March 2022 Hardwood Matters

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H A R D W O O D M AT T E R S March 2022


T H E O F F I C I A L P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E N AT I O N A L H A R D W O O D L U M B E R A S S O C I AT I O N S T R O N G R O O T S . G L O B A L R E A C H . | W W W. N H L A . C O M


Live in 100+


After extensive testing TallyExpress proves to be within 1% of a perfect tally. The app “learns” as it’s used, which makes it even more accurate over time.


Start to finish – completed end tally takes 60-90 seconds.


Not only can TallyExpress be taught in minutes, it is less physically-demanding than having to measure each board.


“We put a tape measure to each board and wrote the width on the end. Overall we were 99.5% accurate to these tape measure tallies, some sites were seeing 99.8 to 99.9%.” – Northwest Hardwoods

Easy to use and easy on the body. TallyExpress means no “One we were up more day crouching andbacked measuring with 12 bundles on our line. each board one at a time for Normally, it would have taken a hours on end. All you need to do very stressful 30 minutes to get is take a picture of the bundle, those tallied and moved. With let the A.I. program TallyExpress, we didmeasure all 12 each board for you inminutes seconds,and bundles in about ten adjustments, and itmake was a few stress-free experience.” –you’re Granite Hardwoods, Inc. done.

“I“The wanted this is product its training almostfor nothing. speed accuracy Peopleand take picturesbut withI also their noticed a big morale boost smartphones every day. It’s in myfamiliar yard. Anyone who has very technology. hand tallied knows it’s pretty Basically, you show someone unpleasant. TallyExpress is so how to use it on one bundle easy to use, my guys are happy and they’re ready to go. It really to tallyonly now.” does take a couple of -minutes Granite to Hardwoods, Inc. train someone.” – Allegheny Wood Products

Contact DMSi, your exclusive TallyExpress reseller, to start your free 30-day trial.

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CONTENTS March 2022 • Issue 231

WHAT'S INSIDE features 12 What Are the CEO's of Tomorrow Doing Right Now? by Chester Elton


14 LORCAT: An Easy-To-Use Hardwood Log Recovery Analysis Tool by R. Edward Thomas and Urs Buehlmann


at We have another student success story to share! Allen Hargrove, graduate of the 195th class, had this to say about his experience. "I started working in the sawmill industry when I was 25; one year later I began to learn about lumber grading. I attended class #195 of the NHLA, Inspector Training School in Memphis, TN.

departments 10




Inside NHLA

10 Member Spotlight

King City Northway Forwarding LTD

18 Rules Corner

The NHLA Sales Code by Dana Spessert


reader services 4 20 22

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President’s Message Educational Calendar NHLA Job Board

Follow us

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H A R D W O O D M AT T E R S T H E VO I C E O F T H E H A R DWO O D I N D U ST RY National Hardwood Lumber Association PO Box 34518 • Memphis, TN 38184-0518 901-377-1818 • 901-382-6419 (fax) •

THE MISSION OF NH LA To serve NHLA Members engaged in the commerce of North American hardwood lumber by: maintaining order, structure and ethics in the changing global hardwood marketplace; providing unique member services; promoting North American hardwood lumber and advocating the interest of the hardwood community in public/private policy issues; and providing a platform for networking opportunities.

Continental Underwriters, Inc.




King City Forwarding USA


Jeff Wirkkala Hardwood Industries, Inc. President

Bucky Pescaglia Missouri-Pacific Lumber Co., Inc. Unique Services

Jon Syre Cascade Hardwood, LLC Vice President

Ray White Harold White Lumber Inc. Rules

Darwin Murray McClain Forest Products Past President 2018-2020

Joe Pryor Oaks Unlimited Industry Advocacy & Promotion

NHLA STAFF Amanda Boutwell Marketing and Communications Manager Desirée Freeman Controller




Pike Lumber Company, Inc.


Tropical Forest Products




John Hester Director of Membership and Business Development

Burt Craig Matson Lumber Company Membership

Renee Hornsby Director of Marketing/ Communications

Rob Cabral Upper Canada Forest Products, Ltd. Promotion & Advocacy

Jens Lodholm Data Administration Specialist Roman Matyushchenko ITS Instructor and Associate Dean of Education

Vicky Quiñones Simms Membership Development Manager


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Stephanie VanDystadt DV Hardwoods, Inc. Membership & Networking

Julia Ganey Member Relations Manager

Carol McElya Education Services Project Manager

For advertising contact: John Hester, Director of Membership and Business Development at or 901-399-7558 or Vicky Simms, Membership Development Manager at or 901-399-7557

Rich Solano Pike Lumber Company, Inc. Structure

Melissa Ellis Smith Graphic Designer Dana Spessert Chief Inspector

Dennis Mann Baillie Lumber Co. Convention Scott Cummings Cummings Lumber Company, Inc. Inspection Services Bruce Horner Abenaki Timber Corp. ITS/Continuing Education George Swaner Swaner Hardwood Communications & Marketing Joe Snyder Fitzpatrick & Weller, Inc. Rules

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n 2021, demand for hardwood lumber was strong throughout the U.S., making it one of the best years in the history of the hardwood industry. For the first time in my lifetime, our industry didn’t overproduce, causing the market to fall. The main reason we didn’t overproduce was because of something we had never experienced before.

