PORT ROYAL, Pennsylvania – One good thing can lead to another. It certainly did for Kyle Deamer, owner of Mountainside Logging.
Kyle started his logging business in 2015. Five months later he purchased a Log Max 7000C harvesting head – the attachment other loggers recommended and his research convinced him he should have.
Greg Porter was president of Log Max when Kyle bought his first Log Max attachment. The two men talked often and became well acquainted.
Greg left Log Max to start his own forestry equipment business, Scandinavian Forestry Equipment (SFE), in 2017.
When Kyle learned that SFE had coupled an EcoLog 590E six-wheel harvester with a Log Max head, he was interested in the combination. He bought a new EcoLog 590E with a Log Max head from SFE in 2020.
The decision was about more than just getting the harvester he wanted, recalled Kyle. It also was based on his history with Greg. “I knew [SFE] stood behind their machines,” said Kyle.
Kyle puts a lot of emphasis on performance when it comes to investing in equipment and making a buying decision. The performance of the EcoLog 590E harvester has earned plenty of praise. “It’s an amazingly powerful machine,” said Kyle.
At the same time, the EcoLog 590E is economical to operate. “It has tremendous fuel efficiency,” said Kyle.
The combination of power and fuel efficiency come from the machine’s Volvo Penta Tier 4 six-cylinder engine, which produces 320 hp. The 590E is the largest and most powerful in the EcoLog 500 series of wheel harvesters.
Kyle’s company is based in Port Royal, which is located in south-central Pennsylvania. It is roughly midway between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, some 40-plus miles northwest of Harrisburg. Kyle grew up in the community and has a home office. The company does most of its work within an 85-mile radius of the town.
The region is rich in hardwoods, and Mountainside Logging works mostly in stands of mixed hardwoods although it also occasionally cuts in pine tracts.
Kyle has three employees, and they operate as two cut-to-length timber harvesting crews. “Primarily, both crews are subcontractors,” he explained. Kyle’s crew harvests timber for another logging company, Metzler Forest Products in Reedsville. The other crew harvests timber for Renno Brothers Lumber, which operates a sawmill in McAlisterville. The jobs include timber stand improvements, select cuts, and clear cuts. “We do whatever is required,” said Kyle.
Kyle operates the new EcoLog harvester and works on the crew that subcontracts to Metzler Forest Products. The other employee on the crew operates a Rottne forwarder. They work on smaller-diameter timber compared to the other crew.
The second crew, harvesting trees for Renno Brothers, works in larger timber. It is equipped with a TimberPro TN735B track harvester paired with a Log Max 7000XT harvester head and a Tigercat 1055B forwarder. “The Log Max 7000XT takes 12-inch to 30-inch diameter trees,” said Kyle. “The operator has cut a few bigger than 30 inches.”
“The TimberPro with the Log Max 7000XT is a tank of a machine,” added Kyle.
Mountainside Logging has been growing fast. “If we have a perfect week, we shoot for 20 tractor-trailer loads each week, or 40 tractor-trailer loads for two crews,” said Kyle. The company normally works five days per week.
Kyle’s company harvests the trees, processes them and cuts them to length as specified by his two customers, and sorts the logs and hauls the wood to a landing. At the landing, the forwarders may ‘hot load’ the wood directly onto staged trailers or stack the wood to be picked up later.
Kyle, 28, has an uncle who operated a mulch business, and Kyle’s father worked in the business for 15 years. Kyle gained experience observing and helping his father and uncle and learned about forestry machinery and the forestry industry. One thing that was impressed on him was the value of efficiency in operations and equipment — doing things expeditiously and safely.
He acquired more experience as an employee of Metzler Forest Products. He started in high school in a co-op program and went on to work six years with the company. Kyle apprenticed as a mechanic and also operated equipment, including skidders, hot saws, and grinders.
Doing due diligence when buying a machine is something Kyle takes seriously. The EcoLog 590E with the Log Max 7000C is the first piece of equipment he has purchased new.
