BIG Komatsu Forest group tour to Elmia Wood and factories
Surprised and impressed with how big Elmia is. It’s a big show!
KOMATSU FOREST Australia had gathered much interest from many customers wishing to attend Elmia Wood 2017 in Sweden, the largest forest equipment expo in the world which is held every four years. It became very clear that the group was too large to travel together so it was split in two with the larger group tour leader being Brenton Yon and the smaller second group leader being Nigel Howard.
Two journeys to the same place
The latter group being smaller and younger went via the UK to visit the Komatsu Excavator Factory in Newcastle where they manufacture approximately 2,000 units a year ranging from 17 – 80 ton. To add a little interest to the tour there was a detour to the Isle of Man for the motorcycle racing which was the real highlight to the biking enthusiasts.
After leaving the UK Nigel’s group met up with Brenton’s group in Copenhagen then continued onto Jonkoping for the ELMIA WOOD 2017.
The larger group of 27 people led by Brenton left Sydney on the evening of June 1 for Japan where they spent five days split between Tokyo and Kyoto. The group got to experience the thrill of high speed travel on the bullet train between the two cities commencing in Tokyo.
In Tokyo a dinner hosted by the President of Forest Machine Business (Chikaya Sakai) and his team was both an informative and very enjoyable dinner. In Kyoto they had a guided tour of the Komatsu Osaka Factory which is their largest producer of hydraulic excavators and highlighted by the automated production line.
From Tokyo the group flew to Copenhagen where they spent an evening and visited the Tivoli Gardens with some sightseeing the next day after which they met Nigel’s group of 15. Both groups then went by coach and crossed the Baltic Sea via the Oresund Bridge and Tunnel from Denmark to Sweden then onto Jonkoping.
On the Friday and Saturday two thirds of the group went to Elmia Wood field days while the others (ladies) were hosted by Susan Yon on very interesting activities that were enjoyed by those who attended. Interestingly, Michael Scott the winner of the AUSTimber’16 Forwarder competition was sponsored by KF in the Elmia Wood Forwarder Competition and ran a very creditable 6th against the many European competitors.
After Elmia the combined groups bused to Stockholm and then flew to Umea, the home of Komatsu Forest Global Headquarters and manufacturing plant. On the Monday they firstly visited the Indexator and Rototilt factories at nearby Vindelin for the day with lunch over the spectacular rapids of the Vindelin River. That evening the Australian group joined other groups from Brazil, United States, Argentina and Austria for a dinner hosted by the senior Komatsu Forest management team.
On Tuesday they went to the factory where there were two presentations, a full factory tour and lunch. From there they then went to the Umea airport where most returned home to their various destinations.
Dave Nuttall’s comments on the trip:
“It was a great trip. We went through the Komatsu factory in Japan and everyone agreed that was well worth having a look at. Then it was on to Sweden and apart from a bit of rainy weather for the first day, we thought it was well worth the effort of going. I noticed there were probably a lot of smaller things there but there was certainly some fantastic machinery there and we were very happy with what we saw around the show, that’s for sure. It’s about 6km right around the show and we spent two days out there and had a good look around.
We’d like to thank Komatsu Forest for the opportunity to take us all there. I’m sure everyone on the trip was very impressed with the way they looked after us; it was first rate.”
Matt Mangan’s comments on the trip:
“First and foremost our thanks to Komatsu Forest for what was a well-organised trip from start to finish. I was both surprised and impressed with how big Elmia is. It’s a big show. A fair bit of what we saw was what I had expected but there was also a lot of smaller stuff that the European guys specialise in. It’s a first rate show. The trip to the Komatsu factory at Newcastle was an eyeopener. I thought the factory would have been bigger, but, the whole experience there was something special. The extension to the Isle of Man for the motorbike racing was unbelievable. I thought I was prepared after watching the race on TV .... that doesn’t prepare you for the real thing! It’s brilliant. Overall, it was really a great trip; we really enjoyed it. I was all full on, yeah, but we had a good group and the whole thing was put together very, very well.”
Brenton’s comments of the tour and group:
“The group taken was by the far the largest (42 people) we have ever taken to Elmia and it must be said it was one of the best with everyone getting on incredibly well. A lot of fun was had on each and every day and the hospitality extended to us by various Komatsu Companies/Executives was exceptional. One of the most pleasing things for me was the number of wives/ partners (18), most play a very prominent part in their respective businesses and to have them on the trip was very gratifying. I believe everyone on the trip would have taken a few things from it which will hopefully benefit their respective businesses, I also hope the good friendships developed continue to grow.
“This was my last Elmia and from my perspective I’m going out with very fond memories of the six I’ve attended in particular this last one. I also hope that everyone realises after being to Elmia how good our AUSTimber show is and the challenge for AFCA as well as the industry to get the number of exhibitors and attendance increased. When you take into account that there were 550 exhibitors at Elmia and 200 of them were first time exhibitors it shows our Industry is important and relevant.
“I would like to thank everyone who came on this trip (both groups); it’s hoped it was a very enjoyable experience as well as a learning experience.”
Line up of the Komatsu Forest Forwarders
New Komatsu 931XC 8WD Harvester
Both Aussie Groups at Umea
Entrance to the Komatsu Forest Stand