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If you’ve been patiently waiting for the labor market to improve, it’s time to quit procrastinating and take action. Experts predict that finding new workers will only get harder for U.S. manufacturers over the coming years, and so it is high time to consider how investing in equipment can help lessen your dependency on employees in your production process. 

 

According to a new report from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, manufacturing job openings have been growing at double-digit rates since mid-2017, and are nearing the historical peak recorded in 2001. As many as 2.1 million manufacturing jobs will be unfilled through 2030, according to a study. The report warns the worker shortage will hurt revenue, production and could ultimately cost the US economy up to $1 trillion by 2030. Seventy-seven percent of surveyed manufacturers anticipate there will be ongoing difficulties in attracting and retaining workers in 2021 and beyond. US manufacturing executives surveyed believe that finding the right talent is now 36% harder than it was in 2018. 

 

Pallet companies are also feeling the pinch of not having enough people. While there are various approaches available to attract and retain labor, one important area of consideration is to strategically expand investment in plant equipment. Equipment can replace the need for labor for some activities, and for others, it can make workers more productive. Whether you measure your output by pallets per labor hour or board feet per labor hour, having the right equipment can help increase productivity so that you can expand your business without adding a commensurate proportion of employees.

 

Here are some examples of how pallet companies can ease their dependency on employees through the strategic deployment of equipment.

 

Move from a cell-based manufacturing process to an in-line process

 

Many smaller pallet shops still rely on a variety of workstations. In new manufacturing operations, for example, stringers might be stacked, then forklifted to the notching machine, and then restacked again before being moved yet again - this time to the pallet nailing department. To stick with this analogy, by moving the notcher in line with the stringer production line, stacking and forklift requirements are reduced, resulting in labor savings.

 

Eliminate bottlenecks in your production process

 

Is there a piece of equipment in your process that is causing you to under-utilize your other machinery? For example, is your splitting capacity a constraint? By adding a high-speed thin kerf unit such as the HY400, companies can enjoy a significant boost to their lumber production operation, thus significantly increasing the number of board feet per employee. Keep in mind, however, that increasing capacity on the front end of the cut-up line means that you may find yourself with a new bottleneck on the back end, such as stacking. An investment in automated stackers can help fully optimize your line. Or if you have an automated stacker already, you might require a shift to higher capacity stackers, for example from 8 rows per minute to 25 per minute. Keep in mind that wood is half or greater of pallet cost, and your processing efficiency can be a source of competitive advantage.

 

What about banding wood and pallets?

 

People tend to accept the manual banding of lumber or finished stacks of pallets as a necessary evil. It is often performed by forklift drivers, but while they are banding, they aren’t driving. That means you are under-utilizing your forklift as well as your driver. By installing an inline automated banding machine that tedious task can be eliminated, allowing your forklift operator to be more productive. 

 

What about other opportunities

 

Look around your plant for opportunities to eliminate employee touches, steps, and physical exertion. There are many mature machinery options that have not been fully leveraged by pallet shops such as automated stackers, tippers, flippers, and conveyors. Do you lose production waiting for material to arrive, or for the finished product to be removed? Infeed and outfeed conveyors can ensure that production is maintained and that the number of pallets per employee is maximized.

 

Consider the other employee benefits of machinery investment

 

Investing in machinery doesn’t just directly boost your production per employee. It can offer other benefits as well. A well-designed equipment layout can help improve consistent quality, eliminate defects, rework and waste. It can also provide a safer workplace, meaning fewer injuries to further strain employee availability. And ultimately, automation results in a more pleasant and rewarding work experience, ultimately helping to improve worker retention.

 

Looking ahead

 

Even in machinery-intensive pallet operations, there continue to be further opportunities for equipment to boost productivity. For example, design for automatic feed is an opportunity to eliminate the manual labor associated with placing boards in automated assembly lines. Likewise, scanning technologies continue to be developed that will help automate grading, improving accuracy, and reducing the need for human decision making.

 

In automated shops, we can look forward to getting better productivity per employee, better quality, and better working conditions. Of course, there is more to retaining a superior workforce than just equipment alone. Employee benefits, engagement strategies, second chance hire programs for ex-convicts, high school affiliation programs, and more can all play important roles in ensuring that you have the people you need to do the work. Investment in equipment, however, can make sure the people you have are as productive as possible, by eliminating the heavy lifting. Why not contact PMG to see how you can do more with less?

 07/15/2021 By: Pallet Machinery Group

Are you starting a firewood operation or considering the upgrade from a splitter towards a full-featured firewood processor or maybe you're just looking for useful tips for your current firewood operation? Then this guide is for you!

Download our free "How to build a successful firewood business?" guidebook here:  Hakki Pilke — How to build a successful firewood business?

Here at Hakki Pilke we have over four decades of experience with firewood processing and the workings of the industry. Whether you’re just getting started or aiming to develop your firewood operation further, we hope this guide gives you valuable insight on the things you need to take into account when planning your operation.

We’ve divided this guide into four sections:
1. Getting started
2. Before processing
3. During processing
 4. After processing

In the first section we look at all the features and variables that you need to consider when you are getting started and choosing the right processor for your needs. We also cover the reasons for making the jump from a splitter to a processor.

The second section covers things you need to know before you start processing firewood. We shed light on how to sort and feed the logs into your processor. We also discuss the importance of choosing the right log deck for your operation.

We then in third section discuss firewood processor features that come in handy during processing. In this chapter we touch upon user ergonomics and safety, chainsaw maintenance and distribution of work.

Lastly, in the fourth section we take a look at what you need to do to your firewood after processing – storing, drying and packaging. Also included are ideas on how to sell and market your firewood product.

