1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!

Thunderbird Yarders, Loaders, and Etc from the Murray's in Eugene Oregon

Discussion in 'Forestry Equipment' started by Contract Logger, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Contract Logger

    Contract Logger Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,321
    Occupation:
    Equipment Broker
    Location:
    SW Washington, SE Alaska
    When the big yarder maufacturers went broke in the early 1980's, Ross Murray (Ross Equiment) jumped in and built a fine line of yarders, and then starting in 1988 built hydraulic log loaders, delimbers, and processors. I have owned several of these machines over the years, and no doubt you guys have owned or run them as well. Ross/Thunderbird was such a threat to barely-surviving Madill, that Madill actually purchased them and phased thier product out altogether.

    That decision/aquisition put Madill in a debt situation that led to thier bankruptcy a couple of years ago.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Contract Logger

    Contract Logger Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,321
    Occupation:
    Equipment Broker
    Location:
    SW Washington, SE Alaska
    I should disclose I guess that at different times I worked for both the Murrays and the Madills. Both very successful, but very different families. The old guard of both companies retired, and the companies that ended were run by corporate managers, not the owner operators who founded them.
     
  3. Contract Logger

    Contract Logger Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,321
    Occupation:
    Equipment Broker
    Location:
    SW Washington, SE Alaska
    1989 Thunderbird 838, with 40' Boom, and on 4-Axle Pierce Carrier

    Machine was purchased new by 'Red' MacKenzie out of Northern California.
    It has a set of Pullmaster 25H hydraulic winches on the off-side, officially making it a 'yoder'.

    Red loved the machine, and after he passed away in 1995 it was sold to a logger in Texas.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    5,586
    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    One thing that has intrigued me is the component that rides the cable pulling the logs up the hill. From what I've seen on these logging shows I'm guessing it has a combustion engine in it of some sort to drive it. Is there any chance you can get some close up pics of the unit, with the cover open and perhaps explain how it works? Thanks!
     
  5. JTL

    JTL Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    761
    Occupation:
    IUOE Local 302
    Location:
    Pacific Nortwest U.S.A.
    Steve,
    That thing that rides up and down the skyline is called a motorized carriage. They have a little diesel engine in them that is started or stopped by the rigging crew or the yarder operator with thier Talkie Tooters. (the beeping you hear all the time on those shows, not just the cussing being beeped over!) The engine turns a drum full of cable either in or out to provide slack for the rigging crew to get to the logs.

    Heres a couple links to carriage manufactures. I'm sure they would have some up close pics and mabey a video of how they work.

    http://www.acmecarriages.com
    http://www.eaglecarriage.com

    I couldnt find a web site for the Bowman Skycar, but the Google search brought up a lot of sites with info about them.
    Good luck!!
     
  6. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Messages:
    5,586
    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    Thanks for the link! Here's a page with a few of them opened up: http://www.acmecarriages.com/Equipment/carriages.html

    Those things must be big bucks, they are selling for between $10K and $20K used! You say they are controlled by the tooters, is there a wire to them or do they hear the toot? Or perhaps wireless control?
     
  7. JTL

    JTL Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    761
    Occupation:
    IUOE Local 302
    Location:
    Pacific Nortwest U.S.A.
    They are pretty spendy! A brand new big Boman Mark V will set you back about 100 grand! Owners seem to get a little upset when a yarder operator breaks a skyline and crashes one.
    The Tooters are a wireless remote system. Heres a link to them.
    http://www.rothenbuhlereng.com
     
  8. EGS

    EGS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    577
    Occupation:
    Local 139 operator
    Location:
    Southern Wisconsin
    JTL I could be wrong but didn't Finnly Hayes from Loggers World help produce the first Talkie Tooter?

    Contract Logger keep up with pictures, I really enjoy looking at and learning about cable logging.
     
  9. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,876
    Occupation:
    Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
    Location:
    Northwest
    There were a bunch of Thunderbirds around for awhile. Too bad the industry really isn't healthy enough to support many manufacturers anymore. I've heard the Madill story had a lot more twists and turns than just swallowing too much in the purchase of the Thunderbird line.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  10. JTL

    JTL Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    761
    Occupation:
    IUOE Local 302
    Location:
    Pacific Nortwest U.S.A.
    EGS- I cant answer that question for ya.:beatsme He very well could have been involved with making the first Tooters. It really would'nt surprize me a bit though, after reading the Rigging Shack for so many years.

    John C- I've been wondering what happened to the Madill line since Modern Machinery bought them out. Is Modern just suppling parts, or are they planning on building the line now? Without Madill around, Diamond S will be the only outfit building any yarders these days.
     
