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BTB 36: Demo Day in Taupo

BTB’s New Zealand tour ended with a Demo Day near Taupo at the jobsite of Ronnie Thomasson and Bryan Rutgers, owners of BR Logging.
A Tigercat 635D skidder drags big wood.

All three machines wowed the crowd on Demo Day, near Taupo. Ronnie Thomasson and Bryan Rutgers, owners of BR Logging, run a top-notch operation.

The site was picture perfect, consisting of a 20-30 degree slope declining to a flat landing and viewing area.

BR Logging operates an LH855C equipped with a Woodsman directional felling head, 630D and 635D skidders and an 880 logger equipped with a Woodsman processor. The demo ran like a real operation and the crowd was impressed with the timber, the terrain and the production levels, especially the extreme slopes that the LH855C operated on, piloted by crew foreman Jake Van Heuven, who had only spent about a week in the seat of the machine and had never felled trees with anything but a chainsaw previously. The crowd also gasped at some of the bites the 635D was pulling. I heard onlookers speculating the weight of the loads at 18-20 tonne. The 880 impressed the crowd of 100 plus as it threw around the two tonne stems with ease. Ronnie and Bryan have built a very efficient and professional crew with the help of Tigercat and AB Equipment and continue to be one of the largest producers of logs in the country. This was a very impressive operation.

Special thanks to Steve Mellar (Taupo AB sales specialist), Mark Hill (AB Tigercat product manager), Ronnie, Bryan and the entire crew for a great Demo Day.

A LH855C feller harvester fells a tree on a slope.

A Tigercat 880 saws through a processed log