MANCHESTER, Pennsylvania –
Scandinavian Forestry Equipment, a distributor of machinery and equipment for timber harvesting, is growing and on the move as it serves loggers in the forest products industry.
“SFE is growing each day,” said Greg Porter, owner and president of the company. “We continue to look for new opportunities inside and outside the forest business.”
Headquartered in Manchester, Pennsylvania and with a second location in Wisconsin, SFE has a growing network of affiliate dealers and is represented in the West, the Great Lakes Region, and the Northeast.
The company’s Wisconsin operations have been based in Rhinelander, but Greg is building a new facility to move operations to Wausau. SFE was expected to occupy the new facility in early May.
He is “on target” for his vision of the business and looking forward to the future. “We will continue to work towards our next major project, which will be a new facility in Pennsylvania,” said Greg.
He also envisions adding more resources on the East Coast in 2021. SFE’s headquarters and distribution center in Pennsylvania provide close access to the Port of Baltimore, only about 60 miles south. The proximity to the port means SFE can cut ocean-freight lead times and maintain a nimble shipping network.
Greg also is considering expanding the business into another equipment area. “I believe our next ‘goal or big change’ will be adding a construction line,” he said. “This is something we have been discussing and hope to have in place going into 2021.”
Greg launched Scandinavian Forest Equipment in May 2017 after a lengthy and successful tenure leading Log Max, which manufactures cut-to-length timber harvesting attachments.
“We started SFE to give customers choices for forestry equipment,” said Greg. “SFE represents some of the best product lines in the world. We want to provide exceptional service, have fun, and enjoy what we do.”
The company’s primary product line is the EcoLog brand of wheel harvesters and forwarders for cut-to-length logging. EcoLog is a Swedish manufacturer, and its machines combine agility, compactness and power.
Greg’s decisions about what equipment lines to represent is a result of a great deal of thinking about customer needs. “When I started SFE, we were looking at a number of options,” he said. “EcoLog was a good fit because the machines are fitted with Log Max heads. They are both exceptional products, and our team has extensive knowledge with both product lines.”
“Once we determined our main product line, we started to research other brands,” he added.
That research led to another optimal alignment — adding Cranab to the roster of equipment lines. Cranab, another Swedish company, manufactures cranes and grapples for forestry equipment. In fact, Cranab cranes and grapples are found on EcoLog harvesters and forwarders.
“EcoLog and Cranab work together throughout the manufacturing process,” noted Greg. “We understand there will be a need for cranes, grapples and spare parts. Therefore, we wanted to work directly with Cranab.”
Greg’s next goal was to add a line of track forestry machines. He chose the Eltec brand of track machines for timber harvesting, shovel logging, and log handling and loading applications. Eltec machines are manufactured by Technologies Element in Quebec, Canada.
“Eltec is a well-built machine by a knowledgeable logging family,” said Greg. “By having a relationship with the manufacturer, (it allows us to give) our customers quicker response times in case a problem should occur.”
The Eltec track harvesters are built for demanding final felling operations. One of the many noteworthy features is its leveling system, which allows it to grab and fell timber while the cab is positioned at a right angle to trees, even on severe slopes.
Greg selected equipment lines to meet the needs of loggers, machines that are known for their performance and combine efficiency and durability. Other product lines offered by Scandinavian Forestry Equipment include Slagkraft, a manufacturer of road-clearing equipment, Palms forestry trailers and cranes, and Quadco, Southstar, and Waratah felling and harvesting attachments.
By choosing high-performing product lines, SFE fulfills the two parts of its mission: exceed customer expectations, and forge profitable, long-term relationships with loggers.
SFE puts an emphasis on providing solutions to customers. Its team members, such as Ron Raith, general manager at the Wisconsin location, get out to logger job sites and get to know their prospects and customers.
“Going to sites, seeing what (loggers) are doing” is a wonderful dimension of his job, said Ron. “They’re a fun group of guys to deal with.”
Ron grew up in a logging family and started logging in the late 1970s. He has had the opportunity to be immersed in the industry as fully mechanized logging and cut-to-length took hold.
“I’ve been in logging all my life, logging or trucking,” explained Ron. “In 2008, I moved to equipment dealership.”
Ron exemplifies the qualities of the SFE team Greg has assembled. Team members combine experience and enthusiasm.
“Our mission is to exceed customers’ expectations and forge profitable, long-term relationships through strategic, efficient and reliable world-class forestry solutions,” said Greg.
That approach seems to be working, according to loggers who have turned to Scandinavian Forestry Equipment for machinery and equipment.
“The first thing that drew me to (SFE) is they always have parts,” said Matt Jensen, owner of Whitetail Logging in Crandon, Wis. “And they have really good service and people.”
Matt purchased an EcoLog 574 eight-wheel forwarder from SFE and gives it the highest praise. “We’re thrilled with the machine,” he said.
David Ehrmantrout, owner of Ehrmantrout Thinning Services in Priest River, Idaho, said it was an easy decision to purchase three EcoLog machines from SFE. “I have known the people at the (SFE) dealership and EcoLog’s manufacturing processes for many years. I have trust in their product and their ability to help us maintain the product.”
Greg grew up in Ohio and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, then went to work for Log Max. When Log Max moved its offices to Vancouver, Washington, he went with them. In just five years, at the age of 26, Greg was appointed president of Log Max US. He led the company for the next 12 years.
“Log Max was a great company to work for,” said Greg. “I can recall many good times in the 17 years…I was blessed to have the opportunity to work for Log Max. It allowed me to travel the world and meet some of the most exceptional people in our industry.”
His decision to start Scandinavian Forestry Equipment was the culmination of several trains of thought.
“I felt that it was time to move back East and be closer to friends and family,” said Greg.
Scandinavian Forestry Equipment is moving its Great Lakes location to Wausau, Wisconsin, where it has built this new facility. The company was expected to occupy the new location in early May.
“I have spent 20 years in the forest business and knew that I wanted to continue in the forest business. That’s why I started SFE.”
Becoming a business owner emerged as the clear path forward. “Spending all those years learning the ins and outs of the business, I knew I did not want to work for another company,” said Greg. “I was ready to start my own company.”
The team Greg has assembled at SFE has more than 80 years of combined experience in the forest products industry. Each member serves as a knowledgeable and accessible liaison between logger and manufacturer.
“What I enjoy most about being the owner of SFE is watching our team build this company as their own,” said Greg. “All of our employees have worked extremely hard getting SFE to this point. SFE has only been in business for three years, and it has been exciting to see how far we have come.”
Working hard at getting customers the machines that best serve their needs is more than rewarding. It is fun, explained Greg.
“Our team has been instrumental in building strong relationships with our customers,” said Greg. “Everyone has done an exceptional job and we are all having fun.”
As for the outlook on life that guides him each day, Greg cites the combination of doing what ought to be done and enjoying the doing. “I believe my philosophy is simple: work hard and have fun. Our team enjoys coming to work and supporting our customers.”
The work environment makes the entire team— and the loggers they support — stronger. “Having a fun, family-type atmosphere improves our overall team performance. In turn, it allows our customers and future customers to know we enjoy what we do, and we are here to support them.”
For more information on Scandinavian Forestry Equipment and its product lines, visit www.scandforestry.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (717) 793-3102.