For North America: June 2010
Pelletiers from ‘American Loggers’
Guests of Caterpillar Forest Products at Expo Richmond
Caterpillar Forest Products hosted several members of the Pelletier family, stars of the Discovery Channel series “American Loggers,” at the East Coast Sawmill and Logging Equipment Exposition, May 21-22 in Richmond, Va.
After two seasons, the television show that chronicles the challenges the seven Pelletier brothers face logging in northern Maine is especially popular with other logging families. Visitors to the show lined up at the Caterpillar tent to get an autographed poster of the Pelletiers standing by their Cat® 545C skidder. Many also wanted to have their picture taken with brothers Rudy, Larry and Wayne and to ask them questions about their operation and filming of the show.
Larry’s wife, Tina, and Wayne’s wife, Sherrie, also attended to sell Pelletier apparel emblazoned with the company logo and expressions heard often on the show, such as “hammer down” and “la vie de bois” (life in the woods).
Periodically throughout the two-day event, the brothers took up the microphone to talk to the crowd about their contract logging business and bring everyone up to date on a few of the show’s colorful characters.
Loggers and their families treated the Pelletiers like a cross between old friends and rock stars. Many shook their hands vigorously, telling them how much they enjoyed “American Loggers” and thanking them for their positive portrayal of the industry. One logger said that he could relate to what they went through even though they logged in a different part of the country. “We all go through the same thing,” he said. People were also thrilled to see loggers become celebrities. “It’s amazing to see a wood cutter become famous,” one commented.
Many people asked them about their equipment and operation. In one of the last episodes to air, they had just purchased two Mack trucks and many people wanted to know if they were happy with them. A logger who has a Cat 545C skidder, like the one pictured in the Pelletier poster, said proudly as he shook the brothers’ hands, “I’ve tried them all and that Cat skidder is the Cadillac!”
The questions weren’t all about logging. In the last few episodes of season two, the brothers were renovating a building in downtown Millinocket to open a restaurant. The season ended with the grand opening of the restaurant and many visitors wanted to know how the restaurant was doing. Quite a few promised to visit one day.
The Pelletiers are customers of Milton Cat, headquartered in Milford, Maine. According to Rudy Pelletier, about 90 percent of their equipment is Cat brand. The Pelletiers were guests of Milton Cat at the Northeast Forest Products Equipment Expo, May 7-8 in Essex Junction, Vt., where they autographed posters and answered questions about their business.
The company, Gerald Pelletier Inc., was founded in 1954 by Gerald Pelletier, father of the seven brothers. Gerald died in 2002; their mother, Lena, is still living. Their logging operation is spread over 1,200 sq. miles in northern Maine in the largest forest east of the Mississippi. Headquarters and the shop are in Millinocket, Maine. Most of the wood the company harvests is trucked to mills in Canada, about three hours from Millinocket along the “Golden Road.”
For more information visit http://americanloggers.com/.