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Managing Change

The challenges businesses need to address.

Timing and taking the initiative can be everything when running a business, and it is important to maintain momentum by making strategic decisions and implementing changes when required, bolstering your day-to-day operations and creating a clear path to growth.

Businesses may actively seek to alter their structure and operations, or may have change thrust upon them, and flexibility is often a key component in successfully dealing with a combination of internal and external factors.

Of course, arborists will typically need to navigate a range of short and long- term challenges, from staffing issues and skills shortages, through to equipment investments and the adoption of new technologies, underpinning efficient and effective operations.

Change And Challenges For Industry

As this year in particular has shown, the unexpected can happen, and for this reason it is important to plan ahead, ensuring that a strong business foundation is in place, while also being prepared to adapt when required.

Of course, each business is unique, and it is important to carefully consider the range of individual factors impacting your business in determining the best path forward.

As previously covered by AAF, some of the main challenges, and drivers for business change, faced by those in the industry include:

Skills Shortages – finding and then holding on to appropriately skilled employees presents an ongoing challenge for industry

Health And Safety – is a critical issue for industry, with the COVID-19 pandemic bringing about a range of additional considerations

Equipment Investment – knowing when to invest and ensuring you get the best deal for your business

Technology Adoption – different facets of business operations continue to go digital, from administration to advertising, providing efficiency gains

Across each of these different areas, businesses can take steps to bolster their operations, and it is important to adopt a forward-looking outlook.

For instance, as those within industry have previously told AAF, creating a workplace with a degree of staff flexibility, in which a clear career path is laid out for employees, is important, while a strong health and safety culture can facilitate trust and contribute to a productive working environment.

Meanwhile, it is important to clearly establish your business needs and capabilities when investing in equipment, consulting with financial professionals when required, and to consider how digital technologies can be incorporated across, and streamline, your operations.

Methods For Managing Change

The business.gov.au website describes change as being “a normal and essential part of business”, with it being an important step for businesses to improve staff performance, enhance goods or services and to expand.

As part of the process of creating an effective change management approach, business.gov.au outlines the following four steps:

  • A Clear Picture – starting with a clear picture of your desired outcome can help people understand the bigger picture, keeping in mind what they’re working towards
  • A Change Management Plan – writing down business changes can help business owners document and communicate their plan, encompassing: their desired outcome; the change’s reasons, benefits and aim; who will undertake necessary tasks; goals, targets and potential milestones
  • Keep Staff Up To Speed – proactive communication and engagement can help people understand and embrace the change, with it important to communicate openly and directly with employees, to make them aware of the change as soon as possible, and to involve staff and support them
  • Change Culture – promoting a culture of change, encouraging and recognising staff engagement, and continuing to look for ways to improve a business, can help staff become comfortable with change and adapt easier in the future.

Further information can be found at the www.business.gov.au  website.

January 13, 2021 / by / in ,
Exclusive Line Of Bluelift Spider Lifts

RUTHMANN Bluelift produces safe and reliable elevated work platforms that are simple and easy to use.’

The Italian spider lift manufacturer RUTHMANN Bluelift was originally founded by the Marti family in 2004.

Ahern Australia is the exclusive distributor for the full line of Italian lifts in Australia. These Italian-made spider lifts feature advanced technology, lightweight designs and high performance.

Suitable for a wide range of applications, the flexible lifts work for tree work, maintenance, construction or industrial uses. The vertical and horizontal reach of the Italian lifts maximise production both indoor and outdoor. Carrying a platform capacity from 120kg to 250kg, the spider lifts have extensive ranges. Maximum working height reaches from 10.8m to 31m with horizontal outreach from 5.15m to 17.3m.

Ergonomic designs allow operators to easily move the lift into position, even in tight spaces. Proportional controls deliver precise manoeuvring to make easy work of accessing high places, such as trees and other tall objects.

Bluelift also includes simultaneous electro-hydraulic capabilities for greater handling where needed. Combining a telescopic boom and articulating jib adds up-and-over capabilities on many models.

