Is this the 2014 John Deere Grapple Skidder?

August 20, 2013

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August 20, 2013

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I received these photos last night of a new John Deere prototype Grapple Skidder.  I cannot tell you whether this unit is close to being completed or simply one of several designs.  This unit is currently undergoing field trials in Louisiana.  Once it hits the woods I hope to get some feedback from loggers as to how it performed, new design changes, etc.  From the cab design it looks as if Deere might be trying to incorporate a turn around seat to compete with Tigercat.  As I receive more info and pictures I will pass them along.

Jesse Sewell

Morbark 2355 Chipharvester in Pine Plantation Part 2

May 20, 2013

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We shot this video April 25th, 2013. The contractor just setup on a new landing which you can see from the video. So it was a bit slow going at first as the skidder hands figured out how to get around and keep the landing clean. We filmed from the beginning to the end, total of 19 minutes getting the 42 foot ITI trailer loaded. Not bad considering the material was fairly poor quality, small diameter size. The skidders, both 2013 model CAT 545C Skidders kept the wood coming to the chipper pretty steady. Morbark Chipharvesters are very productive. This unit can easily produce 75 tons per hour or more. This unit was producing 75 tons per hr in poor material and I would estimate that it could do 90 to 100 in 12″ stems.

Jesse Sewell
Sales Manager
Forestry First, LLC
135 Fergon Road
Lexington, SC 29072
803-708-0624 Off.
http://www.forestryfirst.com

Morbark 2355 Chipharvester in Pine Plantation Part 1

May 20, 2013

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We shot this video April 25th, 2013. The contractor just setup on a new landing which you can see from the video. So it was a bit slow going at first as the skidder hands figured out how to get around and keep the landing clean. We filmed from the beginning to the end, total of 19 minutes getting the 42 foot ITI trailer loaded. Not bad considering the material was fairly poor quality, small diameter size. The skidders, both 2013 model CAT 545C Skidders kept the wood coming to the chipper pretty steady. Morbark Chipharvesters are very productive. This unit can easily produce 75 tons per hour or more. This unit was producing 75 tons per hr in poor material and I would estimate that it could do 90 to 100 in 12″ stems.

Jesse Sewell
Sales Manager
Forestry First, LLC
135 Fergon Road
Lexington, SC 29072
803-708-0624 Off.
http://www.forestryfirst.com

Tigercat Emerging as the Best Equipment Value in Forestry

April 10, 2013

2013 Tigercat 620D

2013 Tigercat 620D 01

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I think the title of this article says it all.  If you have tried to trade or sell your used Tigercat forestry machine lately, odds are you have been pleasantly surprised to find that these machines are bringing record prices.  If you have tried to buy a used Tigercat machine, odds are you are on the frustrating end of this trend, with prices rising and availability very poor.  Across the South, used Tigercat forestry equipment has been in strong demand now for several months.  High quality, low hour machines are bringing a premium.  The causes of this are numerous, but the primary cause seems to be good old fashioned demand outstripping supply.  Another cause is clearly market perception being that these machines are simply better than their peers.

I attended the JM Wood Auction in Montgomery earlier this year.  This sale usually features a good selection of used forestry machines and it is normally well attended.  This sale drew a slightly larger crowd I think, possibly because there were several low hour machiness on the block.  First up was a 2012 John Deere 748H with 1200 hours.  This machine was like new and it brought $210,000 Dollars.  We were not so surprised by that, given that they are priced in the $260k range new.  Then came the star of the show in many respects because it had generated quite a bit of attention.  A 2011 model Tigercat 620D Skidder with 3200 hours was brought up and the the bidding opened.

Naturally you would assume an older machine with more hours would bring a good bit less than the Deere which sold only minutes before.  If anything the bidding was more intense.  All the auctioneers were waving their hands and going back and forth between several bidders.  It was quite a scene.  I have only attended a handful of auctions in my time but have never seen anything quite like the opening seconds when the bidding started on this 2011 Tigercat.  At least five different logging companies looked to be bidding on the machine simultaneously.

Bidding started at $125,000 and in seconds it was up to $150,000.  Before the sale began I had approached the auctioneer and we discussed this machine and what we thought it would bring.  We were all wrong.  I was convinced it would bring a ridiculous sounding $175,000.  I knew several of the loggers who had come to buy it and knew they were going to fight for it.  New machines were at least a month to two months out and no more Tier 3 machines would be delivered.  Everything from this point on would be Tier 4 and the price was going up about $15,000.  A friend in the equipment business (who shall remain nameless) laughed at me saying, ‘It will bring about $150,000, no more’.  The auctioneer had hopes for the seller that it would bring between $160,000 and $170,000.

