In 2019, Weiler, an Iowa-based manufacturing company, acquired our long-time forestry equipment partner, Caterpillar Forestry, along with their manufacturing facility in LaGrange, GA, and their purpose-built product line of wheel skidders, track feller bunchers, wheel feller bunchers, and knuckleboom loaders. The deal also included the LaGrange, GA, parts operation for Caterpillar Forestry and legacy Prentice machines. The sale allowed Caterpillar to refocus its resources on its core product line while enabling Weiler to improve upon Caterpillar Forestry’s legacy.
Although Weiler was a new name in the logging industry, they were not unfamiliar with building reliable, industry-leading equipment. In 2000, Weiler began manufacturing machines in a 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse. In 2005, Weiler established a relationship with Caterpillar and started producing CAT’s BG730 road widener and BG650 windrow elevator. From the beginning, Weiler’s focus was on the customer. Their team visited countless job sites to get feedback from the people who rely on their machines every day so they could deliver a product that worked for their customers’ specific applications. Thanks to the company’s commitment to customers, Weiler grew rapidly and gained the trust of the CAT dealer network. In 2009, Weiler took on the P385 paver to complement Caterpillar’s paving product line. As they expanded their paving line to include five additional commercial pavers, Weiler became a well-respected, recognizable brand amongst asphalt contractors. “When the acquisition of Caterpillar Forestry was announced it was a shock for some,” explained Milton CAT Forestry Sales Manager Peter Collins. “While some of our forestry customers were hesitant about Weiler Forestry at first, we remained confident that Weiler could perform in the demanding forestry market since they already had a proven track record in an equally tough application. And Weiler certainly did perform.”
After the acquisition of Caterpillar Forestry was finalized, Weiler stuck to what they know best: listening to their customers to deliver the best possible product. The first step of the transition from Caterpillar to Weiler was centralizing their design and manufacturing operations in Knoxville, IA, and LaGrange, GA, to have better control over quality and responsiveness. All CAT Forestry and Prentice parts were relocated from Caterpillar warehouses around the country to their 210,000 sq. ft. warehouse in LaGrange.
“Our philosophy is to do stuff ourselves because it keeps us closer to our customers,” CEO of Weiler Pat Weiler explained so they began designing and fabricating most machine components in-house. Weiler engineers also worked closely with their customers to make numerous improvements to the existing machine models. Nearly 100 improvements were made to the wheel skidder design including better visibility and operator comfort. Weiler’s ability to quickly react to customers’ needs and rollout design improvements enabled them to better keep up with demand when the supply chains were strained due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to design improvements, Weiler Forestry has released 19 new models including a harvester and forwarder to complement the 11 original CAT Forestry models and plans to release 17 additional models. Weiler worked with Milton CAT and our customers to configure their machines for Northeastern conditions.
In the “Weiler in the Woods” video, you’ll hear from real Milton CAT customers on how their Weiler Forestry machines are working for them in the woods. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about Weiler Forestry equipment from Milton CAT.