by Jon M. Casey
The 35th East Coast Sawmill and Logging Equipment Exposition, co-sponsored by the Virginia Forest Products Association and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, enjoyed beautiful sunny weather on Saturday May 14, the second of two days of what has become known to timber industry members as Expo Richmond. Expo Richmond, held every other year, is hosted at the Richmond, VA Raceway Complex, home of NASCAR’s famous Richmond racing events. With more than 250 indoor and outdoor exhibitors on hand displaying everything from chain saws and milling equipment to whole tree chippers and mechanized tree-cutting equipment, timber industry professionals had the opportunity to see the latest in products and services for one of three of Virginia’s biggest private industries.
Along with tree harvesting equipment and associated products and services, a number of equipment manufacturers displayed equipment that serve the mulch, compost and biomass segment of this extensive industry. Two of the more notable offerings from equipment manufacturers were the addition of telematics to Vermeer’s line up of grinders and chippers and the introduction of a re-designed micro-chipper from Terex Environmental Equipment (TEE).
According to Vermeer recycling and forestry applications specialist, Ted Dirkx, Vermeer has continued to expand the application of onboard telematics to include not only their horizontal directional drill equipment line, but also to include their new FT300 forestry tractor; their HG 4000, HG 6000 and HG 6000TX horizontal grinders; and their TG 9000 tub grinder and WC2300XL Tier 4i Whole Tree Chipper. “By expanding the availability of the Vermeer Fleet monitoring system, fleet managers are now able to locate and route equipment as well as schedule service and maintenance needs. They are able to see in real time what is going on with the equipment and to take action when needed,” he said. “All you need is an internet connection, a smartphone, PC or tablet and a web browser, preferably Chrome®. There are even built in diagnostic codes for the specific equipment for maintenance alerts and troubleshooting.”
At the Terex Environmental Equipment exhibit, Art Murphy, North American Sales Director for TEE and TEE sales representative Travis Lint, were on hand to promote the introduction of the re-designed Ecotec TBC 435 whole tree chipper featuring the ability to be configured in either of two chipping options, one for producing high quality fuel chips or with the switch of the chipping drum, a micro-chip in the 1/8 to ½-inch range, preferred by the pelletizing industry.
On display along with the trailer style TBC 435 was a new Legacy Series tracked unit that is reminiscent of the recent inclusion of the CBI Equipment line. Murphy noted that since the first of 2016, when TEE and CBI joined efforts in the North American Market, the change and product support has been excellent. With the increase in demand for the TEE product line, the company has added approximately 50 new employees to their Newtown, NH manufacturing facility.