Cat® Forestry equipment in Asia. New era heralds new technology.
New era heralds new technology
The Asian timber industry’s rapid move to sustainability, including the rise of the plantation timber sector, has seen the region eager to secure the latest technology to gain productivity and efficiency advantages.
While much of the industry is still harvesting by traditional techniques, and the issue of illegal logging is far from resolved, progressive companies have been keen to adapt the latest forestry management techniques and skills to ensure long term productivity and provide greater long term security.
Driven by world demand for the highly durable timbers, the Asian plantation timber industry requires technical efficiency and skills development to ensure viability.
Globally, the plantation timber industry has grown to become a dominant force in a sustainable approach to forestry and Asia’s move in this regard is inevitable.
In countries like Indonesia old style practices and illegal logging are coming under increasingly intense scrutiny, and the industry must continue to move to sustainable practices such as managed plantation forestry projects if it is to survive.
The industry also needs to be competitive in global markets and moves toward the use of highly evolved and proven forestry machinery will improve productivity and efficiency.
Traditional forestry methods such as hand felling have little to no place in the new enterprises, and the use of less efficient forestry equipment will not sustain productivity. The technology simply cannot keep pace, or deliver the yields required of benchmarked operations.
As a new era in Asian forestry continues to unfold, it heralds the arrival of a suite of specialised forestry technology to deliver real productivity gains and a genuine return on investment.
Ground level sustainability
In some of Asia’s most important timber producing countries, work is also being done at ground level to ensure the industries smooth transition to sustainability.
With technical input and class leading products and service solutions from major industry suppliers such as Caterpillar, the industry is learning how to implement forestry practices to ensure a bright future.
As with many industry sectors around the globe, Caterpillar’s business is focused on supporting sustainable development – present day actions that consider future implications.
Caterpillar is providing solutions, services and products to make use of the natural resources but also reduce harmful impacts on people, the environment and the economy. Caterpillar is partnering with many leading companies in Asia to provide the products and services needed to help them achieve their goals of sustainable forestry management.
Caterpillar customers such as Indonesia’s, PT Sumalindo Lestari Jaya, has developed its timber and wood products business around socially and ecologically responsible practices and sustainable resources.
Some of the steps toward sustainability that Sumalindo has taken includes preserving high quality residual stands of timber to help maintain eco-system balances; works to rehabilitate degraded areas by replanting native species and collaborating with external agencies and specialists to benchmark its enterprises.
The company has committed to the Indonesian Government’s sustainable forestry development programs, and will only purchase legally harvested timber to fill its own supply gaps.
At the sharp end of the development of a sustainable timber industry in Asia is advanced, world-class technology.
Plantation forestry by design requires high efficiency harvesting and handling equipment to ensure calculated financial returns are achievable.
The latest technology not only improves production, but addresses issues such as workplace safety. The technology also assists companies develop a skilled labour pool - a move that will better assist in solving expected future labour shortages.
Critical to the success of plantation forestry is equipment such as Caterpillar’s range of feller bunchers, including wheeled and tracked models, wheeled and tracked skidders, highly mobile and manoeuvrable forwarders and a range of excavators designed specifically for forestry applications.
Whether used as single units or as a part of larger fleet of specialised equipment, Cat forestry products have been developed to provide maximum uptime, increased productivity and safety.
Used in plantations in many countries around the world, equipment such as range of Cat feller bunchers can be configured with various types of felling tools such as shears, saws or processing heads to optimise timber recovery and to maximise productivity.
Wheel feller bunchers offer increased mobility and high travel speeds for applications in flat to moderate terrain where maximum productivity is required, while tracked machines offer improved stability and manoeuvrability combined with high production in steeper terrain. They can also be configured with LGP “low ground pressure” options to enable operation in low land peat swamps.
These high productivity machines can also be matched with highly manoeuvrable track or wheel skidders to extract felled timber to landings. Available in grapple or cable configurations, Cat trained dealer personnel will assess plantation log size diameter, length, density and weight as well as site conditions including slope, ground conditions and traction to determine the highest productivity machine or combination of machines for the task.
Highly durable tracked skidders are ideal machines for steep grades or tough underfoot site conditions and provide increased traction while minimising ground disturbance to maintain speed for maximised productivity in heavy-duty applications.
For cut to length timber extraction, Cat self loading forwarders in four, six or eight wheel drive deliver high speeds and carrying capacity of up to 14.5 tonne and are configured to handle cut to length logs. Cat forwarders are renowned for their durability and have been well proven in Asian conditions.
All Cat forest machines are field proven in some of the world’s toughest forestry conditions to ensure the highest-levels of reliability and long work life.
The range of Cat specialised forest machines, harvesters, forwarders, skidders and loaders can be fitted with the latest work tools to ensure high productivity, long service life and fuel efficient performance.
Also critical to successful forestry is maximised uptime. Productivity gains can be quickly lost through the lack of equipment support. Throughout Asia, Caterpillar has a strategically located Dealer network to ably support all Caterpillar products and services – wherever and whenever it is needed.
The Cat dealer network is unrivalled in Asia and around the world and is one of the few equipment suppliers able to deliver genuine, responsive service and product support across the entire Asia region.
Dealers are also able to further assist customers by providing services such as scheduled maintenance contracts, extended warranties, insurance and finance services, while dealer parts availability is supported by three Asia region parts distribution centres in Singapore, Shanghai and Melbourne.
A cohesive understanding of the link between productivity and sustainability ensures that Caterpillar clients enjoy the benefit of working with world-class forestry equipment, service and support.
Caterpillar has developed a holistic approach to forestry management and sustainability. It is a strategy that is focussed on developing improved forest management practices and harvesting systems that contribute to industry development and ecosystem diversity, but at the same time maximise timber recovery and productivity.
Caterpillar takes pride in delivering class leading forestry machines while balancing environmental, economic and social values.
For Caterpillar, successful forestry practices meet sustainability, safety and productivity goals, while delivering responsive dealer support to ensure profitable logging operations for clients.