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TimberWest November/December 2013

Nov/December 2014

A Lone Wolf in the Woods
Photo by Lindsay R. Mohlere captures Lone Rock Logging, working their Pierce DeLimbinator

Leader in Stewardship and Maximum Production
It’s Lone Rock Logging’s proactive commitment that has won them so many awards, including the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest 2013 Operator of the year.

A Lone Wolf in the Woods
Fred Warth Contracting prides itself on taking on the small jobs that others walk away from.

Making Wood Waste Valuable
Rawlings Manufacturing sets up a new test facility at its Spokane manufacturing center to focus all aspects of wood waste processing.

Productivity and Safety
Go Hand in Hand

Sevier Logging based out of Olympia, Wash., focuses on high production and safe practices.

A Cat Tradition
Lind Logging out of B.C. isn’t afraid to try something new, especially if it’s technology being developed by Cat.

The Show
America Logger Council annual meeting review.


In the News

Association News

Machinery Row

New Products

Guest Column



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Lone Rock Logging CompanyA Leader in Stewardship and Maximum Production

Lone Rock Logging Company, Roseburg, Ore.

By Lindsay R. Mohlere

In February of the this year, Lone Rock Logging Company of Roseburg, Ore., was named the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest 2013 Operator of the Year. The award recognized Lone Rock’s 20-years of stream improvement and fish habitant restoration along King Creek in southwestern Oregon.

This is the third Southwest Oregon Operator of the Year award Lone Rock Logging has earned having previously received the honor in 1998 and 2003. In addition, Lone Rock has received many other awards for its logging and stewardship practices including the Department of Forestry and the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 1998 Forest Stewardship Award; the Department of Forestry’s 2001 Merit Award for Southwestern Oregon - Design, Layout, and Road Construction.

Lone Rock founder Fred Sohn demanded that the company play by the rules and be a good steward of the land. The awards underscore Lone Rock’s proactive commitment to protecting critical resources while maintaining a productive working forest.

From a Bakery to the Forest

According to Duane Grant, Logging Operations manager at Lone Rock, Sohn started working in a bakery when he was 10 years old. “Fred was a German immigrant. In the town he grew up in, Fred started unloading sacks of grain into the gristmill. He worked his way up the ladder to become a baker before he left Germany for the United States. Fred always considered himself a working man.”

Lone Rock Logging CompanyLone Rock is a full-service logging company, running a cutting crew with a hot saw operator, two yarder sides, one shovel logging side, and reforestation.

After graduating from Iowa State University, Sohn ventured west and landed in Roseburg, Ore. In 1950, he purchased a stud mill, which eventually grew into a veneer and sawmill manufacturing facility. Sohn’s mill was the first saw mill in the nation to computerize and became an industry leader by introducing innovative manufacturing technology. Many of his advancements have become the foundation of technology used by mills today.

As the mill progressed, Sohn began buying land, purchasing his first timber tract of 120 acres. The company now owns over 125,000 acres of timberland, managed by Lone Rock Logging’s sister company Lone Rock Timber Management. The management company and the logging operation are the foundation of Lone Rock Resources Inc.; a family owned and operated diversified corporation that also includes ranching, investment, and real estate entities.

The Genesis of a Full-Service Logging Company

“In the mid 60s, along with buying up timber tracts and old overgrown ranch properties, Fred wanted to have the ability to buy and log his own Forest Service and BLM timber sales,” Grant says. “He bought logging equipment, and the company yarded and loaded. It contracted out its cutting and hauling. That’s how Lone Rock Logging basically started.”

Lone Rock Logging CompanyLone Rock operates year round, employs nearly 60 and harvests between 50 to 60 million board feet a year.

As road credits became available with the government timber sales, Sohn branched out into road construction. “About the same time, Lone Rock started to hire its own cutters,” Grant said. “Then we had our own cutting, logging, and road construction. With all that came the need for maintenance, and a shop was set up.”

