Ohio Sawmill Continues Improvements 

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HMC Corp. Is a Key Sawmill Machinery Supplier for Adkins Timber Products 

BEVERLY, Ohio – Adkins Timber Products, a hardwood lumber producer, has embarked on a number of improvements to its sawmill in recent years and has more in the works. The company has partnered very closely with New England-based HMC Corp. for new sawmill machinery and equipment.
Adkins Timber Products has been in business for 25 years. The company produces about 6 million board feet of rough dimension lumber annually. All production is sold green. The company’s lumber is sold to customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and the Carolinas as well as export markets. In addition to its sawmill and 15 employees in Beverly, Adkins operates a satellite yard with five employees in Caldwell, which is about 20 miles northeast. Both operations are in southeast Ohio.
“We’re not a big outfit,” said company president Alan Adkins. “We’re as big as we want to be,” he said. Alan and his brothers, Kevin and Randy, purchased the sawmill from their father, Dorsey, several years ago. Randy works primarily with timber procurement and Kevin handles the logging operation. Their sister, Myra, works in the company office.
Adkins Timber Products buys standing timber that is brought to the sawmill as tree-length wood. “The reason we bring in whole trees,” said Alan, is that the logs “keep better through summer.” The mill runs logs from 10 inches to 40 inches in diameter, mainly red oak and white oak.
Timber harvesting is done mainly by contract loggers; Adkins may have three or four crews cutting at one time. In addition, the company employs one logging crew of its own. All trucking is provided by contract haulers.
The Adkins logging crew uses hand-felling methods and is equipped with chainsaws, skidders, dozers and a pair of knuckleboom loaders.
The mill and yard at Adkins Timber Products take up approximately seven acres of a 70-acre tract the company owns. A Hood 28000 loader with slasher saw is used in the yard to unload trucks and buck the logs.
When Alan talked with TimberLine recently, they were in the process of making another improvement to the mill. Adkins Timber has had good experience in the recent past with HMC Corp. and chose the New Hampshire company for more equipment.
The Adkins staff has built much of the mill’s equipment over the years and has a well-equipped maintenance shop that also can take on welding and metal fabrication projects. “We built all our own conveyors,” said Alan. “The lumber decks are all hand made.”
When it comes to investing in equipment from suppliers, Adkins Timber Products has high expectations. “What really got my attention on HMC,” said Alan, was the “well-built, heavy-built” nature of the HMC equipment. Adkins turned to HMC in recent years in order to improve yield.
The workhorse of the mill is an HMC 4800 horizontal grade resaw system with an optional cant deck and lumber transfer deck. The resaw is relatively new to the HMC line and was added to the Adkins plant in 2003. “We’re gaining 10 to 15 percent more lumber out of the log,” said Alan, with the HMC 4800 horizontal grade resaw.
The HMC 4800 horizontal grade resaw was designed specifically for cutting grade lumber with the added benefit of efficient slab recovery and the processing of large timbers. The resaw design utilizes full air strain technology, pressure saw guides, a double column frame design, and hydraulic linear setworks – all of which work together to allow the use of thin kerf saw blades. With its thin kerf and quick setting system, the HMC 4800 will increase yield and production.
The HMC 4800 features welded tubular steel construction and cast iron wheels, support and bearing housings. It is equipped with 49-inch wheels that carry a 6-inch wide saw blade and is powered by a 100 hp TEFC motor. Other features include front and rear lumber hold-downs, variable speed roll bed drive synchronized with front and rear hold-downs, cartridge style pressure guides with guide dressing machine, motorized wheel lift, wheel tilt for blade tracking and computer-controlled hydraulic setworks.
“Speed, accuracy, consistency,” said HMC sales rep Jimmy Coates, are the attributes that HMC worked hard to build into the 4800 resaw. “It’s very rugged, very heavy,” he explained. Those characteristics make it a perfect fit for the HMC product line.
The HMC 4800 horizontal grade resaw, which can handle squares up to 20×20, has exceeded Alan’s expectations. “It’s done more than we figured it would,” he said.
After leaving the resaw, the lumber is graded and transferred to the trim saw. Adkins Timber recently ordered an HMC MDS-50 drop saw trimmer to replace the existing two-saw trimmer. From the trimmer, the lumber is stacked by hand off the green chain. Alan expects both production and yield to increase with the addition of the new HMC trimmer.
“We’ve looked around at other equipment out there,” said Alan. HMC was selected as a supplier because its equipment is “well-built,” he explained, “and, we like the service.”
The importance of service cannot be understated, said Alan. “That’s a big thing with me, the service,” he said.
Most of the logs delivered to Adkins Timber Products come from southeast Ohio. Like other sawmills, Adkins normally builds a log inventory for winter so that it will have wood even when loggers are unable to work. The terrain east of Beverly becomes increasingly hilly as one enters the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Most trees come from within a 100-mile radius of Beverly, which at times takes the company into West Virginia.
The grading agency for Adkins Timber Products is the National Hardwood Lumber Association. Adkins also belongs to the Ohio Forestry Association.
Adkins Timber also has ordered a new HMC 2110 rosserhead debarker to replace its existing rosserhead debarker. After debarking, the logs go to the head rig, which consists of an HMC AC-40 four-head block carriage with a double hook dog, underhook turners and track and knee lube system. The HMC 2110 debarker will speed up the log debarking process and increase yield with the up pressure option on the cutter head. HMC has been a pioneer in the development of rosserhead debarkers. It offers customers a wide range of debarker sizes in order to make a good match with tree species. HMC debarkers feature variable speed hydraulic controls to facilitate log rotation and carriage control. (Adkins sells the bark to a company that processes it into mulch.)
For customers that want to undertake a critical look at their mills and consider improvements, HMC offers complete custom design and layout services. The services encompass everything from a simple design for a new piece of equipment to a complete plant layout of an entire mill.
For almost three decades, the Adkins family has worked hard to make Adkins Timber Products a success.
The forest products business suits Alan. “I like everything about it, actually,” he said. “I like the industry.”
Asked what he likes to do when he takes time away for work, Alan laughed. “Probably like every other sawmill man,” he said, “fishing and hunting.”
The Caldwell facility operates as a brokering yard where the company buys lumber, sorts it and sells it. In the future, drying may become part of the activity at Caldwell. “We’re thinking about expanding to drying,” said Alan.