Friday Offcuts – 24 March 2023

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We feature this week several technologies and stories around log transport. Another large pulp & paper company in Brazil is trialling electric trucks to transport pulp and across in the UK, Tevva, a leading European technology company and truck manufacturer has just run their dual- energy (hydrogen and electric) 7.5 tonne prototype truck almost 560km. It didn’t need a single stop for recharging. The company’s been working on how best to utilise battery-electric and hydrogen technologies to maximize the performance of their vehicles. Much closer to home, a University of Canterbury PhD student is currently working on a project to develop technology to help produce green hydrogen from New Zealand’s abundant supply of woody biomass.

As detailed below, a number of technology firsts are planned for our upcoming Wood Transport & Logistics 2023 event in Rotorua in just a couple of months. To help out younger employees or students attend, the Forest Industry Engineering Association has joined forces with the WIDE Trust to offer five free registrations to this event. Places are available for young students, harvesting and wood flow planners, logging and log cartage contractors, or recent forestry graduates. For details on how to apply for one of the five complimentary registrations see this week’s story.

We are pleased to announce registrations are now OPEN for our 5th Carbon Forestry 2023 event running in Rotorua, New Zealand on 29-30 August which will attract leading investors, foresters and land users from across the region. Further details will follow. This event sells out fast, so be sure to organise your team's registrations soon!

For those of you in the NSW wood transport industry, another drop-in day is being held at Visy's Pulp and Paper Mill near Tumut between 9.00 am and 3:00 pm on 29 March 2023. Like last year, the day has been set up for the forest industry to meet up with local operators to discuss how the industry can further support drivers, safer roads and load practice. To learn more, contact FCNSW Haulage & Sales Manager, Linda Cotterill ( or Tel: 0457 857 294).

Finally, as you may well be aware, an inquiry is underway right now (opened on 13 March) into land use on the east coast of New Zeland following the significant damage from cyclone Gabrielle. As we've reported, the timing of the Ministerial Inquiry into Land Use is going to be tight (submissions are due in by Thursday 6 April – less than 2 weeks away). The inquiry is looking into past and existing land uses and will be investigating storm damage and its causes, current practices and regulatory and policy settings. If you or your team plan on making a submission directly, use this link. That’s it for this week.

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Carbon Forestry conference - Registrations OPEN

We are pleased to announce the launch of our most popular conference - the eagerly awaited 5th Carbon Forestry Conference. This investor conference is running in-person on 29-30 August at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua, New Zealand. A comprehensive conference programme has been developed featuring a range of practical and knowledgeable industry leaders.

With presentations from international investment perspectives to how carbon markets and ETS interact with carbon farming investments, event content spans a range of important and dynamic aspects.

Right now in 2023 there are many factors at play with the potential to change the prospects of carbon farming landscape. They could have significant effects for both forestry and international investment within New Zealand in the longer term.

Industry leaders are being brought together as key speakers from the carbon farming investment industry alongside those delivering Government policy and advice from the Overseas Investment Office. Adding in the importance of market impacts on how carbon farming and markets develop, carbon market commentators and analysts have also been brought together to explain how these factors interact.

Finally, the future of carbon farming relies on the attitudes and actions of landowners including farmers. Their influencer's and perceptions, impacted by the current He Waka Eke Noa process and those around them with farm forestry experience, makes for a complex setting for how these markets are going to develop.

We expecting that this year’s conference to sell out as it did last year. Be sure to get your registrations confirmed soon, as we expect this to happen again well before August.This year we are introducing two new aspects on carbon forestry investments as the market expands with more companies offering carbon sequestration solutions to rapidly growing investor numbers and types.

As before we do offer online registrations exclusively for delegates based outside of New Zealand. At past events this audience has comprised up to 25 percent of the total attendance.

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Processing forestry slash on-site an immediate solution

An immediate solution to solve the issue of destructive forestry waste - or slash - is available, and implementing it must be accelerated, a forest research organisation says.

During Cyclone Hale and Cyclone Gabrielle, massive volumes of forest debris ended up blocking water channels, smashing into bridges and farm infrastructure and flowing over farmland in Tai Rāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay. Scion chief executive Julian Elder was making the comment in the wake of the announcement of a ministerial inquiry into land use practices on highly erodible land.

