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Tight at the top with heavier payload in buoyant forwarder market

The Swedish market for forwarders has got off to a stronger start the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year. A total of 65 forwarders were registered in the period January 1 to March 31 compared to 55 in 2016. Only one machine separates market share at the top between John Deere and Komatsu. Both manufacturers got off to a strong start 2017 with 22 and 21 registered machines respectively according to figures from the Swedish Transport Agency and compiled by Skogsforum.

Registered forwarders in Sweden January 1- March 31 2017 with payload over 8-tonnes (source Swedish Transport agency, compiled by SkogsForum, photo courtesy John Deere):

Registered forwarders in Sweden Q1 (January 1 – March 31) 2017 and 2016 with a payload over 8-tonnes (source: Swedish Transport Agency, compiled by Skogsforum, photo courtesy John Deere).

Both US-headed John Deere and Sweden-based Komatsu Forest have got off to a strong start 2017 with forwarder sales in Sweden, according to the first quarter (Q1) 2017 figures for registered forwarders over 8-tonne payload from the Swedish Transport Agency and compiled by Skogsforum, a Swedish web-based forest community social platform.

Ponsse came in third with nine registrations followed by Rottne and EcoLog with five machines each. Comparing Q1 2017 with the same period in 2016, EcoLog and Rottne sold fewer machines.

– However, compared to other vehicle and machinery markets, the Swedish forwarder market is quite small and a few registrations up or down have a big impact on the relative share. Therefore, it is difficult to draw any far-reaching conclusions from quarterly sales, said Torbjörn Johnsen, Skogsforum, who compiled the ranking.

What can be gleaned from the statistics is that EcoLog is up and running after a weak second half 2016, delivering its new forwarder generation. According to Johnsen, all registered EcoLog forwarders are of its new E-forwarders with Volvo Penta engines and that they were registered in March.

Komatsu is completely up-to-date and is supplying its latest forwarder generation, while both Rottne and John Deere are in the middle of a generational shift. John Deere has sold many new 1910-forwarders from its latest G-series, while others are of the older E-series.

With 12 ton load capacity and many accessories as crane tilt, dozer blade and balanced bogie

A Rottne F11D forwarder can be kitted with accessories such as crane tilt, dozer blade and balanced bogie (photo courtesy Rottne Industrier).

According to Johnsen, Rottne recently rolled out its first F11D, a 12-tonne capacity fowarder, from the factory and that there has been a “delivery vacuum” for the smaller models F10 and F11 in the new D-series as no machine has been registered yet in 2017.

Average payload increased by one tonne

The trend towards ever bigger forwarders continues. The share of smaller thinning forwarders among the registered machines has declined steadily in recent years, while the largest forwarders are increasing. The shift is apparent and today, one-third of registered forwarders have a payload capacity of over 18 tonnes.

– This means that the average carrying capacity per forwarder has increased by about one tonne since 2016, remarked Johnsen.

The upcoming Elmia Wood international forestry trade show in June is all poised for a clash of the forwarder titans and other forest machinery trends.

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