 06/10/2021 By: Hakki Pilke North America

This year, EXPO Richmond returned after last year’s break due to the pandemic. The event was held in it’s regular location, the Richmond Raceway Complex on May 21st - May 22nd, providing ample space for attendees, exhibitors, contests, and workshops. EXPO Richmond 2021 was sponsored by the Virginia Forest Products Association & The Cooperative Extension Service at Virginia Tech. The COVID-19 precautions were expertly organized and helped drive attendance from enthusiastic attendees.  Over 200 exhibitor companies gathered with attendees; the complex offers over one-half million square feet of exhibit space, so it was easy to observe distancing guidelines. 

This year’s theme was no different from previous events - a spectacular showcase of forest products, equipment, & services for sawmills, kiln drying, harvesting, biomass, trucking, pallet/manufacturing/recycling, optimization/scanning, material handling, firewood production & related equipment, commercial equipment finance, and other forest industry supplies and services. 

Since EXPO Richmond is one of the first events of the year that our team attended since the shut-downs of last year, we reached out to a few of the exhibitors to get their perspective on the event. 

Q: How is the event going, and what’s your overall impression of the forestry and logging equipment market?

A: “We’ve been coming to Expo Richmond since we’ve been in business, but this is the first industry trade show that we’ve attended since October 2019—and it’s a great show for the first one back,” said Noah Carr, President of Lumbermen Online. ““Last spring was extremely uncertain… and unfortunately, advertising is usually the first expense to get cut. When the manufacturing plants shut down, they pulled back on their advertising. Since then, things have improved significantly and are on a positive, upward trajectory. People are looking to buy more equipment than usual right now. Used equipment is in high demand because of long manufacturing lead times, which has resulted in more business for us.”

Q: How was the turnout this year? Are you glad you made the effort to be an exhibitor? 

A: “It’s been a great show for us… people were actually waiting at our booth for us this morning! It’s a much more successful show than we thought. We weren’t sure what to expect with the gas shortages and prices in Virginia. A lot of companies didn’t show up for the event but we’re sure glad we did,” shared Kevin Weisner, Go Fast Manufacturing. “We sell very little at the tradeshows, but it’s really about the connections you make. Today’s been a bit different than previous events; however, the industry is hot, and we’re expecting a lot of orders to come in after the show.”

If you didn’t attend this year’s event, we hope you’re encouraged by those remarks to add next year’s event to your calendar! 

Here’s are the highlights from the 2021 event: 

Notable Demonstrations

Rotochopper

MC-226 Horizontal Grinder, a highly portable yet full-featured grinding solution that brings “perfect in one pass” convenience for diverse feedstocks.

Baker Products

Blue Streak™ Portable Band Sawmill 3638G, heavy-duty, portable sawmill designed to give high production with little effort. Powered with a 38-HP gasoline engine and hydraulic log controls for loading, turning, clamping, fence arms, and leveling.

Ransome Attachments

Black Splitter, a hydraulic wood splitter attachment series that has earned acclaim for its superior quality in all types of log splitting, firewood & wood fuel production, biomass harvesting, forestry, land clearing, and landscaping. 

Rayco Industries

Pallet PRO, a two operator pallet system with collated nail and pneumatic non-stop nailing. The two operator pallet system is capable of producing between 800-1200 pallets/shift. 

Smith Sawmill Service

TurboSawmill Automated Warrior swing-blade with proven swing-blade technology with electric start, power feed, allows for any diameter log.

On to EXPO Richmond 2022! 

Next year’s conference dates haven’t been announced yet, but the website https://www.exporichmond.com/ is a dedicated conference website. Check back soon for 2022 dates and registration information.  

 05/28/2021 By: Commercial Credit Group

Moving with the markets is something we’ve always tried to do. So when local markets in Mississippi tightened up back around 2000, we got in the mulch business, then added a hardwood circle mill in Oakland and a scragg mill Winona. After eight years running three operations, in three locations we decided that the time had come to merge into one location, update and modernize our milling operations.

Once we made the decision to build a state of the art hardwood sawmill to replace the multiple smaller mills we were running, the search began. And it was a long one. I traveled for a year and a half across the eastern United States and Canada visiting sawmills. The goal from the beginning was to build a mill that would efficiently produce a wide variety of materials so Fly Timber could move with the markets. The mix included cross ties, long timbers, crane mat material as well as hardwood grade lumber. This flexibility would insure that we could always produce what the hardwood lumber market sought and operate with an eye toward maximum return per log. Getting’ the squeal out of the pig as the old-timers called it.

We found out early in the planning phase that to meet this goal, we would have to deal with multiple machinery manufacturers and find a way to smoothly connect everything from the debarker to the main production machines like the Cleereman carriages, McDonough band headrigs and optimized edger, gang and trimmer. All the way out the back of the mill, not to mention the challenge of processing and flowing cross ties to rail cars.

Why Mellott?

During my many mill visits, whenever the discussion turned toward log or lumber conveyors, Rosserhead debarkers, log turners, lumber stackers and material handling equipment, Mellott was the name that kept coming up. From a very rugged built Rosserhead debarker, stand-alone decks and complete systems – nearly everywhere I went there was Mellott. That convinced me, I needed to see for myself, so I visited their plant in Pennsylvania and that sold me. Dale and Stacy Mellott and the entire staff at Mellott Manufacturing are fine people to do business with. They did an excellent job of working on this very complex job, dealing with multiple suppliers, engineers and deadlines. Each time we asked for something to be beefed up to meet our spec’s or to make something longer to expand our product line, the staff at Mellott stepped up to the challenge. That’s why the first thing a log sees when it arrives is a customized Mellott LMR 48” Heavy Duty Debarker, Mellott Log Haul trough, Mellott log decks, slab conveyors and the last thing is the custom built tie lifting system and lumber decks and rollcases.

