Logging Truck Operations
If you go into Fort Bragg’s local tonsorial artist’s emporium on Oak Street or into the local Chrysler dealership you can see pictures like the one right.
Logging trucks became the modus operandi for bringing logs into the Union Lumber Company’s mill in Fort Bragg after the rail line into the Ten Mile Basin was pulled up in 1949. The trucks were so big they were not allowed on County Roads and a haul road was constructed along the bed of the old railway track. The trestles along the way were strengthened to carry the massive loads. The Pudding Creek trestle had an extra upright added to the sea side and the deck was significantly enhanced.
All of the above can be learned just from living. However, connecting these huge logging trucks to one of the local hardware stores, Rossi’s, a local tire store, Coast Tire or the hardware store in Boonville – also called Rossi’s does not seem possible. But, there is a connection. Twenty-six of these huge trucks were owned and operated by the Joe J. Rossi Company, Inc. The fascinating story of his life is told in the August 2004 Roots of Motive Power Magazine in an article written by Theron Brown and Chris Baldo which you can read in full by clicking on the cover shown on left. A pdf version can be downloaded here.
The hardware stores were opened by Joe (and ultimately sold to his family) so that he could fill his trucks with goods on the normally empty return leg. The tire operation was started so that he could re-tread the truck tires economically here in Fort Bragg. Accountants will appreciate the part of the story which regales the high quality of his maintenance operation and the book-keeping that kept track of the operation.