Weiler wheel skidder ticks boxes for die hard logger

Chris Cooper from Cooper Logging trusts the reliability of Weiler and Cat machinery to increase production and reduce downtime.

Chris Cooper admits he has a combination of “yellow and sawdust” in his veins.

The sixth-generation timber worker and owner of Cooper Logging in northern New South Wales has been a big fan of Cat® equipment since starting his business in 2010.

Even as a primary school aged child he had a love and respect for Cat machinery, seeing his dad work with the equipment.

When Chris launched his business, he bought a number of used Cat machines, some dedicated for forestry work and others re-purposed construction equipment. Every machine served him well despite having considerable hours on their clocks.

Chris admits that before getting behind the controls of his latest purchases from WesTrac - two Weiler S450 Wheel Skidders – he was tentative about diverting from what he knew.

But from day one, he says he’s had no regrets.

“I was a bit nervous buying a brand I wasn’t used to, but the Weiler ticks every box,” Chris said.

“For hardwood logging, you need something that’s really tough and these machines are perfect for what we do.”

After buying his first Weiler Wheel Skidder in April 2020, Chris saw such an improvement in productivity that less than 12 months later, he bought a second machine.

In fact, the similarities between Weiler and Cat forestry equipment may be a lot closer than many people realise.

Weiler Forestry was created in 2019 to acquire the Caterpillar® forestry division and despite the badge change, the Cat quality and reliability remains as robust as ever. The range is marketed through Cat dealers around the world.

According to WesTrac Sales Representative Buddhi Edirisuriya, the machines utilise a Cat drive train, share a number of components and include many of the Cat features.

“The Weiler machines still have the Caterpillar underpinnings and come with the level of support customers expect from their Cat equipment,” Buddhi said. “While there’s not a lot of awareness about the range in Australia just yet, customers that use the machines are really happy with the results.”

WesTrac Product Specialist – Paving and Forestry Products Michael Kelly says the Weiler range, which includes feller bunchers, harvesters, wheel skidders and loaders, is purpose built for the rigours of forestry operations.

“Safety is paramount with video cameras integrated into the machine, increased LED lighting, polycarbonate windscreens, as well as comfort for the operator such as air ride suspension seats and pressurised cabs to minimise dust ingress,” Michael said.

“The chassis is more heavily engineered than standard construction equipment with thicker grade steel – these machines are built tough to last longer.”

For Chris, the combination of Cat-based reliability and WesTrac service and support is what makes the Weiler machines a valuable addition to his fleet.

“You don’t steer away from something that you know and has treated you right,” he said.

“I started with pre-loved Cat equipment and WesTrac support 11 years ago, and those machines just kept going. Downtime destroys a business and without that reliability when I started, I wouldn’t have a business today."

“So when WesTrac assured me the Weiler Wheel Skidders were Cat quality in slightly different clothes, I trusted their word and haven’t looked back.”

Check out the image gallery below to see Cooper Logging's fleet in action.

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