CROGHAN, New York – Landowners in the Adirondack Mountains know how fast pine, hemlock, and spruce grow, and how abundant the species are.
To keep their forests productive, landowners in the mountainous region rely on companies like Edick’s Sawmill and Logging. Dan Edick, the owner-operator of the company, talked with TimberLine about his business.
Dan is guided by one principle when it comes to harvesting timber on private land: “To cut others’ land as if it were my own.”
While most of the work Dan does is on private land, the company also harvests timber on state and federal lands. He gets a lot of work on private land via word-of-mouth, and he also bids on timber sales on government forests.
Dan established Edick’s Sawmill and Logging in 1995. “I was not interested in furthering my formal education and decided to follow my father’s footsteps in the woods,” he said. The business is located in the community of Croghan in upstate New York, a little under 25 miles southeast of Fort Drum and on the western edge of the Adirondack Mountains. The forests of the Adirondacks are known for spruce, pine, and hardwoods.
When Dan started his company, his father, Eugene, was driving a truck for another logging contractor, but he quit to drive a truck for his son. Dan did all the felling by hand with a chainsaw and had a John Deere 440 cable skidder to get the wood out. Eugene did all the hauls. Over the years Dan had different cable skidders and trucks. He also owned several firewood processors to produce firewood for homeowners.
Dan’s business still is small. He has no employees, but his father, Eugene, and father-in-law work for him as independent contractors. Eugene operates a loader and Dan’s father-in-law operates a skidder.
For his logging operations, Dan now relies on Tigercat machines purchased in recent years from CJ Logging Equipment. His company is equipped with a 2017 Tigercat 822E track feller buncher, which Dan normally operates, two 2021 Tigercat 620H grapple skidders, and a 2021 Tigercat 250 track loader.
Dan fells the trees and they are skidded to the landing. He uses a chainsaw at the landing to top the trees and remove the limbs. Eugene, operating the loader, uses a CSI circle saw slasher to buck the logs to length and feeds the tops and limbs to a chipper. Dan also runs a skidder as needed and services the equipment. Dan sold his tractor-trailer, so Monks Trucking now takes care of all hauling. “We like to achieve three trailer loads of logs and three loads of chips daily,” said Dan.
The three men work in rugged terrain that puts the Tigercat equipment to the test. The Adirondacks rank as the most rugged mountains in the Northeast, although the western edge is a bit tamer.
The Tigercat 822E gets a good review from Dan. He said he gets “excellent performance from the machine.” The machine is effective in thinning and final felling harvests. With private as well as government landowners, Dan noted, it is important to minimize damage to residual trees as well disturbance of the forest floor. He is able to do that in part because of the compactness of the Tigercat 822E. Its powerful lift capacity combined with tight-tuck boom geometry minimizes site impact in selective felling applications. High horsepower (282 hp) and efficient hydraulic circuits provide quick, responsive control. Tigercat manufactures several types of felling saw attachments and shear and saw bunching attachments for its harvesters.
In addition to the Tigercat logging machines, Dan has two Trelan chippers, plus a Cat D6K2 bulldozer and a Kobelco 220 excavator for building roads and landings. For some jobs, he also uses the Kobelco and Cat for removing stumps. Dan’s chainsaw of choice is Husqvarna.
Dan’s relationship with CJ Logging Equipment goes back 25 years. It began when he was looking to trade in an older machine. “I was in the market for a used loader, and they had one available,” he recalled. He bought the loader after visiting the company’s dealership in Boonville, which is only about 32 miles south of Croghan. Since then CJ Logging Equipment has added locations in Little Valley, New York, Allenwood, Pennsylvania, and Fremont, New Hampshire.
CJ Logging Equipment has served loggers since 1981 and is committed to supplying them with the machines that best match their operation and keeping them running. It is owned and operated by Mark Bourgeois and his family; Mark is the grandson of Carl J. (CJ) Bourgeois.
CJ Logging Equipment takes pride in linking loggers with high-quality equipment. The relationship that Dan has had with the dealer across 25 years is typical of the sustained business relationships CJ Logging Equipment has with its customers. CJ Logging Equipment defines its approach as ‘going the extra mile’ for customers.
As Dan noted, one of the things that initially impressed him about CJ Logging Equipment is that they were willing to help him purchase a used loader. And willing to take a trade-in.
Over the years, Dan has had the opportunity to work with all team members at CJ Logging Equipment. He has worked most closely with salesman Joe Girard. The entire team is dedicated to providing the best solutions to customers.
In addition to Tigercat, CJ Logging Equipment offers Komatsu, Link-Belt, TimberPro, CSI, Seppi, Hood, Husqvarna, Quadco, Rile, Rotobec and other brands of forestry equipment. It also sells Great Lakes logging trailers. Equipment offerings have changed over the years, but the focus remains the same: equipping loggers with the best machines to match their timber harvesting operations and providing quality support and service.
The Tigerat 822E is designed and built to keep the operator comfortable and working all day. The climate-controlled cab keeps the operator cool in summer and warm in the frigid Northeast winters. The HVAC system operates via touchscreen controls. The cab is equipped with a wide seat cushion and lumbar support to reduce fatigue, and the seat is also adjustable to different angles. Safety features include an emergency stop button and ample storage that keeps objects in place with nets.
The Tigercat 822E harvester features a clamshell engine enclosure and drop-down side platform for easy access to the entire engine, valves and the service points. It can be powered by a Tier 4 or Stage V engine and configured with a fixed or leveling undercarriage.
Tigercat, which manufactures premium forestry equipment, is headquartered in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. It has 11 facilities in southern Ontario along with additional facilities in the U.S. and Sweden.
(For more information about Tigercat machines, visit www.tigercat.com or visit a Tigercat dealer.)
Dan and his father used to operate the Meadows Mills handset circle sawmill on rainy days. They cut stock for pallet companies as well as rough cut dimension lumber for local carpenters and contractors. However, since Dan has mechanized his logging operations, the sawmill has become relegated to more of a hobby.
When Dan talked to TimberLine in early August, he was harvesting primarily white pine.
Saw logs are supplied to mills in the region. Chips are supplied to fuel the ReEnergy power plant in Fort Drum, which generates 60 megawatts of electricity. Dan also sells some low-grade logs to homeowners who cut it up and split it for firewood.
In his spare time Dan enjoys spending time with his family. In the summer it’s boating and a jet ski, in the winter it’s snowmobiles. The family also has ATVs. Dan is a hunter, too. There are a couple of other principles that guide Dan in his business. “Hard work pays off,” he said. That’s one.
The other part draws from daily experience. “Slow and steady wins the race,” said Dan. “Even with an older crew, high production can be achieved when you have the right equipment available.”
“If you love what you do, then it doesn’t feel like work,” said Dan.