The Landing - Winter 2022

posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 in The Landing


Finding experienced, skilled operators has been a challenge in the forestry industry for many years. The average age of operators continues to climb as those who are more experienced retire. Training new operators is imperative, but in-the-woods practice in actual machines can be hard on the equipment and presents safety issues. For years, the John Deere Forestry Factory in Joensuu, Finland, has developed cutto-length simulators for the European market. Recently John Deere worked with the Mississippi Loggers Association (MLA), the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC), and Stribling Equipment to bring a full-tree version to the classroom. 

“The shortage of skilled operators is a growing concern in our industry,” says Justin McDermott, John Deere forestry sales and tactical marketing manager, U.S. and Canada. “Simulators can help bridge the gap. Training a new operator on the jobsite can be dangerous and costly when you consider potential machine damage and lost production. Using a simulator, operators can gain a basic understanding of machine controls and operation in a low-risk environment that avoids wear and tear on expensive equipment.”