Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd.
Long gone are the days when forestry companies must rely on two-way radios to maintain contact with field workers. This old-fashioned connection often fails in the remote areas in which forestry crews operate, resulting in more costs—such as keeping transportation providers on site all day.
Canada's largest forest products provider, Weyerhaeuser Company, needed to reduce overhead and improve employee safety. They found Globalstar’s mobile satellite phones to be an ideal solution.
"Working in the forests of northern [British Columbia] can be dangerous, so the safety of our field crews has always been our primary concern," says Steve Chaplin, a Field Engineer for Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd. "Even in the densest forest areas, the phone will work, so we always know our crews will be able to reach us in the case of an emergency."
“One of the benefits of giving employees Globalstar phones is that it helps to reduce our transportation costs by allowing the helicopter to leave while the crews complete their work.”
The high-quality connection provided by Globalstar stands in stark contrast to two-way radios, which can prove unreliable throughout dead zones in remote areas. A reliable line of communications with health and safety officials and the home base is absolutely essential for workers. In this regard, Chaplin’s team is no different.
Each day, Chaplin sends a crew to a designated area of Weyerhaeuser’s BC forestland to plan upcoming harvests. His team is based in Powel River, but conducts field work in remote areas like Philips Arm and Nelson Island, which can be as far as 200km away. So the company relies on helicopters to transport workers to the field site.
"Hiring helicopters to fly crews out to work sites and back again is expensive," says Chaplin. "For safety reasons and because of previously unreliable communication systems, we used to have to keep the helicopters on site all day until the crews had finished their job—this was no minor expense."
Everything changed when the company purchased five GSP-1700 Mobile Satellite Phones from Globalstar Canada. "Satellite phones have provided us with cost savings and also provided us with an extra sense of security and peace of mind for us and our employees," says Chaplin.
With no need to keep helicopters on site throughout the work day, the team has achieved significant cost savings without sacrificing the well-being of their workforce.
"One of the benefits of giving employees Globalstar phones is that it helps to reduce our transportation costs by allowing the helicopter to leave while the crews complete their work," says Chaplin. "Once the work is complete, crew bosses can call the helicopter dispatch to let them know that they're ready to be picked up."
As demonstrated by the experience of Weyerhauser and other satisfied forestry operators, Globalstar satellite service has proved to be a reliable and convenient communication system for the industry.