I remember it was in February of 2020 that I first began to hear about something called Covid-19. The first case in the U.S. was in the state of Washington. It spread like wildfire. By April 2020, many businesses were shut down, and our companies were in unknown territory. Fortunately, demand for hardwood products remained strong. By June 2020, business took off. How fortunate were we to have our products in high demand? Many companies struggled, and some failed. Two years later, we’re still dealing with Covid-19. Now, it is the Omicron variant. As much as we all want Covid to go away, I think it is wise to plan on the virus being here for a bit longer. Some of us lost a loved one from the complications of Covid-19. For these unfortunate families, Covid will be a terrible memory. A scar in our lives that will never be forgotten. The result of Covid-19, from a business perspective, created three issues that have in part caused the market to remain strong over the past 18 months. Covid-19 dramatically affected labor. Everyone I talk to has had surges of Covid that infected many of their employees. We had twelve cases in our company this past month, the worst month we have experienced to date. When this happens, production slows, and it is impossible to make up the slack. Hiring more employees to fill the void is extremely difficult, and this fact has kept production at lower levels. Our industry has not been able to overproduce and cause excess inventory availability. The second effect Covid has caused is to delay the movement of freight all over the world. Supplies arriving later than expected have firmed up markets for domestic products. When companies can’t get what they need from their normal overseas sources, they turn to domestic options. Demand for U.S. manufactured products is greater than the supply. Consequently, we have experienced an escalating and very firm market over the past year.


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Finally, domestic freight around the U.S. is very tight. There are not enough drivers to go around. Many drivers retired because of Covid, amplifying an already stressed driver market. We’ll be dealing with domestic freight issues for the next few years. The new generation of young people joining the job market don’t believe driving a semitractor and trailer is a desirable job. These are long-term issues that will not go away and will keep the Hardwood market firm. A firm Hardwood market is a wonderful thing. However, everyone I talk to is working to improve their situation to enjoy the benefits of this market. It’s ironic that in our rush to make improvements with the issues affecting our companies, we will move to a state of overproduction, and this excellent market will fade. Here are some thoughts and ideas that we have learned and are grateful to have received from our business partners for your consideration. 1. COVID-19: My doctor told me that I would probably end up getting Covid-19 if I had not had it already. That means our entire company will probably end up getting it. The key to continued production is to spread out the infection rate in your company so that not too many people are out at once. Cross-training of your healthy employees will be the key to maintaining your production. 2. WORLDWIDE FREIGHT: Covid is hurting ocean freight all over the world. Employees who can’t work because they have Covid and ports shut down will continue to happen. Ocean freight is not going to get better soon. Take the pressure off the market by buying domestic, even if it costs more. Once demand drops, ocean freight will normalize. Normalcy will not happen in 2022. 3. DOMESTIC FREIGHT: The reality is there won’t be enough drivers any time soon in all markets in the U.S. and Canada. For those of you who use your own trucks, consider increasing your driver wages. Offer retaining bonuses on driver anniversaries. We’ve done both, and it has proven successful. You must also increase the freight rates you charge to move your freight to pay for the cost of higher salaries and bonuses.

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Big picture, we need to drive people to our industry. We need to create cultures in our companies that people want to join. Our industry-wide messaging to prospective employees and the greater population needs to boast about how good we are for the environment and the management of our forests. We have a great story to tell, better than most other industries. We have kept it a secret far too long. Our industry associations have come together to form a “grassroots” organization called the Real American Hardwood Coalition (RAHC). Its goal is to build the hardwood market for all of us in hardwood-related businesses. Funding is our biggest issue. We tried to implement a “Check-Off” program to generate funds to promote our industry, but it failed. The Hardwood Federation will work to try to get federal funding for the promotion and education of our industry, but there are no guarantees. We cannot wait for our political system to provide financial resources. We need to work on promoting our industry now. Work is being done on your behalf to build the Hardwood market. It is work that each of us cannot do by ourselves. We need thousands of contributors! Our companies, suppliers, industry partners, and individuals need to make financial commitments to the RAHC. Consider giving $50, $100, $250, $500, or even $1000 monthly to the cause.

We can change what the world thinks of the Hardwood Industry. We can make our industry better for our families and generations to come. Our success will be dependent upon how many contributors will support the cause. A quick takeaway for thought. When you think about the great companies you buy from, what do they do that causes you to continue to use them? I suggest the following statement that I have committed to memory, “Everybody does the big things; it’s the little things that make the difference .”Think about the little things your company or you do better than your competition. The little things are what make you special and set you apart in the market. Best wishes for your continued health and success. May God bless you, your families, and your businesses.

Jeff Wirkkala NHLA President | Hardwood Industries, Inc.


Billion BF Scanned


Systems Sold

Laser Accuracy • Measures Actual Length • Measures Wane • No Special Lighting • No Length Marks • • (215) 393-5300 Sawmill MD • Mike Ballard (850) 974-1195 • W W W. N H L A .C O M

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Welcome New Members (September 2021-January 2022)


Dry Forest Wood Products LLC, Shipshewana, IN Great Lakes Timber LLC , Hiram, OH Hendry Hardwoods LLC, Des Arc, AR Kristi Corporation USA , Suffolk, VA Newport Pallet, Inc. , Hillsdale, IN Ossiriand Forest Products, C reston, NC P J Clark Lumber, LLC , Coppell, TX Poplar Ridge Lumber Co., Inc. , Trade, TN Reader's Hardwood Supply LLC, East Taunton, MA Red Rock Lumber, LLC, Mifflintown, PA South Side Lumber Co., Inc., Butler, MO


Difficult Creek Lumber, Keysville, VA


Connor Sports Flooring, Amasa, MI


Ward Insurance , Eugene, OR


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Milestone Members

Congratualtions to these companies who are celebrating significant milestone anniversaries with NHLA.

