Softwood Forest Products Buyer


Feature Story


Joe Mancilla is the supervisor over the LifePine™ plant; John Harrell is the plant manager; and David Haddock buys the Southern Pine lumber for Cox Industries Inc.’s Orangeburg, S.C., treating and manufacturing plants.
Cox Industries’ Introduces LifePine®

By Gary Miller

Orangeburg, S.C.—“When Bill Cox Sr. and his brother, Ed, founded Cox Industries Inc. in 1954, personal attention to each customer took priority,” said Michael Johnson, Cox president. Johnson said that this tradition would continue in the future. He went on to say, “Both of these men established our company on one acre 54 years ago with three employees. In the beginning, Cox produced Wolmanized® pressure-treated lumber for outdoor use. Today, our firm’s subsidiaries include 11 locations producing a variety of pressure-treated wood products.” Johnson said, “Combined, our facilities cover over 350 acres and we employ more than 400 people in five states.”

A short distance from Cox headquarters, which is situated on 30 acres in Orangeburg, S.C., is Palmetto Manufacturing. Owned and operated by Cox Industries, Palmetto sits on 13 acres and includes six manufacturing buildings.  Each building encompasses approximately 25,000 square feet.
At the beginning of the process to make LifePine™ shingles, an employee is working by the end feed of the double-headed planer.

John Harrell, Palmetto Manufacturing plant manager, explained, “I’m in charge of three different manufacturing buildings on this site which is also where our new wooden shake, shingle and siding products called LifePine®, made from Southern Yellow Pine lumber, are produced.” Other products produced at Palmetto include Island Furniture by Cox, premium outdoor patio furniture made from Southern Yellow Pine, and customized remanufactured items for various customers. “I manage these three manufacturing plants, which combined employ about 60 people,” said Harrell.

He went on to say, “I want buyers of Southern Pine wood products to understand that Cox Industries Inc. is not just a collection of treating plants located in five states treating boards, dimensional lumber, plywood, timbers and poles.” Harrell added that Cox also produces and/or handles decking, railing and accessories; treated porch flooring; columns (turned, square and structural laminate); LifePine® wood shakes, shingles and siding; exterior mouldings; and deck components and deck specialty items including Island® outdoor furniture and Everlast® swings. Also produced at Cox are DRICON® Fire Retardant Treated Wood (FRTW) and FrameGuard® mold resistant wood. Cox remanufacturing services include: crossarms and crossarm braces; pilings (treated and vinyl, foundation, residential and marine); vinyl coated s
This employee is feeding blanks through the company’s straight-line ripsaw.
heet piling; highway and marine timbers; structural timbers; specialty millwork; pattern work; guardrail post/block and fencing; screen doors; pallet parts; crating; packaging materials; web stock; furniture parts for other furniture manufacturers; mailboxes; gazebos; birdhouses; landscaping ties; Southern Pine squares for the export market, etc. “We also do some custom treating and drying for various customers,” Harrell added.

Furthermore, Harrell said, “We have some brand names of modern woodworking equipment, but our supervisors and maintenance personnel are skilled at fabricating nearly all of our own machinery.”  Harrell added, “There is no other wood treating company in existence that can produce the array of wood products that we can at Cox Industries Inc. Most other firms have to buy their manufactured wood products from outside suppliers; therefore, they do not have any control over it while it’s being made. Cox has superior in-house quality control over all of our manufactured wood products.”

According to Harrell, Cox Industries woodworking equipment includes: planers; bandsaws; computer controlled CNC optimizers; multi-head trim saws; moulders; shapers; radial arm saws; chop saws; a special designed machine to make the firm’s wooden swings; and others.
These employees are on the packaging line.

David Haddock, who purchases the Southern Pine lumber for all of the wood products that are made and/or handled at Cox’s Orangeburg, S.C., treating and manufacturing plants, said, “I’m really excited about the LifePine® shake, shingle and wood siding products that our company recently started manufacturing. We have once again filled a critical need for a premium product that amazingly delivers 50 years of protection against rot, decay and infestation.”

