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Ed Ramsey is the export lumber sales manager for his company.
Taylor-Ramsey Realigns To Better Meet Customer Needs

By Gary Miller

Lynchburg, Virginia—Sometimes implementing change helps a company to be more successful and profitable. This is certainly true in Taylor-Ramsey Corporation’s case when they decided to sell their two remaining sawmill operations in Pamplin and Natural Bridge, Va., as well as their hardwood lumber concentration yard in Titusville, Pa.

Through careful planning that actually started five years ago, the firm decided to exit the sawmill business and concentrate on processing and drying lumber at their hardwood lumber concentration yards, and, selling lumber through not only their concentration yards but also through several of their distribution facilities as well.

Taylor-Ramsey Corp. has modern hardwood lumber concentration yards in Tye River and Blackstone, Va., a
Jimmy Houck is the domestic hardwood lumber sales manager for Taylor-Ramsey Corp.
s well as distribution yards located in Riviera Beach, Fla., Greensboro, N.C., and South Daytona, Fla. The distribution yards are under the name of Century Forest Products Inc. Furthermore, the firm is also affiliated with a distribution yard in Pomona, Calif., called Summit Hardwoods Inc.

“The owners of Taylor-Ramsey Corp., headquartered in Lynchburg, Va., believe our company’s present and future look bright,” said Pete Ramsey, the president of the firm. He went on to say, “While we regret losing some members of our production team, we look forward to the future. This transition will allow us to both maximize our capacity at our Virginia concentration yards and be more efficient. More importantly, it will allow us to be more nimble in our efforts to take care of our domestic and overseas customers.”

Taylor-Ramsey’s hardwood lumber concentration yard in Tye River, Va., is situated on 50 acres and it is only 20 miles from Lynchburg. There is a huge T-shed located at this operation, and this facility has 700,000 board feet per charge of dry kilns, which are furnished steam by a 600 horsepower wood-fired boiler. Furthermore, there are two grading stations in Tye River, and a 28-bay bin sorter.

According to Jimmy Houck, the domestic hardwood lumber sales manager for Taylor-Ramsey Corp., the
This is Taylor-Ramsey Corporation’s huge T-shed at its Tye River, Va., facility that is open on all sides, except the sides that have the black cloth-like material called Shade-Dri covering it. The Shade-Dri helps keep the sun off the lumber so the lumber will remain very bright in appearance.
boiler at Tye River could support an additional 700,000 board feet per charge of dry kiln capacity when the company decides to expand their dry kiln capacity in the future. “We inspect each green board of lumber we receive from sawmills located in the Appalachian region,” Houck said.

“During inspection, we sort for grades and length,” he explained. “This allows us greater flexibility when we re-inspect after kiln drying on our Morris Industrial sorter. The sorter has 28 bays, however, we know how to increase the number of bays at our disposal. At one end of the sorter, there is a destacker, and at the end of the line, there is a package maker.”

Houck also went on to say, “Our sorter is supported by Softac software. The sorter has a laser-guided thickness gauge, and a photo eye measures the length of the boards. The two inspectors on the sorter can upgrade using an unmanned trim saw behind the sorter because the software assigns an identity to each lug, which identifies each board on the chains. Upgrading of our lumber is also accomplished at Tye River with a ripsaw that feeds back to the sorter.”

Just recently, a new planer was installed at Tye River due to many of Taylor-Ramsey’s customers wanting so
This is a view of the sorter running kiln dried Poplar lumber.
me of their lumber surfaced. Houck said, “Most of our customers are asking for multiple species, grades and thicknesses on each load, so we installed a planer at Tye River so we can meet their needs in shipping rough and S2S lumber on the same truck load.”

He further explained, “Taylor-Ramsey will now operate both of our concentration yards at capacity. The volume of lumber processed through our concentration yards in Tye River and Blackstone, Va., has greatly increased, and they will be able to handle the amount of lumber that had previously been produced at our other facilities.”