For added protection, interlocking outriggers help the spider lift maintain balance on all terrain. A self-stabilizing system locks the spider lift into place for safe work at height. Hydraulically operated articulating outriggers can be set at individual heights. Non-marking rubber treads leave no trace on finished floors.

Compact and narrow, Bluelift spider platforms can fit in confined spaces. It is also designed to be lightweight and easily transported between jobs. Even the heaviest spider lift at 4,700kg can be towed by truck or trailer. The low machine weight allows each spider lift to operate on soft or sensitive surfaces.

The first-ever full hybrid solution meets industry needs for zero emission equipment. Three energy-efficient operating modes offer versatility by switching between battery power and combustion engine. On auto mode, the machine selects the most efficient power source to maximise battery cycle. Bluelift spider lifts meet restrictions for work environments requiring lower emission machines.

Ahern Australia carries the full line of Bluelift spider lifts including the C12/6.5, C12/6.5H and C12/6.5 HB; C13; SA11 and SA11P; SA16; SA18 and SA18HB; SA22; SA26; and SA31. Bluelift spider lifts are sold and serviced by Ahern Australia for customers throughout Australia.

For more information, visit www.ahernaustralia.com.au  or call 1300 900 700.

January 11, 2021 / by / in ,
TMK Tree Shear Simply Efficient

Forest Centre has announced the release of the TMK Tree Shear new Evo 2 TMK Turbo and is looking forward to launching their new line of attachments in 2021.

The story of TMK Tree Shear got a kickstart in Finland, when a disappointed contractor and farmer, Tenho Koponen was facing a problem yet again. There was no tree shears reliable enough on the market that he could utilise and take care of his forest with, especially when his excavators were staying idle during the always harsh Finnish winter. Tenho started building and the final result was the TMK 300, the first guillotine shear of its kind that was born in 2009.

Thanks to its cost-efficient simplicity combined with a light and robust low maintenance design, now, 10 years later the company has delivered more than 2700 units in total to over 30 countries, including the original designs siblings, TMK 200 and 400.

TMK established its own headquarters and factory in November 2019 in Hankasalmi, Finland. Currently employing over 23 people and heavily investing in R&D, the company has designed and launched the widest array of attachments and cylinders in the Tree Shear market, including its patented “TMK Turbo” two stage telescopic cylinder available for all models.

Newest attachments include the likes of BrushGrapple and Stump Spray.

BrushGrapple provides the ability to cut down even the small and nimble brushes easily without tearing them from the ground. Stump Spray on the other hand provides the ability to easily fight against parasites and fungi, such as Heterobasidion and root rot.

Especially in the mini and compact excavator range, the smaller TMK 200 and its wide array of attachments is now proving its popularity with confident 200mm capacity cuts by utilising the same cylinders as its bigger counterpart, the TMK 300 – all while keeping its base weight under 200kg.

Heading into the end of 2020, the company is now about to launch the Evo 2 version of the patented TMK Turbo and a completely new line of attachments to widen the product range, while looking at growing the range even more during the upcoming year of 2021.

With everything that the company does, it strives to maintain its original values of being “Simply efficient” and “Growing with your work”.

Learn more about TMK Tree Shear by contacting their Australian dealer, Forest Centre, online at www.forestcentre.com.au or calling their team on (02) 6947 2833.

January 10, 2021 / by / in ,
Arborists Are Donating Trees

Arborists around Australia are now buying trees and getting them donated within their local communities thanks to Arborists Replanting – a small business dedicated to helping arborists give back to the environment.

Adelaide arborist, Will Dunn, was one of the first to get on board, purchasing five trees a month on an ongoing basis.

With Will’s love of trees, he has been wanting to give back to the environment for many years but hadn’t found the time due to running his busy company in Woodside, Master Tree Care. ‘I’ve always wanted to plant trees but it’s never happened.

Arborists Replanting allows me to be a part of tree planting in my local area. All I have to do is pay–they organise the rest. Tarryn (Founder of Arborists Replanting) picks local schools, wineries and other community areas to receive my trees, which is excellent advertising. I’m stoked with it!’ said Will.

