BIG Ko­matsu For­est group tour to Elmia Wood and fac­to­ries

Sur­prised and im­pressed with how big Elmia is. It’s a big show!

Australian Forests and Timber - - Elmia -

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

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