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JULY 2018 ● Southern Loggin’ Times

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Vol. 47, No. 9

(Founded in 1972—Our 552nd Consecutive Issue)

F E AT U R E S

September 2018 A Hatton-Brown Publication

Phone: 334-834-1170 Fax: 334-834-4525

www.southernloggintimes.com

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Southern Style Logging Production On Rise

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Almond Brothers SYP Lumber Mill

Co-Publisher Co-Publisher Chief Operating Officer Executive Editor Editor-in-Chief Western Editor Managing Editor Associate Editor Associate Editor Art Director Ad Production Coordinator Circulation Director Marketing/Media

David H. Ramsey David (DK) Knight Dianne C. Sullivan David (DK) Knight Rich Donnell Dan Shell David Abbott Jessica Johnson Jay Donnell Cindy Segrest Patti Campbell Rhonda Thomas Jordan Anderson

ADVERTISING CONTACTS DISPLAY SALES Eastern U.S. Kathy Sternenberg Tel: 251-928-4962 • Fax: 334-834-4525 219 Royal Lane Fairhope, AL 36532 E-mail: ksternenberg@bellsouth.net Midwest USA, Eastern Canada John Simmons Tel: 905-666-0258 • Fax: 905-666-0778 32 Foster Cres. Whitby, Ontario, Canada L1R 1W1 E-mail: jsimmons@idirect.com

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R.S. Bottoms Logging Tough Market Struggles

out front:

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Mid-South Show Starkville In September

Southern Stumpin’. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Husband and wife team Todd and Stella Gray recently changed their company’s name from Triple G, so named for the three Gray men who ran it (Todd with his brother and father), to Todd Gray Logging. With the new name comes a new focus and energy. Story begins on Page 8. (Photo by Jay Donnell)

Special: Chippers, Grinders. . . . . . 28 Bulletin Board. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Industry News Roundup. . . . . . . . . 44 Machines-Supplies-Technology. . . 50 Safety Focus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 ForesTree Equipment Trader. . . . . 55 Coming Events/Ad Index. . . . . . . . . 62

Western Canada, Western USA Tim Shaddick Tel: 604-910-1826 • Fax: 604-264-1367 4056 West 10th Ave. Vancouver, BC V6L 1Z1 E-mail: tootall1@shaw.ca Kevin Cook Tel: 604-619-1777 E-mail: lordkevincook@gmail.com International Murray Brett Tel: +34 96 640 4165 +34 96 640 4048 58 Aldea de las Cuevas • Buzon 60 03759 Benidoleig (Alicante), Spain E-mail: murray.brett@abasol.net CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING

Bridget DeVane

Tel: 1-800-669-5613 • Tel 334-699-7837 Email: bdevane7@hotmail.com

Southern Loggin’ Times (ISSN 0744-2106) is published monthly by Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc., 225 Hanrick St., Montgomery, AL 36104. Subscription Information—SLT is sent free to logging, pulpwood and chipping contractors and their supervisors; managers and supervisors of corporate-owned harvesting operations; wood suppliers; timber buyers; wood procurement and land management officials; industrial forestry purchasing agents; wholesale and retail forest equipment representatives and forest/logging association personnel in the U.S. South. See form elsewhere in this issue. All non-qualified U.S. subscriptions are $65 annually; $75 in Canada; $120 (Airmail) in all other countries (U.S. funds). Single copies, $5 each; special issues, $20 (U.S. funds). Subscription Inquiries— TOLL-FREE 800-669-5613; Fax 888-611-4525. Go to www.southernloggintimes.com and click on the subscribe button to subscribe/renew via the web. All advertisements for Southern Loggin’ Times magazine are accepted and published by Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc. with the understanding that the advertiser and/or advertising agency are authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. The advertiser and/or advertising agency will defend, indemnify and hold Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc. harmless from and against any loss, expenses, or other liability resulting from any claims or lawsuits for libel violations or right of privacy or publicity, plagiarism, copyright or trademark infringement and any other claims or lawsuits that may arise out of publication of such advertisement. Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc. neither endorses nor makes any representation or guarantee as to the quality of goods and services advertised in Southern Loggin’ Times. Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc. reserves the right to reject any advertisement which it deems inappropriate. Copyright ® 2018. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Ala. and at additional mailing offices. Printed In USA.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Southern Loggin’ Times, P.O. Box 2419, Montgomery, AL 36102-2419 Member Verified Audit Circulation

Other Hatton-Brown publications: ★ Timber Processing ★ Timber Harvesting ★Panel World ★ Power Equipment Trade ★ Wood Bioenergy

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SOUTHERN STUMPIN’ By David Abbott • Managing Editor • Ph. 334-834-1170 • Fax: 334-834-4525 • E-mail: david@hattonbrown.com

Hatfields, McCoys, Timber I

’ll venture a guess that you, esteemed reader, have heard of the infamous and bloody feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families. Maybe you’re a history buff who has read all about it, or maybe you saw the History Channel movie with Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton a few years ago. Heck, somebody reading this might be from the area, or even a member of one of the families. Even if you know nothing at all about the details, I bet you’ve at least heard of it. But did you know that timber played a role in the feud? I didn’t either until a few months ago, when someone at Expo Richmond suggested I should look into it as a topic for this column. First, let’s get acquainted with the broad strokes of the feud itself. It was a bitter contest waged between two rural families along the West Virginia–Kentucky line and took place primarily along the Tug Fork tributary of the Big Sandy River. During its most heated years, between 1880-1891, the two families lost more than a dozen of their members to the violence. Things got so out of hand that the governors of both states once threatened to invade each other’s territories with militia to get it under control. The U.S. Supreme Court even got involved. The Hatfields lived on the West Virginia side of Tug Fork, in Mingo County (which was then part of Logan County), and the McCoys were in Kentucky, in Pike County. During the feud, William Anderson Hatfield, known by the nickname “Devil Anse,” led the Hatfield clan; his counterpart on the McCoy side was Randolph McCoy, known as “Ole Ran’l.”

Roots Now, when the Civil War broke out, Kentucky was officially a neutral state and West Virginia was with the North—it was formed by seceding from Virginia and the Confederacy in order to remain part of the Union, the only state so created. Official political affiliations at the state level aside, loyalties were mixed among the population, as this was border territory. Both the Hatfield and McCoy families fought for the Confederacy, including Devil Anse and Randolph, who both served in the 45th Virginia Infantry Battalion. There was an exception. Asa Harmon McCoy, Randolph’s younger brother, fought for the Union, in the 45th Kentucky Infantry. On his way home from the war, Asa was murdered by a Confederate guerrilla militia unit known as the Logan Wildcats. Devil, one of the founders of the Wildcats, was actually a suspect in the murder, but as he was home sick himself at the time, it’s more likely that his uncle, Jim Vance, another Wildcat founder, killed Asa, though charges were never filed. Many years passed before there was another 6

recorded incident, this time over a hog. Randolph McCoy and Floyd Hatfield both claimed ownership of the same swine. Randolph sued Floyd for stealing it. They took their dispute to the local Justice of the Peace, who, of course, was a Hatfield: Anderson “Preacher Anse” Hatfield. Preacher, predictably, ruled in favor of the Hatfields, based on the testimony of one Bill Staton, who was related to both families. Needless to say, the McCoys felt justice had not been served. Two McCoy brothers killed Staton in June 1880, though it was ruled self-defense.

Eyes For Eyes The feud escalated in 1882 when three of Randolph’s sons killed Devil’s brother Ellison Hatfield, who was unarmed. Seems they got into a drunken brawl that ended with the Hatfield man having been stabbed 26 times and finally shot. Hatfield constables arrested the McCoy boys, who were set for trial in the county seat of Pikeville, Ky. They never made it; Devil and his friends had vigilante justice in mind. A Hatfield posse took the killers away from the constables and back with them to West Virginia. After Ellison died, the Hatfields executed the three McCoys, firing more than 50 shots into them. Despite the fact that many of the locals believed the revenge was justified, Devil was among about 20 vigilantes indicted, but none of them were arrested. The McCoy family, angry at the Hatfields’ seeming immunity from the law, enlisted aid from lawyer Perry Cline, who was married to a McCoy, as were many of his family members. Cline was politically connected and apparently used his influence to have the charges against the Hatfields reinstated and rewards offered for their arrest. As the year 1888 was just dawning, the feud peaked in what came to be called the New Year’s Night Massacre. On January 1, Cap Hatfield, an acting constable who had shot a McCoy while pursuing him for the murder of a mail man a couple of years before, went with Jim Vance and a number of other Hatfields to surround the McCoy cabin. The Hatfields started shooting while the McCoy family slept, then set the cabin on fire. Randolph managed to escape, but several of his kin were less lucky. One of his sons was killed in the gunfight, and a daughter, Alifair, was shot and killed while she tried to run out of the burning house. The Hatfield men nearly beat Randolph’s wife to death while she tried to comfort her dying daughter; she was permanently disabled. After the massacre, a Pike County deputy sheriff, Frank Philipps, went after the Hatfields, leading a posse of McCoys into West Virginia. They killed Jim Vance when he resisted arrest.

After several raids and captures, the posse confronted the remaining Hatfields at Grapevine Creek on January 19, 1888. The two armed groups shot it out, with the McCoy party emerging successful. Two Hatfield supporters died in the fight and Philipps executed another after the Hatfield surrender. The posse arrested nine Hatfield people and took them to Kentucky, where they would stand trial for Alifair McCoy’s murder. All were found guilty. Most got life in prison; one, Ellison Mounts, was hanged. After that, the fighting died down, but trials continued, the last of them in 1901. Finally, the Hatfields and McCoys agreed to a truce.

Timber Connection Remember the lawyer, Perry Cline? His alliance with the McCoys wasn’t just about family ties; he had his own personal grudge against the Hatfields. Although the bad blood between the Hatfields and McCoys ran deep and can perhaps be traced back to that first murder at the end of the Civil War, there were other reasons as well. Some of them were social or cultural—the Hatfields were comparatively richer and better connected politically. And there were more direct economic reasons for the resentment, reasons that go back to timber. See, as economic development got into high gear after the war, demand for wood went way up. The value of timberland in Appalachia rose dramatically. The McCoys, like other small farmers, tried to start a timber operation, but it failed, in part because they didn’t have enough land, just a 300acre farm. They also cut timber on someone else’s land, got sued and lost everything. The Hatfields, on the other hand, ran a big, successful timber business. And it started with Perry Cline. Cline and Devil Hatfield both held title to the same 5,000 acre tract of timber, on which Cline had cut. Devil won a civil lawsuit over the land dispute. To the McCoys, it seemed that the court unfairly favored the Hatfields. The court awarded Devil all 5,000 acres, which was all of Cline’s land in West Virginia. He moved to Pikeville, Ky., where he became a lawyer and waited for his chance to get revenge. Basically, that lawsuit helped the Hatfields start their big timber operation, which allowed them to be relatively affluent while the McCoys, who felt cheated and wronged, who felt that the law was in the Hatfields’ back pocket, struggled. Randolph’s sons couldn’t move out and start their own independent farms; Devil’s sons worked in the family timber business. Affiliation with that timber business seemed to determine which side an individual was on, as much as name or blood. Take, for example, ➤ 49 Floyd Hatfield, the one Randolph sued

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Renewed Energy ■ Todd and Stella Gray look to keep building their business in Mississippi.

By Jay Donnell PHILADELPHIA, Miss. hen Todd Gray and his wife, ★ Stella, decided to change the name of their logging operation early this year from Triple G Logging to Todd Gray Logging (TGL) they were looking for a fresh start and new energy. Since 1996, the business had been known as Triple G Logging after Gray’s father, Danny, built the company from scratch starting with tractors and side loader trucks in the 1980s. He upgraded to a loader and a skidder after Gray and his brother Wes graduated in the 1990s and eventually owned three loaders at one point. For many years, Todd, Wes and Danny Gray (hence the name Triple G) worked together in the woods and built up a strong reputation in

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central Mississippi. In 2010, Danny retired and then four years ago Wes left logging to pursue other ventures. Todd continued to grow the business and Stella handled the bookkeeping and all the other office work involved with running a logging operation. The business now consists of two crews and a year ago Wes rejoined the company in order to manage one of the crews. The company has experienced a number of changes over the past decade, but Todd and Stella feel like TGL is running stronger than ever. While things have been running along smoothly over the past few years for the Gray family, that doesn’t mean TGL hasn’t experienced ups and downs like all logging operations do. Whether it’s lack of truck drivers or equipment breakdowns, adversity is no stranger and the life of a logging business owner can be very stressful and it’s something that all loggers

should be wary of. Seven years ago Gray experienced something that makes the usual logging headaches look like a walk in the park. At the age of 32 he underwent open heart triple bypass surgery. “That put a lot of stuff in perspective for me,” Gray says. “I love what I do, but it is really stressful if you don’t have any patience with it. I don’t think the stress is very good for me so I try to manage it better now.” Despite the setback, Gray’s passion for his work remains high. Stella says her husband continues to lead by example. “He has a passion for it and I’ve never really seen anybody like him.”