  11. Contract Logger

    Contract Logger Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,321
    Occupation:
    Equipment Broker
    Location:
    SW Washington, SE Alaska
    Howard Rothenbuhler invented the Talkie Tooter. Finley Hayes was the first salesman there. This was before the Loggers World days.

    Sorry fellows, just got home from a long day here in Juneau.
     
  12. Contract Logger

    Contract Logger Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,321
    Occupation:
    Equipment Broker
    Location:
    SW Washington, SE Alaska
    Russ Smith at Modern's Rochester Wa, store is the man who is currently working on that. He is a friend and I speak with him often. They are currently quoting new Madills for sale, and will biuld one right now with an order and a deposit.

    As many of you will know, Russ Smith was 'Mr Madill' and spent many years with that company. He personally handed the keys to the Kalama Wa building to its new owners a year or so ago.
     
  13. Contract Logger

    Contract Logger Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,321
    Occupation:
    Equipment Broker
    Location:
    SW Washington, SE Alaska
    Talkie Tooters....

    Off the Thunderbird topic, kind of. Anyway, went into my office for you guys a second ago and got something that Finley Hays gave me years ago.

    These are taken-just-now pics of the first and original Talkie Tooter printed advertisement from 1963. Enjoy.

    I know, I have lots of wierd things around here...........
     

    Attached Files:

  14. JTL

    JTL Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    761
    Occupation:
    IUOE Local 302
    Location:
    Pacific Nortwest U.S.A.
    I think anybody wanting to buy a new yarder these days needs to have their head examined!:pointhead

    Just last May I was driving up I-5 and saw the Madill building. In late August I made the same trip and the big Madill sign was gone, the building repainted, and some marine works company sign on the side.

    Those old Talkie Tooter adds are hilarious!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  15. Contract Logger

    Contract Logger Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,321
    Occupation:
    Equipment Broker
    Location:
    SW Washington, SE Alaska
    LOL, well dont tell Russ, he's out there full time trying to sell new yarders!
     
  16. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,876
    Occupation:
    Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
    Location:
    Northwest
    I suppose you give a salesman something to sell and it might happen. There ain't a machine made so in all the people I talk to there isn't anything to buy.

    All that I know that Modern bought was the patents, plans and right to sell parts. I don't know that they even bought the name. I think the creditors got most of the manufacturing machines.

    With all those tower companies most of the components could be built in any machine shop with nothing more than a sample of the original part. I've seen plenty of parts made from two or three broken pieces of one item. From my point of view right now Modern is in process to sell any stock that was left and then evaluate the market before even considering doing any manufacturing.

    I do hate to see another piece of American manufacturing go extinct. Hopefully they will try to start up something again. I don't see it happening now.
     
  17. EGS

    EGS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    577
    Occupation:
    Local 139 operator
    Location:
    Southern Wisconsin
    Contract Logger I take it that you had the chance to meet Finley Hayes?
     
  18. Contract Logger

    Contract Logger Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,321
    Occupation:
    Equipment Broker
    Location:
    SW Washington, SE Alaska
    I knew him very well. Finley and his wife Jean were longtime friends with my aunt and uncle (Hap Johnson, 16 year world champion speedclimber). Hap and Della/Finley amd Jean spent 45+ years sharing vacations, logging show circuit trips, etc. As a kid I was all about logging, and both families bestowed me with gifts from a young age, little things, but today make up one hell of a collection! I have books and things from many famous logging people with personal notes, etc in them.

    Hap was a high climber for everyone who needed him from Northern BC to Northern California, all the while running his own logging operation out of Castle Rock, WA. He logged with rigged trees until Weyerhaeuser finally forced him to purchase a Skagit tower in the early 80's- and he hated it!

    Della for all those years worked with Jean Hayes in the Loggers World offices on Jackson Hwy in Chehalis.

    Both Hap and Finley have gone home now. The ladies hang on, one day at a time.
     
  19. Contract Logger

    Contract Logger Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,321
    Occupation:
    Equipment Broker
    Location:
    SW Washington, SE Alaska
    And with that last post I have given up my anonymity here on the West Coast, I suppose. My father still works there for Weyerhauser Longview after all these years, one of these days they'll force him to go home. I have slowed down to broker equipment from a beautiful little island here, West of Juneau and East of Sitka, two places where Hap and Finley 'lit up the town' more than once. I do still have some log trucks in the Southwest Washington area, mostly for hobby.
     
  20. Contract Logger

    Contract Logger Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,321
    Occupation:
    Equipment Broker
    Location:
    SW Washington, SE Alaska
    One perk of all that is that among other things I have every issue of Loggers World ever printed, duplicates of most. The first ever issue was published in Sedro-Wolley, WA in October 1964. there are probably about 15 of these left in existence, I have 3 of them. Pics attached,
     

    Attached Files: