From modest beginnings more than 40 years ago, Ken Little has harvested timber from the remote forests of Northern Minnesota. With his two sons, Randy and Robert, working at his side since they were boys, Little Logging of Littlefork, Minn., has grown to become a large logging business. The company supplies wood to major lumber and paper producers, including Boise Cascade, NewPage and Sappi.
The Little operation is stump to mill. The company’s 20-plus employees build and maintain access roads, prepare timber harvest plans, fell the timber, skid the trees to a landing for delimbing and sorting, and haul the wood to mill customers. They work on tracts of aspen, spruce, balsam and other species ranging from 80 to 1,000 acres.
The company has a new Cat® 521B Track Feller Buncher equipped with the Cat HF201B Felling Head along with a new 545C Wheel Skidder. The Cat equipment enables Little Logging to harvest timber faster and more efficiently. Both machines are delivering very high availability in demanding conditions.
“We chose Cat machines because we wanted to achieve greater durability and longevity from our equipment,” says Ken. “When we visited the Cat plant in LaGrange, Georgia, we learned that Cat forestry machines are ruggedly built with designed-in serviceability. And the Cat feller buncher head is beefy for greater durability, yet its simple design is easy to service. The head also has a wider throat, so it’s able to grasp larger diameter trees, and the machine delivers excellent lifting and swing power.” The Cat 545C Wheel Skidder pulls three- to four-cord loads per run, he adds.
Because of the remote areas in which they work, accessibility to machine service points is very important and was a key factor in their equipment decision. Randy notes, “Being so far out in the woods, we can’t afford down time, and that’s another reason we chose Cat machines.”
“The 521B is actually real easy to service because everything is out in the open,” notes Robert. “Service access is a lot better than I’ve seen on other machines.”
Cat Financial played an important role in Little Logging acquiring the Cat 545C Wheel Skidder and the Cat 521B Track Feller Buncher. ”Cat Financial structured a good lease program for us,” says Ken. “After five years, we have the option to turn the machines in for new ones or buy them outright for a pre-determined price. It’s a very good deal.”
Right from the start, Ziegler Cat has provided a high level of support, according to the Littles. From operator training to service questions to ordering parts, Ziegler Cat has been a supportive partner of Little Logging.