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AMERICAN WOOD TECHNOLOGY, LLC Sustaining | October 2011


YEARS BREWCO INC. Sustaining | November 2001

EAGLE MACHINERY & SUPPLY, INC. Sustaining | December 2001 GRABER LUMBER Active U2 | February 2002 GREENTREE FOREST PRODUCTS, INC. Active U2 | January 2002 HENRY COUNTY HARDWOODS, INC. Associate | October 2001

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YEARS WARD TIMBER CO., INC. Active U2 | February 1997

YEARS O'SHEA LUMBER CO. Active U1 | January 1972 W W W. N H L A .C O M

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NHLA Annual Convention & Exhibit Showcase

September 21-23

Huntington Convention Center | Cleveland, Ohio

Early Bird Opens APRIL 4 Make your plans to join us in September for a great line-up of speakers, industry specific educational sessions, exhibitors, networking opportunities and a NOT TO BE MISSED Private Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame Event!

You will not want to miss this years

Keynote Speaker, Chester Elton! #1 bestselling leadership author Chester Elton, provides real solutions to leaders looking to manage change, drive innovation, and lead a multigenerational workforce.


As this will be our 125th Convention we are looking to find any past Convention Memorabilia you might have that we can borrow. We are working on a visual display and would love to include as much of the past as we can as we celebrate 125 years of the NHLA convention. Please contact Renee Hornsby at 901-399-7560 or email W W W. N H L A .C O M

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Aloha from Indianapolis NHLA attended the IHLA Annual Convention February 7-9 and it was an excellent opportunity for NHLA to network with our members and industry friends. We had a great Blue Hawaii themed booth that drew in the crowds. From pictures with Elvis, hula dancing to rad prizes it was a great time.

New Sustainability Section on Congrats to Trent Yoder with Yoder Lumber - one of our winners of our NHLA Memphis Flavor/Blue Hawaii gift baskets!

Look for us at these upcoming shows March 2-3 Ohio Forestry Association Annual Meeting Columbus, Ohio March 29-31 KFIA Annual Meeting | Lexington, KY

NHLA is proud to announce a new section of our website! The Sustainability Page is now available to you at This webpage is dedicated to showing the positive environmental impact of North American hardwoods. On this page, you will find facts on the sustainability of hardwoods, videos showing how hardwoods are a sustainable resource, and the impact the hardwood lumber industry has on our economy. We encourage you to share this page on your social media accounts and websites. It can also be an onboarding tool for employees new to the hardwood industry. It is also a good tool you can use to educate people on the fact that hardwood lumber is sustainable and an essential part of healthy forests. Should you find new facts that we can share, we welcome you to send them to

April 12-14 NWFA Expo | Tampa, Florida 8

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ITS Apprenticeship Program APPRENTICESHIPS: A SOLUTION TO THE SKILLED LABOR SHORTAGE Join NHLA and guest speaker Scott Ellsworth for a discussion on how state apprenticeships can help an employer find and train your staff.

Tuesday, March 8 Noon-1pm (Central) Carol McElya NHLA Education Services Project Manager

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Scott Ellsworth Federal / State Apprenticeship Consultant

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If you’re in the Forest Products Industry, get to know us.


Get the insurance coverage you need and the service you deserve.

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To learn how, call 804.643.7800

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ing City Northway Forwarding LTD. was established in 1977 and has been in business for over 40 years as a domestic and international freight forwarding company. It all began thanks to their business being situated in a prime location near the railroad tracks and close to the port of Montreal, Canada.

King City has come a long way since then. What started as a container loading service (when the containerization concept was introduced to the lumber industry) has grown into a full-service freight forwarding company that handles everything from the door of the sawmill to the door of the destination overseas, including the documents for the steamship to Phyto inspections, customs filing, rail transport, and beyond. Peter Lovett, the Vice President at King City Northway Forwarding, LTD, says, “Our clients put in a lot of hard work into producing their lumber. We want them to focus on that, and we’ll handle the shipping. That’s why our motto is ‘You Saw it, we Ship it.’


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We help our clients mitigate any risk through the transaction and make sure everything goes smoothly until the very end.” The big COVID issue as of late is labor shortages that have affected supply chain distribution, which is hitting the industry hard right now. The Great Resignation (people retiring early or switching jobs) has also impacted every business that handles shipping and logistics. Peter continues, “Long before COVID, we were very flexible in allowing our employees the choice to work from home. We are fortunate enough that our role in the shipping industry is translatable W W W. N H L A .C O M

Peter Lovett

". . . We’re small enough to provide personalized service, but at the same time, we’re big enough to go out and make things happen. I think it’s our customized touch that sets us apart.” — Peter Lovett to a remote work environment. So, when COVID came along, we were ready and reacted very quickly.” “As COVID and its consequences slogged through the past two years, we saw a slow deterioration in the workforce. Port terminals had limited workers, causing ships to wait weeks to be let into ports and unloaded. We had to work twice as hard to get one thing completed. Things that used to take one phone call or email now took three or four. It felt like we were talking to a void. But that is why our clients hire us. We push hard and go the extra mile. We manage all the risks involved with the whole transaction. We go to bat for our clients.” Peter has a clear vision of what sets King City apart, saying, “I think we are very different than our competition in that we are a small family business. Small enough to build a rapport and relationship with our clients to give them extra care. We’re small enough to provide personalized service, but at the same time, we’re big enough to go out and make things happen. I think it’s our customized touch that sets us apart.” King City has been an NHLA member for 37-years, and Peter is proud of it, claiming, “My favorite thing about being a member of NHLA is the level of organization the Association has. I never worry about how NHLA events will go because the people there are very competent and dedicated. NHLA brings everyone together and starts important conversations. Especially at the Conventions. The services they provide are among the best I’ve seen. It’s easy to be a member because NHLA takes care of so much of the work. I’m just happy to be part of it.” W W W. N H L A .C O M

