remote forest locations, without fast Internet or a steady power supply. You can check out more in the video clip we’ve included with the story this week.

And finally, to round off our tech focus, the three industry newsletters , and were all sent out to industry this week. More extensive technology news for all those working in wood harvesting, wood transport, wood processing, remote sensing and forest inventory are included in these monthly updates. If you aren’t getting a copy each month, remember to sign up. 15,000 plus readers already have – and they’re free. And on that note, enjoy this week’s read.

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Nominations called for Richard Stanton Award

Responsible Wood is calling for nominations in this year’s coveted Richard Stanton Memorial Award for Excellence in Forest Management or Chain of Custody. This is the sixth year of the award which pays tribute to a man who devoted his life to sustainable forest management in Australia and internationally.

Richard Stanton was CEO and national secretary of Australian Forestry Standard Ltd (now Responsible Wood), and had a number of key roles with the Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council, the Australian Paper Industry Council, Plantation Timber Association of Australia, National Association of Forest Industries, and State Forests NSW.

Nominations for the award are open to individuals who have contributed significantly to either forest management or chain-of-custody certification under the Responsible Wood certification program. The award nominees will be those who have contributed to sustainable forest management under AS4708 or chain of custody under AS4707.

The award is open to, but not restricted to, forest owners and managers; chain-of-custody certificate holders; staff of certification bodies; forest scientists and researchers; and designers of products manufactured from sustainable timber.

The award also carries a $2000 bursary prize.

Applicants for the award will have demonstrated excellence in the following areas:

• A significant and valuable contribution to Sustainability.

• Innovation, Improvement or Excellence in Forest Management or Chain of Custody Certification.

• A strong commitment to the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme and Sustainable Forest Management.

• Innovation and Improvement in the promotion and marketing of Responsible Wood Certified Products.

The selection of the successful applicant will be made by the Responsible Wood Marketing Committee and announced at the Annual General Meeting later this year. Nominations for the award close at Friday 5pm (AEST) 2 October 2020.

Nominations can be forwarded to: Responsible Wood, PO Box 786, New Farm, Qld 4005. Email

Source: Responsible Wood

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Argentina to launch new forest monitoring satellite

Argentina had planned to put into orbit a satellite with new precision technology, to monitor felling of its native forests round the clock and accurately measure forest carbon stocks in a bid to help curb climate change, scientists said.

The SAOCOM 1B satellite, manufactured in the South American country, was due to be launched between July 25 and 30 from Cape Canaveral in Florida, managed by experts from Argentina's National Commission for Space Activities (CONAE). However, the launch last week was rescheduled to the end of August with SpaceX informing CONAE that due to US Air Force decisions, which coordinates the activity from Cape Canaveral station, the plan to send into orbit the second satellite was put on hold.

The satellite, equipped with the latest technology, represents a huge leap from those that use optical sensors. SAOCOM 1B's main Earth observation instrument is a radar that works with microwaves in the electromagnetic L-band space, providing information 24/7 about what it can see: soil moisture, crops, forest structure and changes in glaciers.

"There is only one similar satellite developed by the Japanese space agency," Laura Frulla, head of research for the SAOCOM mission, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "It's a very important advance because optical sensors work with sunlight, but microwaves go through clouds, work in rain and don't need light," she added. The new development comes at a key moment.

"Argentina is not only in a health emergency due to COVID-19 but also in a forestry and climate emergency," warned Hernán Giardini, coordinator of Greenpeace's forests campaign in Argentina. A UN report published in 2015 identified Argentina as one of the 10 most deforested countries in the world. Between 1990 and 2015, it lost forests equivalent to the size of Scotland.

The decline in forest cover has since slowed but continues, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said this year. Official figures from the Argentinian government show 182,000 hectares were deforested in 2018 - about half in protected areas - down from 350,000 hectares in 2012.

But in the first half of 2020, with coronavirus restrictions since March making it harder to enforce protection, Argentina lost more forest than in the same period last year, according to Greenpeace, which tracks optical satellite images. "Just during the quarantine, 21,000 hectares were deforested - an area equivalent to the city of Buenos Aires," Giardini told the Congressional Natural Resources Commission this month.

