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Forestry Dozer

South Carolina contractor pulls the trigger on a TCi 920 dozer. His purchase decision is based in large part, on the strength and reputations of Tidewater Equipment and Tigercat Industries.

— Paul Iarocci

Mark Abercrombie is the owner of W D Abercrombie Logging LLC, located in Laurens in northwestern South Carolina. Mark owns a singlecrew pine operation and has a close relationship with Tidewater Equipment Company’s Newberry, South Carolina branch. He runs a three-machine Tigercat harvesting system consisting of a 720G feller buncher equipped with a 5600 bunching saw, a 610E skidder, and a 234B loader.

Mark speaks highly of Tidewater’s support capabilities. In fact, he made a point to stress that his decision to purchase a very early production TCi 920 dozer (Mark bought the fourth unit ever produced) was not just a result of his confidence in the design and support capabilities of Tigercat, but also, and perhaps more importantly, his confidence in Tidewater’s Newberry team.

“It punches above its weight.”

— Mark Abercrombie

Mark has owned three dozers in his lifetime. Cycling through these three machines, he has seen a lot of change, foremost in the areas of operator comfort and ergonomics. For example, his first dozer had an open cab. Operating in between the Sandhills and the Piedmont geological regions, summers tend to be hot and humid. Without regular rain, the conditions can be extremely dusty.

Later on, Mark upgraded to a machine with an enclosed cab, marking a significant improvement in operator comfort. The TCi 920 is Mark’s third dozer, providing a learned perspective on what makes a good forestry dozer. As he tells it, the step change improvements in comfort and ergonomics are almost as significant as the previous upgrade.
Mark comments that the machine has good operator comfort and visibility. “It is easy to see blade edges and tracks. The front cab posts perfectly line up with the risers, so you don’t have to move your head from side to side to maintain visibility. And the rear post lines up with the exhaust.” He also points out the large touchscreen display front and centre in the cab that acts as a control system for machine parameters and switches to the rear camera view when the machine is reversing.

Mark stresses that the TCi 920 is well balanced and powerful. “It punches above its weight,” he says, stating that it pushes a size class above its on-paper specs, weight, and capacity. In terms of performance, Mark says the machine is equally effective in tough stumping applications and final grading. “After they made some underlying adjustments to the three speed options for the various function settings, the fine grading performance is perfect for me now.”

He comments that access for daily maintenance is well thought out and he highlights the neat hose routing to the blade. “There is nothing to catch on,” says Mark.

While Mark admits that the TCi 920 is underutilized in his own operations, he plans to contract his services to other loggers and landowners for road construction and maintenance work.

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