So far, Will’s trees have been donated  to ArtsWine, Lobethal Lutheran  School and Lobethal Primary School – all recently affected by the bushfires. Anne Carthew, teacher at Lobethal Primary School, said, ‘Arborists Replanting are incredibly passionate and proactive about fulfilling their mission of getting trees planted  right around the country to replace those removed by arborists. Tarryn contacted our school out of the blue, offering two 6ft tall trees for free. We were slightly hesitant at first, assuming that only native trees would be on offer and we were reticent to add to the fuel load around our school as our school and community was hit hard by the Cudlee Creek fires in December last year. Once she explained that we could select virtually any trees we wanted we were delighted to accept the offer of some beautiful deciduous, fire-resistant trees. They were donated by a local arborist, Master Tree Care of Woodside, and supplied and delivered by Freshford Nurseries of Cudlee Creek. Tarryn was a pleasure to deal with. We are very appreciative of her and Zac’s initiative and can’t wait to get our new trees in the ground. We are busy preparing the soil  to ensure they live a long and happy life! Master Tree Care will be forefront in our minds should we be looking for arborist services in the future, and we will definitely be promoting them within our community. Thanks Arborists Replanting.’

It was no surprise Arborists Replanting would receive great feedback like this, especially since Tarryn had done her research before starting the business.

“When a tree needs to be removed, Arborists Replanting wants to help put them back.”

They conducted an extensive survey asking the Australian public what they would think if an arborist donated free trees to them.

The survey results were resounding:

  • 90 per cent of Aussies said they’d be more likely to choose an arborist company that donates trees back to the environment over ones that don’t
  • 90 per cent of Aussies would be more likely to call you for a quote or recommend you to a friend if they received a free tree; and,
  • 80 per cent said it would give the tree company a higher reputation

With statistics like this, you can understand why so many arborists have gotten on board. Especially, with the trees being a possible tax deduction because of its advertising capabilities.

But more importantly the benefits it provides the environment are massive! Just one mature tree alone can filter 27kg of pollutants from the air, absorb 3,400 litres of storm water and can provide a cooling effect equivalent to running 10 air- conditioners continuously.

With arborists cutting big trees down every day, it’s scary to imagine what the next fifty years could look like. Will urban areas have many tall trees left?

Arborists Replanting believes removing trees should be a last resort for arborists.

Retaining existing trees is the best thing for the environment. But, when a tree needs to be removed, Arborists Replanting wants to help put them back.

We asked Tarryn her mission for Arborists Replanting and she said, ‘I just want to help good arborists – like my partner, Zac – have peace of mind and a simple way to give back to the environment. Right now, urban areas need more trees. Majority of tree planting programs are in National Forest or on council lands. This is not going to help arborists in the future because they can’t work on these trees. By us giving them  out within local communities it will provide arborists with work down the track. So far, it’s been a fun endeavour. I absolutely love the work I’m doing!’

For more information go to www.arboristsreplanting.com.au

January 6, 2021 / by / in ,
FECON FTX150 Tracked Forestry Mulcher

Did you know that the Australian Forestry industry is the nation’s second largest manufacturing sector, with an annual turnover in excess of $23 billion?

Furthermore, the industry contributes between 0.5 and 1 per cent of Australia’s overall GDP per annum.

Approximately 67,000 people are directly employed in the forestry and wood manufacture industry, and this is set to continue to rise throughout 2020 and beyond. It’s a genuinely booming industry–so what better time than now to invest in your own premium quality forestry equipment and expand your business capability?

Fecon Australia – national dealers of the USA’s number 1 selling forestry equipment–offers a diverse range of vegetation management machinery, including mulchers for excavators and skid steers, stump grinders, tree shears and versatile mulching tractors.

To add to their already renowned product range, Fecon Australia has just released the all new FTX150 Tracked Forestry Mulcher; the first machine of its kind in the Australian market. Engineered and manufactured to withstand the full gamut of mulching conditions, the FTX150 comprises high strength steel construction built tough to last, yet without sacrificing ground pressure. A massive 140hp 4 cylinder water-cooled Cummins 4.5 engine offers exceptional operating power, whilst a 345 bar 227 litres per minute high flow hydraulic system maximises the performance of any mulcher or other attachment. Moreover, this hydraulic flow is adjustable in-cab for supreme operator versatility and convenience.

