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This year SkogsElmia looks like it will be Finland’s biggest forestry fair.

“My impression is that there’s more interest from Finnish exhibitors now than there was prior to SkogsElmia 2011,” says Rainer Rönnback of Viexpo, Elmia’s representative in Finland.          

Komatsu Forest has long been number two in terms of forest machine sales in Sweden. But in 2014 the company overtook market leader John Deere, according to the registration certificates issued for new forwarders by the Swedish Transport Agency. 

“We’ve launched five new models – the result of investments by an owner with a long-term approach,” explains Peter Hasselryd, sales manager for Komatsu Forest in Sweden.

The number of forwarders registered in 2013 ended up at a record low. As few machines were registered last year as in the crisis year of 2009. The market shrank by 23 percent, or almost a quarter, compared with 2012. But many people are now seeing signs that a brighter future is on the horizon.

The world’s leading organiser of forestry fairs, Elmia, and one of Sweden’s biggest associations of forest owners, Mellanskog, will jointly organise three forestry fairs in central Sweden. The fairs will be called MellanskogsElmia and the first one will be held on 22-23 August 2014.

That SkogsElmia on 26-28 May outside Jönköping, Sweden would be the biggest forestry fair in the Nordic region was expected. The surprise of the fair was that so many forest contractors were among the visitors.

“This was my third forestry fair at Elmia and the best so far,” said Benny Granath, site manager for SP Maskiner. “During Thursday and Friday we had two hundred potential customers inside our stand every day.”

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SkogsElmia 2011 was something of a breakthrough for small forest machines for professional use.

“Interest is coming from forest contractors with large machines who want to complement their fleet,” explains Magnus Wallin, who makes a combi machine under the brand name of Malwa.

The pine weevil will have big problems in Sweden next year.

“One third of the plants in the risk areas can be effectively protected next year,” says

Malin Persson of the Swedish company BCC, which developed the equipment used to treat the seedlings.

The world’s most efficient load space for forwarders is now available for everyone. At SkogsElmia outside Jönköping, Sweden, the system’s developer, Hultdins, also launched it in two new versions – for thinnings and slash.

 

When visitors to SkogsElmia outside Jönköping, Sweden saw the Swedish Forest Agency’s camera-equipped model airplane, their first question was if it would be used to spy on forest owners.

“No – it covers too small an area and isn’t suitable for that purpose,” answered its operator, Lars Björk.

The new generation of ATVs, with the driver and passenger sitting side by side, resemble cars in some respects but they cannot legally be driven on public roads. Polaris has solved that problem.

“All the vehicles in our Ranger series are now classified as tractors,” says Bertil Tell of Polaris.

It isn’t often that the tough men of the forestry world are seen to have tears in their eyes when a young woman talks about her life as a forwarder operator. But the story told by Sweden’s Anna Utter at an inspirational seminar at SkogsElmia at the end of May must be one of Swedish forestry’s most impressive achievements.

Exhaust emission controls are becoming increasingly tough even for forest machines. But the end result may be greater use of lubricating oils. So what should contractors do?

“Test your oil instead of replacing it,” suggests Lars Ekmark of the Swedish company Agrol AB.

The problem of diesel theft was a topic of more than just conversation at the SkogsElmia forestry fair at the end of May near Jönköping, Sweden. Several exhibitors showed small diesel tanks.

“The tank holds enough fuel for one day’s work,” says Camilla Fherm of the Swedish company Färmartanken AB.

“We’ve already sold ten machines in Finland. Sweden tends to be more open to innovative products, and that’s certainly been confirmed by the response here at SkogsElmia,” says Niiles Airola, CEO of the Finnish forest machine manufacturer Usewood.

It certainly is big, Ponsse’s new ElephantKing forwarder, which had its world premiere at SkogsElmia outside Jönköping, Sweden on 26-28 May. But judging from the great interest at the fair, the machine is exactly what many forest contractors are looking for.

“We’ve had a good response to the forwarder,” confirms Johan Wermlund of Ponsse.

The ElephantKing has a curb weight of 22.9 tonnes and can haul 20 tonnes of timber on its 6.25 square metre load bed.

“The dimensions of every component have been scaled up compared with the old Elephant, which can haul 18 tonnes,” Johan says.

Swedish inventor Torbjörn Eriksson’s highly innovative new machine, the T-Bear harvester, attracted hordes of interested observers at the SkogsElmia forestry demo fair outside Jönköping, Sweden on 26-28 May.

The machine’s construction design resembles that of a boat. It also features patented solutions that have never before been used in forest machines.

The increased extraction of biofuel is threatening the nutrient balance in the forest.

“Harvesting slash removes ten to fifteen times as many nutrients from the forest than what’s lost when you just remove the stems,” explains Daniel Glimtoft of Svensk Skogsgödsling AB.

After a long, cold and energy-intensive winter, SkogsElmia is even more topical now than ever before. Opening on 26 May, it is also this year’s biggest forestry fair in the Nordic region. The demo fair focuses on private forest owners but even for forestry officials and contractors, SkogsElmia is the year’s most important meeting place and a source of inspiration, knowledge and the latest innovations.