The future is coming fast, and King City is ready for it. “I expect to see the shipping bottleneck fade away, like any other bump in the road. The industry will transform. It’s important to understand that things change, and we must adapt quickly. There’s a saying; ‘adapt or die.’ That really sticks with me. You can’t do the same thing you did yesterday and expect to be in business tomorrow. You must change and move on. In 10 years, I see the shipping industry moving into an increasingly digital world. There will be new and different technologies, and it will be interesting to see how we change. I believe those that embrace the change will be the most successful in the future.” Reach out to King City at: Website: Email: Call (USA): 1-855-682-1637 Call (Canada): 1-800-335-5394 On Facebook: @KingCityLTD On LinkedIn: @king-city-northway-forwarding On Instagram: @ kingcitynorthway M A R C H 2 0 2 2 H A R D W O O D M AT T E R S |


What Are The

CEOs Of Tomorrow Doing Right Now? By CHESTER ELTON


OME EXECUTIVE COACHES WORK WITH C-LEVEL LEADERS. OTHERS HAVE BUILT PRACTICES ADVISING BOSSES WHO MIGHT STRUGGLE WITH COLLABORATION OR COMMUNICATION. MY WORK HAS MOSTLY BEEN WITH HIGH-POTENTIAL LEADERS, ALSO CALLED HIPOS, WHO WISH TO DEVELOP THEIR EXECUTIVE CREDIBILITY AND HIGH-LEVEL LEADERSHIP SKILLS. After twenty years of advising these potential CEOs, I’d like to pass along a few things I believe separate those who go on to get the big jobs from the rest of the pack. As a background, HiPos typically have been consistent, outstanding individual contributors—all while acting with high integrity. They were then asked to lead a team and again delivered strong results, this time as a manager. But now, they must make the leap to become leaders of leaders—and that’s a whole new skill set. At this level, they must cultivate an ability to multiply the energies of diverse teams toward new and uncharted opportunities. Since HiPos now have a larger group to manage, they have to transition to teaching skills to their direct reports, who then cascade these ideas down to their team members. A study led by Professor Douglas Ready of MIT’s Sloan School of Management shows 98 percent of large companies “purposefully identify high potentials. Especially when resources are constrained, companies do place disproportionate attention on developing the people they think will lead their organizations into the future,” Ready said.

So what talents set apart the most elite of these elite HiPos? As to those I’ve worked with, each has been well-organized and diligent, has solid problem-solving abilities, and a good dose of common sense. As a rule, they are fairly courageous and treat others with respect. Those characteristics seem to be the tickets into this club. But the best of them do a few unique things that enable them to take on more significant leadership roles in the near future.


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They Seek To Grow Everything Around Them The HiPos that move up are determined that everything they touch to get better. First and foremost, they seek to develop their people and actively seek opportunities to develop new skills in their team members. When someone is promoted out of their group or moves on to a new opportunity, they consider it a compliment (versus a betrayal). The best HiPos also genuinely want their customers’ businesses to thrive and grow, and they seek ways to help their entire company flourish—not just their part of it. They create opportunities to attract a more diverse group of customers to the fold, and they help push the bigger enterprise to the next level. To do this, they get to know their industry better and their company’s unique role in it.

They Seek Clarity In All They Do The best HiPo leaders never assume everyone is on the same page with them. They set a guiding north star (the why) on each project, make complex ideas easy to understand for everyone involved, and are clear and transparent in their communication with all stakeholders—team members, clients, or peers. To achieve clarity, they ask a lot of questions in meetings, such as: “Help me understand…” “What are we trying to solve here?” “Is everyone tracking?” They also believe in picking up the phone or going to see others (if possible) to get all the facts before making decisions.

They Seek To Understand Real Pain Points HiPos who thrive make a concerted effort to dive deep with customers and employees. They try to look for subtle cues in conversations—

decoding hidden messages in what they are being told—to bring to the surface the real pain & real asks. This means they listen more than they talk and ask smart, probing questions, i.e., “Tell me more about…” This deep curiosity makes them extremely valuable, as they can solve complex problems with customers and work through challenging issues within the teams under their purview.

They Seek To Be Authentic Let’s face it, developing credibility and authenticity is no easy task. You can’t fake your way through it—at least not for long. The best HiPos take their work seriously, but themselves not so much. They infuse moments of lightness and laughter into every day, regardless of the situation. Most vital, they are empathetic and kind. Leadership, after all, is about relationships. As such, they genuinely value the people in their care and regularly show how much they appreciate every step forward their team members take for them. They hold people accountable in positive ways. They are also unafraid to be vulnerable, to ask for help when needed, and they say thank you—a lot. In fact, the best HiPos express gratitude much more often and in more specific ways than their peers who never make the leap. In the end, our research shows that while there is no “one size fits all” approach to becoming a great executive, we have learned that focusing on these vital behaviors will improve an individual leader’s chances of success in high-level leadership roles. The best future CEOs set a high bar for themselves and those around them and inspire others to achieve through empathy, clarity, and authenticity. Look for more insight from Chester Elton at the 2022 NHLA Annual Convention & Exhibit Showcase. On Facebook: @ChesterElton On LinkedIn: @chesterelton On Instagram: @chester.elton

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An Easy-To-Use Hardwood Log Recovery Analysis Tool


By R. EDWARD THOMAS, US Forest Service and URS BUEHLMANN, Virginia Tech

d Thomas of the US Forest Service and Urs Buehlmann with Virginia Tech have developed an easy-to-use toolLORACAT – designed to examine hardwood log recovery. The following article contains highlights from the paper created by Thomas and Buehlmann as well as Q&A from a discussion between NHLA and the developers.