The FTX150’s deluxe ROPS/FOPS cab is designed by the operator, for the operator- adjustable joystick pods attached to a suspension seat with four points of egress ensures maximum ergonomic comfort, and a large touchscreen IQAN display makes machine operation easy and efficient.

The cab is also pressurised with heating, defrosting and air conditioning, delivering all-day comfort for operators.

A cleverly designed undercarriage offers 410mm of ground clearance, 6.4km/h travel speed, 500mm track width and an impressively-low 3.7psi of ground pressure–      meaning you can work harder, faster and smarter in a range of terrain conditions, with minimal ground disturbance.

Even the minimal servicing procedures and requirements of the FTX150 are remarkable. Large side compartment doors allow easy and complete access to the engine, whilst the moving components of the machine are designed to work longer and more efficiently than other competitor track loaders in its class. The result for owners and operators is the ultimate goal–     minimal downtime, reduced costs and maximised productivity.

The FTX150 also comes equipped with a severe duty BH85 Bull Hog mulcher head as standard, designed for fast and clean mulching of even Australia’s most challenging hardwood trees.

As a result, the FTX150 is on track to fast become the most sought-after machine in the Australian forestry and vegetation management industry. Make the smart investment and expand your business capabilities with the innovative, efficient and reliable FTX150 Tracked Forestry Mulcher from Fecon Australia.

Contact 1300 FECON 1 (1300 332 661) or visit www.fecon.net.au  to find out more and book your demo today.

January 5, 2021 / by / in ,
Ground Penetrating Radar Technology

Non-Invasive subsurface analysis.

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been adopted by arborists to provide insight into what is happening at a subsurface level, with the non-invasive technology revealing the span of objects such as tree roots, and allowing for the informed planning of projects.

As explained by Arbor Operations owner Peter Mumford, while GPR is an established technology in the arboriculture sector, the uptake by industry at a local level has been relatively slow, with the cost of the equipment being a primary barrier.

However, the benefits provided can be significant, with Peter pointing to GPR’s ability to prevent root damage in undertaking new construction projects, and to identify potential issues with existing infrastructure.

Ground penetrating radar: applications for new and existing infrastructure Peter told AAF that one of the primary uses for GPR is to allow arborists to conduct non-invasive analysis of subsurface conditions ahead of breaking ground on new projects, allowing for appropriate planning and preparation.

This information, presented in a 2D or 3D format, can be harnessed to determine what needs to be avoided when undertaking landscaping or building works.

“Roots grow on the path of least resistance – when encountering compacted soil or a harder medium in the soil they duck and weave,” Peter explained. “If you use GPR, you can identify where they’re located, and at what depth, and map out where they are.

“It means little to no impact to tree roots, and it ensures that the larger root mass isn’t damaged, because if you damage the root system, a tree’s vitality will be impacted through loss of root mass.”

Meanwhile, when it comes to a range of existing infrastructure, GPR can be used to identify potential issues with root growth, including the impact of growth on underground assets such as pipes and building foundations.

Peter advised that GPR can be deployed to provide insight into what is happening at a subsurface level for a range of infrastructure.

“If it’s impacting existing infrastructure, the other function is to identify the root locations in proximity to the infrastructure,” he said.

“It might be a roadway, it might be a curb, it might be a building, and GPR can identify the cause, eliminating the guesswork.”

Combining Arboricultural And Geophysical Knowledge

Peter told AAF that there are a range of different software package products available in the market.

“The software is usually tied to the different GPR manufacturers’ devices, and they all have their little idiosyncrasies,” he said. “We use Object Mapper, which is MALA’s product.”

Peter explained that it is not as easy as simply creating a 3D image, with a substantial amount of work being undertaken following deployment of the GPR machine, and pointed to the necessity of combining biological and geophysical knowledge.

“There’s quite a bit of post-processing work that goes into identifying tree root locations,” he commented. “It requires an element of understanding of tree biology, which is really important, and also a geophysical understanding.

“It’s a product offering which brings together a combined scientific and engineered solution to the work that we do.”