Operations TGL was clear-cutting a 200-acre tract on flat terrain when Southern Loggin’ Times visit-

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ed. The company works strictly on private land and almost never works on thinning jobs. Some of their main markets include Weyerhaeuser in Philadelphia, Winston Plywood in Louisville, International Paper in Columbus, Rives and Reynolds at Louisville, East Mississippi Pole of


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Macon and Georgia-Pacific in Louisville. Sorts on this particular tract included hardwood pulpwood, pine pulpwood, oak logs, chip-n-saw and a few grade logs. A second crew focuses on getting pine poles and it’s usually East Mississippi Pole that cruises and buys the tracts for Gray. In fact Gray has his tracts lined up for the remainder of the year. Gray used to run just one crew for years, but decided to split up this year into two in order to diversify his company’s offerings. The one crew was cutting virtually all pine, but Gray knew he had to branch out so he started a second crew to cut hardwood. TGL now cuts roughly 70% pine and 30% hardwood. “I didn’t have enough quota for pine so I knew I had to diversify,” Gray explains. “It’s definitely helped. It’s hard to keep an eye on everything sometimes, but I try to keep the crews close together as much as I can.” The two crews combine to produce roughly125 loads a week and

they can get as high as 140 loads on a really good week. They’ll work on tracts anywhere from 50 acres to 300 acres. Gray attributes much of his company’s success to his hard-working and dedicated crew. “We have very low employee turnover and our guys are all very good at what they do,” Gray notes. “I try to hire people who have plenty of experience because there’s no time to train people out there.” Employees generally arrive on site at 6 and leave at 5, but if there’s a truck coming late they may have to stay until 6. They’re granted time off for all major holidays and given a week paid vacation. TGL used to offer health insurance, but the costs got so high that they couldn’t afford it anymore. Safety is very important to everyone at TGL and the two crews talk about the importance of keeping a safe work environment every week. “I make sure to monitor the guys and if they’re doing something unsafe I will definitely talk to them about it,” Gray explains. “All my guys are pretty experienced and know how to be safe out there.” TGL will haul logs as far as 125

SLT SNAPSHOT Todd Gray Logging Philadelphia, Miss. Email: StellaG601@aol.com Founded: 1980s Owners: Todd and Stella Gray No. Crews: 2 Employees: 6 Equipment: 2 feller-bunchers, 3 skidders, 2 loaders, 2 dozers, 1 truck Average Production: 125 loads per week Average Haul Distance: 80 miles Tidbit: Philadelphia, Miss. has a population of 7,361

From left, Addison Gray, Jimmy Davis, Jeff Fortune and Todd Gray

Stella and Todd Gray

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Gray expanded the company to have two crews this year, with his brother Wes back on board to supervise one of them.

miles, but that’s generally the farthest they will go. The average haul is roughly 80 miles. Contract trucks get the job done for TGL, but they’ll also use a TGL-owned 2000 model Peterbilt to move timber when they need to. The Peterbilt mainly pulls a lowboy and transfers TGL’s equipment from one tract to the next. The company used to own five Mack trucks, but the constant headaches and rising insurance costs associated with trucking became more trouble than it was worth. Lack of truck drivers is a major

issue in Mississippi just like it is everywhere else in the South and beyond. “I don’t really see the issue getting better any time soon,” Gray says. “The older drivers are dying out and the younger ones think they can kind of call the shots.” Gray reports that the average turnaround time for drivers at the mill is about 30 minutes, but there are times when they have to wait two hours when there is a crane down or something of that nature. He also notes that county officials are very strict when it comes to leaving too much mud on the road.

Iron Lineup TGL runs mainly John Deere equipment purchased from Stribling Equipment in Philadelphia. Deere machines include a 2018 848L skidder, 2018 437E loader, 2016 437D loader, 2016 843L feller-buncher and a 2014 748H skidder, along with a 2008 Prentice 2670 fellerbuncher and a 2014 Tigercat 620D skidder. Gray has been very happy with the new John Deere skidder and loader. “Their financing is about the best there is,” Gray explains. “The

The crews haul to a variety of mills, relying mainly on contract truckers to get the wood to market.

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new loader and skidder have been working great for us.” He’s also pleased with the support provided by Stribling personnel. Jimmy Davis operates a fellerbuncher, Jeff Fortune runs a loader, Addison Gray mans a skidder, Wes Gray runs a loader, Joe Triplett operates a skidder and Richard Lewis drives the company truck. Gray uses a 2017 John Deere 700K dozer to build roads whenever it’s necessary and also owns a 2017 John Deere 450 dozer. He also runs a loader for one of the crews. He has the ability to run any piece of equipment the company owns so whenever an employee is sick or on vacation Gray steps right in without missing a beat. He handles all the BMP and SMZ work when they finish up on a tract. Once all that work is completed Gray generally has to get the thumbs up from the landowner before moving on. When moving to a new tract TGL transfers the feller-buncher first in order to get ahead and have timber on the ground ready to go for when the skidder and loader arrive. Machines are greased twice a week and oil is changed every 300 hours. Delo 400 oil is preferred. The new John Deere pieces are still under warranty and maintenance is performed every 1,000 hours. Equipment maintenance costs average about $70,000 per year annually, but Gray reports that fuel costs are TGL’s biggest expense over the course of the year. Fuel prices at the beginning of the summer began to climb which was a


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Most of Gray's machines are John Deere, purchased from Stribling Equipment in Philadelphia.

cause for concern, but now that the summer is winding down the price of fuel seems to be getting lower. TGL maintains a 50x80 shop in Philadelphia. Gray reports that he’s never experienced any serious equipment vandalism issues, but he has had a few CB radios stolen.

Industry Wes’s son (Todd’s nephew), Addison, has worked for the business for the past two years and has a large Instagram following where he posts many photos from TGL’s in-woods operations. For those unfamiliar, Instagram is a social media application where people from all over the world share photos of anything and everything. Many loggers have taken to the popular social media application to share interesting photos from logging jobs as well as showcase new equipment. Addison’s Instagram page (@_mr._gray_) has more than 5,000 followers and features spectacular logging photos. It’s always great to see young loggers promote the industry as much as possible. Gray notes that over the last 10 years in the Philadelphia area he’s noticed some loggers leave, but recently he’s observed more loggers getting back into the action. He has some solid advice for the new loggers starting out in the business. “You have to have a lot of patience,” Gray explains. “I think it’s important to stay in the woods and be a leader for the guys and you’ve got to have leadership skills.” He adds, “You need to know how to run everything and you need to have good credit. Pay your bills on time and save up for the winter months.” Stella works hard to stay on top of all the bookkeeping and paperwork, which can be quite a task. Gray likes the size of his business right now and doesn’t have any plans to expand as of yet, but he has been thinking about buying a couple of trucks in the future. He jokes that he’ll have to find people to drive them first. Gray has two daughters, Kaylan and Sadie, and one son, Deas, who could possibly join the family business in several years. “I’d love for him to come out here some days, but then other days I don’t want him to have to deal with all the headaches involved,” Gray says. When the Grays aren’t working they enjoy spending time with their children as much as possible and vacationing in the mountains. They’re also planning on buying a SLT camper in the future. 12

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Their Own Way ■ Delton Hoover and Kelly Smith were outsiders to logging, but soon learned how to do it Southern Style.

The only non-Tigercat piece on the crew, the Deere loader is serviced by Stribling Equipment.

By David Abbott STAR CITY, Ark. artners Delton Hoover, 33, and ★ Kelly Smith, 31, have spent the last eight years running their company, dubbed Southern Style Logging, LLC, with their trucks hauling under the separate banner Bayou Country Trucking, LLC. Asked where they came up with the name, they admit with a laugh that neither exactly knows. They knew they didn’t want to just name it for their initials— “D&K” or “H&S”—as many loggers do. The best answer is this: before he got into logging, Kelly had spent some time doing volunteer work on the West Coast. Thinking about the experience later, he noted that the style of logging out there is quite different from what they were doing in southeast Arkansas. “I thought, well this is southern style logging,” he recalls—and thus, the name. “We could have just gone with ‘Redneck Style,’ too,” Hoover laughs. Neither Hoover nor Smith grew

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up in logging. “I lived in Grady and didn’t really know what logging was,” Hoover says. “I had no idea that Monticello had this many log trucks.” Hoover was working in

commercial lawn care, while Smith was in agricultural work, leveling land for irrigation. Both men attend the same church, Church of God in Christ, Mennonite in Star City, Ark.

A mutual friend in that church, Chad Esau, wanted to start a logging crew in 2005, and invited Hoover to run a loader for him that August. Smith joined them in 2006. “Chad called

With no experience in the woods, Hoover and Smith started working on a church friend's crew 13 years ago, and bought it from him in 2010.

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Truck drivers Mike Carter, left, and Jeremy Stringfellow, right; not pictured, Jay Hayes

Left to right: Omar Juarez, Corey Koehn, Kelly Smith, Filadelfo Garcia, Delton Hoover, Philip Ensz

SLT SNAPSHOT Southern Style Logging, LLC/Bayou Country Trucking, LLC Star City, Ark. Email: Ssllogging10@gmail.com Founded: 2010 Owners: Kelly Smith and Delton Hoover No. Crews: 1 Employees: 8

Owners Kelly Smith, left, and Delton Hoover, right

me up, said he had a man out and asked if I wanted to drive a skidder,” he remembers. “I said, ‘what’s a skidder?’ But it seemed natural because I knew machinery. I had wanted a change, so after filling in on it for a day, I said yeah, I think I could handle this.” They worked for Esau for a few years, until a bout with lime’s disease sidelined him. “It was a bad case,” Hoover recalls. “He couldn’t sit in a machine, and he needed a long treatment.” Although he mercifully recovered, it took a while, and since he was unable to work during that time, Esau opted to sell his company to his two employees. They bought it from him in March 2010. Things turned out well enough for Esau, who is about a decade older than his former protégés. “His dad has a sweet corn business and he does row crop farming,” Hoover says. “He figured out where the money’s at; he knew better.” The men still go to church together and remain friends to this day.

Setup The partners financed the purchase of the equipment through Esau for the first two years. Then they switched to the Bank of Star City, which was also where Esau had done business. “They have been very helpful,” Hoover says. “I would have hated to have had to try it with one of the big banks.” The

bank has Southern Style’s equipment payments set up on a per ton basis. That way, in slow months, they don’t owe as much. “It helps the cash flow,” Smith says. “They get a set amount per ton hauled.” Southern Style’s single crew fields two cutters, two skidders, and two loaders, plus a third held in reserve. It’s almost all Tigercat iron, save for a 2011 model John Deere 437D loader and a 2007 Prentice 2384 model, which is the spare. The newest loader is a ’17 Tigercat 234B. Cutters are a ’15 720E and ’11 720G, while skidding duties are performed by a ’14 620E and a ’12 620D. Tires in the woods are all Firestone, 35.5 on the skidders and 28L on cutters. Under Bayou Country Trucking, Hoover and Smith have four trucks—three 389 Peterbilts (a 2014 and two ’16 models) and a ’02 Kenworth W900—pulling two Pitts and two Big John plantation trailers. The trucks run Detroit 60 series motors with 500HP. They bought the Deere loader from Stribling Equipment in Monticello. The Tigercat machines come from MidSouth Forestry Equipment in Warren; Mark Pennington is their salesman. “I’ve never met a salesman who will change a hydraulic hose for you, but he’s done it,” Hoover says of Pennington. “With Tigercat machines we don’t have much downtime, but when we do MidSouth

Equipment: 2 cutters, 2 skidders, 2 loaders, 4 trucks, 4 trailers Average Weekly Production: 50 loads, but increasing since recently adding another employee and second fellerbuncher; too soon to say what the new average will be, but production has been up to 80 loads weekly Average Haul Distance: 40 miles Tidbit: Delton and Kelly are both members of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite; Kelly has done volunteer work abroad through the church. It was also their affiliation with the church that got them into logging, a business with which neither of them had any prior familiarity. A fellow church member hired them to run machines for him, and then sold the company to them a few years later when he had to step down due to health reasons. It was also the church that indirectly led to the company name, Southern Style Logging. Kelly noted that southern style was different than the type of logging on the west coast, where he had done mission work. takes care of us. I have a lot good to say about this dealer. The other day we had a skidder go down and that afternoon they were out here.” Operators handle routine R&M in the field, including greasing every other day and changing oil every 250-300 hours, depending on the machine. For truck repairs, Southern Style has a 60X80 shop in Star City.