“The organisation has been working with the NZ Government, industry, and local communities to better understand and prepare for the risks that come with managing forests and land use change in highly erodible land under a changing climate,” Elder said. “It is clear that our forestry and land management practices in high-risk areas will need to change. How that transition can be implemented while supporting local communities, needs to be a key focus of the inquiry,” he said.

“We look forward to sharing insights from that work with the inquiry panel so we can help accelerate solutions.” But there was an immediate solution to forestry slash in the form of a portable, container-sized mini-factory to process forestry waste on-site, turning it into new high-value products, Elder said.

To date the technology, which is available, has not been seen as financially viable, but “when you factor in downstream impacts, if you leave it [slash] behind with logs and large woody items, then it might change the economics of this”, he said. The climate change challenge was driving the move away from fossil fuels, he said.

“We’re going to need more and more biomass for producing energy fuels, materials, chemicals in a sustainable way, so there’s an opportunity to move to using the slash,” he said. “One of the areas that we’ve been working on for a little while is: what can we do in terms of distributed manufacturing?”

The quickest option was to chip the slash and further process it on-site or transport it elsewhere and make it into valuable energy materials or chemicals, Elder said. Manufacturing around the world was now able to be done on a smaller scale than previously, he said. “That’s because the technology has now allowed us to do things economically at a smaller scale, and that’s in relatively recent times,” he said.

“The big advantage of the sort of processing we’re talking about in this biomass field is that it has lower temperatures and pressures than you have to use for petrochemicals, so it’s very viable to effectively put a processing plant in a container.”

More >>

Another link on Scion’s Distributed Biomass Conversion programme and technology being developed that could lead to mini factories being deployed in the forest to utilise wood waste, including forest slash can be read here.

Source: Stuff, Farmers Weekly

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Technology firsts for major log transport event

In log transport, coverage of an array of new innovations around electric, hydrogen and diesel-hybrid powered vehicles, truck automation and platooning continue to roll out. Right now, there’s a huge amount of interest by larger fleet operators and already, a number of firsts for fueling log trucks in this part of the world are underway and have been planned for early 2023.

These significant changes to transportation, along with innovations around log measurement and wood scheduling are being showcased as part of a major Wood Transport & Logistics event being run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association.

All key trucking associations for forestry and log transport companies along with a raft of exhibitors are supporting the event running in Rotorua, New Zealand on 24-25 May 2023. Virtual registrations are also open to delegates from outside New Zealand unable to get into Rotorua.

As well as being the first dedicated log transport event run for over five years, the event (conference, trade exhibits and pre-and post-conference workshops) will be covering industry technology firsts including;

- The first Australasian electric log truck using exchangeable batteries

- Operations of the first hydrogen powered trucks

- Trial results on running diesel-hydrogen hybrid transport fleets

- Rolling out scalable hydrogen refuelling networks across NZ

- Development of the first off-road in-forest log truck platooning

- Robotic and mobile log scaling measurements

- Operations of new automated chain throwing & tensioning

Registrations for this event are rolling in. In addition to the conference and exhibitions, three pre-and post-conference workshops are being run (and are free) to all registered Wood Transport & Logistics conference delegates.

Full details on the conference and workshop programmes can be found here. Registrations to the event can be made here and other information on this major wood transport event can be found on the event website

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Progress with Australian log trade to China

China and Australia are making progress over the resumption of Australian timber exports to China in the latest sign of the normalisation of trade between the two countries, an industry official said on Wednesday reports Reuters.

The once AU$600 million annual trade with China has been largely suspended since late 2020 after Beijing said it had found pests in shipments coming from several Australian ports.

Chinese customs recently sent Australian agriculture officials a list of technical rules that must be met to resume log imports, which had since been sent to industry, Victor Violante, head of the Australian Forest Products Association, told Reuters.

When Reuters first reported the start of timber talks in February, Violante was optimistic trade could resume within six months. He maintains that view. “What we’re trying to work through is certainly things that we could work through in a matter of months not years,” he said on Wednesday.

