Elmsdale Lumber purchases new log handler
Aug. 24, 2016 - When your employees have invested 20 years or more into learning their craft, it might pay to listen to what they have to say about any changes you have in mind. That's been the philosophy at Nova Scotia's Elmsdale Lumber Company. And so far, that approach has helped Elmsdale to remain one of the region's most consistently successful sawmills, through more than a century of industry ups and downs.
Making the change to SENNEBOGEN
A fourth-generation, family owned mill employing 50 staff, Elmsdale has always taken a highly consultative route to continual improvement of its equipment and processes. The latest big change was the purchase of a new SENNEBOGEN 830 M-T log handler. Vice President Mark Wilber, in keeping with the traditions set by his father and grandfathers before him, asked his experienced team for their opinions before the order was placed.
“I might be writing the cheque, but you guys are buying the machine,” he told them. “They have to buy in to repairing and maintaining it, driving it, etc. They’re an integral part of the company and therefore an integral part of the success of the company. Everything we do, we try to involve the team as much as possible so they’re on board when the equipment comes in.”
Experience in premium wood
From woodlands staff, to mill operations to front office, many of Wilber’s team members have been employed here for 20 years, 30 years and more. The mill operates a single shift to produce more than 30 million board ft. of premium wood products per year. “We specialize in wane-free lumber with about 60 per cent of our production in 2″ premium spruce. Another 25 per cent of production is premium decking. Specialty products include beams up to 4×10 for log homes, as well as wood siding and square timbers. The yard is open 7 days a week, around the clock, for log deliveries. The new SENNEBOGEN was acquired to pick, move and stack inventory, while also loading the mill’s infeed.”
Stepping up to purpose-built
According to Wilber, log handling was formerly taken on by two tandem log trucks with loaders on them. The log loader improved safety and productivity in the yard, but the loader was challenged by the heavy loads of the tri-axle log trailer it was required to pull. As part of Elmsdale’s continuous improvement practice, the team continued to demo alternative equipment.
This led them to Terry Pickard, the SENNEBOGEN specialist at the area’s Strongco dealership. Pickard introduced them to the 830 M-T model, which SENNEBOGEN purpose-built specifically for this application. “A fully loaded trailer will weigh upwards of 90,000 lb. (40,800 kg),” Pickard notes. “Most loaders aren’t built for that. SENNEBOGEN modified its standard undercarriage for the M-T model to handle severe pulling stresses and then equipped it with dual transmissions to maintain tractive effort on uneven and soft surfaces. It can pull that trailer through mud like no other.”
A drive system to last
The undercarriage of the M-T was a key factor in Elmsdale’s evaluations. “We looked at the maintenance issues on our old machine and most were directly related to the driveline,” Wilber continues. “We did demo other log handlers, but the SENNEBOGEN appears to offer a much more robust drive system. We had the opportunity to visit other mills that had recently purchased a SENNEBOGEN. With this information and seeing it in operation, we got a much more comfortable feeling that the SENNEBOGEN drivetrain will outlast others in the market.”
“The SENNEBOGEN is designed to pull,” he concludes. “Our yard is in pretty good shape, but you do have some ‘slip and grab.’ The two transmissions are definitely the way to go.”
Based in Stanley, N.C., within the greater Charlotte region, SENNEBOGEN LLC offers a complete range of purpose-built machines to suit virtually any material handling application. Established in America in the year 2000, SENNEBOGEN LLC has quickly become a leading provider of specialized equipment solutions for recycling and scrap metal yards, demolition, barge and port operations, log-handling, transfer stations and waste facilities from coast to coast. A growing network of distributors supports SENNEBOGEN LLC sales and service across the Americas, ensuring the highest standard of professional machine support and parts availability. Learn more at www.sennebogen-na.com