President Tim Kuhns represents the third generation of Kuhns Bros. Lumber Co. Inc., headquartered in Lewisburg, Pa.
KUHNS BROS. Focuses On Kiln-Dried Exports
By Paul Miller Jr.
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania—For nearly 50 years, Kuhns Bros. Lumber Co. Inc., headquartered here, has succeeded by providing world-class service and quality lumber. In recent years, international marketing and logistics expertise have delivered the same quality lumber to customers across the globe. The firm, which was founded in 1962, specializes in Red and White Oak, Poplar White Ash and Cherry lumber (kiln-dried, 4/4 through 10/4).
Although kiln-dried lumber is the company’s primary export product, Kuhns Bros. also ships veneer and prime saw logs. The firm can ship dry loads, and offers length-specific orders, pulled and ripped widths, color sorts and S2S services.
Alecia Gold, lumber sales, and Scott Seyler, vice president of sales and marketing, oversee global and domestic lumber sales.
Currently, Kuhns Bros. exports nearly 75 percent of its kiln-dried production to more than 13 countries. The company’s dedicated export staff provides DET, banding, end painting, container and railcar loading. Sales are handled by Scott Seyler, vice president of sales and marketing, and Alecia Gold, lumber sales coordinator.
Kuhns Bros. Lumber Co. is located on 135 acres and employs about 70 people. In addition to Seyler and Gold, key employees include Tim Kuhns, owner and president; Dick Kordes, forestry vice president; Rodney Weaver, vice president of operations; and Randy Hettinger, vice president of by-products.
Kuhns Bros. manufactures more than 18 million board feet annually of green and kiln-dried hardwoods and softwoods, logs, landscape mulch and playground surfacing. The company operates three sawmills, one hardwood and two softwood, and 12 Nyle DH (dehumidification) dry kilns, which dry 750,000 board feet of lumber per cycle. The lumber is then inspected by certified National Hardwood Lumber Assoc. graders.
Jeff Engle loads a container with kiln-dried lumber ready for export.
The firm carries approximately 400,000 board feet of kiln-dried and 700,000 board feet of air-dried hardwood lumber, with Eastern White Pine and Eastern Hemlock making up the balance.
Kuhns Bros. Lumber can trace its humble beginnings back to 1946, when its current owners’ grandfather, Carl R. Kuhns, began sawing timber with a portable sawmill from Montgomery Ward.
“He started small, but his principles were always large,” Tim Kuhns said. “He passed down his beliefs, including an honest, straightforward way of doing business and a healthy respect for God’s earth, to his twin sons Leonard and Larry Kuhns, who formed their own logging company.”
Kuhns Bros. Lumber began in 1962 with three employees and produced 500,000 board feet of lumber annually. Sixteen years later, a fully automatic, electric-powered sawmill was added, and produced 6 million board feet of lumber per year.
Kuhns Bros. also exports veneer logs.
Over the last few decades, the firm has grown significantly with additional sawmills and kilns added to meet customer demand. Kuhns Bros. Lumber selectively harvests over 5,000 acres of woodlands annually, and employs a full-time staff of foresters to oversee the management of that resource. KBLC foresters and loggers receive Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) training annually.
“Sound forestry management has always been a vital part of our operation,” Kuhns said. “Timberland plays a vital role in water quality and soil conservation, and we apply strict quality standards to our forestry operations in accordance with the principles established by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative of Pennsylvania.”
In addition to SFI, Kuhns Bros. Lumber is a member of the National Hardwood Lumber Assoc., the Pennsylvania Forest Products Assoc., the Pennsylvania Nursery Assoc., American Hardwood Export Council and Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc.Kuhns Bros. Lumber’s sawmills currently run 36 hours a week. Upon arrival at the mill, all incoming logs are scaled, graded, tagged and sorted. Saw logs are loaded onto the Mellot debarker. An HMC mill sends cants to the re-saw or gang edger. Downstream the PHL re-saw handles all the grade cants via a prepositioner, which turns the best face for the operator to keep production and yield at maximum levels. Then, the PHL operator sends boards back to a Corley edger for edging as well as any cants that have all the grade lumber removed.
Pictured are some veneer logs being loaded for shipments.
Lumber is sent downstream to two NHLA-certified inspectors, and a Morbark Stac-Trac machine picks all the rail ties and pallet cants from the green chain.
“Loads of lumber are created for green customers, as well as batches of lumber for the kilns,” Kuhns said. “(Kuhns Bros. Lumber) makes total use of every log milled, using laser guides to get the most yield from each log. All bark and wood scraps are ground and seasoned in our mulch operations.”
The company continued its focus on “total use” several years ago by installing the HMC carriage with an Inovec scanner and an automated sticking/unsticking line to further optimize its log use. Those upgrades, combined with the firm’s diverse range of species and a physical location in the middle of some of America’s finest forests, has helped its third generation of ownership repeatedly exceed expectations.
Ultimately, Kuhns credits strong family values and a loyal, caring staff with making the company a success.
With 12 Nyle dehumidification kilns, Kuhns Bros. Lumber Co. has over 750,000 board feet of drying capacity.
“We’ll never forget our roots, and we remain committed to the principles passed along by ‘Pop’ so many years ago,” he said. “The past continues to show us where we’re headed — to a future marked by dedicated service, satisfied customers and healthy forests.”
For more information, contact Kuhns Bros. Lumber Co. Inc. at 800-326-9542, visit www.kuhnsbroslumber.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
These T-sheds help keep lumber that is being airdried protected from the elements.
Ryan Andrews handles veneer sales for Kuhns Bros. Lumber Co.