CLICK to download a pdf of this article
San Jose shows the way with new
The first Tigercat 875 logger designed for loading or processing—a heavy duty purpose built machine with the features of the popular Tigercat 880 but in a smaller, energy efficient and ergonomic package—is a solid fit for B.C. contractor San Jose Logging.
By Jim Stirling
The first Tigercat 875 logger designed for loading or processing has seamlessly made the transition from drawing board concept to efficient roadside productivity.
The Getz Family has 57 years of logging under its belt in the Williams Lake area, and a wealth of equipment experience. Above are Dallas Getz, Roger Getz and Darren Getz.
During the machine’s development, engineers at Tigercat listened to the experienced front-line people at San Jose Logging in Williams Lake, British Columbia. They sought the features the loggers would like incorporated into a new machine. What the engineers heard was a demand for a log loading machine that can profitably deal with the smaller diameter processed logs now common in the B.C. Interior.
The machine also needed to be compact enough for transport without additional permitting or a pilot car. The result is the Tigercat 875, a heavy duty purpose built machine with the features of the popular Tigercat 880 but in a smaller, energy efficient and ergonomic package (see sidebar story).
The collaboration with San Jose Logging proved positive. Within San Jose’s 57 year catalog of log harvesting experience in the Williams Lake area lies a novella of innovation and initiative. The four-generation, family-owned company doesn’t wait for someone else to take the lead in trying out a new harvesting technique or machine if it fits the San Jose credo of quality first, and it helps get the job at hand get done better.
“Change is good,” declares Darren Getz, part of the ownership group at San Jose Logging. “We work to be the best at what we can do.” Guiding principles in that endeavor include buying quality new equipment and operating it safely through the strength and experience of its people, several of whom have chalked up decades of service with the contractor, adds Getz.
San Jose Logging reflects a uniformity within its log harvesting operations. The company logs an annual target volume of 250,000 cubic metres exclusively for Tolko Industries Ltd., in Williams Lake. Most of the harvesting operation is now focused on the Chilcotin Plateau, west of Williams Lake. Small diameter pine predominates: the average piece size on the claim in the Big Creek drainage where Logging and Sawmilling Journal visited was .2 cubic meters/stem. Distances are considerable; truckers typically complete only two round trips daily.
San Jose Logging’s principal equipment includes two late model Tigercat 870 feller bunchers, two Tigercat 635D skidders, an 880 loader and the 2014 875. It also uses five Cat 322s equipped with Waratah 616C MTP processing heads.
“It was Dad’s suggestion (Roger Getz). We helped pioneer the Waratah 616 with its multi-tree processing capability to fit our small wood profile,” explains Getz. Other Cat equipment includes a 320D roadbuilder, a D7H and a D6R.
San Jose Logging runs seven company logging trucks, all yellow-painted Kenworths hauling Peerless trailers with nine-foot six-inch bunks. Equipment attachments—like grapples—are consistently Weldco-Beales; filters and hose are Caterpillar; tires and re-caps are Michelin and the company pick-ups are late model Dodges supplied through Williams Lake dealer Gustafson’s Dodge Chrysler Jeep.
“We support the community whenever we can,” says Getz.
The local connection continues through Inland Kenworth Parker Pacific’s Williams Lake branch staff, which worked closely with the San Jose Logging team on the introduction of the Tigercat 875.
“It was (my brother and logging supervisor) Dallas and our other guys in the bush who felt the Tigercat loader would be a good fit for us,” continues Getz. “Tigercat put our suggestions into the machine.”
Fuel efficiency is a major feature of the Tigercat 875. Andre Bosecker, manager of dealer Parker Pacific in Williams Lake, reckons savings of up to five litres an hour are attainable. Part of that is attributable to the new Tigercat FPT N67 “green” Tier 4i engine, capable of generating 282 hp @ 2200 rpm. The engine meets the U.S. ESA Tier 4 interim clean air emissions and (in another first) adds Diesel Exhaust Fluid to help reduce engine NOx. “It’s been flawless,” reports Bosecker.
Other contributors to the 875’s fuel efficiency include a closed loop drive to direct unused power back to the engine to help reduce fuel consumption and to power other machine functions. An automatic variable speed fan contributed further to fuel efficiency. Tigercat’s F7-150 designed forestry undercarriage supports a spacious climate controlled operator’s cab with both a full length front window and floor windows for improved vision. And all of that comes in around 36,290 kilograms (80,000 lbs).
Since 1957, when Getz’ granddad Dean and his partner began San Jose Logging, the company has run the gamut of what’s new in the forest. The changes have been profound, from forest land management regulations to public attitudes and an intense equipment mechanization. The new Tigercat 875 logger is, in its own modest fashion, similarly setting a new standard in B.C. and everywhere else loggers must efficiently handle smaller diameter and bug killed trees. So having the first 875 perform for San Jose Logging really just seems somehow appropriate.
The 875 built on solid Tigercat engineering heritage
The new Tigercat 875 logger was in the planning stages for about two years, recalls Fil Rinaldis, Tigercat’s engineer on the project.
“Our goal was to build a machine with a maximum weight of 85,000-86,000 pounds. We wanted to be able to load it in one piece with no overweight permits.”
Rinaldis looked to his experience with other proven Tigercat machines like the 800 series of feller bunchers and the 880 loader. “We wanted to utilize their good features,” he says. They include a very efficient hydraulic system and dedicated closed loop pumps, continues Rinaldis. “We took the ROPS certified cab from the 880 and the heavy duty undercarriage components and made a scaled down version.”
The 875 also borrows features and components from Tigercat’s 870 feller buncher and 855 harvester.”We had to scale down the upper frame, make it a little shorter and narrower.” Less width precludes the necessity of a pilot car when moving the machine.
Rinaldis notes the new Tigercat FPT Tier 4 engine meets clean technology emission standards. “We believe it’s a
lot simpler than other Tier 4 engines.”