Violante said the timber industry was working with Australia’s agriculture department to study how to apply the new rules. China and Australia are edging closer to an economic rapprochement more than two years after China restricted imports of commodities including coal, timber and barley during a nadir in diplomatic relations.

Source: Reuters

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SnapSTAT - Are NZ forestry exports overexposed to China?

When destinations for our forestry exports are compared to horticulture we are much less diversified in our export sales across our range of export products. Forestry exports are also relatively overexposed relative to the whole of New Zealand’s primary industries which has only 35% exposure to China. That said, log exports are only part of our overall forest products markets. What do you think?

Source: Primary-Industries-SOPI-December-2022

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100% electric truck for pulp transport

The Brazilian pulp & paper company, Bracell starts the year 2023 with an innovative project: the use of an electric truck to transport pulp. The initiative is unprecedented in this type of operation with heavy vehicles (trucks weighing more than 40 tons) and it is estimated that the company will avoid the emission of 132,000 kg of CO2eq per year from a single truck.

The electric truck will transport pulp on the stretch between the plant, located in Lençóis Paulista and the Intermodal Terminal in Pederneiras, using the Juliano Lorenzetti, Osni Mateus highways up to the access road municipality, in Pederneiras.

In the pilot project, the company hopes to understand the performance of the electric motor in uphill stretches with load, time and necessary amounts of charging and maintenance, in addition to economic and environmental gains.

Alberto Pagano, head of Supply Chain at Bracell, pointed out that another differential of the vehicle will be the use of renewable energy, produced by the company itself, to recharge the truck’s batteries. “It is a pilot project that reiterates the company’s commitment to the sustainability of the business. The use of the vehicle brings benefits for the climate and also for the entire community”, he said.

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A unique opportunity for young foresters

This new opportunity comes with a free conference registration – up to about five of them in fact for – for this year’s Wood Transport & Logistics 2023 event running in Rotorua, New Zealand on 24-25 May 2023.

The Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) has teamed up with the WIDE Trust, a charitable Trust formed in 2018 that supports the development and education in New Zealand’s forestry and wood industry sectors.

What’s being offered? To help out younger employees, recent graduates and new entrants into the industry, this new arrangement will enable up to five young employees, recent graduates or students to attend the upcoming Wood Transport & Logistics 2023 event in New Zealand with all major conference expenses being paid.

The event is the eagerly awaited tech update set up for harvesting and wood flow planners, logging and log cartage contractors, forestry managers and forest owners.

So, as well as the opportunity of learning about new technology, staying abreast with the very latest in research and operating practices, learning about emerging technologies (within and outside our own industry), you’ll be able to network with senior management, tech providers and your counterparts from across the country. Now that’s an offer just too good not to look at further.

Previous offers for tech events last year were snapped up. Details for the event can be found on the event website,

Conditions: Applicants for the complimentary places have to be actively employed within the forestry or log transport industries or in a recognised training scheme, apprenticeship or course. The places are available only to those that haven’t yet registered to attend the conference. And, to ensure the package is targeting the right person, the applicants should also be 35 years or younger

What do I do if interested? Places will be filled on a first in-first served basis, provided the eligibility criteria have been met. So, if keen on picking up one of these complimentary available spaces for the upcoming Wood Transport& Logistics 2023 event, please make contact with

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DroneSeed acquires California's largest tree nursery

Climate tech company Mast, the newly-formed parent company of DroneSeed, has announced its acquisition of California-based Cal Forest Nurseries, which supplies the majority of seedlings used for reforestation in California. Mast restores forests after large-scale wildfires with reforestation projects that generate high quality carbon removal credits.

With the acquisition of Cal Forest, Mast addresses a major obstacle to scaling reforestation: an inadequate supply of tree seed and seedlings. The company chose its new name, Mast, from the forestry term describing the once or twice per decade phenomenon in which multiple trees simultaneously produce a large crop of seed-bearing cones.

The addition of Cal Forest strengthens Mast's vertical integration in response to reforestation supply chain challenges due to bigger, hotter, wildfires driven by climate change. By combining technology and legacy forestry practices with seed and seedling supplies, Mast can execute an ever-greater number of post-fire reforestation projects in partnership with landowners.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, wildfires in recent decades burn an average of 7 million acres every year, compared with only 2 million acres in annual burn before the 1990s. This increase of 5 million more acres burned in wildfires every year is equivalent to the land area of New Jersey. In addition to burning more land, hotter fires fuelled by climate change also impede forests' ability to naturally regenerate by destroying seeds that would survive less severe fires.

