Wood Purchasing News


Feature Story


Key employees of the fourth generation, family-owned business is Damen Wheeland, veneer and log sales, lumber purchasing; Derek Wheeland, domestic, international and dimension sales; Bill Baker, domestic, international and dimension sales; and Ray Wheeland, president and chief executive officer, who handles international sales.
Wheeland Lumber Company Focusing On Tomorrow

By Paul Miller Jr.

Liberty, Pennsylvania—Wheeland Lumber Company Inc., headquartered here, is focusing on tomorrow’s challenges to improve today’s global demands. From the beginning, Wheeland’s commitment has been to provide customers with products and services that they can rely on.

“Wheeland Lumber Company Inc., a fourth generation, family-owned business with humble beginnings in 1940, is experienced and dedicated to providing quality forest and lumber products to our customers,” said Ray Wheeland, president and chief executive officer. “Our mission statement details all that we believe in to foster the growth necessary for our business to survive and prosper. We have always believed that one needs a vision for the future, that change is a healthy motivation for growth and the result of this outcome promotes a strong unity of people working together to accomplish a common goal.”

Located in the lumber history rich mountains of north-central Pennsylvania, close to the Susquehanna Rive

This is a photo of Wheeland Lumber Co.’s 40-acre lumberyard in Liberty, Pa.
r, which served as the water transportation system during the late 1800s for logs and lumber to many mills in and around Williamsport, then titled the “Lumber Capital of the World.” Today, the company produces more than 10 million board feet of hardwood lumber cut from some of the finest Cherry, Hard and Soft Maple, Ash and Oak logs in the world. Wheeland said a 100-plus-mile procurement range centered in some of the best hardwood forests of Pennsylvania gives the company access to the highest quality timber sources to be found.

Wheeland Lumber Co. (WLC) is committed to Best Management Practices (BMPs) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative of Pennsylvania (SFI of PA). “We are SmartWood Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain-of-custody (COC) certified, enabling us to promote a product that exceeds the normal standards,” Wheeland said. “Our dedication and quality workmanship preserves the health and beauty of the forestland for future generations.”

The manufacturing facility covers 40 acres and is comprised of primary and secondary production. The sawmill consists of a double-cut band headrig equipped with INOVEC stereo-scan technology. Cants are quickly processed through two linear linebar resaws, which feed the TMT edger equipped with INOVEC optimization. Lumber is produced in all thicknesses, from 4/4 to 16/4.

Green and air-dried lumber production flows into nine conventional dry kilns manufactured by SII Dry Kilns

This is a photo of the company’s covered air dry shed.
with a total capacity of 500,000 board feet. Two million board feet of kiln-dried storage is on the property, along with covered green lumber storage of 2.5 million board feet and over 1 million board feet of log yard storage.

Wheeland manufactures 3 million board feet through the secondary manufacturing facility, which continues to grow with the ever-changing industry. The operation includes sorting and crosscutting of special lengths and widths, S2S planing, straight-line and gang ripping with two KF 24 glue line gangs equipped with a PAUL Saws and Systems optimizing infeed and a Weinig OptiCut 200 exact crosscut saw. Mouldings are produced through the Weinig Powermat 1000 six-head, 12,000-RPM spindles and also through a Wadkin K-23 six-head moulder. Other additional products include edge and face-glued products, as well as end-matched components and flooring through Friulmac Randomat.

The company has two AFS wood-waste boilers to heat the nine dry kilns and over 100,000 square feet of manufacturing area. The employees work in a warm environment and equipment runs efficiently in the winter months. With the high energy prices, this has saved the company thousands of dollars in fuel savings.

Wheeland Lumber Co. specializes in such products as these Cherry 4SC veneer logs.

Wheeland added that the company is a member of the National Hardwood Lumber Assoc., Hardwood Manufacturers Assoc., Wood Components Manufacturers Assoc., Pennsylvania Forest Products Assoc., Penn-York Lumbermen’s Club, Wood Products Manufacturing Assoc., American Hardwood Export Council, International Wood Products Assoc., the Sustainable Forestry Initiative of Pennsylvania and SmartWood FSC-COC certification. The firm will display at the IWF Atlanta Aug. 20-23 in Building B, Booth 4653.

Wheeland Lumber Co. employs 75 full-time employees and an additional 20 sub-contractors. Many of the workforce at the facility have been with the company for over 20 years. “Our success is attributed to our employees and key personnel,” Wheeland said.

Ray Wheeland handles the majority of international sales. Bill Baker handles domestic, international and dimension sales. Fourth generation sons, Damen Wheeland handles veneer and log sales, and lumber purchasing, and Derek Wheeland handles domestic, international and dimension sales.

“Marketing products to end users, distribution yards, kitchen cabinet manufacturers, furniture and floorin

The facility in Liberty is equipped with nine conventional dry kilns manufactured by SII Dry Kilns.
g operations, we inventory for the customer,” Wheeland said. “Because of this diversification, we pride ourselves in maintaining and nourishing business relationships by always striving to meet the needs of our customers and going that extra mile to deliver a product that exceeds expectations.”

Exporting has been beneficial to WLC in a number of ways. Throughout the years, it has stimulated the growth of the company, which in turn, has helped the local economy by hiring more people to join the workforce. “Where would we be without the opportunity or the resources to export,” Wheeland asked. “Exporting gives you a sense of pride that your product is being used by people worldwide, and it came from our own natural resources here in the state of Pennsylvania.”

Wheeland added, “The Wheeland/WLC name is well-known domestically and internationally because of our reputation to service our customers with the best quality products, service and constant communication. Without that commitment of service, we would not be a top competitor in the marketplace today.”

The Weinig Powermat 1000, six-spindle planer/moulder, with 12,000-RPM spindles, is used to produce the company’s mouldings.
For more information, contact Wheeland Lumber Co. at 570-324-6042, visit www.wheelandlumber.com or e-mail ray@wheelandlumber.com.

Pictured are the company’s 4/4 Hard Maple ripped strips and moulded products.

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