By Caroline Schweitzer
Just a few miles northwest from Longview, Washington, second generation logger Frank Chandler of C&C Logging and his crew are working in a dense stand full of hemlocks, Douglas firs and mixed hardwoods. They are running a typical harvesting operation, during atypical times.
“This year, we’re reminded how important it is to take care of our forests and the safety of our people,” said Chandler, operations manager for C&C Logging based in Kelso, Washington. “Right now, the wildfire risk is high. We have to be extremely careful.”
Chandler’s parents started C&C Logging more than 53 years ago. What began as a simple operation with a power saw is now a full-service contracting business with 14 operating sides including three winch assists (tethered logging systems), two grapple logging machines as well as multiple towers and GB sides. One thing that has remained the same is the family element. Today, Chandler’s parents and sister still work for the company in addition to 112 employees, and a fleet of machinery that includes a John Deere 3156G log loader with a new Waratah HTH623C loader processor (LP).
“Having healthy forests is so important to the world, and fire abatement is such a big thing,” Chandler said. “That’s why we have extra fire training and drills for our team and always maintain our equipment to reduce risk.”
While this year has thrown a few curveballs, it’s nothing they can’t handle. Earning the highest safety rating in the state of Washington for 10 years, C&C Logging is known for its legacy of jobsite safety. And for 2020, it seems like safety has never been more relevant.
“With the added layer of COVID, we have to spread out our rigging crews and keep people at a safe distance,” Chandler said. “We have to be extra careful.”
Doing the job safely and doing the job right has been key to C&C’s success, as the company has grown rapidly over five decades. Chandler himself has seen the industry evolve since he first began working with his father as a teenager.
“I always have liked the physical work. One day, my dad handed me a power saw and we started delimbing and bumping knots. Back then, everything was hand bucked manually. The mechanical harvesting was me,” Chandler smiled.
Today, Chandler and his team turn to the power and efficiency of mechanized processing and loading. And for that, they trust John Deere and Waratah.
A winning combination
One of the latest additions to the C&C fleet is the John Deere 3156G log loader with a new Waratah HTH623C LP head. The pairing has proven to be a winning combination on jobsites by delivering productivity, strength and stability in tight spaces.
“With the power of the John Deere carrier, you can move faster,” Chandler said. “You don’t have to wait for your head to move where you need it to. You can just be a little faster and a little smoother.”
That speed makes a huge difference, especially when coupled with the ability to delimb and move multiple logs in one fell swoop with the Waratah loader processor head.
“The loader processor adds versatility to the machine and the operator,” Chandler said. “You can load trucks efficiently and still manufacture logs, which is a big thing for us.”
The new HTH623C LP has a shorter tilt frame, which allows it to maneuver in tight spaces and reach higher deck piles with ease. Its versatility allows C&C to have fewer pieces of equipment on a crowded jobsite. And while powerful, it has just the right touch to ensure log quality.
“We don’t want to give up on log quality,” Chandler said. “Waratah did a great job in developing a system that maintained log quality but is still versatile to load with.”
Tech to see the forest for the trees
Along with safety, C&C is all about increasing efficiency. Over the years, Chandler has embraced technology solutions that increase accuracy and output.
“I love the technology side of these machines, and it’s changing a lot,” Chandler said. “There’s a lot of opportunity to bring innovation into our industry to make these jobs safer and better.”
Being able to see data connected to his machines’ productivity is huge and allows his team to see the big picture of performance on each jobsite. Waratah’s TimberRite measuring and control system combined with JDLink has allowed him to see these details at a glance.
“With TimberRite, I can easily see the productivity of that machine,” Chandler said. “I watch closely to see the volume per hour, per stem and fuel per cubic meter harvested. It’s hands-down the best telematics out there that I’ve seen.”
“Built to work, not to work on”
To Chandler, durability means more uptime. And it means his crew can get more logs loaded, which directly affects his bottom line.
“Every time a guy has to get out of the cab, you’ve got productivity and safety issues,” Chandler said. “But with the Waratah, you don’t have to get out and tinker with it. It just works every day.”
Even in tough wood types, Chandler and his team have seen reliable performance from Waratah, which is what has made them repeat buyers. The new HTH623C LP is the latest example of toughness in his fleet. Chandler described the Waratah handling even Radiata pine with ease, a wood he described as the “gnarliest” out there.
“We’ve bought Waratah for quite a few years now, because they’re durable. Pound for pound, they hold up really well,” Chandler said. “They’re built to work…not to work on.”
C&C Logging is serviced by Papé Machinery Construction & Forestry, Kelso, Washington.