Fact is looking back on the project, I can’t see how we could have done it as well without Mellott. They truly became a partner in our new mill and in the future of Fly Timber.

Ricky Fly
Fly Timber
Grenada, MS

 05/04/2021 By: Mellott Manufacturing Co., Inc.


Hobby to 700 Truckloads!

I’ve always had an interest in firewood and splitters, I’ve been a logger for over 20 years and my dad built a hydraulic splitter out of scrap and junk parts when I was a kid, I guess you could say I was hooked. When I added firewood to my logging business, we ran an old fashion splitter and sold some bundled wood and about 100-150 pickup loads each year. So, after a lot of research and close comparison of all the top brand of high-volume splitters available we bought the Timberwolf Alpha 6. That single purchase decision drove my part-time business into overdrive. After paying for itself in 4-6 weeks we knew we had the right splitter, the box wedge on the Alpha is the cat’s meow! Within six months we had a our second Alpha 6 and two Timberwolf conveyors, a 12’ and 32’, to boot.

Speed of production, quality wood and great customer service, what more can you expect from a splitter? I can literally split 6-8 times more wood with the Alpha 6 than I was with the old-fashioned splitter. It’s not even close, I’m able to produce a face-cord in about 15 minutes, and the Alpha is so easy to operate my 7-year-old can run it. The guys as Timberwolf have been great on warranty service, we had a hose leaking and called to ask the best approach to address the leak…. Four days later there’s a new hose delivered! I asked how much? No charge. That’s service after the sale.

Our business has grown from a hobby to 600-700 truckloads and thousands of bundles each year for one simple reason; our firewood customers love it! The key to customer satisfaction for us is uniform wood, and the Alpha 6 produces just that, our firewood is clean, uniform, stacks better, burns better and quality wood from our Timberwolf Alpha 6 continues to fuel our growth. So much so, we’re considering adding a processor. And I can guarantee you when that time comes, I’ll make one call to Timberwolf. No more research required – the proof is in the puddin’.

Ray Carpenter
Carpenters Woodshed
Tipton, IA

Three Retired Guys - UN-Retire!

ADK Natural is a team of three old retired guys who started cutting firewood for a nearby camping area as a hobby, just something to keep us busy and fit. We started out with boxes of campwood out by the road. Our first splitter was an ABS box splitter, but after about 3-4 years we’d started selling palletized face cords for pick-up only and needed more production. By then the owners of ABS had purchased Timberwolf, we saw the new Alpha at a tradeshow and knew right away that was our next machine! The demand for our high quality, uniform firewood has been steadily growing, so we added the delivery option to make  it easier for our customers AND THAT REQUIRED ANOTHER upgrade.

I mentioned to Matt we were considering a processor and he volunteered to bring up an HD-Pro X and demo it right on location! It never left! The decision was a simple one, for over 5 years and multiple machines the Timberwolf staff, led by Matt Timmins, has been easy to deal with, honest and their customer service has been awesome. We ended up adding a 24’ Timberwolf conveyor, upgrading to the 5-chain infeed deck (great for longer gnarly logs), the Auto-Cycle feature and 12-Way wedge. We kept our Alpha 6 because you can’t beat it for those really big logs and it’s great for special orders.

One example of that extraordinary service was recently Timberwolf made un upgrade to our new processor, they just showed up and installed it! We didn’t even know it needed anything! Timberwolf is an exception in today’s world, a honest, friendly company that doesn’t employ high pressure sales tactics – just a great line of machines from a company that knows firewood! If you’re thinking of getting started in the firewood business you can’t go wrong with Timberwolf. Meet Matt and his staff at a show or call the office, heck if I need something I just call his cell! After six years we’d never think of any other company than Timberwolf.

Tom Brown
Adirondack Natural Enterprises
Paul Smiths, NY

 03/15/2021 By: Timberwolf Firewood Processing Equipment

 

When it comes to airborne mold spores, what we can’t see definitely can hurt us. Unfortunately, when the weather gets warm in spring and conditions are right, those spores can quickly colonize surfaces. In days, mold can spread from idle lumber or a pallet to contaminate materials and equipment. As a result, employee health and safety, as well as sensitive products, can be compromised.  

 

What is lumber mold and why does it matter?

 

A mold is a fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. There are more than 100,000 mold species, which play an important role in helping to decompose wood and other plant matter. They become problematic, however, when they take root on lumber, pallets, and other unintended surfaces.

 

To successfully colonize a surface, mold requires a combination of oxygen, adequate temperature, a food source (your wood pallets), and free or liquid water. The most common approach to controlling mold is to limit wood moisture. Experts recommend that the moisture content of wood be kept below 19% for best results.

 

One common misconception is that the ISPM 15 heat treatment of lumber will prevent mold. The application of heat treatment is (a minimum of 30 minutes at a core temperature of 56 degrees Celsius) is designed to kill insects living in the treated wood. The intention is to prevent the inadvertent transport of wood pests internationally, where they could attack forests in other countries. In fact, heat treatment can make matters worse by drawing moisture and sugars to the wood surface. Once removed from the heat chamber, a convenient surface environment has been created for mold spores to colonize. 

 

Product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in hygiene-sensitive supply chains are becoming increasingly sensitive to the problem of mold. The presence of mold not only presents a food safety and quality risk but is also a concern from an occupational health and safety standpoint. Pharmaceutical and food supply chains are particularly vigilant in preventing exposure, and the presence of mold has resulted in health and safety complaints by employees in a variety of settings.