Timber The loggers contract under Silvicraft, Inc. in Monticello. Jay Hilton, a procurement forester at Silvicraft, keeps them busy. “We’ve worked with him quite a few years, and he has done a real good job taking care of us so far,” Hoover notes. Up until a year ago they were working most-

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Southern Style hauls its production under Bayou Country, LLC, a separate company also owned by Smith and Hoover.

The loggers report that mills in southeast Arkansas can't get enough wood.

The crew recently increased production by adding another cutter and employee.

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ly Weyerhaeuser company land, but have since been on all privately owned tracts. Other than a handful of clear-cuts over the winter, it’s been almost all first and second thinning in pine plantations. For the last year they have been working close to home, but they know that won’t last. For years before that, they worked an hour and a half away. When Southern Loggin’ Times visited in August, they were thinning a 110-acre tract. They were getting two to three loads an acre, and expected to finish the tract within four weeks of starting it. After that, they have several more tracts lined up down the same road on the same block of timber. Silvicraft takes care of road maintenance with a dozer and grader. Logging was still in a slump in 2010 when Hover and Smith took over, but it has been pretty good and steady since 2012, they say, and it’s only improved from there. “This year seems to be a good year so far, better than it’s been,” Hoover feels. Weather, for the most part, has been friendly this year, as have the markets. Mills can’t get enough wood, the partners report. “Other than about two weeks in the spring, it’s been fairly dry, and not much quota, surprising enough,” Hoover comments. Regular destinations for Bayou Country’s trucks include Highland Pellets in Pine Bluff (pine pulp), Evergreen Packaging in Pine Bluff (hardwood), Interfor in Monticello (chip-n-saw) and Floyd’s Chipmill in Star City. On most tracts, production is heavy to pulpwood, with maybe 30% chip-n-saw. Average haul distance is 40 miles. In the past Southern Style was averaging 50 loads a week, but the crew is in transition now. They only just recently added the second cutter and hired an extra man to run it. Since then, production has been on the rise. The last week in July they hauled 80 loads, and the day before SLT’s visit they hauled 19 loads in one day. It is too soon to tell what the new normal will be, but Hoover suspects it will settle somewhere between 60-80 loads. Why the growth? Part of it was that Silvicraft asked for more production, no doubt. But the loggers had their own reasons as well. “We offer a week vacation to all our men, so when everyone takes it, that’s two months of the year when we’d be down a man,” Smith explains. “We needed an extra man to just give us some breathing room.” Hoover adds, “In some tracts we were putting too much stress on the one cutter and burning operators out at that position. Now we can get the wood out without being so pressured all day long. We can take time to take care of machines and do maintenance,


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because some of that slips when you don’t have time.”

Crew Normally, Hoover runs the Deere loader and Smith drives a truck. Lately, however, they’ve traded places, as Hoover has been down on his back. He even had to be off the job for a short time. “It made me realize I’m not needed out here, because they put out the best week we ever had while I was gone,” he

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laughs. “I need to take more vacation time so we can make more money.” Philip Ensz runs the other loader. Filadelfo Garcia runs one skidder; “You’d be hard pressed to find a better skidder man,” Hoover says of him. Corey (Skidder Baby) Koehn goes between a cutter and the other skidder, and Omar Juarez is the new man on the newer cutter. Truck drivers are Jay Hayes, Jeremy Stringfellow and Mike Carter. “He’s one of those who is reaching retirement age and who you won’t be able to

replace,” Hoover says. Like other loggers, these two have felt the tighter restrictions insurance companies have placed on truck drivers. “We have had a few drivers, including a few I thought would have been good drivers, that we couldn’t hire because they didn’t have the three years’ experience they want,” Hoover admits. “But right now we have a good group who are very experienced and very dependable. I would sure hate to have to start looking again.” Smith adds that they do

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require pre-employment and random periodic drug testing of all drivers. Insurance is from Merchant and Planters Insurance Agencies in Warren, Ark. The crew had formal safety training once a month when they were working on Weyerhaeuser land, since that company stresses safety so much. “Much to our shame, we have let it slip since we started working on private,” Hoover admits, but they do still discus safety issues as needed, and they all wear bright colored shirts or vests, hardhats and other PPE. To help keep everyone on the same page, Southern Style uses a smart phone app called Codo, which is a collaborative to-do list. Both the owners and Ensz, as the primary loader man, are in the group, and the app is synchronized so they can all see it and add to it if they need parts or supplies. They also use the group messenger app called “WhatsApp” to keep everyone in communication. Both men are married with children. Hoover and his wife Abby, married 10 years, have four sons, ranging from 7 years to two months old: Jacob, Drake, Zachary and Jaxon. Smith and his wife Linda, after seven years married, have two kids: three-year-old daughter Sabrina and one-year-old son Brayden. They remain very actively involved in their church. As mentioned earlier, Smith spent time in Seattle and Chehalis, Wash., helping rebuild after a flood. The church sends people to several places after disasters, through the organization with which their local church is affiliated. In the community, Hoover is a member of the local volunteer fire dept. “I go when I can, and that’s on evenings and weekends,” he says. “They are looking for all the help they can get so when I can get there, they’re happy.” Looking to their future, the partners want to maximize what they have without adding to the crew. Their next big purchase planned is a track cutter. “It is a little unknown in southeast Arkansas,” Smith says. “Not many use it in thinning but we want to try it after we watched one in Louisiana recently. Who knows if it will happen or not.” For others who might think of jumping into logging like they did, Hoover has simple advice: “Don’t do it,” he laughs. “Oh, it’s not that bad. It is a love hate thing, I think. That’s what it feels like. There are days when I’d like nothing better than to leave and never come back, but then I think, what else would I do? You make a decent living. You’re not going to get rich and when it’s all done you might not have anything to show for it, but it SLT was a ride anyway, I guess.”


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Export Success ■ In one of the smallest footprints, Almond Bros. Lumber packs a big punch.

The Almonds, from left, Vince, Ardis, William and Winn

By Jessica Johnson COUSHATTA, La. ★ or five generations, the Almond family has milled southern yellow pine in the town of Coushatta, but the tradition actually started a generation before that. Ardis Almond, now retired, tells the story of his great-great grandfather, Green Almond, serving the Confederate Army in the 14th North Carolina before losing an arm on the same day Stonewall Jackson lost his at Chancellorsville. A farmer, the one-armed Almond now had to find a new way of living after the injury. He decided to give the sawmill business a try. He put the first Almond sawmill on a mountainside near the Pee Dee River in North Carolina. Green’s son, Richard Thomas Jackson Almond (named for Stonewall), learned the business from his dad and followed the gold rush to Jefferson, South Carolina where he cut timbers for the mine and lumber for the boom town. After it played out, in 1909 he moved his family, including a son, Reno, to Red River Parish and Coushatta, where the land and tim-

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ber was cheap. He and his son would ultimately run separate sawmills, but the Great Depression took both mills with it. Many years later, in 1947, Reno and his sons started a sawmill on the same site where the operation is today and became Almond Bros Lumber. The business persevered through many challenges, including a devastating planer mill and lumber inventory fire in 1957. In the early 1970s, a fifth generation of Almonds came into the business—Ardis, William, Cecil and

Tremmell, and following the retirement of the previous generation they reorganized it and took over the leadership in 1983. The sixth generation started working full-time in the mid 1990s and today the mill is in the capable hands of Winn, Will and Vince Almond. In spite of bad health, William still tries to work full-time and handles the banking and finance along with Office Manager Scott Page. They still look to Ardis, who is officially “retired,” for his mechanical engineering expertise and Ardis often

The mill takes high-grade pine logs of a somewhat large size. Average butt diameter is 20 in. year round.

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finds himself in the office helping here and there with projects. Ardis notes that the mill is designed more like a hardwood mill than the large SYP facilities dotting the South. “We go for grade and quality first, then production. It’s one of the reasons we got into the export business. If you were going to be in the domestic market, you had to cut 100MMBF or more a year. We don’t do that,” he says. Tremmell passed away from liver cancer two years ago. “He was the spirit of the company and really broke us into export,” Ardis reflects. The family credits Tremmell’s go-getter attitude in the 1990s for the successful mode in which it currently operates. Nearly 85% (if not more) of the mill’s 26MMBF production is exported. The mill was exporting here and there, mainly using agents and a broker—until one day the broker said they wanted to take 100% of Almond’s capacity. The mill shifted to be export focused, cutting true to size boards of very high-grade pine, with no dressing, and then the world plywood market crashed, and it took the broker down with it. “All of a sudden we were set up for export and had no contacts in the domestic market,” Ardis explains.


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“Plus, it had changed a lot during the years we had been exporting. That’s when Tremmell got on a plane, even though he didn’t even like to leave Red River Parish, and he started going over there and going direct to these customers, which at that time was unheard of.”

Current Exports Vince Almond has filled Tremmell’s shoes and now focuses on traveling, building relationships with overseas customers, and selling. His cousin Winn cheekily says, “You have to go. They play so many games. Vince is bad news on two feet. He’s got an iron stomach and iron will.” Winn sells the mill’s timbers (the main product currently marketed domestically) and the lower grades to the Caribbean. He says, “Those markets are established. Over time we’ve been able to decipher who can pay us and who can’t, who’s honest and who’s not. That’s where we sit.” In the 1990s, Tremmell and William worked hard to establish markets in Italy and Spain. Now, Vince works hard to establish markets in the Middle and Far East, and mainly, North Africa. However, between the world economy and the poltics of some of these countries, things have gotten rocky at times. Vince explains, “When Libya blew up, it was gone. If you wake up and the next day your market’s dead, and you’ve got nowhere to go? It’s very up and down.” In addition to keeping an eye on the politics, the Almonds also pay close attention to currency—most markets have volatile currencies. “We’ve had some orders where the buyer sent us some of the money, but they said don’t ship it. The currency had devalued by 50% and they wanted to wait until it recovered. It’s crazy. Each different country has its own set of problems. And some aren’t so bad, like in Asia, but the Middle East is terrible with that because it’s very up and down,” Vince explains. Selling export lumber means you have to work at it, the Almonds say, especially for their special kind of lumber. The family is very proud of the reputation they’ve built over the decades—in some parts of the world, dealers and agents refer to SYP as “Almond Wood.”

Production While capacity is 26MMBF, Vince estimates that the mill does about 24MMBF most years. The mill cuts four grades: #2, Merch select, Prime and Sap. Winn explains that mostly those are in-house grades, as they exceed the rules for export lumber. “Everything is a half step up. That’s

Logs are broken down on a 42 in. McDonough headrig with Cox carriage and scanned with the new USNR Lasar2 3D scanning system—the mill’s most recent upgrade.

An older Crosby trimmer has been converted to handle the specific lengths Almond mills.

