How an Inexpensive Log Splitter Made Me Rich and Famous

The owners of Taos Equipment make and sell an inexpensive log splitter that was designed to help people live simpler, more self-sufficient lives.


| September/October 1977



Taos Equipment's inexpensive log splitter made the company rich.

Taos Equipment's inexpensive log splitter made the company rich.


Photo By Fotolia/Inger Anne Hulbækdal

After Taos Equipment's inexpensive log splitter appeared in MOTHER EARTH NEWS their business produced a big increase in sales for their manufacturing equipment.

What happens if you start a small business which makes a product (a low-cost, high-capacity log splitter) designed to help people live simpler, more self-sufficient lives?

Well, I can tell you what happens if that product suddenly appears on the cover of THE MOTHER EARTH NEWS©. You end up dealing with seven lawyers, three CPA's, one computer, and forty employees!

Taos Equipment was formed a little over two years ago in a two-car adobe garage 14 miles south of Taos, New Mexico. The company now operates out of 40,000 square feet (including a new plant in Albuquerque), and we're working with a very much larger corporation (Arnold Industries of Toledo, Ohio) that provides the technical, financial, and marketing support we need to manufacture and sell our log splitter throughout the world.

We Began as Dropout Firewood Dealers

We really didn't expect all this to happen. My partner, Larry Krogness, and I were both dropout firewood dealers when we started the business. He had been a machinist and mechanic. I had been a college English teacher and a journalist. We had both moved to Taos for the usual reasons: We wanted to live simpler, more self-sufficient lives.

We began our manufacturing operation as an offshoot of our firewood business when we started making and selling very expensive hydraulic log splitters. Our production equipment consisted of some hand tools and a steel cut-off saw bought on credit. We did not indulge in any careful planning . . . and so . . . we immediately . . . began to lose money . . . with great simplicity and self-sufficiency.





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