Spring Break-up with Mercer Forestry Services

For Canadian logging, winter is the busiest time of the season. After the snow and frost melt, however, the ground becomes soft and muddy. Attempting to drive in those conditions can be both an extreme safety and an environmental hazard. Tires sink into the ground causing ruts, making the roads slippery and unstable. We can imagine the results if we continue to use heavy forestry equipment in these conditions.

When spring approaches, it’s deemed “spring break-up”. At this time, Mercer Forestry Services (MFS) and others in the industry halt operations for the melting period and wait until the ground dries out and hardens up again. In British Columbia, spring break-up can begin around the end of March and last as long as June in some areas. This differs each year depending on snow levels and weather patterns.  

Spring break up isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. It comes around every year, so we anticipate it. It gives forestry workers a much-needed break. This industry is well-known for its early mornings and long workdays – at the end of the season, rest and rejuvenation are essential to mental and personal wellbeing. Spring break-up also allows time for employee training and development. This spring, MFS has booked several courses for the crews, including First Aid, S-100 fire suppression, Transportation of Dangerous Goods, and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).  

While MFS forestry workers use spring break-up for some much-needed downtime, our main focus is shifted to our equipment. With all of the equipment now back in the shop after a full season of hard work, maintenance and repairs are a top priority. Our mechanics play a vital role in completing thorough inspections, carrying out maintenance and repairs as needed.  This critical work ensures everything runs smoothly again in the next season. It is also an ideal time to examine long-term operational needs and review the next steps: determining if some older equipment can be retired, deciding what should be rebuilt and what new purchases may be on the horizon to sustain our growing operations. 

Spring is a critical time for reflection, evaluation, and planning for the future. As much as we look forward to getting back into the forests at what we do best, MFS knows that spring break-up is integral in order for us to remain Sustainable. By Design.