1984 CAT 528


My favorite machine in the fleet.”


These are the words of our Equipment Manager, Justin Day. As the guy in charge of all of this company’s equipment, this is a bold statement. But once you dig a little deeper, you get an understanding of some of the sentimentality that Justin has for this 1984 CAT 528. You see, Justin isn’t just our Equipment Manager. He’s also the Director of Mountain Operations, having gotten to this position by working his way up through the years. Working his way up— from the very bottom. “I spent a lot of time on the 528,” Justin explains. Since his earliest days on the mountain, he has been “running it in summer” and “working on it in the winter,” when we do our equipment maintenance. Having spent so much time with the 528, having gotten used to its idiosyncrasies, to what makes it unique, he found himself pretty fond of this skidder. “I just really enjoyed all the jobs we did with the 528. We traveled to many, many mountains.” In fact, Justin used to have a list of all the jobs he traveled to with the 528. The range was pretty impressive: from Pennsylvania all the way to Northern Maine. He always trusted this machine, and knew he could rely on it.

Justin isn’t the only one who had felt this way about the 528. Gerald and his sons Gerry and Greg bought this machine in 1992. Mistakenly labeled with a “B,” at the end of its number, the 528 was the great White Whale for Gerry. It was the thing he always was searching for, always relentlessly trying to bring into the company. Gerry saw the potential in hauling bigger, heavier loads faster. He saw the possibilities of how he could increase production on many of his mountain jobs. “And some of it,” Justin explains, “was that he probably wanted to have the biggest, baddest machine around.” When the 528 was finally part of our equipment fleet, “That was all Gerry wanted to do was run that skidder,” Justin remembers.

The 528, then and now, runs just like the smaller 518s in our fleet. But it also rides better and is a smoother, more comfortable ride—despite being a decade older than those other skidders. It is more stable and far more powerful than any skidder we’d ever had—until 2016, with the 545D’s addition. It also has a really powerful winch, and a memorable, “real, throaty growl” to its engine.

Perhaps its not so surprising why Gerry was so attached to –and so proud of– this skidder then. Perhaps, too, we can understand why for Justin this old machine yet remains—

My favorite machine in the fleet.”

Equipment Categories: Skidders,