Mike Stott was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1982, yet the principles he learned in the service help him daily in the operation of the company that he founded and owns, Stott Logging, Inc., Hoquiam, Washington.
“Everything that I do relates back to when I was in the Army,” Stott said. “The leadership principles of the military transfer over to civilian life—employing people in accordance with their capabilities, leading by example. They tie-in exactly.”
When one of his crews ran into some difficulties on a job, Stott worked at the site afterhours to help make up for the lost production. “I’ll go out there tonight and run a buncher until my eyes won’t stay open, and it will set them right.”
“I have clear expectations of the guys who work for me. They know that I can do anything that I ask them to do,” he said. “If the owner doesn’t believe in the policies that he sets, it’s easy for the workers not to accept the standards.”
By setting the tone, employees follow his lead, and the final product meets Stott’s standards. “I don’t have to watch them—they know what is expected. If I turn my back, the logs look the way they should and the ground is the way that it’s supposed to be. The final product is what counts.”
Stott learned to set standards high in six-plus years of service in the U.S. Army, where he earned the rank of staff sergeant. “Anybody that’s ever been in the military, it’s good for them whether they admit it or not,” he stated.
Stott also improved his business acumen while working as an equipment operator for Washington logging legend Pete Papac. From Papac and the talented and experienced operators who worked for him, Stott learned all about logging on steep terrain, loading trucks properly, how to keep production high, and, most importantly, working efficiently.
“I remember Pete telling me, ‘Mikey, you’re one of the hardest working guys that I’ve ever seen, but that machine will only make so many moves in an eight-hour day. You have to make every move count, or you’re just working yourself to death for nothing.’ I learned to think about it from that perspective. That is all my boys have ever heard from me.”
Stott’s sons, Aaron and Brandon, both work for the company and seem to have taken their dad’s words to heart.
At a clear cut on 40 acres of cedar on the Quinault Indian Reservation near Moclips, Washington, Brandon demonstrated that he had heeded his father’s admonition to work efficiently. Using a Cat® 325D Forest Machine, Brandon successfully loaded a 12,000-pound cedar log onto a trailer.
With the 325D, Brandon can fully load a trailer in 30 minutes or less. And he makes sure that the load is placed properly. “I’m not one of these guys to just throw a load on, I like to make sure that my trucks get up to weight. It’s like putting a puzzle together,” he said.
The weight capacity on a six-axle combination trailer, like the ones used by Stott Logging, is 87,000-pounds gross.
The 325D’s overall quickness and excellent swing power enable Brandon to efficiently load the trailer. “The swing power and grapple are fast, so is the lift. All around, it’s faster than other machines that I’ve used,” Brandon said.
The Harder They Fall
A Cat® 552 Series 2 Harvester felled trees at the Quinault Indian Reservation. Mike likes the machine’s stability, high ground clearance, and power. “You can do just about anything that you want with that machine,” he said. “We’ll set trees up a hill with it to keep a shovel from going down a slope to get them, saving time.”
Like their dad, both sons draw from a variety of work experience. Aaron knows how to get the most out of a chain saw, and has spent his share of time setting riggings. This helps him to understand the entire logging process, and how to improve efficiencies in each step.
Brandon’s numerous career experiences have given him a great understanding of machines. He’s been an equipment operator for his father’s company the past 10 years. He has also worked as a mechanic and welder, and earned a degree in fluid power (hydraulics). “I understand how machines work,” he said. “For the most part, we do our own maintenance.” When parts are needed, Cat dealer, N C Machinery helps keep uptime high.
Stott Logging has grown to 10 employees since it was founded in 1998. Bob and Pat Byron were partners in the company until 2004. “They were the best,” Stott recalled.
High quality employees, many who have been onboard since the beginning, are one of the biggest reasons for the company’s success. “All the guys in the woods are excellent,” Stott said.
Office personnel also shine. Marge Addington is a bookkeeper who has been with Mike since 1993, working with him at another job before he began Stott Logging. “My bookkeeper is not my wife, and that’s a really good thing,” he said. “The number that I see is not the number that my wife wants me to see. It’s the number that my bookkeeper tells me is mine after we pay everybody else.”
That’s just fine with Stott’s wife, Milissa. “That’s one of the reasons that I’ve been married to Milissa for 40 years, we don’t argue about company money.”
The bottom line at Stott Logging are principles Mike learned during his service in the U.S. Army which have created a strong and efficient company.
Stott Logging, Inc.
“I’ve run other machines, and I don’t think there’s any comparison to Cat machines,” said Mike Stott, owner of Stott Logging, Inc., Hoquiam, Washington.
He likes the dependability of the machines, which helps the company’s bottom line. Machines make money when they are working, not when they are in the shop for repairs. “They’re out there every day,” Stott said.
The longevity of the Cat machines is another plus. His fleet includes a 330 Excavator with 28,000 hours of service. “They’re keepers,” he said. “They’re built to be rebuilt, and I do it.”
Stott Logging’s fleet of Cat machines: