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Ties That Bind

When company relationships span decades, it certainly speaks volumes about the companies involved. Long-term relationships are cemented by quality products and the ability and willingness to go the extra mile for customers.     

Those are the ties that bind a manufacturer of logging equipment to its John Deere engine distributor. The relationship between Hood Equipment and Superior Diesel dates back 35 years, spanning two generations of family. In fact, Hood Equipment was Superior Diesel’s very first engine customer.  

Hood Equipment was founded in Iron River, Wisconsin, by the late John Hood and his wife, Pat. John Hood spent most of his life logging the woods of Wisconsin and eventually carved out a successful market niche with the design and manufacture of custom machines for loggers and pulpwood producers across North America. The business started in a small, metal Quonset building and eventually grew to become an industry-recognized brand. “John was known as a ‘hydraulics wizard’ who could envision a machine and turn it into reality,” recalls Superior Diesel president Brian Wendt. He adds that his father, Bruce, began forging a friendship with John and Pat in 1978 when they purchased their first engines — John Deere 4276 and 6414 diesels — to power the company’s slashers, log loaders, and rail breakers. 

“My father, Bruce, holds his relationship with John and Pat in high regard as they truly helped him understand what OEMs were looking for in a supplier,” relates Wendt. “But even more so, he is thankful he had the opportunity to work with and get to know the Hood family; they are true friends.”

Today Pat continues the Hood legacy with her daughter and son. “My son, John Jr., has a brain on him like my husband did,” says Pat of her son’s inherited knack for engineering, which allows the company to continue customizing equipment. “Hood Equipment is still known as a company that takes care of its customers,” she says. “We’re a small company that offers personalized service. If a customer wants to add something on, as long as it’s safe, we’ll do it.”

Superior Diesel supports this customization by engineering power units to customer specifications. John Deere PowerTech™ E 6.8L engines and John Deere–manufactured Funk hydraulic pump drives power several models of Hood loaders, as well as the company’s self-propelled mobile slashers. On Hood’s AKM yard machine, a John Deere PowerTech Plus 6.8L engine powers a Funk HMD transmission through a Funk hydraulic pump drive. 

“If we need something changed, they change it, and they would provide a drop-in-ready power unit,” says Pat. “All we have to do is set it up on the machine and hook it up.” 

Over the past 35 years, Superior Diesel helped Hood Equipment successfully transition through each tier of emissions. This year, the company will install its first Final Tier 4 engine. Superior Diesel salesman Leo Dunlavy will work to make sure this next transition goes smoothly, too.

“We value keeping our customers happy, just as they value keeping their customers happy,” says Dunlavy. “Those are values that endure the test of time.”

Distributor: Superior Diesel in Rhinelander, Wisconsin;

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