Numerous factors influence product recovery and efficiency in hardwood sawmills. Some factors relate to the geometric and quality characteristics of the logs processed; others to processing details such as kerf size, sawing variation, or sawing strategy. Also, the geometric dimensions and the type of products sawn impact recovery yield. Examining and developing an understanding of the inter-relationships among these numerous interdependent factors is the key to maximizing yield and profit for every sawmill operation. Lumber recovery is affected by factors relating to log features (species, diameter, length, taper, and grade), sawmill parameters (kerf width and sawing variation), and recovery goals (sawing strategy, green and kiln dry-dressed lumber size) (Steele 1984, Lin et al. 2011). These factors, due to variances in log resource, processing parameters, and recovery goals, are rarely consistent from mill to mill (Steele 1984). Given the importance of all these factors and their interrelated interaction on mill profitability, numerous sawmill simulation tools to help sawmill managers explore the impact of these settings on mill operations have been created. However, these analysis tools typically require extensive mill data and possibly specialized training to accomplish even minor analyses. The newly developed Log Recovery Analysis Tool (LORCAT) was designed to avoid the complexities of past tools by being straightforward to set-up and use with easily understood results. Q: What is LORCAT and how did it come to be?

Answer Thomas & Buehlmann: LORCAT (Log Recovery Analysis Tool) is a sawmill analysis tool designed and developed to enable mill personnel and researchers to examine the impact and relationships among various factors that influence hardwood mill recovery. LORCAT is a spreadsheet-based


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tool that was developed for use with the Microsoft Excel® or LibreOffice® spreadsheet applications, which most users are familiar with. LORCAT is the result of a question from a large sawmill that wanted to estimate recovery for a 7/8-inch target thickness. An existing simulation program was not suitable for the analysis. So, we created what was at the time a very simple spreadsheet to examine that question. Afterwards we realized that the spreadsheet could be expanded to handle many more types of questions and analyses. bringing LORCAT into existence. Q: You say LORCAT avoids the complexities of past tools, in what way? Answer Thomas & Buehlmann: Past tools (such as Solve or PROYIELD) require a large amount of data input to be able to function, some even require users to complete training for their use. LORCAT minimizes the need for data input by relying on historic information collected by the US Forest Service about log yield and grade recovery. With LORCAT, we worked hard to reduce the data required to the minimum. We also kept parts of the analysis independent, allowing users to use only selected features of the tool. For example, if users don’t want to use the profit/loss feature of the tool, they don’t have to enter their price and cost data and can just use the yield and recovery portion of the tool. Also, we kept the results simple and used a format that is easy to follow. About the Tool LORCAT simulates the sawing of logs using one of five common sawing methods. The first method simulates sawing logs to a cant with a specified size (e.g., 6 in x 4 in; Figure 1a). The second method simulates using a gang-resaw to saw the cant produced from sawing the first two faces into lumber (Figure 1b). The third method simulates the European method of live or flitch sawing where the log is sawn through-and-through (Figure 1c). The fourth and fifth sawing options emulate grade sawing where the log is rotated, and lumber is sawn from the best face. The grade sawing methods can saw to a cant (Figure 1d) or simulate a gang-resaw to saw the cant

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Figure 1. a. Slab sawing to a specified cant size; b. Slab sawing to specified cant thickness then completing sawing using a gang-resaw; c. live sawing; d. Grade sawing to a specified cant size; b. Grade sawing to specified cant thickness then completing sawing using a gang-resaw.

Figure 2. LORCAT: Log Recovery and Analysis Tool main window.

into lumber (Figure 1e). Users can select the method and all sawing parameters to suit their operation or their analysis needs. For all sawing methods, users can choose either split-taper or full-taper sawing (Malcolm 1961). In split-taper sawing, the taper of the log is split between opposite faces and the log is sawn parallel to its central axis (Hallock et al. 1978). This sawing method has the potential to produce shorter boards if the amount of taper is large enough yet increase recovery of lumber. Full-taper sawing saws the log parallel to the outside faces of the log (Hallock et al. 1978). Thus, the grain will be parallel to the board surface in the resulting boards, making lumber sawn stronger in general than split-taper sawn lumber. Using the Tool LORCAT is an easy-to-use, spreadsheet-based analysis tool that requires minimal data input from the user. The main user interface of LORCAT is shown in Figure 2. The light blue box in the upper left corner of the screen controls the analysis. Here you enter the specifics of the log being sawn as well as the lumber, cant and sawing parameters. The cells shaded light maroon indicate cells where you can enter/change data. The generic sawing pattern displayed in the lower left corner labeled “Sawing Pattern” shows a symbolic representation of the sawing pattern used given the current setup specified in the “Input Variables”

