by Gleb Mytko
September 16, 2021
The global forestry sector has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which produced a reduction in output, declining equipment spending, and severe disruptions to global supply chains. Manufacturers of forestry equipment increasingly focused on worker safety, complying with regulations, and weathering the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic. STIHL, for instance, launched an online store in March 2020 to strengthen its distribution model. Industry events were also canceled in 2020 because of health concerns, and most major product launches were put on hold.
2021 has brought greater stability and a partial return to normal for both the global forestry sector and forestry equipment industry as many countries got a better handle on the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of strengthening market conditions around the world, a number of the leading forestry equipment manufacturers launched important models or new product lines during the first half of 2021, shedding light on the capabilities of the next generation of machines, while others unveiled major initiatives.
Deere announced its major Precision Forestry initiative – which realigns the company’s technology offerings and streamlines its product portfolio in order to better serve the forestry sector – in February 2021. The Precision Forestry initiative is part of the company’s broader commitment to technological innovation and the development of smart, connected machines. With this move, Deere will:
Developed in conjunction with forestry professionals, Husqvarna launched its newest class of 90cc chainsaws in mid-2021. The new models offer superior cutting capacity, improve ergonomics, and greater balance (for enhanced maneuverability) than predecessors. They are also more user-friendly and offer a better weight-power balance.
Komatsu Forest announced a new, innovative line of forwarders for 2021. The new product line includes and improved Komatsu 845 forwarder as well as new models that are the first to feature the company’s newly-developed Thinning Experts (TX) technology. All the machine have advanced new engines as well as Komatsu’s MaxiXT control system. Additionally, the 835TX and the 825TX forwarders offer greater maneuverability and reduced ground compaction because of their smaller size. The 825TX is the smallest forwarder offered by Komatsu.
In February 2021, PONSSE announced a new, redesigned line of Scorpion harvesters. The new models were specifically developed to better meet the needs of forestry operations today. Among the improvements, the new Scorpion models offer upgraded cabin design and greater operator comfort and safety. They also feature PONSSE’s advanced OPTI 5G information system.
Competition will continue to intensify in the global foresrty equipment industry in years to come and the importance of technological innovation and product development will only grow. The next generation of machines and attachments will have greater capabilities and will transform what is possible. Newly developed forestry equipment can also be better used with other technologies, ranging from drones to advanced software.
For additional information about forestry equipment market share, technological innovation in the industry, and the post-pandemic outlook, see Freedonia’s Global Forestry Equipment study
Gleb Mytko is an Industry Analyst at The Freedonia Group, where his work covers the global transportation, equipment and machinery markets.
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