After 50 years in business, Stamer Logging calls it a day
A dusting of snow on the ground, temperatures below zero, a site packed with equipment—it was the morning of November 19, 2015, and Derek Stamer was getting ready for Ritchie Bros. to sell his entire fleet of equipment. For some, it was an opportunity to buy quality skidders, feller bunchers, and other logging gear. For Derek, founder of Stamer Logging in Barrière, BC, it was the end of an era.
From running equipment to running a business
In 1965, Derek Stamer was running equipment for other people when he decided to start logging for himself.
“I really took a liking to it,” Derek says. “I did wonder what the heck I was getting into, but it was exciting. It was the challenge of being able to do the job efficiently and make it work.”
After years of small timber and small contracts, Stamer Logging ballooned into something much more. By 2015, the company was doing everything from building roads and harvesting, to transporting and road maintenance.
“It was just time…”
As Stamer Logging crept towards the 50 year mark, Derek started thinking of retirement plans. Although his sons worked for Stamer Logging, they didn’t want to take over the business. Derek began selling his contracts, and then he started thinking about the logistics of selling his equipment.
“It was just time,” he says.
With 70 pieces of heavy equipment to sell, Derek felt a little daunted. Ritchie Bros. was the only way to go.
“I’m not a salesman, I’m a logger,” he says. “With Ritchie Bros., I knew it would all be gone, with no loose ends.”
Derek spent a lot of time with his Ritchie Bros. rep, going over the best time to have the auction and what he could do to prepare.
“From start to finish, Ritchie Bros. was very, very professional,” he says. “It was a great experience. They were very honest and helpful in walking us through the procedures.”
Derek was particularly pleased with Ritchie Bros.’ refurbishment services. Even though Derek’s equipment was in great shape, he opted to have it cleaned and painted for auction day.
“The cleaning and refurbishing crew did an excellent job to make it even more presentable,” he says. “It was money well spent.”
Then, after months of preparation, the big day came.
50 years, 1 day
On auction day, as the auctioneer rattled off numbers and the bidders eyed their potential prizes, Derek was reflective. While others were enjoying the excitement of auction day, he was saying goodbye to a business of 50 years—a business of which he was incredibly proud.
“Being able to build a company of that size—it was tremendous,” he says. “By the time of the sale, I had to psych myself up, and once the equipment started to leave, it was very emotional to see it all go.”
As the day went on though, he settled into it.
“It was a great day,” he says. “The crowds were good, with lots of buyers and interest. It far exceeded my expectations. I was completely satisfied.”
One era ends, another begins…
With the November auction over, Derek and his wife are figuring out what’s next for them.
“My wife and I made up our minds years ago to travel the world before we got into walkers and canes,” he says. Now, though, he says, they are thinking of exploring their own neck of the woods.
“We’re hoping to travel around Canada a bit more,” he says. “There’s so many things we can do right here in British Columbia.”
While Derek does have some small business interests, he isn’t quite sure what’s next for him. That being said, there is one thing he can say with some certainty.
“I don’t think I’ll ever retire,” he says with a laugh.
Sell my equipment
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