Your chance to pick up $2500 at AUSTim­ber2016

Australian Forests and Timber - - AUSTIMBER 2016 -

ONCE AGAIN, Ko­matsu Forests is spon­sor­ing the For­warder com­pe­ti­tion at AUSTim­ber2016 with the win­ner not only get­ting brag­ging rights but also a cool $2,500.

The com­pe­ti­tion is a good test of an op­er­a­tor’s crane skills along with a good demon­stra­tion of cor­rect ma­chine oper­a­tion, ad­her­ence to safety stan­dards and the abil­ity to cor­rectly iden­tify and han­dle the in­di­vid­ual com­po­nents of a For­warder.

“The over­all aim of the com­pe­ti­tion is to find the op­er­a­tor who is most likely to re­spect the prod­uct be­ing har­vested, op­er­ate the ma­chin­ery most ef­fi­ciently and go home safely at the end of the day”, said Lau­rie Martin, Gen­eral Man­ager of AUSTim­ber2016.

Brett Jones, Manag­ing Direc­tor of Ko­matsu Forest Pty, has con­firmed the ma­chine be­ing used this year for the com­pe­ti­tion will be the re­cent­lyre­leased Ko­matsu 895. There are now over 55 of these 895s work­ing in Aus­tralia.

“The Ko­matsu For­warder pre­vi­ously known as Val­met, has been the most pop­u­lar For­warder in Aus­tralia now for over the last 20 years. The tra­di­tion cer­tainly seems to be con­tin­u­ing, even with the 895 be­ing the new kid on block,” said Brett.

“It will sur­pass the leg­endry 890.3 in the com­ing years. It’s amaz­ing that there were 120 of these 890.3s de­liv­ered into the Aus­tralian mar­ket from 2006 through to 2012 mak­ing it the most suc­cess­ful For­warder to date in the Aus­tralian mar­ket,” he said.

Ko­matsu Forest has spon­sored the Na­tional For­warder com­pe­ti­tion since the AUSTim­ber 2000 show when the 890.1 was first re­leased which was fol­lowed by the 890.2. Be­tween these two mod­els there were also over 120 units de­liv­ered into the Aus­tralian mar­ket.

“Once again the 890.1 and 890.2 had to live up to the suc­cess­ful rep­u­ta­tion of the pre­vi­ous two mod­els be­ing the good old 892 (ap­prox. 80 units) and the black 890 (ap­prox. 80units) so there were over 160 com­bined sales of these two mod­els into the Aus­tralia mar­ket.

“When you add up all these num­bers there is no dis­put­ing that all the Ko­matsu (Val­met) For­warder mod­els have dom­i­nated the Aus­tralian mar­ket,” Brett said.

“We’re very con­scious the For­warder com­pe­ti­tion is not only of in­ter­est to con­trac­tors and forest man­agers but is also a good show­case to the gen­eral public of the tech­nol­ogy and skills at work in the forest.” said Lau­rie.

“Given the in­dus­try needs to con­tin­u­ally at­tract new peo­ple to work in it, hav­ing some­thing like this com­pe­ti­tion gives prospec­tive em­ploy­ees the op­por­tu­nity to see there is work for smart peo­ple with good hand/eye skills.”

“We’ve also po­si­tioned the com­pe­ti­tion arena ad­ja­cent to the forest site en­try point so all vis­i­tors are aware of where it is even when it’s not op­er­at­ing and they can in­clude it in their list of things to see while they’re on site.”

Apart from the “Fire­wood heap” which al­ways draws good at­ten­tion from the watch­ing crowd, this year there will also be “The clean up” which re­quires the op­er­a­tor to pick up an empty drink bot­tle and place it in a bin.

Apart from the op­er­a­tional skills, it is also a way of show­ing view­ers the fine mo­tor skills that are re­quired and that can be suc­cess­fully de­ployed to op­er­ate a for­warder to the high­est pro­fes­sional stan­dards.

To en­ter, oper­a­tors should go to www.austim­­pe­ti­tion-page/ and fill in their de­tails. En­tries close 1 April but, given there is a limit to the num­ber of heats that can be op­er­ated over the two days of com­pe­ti­tion, oper­a­tors think­ing of en­ter­ing should get their en­try in ASAP to make sure they get the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete.

Af­ter all, if you’re good enough to win the com­pe­ti­tion, it would be a pity to see some­one else walk away with the cheque.

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