MAR-APR 2018

Crossties is published for users and producers of treated wood crossties.

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CONTACT RTA WEBSITE BECOME A MEMBER BECOME A MEMBER RTA WEBSITE CONTACT Cahaba Pressure Treated Forest Products Eagle Metal Products East Coast Railroad Gross & Janes Co. Hurdle Machine Works Koppers Inc. A lot has changed at Wheeler Lumber over the past 100 years, from ownership changes to product additions and service modifica- tions. But one thing has remained the same: the company's commitment to performing at the highest level. "Wheeler Lumber is a company that always does what it says it's going to do," said Sales Manager Dave Koch. "We're up front and honest, and we will bend over backwards for our customers." Wheeler Lumber first started in 1892 when William Walter Wheeler—who at the time was a bridge plank salesman for a New England company—saw an opportunity in the Midwest and founded the Wheeler Lumber Company in Des Moines, Iowa. Originally, the company focused on supply- ing timber to railroads, counties and highway departments. Bridges and bridge timber also were part of the company's main product lines. Over time, other products have been added to Wheeler's offerings, including engi- neered bridges, steel beams and roof trusses. "We've really expanded on the railroad side," Koch said. "We're going coast to coast now with supplying bridge timbers—from Oregon to the East Coast." While Wheeler is a relatively small company compared to much of its competi- tion, it has been able to continuously grow its railroad business partly do to the fact it stocks such a wide variety of sizes of West Coast Douglas Fir—and some Southern Yellow Pine—for use. They also buy timber only from the best mills, and fabrication is a company specialty. Wheeler can surface cut, drill, dap and taper according to a company's unique specifications. "Because we are smaller, we can react and adjust a lot faster to the timeframes a com- pany needs," Koch said. Another factor helping the company grow on the railroad side is its change to solely using copper naphthenate for treated wood products. The company switched over to the preservative exclusively in 2004. "It started because our treating plant burned down in 2003, and when we were having to rebuild, we made an effort to really look to the future of preser- vatives," said Koch. "We realized copper naphthenate made the most sense for Wheeler Lumber and its custom- ers. It is very clean and safer to handle for workers and customers alike." In addition to housing a state-of- the-art treating plant, Wheeler also boasts an industry-leading quality control program. "Our quality control program goes above and beyond industry standards," Koch said. "We guarantee all of our products meet the American Wood Protection Association's standards." Wheeler's quality control program means that every charge is bored and cores are taken and analyzed electronically to be sure of proper treatment. Every charge is docu- mented, input into the treating report and saved for future reference. "We make sure that no bad timber gets into our bundles," Koch added. "We know how one bad piece out in the field can cause a headache for contractors as it takes time to stop and fix. So we avoid that beforehand by ensuring everything we supply is only top quality. We understand how important it is for contractors and railroads to stay on sched- ule. It's important for us that we help them do that." CROSSTIES • MARCH/APRIL 2018 14 The gauges below represent "snapshot in time" opinions of in-the-field wood tie buyers who procure untreated crossties from sawmills in their regions. RTA does not warrant nor accept responsibility for the accuracy of the data generated. See more on Hardwood Procurement Trends Eastern Half U.S. – March 2018 Crosstie Competitiveness vs. Other Hardwood Products Current .... Previous Issue Current Demand For Lumber (#2 and #3) Current Demand For Export Quantity Of Logs On Hand At Mill Yards Current Demand For Pallet Lumber Current Demand For Paper (Chips) Current Demand For Board/Mat Timbers Log Availability RTA CONFERENCE SAWMILL FOCUS Wheeler Lumber: Committed To Performance For Over 100 Years By Paige Townley

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