Cal Forest Nurseries is a trusted reforestation resource and critical link in the reforestation supply chain. The nursery has deep knowledge and proven experience growing an abundance of high-quality seedlings for a variety of tree species. Long-time customers include large public and private organizations such as major timber company Sierra Pacific Industries, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). Mast's first acquisition of a seed bank and seedling nursery came in August 2021, when the company added 130-year-old Silvaseed to its supply chain. Since it acquired Silvaseed, Mast increased its seed supply by over three times, resulting from the company expanding its tech and capacity.

Along with Cal Forest Nurseries, Mast also acquired Siskiyou Seed, a seed supplier and processor that complements Silvaseed, reinforcing Mast's position as the largest private seed supplier in the Western U.S. More >>

About Mast

Mast is a climate tech company providing vertically integrated reforestation services to get forest restoration projects up and running in weeks, not years. Services include seed collection, seedling cultivation, site preparation, seedling hand planting, aerial drone-based seeding, and ongoing site monitoring.

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Forestry Australia expanding science policy activities

Forestry Australia has announced it has established a Forest Science Policy Program and is investing in a new approach to resourcing these activities in order to improve its advocacy and communication of evidence-based forest management.

Forestry Australia CEO Jacquie Martin said that committing resources to a Forest Science Policy Program will assist Forestry Australia to promote and advocate in a timely-manner for evidence-based forest management; raise Forestry Australia’s profile and improve outcomes for, and understanding of, science-based forestry.

Ms Martin said the strategic investment in the program is a response to members’ desire to improve advocacy and communication to the public and policy makers on science-based forest management and complement the work being undertaken by the Advocacy Committee, the Board and National Office.

Under this program, the Board is engaging the services of Dr Tony Bartlett and Dr Michelle Freeman for one day a week each until December 2023 to undertake a range of forest science policy activities. In December 2023 the Board will review the investment in these roles against the needs of membership as the organisation grows.

Dr Tony Bartlett has worked in Australian and international forestry for 47 years and is currently the Managing Director of Bartlett Forestry Consulting Pty Ltd. Dr Michelle Freeman (photo) is the current Forestry Australia President and is a passionate forester with a double degree in Forestry and Science (Ecology), and a PhD from the University of Melbourne.

Source: Forestry Australia

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Forestry waste to produce green hydrogen

University of Canterbury (UC) PhD student Chichi Zhang is developing technology and relevant metal oxide materials to help produce green hydrogen from New Zealand’s abundant supply of woody biomass. Forestry slash, together with wastes from manufacturing traditional wood products, can be used as solid fuel for energy or converted to liquid fuels, gaseous fuels and chemicals through various technologies.

A PhD student in Chemical and Process Engineering, Zhang’s research centres on how to convert the woody biomass into a hydrogen-rich gas product with increased hydrogen yield. The thermochemical process adopted in her research is known as chemical-looping biomass steam gasification.

“We’ve been using temperatures of up to 1000°C in the process, and by adding metal oxides, we can enhance the hydrogen yield by over 50 per cent. These metal oxides can be used numerous times in the chemical-looping biomass process,” Zhang says.

The hydrogen-rich gas produced from the research will be further processed to convert other gases, such as carbon monoxide and methane, to hydrogen and carbon dioxide. While the concept of this technology has been proposed in previous studies, Zhang has developed a new metal oxide that has a longer active life.

“Metal oxides are the key for developing this technology but the common issue is that their lifetime is often short, which limits the practical application if they can’t be used again,” she says.

Her project is the first part of an integrated process to produce green hydrogen from woody biomass. Eventually, the hydrogen and carbon dioxide mixture will be separated to produce pure hydrogen and pure carbon dioxide. The latter parts of the process are being investigated by other members of UC’s research team, led by Professor Shusheng Pang, Zhang’s PhD senior supervisor.

