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The birth of Timberjack in Woodstock Ontario happened in the 1950s when two local gentlemen, Wesley Maggill and Robert Simons came together and designed an articulated four-wheel drive tractor with a winch at the back. They produced a prototype and production took off from there.There were affiliations with King Trailer ind. and with Timberland Ellicott Corp. before Eaton Corporation purchased Timberjack and named it the Forestry Equipment Division.The traditional color of all Timberjack products was a reddish orange. The later green colored machines were made by John Deere. Timberjack was owned by the Eaton Corporation in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. In 1984 Timberjack made a leveraged buyout from Eaton to become an independent company.
Timberjack was acquired by FMG (ForestMachineGroup), owned by Finnish Rauma-Repola. After a short period carrying the double-name FMG-Timberjack, in 1993 Timberjack became the brandname for the group. Other well known forest machine brands, which have been incorporated into FMG-Timberjack were Swedish Kockums, ÖSA and Bruun System as well as Finnish LOKOMO. In December 2000 John Deere bought Timberjack from Metso Corporation (formerly Rauma-Repola) for $570 million which also included the purchase of a separate company, Waratah, a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty harvester heads.
As of June, 2006, at the forestry fair "Florence Wood", the Timberjack product line was discontinued, and John Deere, its parent company, became the largest single brand of forestry equipment. Its global market share for both cut-to-length and full tree equipment was very strong shortly after the acquisition. However after moving the manufacturing of feller bunchers to Illinois to improve factory productivity, the long term team of engineers were detached from their mothership and many went to Tigercat which is in close proximity to Woodstock, Ontario. Currently Deere and Co is struggling to hold onto market share in Forestry despite very strong results in construction and other business units.
Although John Deere tried to discontinue the Timberjack line, they were unable to do so. The owner of Lufkin, Texas based Texas Timberjack, Harold Estes, threatened a lawsuit against parent company John Deere. After reviewing Mr. Estes dealer agreement and Texas Dealer Law, John Deere felt it best to make, in limited production, the Timberjack product and prevent a costly lawsuit. Texas Timberjack is the only known and allowed dealer to sell the Timberjack branded product. For the time it seems Mr. Estes has saved the Timberjack brand.
Media related to Timberjack vehicles at Wikimedia Commons