Jorge Victoria lands in the town of Ekshärad in central Sweden, visiting the Mossfeldt family to talk about their history, operations, and experience with Tigercat equipment.
Tigercat 1165 harvester equipped with the 534 harvesting head
In 1967, Lars-Erik Mossfeldt started operating a forwarder as an employee of Uddeholm. After working many years for the company, he decided to strike out on his own. “At the time, it was popular to start your own business, so I started mine,” says Lars-Erik. In 1984, Mossfeldt Skogtransporter was born.
He recalls he had to pick up the first forwarder he bought – the Blue Brunett – from another town about 200 km (120 mi) away. “It took me two days to bring the machine. There were no trailers around at the time. You had to drive the machine yourself.”
Today Mossfeldt Skogtransporter has a 100 000 cubic metre contract with Stora Enso, cutting a mix of pine, birch, and spruce. For that purpose, the company currently owns three Tigercat machines: 1075C and 1085C forwarders, and an 1165 harvester equipped with Tigercat’s new 534 harvesting head.
Placing the last grab of logs on the 1075C forwarder.
Lars-Erik’s son Roland joined Mossfeldt in 1995 after graduating from a forestry program at Södra Viken Naturbruksgymnasium, a trade school in Sunne. Roland explains that in Sweden, a certification is required in order to operate forestry equipment. “There are strict forestry regulations, so the forestry training program prepares you for that. For instance, heavy equipment cannot touch a body of water, even if it’s a small creek. You need to build a bridge first. Sweden is very protective with nature and the environment.”
Roland’s son Henrik followed the same path. He graduated from the same forestry program in 2018 and joined the company upon graduation. When Henrik was little, Lars-Erik and Roland used to take him to the woods often where he developed a fascination with forestry machines. “I always thought it would be cool to operate one of those machines. I now see the benefits of them taking me to the woods. I have the greatest job I could ever have. I don’t want to change it for anything.” Roland’s younger son, Marcus trained to be an auto mechanic but shortly after working his first job in the trade, he decided that he also wanted to work in the woods. Marcus is currently operating the 1085C forwarder while Henrik operates the 1165 harvester. Gustaf, a company employee, operates the 1075C.
Although Henrik got his start in the logging industry driving a forwarder, he now prefers to operate the harvester. He strives to make the best sorts to make it easier for forwarder operators. When a forwarder operator acknowledges Henrik has done a great job, that’s the only reward he needs. “I can go home feeling I have done something great.” He emphasizes that going from forwarder operator to harvester operator is the ideal transition. “It makes you a better harvester operator because now you understand what’s expected of you.”
Three Mossfeldt generations. Roland, Lars-Erik, Marcus, and Henrik.
A pig in a bag
In 2009, Mossfeldt purchased a pair of 1075B forwarders, the first Tigercat machines in the company’s fleet. “The forwarders were pretty good from the start. You could immediately notice the difference. It was a success switching to Tigercat,” comments Roland. His relationship with Tigercat has been very satisfactory, so he continues to add Tigercat machines to his fleet. “People in this business are always curious about new equipment. So, when we heard about the new 534 harvesting head, we wanted to give it a try.”
Mossfeldt is the first company in Sweden to purchase the newly released 534 harvesting head. “So far it is performing great,” says Roland. “It seems well designed and thought out. The hoses seem to be well protected. It’s a new piece of equipment with about 200 hours on it so we are still learning it and getting the feel of it.” He adds that keeping the carrier and head with the same brand makes things easier when it comes to support. “It’s only one number to call if I have a problem.” (The Tigercat dealer in Sweden is TigercatAB, a subsidiary of Tigercat Industries.)
The first Tigercat 534 harvesting head in Sweden.
It’s not the first time Mossfeldt made a bet by purchasing a newly released Tigercat product. Back in 2016, the company was the first in Sweden to purchase a 1085C forwarder. “In Sweden we call it a pig in a bag. When you buy something without really knowing much about it and hope it works out. Well, the 1085C worked in our favour,” says Roland. He adds that despite Tigercat not being as well known in Sweden as it is in North America, he has not heard of a single Swedish logger being disappointed with the brand.
Henrik Mossfeldt has been the sole operator of the 1165. The first thing he was impressed with was the wide working area. “To be able to turn 360 degrees is a dream. I wasn’t able to do it with my previous harvester. That’s the biggest benefit I see with this Tigercat machine.” He adds that the visibility is very good. “You can see exactly where you cut and how far you can reach.” In terms of cab space, Henrik says that the 1165 cab is very spacious, bigger than his previous harvester. Service access is also great. “I changed oil filters and that was very easy to do. Nothing was in the way.” Henrik had no previous experience with the D7 harvesting head control system, but says that it has been really easy to learn and use. In terms of fuel consumption, the Tigercat harvester is burning four litres (one US gal) per hour less than the previous harvester. “The support has been great. One phone call and they will be here on the same day, or the next day to assist me.”
Henrik says that his previous experience as a forwarder operator makes him a better harvester operator today.
The legacy lives on
Lars-Erik has been working in the woods for most of his life and he has no plans to stop. Sitting in the machine and enjoying the view is still his favourite part of the job. “Tigercat machines are smooth,” he says. “After 55 years working in the forests, they are easy on my body. I don’t feel anything while driving them.” It wasn’t always this way. “I remember that with my very first forwarder, I wasn’t able to turn the seat around like in a forwarder today. I had to turn around and stand on my knees on top of the seat when I had to load the machine.”
“I remember that with my very first forwarder, I wasn’t able to turn the seat around like in a forwarder today. I had to turn around and stand on my knees on top of the seat when I had to load the machine.”
— Lars-Erik Mossfeldt
Henrik comments that working with family has been great. “We obviously have some ups and downs, but at the end of the day we always help each other. We are a team."
Lars-Erik is hopeful for the future of the company and although he’s still involved in the business, he has placed his trust with his son, Roland and grandchildren to continue his legacy. “They chose this path for themselves. I never forced them to get into logging. We were all drawn to the forest.”