Business: RCD Timber
In business since: 2013
Location: Hoquiam, Washington
Doosan machines: Four DX225LL, one DX300LL-5 and one DX300LL log loaders
Doosan dealer: Cascade Trader
It is difficult to talk about the state of Washington without mentioning the logging industry. After all, Washington is the second-largest lumber producer in the United States behind Oregon, making up approximately 10 percent of the nation’s total private lumber establishments and employment, as reported by the Washington Forest Protection Association.
Although the logging industry has seen its fair share of ups and downs throughout the last two decades, local loggers – like Brian Dhooghe, owner of RCD Timber – remain optimistic that the demand for timber will improve so he can continue to make a steady living.
“The logging industry has changed tremendously in the last 20 years,” Dhooghe says. “But that hasn’t deterred me from continuing to pursue my passion. Logging isn’t a profession for everyone, but it is the profession I’ve chosen for myself.”
Dhooghe started his career in logging the day after graduating from Hoquiam High School in Hoquiam, Washington (pop. 8,270), at the age of 17. After working for his father for a number of years, he landed at Homchick Logging as a shovel operator for 10 years. Later in his career, Dhooghe travelled to Alaska to work for A-1 Timber, but the time away from his family was taxing, so he decided to move back home and become an entrepreneur.
A year later, Dhooghe started RCD Timber – named after his daughter Ronni Carolynn Dhooghe, who passed away from leukemia when she was 9 years old. Today, RCD Timber has grown to be a full-service timber harvesting entity that includes a fleet of logging equipment, including six Doosan® log loaders, and a small yet dedicated crew of five employees. His brother, Joey Dhooghe, is a processor operator, while his cousin, Ed Stearns, operates one of the Doosan log loaders.
“Family has always been important to me, so getting to work with family members on a daily basis is a great relationship builder,” Dhooghe says. “If we aren’t on the same jobsite, we try to talk to each other four times a day to make sure day-to-day operations are going smoothly. We get along really well.”
Tough equipment lands solid jobs
Employees at RCD Timber have a steady supply of work at the Quinault Indian Reservation in Hoquiam and other private acreages in the area. Typically, they are logging 20 acres and transporting 30 to 50 loads per jobsite.
Clearing a private acreage can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month, so to stay ahead of the demand, Dhooghe decided to purchase his first Doosan machine – a DX225LL log loader with a log grapple attachment – from Jim Wark with Cascade Trader in Chehalis, Washington.
“After evaluating several machines, I was instantly fascinated by the Doosan DX225LL log loader,” Dhooghe says. “It had impressive swing power, swing speed and lifting power, as well as was priced competitively. I knew I would be able to take on the toughest jobs in the timber industry after demoing this machine.”
The first DX225LL turned out to be a perfect solution for clearing miles of timber, so Dhooghe decided to purchase three additional DX225LL log loaders, a DX300LL log loader and a DX300LL-5 log loader a year later.
We have had great success with our six Doosan machines. Each machine has a high-and-wide undercarriage, spacious forestry cab, precise boom geometry and impressive lifting ability for all of our logging needs.
The high-and-wide undercarriage has proved most useful, allowing Dhooghe’s operators to gain extra clearance over stumps and protecting the machine from debris.
Cost-of-operation items – such as fuel efficiency, maintenance and parts expenses, and downtime – are other critical factors that have helped Dhooghe calculate the value of his equipment.
“Fuel consumption plays a huge role in daily operation,” Dhooghe says. “During a typical day, we will run our log loaders for 10 hours. Basically, we can run our machine all week without filling it up.”
The Doosan DX225LL and DX300LL log loaders have easily accessible service points, including wide door access for cleaning the cooling system and the engine compartment, to help increase machine uptime and productivity.
“Each night my crew members complete a routine walk-around inspection, checking the tracks to see if any components look out of place,” Dhooghe says. “They also take the time to clean and inspect the undercarriage for excessive wear as well as look for damaged or missing components. Downtime is what hurts us most in this line of business, so we are as preventive as possible.”
Albeit a young company, RCD Timber is making strides by showing that it is a first-class operation through its work and by using the best equipment for the job.
“We strive to have a good, steady job,” Dhooghe says. “Our six Doosan log loaders help keep us moving materials quickly and put out big production. At the end of the day, that’s all we can ask for.”
Establishing a successful partnership
At the time Brian Dhooghe established RCD Timber, he kicked around the idea to establish a working partnership with his longtime friend, Andy Rogers, owner of Grind Transport – a local trucking business located in Aberdeen, Washington.
“It seemed to make perfect sense to establish a working relationship with Andy,” Dhooghe says. “Not only have we been friends for years, but he had four log trucks and I had none at the time.”
Three years later, RCD Timber and Grind Transport continue to operate closely together.
Did you know?
According to the Washington Forest Protection Association, approximately one-third of forests found in Washington are privately owned, mostly by companies that grow trees for the continuous production of forest products. About 60 percent of the state’s private forestland can be classified as managed by industrial private landowners, while the other 40 percent consists of small family tree farmers or private individuals.