The addition of the USNR Lasar2 3D scanning system, completed last May, was the first project done following mechanical engineer Ardis Almond’s retirement.

how we are able to demand higher prices.” Mainly the mill focuses on 2x8s and 2x10s, full size, based on metric standards. By cutting this size, the Almonds aren’t able to recover as much, since it is traditionally thicker and wider, high grade; though the mill strives to be as efficient as possible and will mill edger strips to 1x3x3 dimension and call it short and narrow (SNL). The overseas market purchases a fair amount of SNL for various applications. Ardis comments that most domestic mills won’t fool with something that small, but considering the high grade, it’s still worth something. “We have to handle it a lot, but we

can come out on it,” he adds. Since the lumber is handled by so many before it reaches the destination, and given the various applications at the destination, Almond lumber is not dressed. Winn explains, “They want thicker pieces, to rip it a little different.” Almond Bros. Lumber owns little standing timber, and is sustained strictly on gatewood, procured within a 150-mile radius, with an average butt diameter of 20 in. yearround. Winn says one of the biggest struggles the mill has is with the logging force. Because of the high grade needed, even a “good” tract will only have about 30% of usable

logs for them. It does help that the primary breakdown is able to handle logs up to 48 in. “I don’t know if there’s not enough logs out there or if there’s not enough loggers,” he adds. The Almonds have the capacity to keep 1MMBF of logs under water, to help condition and maintain the high grade. Once brought into the compact mill, logs are broken down on a 42 in. McDonough headrig with a Cox (highly modified in-house) carriage. Ardis explains that at the primary breakdown, some boards are made, but the sawyer is mainly getting a flat face for the McDonough twin resaw. “Even with our sophisticated equipment, it can only look at the shape and how to cut the log based on that. What it can’t see is grade, which is why our sawyer is looking at every face he cuts. He’s learned from experience, so he can guess what the rest of the log looks like,” Ardis explains of the veteran sawyer. At the primary breakdown, the Almonds upgraded their scanning technology to the Lasar2 3D scanner system from USNR last May—the first major project completed since Ardis’ retirement. “I was involved in the design,” he explains, “and did some of the foundation work we had to do, but it was all them for installation and startup.” Winn is very happy with how the project went overall, which was overseen by Will Almond and Keith Melton, Mill Superintendent-Green End. It replaced an aged Inovec system that had become obsolete and left the Almonds buying computer cards off eBay in order to keep it going. “It was doing what we needed it to do, but we’re so much about grade. Nothing can read grade, but it was doing a good job of helping the sawyer,” Winn explains. “When it would break down sometimes it would be two days before we could get it back going because it was obsolete. We had to change it.” Following the McDonough bandmill and resaw is an old Crosby edger that was also highly modified inhouse for the specific way the Almonds mill SYP. The McDonough resaw scanning system was upgraded for the same reason as the headrig— downtime and product support. PawTaw-John Services helped with that project. “We really need to upgrade the edger system,” Winn admits. “We like what we’ve got, but we need to make some upgrades.” The Crosby trimmer was converted long ago to handle the “odd” lengths cut, supported by a Hi-Tech Engineering scanning system. Ardis says the stacker is so old and modified it’s basically a piece of Almond machinery at this point. Vince makes the comment that everything in the mill is used until it’s used up. Winn quickly pipes in that even

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then, they will modify it before junking the machinery totally. Ardis, laughing, corrects Winn: “We don’t ever junk anything. We might need the sprockets!” The conventional direct fire natural gas dry kiln is HEMCO. Ardis explains that the debate to go to a wood fired kiln has been had many a time, but with export nothing can get on the lumber. So it would be nearly impossible to use a direct wood fired kiln because of the dust and ash. He adds, “We’ve looked many times about putting in a boiler, but with the environmental regulations, and it’s run time, it costs so much. We figured out how to make the natural gas work, so we have kept doing it that way,” Ardis says. The dry end system is Hi-Tech Engineering, with belts, decks and conveyors built in-house. Lumber is warehoused until a container is ready to ship out of either Mobile, Ala. or New Orleans.

Modications Ardis, a graduate of Texas A&M University, is a licensed engineer by trade and has built a culture at the sawmill of tinkering, building and figuring out how to make something work perfectly right for the

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mill’s highly focused finished product. Since so many of the machines have been modified and rebuilt inhouse, the machine shop, and filing room, of Almond Bros. Lumber is essentially its own spare parts maker. Winn believes that’s one of the biggest secrets to the family’s success. “If you went and put in a brand new mill, with all new technology, it might be where you couldn’t do what we do because everything is modified exactly for export. If you went out and built one from scratch, you’d have to make modifications.” Ardis adds that with every major project, it takes a handful of years beefing up the machinery, tweaking it before it will do what the family wants. “A lot of trial and error has happened here, that’s a fact.” Like with the machinery, the Almonds have even modified their mill’s flow in order to fit on a relatively small parcel of land. The very compact mill has curved decks throughout in order to maximize space. Ardis explains, “You don’t see many mills laid out like this. But we’re jammed up. Creek on one side, hill on the other, pond on one end, and a road on the other. We had to fold the mill until it worked.”

The filing room also serves as a spare parts shop for modified equipment.

Keith Melton, Mill Superintendent-Green End

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Usually, the mill will average a 44-hour run week with one shift. Winn likes to see 50 to 55-hour run weeks when the markets are good and the weather yields the logs needed, but that’s not typical. Between 85-90 employees staff the facility across the single shift. “You have to get someone that wants to live here or has a reason to be here,” Vince says. He estimates that 75% of the employees live no more than five miles away. “It’s why we have a lot of families that work here,” Ardis agrees. Labor concerns and the specialized nature of the milling process is also why the Almonds have never fluctuated to a second shift. Winn stresses the importance of paying close attention to the details of the lumber. By the time a second crew would be trained in the way of making “Almond Wood,” it would be time to lay them off: “We’ve talked about that often, when things are good and running as hard as we can, but we can’t do like a domestic mill, put a night shift on and just run it.” In addition to Melton as the Mill Superintendent-Green End, Joey Freeman is the Mill SuperintendentSLT Dry End. This article previously ran in the April 2018 Timber Processing.


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Chippers & Grinders Note: This section previously appeared in the June 2018 issue of Wood Bioenergy.

Bandit Industries

Bandit Industries’ lineup of whole tree chippers has earned their reputation among industry professionals by standing up to the toughest jobs, producing high quality chips, and helping producers build their businesses. Bandit continues to refine its lineup of whole tree chippers, adding options and features to make these machines more productive. That’s why in 2018, we’ve introduced new options to our largest drum-style whole tree chippers—the 24 in. capacity Model 3090 and the 30 in. capacity Model 3590. Bandit’s Model 3090 can now be outfitted with a powerful Caterpillar C27, 800 HP engine. This engine powers Bandit’s legendary whole tree chipper drums, which produce a higher quality chip, and throws those chips harder, fully loading chip trailers without the need of an auxiliary blower, which robs horsepower and increases fuel consumption. Bandit’s Model 3590 rides on a new tandem axle configuration that slims down the width of the machine, making it easier to haul down the road and easier to position in the woods. The Model 3590 has a new track option configuration, giving one of Bandit’s most popular whole tree chippers go-anywhere versatility. The Caterpillar 325EL steel track undercarriage is the same tracks we put under our largest horizontal grinders. The 3590 track can be outfitted with a powerful Caterpillar C27, 800 HP diesel engine. The new Fish Mouth infeed is standard on all Bandit whole tree chippers. This unique design helps funnel whole trees toward the feedwheels, making it easier to feed larger trees. Visit banditchippers.com.

Morbark A revolutionary new horizontal grinder, the Morbark 3400X Wood Hog is powerful, productive and versatile. 28

“Morbark listened closely to customer feedback while developing the design for the 3400XT,” says Michael Stanton, Morbark Director of Industrial Sales. “The result is that we were able to provide the features our customers want and the versatility they need, while staying true to our proven technology.” One of the most important features of the 3400XT is its standard width of 8 ft. 6 in. (2.59 m), making it within the legal transport width in any country, no matter what engine is used. This model accommodates engines from 520 to 800 HP (388 to 596 kW), so it is ideal for a broad

range of applications in a wide variety of markets worldwide. Like all of Morbark Wood Hog models, the 3400XT also is available with electric power. Customer feedback steered Morbark toward creating more operatorfriendly features on the Wood Hog. Key among these are the design of the infeed bed and the maintenance platform. The infeed bed is an additional 24 in. (60.96 cm) longer with sloped sides. This configuration improves operator sight lines for more efficient loading of material. Standard on the 3400XT is a removable infeed chain return floor, which allows excess material to fall away to minimize the wear on the floor, bed chain and inserts, particularly useful in landclearing or other applications with dirty material. When maintenance is required, it’ll be quicker and easier to perform on the extended platform. The area between the hood and the engine has been reconfigured to provide an additional 12 in. (30.48 cm) of working space, for better access to components for general maintenance or to change screens. The 3400X is available tracked (3400XT) or with tires (3400X). Visit morbark.com.

Peterson Peterson has been very busy continuing the evolution of its industry leading horizontal grinders and chippers for 2018. Peterson horizontal grinders reduce wood, low value logs and other organic materi-

als; the reduced material is used in the compost, mulch and biomass energy markets. Peterson drum and disc chippers and debarkers are used to produce wood chips for pulp and paper production as well as biomass energy markets. Many Peterson machines are available in either electric or

diesel power depending on the application. For increased mobility at a job site, both tracked and wheeled versions of many of their products are available. New chipper models: l 3310 Drum Chipper: The allnew 3310 drum chipper packs big performance in a small, easy-totransport package. The unique, transverse layout allows for smaller operation landings, and the rotating spout allows for up to 230 degrees of rotation for easier loading. The 3310B has an optional powered feed deck for smaller stems. l 6310B Drum Chipper: Peterson’s 6310B tracked drum chipper is designed for high-volume biomass operations and a wide variety of feed material, and can process logs up to 36 in. (91cm) in diameter. With 1050 HP of available power, the 6310B is an ultra-productive biomass chipping machine. New horizontal grinder models: l 2700D Horizontal Grinder: Peterson’s all-new 2700D is the smallest and lightest horizontal grinder in Peterson’s product line. With up to 765 HP (570kW), the 2700D packs impressive performance in an easy to transport package. l 5700D Horizontal Grinder: Peterson’s 5700D horizontal grinder is their new wheeled version of their 1050 HP (772 kW) grinder line, which packs the highest power to weight ratio of any Peterson grinder. With a feed opening of 60 x 40 in. (152 x 102 cm) combined with Peterson’s high lift feed roll, the 5700D horizontal grinder can readily reduce a wide range of material including stumps. Visit petersoncorp.com.

Precision Husky Precision Husky builds equipment to work as hard as you do, and for years to come. Our fuel-efficient, low maintenance and low noise chippers

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and grinders are being used all over the world to manufacture mulch, compost and boiler fuel and to clear and clean jobsites. If you need high-speed productivity and a low cost per ton, you’ve come to the right place. l ProGrind Horizontal Grinders For working with long limbs, our high-speed ProGrind horizontal grinders can’t be topped. We have three models (H-3045, H-3060 and H-4060) to choose from, each with a rugged diesel engine and offering you from 520 HP up to 1050 HP. The dual cutting surfaces at various depths eliminate jams. l ProGrind Tub Grinders Precision Husky also offers six popular models of ProGrind tub grinders, each built with ease of operation, cost and – always – your productivity in mind. Feedback on

our newest offering, the ProGrind 5200, has been fantastic and, frankly, we weren’t at all surprised. First of all, the PG 5200 contains one of the most aggressive hammermills in the industry. It can cut through mountains of green waste at production rates of over 100 tons-per-hour! l Whole Tree Chippers Precision Husky did not invent the whole tree chipper but we do make the best chipper you can buy. Ask any of the more than 5,000 crews that use them every day and have access to our unbeatable parts inventory and service technicians. The latest generation of Precision-built chippers pushes the envelope of technology to include a 66 in., five-knife option, which allows the chipper disc to operate at a slower rate. Precision Husky is showing the industry just how outstanding one company can be. We work from a 165,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Leeds, Ala. Our president, Scott Smith, is a second-generation innovator like his father, company founder and CEO Bob Smith. Together they have helped Precision go from a small regional provider to a worldwide leader in timber processing technology. Schedule a demo, a tour of our facility or simply talk shop with one of our team members. Visit precisionhusky.com.


