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N.H. Logger Turns to Tigercat for Machines: Garland Lumber Adds Tigercat Harvester with Risley Processor and Tigercat Feller-Buncher

N.H. Company Adds Two Tigercat Machines, Risley Processor

By Diane M. Calabrese
Date Posted: 5/1/2007


NORTH CONWAY, New Hampshire — The Northeastern Loggers’ Association 2006 Outstanding Logging Operator award winner, Roger L. Garland Sr., is president and owner of Garland Lumber Co. Inc.

            Roger has a long, deep perspective on the wood products industry. “I’ve been logging for quite a few years, since 1962,” he explained.

            Roger started logging while he was still in high school. To earn spending money, he cut wood for private landowners and also split firewood with a maul and sold it. It was a small-scale operation, but it hooked him on the forest products industry.

            In 1975 Roger incorporated his business, which has always focused on logging. Garland Lumber Co. views logging as part of a big umbrella of services that includes forest management, timber harvesting, and supplying wood for sawmills, paper mills and power generation markets.

            Using biomass material to fuel power generation is burgeoning in New England, and it is another market for wood with low value. However, the first goal of Roger’s company is to recover the most value from every tree harvested. To do that, Roger gives a great deal of thought to the equipment he purchases. Flexibility in equipment is important given that some trees will be used to produce grade lumber while others will be chipped for paper mills or fuel.

            Roger is a huge fan of mechanized logging even though his early experience in the industry antedated the beginning
of the trend. “I think the cut-to-length system is one of the most amazing to watch,” he said.

            To keep his own cut-to-length crews working steadily, Roger invested in several new machines in the late summer of 2006. He bought a Tigercat H822 track harvester with a Risley Equipment Rolly II processor, and a month later he added a Tigercat 822C track feller-buncher with a high-capacity saw.

            “It was time to update,” said Roger. One reason was that he decided to transition away from equipment that used bar saws for felling. “We wanted to get away from a bar saw,” he said.

            Roger’s company has other harvesters that use high-capacity saws. “We have two Timberjack 608 (machines) with high-speed saws,” he said. He likes them, but he wanted a bigger, more powerful harvester.

            The search for a big, powerful track carrier to replace an older Timberjack 608 put Roger on the trail of Tigercat. Before making a decision, though, he sought out feedback from other loggers with Tigercat machines to asses their performance. “I talked to other loggers, and they had good luck with them,” he said.

            The need for a larger, more powerful harvester had become increasingly important with the addition two years ago of a Morbark 2755 flail chipper. The new Tigercat 822C feller-buncher is a better match for the Morbark chipper, Roger explained, because it can harvest trees fast enough to keep the chipper working at capacity, which is a critical part of his long-range plan for Garland Lumber.

            Feedback from other loggers and Roger’s equipment operators, Eric Olsen and Jason Bartlett, about the Tigercat 822C and the Tigercat H822 was very positive, he said. “They’re very pleased with them,” he said. “The operator who runs the H822, he also ran my other system. He likes this one.”

            To purchase the Tigercat machines and the Risley Rolly II processor, Roger turned to C.J. Logging Equipment in Boonville, N.Y. It was his first time doing business with the equipment dealer.

            Roger worked closely with C.J. Logging Equipment’s Mike Barrington and sales representative Stuart Rainville in the course of buying the Tigercat machines and getting operators trained on the new equipment. C.J. Logging Equipment is headed by Mark Bourgeois, president.

            The experience of working with C.J. Logging Equipment got high marks from Roger. “It’s been excellent,” he said. Dealer personnel visited Roger’s company on-site to ensure a good start with the new equipment.

            The Tigercat H822 and Tigercat 822C are in operation five or six days a week. The only halt in the company’s logging operations occurs each spring when melting snow makes for muddy logging conditions. The downtime is used to given extra attention to the machines by Garland Lumber’s fully-equipped maintenance shop.

            The Tigercat 822 is part of the Tigercat H822C-LH830C family of harvesters. The machines in the series are designed and built with zero tail swing and maximum maneuverability for select cutting and other harvesting applications.

            Other features of the Tigercat 822 family include a tilt-out engine enclosure, which is designed to provide both easy access to components and a work platform to stand on when servicing the engine. The standard power plant is a Cummins QSL9 300 hp Tier II engine, complete with a pre-cleaner and two-stage engine air cleaner.

            The new Tigercat machines and Risley Rolly II are part of a big array of equipment that keeps Garland Lumber Co. versatile and ready for a range of jobs. “We do a lot of work for private landowners, consultant foresters and management companies, and excavation companies,” said Roger. “Plus, we cut on federal and state land — one acre to 3,000 acres.”

            The company has added dozers and excavators as it has taken on more excavation work. “We have our own earthwork division,” said Roger. “We do house sites. We do town roads.” The excavating division has a full complement of Caterpillar, John Deere and Volvo heavy equipment.