Zhang says high purity hydrogen is a clean energy carrier, but it doesn’t exist naturally on earth. “So, it’s important to produce green hydrogen to help curb carbon emissions. To date, the main technology to produce hydrogen is methane steam reforming but methane is not renewable.”

Zhang’s research is part of a larger research programme evaluating the overall technical, economic, and environmental performance of hydrogen production and its commercial viability.

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New NZ wood pellet press opened

A NZ business that has increased the amount of wood pellets it can make by more than half, hopes more companies will switch to burning pellets instead of fossil fuels – helping put forestry waste to good use.

Nelson-based company Azwood has opened a new pellet press at its Brightwater site, which it says has increased its wood fuel production capacity by over 50%.

The pellets are made from sawdust and shavings from local saw mills, which process forestry logs. When burnt, the pellets released the same amount of carbon as the trees absorbed through the growth process, making them a “carbon neutral” fuel, Azwood said.

Increasing pellet production capacity meant the company could expand the forestry operations it worked with, if consumption of the wood fuel increased, Schmidt said. The company had already partnered with retirement homes, schools, universities, swimming pools, laundry services, and other commercial and industrial users in the region, she said.

In the Nelson region, Nelson Hospital, McCashins Brewery and South Pine were still using fossil fuels – the hospital coal, McCashins diesel and South Pines coal, which it had a consent to use when short of its own wood waste biofuel, which the company said it used to generate over 95% of its energy.

“We would love to work with those companies to get the last remaining three in the Nelson region to convert to wood.” Nelson Mayor Nick Smith said the council and government needed to encourage those with “stationary fossil fuel boilers” to make the conversion, through effective regulation and grants.

“There is a real opportunity for a win-win solution with the development of forestry waste biomass fuels and the need to phase out fossil fuels such as coal. This is a particularly attractive option for the Nelson region where we have a large forestry sector.”

More than 6 million tonnes of unwanted renewable wood is produced from logging operations in New Zealand in an average year. Azwood said it was too difficult to assess how much of that was produced in the Nelson region, but it was “nationally agreed there is plenty of potential to utilise slash and residues ... and economically place it into markets”.

Last month, Genesis Energy ran its coal-and-gas-burning Huntly power plant in Waikato on wood pellets for a day, in a trial to bring down the facility’s large carbon footprint. The electricity generator also paired up with Fonterra (which burns coal for milk-drying, and other dairy processes) to determine if wood pellets could be feasibly produced in New Zealand.

Azwood had supplied wood energy to Fonterra’s Brightwater plant for the past five years, but Fonterra was due to shift the factory’s milk powder processing to a bigger site near Christchurch.

Schmidt knew of two other wood pellet producers in New Zealand, one in Southland and one in the North Island.

Source: Stuff

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Queensland Growth Scholarship Awards open

The idea of applying for a scholarship may seem overwhelming. However, TQ’s Growth Scholarship program aims to make it a simple, accessible and fair process. You don’t need to be a forest scientist to apply – but if you are you can apply too!

Open to early career professionals (18 – 45 years) who reside in Queensland, Growth Scholarships provide financial assistance (e.g., cost of course/fees, travel, time away from a job) for a learning project.

A learning project can include informal and formal experiences and innovation learnings, such as assistance with on-the-job training, short courses, study tours, components/units of formal qualifications, attendance at conferences and events, short term work placements and/or secondments to gain experience.

With Awards ranging from AU$10, 000 to $2,500 you can think big and suggest an overseas study tour or consider doing a short course to help you improve your knowledge and advance your career prospects.

Timber Queensland’s Strategic Relations Manager Clarissa Brandt said the inaugural program invited early and mid-career professionals and skilled workers to submit details of a proposed learning project that would enhance their career and benefit local industry.

“To have a timber engineer, an operations and production worker, a forester and a forest scientist receive awards met one of the goals that Timber Queensland and Michael Kennedy, CEO of Scholarship Foundation Partner Kennedy’s Timber, put in place for the Awards,” said Clarissa Brandt.

“We strongly encouraged people working in forestry and wood processing and manufacturing operations to apply and advance their careers, just as we encouraged those in forest science and technical development to make an application,” she said.

