1993 CAT 518C
We have two 518cs in our fleet—a 1993 model and a 1994 model. Both were bought by Gerald in the late 90s at an auction. “He got a hell of a deal for them,” explains our Equipment Manager, Justin Day. And we put them right to work!
With a reliable power train, planetary power shift transmission, and direct injection fuel system, the 518Cs run cooler, and use less fuel. They also have articulated frame steering with variable flow modulation for quick easy maneuvering. Their long wheel base adds stability for larger payloads and increased production rate. Coupled with their oscillating frame, the 518s provide operating stability and a smooth ride. Even better is their easy servicing: gauges, dipsticks and crankcase drain valve are all readily accessible. They are overall really efficient when it comes to maintenance. We don’t have to put a lot of time and money into these machines, Justin explains: “We just run them and service them.”
Skidders are used primarily in forestry and logging, but at G.W. Tatro we have… other… uses for them. The 518Cs have been used to help install snowmaking pipe, pulling long strings of pipe. They are also essential in hauling supplies—fuel, job trailers with the 518s’ custom hitches, even dynamite. That’s because these skidders are great at getting around on difficult terrain—be it steep, slippery, forested, muddy, or frozen.
Though they are open cab (Justin says “they’re definitely out in the elements!”), they are still a ton of fun to operate. They’re very versatile and very reliable. Our truckers love them because of how easy they are to transport. “And these skidders are quick,” Justin adds. To get up the slope to a worksite, “It would take three hours in a dozer and be bumpy and rough. The skidder will get there in half an hour and it will be much smoother.”
Skidders are seen by many here as the most important machinery used for mountain work. And it’s not hard to see why! So we count ourselves lucky that we have these 518s in our fleet—reliable, stable, low-maintenance, and fun. What more could you ask for?