Tim Church, who is the owner and president of Bryant Church Hardwoods Inc., and Everette Wyatt both handle lumber sales for the firm as well as many other responsibilities. They are both standing in the control room of the Hurst boiler system.
Wilkesboro, N.C.—Bryant Church Hardwoods Inc., which has a Hardwood lumber concentration yard located here, recently installed a new wood-fired Hurst boiler system at their facility. This system was installed with the intent of offsetting the cost of propane.
Tim Church, the owner and president of the company, said, “Our new 200 horsepower boiler is now furnishing steam to 320,000 board feet per charge of our dry kiln capacity. We continue to use propane to operate additional dry kilns, but the new boiler has reduced our need significantly. We have a total dry kiln capacity of 630,000 board feet per charge all together.”
Church pointed out that his firm produces a lot of its own shavings. However, additional shavings are also purchased from outside sources. Everette Wyatt, foreman for Bryant Church Hardwoods, indicated that a new storage building was built in close proximity to the wood-fired boiler in order for the shavings and/or sawdust to be housed. Trailers loaded with shavings can automatically unload the dry wood waste onto a conveyer system that takes the material directly into the boiler. This makes the loading and operation of the boiler more efficient.
Church went on to say, “Our company has changed substantially in the last 6 to 7 years. We used to
Everette Wyatt is sitting by a computer in the control room for the company’s boiler system that can give him a lot of information on how smoothly the boiler is operating.
kiln dry white pine and Hardwoods for the local furniture plants, but that is now a thing of the past. However, we have continued to cut and dry a wide variety of white pine products such as 4/4 through 8/4 lumber and different sizes of timbers.” When discussing the export trend, Church stated, “We now rely more heavily on exporting our lumber than in the past. Our markets used to be within a 250-mile radius, but now our lumber is transported all over the world.”
Church mentioned changes in his business relating to operations and indicated his dad, Bryant, decided to retire several years ago. Church said, “He still comes by and hangs around, occasionally takes Everette and myself to lunch, and catches up on happenings around the office. We have also added additional personnel to meet the additional needs relating to exporting. Things are continuing to change in our business more rapidly than ever, and we will have to continue to also change as necessary.”
Wyatt, who handles some lumber purchasing and sales, also oversees the dry kilns and the new boiler system. Everette said, “Tim and I talked in length about installing a wood-fired boiler system at our operation and how it could positively affect our ability to remain competitive and meet the needs of our customers. This, of course, takes into account the savings we would generate by reducing our consumption of propane.”
This large storage building is where trucks haul special trailers filled with wood waste that will feed the wood-fired Hurst boiler system.
Church is pleased with how smoothly the transition has gone with the addition of his new boiler system. In the future, Church feels that he could easily add another kiln or two at his facility that would be steam fed by this new system.
Wyatt went on to say, “All the main controls for the boiler are in an air-conditioned room because it is easier on the equipment when it is kept cool. In fact, there is a computer in this room that is ‘the brains’ of the whole system. It controls everything from unloading the shavings to letting you know what mode the boiler is operating in. In other words, the computer will let you know if the boiler is operating in high steam or low steam, the temperature of the boiler, and it basically tells you everything the boiler is doing. From a laptop at my house, I can check the boiler and run it from my home, if I wanted to.” Wyatt also explained the new boiler room has three different sections — a control room, the boiler room and the storage/unload area.
Bryant Church Hardwoods Inc. handles 4/4 through 16/4 Poplar, and 4/4 through 8/4 eastern white pine. They also handle additional species of Appalachian Hardwoods, which include Red Oak, White Oak, Hickory, Hard and Soft Maple, steamed Walnut, Cherry, Basswood, Beech and mixed Hardwoods. All lumber is sold green, air-dried and/or kiln dried and is grade certified by the National Hardwood Lumber Assoc. (NHLA). For delivering its lumber orders, the company has three company-owned trucks. Additional hauling resources are cont
Bryant Church Hardwoods Inc. has nine dry kilns with a total dry kiln capacity of 630,000 board feet per charge.
racted with outside haulers when needed.
They also have a Newman 382 planer to handle any surfacing needs the customer may have. They keep approximately 4 million feet of lumber on their air-drying yard of which 50 percent is under air-drying sheds. There is approximately 2 million board feet of kiln-dried lumber in inventory, which is stored in enclosed insulated warehouses. Lumber is sorted by widths and lengths according to customers specifications, export preparation, container loading and package tally. Furthermore, the operation specializes in mixed truckload/container loads.
Church said, “All our lumber comes from the Appalachian region and a fair portion comes from our family owned timberland.” Bryant Church Hardwoods opened their existing facility in 1974 at the current location. Prior to that it was in Millers Creek and adjoined V.M. Church Lumber. V.M. was Tim’s grandfather.
Today, the operation has 20 employees besides Tim Church and Everette Wyatt. In addition to Wyatt and Church, the firm’s secretary, Margaret Rhoades, has been there for many years as well. Church said, “All our em
The building on the far right houses the planer mill. In the background, one can see a silo that is part of the firm’s wood waste system.
ployees are hard working, experienced and loyal. They take pride in doing a good job. I consider all of them key people because without our employees working closely together to prepare and ship our lumber orders, we would not be successful.”
Church said in conclusion, “I believe any business, in order to be successful, has to change with the times and do what is necessary to meet the needs of the customer. We feel fortunate and blessed for the business we have and for our loyal customers and friends in the industry.” The company can be viewed through clicking onto their Web site at www.BCHI.com, calling them at 1-800-973-3380 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a view of some employees working in the planer mill.
Bryant Church owns three of its own trucks for shipping lumber to its customers promptly.
This is a stack of 12/4 FAS Poplar that is mostly in 16-foot lengths.