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Rotochopper

Rotochopper grinders can undertake the challenging task of grinding logs, whole trees and forestry slash in the woods to produce biomass fuel, landscape mulch and animal bedding. Our high-volume grinders minimize downtime and maximize end product control with exclusive features like our patented replaceable mount rotor, patented screen change system, track and dolly system, patented StopWatch monitoring system and KeyKnife chipper package. Rotochopper’s KeyKnife chipper package enables chipping and grinding with a single machine without sacrificing ease of operation and maintenance. We collaborated with KeyKnife to make it simple for our customers to diversify into chipping markets without a complex conversion kit or a second machine.

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The KeyKnife chipper package is a bolt-in option that works with the standard patented replaceable mount rotor for the Rotochopper B-66 and FP-66. A single operator can switch from grinder teeth to chipper knives without rod pullers or other specialized tools; no need for a complex conversion kit or a second machine. Our track and dolly system minimizes transportation and handling costs by combining the time-saving benefits of crawler tracks with the convenience of tires for highway transport. Crawler tracks reduce the hassle and downtime of forwarding raw material to the grinder and repositioning trailers. The transport dolly eliminates the need for a lowbed trailer. Rotochopper designs, builds and supports a complete line of horizontal grinders, wood chip processors, asphalt shingle grinders, and mobile bagging systems from our state-ofthe-art manufacturing facility in St. Martin, Minnesota. Visit rotochopper.com.

Vermeer Grinder The Vermeer HG6800TX horizontal grinder is engineered to produce large volumes of ground materials. With a 950 HP (708 kW)

engine, this 92,000 lb. (41,730.5 kg) class grinder is powerful, compact and maneuverable with 26 in. wide double grouser track pads and travel speeds of 2.8 MPH (4.5 kph). An optional DT6 integrated dolly transport system is available to eliminate the need for trailering the grinder when moving locations. The infeed on the HG6800TX grinder was designed with low side-

walls to help the operator more easily load material into the machine. This feature allows larger loads to be dropped on the infeed with less interaction and manipulation of the material, so the operator can drop the load and focus on the next one. The Vermeer HG6800TX grinder features the patented Series III duplex hard-faced drum. In addition to providing long-lasting durability, maintenance time is decreased with the ability to remove and flip or replace single hammers, as well as being able to

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externally balance the drum. The grinder is equipped with Vermeer SmartFeed and the Thrown Object Deflector (TOD) technology. SmartFeed optimizes machine performance and production electronically and allows the operator to focus on loading raw product and move finished product about the jobsite. This function stops and reverses material from feeding into the hammermill when engine rpm’s drop below efficient operating range. Also, Vermeer TOD decreases the quantity and distance of thrown objects, which allows the machine to be operated in a smaller “safe” work zone. The TOD is hinged and can be raised or lowered with the remote control depending upon grinding applications. Remote operation allows the operator to engage tracks for onsite maneuverability and view and change a variety of settings during operation while monitoring various engine parameters from inside the loader cab or in a remote location. An optional Damage Defense system is also offered on the HG6800TX grinder that can help reduce the likelihood of major machine damage caused by certain metal contaminants entering the hammermill. Visit vermeer.com.


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Slow, Steady ■ Virginia’s Scotty Bottoms believes the key to success is staying consistent.

By Jessica Johnson BRODNAX, Va. cotty Bottoms’ father told him soon ★ after he graduated from high school: “There’s the whole world, go out and get it.” Not from a traditional logging family, the young Bottoms wasn’t sure back then what piece of the world he was going to get. Then his cousin, a foreman with large Virginia logging company M.M. Wright asked if he wanted to start driving a skidder. After six months, Bottoms moved to the cutter. Now, fast forward 28 years and Bottoms, 46, still runs a tree cutter—the first five years for M.M.

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Wright, then for Ronnie Wright, another Virginia logger, before finally going out on his own and starting RS Bottoms Logging. Bottoms started his business in August of 1997. He says working for Muriel Wright and Ronnie Wright taught him a lot of what he knows about logging and most of his ways of doing things were their ways of doing things. Bottoms contract cuts for Ronnie’s timber dealership, River Ridge Forest Products, as he has for the last 18 years. Forester Jim Hester recognizes Bottoms as a thinning specialist and keeps him on thinning jobs 80% of the time. Bottoms married his wife Loretta in 1995. They have one son, Grayson, 13, who looks forward to

working with his dad one day. Bottoms says Loretta has been his biggest cheerleader through the entire journey of owning his own logging company. Loretta maintains the books for the business while she also works full time as cardiovascular sonographer at a local hospital. They were married a mere two years before Bottoms bought three pieces of used equipment from Gasburg Equipment Co., “putting everything we had on the line for a little while,” Bottoms says. Gasburg Equipment is a subsidiary of M.M. Wright. While Bottoms may have come a long way from his crew’s humble beginnings, he says he’s still operates as a small logger. “I’ve been

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the same size for about 15 years,” he notes. The five-man crew, including Bottoms’ brother David, who has run the loader for 17 years, consistently puts out between 35-40 loads per week—a number with which Bottoms is happy. There have been times when they have hauled 50 plus loads. Primarily, wood heads to KapStone Paper in Roanoke Rapids, Va., though Bottoms says lately, as times have been slow and the markets in his area shrink, he’s scrambled to make a week. Quotas are tight in this part of southern Virginia and extreme northern North Carolina, he explains. He’ll also haul to West Fraser in Seaboard, NC, occasionally, but says it has been hard to get quota there.


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Normally the crew can haul eight or nine loads with just two trucks; a third is available when needed.

Huber in South Boston, Va. and WestRock in Hopewell, Va. round out his markets and help him get through slow times or KapStone shutdowns. “That’s why I like being a small logger,” Bottoms says, “It’s hard enough trying to figure out what your guys are going to do being small. I can’t imagine if I had more guys.” Though always consistent in business, Bottoms says a day doesn’t go by when he doesn’t learn something new. His latest learning experience? Making a move to buying wood. His wife Loretta, who he says has encouraged him the entire way, also has encouraged him to keep learn-

ing. As the company’s bookkeeper she teaches him something about that side of the business every day, Bottoms says.

In-Woods Bottoms keeps three pieces running all the time in the woods, with him bouncing around either on the cutter, the loader or an over the road truck. “I do whatever to make the day go,” he says with a laugh. In total there are five men on the crew, most of whom are flexible and able to fill in wherever needed. “I’d rather have a man that can do four or five different jobs than just one,” the logger says of his dedicated crew.

SLT SNAPSHOT RS Bottoms Logging Brodnax, Va. Email: lwbottoms@yahoo.com Founded: August 1997 Owners: Scotty Bottoms No. Crews: 1 Employees: 5 Equipment: 2 cutters, 2 skidders and 1 loader with delimber Trucks/Trailers: 3 trucks, 5 trailers Average Production: 35-40 loads per week Average Haul Distance: under 40 miles Tidbit: Scotty entered the logging business working for renowned Virginia logger MM Wright, who was named Timber Harvesting’s Logging Business of the Year in 2016. SLT is a sister publication of Timber Harvesting.

He also believes that by having a flexible crew, they are able to take better care of machines—one of the reasons he’s able to get more life out of pieces that others might have already traded in. Bottoms admits that some of his equipment does have age on it. “I am at the point with my equipment that I need to replace some things. But I take such good care of it, I really don’t need new equipment.” The crew runs one skidder, one loader and one cutter all the time, though it does have a back up skidder. James River supports the crew’s John Deere 648H skidders, 2008 and ’14 models, while Bullock Brothers supports the ’14 Tigercat 234 loader with CSI delimber, ’11 718 cutter and ’99 Tigercat 720B cutter. The latter has 18,000 hours on it and operates daily. Bottoms wholeheartedly believes that with in-woods equipment, if you take proper care of it, it will last. “I bought that thing new,” he says of the 1999 cutter, “and it still runs great. With Tigercat equipment, you can get a lot of hours out of it if you take care of it.” For him, that means being proactive with maintenance. “I’ve lost loads because I’ve stopped the job to fix something because I’m afraid it’s going to cost more if I keep running it. Don’t wait on something that’s going to cost you more money, just fix it now,” he says, explaining the philosophy that has served him well over the last decade. “If you know how to work on it, you can make more money with old stuff.” An estimated 90% of maintenance is done in the woods. Bot-

Scotty Bottoms

David Botoms, loader operator and Scotty’s brother

toms has a fully outfitted work truck he brings out every day with a welder, hose machine, and all the tools the crew could need. “Every-

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thing we need is on there, that way we don’t have to go anywhere if anything breaks,” he explains. “Most of the time, when we’ve got downtime we are doing preventative maintenance.” He does have a 40X60 shop at his house where he will haul things to work on them. Oil is changed between every 250 to 300 hours, with hydraulic oil done at every other oil change. Greasing is done frequently, as part of Bottoms’ daily maintenance routine. Fiercely loyal to his local companies, Bottoms prefers to shop with Sadler Bros. Oil Co. in Lawrenceville, Va. and NAPA, a parts supplier in Lawrenceville. “I could probably save 50 cents or a dollar somewhere,” he acknowledges, “but I like to do business with the local people around home. You’ve got to think about the people that live around you. They are trying to provide for their families just like you are.” Richards Insurance Group in Lynchburg, Va. handles all Bottoms’ insurance needs. He’s proud that the crew has never had a major accident and stays on top of them with monthly safety meetings. He’s happy with Richards, and says they were really there for him when he

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Crew member DaQuawn Hawkins in the newer feller-buncher, a 2011 model

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Bottoms believes that older equipment can be profitable, provided you keep on top of maintenance.

needed them in the summer of 2008 following a fire. On the hottest day of the summer in 2008, Bottoms was talking with a landowner and a neighbor approached him asking if the crew was supposed to be burning anything that night. That’s when he saw the big flames coming from

his loader and his stomach dropped. He remembers, “It was the worst feeling I’ve ever had. I felt so defenseless. A bunch of people came to try to help me put it out, and I just said, ‘We can’t save this.’” Understandably, now fire is Bottoms’ biggest safety fear and as

part of his end-of-the-week maintenance routine, the crew blows off every piece of equipment.

On The Road Bottoms’ crew uses three trucks he owns and five trailers, though two trucks typically handle daily

tonnage. He picks up the slack with the third truck when needed. There have been times when the crew has gotten 15 loads a day, but two trucks can haul the eight or nine loads a day usually put out. It is not uncommon for Bottoms to be on a haul of less than 40 miles. For 17 years, Bottoms has

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counted on Steve Stone, who drives the oldest truck Bottoms has—a ’99 model Western Star. “Now, when I say you can make more money with old, that’s not true with trucks,” Bottoms says laughing. He’s actively looking for a replacement on this older truck, having seen the benefits of a new Steve Stone Western Star glider he purchased last year from B&C Truck after running that new glider for a Sales in Richmond. year. You’re much better off making “I’ve seen a world of difference payments on a truck because a truck

David Parker

costs you money when you’re working on it,” he adds, pointing to the less maintenance intense nature

of logging equipment. With his older trucks, he is nearly constantly battling little things here and there that would sideline them. Overall, he’s thrilled with the glider purchase, saying he’s trying to stay away from DEF as long as he can. Trucks pull Pitts trailers. Just as he is trying to put off adding DEF to his shop, Bottoms got sick of working on trailers constantly, and hunting for a good deal for tires, so he trimmed down his trailer fleet to five. “I don’t need all that extra; extra is extra work,” he explains. Bottoms and his employees do the majority of truck maintenance. Tires are kept at the landing, and Bottoms mounts them himself to keep a tight grip on truck-related downtime. Bottoms says his biggest expense (and headache) in regards to trucking is tires. “I am racking my brain on tires lately, because I am not getting the mileage I want to out of them,” he says. “If you have a good truck, the only thing you’re going to spend money on is fuel and tires.”

Future Concerns Bottoms has been in logging long enough to be very particular about how his operation runs, and while he says he is always learning and adjusting his methods, he likes to keep things steady. He considers that his crew is very rarely working more than 50 miles from their home base as a testament to having things done right. After all, when you work that close to home, he reckons, you’re bound to be satisfying people. Finding solid help has been a challenge for Bottoms—especially after he lost long term skidder operator Linwood “Sloppy” Moseley, who died unexpectedly. With many loggers in the area, Bottoms says he has to fight for employees, and the loss of his skidder driver hit him hard both in the woods and out. “He rode with me every day. In seven years, he only missed two working days. He didn’t rip and snort, he was a steady old turtle,” Bottoms recalls. Bottoms has continued to provide his men with a paid vacation and health insurance. Doing things right, slow and steady is a bit of a motto for Bottoms. He says he lives comfortably and has no aspirations to expand his crew size. “A man told me a long time ago, ‘Son it doesn’t matter how much money you make, it’s how much you’ve got left over at the end.’ It’s SLT worked for me.” 38

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Appealing Blend ■ It’s what makes the Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show a ‘must see’ event.