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section above. For example, entering zero into “Cant Height” and “Cant Width” in the “Input Variables” of LORCAT, will change the symbolic picture from “Sawing to a specified cant size (Figure 1a)” to “live sawing (Figure 1c).” Sawing results are displayed in the green box in the upper right corner labeled “Projected Sawing Results.” It reports the expected volumes of the resulting lumber and cant, and the expected grade mix of the lumber produced according to NHLA lumber grading rules. The red box in the lower right corner labeled “Processing Cost / Product Value Analysis,” reports the profitability of the sawing operation. The lumber values, log and processing costs are all based on user entered costs in the “Costs” and “Operation Costs” worksheets accessible in the tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet. Suppose that users want to analyze the results from sawing multiple logs. In that case, they need to activate the “Batch Sawing” worksheet by clicking on this tab, which allows users to generate samples consisting of hundreds of logs. Q: Will this program provide the break-even log values by species, grade, and diameter? Answer Thomas & Buehlmann: Yes, it is an easy analysis to setup. The first step would be to enter your current costs for logs, market prices for lumber, and your operating costs. Next, specify the opening face size, cant size, thickness,


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green allowance, sawing variance, taper setting, and sawing method. Enter a series of diameters, grades, and species, and LORCAT will project the profit or loss of each. Once your costs are setup, the breakeven log analysis could be done in just few minutes. Further, when your market prices or costs change, your analysis is easy to revisit. Q: Will this program help a company decide what to cut from the logs that will be the most profitable? i.e 4/4 or 8/4, cant size? Answer Thomas & Buehlmann: Yes. It would be an analysis similar to determining the break-even log discussed above. Except you would need to set up a random sample of log sizes that approximates the log sizes that you normally process. Then you would let LORCAT run each of the target size/ cant size combinations, results of which can easily be saved in LORCAT. Afterwards, you can easily compare total recovery and profit, finding the best solution for your mill. An Example As a bandsaw owner, you might wonder if you should invest in thinner kerf blades or not? You can use LORCAT to conduct a series of simulations to examine the yield implications of four band mill kerf

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thicknesses available: 0.125, 0.111, 0.096, and 0.084-inch. After you have downloaded and opened LORCAT on your computer (no installation necessary as LORCAT consists of a spreadsheet file), you assemble a sample of 200, 12-foot-long logs with a total volume of 4,220 ft3. The International ¼-inch scale volume (USDA Forest Service 2006) for those 200 logs was 26,070 board feet (bdft) and the Doyle scale volume (Cassens 2011) was 21,605 bdft. You decide to use a minimum opening face (minimum size of first board removed from a log face) of 6-inches wide and 6 feet long. You also decide that if the taper is 1 inch or greater, split-taper sawing is to be used. Also, you set the simulation up so that the sawing process simulates sawing the logs to produce a 6-inch cant that then is sawn into 6-inch wide boards (Figure 1b). You set the target thickness to 1-inch plus a green thickness allowance of 0.125-inch plus sawing variation of 0.022-inch. The details and the results of the first simulation run for band kerf thickness of 0.125-inch of your scenario analysis is shown in Figure 3. Results from your scenario analysis are shown in Table 1. Lumber recovery increased from 28,887 bdft when the kerf is 0.125 inches, to 30,113 bdft when the kerf is 0.084 inches, an increase of approximately 4 percent. In the example, each reduction in kerf resulted in an approximate increase of 400 bdft, with a total overall improvement of 1,226 bdft between the widest and the thinnest kerf. Sixty-nine

percent of the total improvement, 850 bdft, was realized with the 0.096-inch thick kerf. You now must estimate if the additional costs from using a thinner kerf are less than the additional profit resulting from the extra yield obtained. Realize that being able to tailor the log size distribution as well as the cost information to your specific operation, will give you the most meaningful results. Table 1. LORCAT analysis and scale results for a sample of 200, 12-ft-long logs having an average small-end diameter of 16 inches and variable amounts of taper.


Lumber Recovery Doyle Factor Recovery Overrun

(inches) 0.125 6.845 0.111 6.946 0.096 7.047 0.084 7.136

(bdft) 28,887 29,311 29,737 30,113

(percent) 33.70% 35.70% 37.60% 39.40%

Int 1/4-inch Overrun (percent) 10.80% 12.40% 14.10% 15.50%

Q: If a company doesn’t purchase logs based on Forest Service Log Grades, will this spreadsheet be of use to them? Answer Thomas & Buehlmann: Yes. In general, most hardwood log grading systems used in the industry are simplifications of the USFS log grading rules. I would recommend that anyone unsure what FS log grades correspond or approximate the grades they are using, that they take a look at the FS log grading rules. The University of Tennessee has a publication that is a good summary of the FS grading rules and it can be found at: https:// Q: Where can a company access this program? LORCAT can be downloaded from either of these web sites: There are two versions of LORCAT available on these two web sites. One is for Microsoft Excel. The other is for LibreOffice Calc, a free, open-source alternative to Microsoft Excel. Download the version you want to use, open the file, and start analyzing your operation. If your computer has Microsoft Excel or LibreOffice Calc already installed (most business computers have either program already installed), no installation or any other computer manipulation is needed to work with LORCAT. Q: What should a company do if they experience problems or have questions about LORCAT? Please contact Ed Thomas (304.431.2324, or Urs Buehlmann (540.231.9759, for free support.

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The NHLA Sales Code By DANA SPESSERT, Chief Inspector


board measure, of 1” lumber. In lumber thicker than 1,” the tally so obtained is multiplied by the standard thickness as expressed in inches and fractions of an inch.”

