How busy is Capital Industrial?
"Swamped," General Manager Bill Lloyd said Tuesday, citing a two to three-month backlog for the company's products.
"The logging industry isn't doing as bad as everyone says it is," he said.
Capital Industrial, which makes its logging equipment and trailers from a multi-building facility in Tumwater, has been based at Mottman Industrial Park since the late 1970s.
Since October 2004, the business has been owned by Alan and Janete Nieman of Olympia, owners of Al's Welding & Steel Fabrication in Chehalis, Lloyd said. They bought the business from Duane and Irene Stephens of Olympia, he said.
The Niemans, returning from Oregon on Tuesday, were not available for comment.
Capital Industrial is best known for its Olympic brand of log loaders, a type of hydraulic crane that is fixed to a tractor-trailer and used to load and unload logs.
It also customizes equipment for logging trucks and makes cranes for the shellfish and marine industries, Lloyd said.
Since 1978, the company has made 765 cranes for different industries, he said.
George Borden, 68, of Shelton, owner of George Borden Trucking, has been a Capital Industrial customer for almost 20 years.
Borden uses a Capital Industrial 8-ton Olympic log loader to pick up and haul logs for his 30 customers, he said. He praised the reliability of the Capital Industrial product and its customer service.
The company is quick to respond to repairs, Borden said.
"They practically drop stuff to go fix my truck," he said.
Ed Kaelin, 57, of Puyallup, a longtime Capital customer, also praised the company's products and service.
Kaelin has been buying log loaders from the company since the 1970s and is waiting to have a 2008 model installed on his truck.
Kaelin is under contract with Puget Sound Energy and Potelco to load and unload power poles with his 10-ton Olympic log loader. He also sometimes responds to emergencies, helping to remove logs from roadways when a logging truck has overturned or been in an accident.
Besides manufacturing, Capital Industrial's retail business is growing, too, Lloyd said. The company sells industrial supplies, tools and trailer parts, he said.
"We'd probably stock more if we had the room," Lloyd said.
Rolf Boone covers business for The Olympian. He can be reached at 360-754-5403 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.