 

Basic steps to limit lumber mold

 

Basic steps for limiting lumber mold start with keeping them dry. Here are some best recommended best practices:

Make sure that mold is actually the issue. The discoloration you see in your wood pallets might not be mold. Bluestain creates a bluish or greyish discoloration in wood but is not associated with human health concerns or pallet performance issues. According to an NWPCA brochure, “Mold grows on the surface and can be brushed off or smeared, whereas blue stain penetrates deep into the wood and cannot be removed.”

  1. Keep lumber out of the rain. Even a short exposure to water can be problematic. Such a brief occurrence can be enough for a fungus to start germinating, grow into the wood and produce spores on the surface. By then the wood might be dry, but mold will already be present.
  2. Elevate stacked pallets and lumber off the ground. By using an elevated surface, you can prevent water from wicking up from any puddles on the floor surface or ground.
  3. Don’t store lumber in a trailer. Dark, warm, and humid trailers can quickly turn into an incubator for mold growth. Coordinate deliveries with trading partners so that lumber can be quickly unloaded and placed into dry storage.
  4. Keep lumber in a well-lit, dry, and ventilated environment. Covered storage is critical for keeping lumber dry. For outdoor storage sheds, pallet ends of stringer pallets should be aligned in the direction of the prevailing winds to help improve airflow. For indoor storage, choose a well-lit, ventilated part of the warehouse.
  5. Ensure row spacing to further promote ventilation. Stacked stringer pallets can act as a barrier to air movement on the stringer side. Circulation can be improved by leaving a gap between pallet rows. Orient the ends of stringer pallets in the direction of air movement.
  6. Consider KD softwood lumber and pallets. More industries are switching to kiln-dried softwood pallets. While some applications still require the use of hardwood, KD softwood pallets can be designed to deliver comparable service, without the mold challenges associated with pallet heat treatment.

What about traditional chemical treatment options?

In spite of heroic efforts to keep pallets dry in warm weather, pallets far too frequently have exposure to the necessary combination of heat and moisture, and mold results. Even if you keep your pallets under 19% moisture content, small localized wet spots can provide the needed ingredients for mold to colonize. 


To improve protection against mold, lumber and pallet providers have relied on hazardous and caustic chemical solutions. These treatment products pose additional challenges for pallet manufacturers and users alike. Boards are either dipped into vats of toxic solution or it can be sprayed onto the boards. Both of these approaches pose a health and safety risk to employees as well as the threat of corrosion damage to plant equipment - even after the mold inhibitor has been applied.  Such products are categorized as being toxic to the environment, particularly to marine life. As such, careful attention to handling and disposal is needed to avoid environmental damage.

 

A new approach to chemical mold prevention

 

WoodLock Bio-Shield was originally developed as a treatment for construction lumber to inhibit mold growth in homes. Its inventor, Jim Stanley, saw the need for a non-toxic mold inhibitor for lumber and pallets and reformulated the product for that use. 

 

Similar to other mold prevention products, WoodLock is applied by spraying or dipping onto green cut boards, hardwoods, softwoods, pallets, crates, and boxes. It is uniquely effective in preventing mold by utilizing a unique polymer emulsion that forms an ionic bond with the formula’s anti-microbial agent and a mechanical bond with the wood, effectively “locking” out mold spores by stopping gestation. The active ingredients of WoodLock Bio-Shield are bio-available at just 10% humidity with higher availability at higher humidity levels, so the better the conditions are for mold growth, the harder WoodLock works. These ingredients are held on the surface of the wood by the polymer, which softens, allowing the anti-microbial agent to become more bio-available.

 

This unique formula has a zone of inhibition up to 2-3 mm away, ensuring that nearby areas are protected even if a board is not 100% covered. The polymer seals as it dries so it can work repeatedly, and because WoodLock is not water-soluble, it continues to protect wood from mold growth even after thousands of wet-dry cycles. WoodLock’s performance was validated by Virginia Tech using ASTM D4445 Laboratory Method for Evaluating the Mold Resistance of Wood-based Materials. 

 

In addition to its unique effectiveness, WoodLock is formulated with active ingredients which are on the EPA Safer Alternative List and are listed as FDA GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe). The formula contains no hazardous materials or carcinogens and is non-flammable and non-corrosive. As a result, WoodLock requires no additional safety precautions and can be used indoors and/or around sparking machinery. The product’s pH of 7.3 (once diluted) is the same as the human body, so it will not damage containers, forklifts, or other equipment. Empty WoodLock containers can be recycled in standard municipal recycling streams, no special disposal protocols required.

 03/11/2021 By: Pallet Machinery Group

Let’s keep this simple and to the point.. Well-done print marketing value is on the rise, here’s why: The internet is exploding with infinite amounts of BREAKING NEWS regarding Coronavirus, Tiger King, Coronavirus, ‘Murder Hornets’ and more Coronavirus. There’s no doubt internet and social media usage is up tremendously through the first four months of the year, therefore, general stats (total users, average time spent, etc.) could suggest shifting more advertising to digital media. However, what’s driving the increase in user activity? What’s influencing their subconscious mind? Does that help you and your message? Additionally, people who are usually inactive on social media are now posting and regular contributors are setting personal records daily. And, doesn’t it feel like a war to keep unread emails from reaching triple digits? Now for the boring stuff… Mailboxes are EMPTY! Print advertising and direct mail will be seen and held, you aren’t competing with millions of clickbait headlines, and your customer hasn’t already been negatively influenced with "news.". Suggested Actions: -Don’t stop digital marketing. Adjust to a message for current economy, (Savings, Financing, Availability, Trade-In Specials, Made in USA, etc.) -Send direct mail to your current, past and potential customers. Now! -Capitalize on quality print advertising outlets. -Assuming you’ll be serving the industry for years to come, advertising projects an image of stability, increases “share of mind,” and increased voice as competitors decide to go the opposite direction.
 06/02/2020 By: LumbermenOnline.com

