Background Dirt
Mobile Menu

We Stand Ready.

Hoekstra Logging

“I was 19 years old. I had about $500, a couple of saws, an old truck, and a team of mules,” begins Jerry Rains of American Timber Company, Williamsburg, KY. “Don’t laugh now; you’d be surprised how much work you can do with a good team of mules,” he said.
From saws and mules, Jerry worked up to purchasing his first piece of John Deere equipment – a used 350 Crawler Dozer. Within the next year, he purchased another Deere – a 550 Crawler Dozer. Today his fleet includes a 650J and two 700K Crawler Dozers, and two 648H Grapple Skidders. “When I need a wheel loader, I always go Deere,” Jerry explained.
“You can’t afford to run all new equipment and you can’t afford to run all older equipment,” Jerry said. “You have to find balance in your fleet. Downtime is the real killer, so you have to run reliable equipment, whether it is newer or older machines. In the woods, John Deere has proven itself with reliable equipment. You have to mix in a few older, reliable machines to help pay for the newer equipment.
Time is money, that’s why I like to keep updating my fleet with new equipment. You can’t run worn out equipment and work on it all the time. Do you want to spend your time ‘mechanicing’ or do you want to spend your time logging? I make my money logging.”
Jerry said he tends to run newer equipment whenever possible not only to save money but for peace of mind, “The Deere 650J Dozer back in 2006 was the very first piece of brand-new equipment I ever bought. Up until then all I ever had was used equipment. It seemed like I was working on equipment or spending all my money on repairs. That’s why I like to run as much late model stuff as possible.” 
And nothing brings him more peace of mind than working with Nortrax and using telematics. “Nortrax has introduced me to technology,” Jerry explained. “They put on a Final Tier 4 Engine technology seminar where I got to discuss the upcoming technology in engines with the Deere experts. We’re going from Tier 2 Engines to Final Tier 4 Engines in our Forestry Machines.”
Nortrax provides Jerry and his team with monthly JD Link™ reports; they even sit down and walk through them together. “I can look at fuel burn, idle time, transmission speeds, time in reverse travel, and all kinds of information that helps me cater my job layout for the best production and best efficiencies in my operators. Nortrax monitors the machine alerts and helps keep me working. We’re always out in the woods in remote areas, never close by and never easy to get to. With the machine fault codes  identified in advance, they bring everything needed to make the repair done right the first time in one trip,” he said.
“People deal with people. And I like dealing with these people. I view Nortrax and John Deere as a valued partner in my business.”
“We just did a John Deere factory Gold Key visit to Dubuque Works in December for our New John Deere 700K Crawler Dozer. What a great experience interacting with the people on the assembly line who build the machines. They really were interested in our feedback of what works for us in the field.”

Interested in sharing your story? Contact us here or contact your TM.
View other customer stories