Recipient of the inaugural Kennedy’s Timber Award Adam Faircloth, a Research Engineer at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has recently returned from a study tour across Australia and New Zealand to gain insights into perceived challenges, R&D opportunities, and current achievements in the field of vibroacoustic assessment.

The 2023 - 2024 Growth Scholarship applications open on 28 March and close on 30 June. The awards on offer are the Kennedy's Timber Award - AU$10 000, HQPlantations Award - AU$5,000, AKD Award - AU$5,000 and the DTM Timber Award - AU$2,500.

Photo: 2022 – 2023 Growth Scholarship Winners. Top Row L-R Brendan Foster, HQPlantations. Adam Faircloth, Queensland Department of Agriculture & Fisheries Bottom Row L-R Dr Chandan Kumar, Queensland Department of Agriculture & Fisheries.

Darcy Oborne, AKD.

Source: Timber Queensland

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Tevva hydrogen-electric truck clocks 560km

While Tevva’s laser-guided focus remains trained on building and delivering its battery-electric 7.5-ton vehicle, testing, and development of its hydrogen-electric counterpart continues.

Four Tevva engineers: Charlie Cordell, Byron Dolman, Ryan Clark, and Toby Hurst were doing exactly that recently, with a ‘range test’ of Tevva’s dual-energy prototype truck. The exercise saw the foursome accumulate more than 1,000 kilometers (approximately 620 miles) in the 7.5-ton hydrogen-electric vehicle, driving between Tevva’s London HQ and the Scottish border at Berwick-on-Tweed—England’s most northernmost town.

The return journey saw the truck cover almost 350 miles(560km) alone, without needing a single stop for recharging. This was made possible by the truck’s hydrogen fuel cell which tops up the range-extended (Rex) vehicle’s lithium battery when needed.

“It was an amazing trip and we were so pleased the truck covered so many miles on the return leg, without the need to stop for a charge," Lead Engineer, Tevva Rex, Charlie Cordell said.

“The trip was a terrific demonstration of the range you can achieve in a truck that uses a blended system of electric and hydrogen. The freezing conditions were extremely challenging, but helpful too, in allowing us to gather important data about vehicle performance, meaning we could make tweaks here and there and tailor its development.”

Tevva’s revolutionary hydrogen fuel-cell range extension technology enables its vehicles to do all the work of diesel, with total peace of mind about cost, range, and environmental impact.

By adding hydrogen into the energy mix, Tevva delivers a solution that gives operators the ability to decarbonize their fleets at the pace needed by climate science and demanded by society. The company is taking a dual-energy approach to zero-emission mobility, utilizing the best of battery-electric and hydrogen technology to maximize the performance of our vehicles.

Tevva is an active player in helping build the battery-electric and hydrogen infrastructure ecosystem and recognizes that the speed and scalability of hydrogen refueling systems will be crucial to adoption while keeping costs under control.

As low-carbon hydrogen becomes cheaper and more widely available, hydrogen refueling will become as convenient as diesel refueling is today. Tevva is actively working with hydrogen and refueling station suppliers to establish low-carbon hydrogen services for customers and is leading the drive to zero-emissions freight and urban logistics.

Full details on this regions Wood Transport & Logistics 2023 event running in Rotorua, New Zealand on 24-25 May can be found on the event website. Hydrogen, electric and hybrid fuel conversions for heavy transport fleets are an integral part of this major tech event that's been set up for forestry and log transport operators across the region.


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Buy and Sell

... and some to end the week on ... Aussie road signs

And one more. A man was driving down the street when he saw a flash in his rear view mirror. He realised he'd just passed a speed camera but was sure he was well within the limit.

So to check the accuracy of the camera he drove past again, well under the speed limit. The camera flashed but now he was satisfied it was faulty and feeling very smug.

Next week he received two infringement notices for not wearing a seat belt!

One more. 'Cash, cheque or charge?' I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase.

As she fumbled for her wallet , I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse.

'So, do you always carry your TV remote?' I asked.

'No,' she replied, 'but my husband refused to come shopping with me…”

And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906

John Stulen
PO Box 1230, Rotorua, 3040
Tel: +64 7 921 1381
Mob: +64 27 275 8011

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