Now that we have an official cease-fire in the softwood lumber war with the U.S., Canada’s forest industry can give full attention to all the other problems facing the business – namely a seemingly ever-rising dollar, competition from abroad, and the western pine beetle that’s chewing its way through B.C. forests.

Whatever problems beset Canada’s considerable forest industry, two things remain; there will always be Canadian forest products, and thus the need for people – and equipment – to haul trees out of the bush.

Here’s a look at what the OEM truck and trailer manufacturers are putting out these days to haul all that wood to market.

Freightliner’s FLD SD is the company’s premiere logging tractor. Available in either a set forward front axle for maximum weight distribution or a set back front axle for increased maneuverability, the unit can be spec’d with available steer axles rated up to 20,000 lb, drive axles up to 52,000 lb, and optional pusher and tag axles.

The truck’s chassis features a wider track front axle and narrow, high pressure steering gears which gives the tires more room to turn, increasing over-all maneuverability, says Freightliner. It also features a heavy-duty chassis with 120,000-psi frame rails and a lightweight reinforced aluminum cab to minimize vibration and noise. Available with a variety of engine options up to 550 hp and 1,850 lb ft of torque, the FLD SD can be easily customized to meet specific operational needs.

Freightliner’s Tuftrac suspension provides maximum traction in high articulation environments. The rubber-isolated pivot points and parabolic taper-leaf springs ensure a smooth ride, whether loaded or unloaded, minimizing wear and tear on the truck and the driver.

For the International buyer in Cranbrook, B.C., the ideal spec for navigating the mountain roads is a Meritor tridem with an ISX 565 mated to an 18-speed, according to George Ridley of Columbia International Trucks.

The International logging model of choice is the PayStar 5900 – a 30-in. set-forward front axle and up to 560 hp of hauling power under a square classic hood. PayStar features include a vertical exhaust system routed under the cab for maximum ground clearance and no interference with the PTO, including factory-installed rear-engine PTOs; an all-aluminum cab and doors for less weight, bigger payloads and easier repairability; and a purpose-built severe service 12.25-in. frame system with one of the highest strength-to-weight ratios in the industry – allowing a single rail to do the work of some double frames.

The PayStar comes with a choice of on/off-highway suspensions: steel, rubber, or air. And dual steering gears (standard with 14,600-lb and above front axles) provide enhanced maneuverability when fully loaded; while a 40° wheel cut for outstanding maneuverability is available with specific tire/wheel combinations.KENWORTH
For 2007, Kenworth is listing three models in its logger lineup: the W900, the T800, and the C500.

The W900 can be spec’d with 10- to 16-litre engines – up to 600 hp, and is available in 121-in. and 130-in. BBC (bumper to back of cab) dimensions. There are seven different frame rail specs to match strength and weight requirements. Front axle options range from 12,000- to 14,600-lb ratings, and rears from 23,000-lb single to 52,000-lb tandems.
Add the rugged durability of Severe Service options and Kenworth’s T800 can be custom-tailored to meet the specific needs of your logging operation. Like the W900, the T800 comes in engine sizes up to 16-liter, and is available in 112-in. and 121-in. BBC. Front axles are rated from 12,000 to 22,000 lb, with rears from 21,000-lb single to 70,000-lb tridems. A set-back front axle provides optimum wheel cut and weight distribution.

The C500 is still the workhorse of Kenworth’s logging lineup. The heavy-duty frame rails allow for incredible carrying capacity. Front axles are rated to 30,000-lb single and 36,000-lb tandem, driving or non-driving. Carrier-reduction rear axles to 70,000 lb tandem and 69,000 lb tridem; planetary hub-reduction axles to 150,000 lb tandem or 105,000 lb tridem. Manual or automatic transmissions are available to handle the highest torque outputs available. The C500 cab is heavily reinforced to withstand rugged environments and the optional cab air suspension smoothes out rough terrain.

In the forests of New Brunswick, Mack loyalists are most often out hauling logs in Granite and CL models, according to Jim McLennon, a salesman at the Lounsbury Truck Centre in Fredricton. The preferred spec is the 14,600-lb front axles, 46,000-lb rears; with the 460-hp Mack engine the powerplant of choice, mated to a Mack transmission. “They’re looking for more horsepower – especially in northern New Brunswick where it’s hilly. When Mack comes out with the new D16, rated for 625 hp, it should be quite popular,” says McLennon.

The CL model will be phased out within a year, to be replaced with a new severe duty model, but Mack buyers can still snap up new CLs over the next year.
The Granite, also available in axle back configuration, is a lightweight vocational truck that features the strongest cab Mack has ever built, riding on two cushions of air and two shock absorbers. Its smart advanced electronics improve productivity, and reduce downtime; and its considerable strength comes from a new generation of composite materials and aluminum that provide significant weight savings without sacrificing an ounce of durability, says Mack.PETERBILT
When diesel hit $5 a gallon in the Thunder Bay area earlier this summer, would-be logging truck buyers started getting serious about spec’ing for fuel economy when shopping at the Thunder Bay Truck Centre, according to salesman Clarence Downey.
Fortunately, the all-new Peterbilt line-up is big on aerodynamics, which should shave a few cents off operating costs per mile for the guys plying the logging roads and highways in northwestern Ontario.

New for 2007 are the 388 and 389 traditional highway tractors, and the Model 367 and 365 vocational trucks.

The 389 and 388 feature improved aerodynamic performance, styling, durability, serviceability, and forward lighting. The new models are more aerodynamic thanks to all-new aluminum hoods and a new one-piece aluminum surround. A new, lighter-weight cooling system improves cooling capacity to accommodate higher-horsepower engines.
The new 367 and 365 vocational models will be available in set-forward and set-back front axle positions, with axle placement optimized for improved maneuverability and weight distribution; and the 367 will be available in a special heavy haul configuration that features a high-capacity cooling system to accommodate the highest horsepower engines available.

Introduced last year for the Canadian logging market is the Dana Spicer T69-170HP tri-drive axle paired with the proprietary Peterbilt Air Trac suspension. The tri-drive axle features a broad range of hypoid gearing ratios for enhanced durability and spec’ing flexibility with axle weight ratings of 58,000 lb, and available axle ratios of 3.91, 4.10, 4.30, 4.56 and 4.78.

Among Western Star loggers in Prince George, B.C., the time they spend on the highway usually determines what type of Western Star they buy. “If they’re doing a lot of on/off-highway work, the 4900 SA – either set forward or setback – is the big one,” says James Western Star Sterling salesman, Brian Dinelle. “They’ll often spec them with either Cat 550s or Detroit 515s, [Meritor] diffs, and Eaton 18-speed trannies.”

The set-back 4900 is available in two BBCs to accommodate different logging applications and both are standard with a supervisibility hood, and a non-sloping hood option for the 123-in. BBC to accommodate larger radiators for maximum cooling. Options include a severe-duty cab, a variety of radiator sizes, tandem rear axles, heavy-duty Tuftrac suspensions, and about 8,000 more options to choose from.

For the off-highway crowd the 6900’s the big seller, with either tridem or tandem drives, says Dinelle. The 6900 XD is rated up to 175 tons GCW. It features a monocoque design for greater cab size and strength, and can be spec’d with a severe duty cab option with a steel floor and additional reinforcements. Other severe duty options include planetary rear axles for high-torque capacity, and a range of heavy-duty suspension options. H

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