Tombigbee Lumber Company, a hardwood sawmill in Fulton, Miss., that produces green lumber, is going through a few changes. "Right now, we produce about 8 million board feed a year," says the sawmill's General Manager Kevin Taylor. "We're in the process of doubling our production with some new equipment."
Taylor says 50 percent of the company's production goes to hardwood flooring. Another 25 percent goes to molding and cabinetry, and low grade lumber is used for upholstery furniture. The company also processes wood for pallets. To increase production, they've added equipment such as a head rig, a board edger and a circle header. The company also plans to add a lumber lift and a few other pieces of heavy equipment for loading.
Storage capacity for the logs to feed into the mill was also increased, but the sawmill looked to stacking logs higher instead of expanding the lumber yard. "We were stacking our logs up to 19 feet," says Taylor. "Stacking the logs closer to 30 feet high would give us another million feet of storage."
Tombigbee Lumber purchased a Sennebogen 821R material handler from Power Equipment in Tupelo, Miss. The 142-horsepower tracked machine helped them to stack logs up to 27 feet.
The standard elevated cab on the quiet machine was also a selling point, says Taylor. "If you're not familiar with the log yard, it's uneven. In a high-rise cab, if you're already up in the air, you can't really tell if you're coming across a big hole."
An elevated cab makes it easier to drive a machine into the yard at ground level. "Once you get where you're going, you can lift the cab to see what you're doing."
The cab on the Sennebogen 821R raises 18 feet, 4 inches.
In the lumber yard, a steady spray of water keeps the logs "green" as they wait to be processed. The water keeps logs from turning gray, but it also makes the yard a muddy mess. A tracked machine is easier on the rut-prone yard. "We used a wheel machine to stack logs before," says Taylor. "We had to push it in and pull it out. With this track machine, we can walk right in there, no problem."