Tigercat celebrates 25 years
THE TIGERCAT BRAND HAS CELEBRATED ITS SILVER anniversary this year by restoring its very first forestry machine.
To commemorate the 25-year milestone, Tigercat number one was purchased back from the Canadian company’s first customer, Williston Timber of Williston, Florida. The machine was returned to the factory in Ontario and fully rebuilt.
That machine, a prototype Tigercat 726 feller buncher, has gone on to spawn more than 19,000 machines since it left the workshop in 1992.
The deal to purchase the machine was somewhat unorthodox. Williston Timber co-owner, Eddie Hodge, had a very brief encounter with it at a machinery expo in Georgia.
He proposed a one-month trial of the 726 in one of the Florida forestry blocks his crew was working and he told Tigercat executive Tony Iarocci: “If you want to, you can bring that thing to Florida. We don’t know anything about it, so you’ll have to leave the mechanic with it. If it stays together for a month, we’ll buy it.”
It stayed for 25 years, the latter part parked up in a field with other old forestry equipment, all together in one piece, including the original engine. Following the rebuild to working condition, but still carrying some of its battle scars from the last two and a half decades, the first Tigercat is to become a permanent reminder of the company’s start.
The machine is also the star of a film about the first 25 years of Tigercat, called 25, which includes footage of New Zealand machines in action and their owners. The film was shown at the recent HarvestTECH 2017 conference.
A special 25-year edition of the official Between the Branches publication has just been published, too, and Tigercat will shortly be releasing silver anniversary merchandise on its online store.
Main: The original Tigercat 726 is about to leave its first owner in Florida.
Insert: Restored to working condition, Tigercat number one will remain at the factory to become a permanent reminder of the company’s history.