BTB 39: CUSTOMER DRIVEN DESIGN
Published on: Wednesday 1st April 2015
– Samantha Paul, marketing
It has been three years since Jimmy received the first ever 5185 fixed felling saw, which was specifically designed for Jimmy’s needs, cutting large diameter hardwoods.
Jimmy’s original Tigercat LX830C was equipped with a Pierce-Pacific bar saw head. After a couple of weeks of heavy duty felling and shovel logging, it became apparent that the head was not a good match for the job. The situation was causing a great deal of lost production and reflecting negatively on the Tigercat LX830C carrier. Accordingly, Tigercat president, Tony Iarocci and Duane Barlow, Tigercat product manager, came to Jimmy’s job site to figure out how Tigercat could help.
Barlow and his team looked for an alternative head among a half dozen different manufacturers. “None of them provided the combined features of durability, simplicity and cost effectiveness to suit the application,” commented Duane Barlow. Jimmy responded with, “Then why doesn’t Tigercat just build one?”
For close to a year Jimmy worked with Tigercat engineers to build the 5185 fixed felling saw, specifically designed for cutting large hardwood species. “It was well worth the wait,” says Jimmy.
Current J&B operations
Jimmy and his crew are currently selective felling 350 acres (142 ha) of third growth hardwood species including cherry, oak, maple and poplar on relatively steep and very rocky terrain. J&B started at the new site, which is only fifteen minutes from Jimmy’s house in Oakland, at the beginning of February. Jimmy is thrilled to be working close to home. Typically his job sites are at least 60 miles (100 km) away. J&B Logging load approximately eight trucks a day, hauling logs to Alleghany Wood Products in Kingwood, West Virginia with the pulp going to Verso Corporation (formerly NewPage Holdings).
Jimmy runs a tight four machine felling, skidding, loading and hauling operation. A Tigercat 240B loader was the first Tigercat Jimmy owned, which he purchased in 2004, accumulating over 16,000 hours to date. The loader still works great but they are trying out a new Tigercat 234 loader. Jimmy has two skidders, one being a Tigercat 630C, which he purchased in 2007. “It is my main machine,” he emphasizes. The Tigercat skidder stays with the feller buncher at all times, skidding the trees out of the stand to easier terrain where a second skidder relays the bunches to roadside.
The most recent purchase for J&B Logging is a new Tigercat LX830C track feller buncher, of course with a 5185 fixed felling saw which Jimmy purchased last July, trading in his older Tigercat LX830C.
Useful 340 degree wrist
Jimmy operates the track machine himself and truly sees the advantages of the 340 degree wrist combined with the Tigercat 5185. “It is much easier to shovel trees out of the way. I can get ten times more trees with the 340 degree wrist and can easily throw them at any direction. I wouldn’t get one without this rotation,” explains Jimmy.
Jimmy is not only using the bar saw to fell and shovel trees. He can build skid roads, cut tops and use the arms to pick up rocks. “I can get rid of anything in my way with this head,” says Jimmy. He may go through a couple of chains, but the operating costs are much lower with the 5185 saw compared to a disc saw, so he is not too concerned.
Lyle Ricer, owner of Tigercat dealership, Ricer Equipment, along with sales specialists Pat Garrett and Brandon Greene brought along Mike Reynolds, a mill owner from Indiana who also wanted to check out the 5185 bar saw in action.
Mike is cutting similar sized wood to Jimmy, maybe even larger, with 20-25 in (50-64 cm) diameter being a typical size. “I saw Jimmy get a hold of that tree, rock her loose, cut it off, rotate that head around, jammed the two fingers under the stump, clamped it and lifted it to push it right out of the ground. He was sure putting that head to the test,” Mike says in awe. “I am doing mostly select felling large hardwoods, not too much clear cutting. I will sometimes have to shovel log twice to get it to the skidder so this bar saw is exactly what I have been looking for,” adds Mike.
Only one day after seeing Jimmy operating the LX830C with the 5185 fixed felling saw, Mike Reynolds purchased one for himself. Mike was very impressed with the performance he saw in Oakland and is very excited to get his own working on crew in Indiana. Stay tuned for part three of the 5185 fixed felling saw chronicles when we visit Mike in Indiana!