Leading the pack takes hard work and dedication. For loggers, it also takes the right equipment. And no one knows this better than Bill Lorenzo, owner of Kane, Pa.-based Lorenzo’s Logging for almost 30 years.
“In the logging business, premium, durable trucks are essential, but I also like being one step ahead of the pack,” said Lorenzo. “I was one of the first owner-operators in the area to try out new and different truck specs over the years, and now my friends in the industry come to me when they need help with their specs.”
Off to a good start
Known to his friends as “Shorty,” Lorenzo began his trucking career as a partner at Lorenzo’s Auto Body and Garage, a truck repair and fabricating company. However, when demand for cherry wood in his area grew, he saw an even greater opportunity and decided to buy out a trucking business and start his own logging company.
“Working in the truck repair industry was a great place to start,” said Lorenzo. “But when this opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t turn it down.”
Being a successful entrepreneur, Lorenzo knows the importance of a good investment. When he founded Lorenzo’s Logging in 1977 in the small town of Kane, Lorenzo knew he needed a rugged and durable truck to keep up with his heavy-duty workload. In 1979, he was the first owner-operator in his community to purchase a Western Star® truck.
“The options available through Western Star were extensive; I liked how I was able to customize the truck to fit my needs,” said Lorenzo. “It was very important to own a truck I could trust to keep my business up and running.”
First in line
Always an early adopter, Lorenzo loves to be the first in the area to have the latest-model truck. When he purchased his first Western Star in 1979, he went out to the manufacturing facility to personally inspect his new vehicle and drive it home.
“Even though I only bought one truck, I felt like I was buying 100,” he said. “The people at the plant treated me with respect and were willing to do anything to make my experience great.”
Lorenzo also purchased the first Western Star truck equipped with a Caterpillar C15 engine in 1993. These purchases have helped him solidify his position as a community role model. With several other owner-operators in his area, Lorenzo takes the time to help spec out their trucks as well.
“I know how important it is to have a truck accurately spec’d for logging,” explained Lorenzo. “I want to make sure the other loggers in my community also have a rugged, premium truck, so I help them choose the best options and components for the job.”
In order to keep up with the growing demand for cherry wood, Lorenzo continued to purchase logging trucks. In 2000, he purchased “Buster,” a Western Star 4900 SA with a super-visibility hood, and “Baxter,” another 4900 SA, in 2001.
“My girlfriend, Susan Rodgers, is an integral part of my business,” said Lorenzo. “She helps with paperwork as well as other day-to-day tasks. She insisted on naming the trucks, and I like the names she chose.”
The newest member of his business, “Beauty,” was purchased this summer to complete his family of trucks. With the addition of his third truck, Lorenzo is able to travel the 60,000-70,000 miles per year necessary to deliver product to his customers. Although most of the driving is within a 100-mile radius, transporting material from the woods to the mills can take 10-12 hours a day.
“All of these trucks have exceptional interior amenities, including great climate control and visibility,” added Lorenzo. “We spend about 40 percent of our time off-road, so a comfortable cab is important. Plus, my newest truck has a longer wheelbase and axle spacing, which is helpful in monitoring weight requirements.”
All in the family
Bill isn’t the only Lorenzo involved in logging. His 18-year-old son Daniel has always shown interest in being a part of the family business. Keeping busy as a competitive motocross racer, Daniel is now working towards getting his CDL so he can officially contribute to his father’s business.
“I’m excited to have my son as a partner,” said Lorenzo. “His enthusiasm to learn the business and get involved has been an added bonus.”
Lorenzo also credits his dealer with keeping his business on the rise. Fyda at Barkleyville, located in Harrisville, Pa., has had a relationship with Lorenzo for the past five years.
“Working with the people at Fyda has been a great experience,” said Lorenzo. “They make the purchasing process easy and help me spec trucks that fit my needs.”
Western Star Trucks, headquartered in Redford, Mich., produces heavy-duty custom trucks for long-haul and vocational applications. Western Star is a subsidiary of Freightliner LLC. Freightliner LLC produces and markets Class 3-8 vehicles and is part of DaimlerChrysler’s Truck Group, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.