We sat there in disbelief as the bidding shot past $170,000 then $175k, and finally settled at $190,000.  When the auctioneer yelled out ‘Sold’, the room was quiet.  Mouths stood open, mine included.  I share all of this simply to point out that new Tigercat machines are already commanding a premium on the new forestry equipment market as they are perceived by many to be the best.  Now it seems that used Tigercat machines are clearly dominating the market in terms of used resale value.  This is only one of many stories I could tell about hyperinflated prices for used Tigercat equipment.

What does all this mean for the average logger?  Well, all things being equal, if you are looking at several machines and all of them are very expensive, one of the factors you need to consider is resale value.  If a Tigercat is worth more after 5000 hours, then the machine is a better buy up front.  The numbers simply do not lie.  This comes back to total cost of ownership, operational cost per hour.  If the machine commands a premium on the used market then you are going to be able to retain more equity value when you trade or sell.

Many of you are well aware that Tigercat Fellerbunchers have long been dominating the market, especially here in the South.  Tigercat Loaders are doing well but have yet to establish themselves as the number one brand in many markets.  That may change as more and more customers become acquainted with the product.  What is remarkable is that finally Tigercat Skidders seem to be emerging as the top choice and this is reflected in the resale value.  I think Deere and Caterpillar need to check the rear view mirror because Tigercat may be coming up fast and they might need to get over.

I could share numerous stories about late model Tigercat machines being snapped up by eager buyers in hours, not days and weeks.  Meanwhile similar Deere and CAT machines sat for months, with seemingly little interest.  The demand for Tigercat D-series Skidders has been so strong that it is very frustrating to try and find a good used machine for a customer.  As soon as they are traded in they are sold or even presold sight unseen in many cases before they even arrive at the dealer yard.  I have always confidently informed my clients that no machine has better resale value than a Caterpillar.  That has changed over the past twelve months here in the US and I think it may be the start of a long term trend.  If the international markets develop a taste for Tigercat then the game could be changed for good.

Jesse Sewell

2011 CAT 545C Grapple Skidder for Sale at Forestry First

March 28, 2013

March 28, 2013

2011 CAT 545C with 5000 Hours

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This one owner machine will not last long.  With only 5000 hours, this 2011 model CATERPILLAR 545C, Grapple Skidder is equipped with a C7 CAT Engine (Tier 3) at 232hp, 5 speed Powershift Transmission with Lock-up Torque converter, Heavy Duty CAT 20-lug Axles, 35.5-32 Tires, Hydraulic 40,000 lb Winch, 19sf Thinning Grapple and Enclosed cab with heat and air.  This unit does not have rear fenders.  This unit has been under CAT extended warranty its entire life.  Priced at $149,500 USD.

These machines are prized by their owners for their productivity and dependability.  Most of my clients who operate 545 Skidders will never look for anything else.  Please call me anytime if I can be of assistance with this or any of our used forestry equipment.  We supply top quality forest machines worldwide to customers in over forty countries.

Jesse Sewell – Sales Manager   803-708-0624 Office   803-807-1726 cell    jesse@forestryfirst.com

2011 Dynamic Conehead CH510 Chipper for Sale at ForestryFirst.com

March 27, 2013

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2011 Dynamic CH510 Chipper

2011 Dynamic Conehead CH510 Chipper 01

March 27, 2013

This chipper is practically new with only 275 hours.  This unit is priced to move at $29,500.   This will save you almost half the price of a new, similarly equipped unit.  These are excellent chippers for clearing smaller woodlots and farms or for residential tree service applications.  This unit is available for deomstration on our yard, Monday through Friday 7:30am to 6pm EST.  Call us or visit us online for more information.

Jesse Sewell – 803.807.1726 cell  jesse@forestryfirst.com

Welcome to the Age of the Machines

February 20, 2013

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February 20, 2013

Recently I enjoyed a 60 Minutes segment that discussed the role of robots in the workplace and the sudden rise of robotics and their impact on unemployment in the US.  We are in the midst of what Economists are calling a ‘Jobless Recovery’.  At the same time companies are highly profitable, some sitting on mountains of cash.  Apple, Google, Exxon and numerous American corporations are holding hundreds of Billions of dollars in cash.  In this high tech era of software, computerization and robotic automation, companies are able to do more with less.  Less employees that is.  Certain US retailers are leading the way with warehouses that are almost entirely staffed by robots.  Amazon for instance, has thousands of robots that move inventory around its massive regional warehouses, all controlled by software and without the intervention of human beings.  Amazon is so enthusiastic about this technology that it has purchased the compnay which manufactures them, Kiva Systems.

