About » Our History

What is our history? R & H Machine is a family-owned business founded in the late 1950's by Ray and Arline Stueckle. It all began as a welding repair and machine shop located on Ray's dry land wheat farm near Dusty, Washington. Ray's brother Harvey partnered in the shop with him for a short time; hence the name "R & H" Machine was born. Ray did all kinds of work including designing equipment, lathe work, and welding, but his specialty was hardfacing all kinds of implements. In doing so Ray came upon a unique hardfacing rod made of patented Chrome Alloy used primarily to hardface rock crushers. He began thinking that since they could cast a welding rod of this material, they could cast a point as well. A Chrome Alloy point would eliminate the need to hardface the local fertilizer dealers' anhydrous shanks. In 1963 Ray persuaded the manufacturer of the rod to cast an entire point for the shanks. Parts made by this new process lasted many times longer than standard parts, and didn't have to be hardfaced. They began selling these points by the hundreds. The original fertilizer point is still being made today.

In his own farming, Ray knew how often he had to replace the sprockets, collars, and wear blocks on his own rod-weeding equipment. Rod-weeders were in general use in the wheat fields of Eastern Washington and Oregon. With the success of the Chrome Alloy fertilizer tips, he realized that rod weeder parts could be cast as well, eliminating the need to replace them every year. Ray had some sprockets and spools cast of the same Chrome Alloy, and put them out for testing in many different areas. Seven years later, these parts still looked almost as good as new. The test showed that he could safely assume the Chrome Alloy rod weeder parts would last at least fifteen years.

In 1965, while his Chrome Alloy business was growing, Ray saw a demonstration for a new type of combine chaffer, one that used an airfoil principle to do the separating. Ray realized that it was just what the farmers needed for the new higher-yielding wheat, and decided to become the distributor. Ray was so convinced the chaffer would work, that he sold hundreds of them with a money-back guarantee. When harvest started, he found that some machines worked better, and some worse, than before. Ray soon discovered that the problem was not with the chaffer, but with variations in the way the combines were manufactured, even in models purchased in the same year. After several years of following combines in the field, and making every kind of measurement to determine the reasons for the differences in performance, he learned more about combines than he had learned in the twenty-five years of harvesting on his own wheat fields. He realized that some of the other farmers in the area would be interested in the things he had learned, so he conducted his first "Combine Clinic" at the local fairgrounds. Over one-hundred and twenty-five farmers turned out to see his slides and hear his presentation. Word about the Combine Clinic spread to other communities, and he was invited to speak before farmers in other counties. From 1967 until his death in 1985, Ray Stueckle gave hundreds of day-long Combine Clinics across the U. S and Canada. What had started as a quest to find answers - resulted in his becoming known by thousands of grateful farmers in all areas as the "Combine Guru." As farmers across the country adopted his principles on their own combines, they would often refer to their combines as "Stuecklized". He presented his findings and recommendations through his Combine Clinics as well as several magazine columns and his Combine Settings books.

With both the chaffers and the Chrome Alloy parts business growing, an office in town was needed. The main office and warehouse were moved to Colfax, Washington in 1965, and remained there until 1977. At that time a more central location was needed to better serve our customer base, which now covered Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. We built an office and warehouse in Caldwell, Idaho. Ray and Arline's son-in-law and daughter, Dave and Kathy Organ, moved there to set up and manage it. It became our head office and regional warehouse, when Ray and Arline moved to Caldwell in 1978.

Our line of potato harvester parts came about at the request of customers in Moses Lake, Washington who had been using our long wearing "Chrome Alloy" rod weeder parts. They asked for equally long wearing parts for their diggers. Several nose cones were made and tested in 1972 and proved that Chrome Alloy wear parts offer fantastic savings with fewer replacement parts, less downtime, and less chain wear for digger upkeep, just as they did for rod weeding equipment. The digger parts wore so well that Ray expanded the digger line of Chrome Alloy to include sprockets, rollers, nose cones, and spindles.

On numerous occasions Ray heard, "Now that you have solved our rod-weeder and digger problems, please see what you can do about providing some long-wearing ripper points." By 1974 Ray had found a way to weld the "unweldable" Chrome Alloy onto steel, and used this process to make the first of our current line of ripper points, which now has expanded to fit over 300 models of rippers. This welding process also opened the doors to many other applications, such as inserts for planters, fertilizer knives and chisel points, to name a few.

