Moggie Valley finds efficient forestry solutions with Eco Log

Moggie Valley purchased its second Eco Log 590F harvester
Moggie Valley's second Eco Log 590F harvester.

Founded in 1997, Moggie Valley Timber has grown to harvest more than 10 million board feet of timber each year. 

Following all good forest management practices, timber is harvested from private landowners’ properties, municipalities and its own sustainable wood lots across Ontario. 

From there, the logs are processed at Moggie Valley’s sawmill in Holland Centre in Grey County, Ontario, when the company produces lumber, wood chips and mulch. 

“The sawmill is mostly, about 90 per cent, for the pressure treated 4×4 and 6×6 market,” said owner Rob Beirnes.

The method for harvesting timber for its products has evolved throughout the company’s history. 

About 20 years ago, Moggie Valley purchased its first harvester, which proved to be a game changer for the company.  

“When we first started, we would have 20 people employed in the bush with chainsaws and skidders,” Beirnes said. “Now one machine is the same as 15 men. It’s faster safer, cleaner and it’s not as dependant on weather. If it’s raining, you can still go out in the bush with the machine.” 

The company’s first harvester was a reman machine equipped with a Logmax 6000V harvesting head. The wheeled machine was ideal for Moggie Valley as they could drive back and forth from different woods lots without worrying about tracks. 

As the business progressed, Moggie Valley switched to Eco Log forestry machines. Today, their forestry fleet has grown to include three Eco Log harvesters and a forwarder, as well as two Rotnee forwarders, one of which is shared with a neighbouring logging company. 

Moggie Valley’s Eco Log 590F

Recently, Moggie Valley purchased its second Eco Log 590F harvester, equipped with a Logmax 6000V harvesting head, from Strongco. The machine replaced an Eco Log 580D with 7,800 hours in the Moggie Valley fleet. 

The new 590F’s first task was working in one of Moggie Valley’s pine and spruce plantations in Grey County. 

The 590F is the largest harvester in Eco Log’s 500 series. With a 320 hp Tier 4 Final Volvo Penta engine and a 310 KNM crane with up to 11 metres reach, the machine is ideal for felling trees, delimbing and processing logs.

“Knowing the machine and the parts and service availability, it doesn’t make sense to switch to another brand,” Beirnes said. “There’s a huge parts inventory and the same parts will fit all the machines.” 

Troy Grogan, Territory Manager for Strongco, explained the harvester burns about half the fuel compared to using a skidder to drag trees from the bush to the landing point. 

“You’re also eliminating a machine. Usually, you have one feller buncher and two skidders. You’re going to eliminate one machine by just running one harvester and a forwarder,” Grogan said. 

The Eco Log harvesters are an ideal machine for logging in eastern Canada thanks to their efficiency in harvesting softwood lumber. 

“They are a wonderful fit for a lot of forestry operations in Ontario, Quebec and Moncton,” Grogan said.

However, Moggie Valley’s first 590F, equipped with the larger Logmax 7000C harvesting head, isn’t limited to softwood. 

“With the 7000C head, we can certainly go into any hardwood. It has no problem. With the 6000V head, you just have to watch what trees you’re cutting,” Beirnes said. 

Volvo Penta engine

The harvester’s Volvo Penta engine is specifically designed for high performance, reliability and fuel efficiency. Eco Log’s unique pendulum arm suspension gives the 590F the best possible terrain features and the machine can be equipped with a balanced bogie for added flexibility. 

For visibility, the 590F is equipped with a 350-degree swivel cab with 25.5-degree lateral tilt. Visibility and stability are key features for Beirnes. 

“You can see everywhere around you,” he said. “And with the way the bogie can maneuver up and down, if you’re on a side hill it still sits level.” 

He added the staff at Strongco and Eco Log are another important selling point as they ensure the machines stay up and running.  

“It’s the response time, they do care. If we have a problem and we can’t get through to someone, (Troy) is on it. And that very seldom happens,” Beirnes said.  

Grogan added the first 590F purchased by Moggie Valley has accumulated about 4,000 hours and is still running strong. 

“We’ve been out to that machine maybe once for a leak seal on a tire,” Grogan said. “It’s been a bulletproof machine.”