Looking to upgrade your equipment, but need to sell your skidder, sawmill, or pallet nailer first? Or maybe you acquired a few items for a specific job that need to be liquidated, but you aren’t sure what to do? Truth is, there are many different ways, from listing it on LumbermenOnline.com to sitting it out by the road. Each way can fit different types of people and have their own place in the market, but carry pros and cons as well. Assuming you're not one of those lucky guys that are always approached by a deep pocketed offer to help you part ways, here are the main four options in no particular order: Auctions Pros - Assuming the process goes well it's a "quick sale." You have a defined date of item being liquidated, therefore, removes uncertainty. Auction companies have an interest in your items selling for high value and foot the bill for most of the promotion around the sale. Cons - Uncontrolled variables including attendance on auction date due to outside factors, previous items sold, and inability to display equipment’s ability (if applicable). Additionally, other risks are items not exceeding reserve and having to pay a stocking fee, auctioneer’s fees can become very lofty with expensive equipment, transportation of equipment to and from auction, just to name a few. Who does this option work for? Sellers who have numerous items to liquidate, end of business liquidation, or those who want an exact date of sale to plan accordingly. Brokers Pros - There is little time invested by the equipment owner. Generally speaking, there are no fees if your equipment doesn't sell. Utilizing a wide range of contacts from the brokering company. Good brokers are experts at selling equipment, they’ve sold 100s of items, and your item will be nothing they can’t handle. Cons - The most common percent of fees for brokered items is 10% (moving the decimal one place on $100,000 = $10,000). Many brokers have numerous clients and many obligations, you could potentially be one of 100 -200 customers they’re servicing at a particular time. You will not directly know the interest of your equipment to the market and could make for a long selling process. Bad brokers. There are many reputable brokering companies that are worth 10% or more of any item, but there are just enough brokers that talk the buyer up and the seller down to give everyone a bad taste. Not sure where to start looking for a dependable contact to represent your equipment, check out our Online Edition for a solid line up. Who does this option work for? Equipment owners who would like an expert to act on their behalf, while saving time that takes away from what their everyday responsibilities. Marketplaces, i.e., LumbermenOnline.com Pros - Direct control of entire selling process, from price, terms, and transportation. No pressure or obligation to continue to sell your equipment, if the decision is reverted, for example, a new job gets pushed through and that equipment is now needed. Selling your equipment directly carries the minimum number of people involved, by default will simplify the process. Sellers will avoid the previously mentioned high fees versus brokers or auction companies. Solid marketplaces and buy/sell/trade outlets will advise you on tips to help make the process go as smoothly as possible. Advertising in outlets, like LumbermenOnline.com, get your items in front of all potential buyers, including dealers, other brokers, and end-users. Cons – Selling your own equipment can potentially be time-consuming by taking calls, following up, showing equipment, etc. Finding a reasonable asking price can be cumbersome in some circumstances, not all machines are equal - however, your account representative can help advise you on a target price. Just like brokers, selecting valuable outlets to use can be risky – focus on similar equipment listed (if there’s just one or two like items, you’re in the wrong spot), gauge their online services, 84% of adults use the internet, and reach out to past advertisers for reference, even if their item didn’t sell, they can give insight on the process. Prepaying for services, that is any less than 100% success rate always, carries a risk of being out the advertising cost. Logistics of a potential buyer can be a headache. Who does this option work for? People who want to sell their own equipment efficiently, control the process, retain the selling amount in full and get their equipment in front of as many prospective buyers as possible. Get started now! FREE! - Local/Roadside/Craigslist/Facebook Pros – By far the cheapest option to utilize. 90% of potential buyers will be local, therefore, transportation of equipment won’t be a hurdle. You’re still selling the equipment yourself, so you will have complete control of selling process. No pressure from others in the selling process make for a stress-free experience. Cons – If this option worked more often than not, this article would be two sentences long and the above options wouldn’t exist. Furthermore, low number of eyes on your equipment reduces response greatly. Let me explain, parking a Ford F-150 on a busy highway is a good idea. Everyone that drives by is a potential customer because they’re a driver. However, not every driver has a need for a used feller buncher or other heavy equipment. This route is a time killer, if your equipment is parked on the road for 2 months with no interest, that’s two months of no use and time that could’ve been advertised on a larger scale. Who does this option work for? Sellers who aren’t in a hurry for any reason, don’t need to use the equipment during the selling process, and have a solid local market for their equipment for sale. Overview All options have ups and downs, that’s why they all exist. Your goals of selling your equipment will help determine which option fits you. Overall, selling your equipment isn’t hard, like many things, you just have to start. Many potential sellers put off liquidating tens of thousands of dollars in equipment because it seems overwhelming or time-consuming. However, that equipment is at its peak value today (assuming no upgrades or repairs are needed) and there’s a cost even for items that are paid for and not used. If I were selling my equipment, I’d use a couple options that are able to ensure I got my item in front of as many potential buyers as possible. The real winner here, is the buyer of your equipment – you just have to find him!
 04/14/2020 By: LumbermenOnline.com