At this time we were having a foundry in Portland, Oregon supply our Chrome Alloy wear parts. Our parts are quite labor intensive and demanding of quality. The Portland foundry slowed down its delivery of parts to us due to the fact that they had customers who had ordered castings weighing hundreds of pounds. These large crusher parts were easier to make and much less labor intensive than the small parts ordered by R & H. As it became harder to keep a stock of parts, it soon became apparent that Ray would have to build his own foundry in order to ensure a steady flow of top quality parts to keep up with the ever increasing demand for R & H Chrome Alloy wear parts. In 1979, Gem State Alloys was built right next door to our office and warehouse in Caldwell, Idaho. Having our own foundry next door has lead to consistent quality, fast delivery, extreme versatility, and most of all our being able to fill orders quickly. This convenient location of the foundry gives us the ability to develop new parts efficiently, to better serve our customers' needs, and to more easily increase our product line. In 1980, Dave Organ stepped in as part owner and manager of Gem State Alloys. The original foundry building was expanded in 1980 to house our ever growing welding shop. In 1994 it was expanded again, and a much larger melt furnace was purchased. The capacity of the foundry was tripled with this expansion.

In 1985 we lost Ray to a massive heart attack. Needless to say, that meant drastic changes in the business. We dropped the chaffers and other things associated with combines, because no one else could really supply the knowledge necessary to handle the questions that went along with them. We continued to sell his Combine Setting books, until the supply of the first two of them had been exhausted. We still have available the last in his series titled "Dear Ray, this is my Problem", which Arline completed after his death. It is a compilation of letters containing farmers' questions and Ray's answers about particular problems in all makes of combines and all models in use before his death. We have since concentrated on finding new uses and designs for our Chrome Alloy castings.

In 1985, Ray and Arline Stueckle's son, Dale, and his wife, Kathy, moved to Caldwell from Tucson, Arizona after his retirement from the U. S. Air Force. Dale eagerly desired to become an integral part of the family business. He became Sales Manager, as our customer base had now spread from the Pacific Northwest to include California, Arizona, all of the Rocky Mountain states, and beyond. He eventually took over California sales, because the need for long wearing Chrome Alloy replacement parts is very great in the type of soil found there. Dale enjoyed his sales trips, and his customers enjoyed his sunny disposition and always looked forward to his visits. Dale continued to demonstrate Ray's philosophy of making sure that anything sold to a farmer must return more to the farmer than it cost him. He was a joy to have around. Dale passed away in 2000, leaving an enormous hole in both R&H and all of his customers.

In 2006 both R & H Machine and Gem State Alloys were merged to streamline our operation. Because Dave Organ was managing both companies and Kathy Organ was office manager and in charge of scheduling parts production, as well as head of accounting in both companies, it seemed reasonable to combine them. The merger allowed us to make more efficient use of our many dependable employees. From this point on all of our operations are under the name R&H Machine, Inc.

Arline stayed active in the business until her retirement in 2005, and subsequent death in 2009. Dave and Kathy Organ are now sole owners and operators of the business. Dave and Kathy have been active in R&H Machine since 1975, and have worked in every aspect of the business. They both desire to maintain the same focus as was established in the beginning. Ray, as a farmer, always wanted the farmer to get the best deal possible, get value for his dollar, and above all, to be satisfied with the product. Besides managing both R&H Machine and Gem State Alloys, since the late 1980's Dave has been the designer and developer of new parts. He is an expert at pattern making, and enjoys the intricacies of matching design to need.

R & H Machine was founded, and continues to be run, on the Christian principles of honesty, integrity, fairness, and trust. Giving the customer the best possible product at a reasonable price is very important to us. We keep our prices as low as possible to help all sizes of farms reduce the cost of tillage, planting and harvest. We believe that if a farmer has need for our products, great; if not, then we will tell him so. If you do not have a wear problem, we don't want to sell you parts that you have to will to your grandchildren.

We have strived over the years to get to know our customers, and treat them like family. As family, you might like to know a little more about our beliefs. Our philosophy has been unchanged from the beginning. God is made an integral part of our organization. Each problem is turned over to Him, and He has never failed to show us the answer. Each product we add to the line must reflect the integrity of management, through the help of the Lord, our Senior Partner. If sometimes we fail on our end, through our human weaknesses, we find it imperative to do all we can to make it right. Of course, to us, besides being our Senior Partner, He is our Heavenly Father as well. It is a great blessing to have His security in troubled as well as good times. If any of you are troubled, or don't know where to turn for answers, may we invite you to look to Him. God loves you so much that He sent His Son that you might believe on Him and accept Him as your Savior. John 3:16.