In 2021, the NHLA Board of Managers created a Tally Task Force to ensure that the NHLA Rules Book sufficiently explained tally and grade accuracy. The task force held numerous meetings to discuss these concerns and have effectively decided on edits to the Sales Code section of the Rules Book.

“Note: End Tally refers to the method of board footage measurement where lumber is tallied on a 12 Ft. basis as described in paragraph 21, except all width measurements are taken from the ends of boards after the lumber has been stacked in bundles.

he 2023 version of the NHLA Rules Book with the Rules changes that were voted on in November of 2021 will be produced later this year and distributed to our members before the end of 2022. The approved 2023 Rules changes were listed and discussed in last month’s Rules Corner, but this month I want to discuss additional changes in the 2023 Rules Book as it relates to the NHLA Sales Code.

ON PAGE 79, UNDER ARTICLE V - QUANTITY & LOADING, SECTION 2: “Note: There is no relation between fair and honest loading and the trend of the market, and any attempt to make the prevailing market a determining factor for the contents of a shipment is a breach of good faith under this code.” This paragraph will be replaced with: “Note: Shippers shall make every attempt to ship full, accurate tallies for both grade and measurement on all shipments under the sales code as defined by the order. Attempts to intentionally under ship footage and/or ship a percentage of off-grade material to fall within Article X (Inspection) regulations or to vary tallies and grade by the trend in market conditions are discouraged as they do not accurately portray the intended purpose of Article X and therefore, represent a breach of good faith under the sales code.” The NHLA Rules were written to provide the minimum standard for each grade of lumber with the understanding that random width lumber will be tallied using the Surface Measure method as is written on page 9, paragraph 18:

Over the years, there have been advancements in how lumber can be measured electronically, some of which will round the width inches prior to calculating the Surface Measure, which may cause issues of tally accuracy. This has been addressed on page 9, paragraph 16, here:

It is recognized that there will be some minor differences in end tally measurement from the “board measure” method. In cases of footage dispute caused using both measurement methods, the footage as determined by “board measure” will supersede. The NHLA Rules Book was written with the intent that all the hardwood industry is to ship and receive lumber, making every attempt to be as close to 100% accurate, in both grade and tally, as possible. Questions about the changes to the Sales Code or the Rules? Contact Chief Inspector Dana Spessert at or by phone at 901-399-7551.

“Random width lumber of standard grades and thicknesses shall be tallied surface measure, and this tally shall be the number of feet,


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Cory Christen with NHLA’s Kevin Evilsizer.

Kendrick Forest Products is a member of the National Hardwood Lumber Association’s (NHLA) Facility Grade Certification Program. This is a voluntary quality assurance program where our lumber is re-inspected by the NHLA National Inspector 2-3 times per year to ensure we are representing the lumber properly. It is with a great deal of pride that I can inform you Cory Christen passed his test with flying colors. He was well within what the NHLA allows. Great job, Cory! This certification gives us a competitive advantage when selling in the marketplace as new customers know that we honor the NHLA grades and system. Most mills are not certified. In fact, Kendrick is the only mill in Iowa with this designation and one of only two in the American Walnut Manufacturers Association. Kevin and the NHLA have been a great resource for continuing to build into our team. We look forward to Kevin coming back in the summer.”

— Greg Blomberg, General Manager at Kendrick Forest Products




June 13-16

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

March 28-April 8

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber.

Inspector Training School Online Training Program MODULE 1 Two weeks of hands-on training.

Venue: Yoder Lumber Co., Inc. Location: Millersburg, OH

Venue: Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve Location: Haliburton, ON

Instructor: Mark Depp, National Inspector

Module 2: Online study Module 3: Three weeks hands-on training and final testing at NHLA headquarters. Instructor: Tom Byers, National Inspector

APRIL April 25-27

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber. Venue: NHLA Headquarters Location: Memphis, TN

JUNE June 6-July 29

Inspector Training School 199th Class

Traditional 8-week hands-on training to achieve the certificate of completion in Hardwood Lumber Inspection. Venue: Clearfield County Career & Technology Center Location: Clearfield, PA Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor

JULY July 19-21

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber. Venue: Emerging Technology Center Location: Franklin, PA Instructor: Tom Byers, National Inspector

Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor


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“Earning my certificate from the NHLA Inspector Training School was a great opportunity for me to start a career in any facet of the hardwood industry, whether sales, operating machinery, grading, or drying lumber. It is a great alternative to college and creates an easier path to management.” Kyle Stepherson 188th Class | NHLA Inspector Training School Alumnus



Aug. 22-Sept. 2

Sept. 7-9

Inspector Training School Online Training Program MODULE 1 Two weeks of hands-on training.

Venue: NHLA Headquarters Location: Memphis, TN Module 2: Online study Module 3: Three weeks hands-on training and final testing at NHLA headquarters. Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor

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Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber. Venue: NHLA Headquarters Location: Memphis, TN Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor

Sept. 26-Nov. 18

Inspector Training School 200th Class

Traditional 8-week hands-on training to achieve the certificate of completion in Hardwood Lumber Inspection. Venue: NHLA Headquarters Location: Memphis, TN Instructor: Roman Matyushchenko, ITS Instructor

OCT Oct. 17-21

Intro to Hardwood Lumber Grading

Intro class to gain a basic understanding of the NHLA hardwood lumber grading rules and how the rules affect the value of lumber. Venue: Wood-Mizer, LLC Location: Indianapolis, IN Instructor: Kevin Evilsizer, National Inspector

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NHLA JOB BOARD Here you will find our current job listings. To see more details or to post a job, visit

LUMBER GRADER AJD FOREST PRODUCTS AJD Forest Products is seeking an experienced lumber grader to inspect and grade milled, rough sawed, or dimensional stock lumber. Skills & Experience Required • Examines lumber for defects such as knots, stains, decay, splits, faulty edges, pitch pockets, wormholes, and defective milling. • Grades lumber to ensure specified dimensions. • Marks lumber to indicate grade and processing instructions. • Tallies pieces of lumber according to grade and board footage. • Determines cuts to be made to obtain highest marketable value from material.