Today, Lone Rock has evolved into a full-service logging company with nearly 60 employees, running a cutting crew with a hot saw operator, two yarder sides, one shovel logging side, and reforestation.

The Production Challenge

Lone Rock Logging harvests between 50 and 60 million board feet per year. “We challenge ourselves every day to meet production goals,” Grant says. “We operate year round and take a lot of pride in our ability to deliver a quality log — rain or shine. We rock a lot of our roads to make sure we can keep working during the wet winter months when logs are in demand.”

By June, and into the next two quarters, Lone Rock production keeps pace with market demands. “Our production slows down once we get into June,” Grant continues. “But then we have to deal with the heat and fire levels.”

To accomplish production goals, Lone Rock relies on the experience of the crews and its machinery to carve out the numbers necessary. “Our guys are motivated,” Grant says. “When they move into logs, they get it done. It’s a personal challenge to them every day. If they put up 200 logs today, they’ll try for 205 tomorrow.”

Lone Rock runs and maintains a stable of two TSY 255 swing yarders and three Pierce 3348 delimbers powered by a CAT 324, a CAT 322, and a John Deere 2454 respectively. The company also utilizes two Hitachi 350s, one of which is set up as a yoder. In addition, a 370 Hitachi, 330 CAT, and an 830 Thunderbird see duty as log loaders.

Along with several different carriages, the Lone Rock also makes use of two CAT D6Cs, a CAT D7G with a ripper, and a CAT D8H, as well as CAT 527 and CAT 528 skidders.

Lone Rock Logging CompanyLone Rock couldn’t make it without experienced crews. “Our guys are motivated,” Duane Grant says. “When they move into logs, they get it done. It’s a personal challenge to them every day. If they put up 200 logs today, they’ll try for 205 tomorrow.”

The logging roster is rounded out with several five trucks, fuel trucks, crew vans, and pickups.

On the cutting side, Lone Rock operates a Madill 2250 feller buncher and four pickups. The company has two Kenworth tractors; one is dedicated to lowboy for equipment hauling, and the other hauls logs, rocks, and at times, a lowboy. Most hauling is contracted out to Ireland Trucking out of Myrtle Creek, Ore.

The road building operation employs a variety of medium and large CAT dozers, CAT 325 and 314 excavators, and CAT 140 and 143 graders. The Lone Rock road side also uses two off-highway dump trucks, a pad foot roller, two smooth drum rollers, a road side brushing machine, five fire trucks, two fuel trucks, and six pickups.

“Our most productive machines are the stroker/delimbers and shovels,” Grant says. “Our operators prefer Hitachi shovels; they’re our main working machines. Twelve years ago, we compared five or six different brands, and our operators rated which machine they felt was the best. Our guys picked the Hitachis as the most productive. We rely on our operators to tell us what machine will do the best job.”

“When it comes to shovels,” Grant adds, “I depend on those shovels to run every day. I don’t want to be wrenching on the thing twenty-five percent of the time. We replace our shovels between 25,000 and 30,000 hours. We replace our strokers about the same. We rotate in new machines every eight to ten years.”

Lone Rock Logging CompanyAlthough the company owns two Kenworth tractors, most hauling is contracted out to Ireland Trucking out of Myrtle Creek, Ore.

Grant also noted that yarders are a long-term investment. “We replace those machines every twenty or thirty years as long as we can get parts. Problem is, when you keep them too long, parts become unavailable. When that happens, you’ve got to update.”

It’s Our Company

Lone Rock’s commitment to being a good community partner and steward of the land is a direct result of Fred Sohn’s working philosophy. “The reason Lone Rock Logging is here is because Fred wanted the ability to control what happened to the property,” Grant explains. “He was very particular about having the property looking nice. He instilled in us to treat the property like it was our own. Baggies, garbage…none of that is on our property. It all gets taken away. Clean it all up. Don’t leave big piles. Take care of the water.”

Sohn expected his employees to take ownership in the company. “Our people take quite a lot of pride in Lone Rock,” Grant says. “It’s our company.”