The main causes of deforestation are expansion of soybean cultivation and intensive livestock breeding, as well as forest fires. The Chaco forests are cut down to plant pasture and raise livestock for meat exports to China and the European Union. In Argentina, the greatest deforestation occurs in the tropical area of Gran Chaco, where dense clouds are common, said Pablo Mércuri of the National Agricultural Technology Institute.

"With more information from this region we will be able to track native forests much better," he said. "The optical satellites used today do not capture images on cloudy days or at night, but the new ones allow you to traverse the clouds and operate both day and night," he explained.

SAOCOM 1B will be complemented by SAOCOM 1A, put into orbit in 2018, which provides some images but is still "in the process of calibration", Mércuri said. The two will form a constellation that will provide greater variety and frequency of data, in conjunction with satellites from other countries that use similar X-band microwave technology but cannot penetrate forest cover.

SAOCOM's Frulla said the new system will be useful because it allows monitoring of changes in both planted and native forest that look different. Three hours after logging or a fire, the affected area can be measured and its recovery observed. Unlike optical satellites which only provide estimates, the new system will accurately measure biomass, whether it is dry or wet, the tree type, undergrowth and humidity levels, she said.

The L-band radar technology, which penetrates the surface, is dominated by Argentina and Japan, and may be sold to other countries as the satellites observe the whole of the Earth, passing twice a day at the same point, she noted. Mércuri said radar satellites can capture the density of a forest and different structures within it.

Source: thejakartapost

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Mass timber conference comes to Rotorua

We’re back with our 5th Annual WoodWorks Conference! Since 2016, Innovatek has organised tall timber building conferences. This year the growth in mass timber in commercial construction is climbing higher than ever, with the City Mission building now standing at 9 stories tall in downtown Auckland.

Our keynote session at this year’s event will be showcasing the Auckland City Mission Homeground project – a fantastic piece of collaboration between many New Zealand companies!

We have something for everyone this year. Our program is full of outstanding case studies – all New Zealand projects. Tall timber is taking off all over the country and we are giving you the chance to network with the best and the brightest from across our industry over the course of our one-day conference.

Be sure to register early! Make sure you have your spot booked four our excellent pre-conference site visit to the new Scion Innovation Hub here in Rotorua on the afternoon of Tuesday 20th October. This is something you won’t want to miss!

Registrations are open now! And check out our speaker line up at

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Opportunities for forests promotion during COVID-19

The latest instalment of WoodChat, the Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) podcast series, focuses on a program of online learning options to educate children about the sustainable nature of forestry.

ForestLearning includes various resources developed to enable school children to engage with and understand the world of forestry, and even pay virtual visits to locations they would not normally have had access to ... all without leaving the classroom!

The current situation with COVID-19 has meant that teachers, parents and schoolchildren are seeking out new opportunities for remote learning. And for that reason, ForestLearning has continued to investigate, develop and roll out new resources.

The program includes everything from online work sheets and quizzes, to opportunities to connect with foresters out in the field via Zoom, and the use of virtual reality to allow students to experience forest and mill environments first-hand.

During the episode listeners will hear from Beth Welden, Program Manager of ForestLearning, who explains how the program is driven by the idea that engaging students early will help them establish informed opinions about the forestry industry. “We hope to provide meaningful educational experiences, aligned to the Australian Curriculum, that truly engage students on sustainable and renewable forest and wood products,” Welden said.

“We are hoping that by accessing ForestLearning resources, today’s young people will grow up with an appreciation of the sustainable and renewable nature of our forests. As the decision makers, voters and consumers of the future, it is important that today’s school children have an affiliation with wood and are fully aware of the benefits.”

During the episode, the hosts also hear from industry representatives involved with the initiative, teachers who have adopted the resources in their classrooms, and students who have experienced them.

This episode is the latest in the WoodChat podcast series. You can listen to WoodChat on SoundCloud, iTunes and Spotify.

Source: FWPA

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Technology to help predict and control wood quality

Forest growers across Australia have been enthusiastically exploring recently-launched technology that enables easy and affordable assessment of wood quality in standing trees. The innovative tool also supports decision making relating to planting locations and forest management practices, to best serve the future quality of stands.

The team behind the initiative believes the ability to predict, maintain and improve timber quality in plantations will help decrease risk and improve grower productivity, competitiveness and profitability.

