Harold Bouchard operated his dump trucks in the summer and converted them to log trucks in the winter.
Harold Bouchard purchased 13 acres of land on the Coldbrook Rd. in Hampden where he built a small repair shop and a home for his family. He paid the Town of Hampden $800 in taxes the first year. That initial 13 acres has now grown to 500+.
Harold Bouchard became one of the earliest operators to load and haul wood down the newly created Golden Road for Great Northern Paper Company. This was after the Clean Water Act prohibited the use of rivers to transport wood.
Harold Bouchard purchased Ralph E. Curtis and Son, a Milford-based common carrier who operated flatbeds to transport Maine lumber to markets on the Eastern Seaboard.
The Irving Oil Company put out a request for carriers to transport heavy fuel oil from their new terminal in Searsport, ME to the Georgia Pacific paper mill in Woodland. Harold Bouchard was the winner. The company was now in the tank trailer business with a few used tankers and some new ones on order.
The company started transporting the fuel to Madison Paper Industries from Searsport, something it is still doing in 2014.
St. Regis Paper Company, who owned the mill in Bucksport, the stud-mill in Costigan and considerable timberland in Washington and Hancock Counties, approached Harold and asked if he would be interested in transporting their raw forest products from their woods to their mills in Maine. A deal was struck that spring and when mud-season ended, H.O.Bouchard was loading and hauling the wood from St. Regis cutting operations.
Around this time, in response to a worldwide energy crisis, Harold chose to start equipping flatbeds with side kits in order to transport coal as a back-haul from mines in northeast Pennsylvania. The flatbed division was going strong at this time to feed the housing demand along the east coast, so coal could be brought in easily on the return. Coal bins were built, scales were installed and coal was sold in the Bangor area as an alternative to oil.
St. Regis approached Harold about purchasing a wood chipper and chip vans to chip hardwood on their ground to sell to the G-P mill in Woodland. By 1986 the chipping portion of the business had grown to 5 chipping operations around the state, often chipping 250 truckloads per week.1986: Harold purchased a used chipper that was built by Nicholson Manufacturing in Seattle and designed to chip brush. The purpose was to realize some value from the huge piles of limbs and tops that were left over from harvesting. Whole-tree chippers were not able to chip this material. After a year of experimentation he was able to chip this waste material and turn it into fuel for the new biomass industry.
Harold took what he had learned from the first Nicholson chipper back to the factory and designed a modernized version to use to chip the waste limbs and tops on St. Regis land for their new biomass boiler.
Georgia-Pacific Corporation purchased the former Great Northern Paper assets and immediately closed the company-operated harvesting operations. Harold realized that there would be no wood to haul on the Golden Road for those who did not cut it. He chose to purchase the Comstock camps from GP and form Comstock Woodlands Corp. Comstock Woodlands is still in operation to this day and in 2013 was voted to be the National Logger of the Year by the Forest Resources Association.
Roland Fogg of Barrett Paving Materials asked H.O. Bouchard to purchase a couple of trailers to transport liquid asphalt to the local paving plants. This was a good summer fit to offset the demand to transport heavy fuel oil in the winter. This business has grown over the years so that the company will have 48 trailers ready to transport liquid asphalt at the start of 2014.
The company started transporting industrial chemicals for GAC in Searsport. This required the purchase of stainless steel tankers. Over the years the customers grew, and so did the trailer fleet. There are currently 27 chemical trailers ready to go.
H.O. Bouchard purchased the first dry-bulk trailer to transport cement powder for Dragon Products. In 2014 there will be 34 dry-bulk cement trailers ready to service Dragon Products.
H.O. Bouchard purchased its first propane trailer in the fall of 2009. There are now 5 in the fleet and the sixth one will be here for next fall.
H.O. Bouchard was the chosen carrier to transport wood pellets from pellet plants in central Maine to the new wood-fired boiler at Jackson Labs in Bar Harbor. Since the start of this project H.O. Bouchard has hauled nearly a thousand loads of pellets, or nearly 34,000 tons!
In April of 2013 H.O. Bouchard started transporting compressed natural gas by truck.