NEWS that Forestry Tasmania had the capacity to increase its harvesting operations has come too late for Scottsdale logging contractor Kelly Gerke. Executive general manager Hans Drielsma said on Monday that Forestry Tasmania has had difficulty meeting orders for the export chip market in recent months, primarily because contractors were running at only about 75 to 80 per cent of previous capacity. But Mr Gerke said that he had already let his staff go - staff without whom any logging operation would be unsuccessful. He was yesterday co- ordinating the display at his former depot on St Leonards Road of the machinery he is selling through an online auction house. "I&#39;ve had to let four or five blokes go in the past month who have nearly 100 years&#39; combined experience between them - they&#39;re family, they grew up with my kids," he said. "My one consolation about them is that I think all but one has landed another job and that says a lot about the quality of my crew. "The one good thing about Forestry having the capacity to expand its hardwood logging is that maybe someone in Tasmania will want to buy some of my machinery. "There&#39;s 14 excavators and each has about $25,000 worth of extra guarding needed to be certified for work in the forests. "There&#39;s also seven dozers, a couple of skidders, blades, spot cultivators, fire tankers and refuelling tanks." Mr Gerke said that the sale started yesterday and there had been some interest. "It remains to be seen if that will translate into sales or if it&#39;s just vultures trying to pick things up for nothing," he said. "I&#39;ve put a reasonable reserve on things because I won&#39;t be just giving it away for nothing - if things don&#39;t sell for a reasonable price, we&#39;ll probably hold on for the industry to pick up a little bit." The week-long auction started yesterday afternoon and machinery can be inspected at 113 St Leonards Rd.