We are fast approaching a time when you will not compete with a Chinese worker or a Indian worker for employment.  You will compete with a robot.  Today there are commercial robots available for as little as $20,000.  These robots can be taught to perform simple tasks such as removing parts from a conveyor and placing them in a bin or sorting items into seperate bins.  These robots are produced by a US Company called iRobot and last approximately 3 years.  The hourly cost of these electronic workers is approximately $3 per hour.  In just a few short years it is likely that robotic technologies will be applied to a host of jobs that were once thought to be safe from automation.  In California, Google engineers have developed a car that drives itself.  It is not dificult to imagine a time when over the road trucks will be piloted by robots, instead of humans.  It is already possible to remotely control heavy machinery.  This creates the potential for large contractors to drop off equipment in another state and control it from their base of operations, hundreds or thousands of miles away.

We need to apply our imagination to this looming jobless revolution.  It is highly probable that the era of robotics will rival that of the automotive industry in terms of economic power and importance.  Countries that lead the way in manufacturing inexpensive, high quality robots will dominate the global economy.  It is conceivable that robotic technology will be closely guarded state secrets.  No longer will discussions focus on the manufacture of automobiles or computers, rather the discussion will turn to which countries have the best robots.  I believe the global economy of the future will depend on high quality, durable, inteligent and trainable robots suitable for a myriad of tasks.  Robots will soon make their presence known in every aspect of our lives.

Today in California and elsewhere, medical centers are using hundreds of robots to perform all kinds of basic tasks.  These basic robotic carts ferry drugs and food to patients throughout the hospital.  The administrators who purchased the robots claim they allow nurses to focus on patient care.  In reality the robots simply are replacing more expensive humans.  What does all this have to do with logging, you might ask.  I assume it has little impact today.  At some point in the not too distant future, there will be automated harvesting equipment working the woods and loggers will preside over crews of automated machines.  It is more likely that will occur in plantation forests where the environment is more controlled and conditions more consistent.  For the rest of the workforce, I respectfully submit that we should all run, not walk, back to College.  Perhaps a degree in advanced robotics will do the trick.

Jesse Sewell

2008 John Deere 648H Grapple Skidder, Dual Arch, Winch, 30.5 Tires for Sale at Forestry First

February 13, 2013

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February 13, 2013

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2008 John Deere 648H

This 2008 John Deere 648H Grapple Skidder is equipped with Dual Function Arch and Grapple, Winch, 30.5-32 Tires, Heavy Duty Decking Blade, Direct Drive transmission, Fenders, Enclosed cab with heat and air and only 6500 original hours.  This one owner machine is ready to work.  Call or visit us online at www.forestryfirst.com for current pricing, inspection, high resolution images, videos and more.

Jesse Sewell 803-807-1726 cell   jesse@forestryfirst.com

2007 Morbark 30 RXL with 860hp Cat, Mor-Lift 1000, 6500 Original Hours for Sale at Forestry First

February 13, 2013

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February 13, 2012

2007 Morbark 30RXL Chipper

2007 Morbark Whole Tree Chipper 30RXL

This one owner, Morbark 30 RXL, Whole Tree Chipper has 6500 original hours, is equipped with a CAT 860hp engine, Mor-Lift 1000 Loader, Morbark 42″ Log Grapple, Enclosed cab with heat and air and is ready to work.  For more information including a current inspection, please visit us at www.forestryfirst.com.

Jesse Sewell 803-807-1726  jesse@forestryfirst.com

2010 Peterson Pacific 4300 Drum Chipper with 2500 Hours for Sale

June 12, 2012

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June 12, 2012

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This one-owner 2010 model, Peterson Pacific 4300 Drum Chipper with C18 CAT Engine is well cared for and ready to work with only 2500 original hours.  With the balance of a CAT Platinum Engine Warranty this unit will perform for many years to come.  Please call or email me to arrange a in-woods demo.  Unit located in South Carolina.  Financing is available and we deliver worldwide.

Jesse Sewell – 803-807-1726 cell –  jesse@forestryfirst.com


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