March and April 2006
 

 

 

Working Side by Side

Edrick Logging keeps its Northern Calif. operation small and efficient

By Kurt Glaeseman

"In logging, one of the biggest challenges is to stay small,” insists Ed Frederick of Edrick Logging. “It’s easy to get bigger and bigger. You get sales that take more equipment and more men and you grow. It’s hard to cut down, to cut back.”

Steve Staley operates the Timbco with Quadco head.

Ed, a Yreka, Calif. logger, has been through the big years of trucking and logging, but now he and his son Rick run an operation that is small and tight and very successful. They like the close-knit structure of Edrick Logging. Father and son each superintends one of the two sides; mother and daughter-in-law handle the books and paperwork from what they call the Control Tower in Yreka; Edrick trucks haul the logs; and everyone in the company knows everyone else. The formula works for the Fredericks.

Ed, who does the loading at his side, waves at an incoming Kenworth high up on a mountain between Dorris, Calif. and Keno, Ore. The driver, Rick Paschke, waves back. He has worked for the company for over 20 years. He has a morning ritual: If he gets to the side before Ed, he fires up the shovel and has it warmed up and waiting, ready for “Pops” to load the first logs of the morning. The same feeling of civilized, family cooperation is evident at Rick’s side.

Ed Frederick with the LinkBelt 2800 loader and a Pierce grapple.

The current job site is former Weyerhaeuser land, now owned by U.S. Timberlands. The harvest plan calls for a clearcut of smaller second and third growth Doug fir, Ponderosa pine, white fir and a little cedar. With the exception of the cedar, the logs are hauled by Edrick trucks to the Timber Products mill in Yreka, a 3.5-hour roundtrip. The harvest units, lying mostly on the Oregon side, are scattered parcels of 200 to 300 acres, so the Edrick Logging lowboy is on-site, ready for the frequent moves. In accordance with wildlife habitat parameters, access to some of the parcels was limited to fall and winter, when there would be the least disruption to the area’s nesting eagles.

 

Similar Sides & Similar Equipment

The two sides, often working within shouting distance, have almost parallel equipment. One of the two 425 Timbcos is equipped with a 22-inch Koehring hotsaw and the other with a 22-inch Quadco. Both Ed and Rick praise the 425s, which they find lighter and easier to move around than a previously used 445T. Steve Staley, who runs the Timbco-Quadco combo, finds it efficient, maneuverable and stable. He prides himself on neatly bunched trees: “The logs are bunched with ends together, all pointing in the same direction. You’d be surprised how this reduces skidder time.”

The loaders are a pair of LinkBelt 2800s — one a 1996 and the other a 1997 model. These are generally run by Ed and Rick. Ed shakes his head and grins, “Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I think Rick builds a better load than I do. He takes the time to rearrange and get logs snugged down just so.” Skidding equipment includes a 5H High Drive Cat, a 6H High Drive, and a John Deere Cat 750C, all with grapples. Domingo Valdarabano, pausing to refuel his Cat 528, admits that his cabless job can be both chilly and challenging: “You’ve got to keep your mind on what you’re doing. Keep an eye out for stumps. Don’t take the job lightly.”

CAT 528 skidder operated by Domingo Luis Valderabano.

 

Small Stick Timber

Both sides have the Canadianbuilt Pro Pac delimbers. Ed’s is on a 2800 LinkBelt carrier and Rick’s on a John Deere 690. Bob Richards, another long-time employee, runs the LinkBelt and Blaine Cooper is on the Deere. Both adroitly maximize the small stick timber—into lengths of 35, 26, 17 and 10 feet. The Fredericks, Richards and Cooper all speak highly of their experience with Pro Pac, which they consider top-ofthe- line. “It’s amazing what the Pro Pac can do,” says Ed. “Our only complaint is that there is no dealer anywhere near here.”

Operator Cooper, on the Deere-Pro Pac combination, agrees on the delimber’s efficiency: “With its electronic eye it is almost trouble free, but if something does go wrong it’s easy to work on. That’s important to us, since we aren’t all engineers.” The cab is comfortable—there’s adequate room for the 6’4” Cooper and his dog, and Cooper maintains a fast pace. By 9:30 one morning he’d done five or six loads of small stuff, some 200 sticks. The computer records and advises— the number of logs, the number of cuts, the various lengths. As would be expected, both operators observe how much easier it is to delimb fir than pine: “It takes a little longer on pine because the limbs want to bend over, so sometimes we have to double stroke,” says Cooper.

This Pro Pac delimber on a John Deere 690 ELC is operated by Blaine Cooper.

Another virtue of the delimbers is that they are “move friendly.” “We’re constantly moving,” says Rick Frederick, “and suddenly it is a lot faster and easier. You push a button to go into the travel mode, you suck the boom in, and you’re on your way. In these small parcels that is of major importance to us.” Both Ed and Rick know that time saved moving is time more profitably directed toward production.

Production is the name of the game. Ed, who sometimes feels he has one foot in old-time steam logging and the other in state-of-the art mechanical logging, is not tempted by the dangleheads. “They’re so fast you’d need a fleet of skidders to keep them busy. We just aren’t into heavy stands of
timber like that. The dangleheads are too expensive to have just sitting and waiting.” Such prudent restraint keeps Edrick Logging both manageable and profitable.

Delimber operator Bob Richards (left) and owner Ed Frederick (right).

 

Family Business

Ed’s no newcomer to the logging business. He and his wife Bunny followed Ed’s parents in 1952 to Montague, Calif., where Ed drove trucks during the day and farmed at night. He bought an L190 International and committed himself to log trucking, gradually accumulating a fleet of 17 Kenworths. Son Rick grew up helping his dad steer a Kenworth on a logging road. When Rick had his own fleet of five Kenworths, the two decided to pool their efforts and go into logging. They started with one Cat and one loader. “I still have that D7 17A electric start, a nice old Cat,” says Ed.

As they grew bigger, Ed and Rick realized that two of their strongest assets are their wives. Rick’s wife Mary, and Bunny, who do the paperwork and payroll from the control tower in Yreka, are equals with the men in day-to-day work and in longrange planning. Ed and Rick often camp near their logging sides, and it is not unusual for the women to break away and join them. In addition to her bookkeeping, Mary runs a water truck, perfectly at ease out at 3:30 a.m. in the middle of nowhere.

“This logging has been a good career for me,” say Ed. “Some folks ask me why I don’t retire. I tell them that I am retired. I’m doing exactly what I want to do. I want to go out each day and load logs. I love to load logs. I like to see my own trucks heading down the road with a load of our logs. Rick says I can’t retire yet. He’s good with me and doesn’t make me do more that I want to do. Sure, we fight sometimes but we still get along great. And we both bring with us a bunch of experience from decades that have seen some radical changes.”

 

Rick Frederick, Ed’s son, runs the LinkBelt 2800 loader on his side.

 

Ed and Rick both feel their wives (Bunny shown here) are their biggest assets.

A respect for that mixture of old and new and the realization of a small business, well-run, have helped maintain success for Edrick Logging.

Rick’s wife Mary and Bunny handle the office work from the central tower in Yreka.

 

Ed Frederick can be reached at (530) 842-2252 and Rick at (530) 842-3619.

 

TW

This page was last updated on Tuesday, September 19, 2006