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ooking for a skidder, loader, cutter, sawhead, processor, chipper, mulcher or delimber? Considering a different tire brand? In the market for a truck, trailer or lowboy? Shopping for insurance? Interested in a loader or skidder contest or continuing education opportunities? Want to help support Log-ALoad for Kids? Hungering for some of the South’s best fried catfish and fixings? Want a shot at winning two $1,000 cash drawings? Craving for some entertainment? Looking for activities to entertain the kids? Want to buy a unique carving made by a chain saw artist? Interested in getting the autograph of Swamp Logger Bobby Goodson?

Bobby Goodson

You’ll find all these opportunities and more at the 16th biennial MidSouth Forestry Equipment Show, set for September 21-22 at Mississippi State University’s John W. Starr Memorial Forest and Charles E. Burkhardt Pavilion & Site near Starkville, Mississippi (state highway 25 south). Most of these opportunities are available for the low $25 admission that’s good for both days. Spouses not business-active and children under 18 do not have to pay but are required to register. Since its founding in the early ‘80s, the family-friendly event has become the South’s most popular live/static forest-focused venue, thanks to its blend of the latest equipment, technology and services; continuing education sessions for loggers and foresters; crucial support from Mississippi State University; cash door prizes; various contests; children’s activities; delicious meals prepared on site (Saturday); and tiein meeting of the Mississippi Loggers Assn. (Friday night). Approximately 90 exhibitors will demonstrate or display some 130 product brands and types of servic40

Despite torrid August heat, two-day attendance at the 2016 MSFES was approximately 7,000.

es, while overall two-day attendance is expected to again approach 7,000, according to Misty Booth, Show Manager. Mid-South will again offer continuing education tent and field classes for loggers and foresters. Loggers can earn up to 11 hours in category 1 by participating and can

receive up to six hours of category 2 credit (3 hours each day) simply by attending the show. Foresters can earn up to 9 hours in category I-CF. All sessions begin each day at 9 a.m. and change on the hour. More information will be available at the show registration area. This year Caterpillar Forest Prod-

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ucts, in cooperation with dealers Puckett Machinery and Thompson Machinery, is returning with its popular Loader Championship, an event that tests operator skill and serves as a fundraiser for Log-ALoad for Kids. The top five finishers will receive prizes; all who enter will receive a CAT cap.


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Two other contests are being sponsored by the show: a skidder event featuring Tigercat (B&G Equipment) and John Deere (Stribling Equipment) machines—top three contestants win $500, $300 and $200, respectively—and a ‘guess the weight’ event featuring loaded trucks and trailers provided by Johnny Black Logging, Ackerman, Miss. and S&F Logging, Mantee, Miss. It costs $1 to enter the weight contest and proceeds go to Load-A-Load for Kids. The person with the closest guess for each truck will win $100 per truck. Other Log-A-Load activities include T-shirt sales and tickets for pistols, rifles and shotguns by the Mississippi Loggers Assn., and donations for food prepared and served at mid-day Saturday by various live area vendors, including Stribling Equipment and B&G Equipment. Two $1,000 cash door prizes will be given away by the show on Saturday, the first at 1:50 p.m. at the continuing education tent in the live area, the second at 3 p.m. in the static exhibit area. All who pay admission to the show will be entered to win, but winners must be present to claim the prizes. An expansive selection of continuous fun activities for children will be highlighted by the Sawdust Pile of Prizes, scheduled several times daily. As well, Artistry in Wood, the award-winning chain saw carving/ sculpting organization, will again be on hand, creating custom wood works of art. Bobby Goodson will be at the B&G Equipment/Tigercat site for three autograph sessions: Friday from 8-11:30 a.m. and from 1-4 p.m.; and Saturday from 8-11:30 a.m. The show is a collaborative effort involving Mississippi State University, the Mississippi Forestry Assn., Mississippi Loggers Assn., and Hatton-Brown Publishers. As of late August, the lineup of

MLA Banquet To Feature NC Comedian

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ponsored by Cintas, the awards banquet of the Mississippi Loggers Assn. will take place on the show grounds beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and will recognize the group’s Logger of the Year, District of the Year, and Log-A-Load District of the Year. Entertainment will be provided by country comedian Jerry Carroll, who harvests a bumper crop of high hilarity in his fast-paced, high-energy show about everyday life. Carroll, 58, found comedy growing up on his family’s North Carolina farm. He worked the farm for 20 years before pursuing his life’s dream of entertaining people and making them laugh. His seemingly effortless ability to Jerry Carroll spin out punch line after punch line, story after story, took him from emcee to headliner in just eight short months. Since beginning in 1993, Carroll has performed for crowds from 20 to 20,000 in venues ranging from the local volunteer fire department’s banquet, to the Ministers of Provincial Parliament at the Royal York in Toronto, Canada. Everywhere he goes, he leaves audiences roaring with laughter. Besides corporate meeting and events, conventions, countless associations, comedy clubs, and country clubs, he has opened concerts for music artists such as Michael Bolton, Patty Loveless, Lyle Lovett, and Larry Gatlin. He has performed from coast to coast in the U.S. and throughout Canada. When he’s not on the road making people laugh, Carroll still works SLT on his family’s farm.

exhibitors/brands/dealers included 4County Electric Power Assn.; Alliance Tire Americas; American Loggers Council; American Lumber & Pallet; ArborGen; Artistry In Wood; B & G Equipment; Bandit Industries; Barko; BITCO Insurance Companies; Burroughs Diesel; Cannon Motors of MS & AR-Commercial Div.; Caterpillar Forest Products; Chambers Delimbinator; Cintas; Conklin Products Distributor; CSI; DelFab Phoenix; Digital Wood Carver; Equipment Inc.; ESI Supply; Fecon; Flexflare; Firestone; Forestry

A fully restored Taylor Logger’s Dream serves as the show’s official mascot.

Suppliers; ForesTREE Equipment Trader; Freightliner; Fryfogle Mfg.; GCR Tires & Service; Goodyear Commercial Tire/Nokian Tyres; Green Diamond Management Co.; Harrell Ag; Hatton-Brown Publishers; Hawkins & Rawlinson; HUB International Gulf South; John Deere; Keisling Auction & Realty; Kinder Morgan; LandMark Spatial Solutions; LandMAX Timber Co.; Ledkins Insurance Agency; LMITennessee; Loftness Specialized Equipment; Lumbermen’s Equipment Digest; Lumbermens Maga-

zine; Mack; Manac Trailers USA; Maxi-Load Scale Systems; McComb Diesel; McLendon Trailers; MDOT Law Enforcement; Midwestern Insurance Alliance; Mississippi 811; Mississippi Forestry Assn.; Mississippi Forestry Commission; Mississippi Loggers Assn.; Mississippi State University College of Forest Resources; MLA Insurance Services/Risk Management Partners; MLA Log-A-Load for Kids; MSU Extension Service; Magnolia Trailers; Morbark; OSHA; Peterbilt of McComb/Nations Welding Service; Peterson; Pitts Trailers; Power Wash Store North Mississippi; Prentice; Primex; Puckett Machinery; Quadco; Retif Oil & Fuel; Ritchie Bros Auctioneers/Iron Planet; River Ridge Equipment; Rotobec; Royal Oil Co.; SE Sales; Seppi M.; Smith’s South Central Sales Co.; Southern Insurance Agency; Southern Loggin’ Times; Southern Safety Solutions; Stribling Equipment; Tannehill Industries; Thompson Machinery; Tigercat; Timber Harvesting; Timber Processing; Titan International; Tom Smith Land and Homes; TraxPlus; Tri-State Truck Center; Truckers’ Supply Co.; Viking Trailers/Vulcan On-Board Scales; Volvo; Waters International Trucks; Western Star; Wood Bioenergy; Woodmizer; and Wood’s Trailers & Repair. Sponsors include LandMAX Timber Co., Renasant Insurance, Taylor Machine Works, Waters International Trucks, MaxxSouth Broadband and Cintas. Entities providing in-kind support include 4-County Electric Power Assn.; B&G Equipment; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; John Deere; Landmark Spatial Solutions; Mississippi Forestry Commission; Mississippi State University Extension Service; Mississippi State University Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters; and SLT Stribling Equipment.

Food cooked on-site on Saturday in the live area is always delicious.

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Something Nice Unable to attend the funeral after his uncle Charlie died, a man who lived far away called his brother and told him, “Do something nice for uncle Charlie and send me the bill.” Later, he got another bill for $200, which he paid. The next month, he got still another bill for $200, which he also paid, figuring it was some incidental expense. But when the $200 bills kept arriving every month, he called his brother again to find out what was going on. “Well,” said the other brother, “you said to do something nice for uncle Charlie. So I rented him a tuxedo.”

When God solves our problems, we have faith in His abilities. When God doesn’t solve them, He has faith in our abilities. I bought a little bag of air today. the company that made it was considerate enough to put a few potato chips in it as a ‘bonus.’

Parents die but you move on. Colleagues forget the favors you did.  The race to achieve slows.  But true friends are always there, no matter how long or how many miles away they are. As the old saying goes, “The road to a friend’s house is never long.” A friend is never more distant than the reach of a need, intervening in your favor, waiting for you with open arms or in some way blessing your life.  When we started this adventure called LIFE, we did not know of the incredible joys or sorrows that were ahead. We did not know how much we would need from each other. Love your parents, take care of your children, but keep a group of good friends. Stay in touch with them, but do not impose your criteria. 

Catchy Business Slogans

Truths Children Have Learned

Acme Plumbing: We Repair What Your Husband Fixed Morrow Mechanical: A Call To Morrow Is All It Takes Specialty Painting: Sure We’re Expensive…But We’re Slow! Total Plumbing: Our Business Is Going Down The Drain Sensational Sprinklers: When We’re Finished, You’ll Be All Wet Tri-State Excavation: We Dig What You’re Sayin’… Waste Disposal Services: Our Business Stinks…But It’s Picking Up Cosmic Construction Co.: We’re Proud Of Our Erection Bill’s Septic Service: Satisfaction Guaranteed Or 100% Of Your Product Back Martial Arts 2: Building Kids One Punch At A Time Quad Cities Dental Clinic: We Do Our Business In Your Mouth

1) No matter how hard you try, you cannot baptize cats. 2) When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair. 3) If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person. 4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato. 5) You can’t trust dogs to watch your food. 6) Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair. 7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time. 8) You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. 9) Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts. 10) The best place to be when you’re sad is in grandma’s lap.

More Historic Comebacks Never Forget Your Friends A young man was sitting on the porch on a humid day, sipping ice tea with his father. As he talked about adult life, marriage, responsibilities, and obligations, the father thoughtfully stirred the ice cubes in his glass and cast a clear, sober look on his son.  “Never forget your friends,” he advised, “they will become more important as you get older. Regardless of how much you love your family and your children, you will always need friends. Go out with them occasionally; otherwise keep in contact with them somehow.”  The young man considered the advice to be strange. He thought, “I just entered the married world, I am an adult and surely my wife and the family that we will start will be everything I need to make sense of my life.”  But he obeyed his father; kept in touch with his friends and annually increased their number. Over the years, he became aware that his father knew what he was talking about, that he had hit on a central truth: Inasmuch as time and nature carry out their designs and mysteries on a person, friends are the bulwarks of a person’s life.  Consider all this: Time passes.  Life goes on.  Children grow up.  Children cease to be children and become independent. And to the parents, it breaks their heart but the children are separated of the parents because they begin their own families.  Jobs and careers come and go.  Illusions, desires, attraction, sex....they all weaken.  People can’t do what they did physically when they were young.  42

Groucho Marx: “I never forget a face, but in your case, I’ll be glad to make an exception.” Actress Mary Anderson: “What is my best side, Mr. Hitchcock!” Alfred Hitchcock: “You’re sitting on it, my dear.” Frank Sinatra on Robert Redford: “Well at least he has found his true love. What a pity he can’t marry himself.” Member of British Parliament: “Mr. Churchill, must you fall asleep while I’m speaking?” Winston Churchill: “No, it’s purely voluntary.” Lady Nancy Astor: “Winston, if you were my husband, I’d put poison in your coffee.” Winston Churchill: “Nancy, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

Little Old Lady Hits Home At a Wednesday evening church meeting a very wealthy man rose to give his testimony. “I’m a millionaire many times over,” he said, “and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God in my life. I can still remember the turning point in my faith, like it was yesterday:  “I had just earned my first dollar and I went to a church meeting that night. The speaker was a missionary who told about his work. I knew that I only had a dollar bill and had to either give it all to God’s work or nothing at all. So at that moment I decided to give my whole dollar to God. I believe that God blessed that decision, and that is why I am wealthy today.”  As he finished it was clear that everyone had been moved by this man’s story. But as he took his seat, a little old lady sitting in the same pew leaned over and said: “Wonderful story! I dare you to do it again!”

