The Waldo Story
Helping loggers, truckers, and land managers answer the question “Where?” since day one.
Logging markets served
When it all started
At Waldo, we’re creating more powerful ways for loggers, truckers, and land managers to find, move, and track loads by turning inefficient and out-of-date processes into effective and easy ones.
After running Huhta Logging for 15 years, Leo started Waldo in September of 2019 after seeing a need for more seamless communication for the different members of the logging industry. He conceptualized a mobile app usable by all operators and drivers that keeps everyone up to date without so many phone calls, text messages, and paper.
From the very first phone call with Leo, Mark saw the potential of Waldo to improve the status quo of timber transportation. Since that day, he has worked with Leo and industry experts to build Waldo from ground zero, resulting in an intuitive software platform that serves as a conduit of information between the intermingled companies that work together to produce forest products. Mark’s mission is to make Waldo as intuitive as possible to use and be there to support Waldo’s users at all times.
Letter from our Co-Founder Leo Huhta
Are you ready to move more wood more easily?
Hi, my name is Leo. I am a generational logger with the drive to connect the logging industry like never before. The Waldo platform was created to help each player find what they’re looking for – wood, trucks, or data – while creating schedules that maximize productivity and profit.
I come from a big family that has been logging for many years here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My dad started his logging career with just a chainsaw and as I was completing high school, he partnered with a neighbor to get a bulldozer to create roads easier. These were the days that my siblings and I held the buckets of diesel (no lie) in the back seat of dad’s car out to the landing.
My mom begged me not to become a logger. Like every other logger, I vowed not to become one. I moved away from home to work in the Carolinas for a few years before returning home to work in manufacturing. After 5 years in that position, I was laid off.
With nowhere to turn, I went against my mother’s wishes and headed back to my roots in the logging industry. Luckily, the forest products industry was just starting to ramp up. I took a part-time job as a topper in the woods and saw an opportunity to become an independent contractor doing custom slashing. After a while, I found a partner and bought out the guy I was working for. That business came with skidders.
Age-old problems in the logging industry
At that point, we were efficiently getting wood to the landings but faced the same problem all loggers face. Our piles of logs were growing and I wasn’t able to find enough log truck drivers to haul our wood away. Meanwhile, those truckers didn’t know they were driving right by our available loads. My partner and I were forced to purchase our own truck and hire a driver for it. This is an age-old problem in the logging industry.
At the same time, my wife Tina Huhta was in charge of our logging company’s accounting tasks and quickly identified areas for improving that old process. She was manually entering haul data, sending out tons of invoices, and taking care of the mundane administrative tasks which became a big time commitment for her.
That’s why we set out to create a more efficient way to connect everyone in the logging industry.
Bringing the idea to life
Lucky for me, Houghton is home to Michigan Technological University, a world-renowned engineering and research university. After inquiring about an app developer in my inner circle, I landed at Mark Halonen’s office. He graduated from Michigan Tech and had a deep heritage in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
At this point, Mark was developing software programs for a lot of the big manufacturers in the area. He was taking their data and driving smart manufacturing. It was a perfect match. I wanted to move wood as efficiently as possible and Mark was already doing this for other industries.
After becoming partners, we designed, developed, and launched the first version of the Waldo app in less than three months.
Moving forward with Waldo
We quickly discovered that the entire logging industry could benefit from our technology, not just loggers and truckers. Our team has been working closely with land management companies, foresters, and mills to help solve their problems and create a more efficient industry.
Waldo is being designed and developed in the United States and is supported by hard-working Americans. When you call, we answer. We will be there for you every step of the way to make your new logging experience as best as it can be.
Please contact us for a demo of our Waldo platform. We’re looking forward to working with you.
-Leo Huhta, Co-founder of Waldo