Mineral Creek Logging and Hauling LLC’s Dustin DeAtley says logging is currently undergoing a revolutionary change.
“We are transitioning to the future where you will be able to do more with less, and that’s good in a time when finding workers is a big challenge,” said DeAtley, who co-owns the company with his wife, Brittany, in Eagle Point, Ore. “Equipment is playing a big role in that as we move from having less people on the ground, in the elements felling trees and setting chokers, to having them in the cabs of mechanized machines.”
DeAtley emphasizes that the tether systems he uses from Modern Machinery are a great example. The setup consists of a modified low-hour Komatsu PC290 excavator that Modern equips with a Falcon Winch Assist. It’s primarily used for logging on steep terrain and is a stationary uphill machine. Using remote control, an operator moves the downhill machine up and down to harvest timber.
“We recently used one on a site we originally bid to log with a yarder,” recalled DeAtley. “The problem was, we couldn’t get enough guy lines for it, so the only choice was the Komatsu/Falcon setup. We figured that with the yarder, we would probably get three loads of wood a day using seven people to run it, set chokers, etc. With one operator working the tethering system, we got six.
Less employees, less time and better production really adds up.”
Sold after the first unit DeAtley admits he was skeptical before buying the Komatsu/Falcon Winch Assist system. A customer he was discussing a project with convinced him to try a tethering system.
“I was actually anti-tether before this, but I decided to give it a try. I took delivery on our first unit in August of 2020, and at the time, (Modern Machinery Territory Manager)
Russ Smith said that within six months I would call and order a second. It only took two. We saw right away it was the way to go for steep logging jobs. The original unit was our first purchase from Modern. They have been great to work with, especially Russ and our other territory manager, Ed James. They and Falcon came out and spent five days training us in how to most effectively use everything.”
In addition to the Falcon Winch Assist, Mineral Creek Logging and Hauling has purchased a Falcon Claw that its yarder side uses. The unit runs on a cable and is controlled remotely from inside the yarder. Cameras on the Falcon Claw let the operator see where to place and pick up logs to move them from hillside to landing.
“It speeds things up because the operator doesn’t have to wait on a choker setter or a rigging slinger,” said DeAtley. “We’ve had it out as far as 2,200 feet. It’s extremely productive.”
This story was republished with permission from Modern Update. Fore more information, please visit: https://modernupdate.com/