“I love equipment,” said Kyle. “I keep a close eye on equipment sales.”
He bought the Rottne eight-wheel forwarder from Titan Machinery in South Dakota. And he struck a private deal for his TimberPro TN735B with a seller in upstate New York. The Tigercat 1055B forwarder arrived at Mountainside Logging through an even more circuitous path.
Essential to Kyle’s decision to buy the EcoLog 590E harvester was its ability to support a Log Max head. He prefers Log Max harvester attachments for their performance, reliability, and ease of servicing them.
“SFE’s knowledge of Log Max” is a big plus, said Kyle, because of Greg’s past history with Log Max. “Log Max – I’m super happy with them.”
Greg’s company also offers several other lines of equipment. SFE represents Eltec Cranab/Slagkraft, Quadco and Southstar.
Greg has visited Mountainside Logging job sites many times. So has Ron Raith, the general manager at the Wausau, Wisconsin, branch of SFE.
SFE sent a representative onsite to work with Kyle for several days to train him on the EcoLog 590E with Log Max 7000C head. “It was just to make sure everything was working well,” said Kyle.
EcoLog is a Swedish manufacturer. There are four harvesters in the 500 series. They range from the 218 hp 550 model to the 590E. All are powered by the Volvo Penta D8 engines, which are known for their high performance, reliability, fuel economy, and low emissions.
Features include a cabin that rotates 350 degrees, a new crane, pendulum arm suspension technology, and optimized cooling system. All components are easily accessible under the two large hoods at the rear of the machine, and most components are easy to disassemble and-or tilt.
Scandinavian Forestry Equipment’s mission is to exceed customers’ expectations and forge profitable, long-term relationships by supplying efficient, reliable, world-class forestry equipment solutions. The staff has over 80 years of combined experience in the forest products industry. In addition to its two locations, the company has a growing network of dealers.
(For more information about EcoLog harvesters or Scandinavian Forestry Equipment, visit www.scandforestry.com, call the company’s headquarters in Manchester, Pennsylvania at (717) 793-3102, or email email@example.com.)
Kyle reflected on his experience with Scandinavian Forestry Equipment. “SFE – I couldn’t be more happy with that company,” he said. The company has been top-notch when it comes to parts availability, he added. “It’s so easy to order parts from SFE. They are on top of it. I haven’t found a part they couldn’t find, even for old machines.”
Both the Log Max 7000C and Log Max 7000XT are dangle heads. Dangle heads are the absolute way to go in the mixed hardwoods and steep areas where Mountainside Logging operates, said Kyle. They are better able to absorb shock, and they are more maneuverable. “You can sit in one spot and reach behind the tree,” said Kyle, emphasizing the agility of a dangling head.
In addition to the two harvesters and two forwarders, Mountainside Logging owns a Mustang skid steer loader. The Mustang, which is made by Gehl Company, is used to plow roads and other tasks.
The Mountainside Logging team does almost all its own regular maintenance. “Equipment is very intriguing to me,” said Kyle. Across the years he and his father have found some interesting old machines and worked to refurbish them for fun.
Getting the job done right is where everything begins and ends for the team at Mountainside Logging. “We’re out there to do the best job we can,” said Kyle, who enjoys deer hunting and traveling with his wife in his free time.
There is much to relish about the professional path he has chosen, explained Kyle. Most of it hinges on the give and take and smooth flow of each day. “I enjoy when myself and all my guys, when we’re out here, getting along and getting a job accomplished,” said Kyle.
“Getting a job done well is gratifying. When we leave a job, we know it’s been done right.”
Trained in Sustainable Forestry Initiative practices, Kyle has made a firm commitment to sustainable forestry practices. “When somebody says, ‘Mountainside Logging,’ I’d like them to know that Mountainside Logging does it right.”
The immediate focus for Kyle is doing more. “We’ve had tremendous growth,” he said, stressing it is the beginning. “We’ve set a 40,000-ton goal for 2021.”