Houck said that at his company’s Blackstone, Va., hardwood lumber concentration yard there is 600,000 board feet per charge of Irvington Moore kilns that are fired by a 450 horsepower wood-fired boiler. He went on to say, “Our lumber buyer at Taylor-Ramsey works closely with sawmills in Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania to procure the quality lumber our customers expect.

“We inspect all inbound shipments of green lumber that arrive in our yard at Blackstone; and, once the lu
These export bundles of hardwood lumber proudly display the Taylor-Ramsey logo on them. This lumber will soon be placed in a container and be shipped to an overseas customer.
mber comes out of the dry kilns, we re-inspect every board to be certain that we uphold the quality standards that our customers have come to expect from us,” Houck said.

Blackstone is proud to offer more than just rough lumber. At that facility, they have a Newman 382 planer line, an Oliver planer line and a Whitney finishing planer line. Blackstone’s 19-inch Mereen Johnson gang rip saw has a 60-foot-long sorting chain behind it that is long enough to allow for 15 sorting options. With rip saws and a Weinig 5A moulder, the flexibility offered from Taylor-Ramsey’s Blackstone hardwood lumber concentration yard allows access to a wide variety of thicknesses, widths and lengths to meet any customer’s request.

Furthermore, at Blackstone there is a huge dry storage shed that can hold 2.5 million board feet of kiln-dried lumber as well as a rail siding at this location too.

According to Ed Ramsey, export department manager, Blackstone’s proximity to the port of Norfolk, Va., (114 miles) is an important factor in Taylor-Ramsey’s overseas business. “The business environment overseas is similar to the environment in the U.S. because price competition is fierce everywhere. We don’t sell on price alone, but having our Blackstone yard located so close to the Port of Norfolk allows us to offer reasonable inland freight rates. Any competitive advantage we can find today translates to better value for our loyal overseas customers,” Ramsey concluded.

As far as Taylor-Ramsey’s three distribution yards, under the name of Century Forest Products Inc., Jimmy Ho
This truckload of 4/4 Face and Better Poplar is about to be tarped and delivered to a customer.
uck said, “Century Forest Products Inc. was originally founded in 2003 with two distribution centers located in Riviera Beach, Fla., and Greensboro, N.C. Century opened a third distribution center in South Daytona, Fla., in 2006.

“Century’s management team brought a combined experience of 122 years in distribution operations,” Houck said. “All three distribution centers handle hardwood and softwood lumber, plywood and mouldings. Even though our three distribution centers haven’t been operating that long, their management experience and their desire to offer the finest materials from around the world have enabled them to experience tremendous growth and be very successful.”

Houck mentioned that Century Forest Products’ three distribution yards buy 85 percent of their hardwood lumber needs from outside lumber suppliers, while the parent company (Taylor-Ramsey Corp.) furnishes their yards with only 15 percent of their overall hardwood lumber needs.

In closing, Pete Ramsey said, “Taylor-Ramsey is a diversified enterprise in that we also operate a company outside the hardwood lumber industry called Taylor-Ramsey Wood Preservers Inc. This operation pressure treats Southern Yellow Pine under the Genuine Wolmanized® Residential Outdoor® Wood. Our large wood treating plant is located acros
This is a view of some 4/4 No. 1 Common Cherry and 4/4 No. 1 Common Ash lumber on sticks in the air drying yard at Taylor-Ramsey’s hardwood lumber concentration yard in Tye River, Va.
s town from our hardwood lumber concentration yard in Blackstone, Va., and, it has two modern treating cylinders that use the latest in pressure treating technology, and the most up-to-date chemical formulations of Copper Azole.

“Our treated lumber, timbers and/or radius edged decking are sold to retail and contractor oriented lumberyards, highway contractors and various federal, state and local municipalities. Both our Wolmanized® Residential Outdoor® Wood and CCA products often go into bridge construction and guardrail posts and blocks.”

To learn more about Taylor-Ramsey Corporation, log onto their Web page at www.taylorramsey.com, call 434-929-7443 or e-mail hardwoods@taylorramsey.com.

Taylor-Ramsey Corp. carries a lot of different species of lumber on sticks in their air-drying yard.

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