January 3, 2021 / by / in ,
Bushfire Salvaged Timber Repurposed

Burnt timber used to support Australia’s Heritage Fleet.

Apartnership between Forestry Corporation and Sydney Heritage Fleet has seen a shipment of bushfire salvaged timber delivered to help preserve heritage ships across Australia. The timber comes from the iconic Sugar Pine Walk and adjacent Douglas fir plantation near Tumut which were destroyed in the 2019-20 bushfires, but still salvageable.

Sydney Heritage Fleet is storing the timber in its Bathurst storage facility and will work with historical ship custodians across Australia to make use of it, said the organisation’s Shipwright Superintendent, Peter Gossell.

“We are pleased to see this resource going to help maintain Australia’s historical ships, and appreciate the support of Forestry Corporation,” Mr Gossell said. “Douglas fir in particular is well suited to shipbuilding and repair due to its strength, durability and light weight.

“There are around 20 historical ships across Australia that will need repairs at some point, so it’s great to have this resource on hand when needed.” Forestry Corporation’s Haulage and Sales Manager, Nick Firth said the original plantations were established in the 1920s as part of forestry trials happening at the time. “Sadly these stands were destroyed in last summer’s bushfires, but we are pleased to see Sydney Heritage Fleet is able to put the timber to use and help maintain Australia’s heritage maritime fleet,” Mr Firth said.

“We have harvested small amounts of this timber in the past for Sydney Heritage Fleet to repair ships such as the James Craig, but the impact of the bushfires has meant around 70 large timber logs are now available for stockpiling. “We’re pleased to see this resource support Australia’s historic boat fleet and help preserve these iconic ships for future generations.”

Forestry Corporation has covered all costs of harvesting and transporting this timber from Laurel Hill to the Sydney Heritage Fleet’s storage facility in Bathurst.

For more information visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au

December 30, 2020 / by / in ,
The New Bioeconomy

As the end of the year nears, it may well be an opportune time to take a deep collective breath, and to not only reflect on what by any measure has been a challenging 12 months, but to also start planning ahead and looking forward to the opportunities that 2021 will no doubt present.

Of course, the forestry industry will be seeking to build momentum in the year ahead and beyond – and, as outlined below, bioenergy is an area of focus for industry amid ongoing economic recovery efforts taking place around the world following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, in this issue we’ve trained our attention on a range of equipment decked out to get the job done, including a range of mulchers and grapple saws, along with new tree shear products.

We’ve also taken a look at a demo of a new Feller Buncher with Coppice Spray System as well as at the partnership between family-owned-and-operated hardwood timber mill Wamuran Timbers and CJD Equipment, with Wamuran having recently added an SDLG LG946L wheel loader to its fleet, providing extra versatility across its operations.

Industry Snapshot

The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) has released a snapshot of Australia’s forest products industry, in which it points to the role of the industry as a keystone employer in many regional towns.

The AFPA details that the forest industries provide direct employment for 80,000 people and indirect employment for 100,000 people, with its industry snapshot additionally showing that:

  • More than 70 million plantation trees are planted by the forest industries every year
  • Our forestry operations are carbon positive, with plantations storing 258
  • million tonnes of carbon
  • Forest industries contribute $24 billion to Australia’s economy per year
  • Australia has a trade deficit of more than $2 billion a year in forest products
  • There are almost 2 million hectares of hardwood and softwood forest plantations in Australia
  • There are 132 million hectares of native forest in Australia, with less than 0.06 per cent harvested each year and always regenerated.

Bioenergy A Forestry Focus

The AFPA is supporting an initiative which highlights the role that forest products can play in replacing fossil fuel-based products to help promote economic rebuilding and recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

In a statement, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries (ACSFI) has pointed to the “unique chance to substitute high fossil fuel-based products with those from a renewable resource”, asserting that “a sustainable forest sector lies at the heart of COVID-19 recovery plans that seek to build back better”.

“Forest industries can provide reliable, renewable energy and smart, low-emission products to drive economic growth.”

AFPA Chief Executive Ross Hampton, who is also Deputy Chair of the ACSFI, highlighted the role that the forest industry can play in helping to develop the new bioeconomy.

