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Succeeding in Difficult Times

Skidder product manager Jeremy Piercy recalls the challenges that the design and production teams overcame during the H-series skidder product launch.

The H-series skidder design project was well advanced when the pandemic hit in the first quarter of 2020. The unfortunate timing of the launch was planned for mid-2020. It could have easily derailed. Instead, the whole team dug their heels in and rose to battle every challenge. This was no easy task. Travel was not permitted, manufacturers were shut down, supply chains were crippled. But we played to our strengths and adapted.

When the production teams returned from mandated shutdowns, they had to scramble to put together all the puzzle pieces of a new puzzle that many had never seen before. They fought through and overcame many significant challenges and laid the foundation for a successful launch.

When we could not travel to promote the new machines and perform field observations, we turned to technology to hold virtual walk-arounds for our dealers and end users. We also created an H-series walk-around video that has been viewed over 115,000 times.

Instead of witnessing firsthand the early machines going to work in the woods, we passively watched in our offices as the comments, videos and pictures poured onto and circulated in social media. Our field representatives throughout the world did the heavy lifting, competently handling field visits
where factory-based designers could not, and setting up the launch for success. The importance of having a great team in the field became very apparent.

Fast forward to fourth quarter 2022. We have continued to add new models to the skidder platform line-up like the 635H swing boom, C640H clambunk, and the 630H utility carrier that is working post-harvest to prepare sites for replanting. We also hit a major milestone in shipments of H-series skidders. Getting here was not easy but nothing worth doing is.

We have many reasons to feel optimistic about the future. We have finally started travelling to the field again, reconnecting with many customers who believe in Tigercat. We have spoken with contractors who have never owned a Tigercat skidder and yet are impressed with what the H-series has to offer. While there will still be challenges ahead, by adapting we continue to become smarter, stronger and more resilient.

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