That grit, those reasons, are why Lussier’s company, Great Woods Companies, has been named the 2022 Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year. Lussier is the third winner from his adopted home state of South Carolina, and the 25th winner overall.
The Great Woods Companies employees, from left, Bob Lussier, Garrison Horton, Bryan Horton, Brian Shoemaker, Russ Cracraft, Terry Hannan and Schuyler Whitney
Lussier says that often when he talks with other loggers he feels like he’s preaching to the choir. But every choir needs a preacher, and for South Carolina you’d be hard pressed to find a better one. His personal story is not unlike others, having been raised in a rural community in the Northeast, starting his company, procuring timber for his crew, running a machine himself every day, and getting the wood marketed. Fast forward 20 years, and things started slowly turning downward. Having been the first person to run a rubber-tire Tigercat feller-buncher in southern New England, Lussier had relationships with folks in the Carolinas and Virginia. His Tigercat dealer was Tidewater.
That’s when the opportunity to work for a timber buyer in South Carolina presented itself to Lussier. They came down in June and talked about it. After they returned he talked to his workers about the proposition. Then, after some deliberation and number crunching, Lussier and his business drove 900 miles south. Now he says, he wishes he had done it earlier. The move south was the best thing he could have done for the business, he believes, and the success he’s had since in a new area is, again, a testament to his grit.