“We know bioenergy can deliver baseload power 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unlike many alternative renewables, and wood fibre is a sustainable, natural resource that produces renewable wood and paper products, including new innovative bioproducts,” he commented.

“That is also recognised globally, and forest industries overseas are keen to work with their governments to help develop this, just like we are here.”

Hampton said that, amid both the ongoing global fight against COVID-19 and an increasing need for economic recovery, “forest industries can provide reliable, renewable energy and smart, low-emission products to drive economic growth”.

“We already know that since the start of COVID-19, the Australian forest industries’ supply chain has been providing essential products and services,” he commented. “Demand for those renewable products continues to increase, from medical bioproducts, packaging for food, to building supplies and biomass for heating.

“Australia’s forest industries are ready to play an increased role in the global economic recovery effort, ensuring the flow of essential and renewable products, and we stand behind ACSFI in getting the

‘Build Back Better’ message to global policy makers and the public.”

Landscape Demonstration Site Program Launches In Tasmania

The Tasmanian government has advised of the launch of the Landscape Demonstration Site Program, which will help to plant 212 hectares of shelterbelts and woodlots on seven Tasmanian farms over the next year.

The $600,000 initiative, which is jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmanian governments, is being operated by Tasmanian government authority Private Forests Tasmania.

“This initiative is great news for our farmers and primary producers because it will allow them to integrate trees into existing farming enterprises, including prime lamb, wool, grass seed, cereal grains, forestry, aquaculture, dairy, beef, cropping, seed growing and potential future horticultural crops,” Tasmanian Minister for Resources Guy Barnett commented.

Private Forests Tasmania has also launched its Tree Alliance marketing campaign, which “aims to raise awareness of farm forestry and the benefits of trees on farms, and to encourage and facilitate farmers to plant commercially viable trees in the agricultural landscape”.

Further info on the Tree Alliance campaign can be found here www.treealliance.com.au/

December 29, 2020 / by / in ,
Bushfire Recovery Program Underway

Bushfire recovery program hitting the ground in Doubleduke State Forest.

The $46 million bushfire recovery program from the NSW Government is seeing work happening to rebuild State forest roads and bridges lost in the 2019-2020 fire season.

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the $46 million equity injection is part of the larger NSW Government $100 million COVID stimulus package, and will see Forestry Corporation repair damaged public infrastructure, and expand its Grafton and Blowering nurseries and begin planting activities in bushfire affected State forests.

“This is great news for the timber industry in the Grafton region which was devastated by the bushfires earlier in the year,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“Forestry is an incredibly important industry in NSW, particularly in this area, which is why the NSW Government is committed to seeing the industry get back on its feet.”

One local project is replacing burnt bridges in Doubleduke State Forest, said Forestry Corporation of NSW Acting Forest Protection Manager, Peter Walters.

“We are partnering with local industries and contractors to repair or replace bridges and reopen main forest roads, while supporting the local timber industry,”Mr Walters said.

“In Doubleduke State Forest, we are working with Grafton-based business Big River Timbers to rebuild forest bridges using timber from NSW State Forests.

“This will mean Glencoe Road can reopen, a strategic forest access and firefighting road, as well as other forest roads in the area.”

Find out more about Forestry Corporation’s bushfire recovery program at www.forestrycorporation.com.au

December 28, 2020 / by / in ,
New Predator P38R

Introducing the Predator P38R Stump Grinder to the Australian Market

If you’re looking for a narrow access stump grinder Global Machinery Sales has the answer: a stump grinder with adjustable tracks that adjust from 670mm-970mm.

Its low centre of gravity provides high stability of the machine under poor field conditions with maximum work safety.

Minimum track base makes limited spaces and narrow sites more accessible – it can even pass through a narrow garden gate or your typical standard door. Its hydraulic control and easy-to-use remote control make manual labour much easier.

The Predator P38R is powered by a 38HP Petrol Kohler engine with an easy to use remote control. Predator is the perfect machine for your tight access stump grinding needs.

Call Global Machinery Sales on 1300 072 926

For more information please visit www.globalmachinerysales.com.au

December 21, 2020 / by / in ,