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SkogsElmia: When less is more, more is more and more is less – more-or-less

Over 20 400 forestry interested souls got some fresh air, a new tan and fresh input from the around 300 exhibitors during the recently concluded SkogsElmia 2019, a forestry tradeshow that was held on the Bratteborg Estate about 30 km south of Jönköping, Sweden. Focused on forest ownership, it could be summed up by saying less is more, more is more and more is less.

Apart from chippers, grinders, and shredders, the only large-scale forest machines at SkogsElmia 2019 were found in the forwarder competition.

Apart from chippers, grinders, and shredders, the only large-scale forest machines at SkogsElmia 2019 were found in the forwarder competition.

All things considered, it is a good inning and something that the all-new management team at Elmia ought to be pleased with, not least because it provides a solid platform from which to build Elmia Wood 2021 on. The “how, what, why and who” are of course issues for the said team to do battle with whereas the “when and where” has already been decided – May 18-21, 2021 at the Bratteborg Estate.

Champs of Logging in action during SkogsElmia 2019.

Sponsored by chainsaw manufacturer Stihl, “Champs of Logging” gave a vivid demonstration of the MS500i, the world’s first chainsaw with electronic fuel injection.

For Elmia forest show veterans, the when is of significance as clashing date-wise with LIGNA in Hannover, Germany is, well, unwise. Doing both tradeshows – LIGNA first followed by Elmia the week after – is an option, albeit a tough one, that quite a number of exhibitors with firewood processors, mobile sawmilling and other allied equipment do. Likewise for a number of visitors especially international long-haul travellers that tend to make it a 10-day fact-finding mission.

A mobile sawmilling unit from Woodland Mills being demonstrated at SkogsElmia 2019.

A mobile sawmilling unit from Woodland Mills being demonstrated at SkogsElmia 2019.

Dinky toys for hunters and DIY forest owners, not for forestry pro’s or big sticks contractors some may scoff. True to a degree but Discovery Channel’s portrayal of forestry contractor pro’s at work in the US south in its “Swamp wood logging” series a few years back is perhaps one reason why landowners are wary of allowing big and heavy machinery into their woods with operators that have mistaken it for a playground.

A BJM log processor.

Anything but dinky – straightforward, mechanical and robust is perhaps a more accurate description of small-scale forestry equipment for DIY forest owners at SkogsElmia 2019.

In its defense, the series was a reality TV show and Discovery Channel has had other forestry contractor and haulage series from other regions in North America depicting a better nuanced more work less play. Nonetheless, the point is that reality shows such as these tend to amplify existing biases. So for clarity, not all swamp wood loggers or swamp wood machinery operators are mavericks.

ATV’s have become full grown workhorses

Two decades ago – ATV’s and small-scale equipment displayed and demonstrated at SkogsElmia 99 were perhaps “dinky toys” but much has happened since. ATV’s, 6-and 8-wheelers have become robust, cost-effective and indispensable carriers for a plethora of tools, equipment, and accessories for almost every kind of land-based business – the mini-tractor of the farm, garden, municipality or golf course.

An Alstor 8x8 mni forwarder being demonstrated at SkogsElmia 2019.

Thumbs up for SkogsElmia 2019 – for forest machinery and equipment manufacturers like Alstor, the focus on forest ownership and management proved a hit.

Read the full report at Bioenergy International 

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