Founded in Colac, Victoria in 1955 by an association of local family-owned and operated businesses, AKD Softwoods is an integrated forestry and timber processing company. Today, it’s owned by four equal shareholders who’ve been involved in the business since its inception.
‘We’re proud to have built a 100 percent Australian owned business that’s internationally competitive, but also continues to have strong roots in the local community that’s been instrumental to our success,’ AKD Softwoods said appreciatively.
AKD Softwoods has six sawmills across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland that produce over 1,000,000m3 of timber products annually. It owns and controls over 10,000ha of radiata pine plantation, as well as three preservation businesses. AKD employs over 1,000 people and services a range of industries, including: timber wholesales; frame and truss manufacturers; retailers, as well as supplying treated roundwood products to the agriculture and viticulture sectors.
‘There are industry-wide challenges – supplying sufficient volumes of timber to meet the increased construction activity, for instance – that affect all operations. In the wake of the 2019 bushfires there has been sawlog shortages. These challenges are compounded by strong lumber prices overseas, which is attracting timber stocks that would normally be imported to bolster the Australian market,’ AKD Softwoods explained.
The industry is currently experiencing shortages of quality sawlog to be processed into structural timber.
‘Volvo has a proven track record of manufacturing high performance, reliable equipment and machinery. We work with our customers to understand their operational requirements and we devise a solution based on what they tell us,’ Noel Fernando, CJD Equipment Regional Sales Manager said.
AKD Softwoods have a long history of using Volvo loaders and currently operates a range of wheel loaders with various attachments: loader buckets, forks and log grapples at different sites.
They recently took delivery of three new Volvo L150H and L220H wheel loaders at Colac and will soon take delivery of two new Volvo L150H loaders at Tumut, which will be used in the log yards.
The new H-Series wheel loaders feature state-of-the-art technology, such as OptiShift, which combines Volvo’s patented Reverse By Braking (RBB) technology with lock-up, available from first to forth gear.
When the operator changes direction the Volvo patented RBB function senses the loader’s direction and slows the machine by applying the service brakes automatically, while lock-up creates a direct drive between the engine and transmission. These unique technical advancements increase machine performance, improve operator comfort, extend machine life and reduce fuel consumption by up to 18 percent.
‘The Volvo L150H and L220H with log grabs are versatile, robust loaders that will be used extensively in the log yards at AKD’s timber processing sites. We’ll also use them to unload sawlog deliveries and move debarked logs to the greenmill for processing into timber,’ explained AKD Softwoods.
The Volvo L150H and L220H have been designed to be the workhorses of any operation.
‘Our customers want versatile equipment that, whatever the situation, they know they can rely on. They’re used in a wide array of operations across a range of different industries; while each customer has different requirements, they understand and depend on the quality that’s ensured as we’ve been market-leaders for decades,’ Fernando remarked assuredly.
The L150H and L220H feature Volvo’s unique Torque Parallel (TP) linkage, which delivers high breakout force and excellent parallel movement throughout the entire lifting range. This, combined with the Volvo attachment bracket, delivers greater machine flexibility and versatility.
The world-class Volvo engine features advanced technology built on decades of experience that delivers high performance and low fuel consumption. The water-cooled turbocharger increases engine life, while the ideally-matched, all-Volvo powertrain has been built to work together in perfect harmony. The Volvo design has been rigorously tested to deliver optimised performance, high productivity, low fuel consumption and superior reliability.
‘We operate them all the time with the log grab attachments, but we also use them in other configurations across different sites,’ AKD Softwoods noted.
The attachments are designed as an integrated part of the wheel loader and, with a wide variety of options, Volvo customers can adapt their machine to access more applications.
‘Volvo and CJD strives to be the benchmark against which other companies rate themselves. This is obviously challenging, but it is also one of the reasons we are constantly improving our offering to our customers, whether it be introducing new technology to the market or expanding our service network,’ Fernando expounded.
‘AKD Softwoods has a long relationship with Volvo and CJD that stretches back years. They supply us with parts and provide specialised servicing for all the loaders. In 2018, we expanded the business and acquired additional sites. These had existing lease and servicing arrangements in place with CJD Equipment, which ensured a smooth transition,’ AKD Softwoods observed.
‘Volvo loaders are a vital part of what we do. Over the years, we’ve developed a strong business relationship with CJD Equipment built on a shared vision and close collaboration. Everyone knows that when they buy a Volvo loader they’re getting a world-class product, but equally as important is the after market service and support. Whenever we have a request and enquiry, we know we can rely on the CJD team to respond promptly and efficiently.’
CJD Equipment has a network of branches and service centres that stretch across the nation, from Australian capital cities to regional country towns. This comprehensive network takes advantage of local knowledge, combined with its global experience, to support its customers.