As we gear up for Holiday Season, one industry that is always top of mind is Forestry. From Christmas trees and farming to providing the world with lumber, forestry impacts everyone on a daily basis.

Consider Minnesota. Did you know almost 20% of Minnesota is considered a wetland? Which means that certain roads are only accessible in the winter. Lumber fleets, in this area of the country, can be 2x as productive in one day during the winter than the summertime.

So, as logging fleets embrace the busy season, how are fleet managers keeping up with seasonal demand? The answer: predictive maintenance powered by data.

Like many industries, Forestry in not immune to the transformative initiatives surrounding data, transparency, and continuous digitization.

Introducing Forest 4.0

According to economic development firm Camino Associates, “Forest 4.0, like Industry 4.0 for manufacturing is the merging of digital technologies into all aspects of management, production, and logistics. For forest and lumber it includes the use of GIS mapping, satellite imaging, big data, 3D simulation, and digitalization of the supply chain to manage forests, harvests for production, produce products and ship to end-users. This presents a tremendous opportunity for both sustainability as well as increased efficiency and productivity.”

With the market totaling 19.6B in 2018/2019 and the primary share belonging to logging, it is critical for fleets serving these industries to run at maximum efficiency and profitability.

WIX Filter District Sales Manager, Jamie Blaney commented on what he is seeing in the trenches. “Specifically, in the Pacific Northwest & Mid-West there is a lot of opportunity for technology adoption within the lumber industry. Old school habits are hard to break, but we are seeing a surge of fleets in places like Montana integrating telematics & GPS services enabling them to take advantage of machine data and run more efficiently.”

And, as the market continues to grow so does the dependency on tools and/or processes that can outpace the competition and provide profitable answers to global trends.

Issues Outside of Unplanned Downtime

From an entire generation entering retirement to regulatory requirements, fleet managers must consistently find ways to mitigate a laundry list of factors affecting the bottom line.

Here are a few things affecting profitability for forestry and lumber fleets outside of preventative maintenance this year and next.   

  • Increasing construction levels and markets (in particular housing)
  • Trade/Tariffs and competition from imports directly impact cost competitiveness
  • Regulation and policy environment can preset both positive and negative influence on market competitiveness.
  • Workforce is typically aging in these industries and constrain future growth
  • Energy costs can drive up manufacturing prices

With the market growing and competition at an all-time high, unplanned downtime is that last thing your fleet should experience. As a fleet manager, embrace the future of 4.0.

Digitizing your PM program will increase uptime and become your unfair advantage – empowering you to become more efficient and enabling you to win more contracts.

The first step? Contact your filter rep to learn more about Senzit or read this case study and see how you can reduce downtime with filter life prediction and GPS.