            The logging division also is equipped with a pair of Fabtek forwarders (a model 546C and model 548 C), five Timberjack grapple skidders, three John Deere grapple skidders and a John Deere cable skidder, two Morbark 23-inch whole tree chippers and a Trelan 23-inch chipper. Rounding out the equipment are five Hood loaders and slashers, a Prentice loader and three CTR pull-through delimbers. For the occasional hand work with a chain saw, the company uses Husqvarna.

            The Risley Rolly II can delimb all coniferous trees and in hardwoods can handle limbs as big as 6 inches in diameter. The Risley Rolly II drive roll runs at variable or fixed speed. Its geared rotational head gives it an exceptionally firm grip.

            Garland Lumber, with 40 employees, works about 50-50 between hardwood and softwood, according to Roger. “We get quite a bit of white pine.” Farther north, it is spruce and fir or northern hardwoods that predominate. Trees up to 24 inches in diameter are not uncommon.

            The maintenance shop has three full-time mechanics and a shop foreman. They stay busy maintaining more than 50 pieces of equipment, including 20 pickup trucks, and also performing welding and metal fabrication.

            A separate business unit, Garland Transportation, provides trucking for logs and chips with a fleet of eight semi-tractors, and the company also uses six to eight trucking contractors.

            Garland Lumber is based on a 16-acre site in north Conway, N.H., a town of about 10,000 residents. Built along the Saco River in the east-central part of the Granite State, north Conway is one of three places where Garland Lumber conducts business.

            “We have two concentration yards, one in Tamworth, New Hampshire and one in Alton, New Hampshire,” said Roger. Tamworth is 20 miles south of north Conway and Alton is some 50 miles south of north Conway.

            The yards, as well as the land management division and flail chipper operations, fall under the supervision of Roger’s son, Roger Garland Jr., who joined the business after earning a degree in business at the University of Southern Maine. The younger Garland has been with the company full-time for more than 15 years.

            Garland Lumber supplies paper chips for a SAPPI mill in Skowhegan, Maine. There has been a “learning curve” in getting the chipping operation at maximum production and meeting SAPPI chip specifications, Roger noted. “We have been able to meet their expectations.” In the process of supplying the mill, Garland Lumber has worked closely with SAPPI, Wagner Forest Management, Nortrax and Morbark.

            Garland Lumber also supplies biomass (wood) chips to Pinetree Power and Public Service of New Hampshire in Portsmouth; the chips are used for fuel in the utilities’ power generating operations.

            When Roger talked with TimberLine in March, he had just received the word from the Northeastern Loggers’ Association, Old Forge, N.Y., about his award. Being chosen 2006 Outstanding Logging Operator by NELA is a special honor, he explained, because over the years he has known many respected colleagues in the industry who have been recipients. He has been a member of NELA since the 1970s.

            NELA was founded in 1953 and its membership is close to 2,000. The association membership draws heavily from the Northeast and Northern states, from Maine to Minnesota, but also Missouri and Maryland.

            Roger is also a member of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association. “I sit on the New Hampshire Timber Harvest Council,” he said. 

            Getting things right is just part of what makes Garland Lumber Co. thrive. “We have a forester on staff – he has his license in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts,” said Roger. All logs are merchandized to yield the best value.

            “We just basically work hard,” said Roger. “We try to keep everyone motivated.” Doing a good job is important to him, he explained, and it requires close attention and extra effort in the 21st century when regulations are more numerous than ever.

            Buying from C.J. Logging Equipment put Roger in touch with another business with long ties to the region. Founded in 1981, C.J. Logging Equipment offers diverse choices in equipment to its customers. The attention that Roger received is typical of the on-site presence that customers have come to know. At the helm, Mark puts a great emphasis on understanding how his company’s customers are using their machines.

            The effort that Mark and C.J. Logging Equipment make to understand the needs of their customers is important to Roger. Loggers in New Hampshire work in rough, hilly terrain. Winters are tough, and latitude and high elevation subject New Hampshire to strong crosswinds.

            A heavy, durable track machine definitely meets the needs of loggers in New Hampshire. The Tigercat 882 has a cab leveling system designed for operating in steep terrain, and the machine can be fitted with a two-piece boom with a 29-foot reach or a telescopic boom with a 36-foot reach.

            Roger appreciates the changes he has seen in the industry across the decades. He recalls the move to chippers and shears in the 1970s and then the transition to feller-bunchers. Each innovation in equipment brought changes, greater safety for the workforce, and challenges, but keeping pace with them has been part of what makes the work interesting.

            For a few years early in his career, Roger worked for another company. It gave him a bit of experience around sawmills and an appreciation they, too, have undergone. A native of Bartlett, N.H., Roger has lived in north Conway, only 10 miles southeast, since he started Garland Lumber.

            With 45 years of logging experience, Roger has not tired of the industry at all. “I still like the woods…the people that I meet,” he said.

            When he takes a break from the business, Roger enjoys hunting and snow­mobiling.




 






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