The Right Gear is Deere
Victorian logging contractor Ribbonwood cuts its teeth with Deere
Jamie Law from logging contractor Ribbonwood Victoria started in the bush at sixteen – most of it with Hitachi or John Deere.
Jamie started as a hand faller. At twenty-two he got an opportunity of a lifetime. Kevin and Leigh Goodman, part owners of Ribbonwood New Zealand, offered him the chance to buy a 25% share in an excavator harvester and subcontract back to them.
Eight years ago, Ribbonwood Victoria won a clearfall contract up in the hills of North East Victoria to harvest up to 100,000 tonnes of wood per year, which meant upping stumps from New Zealand and moving lock, stock and barrel to Australia.
Because of his good run with Hitachi and John Deere machines, Jamie and his partners decided to buy a John Deere 853JH harvester with Waratah 622B, a 1710D forwarder and a ZX200 excavator fitted with a directional falling attachment to do a bit of falling, stacking, shovelling and loading.
The 853JH harvester clocked 11,000 hours before being sold and the 1710D at 12,000 hours is still working like new.
Jamie’s latest contract involves first and second thinning work for Hancock Victorian Plantations.
Excellent support from Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCA) and challenging terrain requirements of the job has seen Jamie look to John Deere for the right gear.
Jamie purchased a 1270E wheeled harvester and a 703JH tracked harvester – both fitted with four roller Waratah 480C harvester heads – for more flexibility when handling the wood extracted by his 1510E forwarder.
“I’m extremely pleased with the equipment and lucky to have found experienced operators in Ferdy Cabai on the 1270E and Geoff Lindsay on the 1510E,” said Jamie.
“Mark Hellberg from HCA’s Albury branch put the deal together and kept me updated on factory build times, shipping details and final delivery. The timing of when I wanted the machines in the bush was spot-on.
“HCA’s product and technical support team – Adrian Wapling, Daniel McCarten and Glen Mawhood – were great in drafting a service contract.
“John Deere’s Technical Support Manager JP Ylikoivula played a major role in training our crew on the software before the machines arrived. He also spent a few days with us to ensure the machines were setup properly and cutting to our expectations.
“My wife Dayna and our three daughters are now settled in Australia. If it wasn’t for the support we got from Kevin and Leigh Goodman back in the early days, we would never be where we are today.
“Life is all about relationships and making the right decisions. I’m confident that running with Hitachi and John Deere will once again prove a winner.