The tool works by using small-diameter drill technology known as IML-RESI to quickly and cost effectively capture details of a tree’s wood variability and quality. The recorded data (also known as ‘traces’) get uploaded to a specially-developed online wood-quality assessment platform, where it’s processed and interpreted to estimate average density and stiffness across the stand.

Geoff Downes of Forest Quality, which led the FWPA-supported research, explained that while growers have historically sold logs to processers on the basis of volume rather than quality, the ability to easily measure quality indicators could change all that. “Being able to measure wood quality in standing trees at a particular site, cost-effectively and with minimal effort, means growers get a better understanding of the properties of processed timber, which determines price,” Downes said.

“Communication between growers and processors around the information collected can be used to create an understanding across the supply chain of how the standing tree properties will relate to the products that ultimately come out of the sawmill.”

The technology also has advantages in aiding grower decision making around which sites and silvicultural practices will impact the stiffness and volume of their timber. This knowledge will allow growers to plan for improved wood quality in their stands, meaning increased value for processors.

“Since launching earlier this year, the technology has been put to the test by growers and processors from across the industry, with close to 20 companies purchasing IML-RESI instruments or actively exploring the possibilities,” said Downes.

The online wood quality assessment platform can be accessed by clicking here.

The project was supported with funding provided to FWPA by industry partners, together with matched funding from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. The 12 industry partners include HQPlantations, HVP Plantations, the Forestry Corporation of NSW, Timberlands, OneFortyOne Plantations, PF Olsen, Highland Pine, AKD Softwoods, Norske Skog, GTFP, Hume Forests and Hyne Timber.

For more details on this project, view the project report here or email

More >>

Source: R&D Works, July 2020

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US network for autonomous trucking

Both start-ups and established automakers see great potential in the future of autonomous trucking, and TuSimple is one company taking very proactive steps to grab its slice of the pie. The California-based firm has revealed an ambitious plan to begin piecing together a network of autonomous trucking routes in the US, with plans to scale up and service the entire contiguous US by 2023.

TuSimple was founded in 2015 and in the last couple of years has been gathering steam in its pursuit of self-driving vehicles. Last year we saw it kick off trials in collaboration with the US Postal Service, using its autonomous trucks to move mail between distribution centers in Arizona and Texas.

Another trial a few months later saw its trucks put to use by shipping giant UPS, which used the autonomous heavy-haulers to deliver goods in Arizona. This was accompanied by the announcement that UPS had acquired a minority stake in TuSimple, with the duo now teaming up again for what is a much grander ambition.

The TuSumple Autonomous Freight Network, as it is called, would be an ecosystem designed to usher in the era of automated freight transport. It would include digitally mapped routes between shipping terminals set in strategic locations, with TuSimple’s autonomous trucks moving goods in between.

TuSimple’s trucks are designed to offer Level 4 autonomy, which means that the vehicle’s computer would be in control the entire length of the trip. This would be achieved through a mix of lidar, radar and high-definition cameras to create a “virtual driver” with 360-degree awareness. All of this would be overseen by TuSimple’s autonomous operations monitoring system, which tracks the location of all the individual trucks on the road.

Along with UPS, TuSimple has partnered with Xpress Enterprises, Penske Trucking and McLane to develop its Autonomous Freight Network. Phase one begins with routes in Arizona and neighbouring Texas, before it expands to connect to Los Angeles to the west and to Florida and North and South Carolina to the east. Phase three of the plan would see the network then expand upwards to cover the entire contiguous United States, which TuSimple hopes to be complete by 2023.


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Aspects of culture that drive engagement

One of the WoodTECH 2020 webinars that the Forest Industry Engineering Association ran for wood processing and manufacturing companies a week or so ago focussed on business culture.

Seven years ago, Brisbane based sustainable timber specialist Kennedy’s Timbers had stagnated, were facing issues on all fronts, in a tough competitive market and at a risk of closure. However, a commitment to creating a positive workplace environment has proven successful for Brisbane-based Kennedy’s Timbers in turning their business around. It culminated in them being named Queensland’s Small Employer of the Year at the Queensland Training Awards last year.

