In Tasmania, Fielding Logging is a well-known name in the logging business, having been active in the forestry industry for over 30 years. It is a family business operated by Laurence, Glenys, and sons Adam and Jeffrey.
— Kim Hansen, Onetrak
Fielding Logging was among the first contractors in Australia to buy Tigercat products when they arrived. The company was also one of the first owners of the original 575 series harvesting head when it was released in Australia. “Our first 575 has over 20,000 hours on it. We only had to pin and bush it once during this time. We have put some big wood through it over the years. It’s been a great head, and it certainly influenced us to look hard at the Tigercat processors for our new contract,” says Laurence.
“Initially, we trialled the Tigercat 570 processor in its development stage, working closely with Tigercat. It quickly became apparent to us that the new 570 was fast and super reliable. That first head has close to 6,000 operating hours now, and its performance, combined with our experience with the original 575 processor, made it an easy decision to purchase more Tigercat 570 processors.” Today, Fielding Logging has five Tigercat 570 processors working between two Eucalyptus plantation contracts in Tasmania.
I STAND FIRM WHEN I SAY THE 570 IS THE BEST HARVESTING HEAD I’VE OPERATED.
We caught up with Laurence, Adam, Jeffrey and one of the operators, Cody, on the jobsite in northwest Tasmania. Jeffrey says he has been a big promoter of the Tigercat harvesting heads from the start. In contrast, Adam says he was unsure about the Tigercat processor for the smaller plantation wood, having become comfortable with another brand. “It’s hard to step away from what you know and make big changes – which is what we had to do when we switched from another brand to Tigercat heads,” Adam explains. “One of the big changes is that the Tigercat heads use the debarking knives to hold the wood in conjunction with the drive wheels. It took a couple of weeks to get used to, but I’ve turned 100% from being a sceptic to a true supporter – I’ll never change back from Tigercat to another harvester head brand.”
Adam Fielding. “I’ve turned 100% from being a sceptic to a true supporter – I’ll never change back from Tigercat to another harvester head brand.”
“My Tigercat H845C base has done 10,000 hours, and we have recently fitted a Tigercat 570 to it for this contract – it’s done around 500 hours. The harvesting head handles the logs well – there are no problems. When Tigercat builds something, they build it strong. Their products are not the cheapest option, but downtime is the real cost when you’re harvesting, and you don’t have that with the Tigercat harvesting heads. That is why we only run Tigercat heads now.”
“I stand firm when I say the 570 is the best harvesting head I’ve operated,” states Jeffrey. “I guess everyone knows I’m an advocate for Tigercat. To put it in perspective, I ran some numbers on my current 570 harvesting head with 6,000 hours on it compared to the previous head with the same hours. And I had 75% fewer hoses and
maintenance on the Tigercat head compared to the competitor.”
WHEN TIGERCAT BUILDS SOMETHING, THEY BUILD IT STRONG.
Jeffrey continues, “Like with the Tigercat machines, every component on the harvester head is big and solid. They’re just extremely reliable and efficient. They are super low maintenance with large diameter taper lock bearings, where others use a smaller pin and bush style. It just makes it so much easier. One thing that stands out for me is how much better laid out the Tigercat 570 is compared to other harvesting heads – the way the hydraulic hoses are out of the way of the wheels on the sides. You just avoid any potential damage while working.”
Jeffrey explains that the new contract with Forico asked for full optimization and StanForD compliant data transfer, including geo mapping. “This is super simple with the Tigercat 570 processor. A couple of clicks at the end of the day, and I’ve got it all on my phone. I transfer the StanForD compliant file to Forico daily. From a management perspective, we have detailed cut information for each harvester with full visibility, which creates a fun but competitive atmosphere among the boys to produce more than the rest.”
Jeffrey Fielding operating the H845E harvester equipped with the 570 harvesting head.
“Once you get used to the Tigercat 570, it outperforms all competitors’ heads. The 570 is classed as a 20 inch harvesting head. It’s fast but has the torque and capability of a much bigger head, in my opinion,” says Jeffrey. “When we were upgrading to the new Tigercat 570 processors, they recommended the 360-degree rotation. I was unsure at first because other 360-degree rotators on competitor’s heads have leaked. Now I’m so glad I’ve got it because it’s working great, and I don’t have any leaks.”
Jeffrey is now operating the new Tigercat H845E harvester. “The E-series has better visibility on all sides of the machine, and the hydraulic pumps are more responsive. I also like the longer, heavier track frame. The reach is great and the toolboxes have been improved with better storage,” he adds.
ONCE YOU GET USED TO THE TIGERCAT 570, IT OUTPERFORMS ALL COMPETITORS' HEADS.
Laurence has owned twelve Tigercat machines and six processing heads since he bought the first one in 2000. “The Tigercat team have always offered the best support for their customers,” he says. “The dealer here, Onetrak, support us very well and have plenty of good factory-trained mechanics should we need assistance. They take accountability for what they do – if there’s something that needs fixing, they’ll fix it.”
Watch an H845E harvester equipped with the Tigercat 570 harvesting head owned by Fielding Logging and working in Australia. The machine is harvesting Eucalyptus nitens pulpwood. The trees are felled, debarked, and crosscut.