Haddock added, “There are two things every employee at Cox Industries knows and works towards and that is: all our company’s wood products have to be of high quality and must be made exactly to customers’ specifications; and, every customer has to receive ‘top notch service’ from us. We believe many of our present customers, including independent retail building supply stores, roofing distributors, and other types of companies that not only handle roofing materials but other building materials as well, will quickly realize the value of our LifePine® shakes, shingles and wood siding.”

He went on to say, “Another key aspect of our production process is the fact that our raw materials used to manufacture LifePine® wooden shakes, shingles and/or siding are quality controlled by an independent third party, Timber Products Inspection based in Conyers, Ga., to verify that all Cox Industries’ products are on-grade.”
This is a view of the recovery area where the employees take downfall shingles and grade other products.

Concerning LifePine® shakes and shingles by Cox, Matt Yaun, director of sales and marketing, said, “Our LifePine® roofing products will enhance the beauty of any structure. Whether our customers choose the Ultra/Classic Shake, Perfection Shingle or the Royal Shingle, they can be assured of a quality natural wood product that has been protected to last for decades when properly installed. Since Colonial times, wood shakes have been a staple of American architecture, and now they are available with a 50-year limited warranty.” According to Yaun, “LifePine® roofing is preserved using a proven method similar to technology used to preserve structural timbers, telephone poles and exterior lumber.”

He added, “There is no simulated wood product that can provide the natural beauty and architectural grace of our authentic wood shingle. LifePine® shakes have emerged as the superior choice by architects, developers and homeowners.”

According to Yaun, LifePine® pressure-treated products’ 50-year limited warranty is against fungal d
Phillip Kizer, the remanufacturing group leader, is standing in front of a storage shed at Cox Industries Inc.’s headquarters in Orangeburg, S.C. In the background behind Kizer are stacks of LifePine™ shingles.
ecay, rot and termite attack. He explained, “When Southern Pine is pressure-treated, there is virtually 100 percent saturation of the sapwood providing penetrating protection that no brush-on treatment can match. In addition, the wood is impregnated with a water repellent to add stability and durability. The addition of a mold inhibitor along with the copper helps to resist the growth of mold, mildew and fungus. Water repellent is combined with the preservative to reduce warping and splitting. LifePine® products are safe when used as directed and never require retreatment.”

The advantages of LifePine® wooden shakes, shingles and siding relating to superior durability, strength and beauty are: it’s pressure-treated Southern Pine, again, with a 50-year warranty; it’s aesthetically pleasing since it turns in color to a driftwood gray; it has improved R values in regard to insulation; the LifePine® shakes and shingles have better roof wind uplift performance than other products; LifePine® products have permanent treatment against rot, decay and termites; it is a high density material so it has better nail holding power; and LifePine® shakes and shingles require less maintenance if installed properly.

Yaun said, “Much of the information about LifePine® that is in this article can be seen in our company’s brochure. In fact, we encourage anyone who is interested in these products to contact us via our Web site at”

Yaun added, “I’d also like people to know more about our FrameGuard mold-resistant wood that prevents m
This is a view of the firm’s Newman KM 16 multi-head trim saw.
old problems and damage from termites and fungal decay in different wood products used in the interior of a building. For example, any company that makes wooden products such as trusses, framing, OSB, wood beams, SIPs, etc., should consider using our FrameGuard® mold-resistant wood. Our FrameGuard® wood products are coated with a blend of proprietary anti-mold and borate chemicals that keep a product, such as lumber, looking cleaner and brighter during storage and construction and provide 20 years of protection once the structure is finished. For more information about our FrameGuard® wood products, visit our Web site at”

In closing, Michael Johnson said, “Our highly qualified and instructed sales and production people are our most important resource here at Cox Industries Inc. Our sales personnel, both inside and outside, provide enthusiastic assistance to our customers in all our market areas. Our approach is, and will continue to be, to treat our customers as friends and family.”

This is a Paul optimizer that is used for defect cutting wood.


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