PLC CONTROLS TECHNICIAN BAILLIE LUMBER CO & WAGNER HARDWOODS • Conducts, maintains, tests and repairs controls. • Applies knowledge of PLC's and mechanical principles in determining equipment malfunctions and applies skills in restoring equipment to operation. • Provides skilled PLC support to all areas of manufacturing. • Troubleshoot and maintain PLC systems. • Writing and editing of PLC programs. • Responsible for identifying possible production problems. • Evaluate and implement process/product improvements.

• Removes unsatisfactory pieces table and planes pieces on stacks.

• Follow all safety guidelines, policies and procedures.

• Scales board footage and records results

• Traveling to our facilities in the Northeast Region.

Salary & Benefits AJD Forest Products offers insurance, PTO, paid holidays. Salary is based on experience.

Skills & Experience Required • A 2 year degree/certificate in an affiliated program required.

How to Apply Send your resume to: ADJ Forest Products 4440 W 4 Mile Road | Grayling, MI 49738 989-348-5412

• Must be able to work well with all levels of personnel whether individually or in a team environment, and especially must be able to interface and communicate with line operators in order to assist with repairs and troubleshooting. • Ability to travel, up to 80% in the Northeast Region. • Must have a valid Driver's License, a clean driving record, and the ability to rent vehicles in your name. Salary & Benefits Full Time Hours, Full Plan of Benefits, Competitive Pay. How to Apply Send your resume to: Baillie Lumber Co & Wagner Hardwoods 4002 Legion Drive | Hamburg, NY 14075 716-649-2850 |


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NHLA JOB BOARD Here you will find our current job listings. To see more details or to post a job, visit

LUMBER GRADER CARDIN FOREST PRODUCTS, LLC Cardin Forest Products is a family owned sawmill and kiln drying operation located in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. We are currently seeking a candidate to fill a hardwood lumber grading position in our kiln drying operation. Duties will include, but not be limited to the following:

LUMBER GRADER TURMAN FOREST PRODUCTS Turman Forest Products is seeking an experienced green lumber grader for an Appalachian hardwood sawmill.

• Grade and mark all lumber to be sorted according to NHLA rules/ guidelines and industry standards.

• Experience with white oak, red oak, yellow poplar, and walnut required.

• Communicate effectively with your team and other departments. • Adhere to all safety policies and perform tasks in a safe and responsible manner.

Salary & Benefits Turman Forest Products offers insurance, paid vacation, paid personal time, a monthly attendance bonus, and paid holidays. Salary is based on experience.

Skills & Experience Required • Minimum of one (1) year experience grading green and/or kiln dried domestic lumber.

How to Apply Send your resume to:

• Must be NHLA trained or have equivalent knowledge.

Turman Forest Products 1133 Baldwin Street | Bedford, VA 24523 540-598-4332

• Must be physically capable of performing all duties of the job and any other duties assigned by Crew Leader.

Skills & Experience Required • Green lumber grading experience preferred

Salary & Benefits Full time position. Salary is negotiable. Company offers medical, dental, 401(k), and other benefits. How to Apply Send your resume to: Cardin Forest Products, LLC 2534 Battle Creek Road | South Pittsburg, TN 37380 423-619-8056 |

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Where We’ve Been

It’s no secret, the hardwood industry has been losing market share to products that look like wood, but have none of the natural benefits or authentic attributes of Real American Hardwood™ products. In order to recapture market share and improve industry stability, hardwood organizations united to form the Real American Hardwood Coalition.

Where We Are

The goal is to develop a national consumer promotion campaign on a scale that’s never been seen before. And a lot has been accomplished in a short period of time—including the completion of an extensive consumer research initiative, establishing brand guidelines, registering trademarks, and launching social media profiles.

Where We’re Going, Together

The next steps will have the largest impact on the industry and require buy-in from all industry stakeholders. The Coalition is preparing to launch a comprehensive promotion campaign—including a consumer-oriented website, in-store promotion at top big box stores, a broad media relations campaign, social media influencer partnerships, print and web advertising, and much more.

How You Can Get Involved

Moving the campaign forward and expanding its reach will take the support of the entire industry—for the benefit of the entire industry.

■ Make a voluntary contribution to help fund the consumer promotion campaign.

■ Use the Real American Hardwood logo on your sales and marketing communications, facilities and vehicles, products, and website.

■ Follow @RealAmericanHardwood on Instagram and Facebook, and tag #RealAmericanHardwood in your social media posts.

Visit to learn more and get on board.

Quality lumber doesn’t just happen. It starts with quality logs and precision sawing. Checking lumber thickness along with inspectors at every machine center guarantees consistent manufacture and grade.

Pike Brand

That’s what separates ® Hardwoods from all the rest. Getting the details right!


AKRON, INDIANA • U.S.A. P: 800.356.4554 F: 574.893.7400