As webinar delegates learnt. investing in the company’s culture has not only retained staff numbers, it also increased productivity levels and turnover. Twice as profitable as other similar companies within the industry, Kennedy’s Timbers now has 600% lower staff turnover, three times lower staff absenteeism, fewer lost time injury days and one of the lowest Work Cover premiums in the Queensland manufacturing sector. The average length of service of staff has substantially increased from 1 to 6.7 years. Kennedy has also been able to expand and purchase competitors in Victoria and New South Wales and also establish distributors in Western Australia and New Zealand.

To follow up the lessons and insight supplied by Michael Kennedy, CEO and Founder of Kennedys Timbers and the workplace culture specialist Dr Tony Watt who worked with the company to get it where it is today, we’ve included a link this week to an article looking at the key aspects of culture that drive engagement within a business. The message from the article is we should be focussing on company culture. Build the type of culture that everyone wants to work for and you'll reshape your business.

Read more.

Source: industryweek

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Careers displayed in ‘awesome’ coach

The purpose-built, 13.5 metre Careers Coach was in Gisborne, New Zealand last week as part of a 20-week nationwide roadshow designed to give school students exposure to a wide range of careers.

The coach is fitted with 26 kiosks where students can view a number of videos showing a range of careers covering six main categories — primary, construction and infrastructure, services, social and community, creative and manufacturing and technology.

The bus is owned and run by Peter and Donna Doake of InZone and sponsored by the Forest Growers Levy Trust, The New Zealand Defence Force and Primary ITO. “We are delighted with forestry sponsorship and the opportunity to carry the forestry messages into schools,” said Peter Doake.

“It's a fit with our views on the benefits of forestry to New Zealand and our long experience with what works, to communicate to Generation Z.” But much more than just forestry is on show in the videos, with students able to look into many possible careers.

“By logging in with their mobile phones, if a student comes across a career pathway that particularly interests them, they can ask for more information by clicking on it and a link will be sent to them,” said Donna Doake. “They can watch videos of their choice and it's great when something they had never thought about before sparks their interest.”

Mr Doake said it was fantastic to have Weatherell Transport support them at their school visits in the region with staff and an “awesome” truck for the students to look through. “They have also kindly sponsored three schools to have a careers kiosk in their libraries so the students can utilise them at any time during the year.”

It is the first time the Inzone Careers Coach has visited an intermediate school and the Doakes said they found the students were extremely focused and interested.

Photo: Rebecca Grunwell. Adrian Bruce from Weatherell Transport watches a video with Liam Tuari which features all of the different career options available at the transport company.

Source: gisborneherald

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New DNA detection method for invasive pests

Asian gypsy moths feed on a wide range of important plants and trees. White pine blister rust can kill young trees in only a couple of years. But it’s not always easy to detect the presence of these destructive species just by looking at spots and bumps on a tree, or on the exterior of a cargo ship.

Now a new rapid DNA detection method developed at the University of British Columbia can identify these pests and pathogens in less than two hours, without using complicated processes or chemicals – a substantial time saving compared to the several days it currently takes to send samples to a lab for testing.

“Sometimes, a spot is just a spot,” explains forestry professor Richard Hamelin, who designed the system with collaborators from UBC, Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. “Other times, it’s a deadly fungus or an exotic bug that has hitched a ride on a shipping container and has the potential to decimate local parks, forests, and farms. So, you want to know as soon as possible what you’re looking at so that you can collect more samples to assess the extent of the invasion or begin to formulate a plan of action.”

Hamelin’s research focuses on using genomics to design better detection and monitoring methods for invasive pests and pathogens that threaten forests. For almost 25 years, he’s been looking for a fast, accurate, inexpensive DNA test that can be performed even in places, like forests, without fast Internet or steady power supply.

He may have found it. The method, demonstrated in a preview last year for forestry policymakers in Ottawa, is straightforward. Tiny samples like parts of leaves or branches, or insect parts like wings and antennae, are dropped into a tube and popped into a small, battery-powered device (the Franklin thermocycler, made by Philadelphia-based Biomeme). The device checks to see if these DNA fragments match the genomic material of the target species and generate a signal that can be visualized on a paired smartphone.