I’ve heard it thousands and thousands of times and its well documented and reported that ‘print’ is DEAD! From local newspapers, to national magazines, industry related rags and many others have collapsed or barely holding on – I get it! It’s a popular thing to say, “Print is Dead,” it can make you feel innovative, forward thinking and even trendy. BUT, take one step back to the headline, replace “Print” with any advertising outlet you’re a customer of and the statement may still be true… if you don’t evaluate your chosen advertising channels. As an advertiser and a customer, you’re paying for the audience that the magazine, newspaper, website, app, radio, television, billboard, racecar, trade show, or any other advertising investment reaches. That’s it, the audience. Are they reaching your perspective customers? How do you know? In some cases, you won’t know until you try it. It’s simple! No really, it is. To at least check the basics of any advertising option, but in this case, let’s stick with print. There’s 3 key requests you should ask for, before advertising with any print media or if you haven’t in a while (or ever), your current print advertising outlets: Can you send me your most recent audit statement or postal receipt? How do you grow your audience? How do you scrub your audience? If these don’t get answered truthfully with proof, don’t donate your money – even if it is ‘cheap.’ Online advertising is popular for many reasons, but the one that is most overlooked is that every specific paid for ad directly tells you how many eyes were reached. Great! Now, apply that to all other advertising focuses, including print. In short, don’t group all ‘print’ all in one – there’s plenty of print media that wasn’t worth advertising with in the 80’s and 90’s, and that’s still true today. Vet your advertising, ALL ADVERTISING.
 03/17/2020 By: LumbermenOnline.com

The family-owned and operated L. Garbers & Sons Sawmill in Northwest Ohio was established in 1997 by Luther and Kathryn Garbers and their two sons David and Marty. What started out as a side business with a portable sawmill has grown into a full-time operation with a high-production industrial sawmilling system producing pallet material, cut stock, blocking, and grade lumber in Wauseon, Ohio. L. Garbers & Sons Sawmill During the formative years of the business, Luther, David and Marty both farmed and worked separate full-time jobs so they were only able to help their father at the mill on weekends and holidays, but their interest in sawing started at a young age. “We both love sawing lumber and it’s a joy to run the mill,” said David. “It all started when we were kids running our grandfather’s mill. We’ve grown up with it in our blood.” When Luther passed away in 2002 and farming profits started to decline, the brothers turned their focus to sawmilling and began working full-time at the family mill. “Our dad always told us to produce quality material and you will always have work,” said David. “That’s been true and we’ve held to that since the start.” In addition to having decades of experience running sawmill equipment, L. Garbers & Sons has relied on Wood-Mizer equipment for more than 20 years to produce accurate, consistent material by maintaining thickness, reducing waves or variation, and minimizing wane. “We’ve always received comments about the quality and consistency of our material and Wood-Mizer contributes a great deal to our quality,” said Marty. “The quality of how they construct their mills and their engineering help you maintain your production as well as your quality of cutting.” In addition to providing quality material, L. Garbers & Sons has grown throughout the decades by sawing a variety of material and taking smaller jobs to get their foot in the door with a potential for securing larger jobs with clients. For example, the business entered the pallet board business by first doing trailer planking for a trucking company who eventually started a steel coil shipping business and contracted all pallet work to L. Garbers & Sons. “If one product is a little slower, another product will pick up,” said David. “We try to keep our eggs in different baskets.” The business processes and sells material to a range of clients including pallet stock to the pallet industry, blocking to the railroad and steel industry, and grade lumber to clients throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Missouri. Upgrading to a WM4500 Industrial Sawmilling System While L. Garbers & Sons has remained flexible to produce whatever the market demands, one constant has been operating with Wood-Mizer sawmilling equipment. The company started with a Wood-Mizer LT40 hydraulic portable sawmill before securing a large contract for producing pallet stock. This led to an upgrade to an LT40 super hydraulic portable sawmill to meet production demands. After more than 1 ½ million board feet on the LT40 super portable sawmill in just a few years, the operation upgraded again to an LT300 sawmill – Wood-Mizer’s largest industrial mill at the time. Sixteen years later, the company operates today with an industrial sawmilling system that includes a Wood-Mizer WM4500 sawmill, EG400 board edger, and material handling equipment. They also maintain their own blades on-site with Wood-Mizer blade sharpening and setting equipment. “The WM4500 was huge for us, kind of like a present for paying our dues and working our way up,” said David. The installation of the WM4500 was completed in approximately three days and David and Marty were both trained by Wood-Mizer technicians how to operate the new machinery. “What I like most about the WM4500 is the powered toeboard rollers,” said Marty. “It is much nicer shifting the log back and forth on the deck how you want and the dual chain turners are able to handle the logs so much easier.” L. Garbers & Sons fits their sawmill equipment with Wood-Mizer Turbo 7 blades. “We’ve always had the best results with Wood-Mizer blades. We are running the 2” wide Turbo 7 blades with the 1-1/4” tooth spacing and we really like them for the ability to cut faster with the same surface quality,” said Marty. “We’ve tried other blades but didn’t see the quality like we do with Wood-Mizer.” The company also sharpens their blades daily in-house with Wood-Mizer blade sharpening and setting equipment which has helped reduce costs and provide consistent cut quality. “Maintaining our blades in house tends to save money when you don’t have to worry about shipping them out,” said Marty. “We can also control the quality of blades that we are using and we can change the tooth set based on the species we are sawing.” Processing Grade and Pallet Material The sawmill business runs eight hours a day, five days a week with five employees doing a variety of work including milling, edging, running the chop saw, and sharpening blades. "The WM4500 is a lot heavier built which makes it a lot easier handling bigger and longer logs,” said Marty. A variety of grade and pallet quality logs are supplied from Ohio and nearby states including Michigan and Indiana. Grade quality logs tend to come from longer distances because there is more money in the finished material than pallet quality logs that generally come from shorter distances. “We primarily saw walnut, red and white oak, cottonwood, cherry, maple, sassafras, and hickory,” said Marty. First, logs are unloaded and scaled for board footage before being sorted for grade or pallet quality. If they are grade quality, logs are also sorted by species. On the WM4500 sawmill, logs are milled into various sized cants and boards depending on the customer needs and sent to a transfer deck. For boards that need to be edged, the transfer deck sends material to a green chain that goes to the EG400 board edger. “The EG400 edger has a larger width capacity, laser lines, and presets for quickly setting the right board width. Plus cutting speed is a lot faster which has sped up production,” shared Marty. For straight edged material off the mill, the transfer deck sends material to a large chop saw to cut to the correct length. Material is then stacked and prepared to send out to clients. David’s advice for start-up sawmill operations is to work hard, market your business to grow your customer base, and to be patient during good times and bad. For the future, the company is looking to invest in a log debarker, a second sawmill, or even a grade resaw system in order to improve efficiency. For now, L. Garbers & Sons continues to focus on quality and consistency in everything they do. “Do a quality job and you will always have work,” said Marty. “We’ve heard from many different customers that they buy from places with good quality and consistency. That’s something we always try to strive for and is a pride of ours. That philosophy has kept us work in even some of the leanest times.”
 05/13/2019 By: Wood-Mizer Products, Inc.

