By Kristi Granberg
Chuck Goode started logging when he was just a kid, long before the business known as Chuck Goode Logging and Hauling Inc. officially began in 1985, and his family was in the woods long before that.
“I grew up on a farm in the Silverton Hills that my great grandfather originally purchased,” recalls owner Chuck. “We farmed in the summer, then logged in the winter. My dad did the cutting, and my brother and I limbed the trees, as soon as we were big enough to handle the McCulloch chainsaws. We set chokers behind my dad’s old TD9 Cat. We loaded the truck with an A-Frame and end hooks. My mom ran the Cat while my dad positioned the logs on the truck. My brother and I would set the hooks.”
Chuck worked with his dad all through high school. When he was nineteen, Chuck married Sheila and they headed for Zarembo Island in Southeast Alaska to work for Tyler Brothers Logging. After moving back to the Silverton area, Chuck ran a self-loader log truck and did small logging jobs. As his sons got older, the company transitioned to primarily logging, with Chuck hauling the logs to the mills. Eventually Chuck sold the self-loader, and the family went to logging full-time, acquiring equipment along the way.
Today the core team consists of Chuck, his son Casey, nephew Ken, and wife Sheila, who handles the administrative end of things. The company does a mix of private jobs and contract logging, and many of the private jobs come from relationships built through years of log hauling for various landowners.
The company’s contract logging jobs are mostly on BLM, ODF, and USFS sales purchased by Freres Lumber Company. “They are a great mill to work for,” says Chuck. “They produce a high-quality product so they purchase high-quality timber.”
Creating a Crew
Like many others in the industry, finding help is a big challenge.
“Even these guys I hire to set chokers, I pay them a few dollars an hour more than what I know they’ve been getting. You can’t raise a family on $18 an hour,” says Chuck. “Our industry needs to step up and pay competitive wages. You can go run an excavator for $10 an hour more than what most shovel operators are getting paid. And you don’t have to go to work at two in the morning.”
Chuck has also discovered an interesting culture shift with newer employees. “The main requirement the younger generation has is that they’ve got to have a fresh latte in hand and a fully charged cell phone. If they have those two things, life is good and they’re happy.”
Though the company has its roots in history, Chuck is quick to embrace modern methods and technology, like upgrading to auto lube on equipment. “It greases all day long while you’re running, instead of at the end of the day when you’re shut down,” says Chuck. Chuck is so pleased he’s probably going to add it to all new machines to increase their longevity.
Chuck also sees the value of investing in new machines. “You’re either running really old junky equipment or you’re updating. It seems like everybody’s kind of trying to stay on the cutting edge of technology. And you’ve got to be turning the wood and making the dollars to do that for sure.”
“We use Acme Manufacturing’s Fortronics electronic chokers. You have to stay on top of them maintenance-wise and don’t let just any rigging rat cannibalize them, but boy are they a time saver and labor saver. The added safety of having no chaser on the landing is huge. We just clean the chute with the processor.”
The company also uses mapping tools, like Avenza and onX Hunt. “I’ve been using Avenza probably for the last three or four years,” says Ken Goode. “The onX Hunt is something I just got on probably a little over a year ago. It has an overlay that shows all the private properties. Normally you stagger around out in the woods and try to find a corner and figure out whose property line you’re against and where’s the corner at. Or you spend a lot of money hiring surveyors to figure that all out. I was able to take that onX Hunt map and find the actual corner sections, property corner pins, and everything, which saved the landowner thousands of dollars.”
The company recently purchased a Tigercat 855E feller buncher for cutting, bunching, and shovel logging, thus eliminating the potentially hazardous job of hand-falling.
“We just came from a private job with some steep ground where the leveling capabilities of the Tigercat 855E really stood out,” says Chuck. “Casey [Goode] cut and shovel logged pretty much the whole job to a landing, and he also pre-poled a sale with this machine, damaging very little of the long poles. He also did a total clearcut, cutting, bunching, and shovel logging of big timber that many thought this machine couldn’t handle. All this with that one versatile machine, and the processor never could catch up to him.”
Also in the company’s lineup is a Doosan 225 log loader — which Chuck says is a fast and very smooth machine to run — and a Doosan 300 with the Log Max 10,000XT processing head.
“The Doosans have been really good machines. And I think we’re going to get longer life out of them than expected,” says Chuck. “The other thing with Doosan is that they have these financing programs to make it easy to buy a machine . . . almost too easy.”
Chuck’s John Deere 648L skidder has a full turnaround seat and big grapples. It also has Eco-tracks. “They’re not cheap, but they last a long time,” he says. “They give you a lot better flotation and tons of traction. This machine will bring in a massive turn of logs and yet is very maneuverable in a tight thinning.”
Chuck’s outfit isn’t big enough to have a full-time mechanic, but he finds if you run newer equipment, you have to work on it less. However, if somebody does blow a hose or has a breakdown, it’s all hands on deck.
“If we can’t fix it, then we call a dealer,” says Chuck. “Cell phones have saved thousands of dollars of down time . . . if you can find a stump to stand on that has a signal. If there are processor issues, we call Log Max (Vancouver, Washington) and Ron, or one of the guys, can answer any question.” So far they have been able to diagnose almost everything over the phone. “I feel Log Max is actually the best. They’ve just got great people. I run that big Log Max 10000XT head in economy mode for [thinning] because it’s got so much power. The job before, I was processing 110-foot poles with that head, and it was just incredible.”
On big wood, Chuck says he runs the Log Max in power plus mode. “It’s nice because you’ve got four selections. With thinning, you’ve got to move slower. I run in economy mode so I’m not banging up the trees you’re leaving in the stand or ripping up the logs with the feed rollers, because these little logs can be quite fragile and brittle.”
June 7, 2016, Chuck and his crew received a reality check when their friend and fellow logger David ‘FUJI’ Fraijo was fatally injured while cutting their next unit, which was a thinning much like the one they are logging now.
“A day like that goes on your top ten worst days of your life,” says Chuck. “No matter how much technology we have or how smart we think we are, this is still a very dangerous profession, and there is always a hundred and one ways to get hurt.”
Chuck and his crew started the next day building a Logger’s Memorial at the site in honor of their co-worker. It has since turned into an evolving project with contributions from the crew and Fuji’s family members. This memorial has aided in the healing process for all involved.
Part of Chuck’s success over the years has been building successful relationships, whether it’s customers, mills, dealers, employees, or associations. “To be where we’re at, you have to be able to move enough wood so the mill feels you’re qualified to do the job. They want to know you’ve got integrity and they can trust you. You build your reputation just by being out here and doing things.”
Chuck and his crew work hard but enjoy what they do. “It feels good to look back at the end of the day and see all that was accomplished,” says Chuck. “The timber industry has been good to us and is just full of great people that we get to meet and interact with every day.”
ON THE COVER
Dave Wilkerson Logging, using a Komatsu XT 460L with a Quadco head.
Evolving through the Years
Chuck Goode Logging and Hauling embraces new methods and technology.
From Planes to Processors
Owner Tom Holl started his career working on B-2 Steath Bombers.
Small Woodlands Owners —Finding a Niche and Shaping the Future
Peterman and Jolliff are trying new things, like a solar-powered sawmill.
Making it Look Right
Dave Wilkerson Logging takes on a challenging project that earns the company ODF’s 2018 Southwestern Oregon Operator of the Year.
Redwood Region Resource Rally
The 4th Annual Resource Rally attracts 200 students, teachers, and adult chaperones from seven northern California counties.
Emergent Technologies Column
It’s all About the Winch
A look at the feller bunchers on the market today.
The Public Need to Know How Anti-Forestry Policies Affect Them