Have you ever had an experience that may have helped define you as a person, or your business as a whole?
I think if we’re honest with ourselves, most of us can say that we’ve had a few life experiences that fit into the “growth” box.
As I’m looking at the smoke in the air, I’m reminded of one of those defining moments for Newton Logging.
A few years back our logging job was caught in a fire that burned up half of our equipment. Without going into detail, this never should have happened. In the world of fire management there are a lot of things that should never happen. The positive take away…it was a great learning experience, the negative…it was extremely painful.
What I refer to as a defining moment for Newton Logging is not what Nettie and I did personally, rather what the people around us did to help prop us up.
The first, and arguably the most important was the group of individuals that I get the pleasure of working with every day. Our crew…. On that fateful day, they took a chance and saved a couple important machines from the blaze. In the nick of time, I might add. Without those men we probably would have lost everything and could have been faced with stepping away from an industry that I have grown to love.
As we loggers know, it’s hard to do a logging job without a dozer, and that is one of the machines that burned. Within a few days we had calls from two good friends that had dozers sitting and we were told we could use them until we found one. I also had an equipment dealer that told us to come down and get what we needed out of his yard to get us moving again.
Then again, the land manager that we worked for at the time called, and offered me a job that I could handle with just a skidder, and then our banker called and told us to come down and pick up a check. Interest free until the insurance came through.
It wasn’t easy, but everything came together quickly and we were back logging after just 8 days.
For Nettie and I, this was one of the hardest experiences we have had to endure. However, with the support of everyone, most of whom are reading this post, we are now stronger than we were before the fire.
It’s easy at a time like this to stand up and be proud of ourselves for making it through a hard time, but what we are most proud of are the people in this industry that wrapped their arms around us and helped us get moving again.
Thank you everyone.
Mike Newton is the President of the Montana Logging Association.