Sims Forest Products: Southern sawmill shifts focus from low-grade hardwoods to sawing pine, installs new equipment. Operates equipment from some of the biggest names in sawmill and resawing sector, including Cooper Machine. By Tim Cox Date Posted: 4/2/2018 Sims Forest Products Southern sawmill shifts focus from low-grade hardwoods to sawing pine, installs new equipment. Operates equipment from some of the biggest names in sawmill and resawing sector, including Cooper Machine. TUSCUMBIA, Alabama — When Sims Forest Products started up a new sawmill in 2015, it was all set up to cut low-grade hardwood logs into pallet components and other industrial lumber products. About a year later, however, the company transitioned to sawing pine for the same markets and also added some new products for other markets. A key partner in launching this mill has been Cooper Machine, which manufactures a wide range of sawmill machinery. Cooper supplied the Tuscumbia mill with two new machine centers, including a Cooper log merchandising and sorting system in the log yard and a Cooper auto edger. Sims Forest Products operates several manufacturing facilities and has two sawmills operating in Alabama. The company specializes in cutting industrial lumber products. The company’s pine sawmill is located in Tuscumbia in northwest Alabama, adjacent to Muscle Shoals, where Sims Forest Products has its corporate headquarters. Changing the Mill Focus Last year, Sims management transitioned the facility to pine as low-grade hardwood logs became increasingly difficult to obtain. Pine is much more abundant and has made it easier to keep the mill supplied with logs, and many pallet manufacturers have been moving their customers to pallets made of softwood lumber. During this plant evolution, Sims added some new equipment, including a second scragg mill — a Baker Products system — to increase production. The company’s operations are equipped with other well-known names of pallet and sawmill machinery manufacturers. The Tuscumbia plant is comprised of four buildings with a combined 30,000 square feet. Forty employees produce 1.4 million board feet of finished lumber products per month. Cutting all low-grade pine logs, the mill manufactures pallet parts, fence pickets, and it also has operations to produce fence posts, a new product line. About 50% of the mill’s production is pallet components, 25% fence pickets, and 25% fence posts. The mill can cut “whatever a customer wants” for pallet stock, said assistant mill manager Jeff Lindsey, from 7/16-inch deck boards to 3-inch stringers with lengths ranging from 36 to 72 inches. Most stringers coming out of the plant already are notched for four-way pallets. The mill, which began operating in 2014, transitioned to pine as low-grade hardwood logs became increasingly difficult to obtain. Sims Forest Products has pallet manufacturing customers in such states as Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Exploring the Mill Process The mill buys tree-length pine logs down to a 4-8-inch top. The company gets most of its logs locally, but it buys from contractors up to 200 miles away, which includes southern Tennessee and Mississippi. In the log yard, a knuckleboom loader unloads and stacks incoming logs. A front-end loader is used to feed logs to either scragg mill. For fence post production, the logs are fed first to a Cooper merchandising system that was added last year. It bucks the logs to lengths of 6, 7, or 8 feet. Logs continue along a trough and are automatically kicked out into bins according to length and diameter and then can be picked up and staged at the pole operations. The Baker Products scragg mill, acquired used and added in early 2017, is a sharp chain system and runs two 48-inch circle saws to remove two sides of the log. The two-sided cant then is turned on its side 90 degrees. The two-sided cant then goes to another Cooper addition, a 6-inch, two-saw auto edger. The Cooper machine, with automated infeed, replaced an older edger that required a worker to manually feed it material. The Cooper auto edger centers the cant, and two saws are adjusted automatically and remove the remaining sides to produce a four-sided cant. The Cooper auto edger has been a good addition to the mill, noted Jeff. “It has worked out well,” he said. The other production line, in place when the mill first began operating, starts with a Big Jake scragg system originally built by Timberland Machinery, which later was acquired by Brewco. It is a four-saw system with sharp chain infeed that processes the log into a four-sided cant. After twin circular saw blades remove the first two sides, the log continues along to a set of rollers and is turned on its side 90 degrees. The two-sided cant is clamped, measured and centered for the next two saws and exits the machine as a four-sided cant. Cants produced by both scragg mills are conveyed the length of the building to a cant dumper, then stacked with a forklift, banded, and put in storage until they will be resawn. The mill relies entirely on gang saws for resawing the pine cants. They are housed in the other mill building and put on a deck feeding to a Timberland double-end trimmer before being resawn. The company has three gang saws and is in the process of adding a fourth. It has a Brewer, a Brewco, and a Quality Machine, and it will be adding a second Brewer. All the machines have been purchased used — except for the Brewco — and rebuilt by the Sims maintenance staff. The additional Brewer will be a used machine that is being refurbished. Each gang saw has a planer head sizer on the front to trim the top of the cant down to the correct height. Of the three gang saws, one normally is set up to cut stringers and one for fence pickets. The third machine usually cuts deck boards or other material. Material exiting the gang saws is graded by a couple of workers and fed to one of four stackers, two AIT lumber stackers and two Timberland Machinery stackers. The company has a Timberland Machinery double-head notching machine for notching stringers and is getting ready to add a second machine, a West Plains two-head notcher. Profile Technology cutting tools are used for the notching heads. Fencing Operations & Other Markets Sims Forest Products is equipped with a Holtec package saw that is mainly used to cut material to length that is manufactured into fence posts. It also may be used to cut cants to length if needed. The pole operations, contained in a shed, produce 6- and 8- foot fence posts that are perfectly round, without any taper. The mill has one customer for whom it makes a small quantity of pallets; they’re assembled by hand with pneumatic nailing tools. All slabs from the Cooper auto edger and the Big Jake scragg system are routed to a Montgomery hog grinder along with other scrap material. The grindings and sawdust are supplied to the nearby affiliated parent company and is processed into mulch. Most stringers are 48 inches long by 1-1/4x3-½, and nearly all of them are notched before leaving the plant. The company cuts some custom dunnage, too. It also is equipped to cut banding grooves and supplies some grooved dunnage, but most of it is done for its own shipments of fence pickets. Fencing is sold to markets in Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Kentucky, and most of it ends up being treated before eventual sale to building contractors and homeowners. The mill relies on two suppliers for saw blades and service, a local company, Miner Saw, and also Superior Saw Service in Tennessee. Sims Forest Products is a family business, and the owners treat their employees like family, according to Jeff. “We try to get as many local people as possible. We try to help our community around here grow.” Growing with Cooper Equipment Although the cut-up system and auto edger are the first two Cooper machines at the Tuscumbia mill, Sims Forest Products has been no stranger when it comes to turning to the machinery manufacturer for equipment. Cooper has supplied machine centers to the company’s other Alabama mill, including an overhead scragg, a MIT 4-inch vertical band head rig, and a 3-inch edger. Cooper Machine, in Wadley, Georgia, manufactures a wide range of machinery and equipment for the sawmill industry and also is a distributor of some lines of sawmill machinery. For more information, visit www.coopermachine.com or call (478) 252-5885.
 04/13/2018 By: Cooper Machine Company, Inc.