“With this system, we can tell with nearly 100 percent accuracy if it is a match or not, if we’re looking at a threatening invasive species or one that’s benign,” said Hamelin. “We can analyse up to nine samples from the same or different species at a time, and it’s all lightweight enough—the thermocycler weighs only 1.3 kilos—to fit into your backpack with room to spare.”

The method relies on PCR testing, the method that is currently also the gold standard for COVID-19. PCR testing effectively analyses even tiny amounts of DNA by amplifying (through applying heating and cooling cycles) a portion of the genetic material to a level where it can be detected.

Source: theworkingforest

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Timbeter and Cind enter into new partnership

Timbeter, an Estonian company providing an AI-based digital workflow management solution for the timber industry, and the Swedish image processing technology provider Cind (a spin-off from SAAB AB) have signed a cooperation agreement and launched the first joint project for the automation of timber trucks measurement.

Timbeter uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning for timber measurement, combined with Cloud Computing for data management and logistics planning, while Cind develops solutions that automate and optimise labour intensive activities related to timber measurement and inspection.

The first cooperation project between the two companies has been launched in Sweden with the accuracy and measurement method certified by Biometria (Swedish forest measurement association).

The joint solution helps Cind to fully automate the diameter measurement of the truck loads. In the process, the loads on the truck are being measured, while the number of logs and diameters of the logs are detected and divided into different diameter classes. The joint solution helps to detect logs in specific diameter range, and optimize the production input.

Marcus Schelin, the CEO of Cind commented: “Our joint solution Timspect is helping customers to reduce error rate and labour cost thanks to its high level of automation. We are providing the turnkey solution that has been validated by Biometria and therefore proven its accuracy and reliability”.

“Thanks to our cooperation, timber companies can save costs, have the needed data in digital format and optimize their processes. We are happy to work together with Cind and bring our technology to the Swedish market” the CEO of Timbeter, Anna-Greta Tsahkna said.

Photo: cind

About Timberer

Established in 2013 in Estonia, Timbeter powers the digitalization of the forestry sector by bringing transparency and efficiency to the measurement process from the field to the factory. Timbeter enables quick and accurate timber measurement and data management using artificial intelligence. The software can count the number of logs, as well as to measure the diameters of the logs, volume and the pile density ratios for pulp-and fuelwood. All the measurements have a geotag, therefore the origin of the timber is always known, meaning that illegal logging can be prevented. The timber measurement is done digitally with the help of a smart-device (tablet, smartphone) and all the measurement data is stored in a cloud, providing real-time overview of the activities. Timbeter has demonstrated its success on the local and global markets, collaborating with the largest international corporations like CMPC (Chile), International Paper (Brazil), Faber-Castell (Brazil), Siam Forestry Group (Thailand), Mekong Timber Plantations (Laos) in the sector.

About Cind

Cind helps sawmills, pulp mills and heating plants to optimise their raw material supply chain by fast and accurate volume measurement of roundwood and woodchip loaded on trucks. Global corporations like SCA, Stora Enso and Smurfit Kappa are trusting Cind’s solutions in their daily operations and more than 30,000 trucks are measured on a monthly basis.
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Canada risks trade spat with Japan over log export restrictions

Canada risks trade spat with Japan over restrictions on log exports.

For as long as Canada has been harvesting trees, the issue of log exports has dogged politicians in that country. Now, a federal rule that forces private forest operators to offer a right of first refusal to domestic sawmills before obtaining export permits could lead to Canada’s first trade dispute under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The prospect of a trade spat with Japan puts additional pressure on Ottawa to relax export restrictions on raw logs. Vancouver-based Mosaic Forest Management has go on record to say its ability to operate remains threatened by Ottawa’s export rules. So far, the politicians in Canada's capital, Ottawa, appear unmoved by Mosaic’s pleadings.

Federal Canadian and BC restrictions on log exports have long been decried by the US lumber industry as an indirect subsidy to BC sawmills, leading to US duties on Canadian lumber. Some commentators suggest Ottawa should address Japan’s concerns before it’s forced to. It might not like the outcome otherwise.

Source: Globe and Mail via Tree Frog News

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Comments sought on Best Practice Guide for cab guarding

Through the National Institute for Future Forest Industries (NIFPI) and in consultation with forest industry stakeholders across Australia including growers, contractors and equipment manufacturers, The Forest Research Institute at USC are developing an industry best practice guide for cab guarding.

