Knuckleboom loaders made their North American debut in 1958 when two northern firms released models to the public. These original loaders featured hydraulically operated booms and excavator arms mounted on trailers that were towed by trucks or crawler tractors.
One of these two companies, the Heikkinen Machine Co. of Prentice™, Wisconsin, became the Prentice Corporation, the leading manufacturer of forestry equipment in North America for many years. The Prentice brand and technology was sold several times until being purchased by Caterpillar in 2007 in an acquisition of the Blount Corporation’s forestry products division. Caterpillar changed the name of the newly acquired operation to Caterpillar Forest Products.
Prior to Caterpillar obtaining the Prentice line, many Caterpillar Dealers in the U.S. sold Timberking™ forestry products, another line of equipment manufactured by the Blount Corporation. The Timberking line included products manufactured by both Caterpillar and Blount and sold exclusively through Caterpillar Dealers.
“We couldn’t log without a knuckleboom. I bought my first one in 1980 when I started logging in Georgia. We move a large variety of wood, and it does real good on all of them.”
Jim Colvin, Colvin Logging Co.
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