Tiger­cat cel­e­brates 25 years

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Talk -

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.

NZL

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.

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