The preparation of this important best practice for forest operations safety and productivity is now at a stage of seeking broad industry feedback through a consultation process. Interested industry stakeholders are encouraged to review the document and attend one of the three virtual industry consultation workshops and provide any feedback by email.

The Document is available for download here.

You can also register to attend one of the three online workshops planned for next week.

Comments and feedback can be sent to


These guidelines set out best practice for machine selection, modification, and purchase within Australian forest operations. They aim to provide guidelines for equipment to provide safe and protected working environments for forest equipment operators including roll-overprotective structures, falling object protective structures and operator protective guards in the form of canopies or cabins equipment. It is applicable to equipment operating in Australia forest operations.

The best practice speaks specifically to the installation of the guarding but does not include any specific guidance on maintenance of the equipment or operational practices that should be implemented to minimise the risks the cabin guarding is intended to provide protection from. Equipment owners and managers should refer to their equipment manufacturer recommendation and other relevant company and industry best practice in these cases.


The objective of these guidelines is to provide the Australian forest management industry with a common industry best practice guideline for cabin protection equipment of mobile forestry equipment based on current national and international standard and best practices to ensure consistency in safety of equipment selection, modification and purchase.

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New campaign boosts lumber industry careers

A new Keep Up campaign has been set up in North America designed to help the general public, educators, students and soon-to-be graduates learn more about the promising career opportunities lumber offers and how the industry is one of our greatest tools to combat climate change.

With the new campaign, the North American Wholesale Lumber Association is focusing on an industry that provides competitive benefits and salaries, diverse opportunities, innovation, and an effective way to contribute to a healthier planet.

The web page is headed; “Many branches. One industry”. Quite catchy. It then goes on to say;

“Let’s get real for a moment. Lumber isn’t sexy, unless you’re a ripped logger with a killer YouTube channel with ads that pay you big money. Last we checked that was about nine people. Problem is there will be 9 billion people in 30 years and unless you get a good paying gig that helps to solve the climate crisis, why bother? Weirdly enough, forests offer a realistic solution. And, the wood that comes out of regenerative forests can be used to create some wicked cool stuff. Like airplane wings. And, 18-story buildings made completely of wood.

Oh, did we mention it’s regenerative? Meaning it never runs out and doesn’t hurt the planet. Ever heard of a steel hugger? Or a concrete hugger? Neither have we. So, we’ll lose the golf shirts if you lose the attitude and let’s solve this climate insanity together so we can both live a really cool life. You in? Or, would you rather be a YouTube makeup artist and take your chances? We’re fine with either. Just remember…it’s your choice, not ours”.

Keep Up encourages younger people and an emerging workforce to explore educational tools, job network and rewarding possibilities available. It highlights innovation, sustainability and diversity within the sector, painting a picture that goes beyond outdated stereotypes.

Maybe there’s something here for the local industry to use for its own campaigns and efforts in attracting younger students into the industry. More details on the Keep Up campaign can be viewed here.

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World’s largest wooden sphere walkway

In 2019, a masterpiece of engineering opened its doors in Steinberg am See, Germany. The worldwide largest walkable wooden sphere (capacity for 950 visitors at a time) by inMotion Park Seenland GmbH is superlative in many ways.

With a weight of over 500 tons, a height of 40 metres and a diameter of almost 50 metres, this project can already be seen from afar. 627 m³ of glued laminated timber, 190 tons of steel parts, 40,000 screws, 18,000 bolts/building screws/dowels, 3,300 m² cladding panels, and 2,200 meters of railing - these are just a few of the key features of this enormous project.

The twenty external structural glulam elements have an arch engraving of around 15 metres and a total length of 55 metres. Due to these dimensions, a holistic logistics and assembly concept was developed early on. This made it possible to provide the glued laminated timber elements at the factory in Kleinheubach with two joints and to prefabricate them completely. After delivery to the construction site, the individual elements have been subsequently joined and erected. Each with a weight of around 17 tonnes.


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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ... changing the tyre

They certainly built them tough in those days. Not sure about the H&S measures though.

And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
Web page:

This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at

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