BARKO to Host Loader Skills Contest at the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association Logging & Heavy Equipment Expo

Superior, Wisconsin – BARKO, leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of heavy equipment for the forestry, vegetation management and material handling industries, will once again be hosting the BARKO Loader Skills Contest at the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA) Logging & Heavy Equipment Expo on September 7 - 9, 2023, in Escanaba, MI.

“Our Loader Skills Contest has become a popular attraction at this event and at other similar events,” said Kevin Lee, Director of Sales at BARKO. “The contest dramatically demonstrates the equipment capabilities and highlights what skilled operators can do when they have the right equipment. It’s a real Bragging Rights thing. More importantly, it’s a way for BARKO to trigger donations to a cause we care deeply about, Log-a-Load for Kids.”

In addition to Bragging Rights, there’s cash and hand-made trophies to be had:

  • 1st Place: $300
  • 2nd Place: $200
  • 3rd Place: $100

The BARKO Loaders Skills Contest site will be set up within the BARKO exhibit and will run from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Thursday, Sept. 7 and 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm Friday, Sept 9, with a short award ceremony, immediately following.

Contestants simply sign in at the BARKO exhibit. No pre-registration is required. Contestants will stack logs “Lincoln Log” Style. The fastest, most accurate operator wins. Simple as that.

Barko featured in the Duluthian Magazine

Duluthian Magazine

“If you're a forestry industry worker or are clearing the right-of-way for utility line, and if you're sitting in the cab of the Barko Hydraulics 937B Industrial Wheeled Tractor, you've got a very comfortable seat.” Read the article

Barko Hydraulics announces financing partnership with Stearns Bank National Association

Superior, Wisconsin – Barko Hydraulics (Barko), leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of innovative heavy equipment solutions for the forestry, vegetation management and material handling industries, has partnered with Minnesota-based Stearns Bank National Association to provide exclusive retail financing to dealerships across the United States.

The partnership preserves the personal, relationship-building models of both organizations to create a fast, efficient and connected financing experience for Barko dealers to offer their customers. As demand for forestry and heavy equipment solutions continues a steady growth pattern, Stearns Bank N.A. is poised to help Barko dealers meet the demand head on with customer financing solutions, while also assisting with short- and long-term business needs.

“We are very excited to be partnering with such an incredible organization as Stearns Bank. Both Barko and Stearns Bank want to provide not only competitive financing to the retail market, but we want to provide an incredibly personal level of service and customer experience,” said Barko President Justin Rupar. “Our combined goal is to make the financing experience easy and enjoyable so that our dealer partners can grow their business and capture a larger percentage of potential sales.”

Rupar notes that the two companies share similar DNA in their commitment to customer service, stating, “Stearns Bank builds incredible relationships with their customers to find ways to do business and does not see dealers and retail applicants as just a credit score and ROI.”

“Our team is committed to fostering a collaborative effort aimed at taking success to the next level while also maintaining the essential component of customer service – which starts with us answering the phone on the first ring,” said Isaac Flenner, Stearns Bank’s Director of Equipment Finance and Small Business Lending. “Our team is poised to deliver support and speed, by way of our app to funding cycle in as little at 82 minutes. Stearns Bank is a huge proponent of Barko’s relationship-centered mission and incredibly high-quality product line.”

Barko Hydraulics Celebrates Two Years Injury-Free and Counting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 17, 2021

Superior, Wisconsin – Barko Hydraulics (Barko), leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of innovative heavy equipment solutions for the forestry, vegetation management and material handling industries, is proud to report two years of injury-free work at their manufacturing facility.

“At the end of the day, our employees and their safety come first,” said Justin Rupar, President of Barko. “Our employees work with some of the most powerful machines in the industry. Recognizing two years of injury-free work at our facility highlights Barko’s commitment to safety in the workplace, as well as our employee’s sense of responsibility to one another. We are very proud of our team.”

Understanding what it takes to tackle the most challenging jobs, Barko’s hardworking team of professionals is committed to providing long-lasting machines that meet the industry’s toughest demands.

With over 55 years of experience developing and manufacturing high-quality, innovative forestry equipment, the Barko team is proud to have produced over 25,000 of the most durable and reliable machines for the forestry, vegetation management and material handling industries. Barko builds every piece of equipment with rugged components suitable for the most demanding jobs in the industry, from harvesting to loading to land clearing.

Barko Hydraulics Welcomes Justin Rupar as Company President


Superior, Wisconsin – Barko Hydraulics (Barko) is pleased to welcome Justin Rupar as President. Rupar assumed his new role effective June 15, 2021, bringing over 27 years of equipment industry expertise in manufacturing, dealer development, sales and marketing.

"I’m very excited to join Barko, and I’m looking forward to getting to know our dealers and customers better.” said Rupar. “The Barko team and I are excited to continue working to improve our product and services offerings and to add exceptional value to both our dealer partners’ and our retail customers’ operations.”

Before joining Barko, Justin held leadership positions with Yamaha Motor Corporation, YANMAR America and ASV Holdings, overseeing global commercial, distribution and after-sales support activities.

As President, Justin will provide leadership to position Barko at the forefront of the forestry equipment market. He will be responsible for driving positive results for the business and developing a strategic plan that advances our mission and promotes long-term growth.

A native northern Minnesotan and Iron Ranger, Justin holds a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University (MN) and an MBA from the University of Georgia. In his spare time, he is an avid outdoorsman who loves spending time in nature hunting, fishing, or exploring with his wife and daughter. Justin also has a passion for ice hockey and cooking for friends and family. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and volunteers in the community whenever possible.