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LOGGING LIFE AT HOME

A Logger For President? By Deborah Smith

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aturdays are the days to get things done, but he put off the chores and barn building and took me to breakfast. I was happy to go. Travis would normally swing by Dirt Town Deli, grab a biscuit and go. With me in

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tow, breakfast at this fabulous mom and pop place is slow. I order their famous “grits bowl,” fix myself a mug of coffee, and sit at one of the life time tables. Travis and I have conversation with those who sit with us or just come in for a few minutes. These

breakfast dates and the rides there and back are my favorite dates. This day, he had to go get knives for the chipper, so I got to see another facet of logging. The “knife shop,” as he calls it, is located a little north of where we had breakfast. The well-kept lawn had a quiet garden spot with benches and roses and other pretty flowers. The shop door was closed, but not

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locked. I walked to the shop after admiring the flowers and Travis explained how the knives were sharpened, and where finished orders were placed. Smith Brothers’ knives were painted red on the top edge, and other loggers’ knives were different colors, coordinating with the same colored clip board, with the logger’s last name on a sign over the clip board peg. Travis picked up those sharpened knives so the Smith Brothers operation would be ready for Monday morning. For me, the clean, organized chipper knife shop was yet another part of my husband’s day that I didn’t know about till I saw it, and it just started me to thinking. Back home, as Travis was doing outside chores and I was inside with my routine, my mind lingered on the different and varied responsibilities of being a logger. Every time I see more of what Travis and Keith have to do to stay in the woods and be successful, the more I admire them and other loggers. It almost seems like a day in the woods, cutting timber, is the easy part. While spending the day doing one of America’s most dangerous jobs, my husband and his brother deal with the responsibility of insurance for equipment, keeping it clean, looking after repairs, taking care of the landowner’s property, moving successfully to a new job site, keeping jobs lined up, keeping up with where to send the loads, taking care of employees, dealing with regulations, keeping the road clean, putting up signs…and much more. Standing at our huge red oak kitchen island, I had a thought. A good hearted, hard-working logger ought to run for President. I’m serious. Think of all the things a logger has to think about in an hour, a day, a week, a month…and the decisions that need to be made when the fiscal year closes. Throw in things he can’t control like weather, premiums, laws, bonds, and how much wood the mill is going to take, and I think you have a man that pretty much thinks and plans ahead each and every day for the benefit of all involved in his company. Everybody gets a paycheck because everybody works. The business remains intact because of planning, making good decisions, taking financial risks, executing well, and just plain trusting in the Lord. I think anyone who can do all that, lay down at night and ask God to watch over all those he loves and to help them keep logging in spite of troubles, is special, and just the kind of man our country needs to SLT lead us all. 


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INDUSTRY NEWS ROUNDUP

As We See It: We Deserve Honest Debate On Forest Management By Mark Turner I think it is high time that we had some serious discussions in this country about how our federal forests are being manTurner aged. For far too long environmentalists have been the ones setting the agenda, with very poor results. For more than 20 years now the most common way of dealing with issues on our federal forests has been to do nothing. That might have been all fine and dandy 300 years ago, when there were hardly any people living near them, but it’s not really a viable option anymore. About a year and a half ago, I was in southern Colorado and had a chance to visit one of the state’s few remaining mill owners/loggers. He showed me how they were removing dead and dying trees from private lands to improve forest health. He also explained how the bug infestations got started in that area. He said that he was at a meeting, many years earlier, about addressing bug infestations that had gotten started on Forest Service land and heard a well-known biologist tell Forest Service people that if they didn’t get the bug infestation under control then, it was going to just keep spreading. You can probably imagine what the Forest Service’s response was.

They did nothing. Subsequently, the infestations became worse and started to spread to adjacent private lands. This mill owner convinced me to drive up into the Forest Service ground and see for myself what the conditions were like. The contrast was very pronounced. The surrounding private forestlands were reasonably healthy, but federal forests were in very poor health. The Forest Service, however, is not the only federal agency that is a poor steward of public forests. Here in Oregon, the Bureau of Land Management is responsible for a considerable land base. These are called the “O & C Lands.” In 1937, there was an act of Congress that set these lands aside for primarily timber production. Now, I always thought that an act of Congress was something pretty important, something that you couldn’t just ignore. However, over the years, environmental types have managed to chip away at timber harvest levels on these O & C Lands. So much so that the BLM has adopted the same type of “hands off approach” that the Forest Service uses for managing much of its land base, to the point now that, I believe, they are no longer even coming close to fulfilling their mandate through the O & C Act. Subsequently, these forests are becoming just as unhealthy and fire-prone as those managed by the Forest Service. It doesn’t have to be this way. I think we can look to other parts of the world that have learned how to

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manage their forests for the long run. Last year, at the American Loggers Council annual meeting, Ken Swanstrom, a former president of ALC, gave a presentation of a tour he had taken through the forests of southern Germany. For me, it was rather eye opening. He said he saw some of the most beautiful forests he had ever seen, and the entire time he was there, he only saw three dead trees. There, they have been managing

their forests for more than 500 years. Foresters explained that absolutely nothing was off-limits to logging. They also explained how important a tool logging is for forest health. His tour included a visit to the city of Munich’s watershed, which feeds one of the largest untreated water systems in the world. The forester there told him “Well, everyone knows that if you want healthy forests and clean water, then, of course you are going to log.”

I wish more people in this country could understand that. Ken also told us that this part of southern Germany produces the equivalent of 7 billion BF of forest products annually. Contrast that with the Forest Service in this country, which struggles to produce 3 billion BF from all its forests throughout the entire U.S. In fact, I was very surprised to learn that Germany, because of its aggressive forest management policies, produces the

equivalent of 21 billion BF of forest products annually. The U.S. produces 40 billion BF, and it has a land base 28 times larger! Clearly, when it comes to forest management, we have a lot of room for improvement. One of the goals of the American Loggers Council is to advocate for better management of our federal forests. I believe that the lack of management of our public forests is not only costing us in lost resources but is also bad for the environment. In my opinion, the biggest losers from our failing federal forest management policies are the forests themselves. Turner is president of the American Loggers Council. He and his brother Greg operate Turner Logging, Banks, Ore. Mark is also an active leader with Associated Oregon Loggers. The American Loggers Council is a 501 (c)(6) not for profit trade association representing professional timber harvesters and log truckers in 32 states. Visit amloggers.org or phone 409625-0206

RoyOMartin Announces Project At Chopin RoyOMartin will invest $8 million at its Chopin, La. operation to install a new dry kiln designed to increase timber production. Additionally, the company will connect to natural gas pipelines and expand the facility’s shipping and finishing area. With the new investment, the company will create 14 direct jobs. The company will retain 680 existing jobs at the site of the plywood mill and timbers sawmill. The investment will also include upgrades to scanning software and hardware, and upgrades

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to automated systems, including programmable linear controls and motor variable-frequency drives.

Georgia-Pacific Is On SYP Sawmill Roll Georgia-Pacific announced it is building a southern yellow pine sawmill in Albany, Ga.—GP’s third new softwood lumber mill announcement in 12 months, follow-

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ing investments at Talladega, Ala. and Warrenton, Ga. Construction on the $150 million, 320,000 sq. ft. facility is scheduled to begin by the end of this year with an anticipated startup in late 2019. Once it is fully operational, the plant will employ more than 130. Fritz Mason, vice president and general manager, Georgia-Pacific Lumber, comments, “Albany was an attractive fit for this facility because of the talented workforce in

the region; the cost of doing business; proximity to raw materials; and access to rail and highways, plus we have received a very warm reception from the leadership in Albany, Dougherty County, and the state of Georgia. Once in production, the facility expects to receive approximately 180 log trucks a day and produce 300MMBF of lumber a year. Governor Nathan Deal adds, “We are proud that Georgia-Pacific will

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expand upon its significant presence in Georgia. As one of the nation’s most successful brands, GeorgiaPacific recognizes the benefits of operating in the top state for business.” GP says it will continue to evaluate similar investments in the U.S. as the demand for lumber continues to improve as the housing market strengthens. “Our confidence in our building products business is strong,” Mason says. Through GP’s packaging business, it has also owned and operated a corrugated box plant in Albany since 1981 that serves customers throughout the Southeast.


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6 ➤ over the hog. He lived in Kentucky and was related to the McCoys, too; but he worked on the Hatfield’s timber crew. Also consider Selkirk McCoy, who voted against Randolph in the hog trial. His name was McCoy, but he and his two sons worked on the Hatfield timber job, along with about 40 others, many of whom were not members of the Hatfield family. It was success in the timber business that set the Hatfields, and their supporters and employees, apart from the McCoys economically, socially and politically. I suppose the McCoys “won” at the final battle of Grapevine Creek and in the subsequent trials. But by the end of the feud, Randolph McCoy had lost seven of his children and his wife. Meanwhile, Devil Hatfield, who had never been very religious, was baptized as a Christian in 1911 and went on to start a church. One of his nephews, Henry Hatfield, became governor of West Virginia in 1912 and served as a U.S. Senator from 1929-1935.

Correction: Plains Logging Last issue’s article about Plains Logging Co. incorrectly stated that Plains is based in Washington, Ga. While the Tigercat dealership affili-

ated with the company, AllWood Equipment, is in Washington, Plains Logging is actually headquartered in White Plains, Ga. The writer of the article, Teresa Hannah of Caribou Software, had it right in the

version she sent me; I got it confused at some point in the editorial process, and we failed to catch the mistake until after the issue was gone. Apologies to Teresa and SLT Plains Logging.

Note: Of the variety of sources I researched for this column, I should especially mention an article that appeared in the Lexington Herald Leader in July 2012, written by Altina L. Waller.

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MACHINES-SUPPLIES-TECHNOLOGY Track Feller-Buncher Komatsu America Corp. offers the XT-5 series of track feller-bunchers—models include the XT430-5 (non-leveling), XT435L-5, XT445L-5 and XT465L-5, which replace the prior XT-3 series machines. The XT-5 series ranges in operating weight from 66,359 lbs. (30,100 kg) to 74,516 lbs. (33,800 kg) and features a new, more powerful fuel-efficient EPA Tier 4f gull-wing style engine hood, increased lift capacity, heavy-duty undercarriage, redesigned and relocated cab, new hydraulic and cooling systems, forestryspecific guarding and KOMTRAX telematics system technology. The new 310 HP (231 kW), Cummins QSL9 9-liter engine provides more horsepower, torque and displacement and lowers fuel consumption by as much as 10%, due to advanced engine and hydraulic sys-

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Cab design changes provide superior lines-of-sight to each track. Standard rearview and optional rightside view monitoring systems further enhance the operator’s view. Eleven (11) LED lights provide superior visibility for night operations. Visit komatsuforest.us.

Prolenc 250 Snubber

tem control designs. Lift capacities at full reach lift have been increased by 77% on the XT430-5, XT435L-5 and XT445L-5, and by 15% on the XT465L-5. The XT465L-5 now

readily operates the Quadco 24" cutting capacity disc saw heads. The Komatsu forestry cab has been relocated to the left of the boom for industry commonality.