”A new generation is taking the lead”, managing director Anssi Westerlund summarizes this autumn’s brand new Hakki Pilke 38 Pro firewood processor and the Hakki Pilke Pro series being announced now. ”The Hakki Pilke Pro series takes firewood processors to a new age and level. We provide professionals with the output and speed of a new processor generation. We bring productivity-enhancing innovations and market-leading performance to firewood manufacturers”, Westerlund promises. First introduced in the KoneAgria exhibition in Finland on October 12th-14th, the Hakki Pilke 38 Pro is a result of our development work based on close cooperation with customers – careful listening and responding to wishes. Hakki Pilke delivers thousands of processors to more than 30 countries on five continents each year; a lot of information about the requirements of different markets and conditions is accumulated. ”We know professional firewood manufacturers and professionals know us. For example, 38 Pro’s HakkiCut cutting control, where cutting takes place with optimized speed just by pressing a button, and AC10’s automatic chain tensioning are responses to distinct customer needs. This is the direction where we will increasingly steer our operation and R&D”, says Hakki Pilke’s R&D chief Timo Jussila. Hakki Pilke is the world’s leading firewood processor manufacturer, who has revolutionized the market with several innovations and processor models in three decades. 38 Pro’s cut-enhancing HakkiCut™ and patented AC10 are unique solutions not available from other manufacturers. Furthermore, 38 Pro includes many new functionalities and improved features. ”The splitting power has been increased compared to the previous Easy 38 and it’s easily sufficient for even the hardest wood species in different parts of the world. The cycle time is 3 seconds, making the processor even faster with small and big logs. The enlarged hydraulic oil tank cools temperature and extends the operating life of the parts and oil. The reverse valve of the outfeed conveyor is also one of the new features”, Jussila lists. Apart from power, speed, and productivity, professionals making a lot of firewood demand ergonomics and ease of use as well as uninterrupted operation from their processors. ”In 38 Pro, cutting and splitting take place by pressing a joystick button. All other essential functions are also at hand, delivering top-class usability. With 38 Pro, you can make firewood faster than with competing processors in the same size class”, Jussila says. Hakki Pilke 38 Pro in a nutshell - Max log diameter 380 mm - Max log length 600 mm - Power source PTO, electric, combi - Splitting power 10 t - Splitting blade 2/4, 6 and 8 -way - HakkiCut™ cutting control - Outfeed conveyor speed control and reverse - AC10 automatic chain tensioner - Minimal maintenance needs - Hydraulic oil tank volume 72 liters - Reinforced frame - Updated hydraulics About Hakki Pilke Hakki Pilke produces the best firewood processors in the world with more than 30 years of expertise. We know professional firewood manufacturers and professionals know us. We deliver thousands of processors to our customers on five continents in over 30 countries every year. The international operation and local service network of Hakki Pilke offer the world’s best support and after sales service to processor owners. The manufacturer of Hakki Pilke processors, Maaselän Kone Ltd, is part of the Terra Patris group. www.hakkipilke.fi
 10/12/2017 By: Maaselän Kone Oy


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