Whether you love technology, love logging reality shows or just want to have something to do this weekend, you will be sure to find something you’ll love by visiting the Lane County Fairgrounds on Saturday. That’s because the Eugene Logging Conference is holding their 75th conference this week.
Since yesterday, events, including multiple seminars, have been being enjoyed by logging professionals from all over the U.S. Don’t worry, although the official conference began Thursday, you haven’t missed anything, as long as you’re not a logging professional that is. Each year the Eugene Logging Conference is nice enough to open up their final day to the public, and that day for us is this Saturday, the 23rd.
This may sound a bit boring, attending a logging conference, but the boring part is being left to those that registered to learn more about new logging standards and other such super interesting things, for us, we get to enjoy the more exciting part of a logging conference, which is: watching super cool high-tech machines chew stuff up and spit it out, loggers compete in a log loading competition, woodcarvers carve the most amazing things right before your eyes and watch high schoolers as they compete in a forestry skills competition, not to mention whatever else may be classified under “family fun and educational activities.”
The Eugene Logging Conference is the largest indoor / outdoor logging conference this side of the Mississippi, which means that it attracts many businesses to the area. The great thing about that for us as part of the viewing public, is that since the logging conference is all about sharing the latest and greatest new technology in logging machines, equipment, tools and more, we will get to see some really cool stuff. You really do not have to be a logger, love logging or have anything to do with machinery to enjoy seeing what these things do.
Most of the businesses that will be at the conference come to Eugene from outside of our county, in fact most from out of state. However, although few in number, the local ones that will be participating are giants in their industry. Which means for us that we can go show our support for our local businesses and enjoy a great show all at the same time.
One of the largest manufacturers that will have an exhibit is Peterson Pacific. Located on
Airport Road, Peterson Pacific, originally a heavy construction company known as Wilbur Peterson & Sons, has been a business in Eugene since 1961. Some 20 years later they became Peterson Pacific Corporation and built their first wood recycling machine, a great development that led to where they are today, which is as a leading manufacturer of whole-tree pulpwood chippers, horizontal grinders and blower trucks.
Although Peterson eventually was purchased by Astec Industries in Tennessee, it still remains a large and local Eugene manufacturing company and employer. One that also likes to utilize other local businesses by keeping their buys local as much as possible, which is indeed helping the Eugene manufacturing community bounce back a bit after being hard hit during the recession.
Now, 23 years since their first wood recycling machine was built, Peterson Pacific has designed and built some truly innovative and very high-tech machinery, something that we as the public will be able to see this Saturday. These machines are not like any you’ve seen before, with radio controls (yes meaning remote control) the operator can nearly control the entire machine, including the tracks to move it, and the speed of the engine rpms. Big boys and their toys.
You may have already seen some of their giant wood chipping machines on some logging reality shows. The blue giants stand out starkly against the enormous trees they swallow, chew and then spit out. It’s pretty amazing to watch actually, truly not like the wood chippers you may have seen alongside a work crew clearing limbs from one of the passes.
No, these not so gentle giants look more like something made for Paul Bunyan then for the average logging crew. Not to mention that it handles items that you would think only Paul Bunyan and his faithful Ox, Babe, could manage to toss into it. These grinders are not just for trees, as most may think, they can handle just about anything.
This makes their equipment especially important to those in areas recovering from major storm damage because it’s just such a machine that will be needed to clear the damaged homes and streets and truly turn them from big, bulky and even unsafe to handle items, to little tiny pieces that can now be either used in some type of recycling project or at least more easily, and more safely discarded.
If you wish to see one of their chippers or grinders, hopefully in action, you can stop by their exhibit (which you can easily find on this map in the red section).
Other local Eugene and Springfield businesses that will be at the OLC, and could use some support, include United Industrial Equipment, Crowley Equipment, ACME Manufacturing and Modern Machinery and Pape Machinery.
Saturday’s Oregon Logging Conference Family Day Events and Times
All Exhibits are Free and Open To the Public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lane County Fair Grounds – Indoor and Outdoor
- 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Log Loading Competition
The event will be held in the outside display area at the Lane County Fairgrounds, Eugene, Oregon. The Log Loader used for the event will be a Link-Belt log loader with SAE and ISO control pattern.
- 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Hands On Seminar – Peterson Pacific Mfg
This seminar is a credit course for the registered members of the conference, however, if you’re lucky, they may just crank one of these babies up so you can see, hear and feel the rumble beneath your toes as it chomps through a log, or whatever they toss into it. There will be wood chippers and horizontal grinders on display.
- 9am – 1pm High School Forestry Skills Competition
Come see more than 100 high school students from across the state compete in forestry events. Competition events include:
- Cable Splicing
- Single Buck
- Compass & Pacing
- Tool Identification
- Log Scaling
- Forestry Speech
- Job Interview
- All Day Events for all Ages:
- Wildlife exhibits
- Educational activities such as paper-making.
- Build your own bird feeder
- Millions of dollars in logging equipment to explore.
- Woodcarving at 3 Chainsaw Art Booths
The woodcarving is sure to be great enjoyment for all ages as they watch highly skilled wood carvers slice their chainsaws through stumps and limbs turning them into bears and other very cool art forms.
Be sure to check back with us on Sunday morning where you will be able to read about Saturday’s OLC’s Family Day events. We will be covering as many of the aforementioned events and exhibits as possible, so if you can’t make it yourself, you’ll at least get a little review of some of the fun you missed out on.
Although if it does indeed rain, yes shocking I know, and have a high of 46 degrees, any fun to be had may just well be at your own home, leaving me with wishing I could trade places with you, instead of vice versa, which I’m sure you were thinking about as you read this. If you do venture out, be sure to let us know what your favorite part of the OLC was!