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Prolenc patent pending 250 series brake link featuring Prolenc’s simple, tapered friction sleeve is


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MACHINES-SUPPLIES-TECHNOLOGY designed to integrate with 5 to 8 ton class rotators offered by Finnrotor, Baltrotor and others. Externally mounted and integrated on the link, it offers easy access for periodic tension adjustments and serviceability. The link is single or double dampening and also available as individual units to adapt to the wide variety of linkages and crane tips available worldwide. Ideal for smaller thinning harvesters as loading grapples, the 250 series allows Prolenc to offer a full complement of brake links and dampeners for all attachments up to

2,000 kg or 4,400 lbs. The tapered design provides only one wear part in a self lubricating composite material or a grease lubricated, zinc based material. Robust holding power and far fewer moving wear parts result in very low cost per hour and less maintenance. Visit prolenc.com.

Log Max Harvesting Head Log Max XTreme XTSeries harvesting heads are heavy duty and made for the most extreme forest operations. The 7000XT with its large, high-torque feed motors gives up to 45kN/11,600-lb. of feed force and delimbing power. High-flow hydraulics provide increased performance in any application and the toughest conditions. The Log Max 12000XT is the extreme duty head for big tree production, multi-stem processing  of smaller softwoods or processing crooked hardwoods. Visit logmax.com.

Chain Saw Scabbard

Mac’s chain saw scabbard provides a versatile and secure method of transporting any size chain saw. The aluminum and powder-coated scabbard can be mounted to any vehicle ranging from a service bed truck to a bicycle. It provides a secure, quick-release mounting point for your chain saw, allowing it to be transported safely. Simply slide the chain saw bar into the scabbard and then tighten the bar clamp to lock your chain saw in place. The open-end design accommodates any bar length in a tamperand theft-resistant manner. The scabbard’s integrated mounting flange runs the full length of the scabbard body, giving flexibility in mounting. Simply drill holes anywhere along the flange to mount the scabbard to the vehicle’s structure or onto a bed-mounted tool box. Additionally, Mac offers an optional 45° mounting to facilitate attaching the scabbard to the rack of an ATV without losing rack area. Visit macscustomtiedowns.com. 52

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Logger Struck And Killed By Log Truck BACKGROUND: On a late fall morning in the Northeast, a flatbed truck delivering logging equipment to a site had stopped at the beginning of an icy logging road to put tire chains on. PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS: The truck driver was in his mid-twenties, and was relatively new to trucking forest products and equipment. He was assisted in chain installation by the logger, who was in his early fifties and had significant experience in the industry. UNSAFE ACTS AND CONDITION: Installing the chains requires work on the ground placing the chains onto the tires. When all chains had been installed, the truck driver entered the truck and moved

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it forward, necessary to complete the tire chain installation process. When moving the truck forward, the driver struck the logger, who had been assisting him. The driver had verbally communicated with the logger that he was moving forward, but had not made visual contact to confirm that the logger was safely clear of the truck.

process. Upon doing so, he discovered that he had struck the logger, who was non-responsive. INJURY: First aid was adminis-

ACCIDENT: After moving the truck forward, the driver exited the cab to complete the truck chain installation

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tered and an ambulance called; the logger was declared dead at the scene. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CORRECTION: Anytime a second person is involved with installing tire chains (or any similar operation), it is the driver’s responsibility to not only communicate with the assistant but to establish visual contact with the assistant prior to moving the truck. This clearly did not happen in this instance, with fatal consequences. Supplied by Forest Resources Assn.


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PRINT CLASSIFIED AD RATES: Print advertising rates are $50 per inch. Space is available by column inch only, one inch minimum.

Click. Connect. Trade.

DEADLINES: Ad reservation must be received by 10th of month prior to month of publication. Material must be received no later than 12th of month prior to month of publication.

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CONTACT: Call Bridget DeVane at 334-699-7837, 800-669-5613, email bdevane7@hotmail.com or visit www.southernloggintimes.com

Logo indicates that equipment in the ad also appears on www.ForesTreeTrader.com

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2014–John Deere 437D Loader, only 5561 hours, hyd. trailer, CSI 264 ultra, VERY NICE LOADER!............................................. $105,000

Call or Text Zane • 334-518-9937 Located in central Alabama

Hose, Fittings & Crimpers Helping Loggers Save Money For Over 20 Years 8309

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2012 Deere 643K Feller Buncher STK# LT644592; 8024 hrs $49,000

2015 Deere 843K Feller Buncher STK# LT666330; 2556 hrs $118,000

2016 Deere 803M Track Feller Buncher STK# LT291767; 3318 hrs $289,000

2013 Deere 437D Knuckleboom Loader STK# LU236214; 9904 hrs $68,500

2013 Deere 648H Skidder STK# LU652654; 8031 hrs $155,000

2015 Deere 648L Skidder STK# LT668593; 4601 hrs $185,000

2015 Deere 848L Skidder STK# LT669069; 4259 hrs $212,000

2015 Deere 748L Skidder STK# LT670476; 4898 hrs $145,000

2014 Deere 648H Skidder STK# LT659780; 8950 hrs $88,000

6288

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Ready To Place Your Classified Ad? Call 334-699-7837, 800-669-5613 or email class@southernloggintimes.com for print ads.

2004 Tigercat 640C Clambunk. 8200 actual hours, 30.5 front with 24.5 duals, 28Lx26 on rear including duals, bogies in excellent condition, runs great, just don’t need anymore........................................... $140,000 obo

APPROACHING RETIREMENT LIQUIDATING INVENTORY Call: Ted Smith

2016 Caterpillar HF201B sawhead. Full rotation wrist. Approximately 400 hours. Like new $60,000 obo

5840 Hwy 36, Russellville, AL Home: 256-766-8179 • Office: 256-766-6491 Fax: 256-766-6962 • Cell: 256-810-3190

2008 Tigercat 630C. Good 30.5 tires. SWEDA axles. Dual arch. Less than 1000 hours on totally rebuilt engine and Tigercat reman hydrastats .................................................$55,000 obo 6209

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Parting out: Tigercat 720B w/5400 head, 240B, 635 and 845B. Deere 437D, 648G, 748G, and 843. Prentice 310E, Cat 522B, Timberking 360, and Timberjack 735. 945

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FOR SALE 2002 Barko 225 CSI delimber, rebuilt engine,injection pump,hyd pump, and accumulator, new radiator, cold ac working everyday, 15,988 hrs $29,500 2002 535B CAT skidder, 16,722hrs., rebuilt engine and new center pins 2500 HRs ago, working everyday........................................ $24,500

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Cat 518 & Cat 518C skidders in TX, LA area Call Kent 936-699-4700 r_kentjones@yahoo.com Feller Buncher saw disks usually will not vibrate after being BENT until some time goes by. What follows is the disk will begin to vibrate due to uneven wear. Cracks can occur due to stress within a bent disk. I can handle repairs of even severely bent disks including cracks. All repairs balanced. TIG welding used exclusively.

2012 John Deere 648H Skidder, 5,700 hours .................$110,000

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A D L I N K ●

ADVERTISER American Logger’s Council American Truck Parts B & G Equipment Bandit Industries BITCO Insurance Caterpillar Dealer Promotion John Deere Forestry Doggett Machinery Service E B Harris Eastern Surplus Employer’s Underwriters Flint Equipment Forest Chain Forestry First Forestry Mutual Insurance G & W Equipment Harrell Ag Products Hawkins & Rawlinson Industrial Cleaning Equipment Interstate Tire Service Iron Horse Auction Ironmart Kaufman Trailers Mike Ledkins Insurance Agency LMI-Tennessee Louisiana Machinery Magnolia Trailers Maxi-Load Scale Systems Moore Logging Supply Morbark North America Supply Peterson Pacific Pitts Trailers Prolenc Manufacturing Puckett Machinery Quadco Quality Equipment & Parts River Ridge Equipment S E C O Parts & Equipment Southern Loggers Cooperative Stribling Equipment Team Safe Trucking Tidewater Equipment Tigercat Industries Timberblade Timberland Titan/Goodyear® Farm Tires TraxPlus Trelan Manufacturing Tri-State Auction & Realty Vermeer Manufacturing W & W Truck & Tractor Waratah Forestry Attachments J M Wood Auction

PG. NO.

PHONE NO.

52 46 11 27 46 31 19 59 29 49 48 36 46 59 63 48 60 38 44 59 50 57 3 30 14-15 39 53 12 48 32-33 45 20 64 52 58 45 58 26 49 50 55 49 56 1,7 51 56 5 22-23 13 47 43 37 2 21

409.625.0206 888.383.8884 601.656.7011 800.952.0178 800.475.4477 919.550.1201 800.503.3373 225.368.2224 252.257.2140 855.332.0500 256.341.0600 404.859.5790 800.288.0887 803.708.0624 800.849.7788 800.284.9032 229.246.0350 888.822.1173 910.231.4043 864.947.9208 800.997.2248 888.561.1115 866.497.7803 800.766.8349 800.467.0944 866.843.7440 800.738.2123 877.265.1486 888.754.5613 800.831.0042 800.323.3708 800.269.6520 800.321.8073 877.563.8899 601.969.6000 800.668.3340 386.754.6186 855.325.6465 800.733.7326 318.445.0750 800.682.6409 910.733.3300 912.638.7726 519.753.2000 519.532.3283 912.283.1060 800.872.2327 601.635.5543 877.487.3526 800.334.4395 641.628.3141 800.845.6648 770.692.0380 334.264.3265

ADLINK is a free service for advertisers and readers. The publisher assumes no liability for errors or omissions.

COMING EVENTS September 6-8—Great Lakes Logging & Heavy Equipment Expo, Sunnyview Expo Center, Oshkosh, Wis. Call 715-282-5828; visit gltpa.org. 7-8—Virginia Forest Products Assn. annual meeting, Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel, Virginia Beach, Va. Call 804-737-5625; visit vfpa.net. 9-11—Alabama Forestry Assn. annual meeting, Perdido Beach Resort, Orange Beach, Ala. Call 334-265-8733; visit alaforestry.org. 21-22—Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show, Starkville, Miss. Call 800-669-5613; visit midsouth forestry.org. 26-28—Tennessee Forestry Assn. annual meeting, Carnegie Hotel, Johnson City, Tenn. Call 615-8833832; visit tnforestry.com. 28-30—Florida Forestry Assn. annual meeting, Omni Amelia Island, Amelia Island, Fla. Call 850222-5646; visit floridaforest.org.

October 2-4—Arkansas Forestry Assn. annual meeting, Hot Springs Convention Center, Hot Springs, Ark. Call 501374-2441; visit arkforests.org. 3-5—Southern Forest Products Assn. annual meeting, The Green-

briar, White Shulpher Springs, W.Va. Call 504-443-4464; visit sfpa.org. 10-12—North Carolina Forestry Assn. annual meeting, Sheraton Hotel, Raleigh, NC. Call 800-2317723; visit ncforestry.org. 11-13—American Loggers Council annual meeting, Shilo Inn, Seaside, Ore. Call 409-625-0206. visit amloggers.com. 16-18—Mississippi Forestry Assn. annual meeting, BancorpSouth Arena, Tupelo, Miss. Call 601-3544936; visit msforestry.net. 17-19—Texas Forestry Assn. annual meeting, Moody Gardens, Galveston, Tex. Call 936-632-8733; visit texas forestry.org.

November 7-9—Forestry Association of South Carolina annual meeting, The Westin, Hilton Head Island, SC. Call 803798-4170; visit scforestry.org.

January 2019 8-9—Missouri Forest Products Assn. winter meeting, Capitol Plaza, Jefferson City, Mo. Call 573634-3252; visit moforest.org.

February 2019 20-24—Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers annual meeting, W Hotel, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Call 336885-8315; visit appalachianwood.org.

June 2019 26-28—Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Expo, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Ga. Call 504-443-4464; visit sfpaexpo.com.

August 2019 20-26—InWoodsExpo 2019, Hot Springs, Ark. Call 501-224-2232; visit arkloggers.com.

September 2019 20-21—Kentucky Wood Expo, Masterson Station Park, Lexington, Ky. Call 502-695-3979; visit kfia.org. Listings are submitted months in advance. Always verify dates and locations with contacts prior to making plans to attend.

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The September 2018 issue of Southern Loggin' Times.

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The September 2018 issue of Southern Loggin' Times.