The company offers mixed loads of Eastern White Pine and Spruce Pine Fir lumber.
Pleasant River Companies Continues to Expand With Eastern White Pine
Dover Foxcroft, ME—Pleasant River Companies, headquartered here, continues to grow and expand its product offerings. With a reputation for excellence in the SPF market, the people of Pleasant River Companies have leveraged their experience in the lumber industry by continuing to expand their product mix. After handling predominately Spruce for several years, the company purchased an Eastern White Pine mill, now named Pleasant River Pine in 2011.
Most recently the company acquired the New England Building Materials sawmill, located in Sanford, ME. Built by Albert Lavalley in 1944, the Sanford mill was sold by the Lavalley family in 1999 to a private holding company called United Ventures LLC. By 2009 the company purchased holdings in Massachusetts and changed the name to New England Building Materials. Deering Lumber purchased the retail division in 2012 and operates stores in Springvale and in Sanford adjacent to the sawmill. “The Sanford facility gives us a logistical advantage and allows us and our valued customers to be more efficient and drive home economic savings by providing mixed loads of Eastern White Pine and SPF lumber,” Pleasant River’s Vice President Jason Brochu said. “We have expanded our Pine offerings and with our multiple locations and multiple species, we now offer even more benefits to the customers. The way we’ve designed our strategy as a company is through a lot of synergies between the mills. The capital improvements we have made at our Hancock facility have brought it up to speed. We’ve added some drying capacity and we have the ability to produce a heavier mix of wider lumber, at that location while the Sanford mill is set up to produce a heavier mix of narrow lumber.”
Eastern White Pine lumber at the Sanford operation.
He continued, “Sanford will act as a funnel, because of the location and proximity to Boston and the bigger markets. Some of our rough stock from the Hancock site will go through Sanford to be kiln-dried and dressed.”
Chris Brochu added, “We are a very integrated operation. We’re designing an entire network to serve our customers the best we can with the assets we have in the most efficient way possible.” As for capacity at the Sanford mill, the Brochus said that location has the capability to produce 18 million board feet. “We’re producing 4/4 and 5/4 Eastern White Pine at this location,” said Chris.
“Pleasant River brings unique flexibility to the table,” Pleasant River Lumber’s Sales Manager, Bill Ossenfort, said. “We put Spruce at both of the Pine mills for customers to pick up there. Through wholesalers, distributors, and co-operatives we are able to mix those truckloads of Spruce and Pine together very efficiently. Just the actual proximity of all the mills is helpful because we can start a truck at the most northern mill and efficiently just pick up Pine on the way down.”
“Ninety percent of our Spruce drives by Sanford to get to that market,” Jason added. “When you have a big volume truck driving by, that’s one of the major reasons the Sanford location was so attractive to us. We’re not adding a lot of costs by mixing loads. So that incremental cost that we add provides a lot of value to the customer and we both benefit.”
Eastern White Pine logs in Sanford, Maine.
“Our sales manager for the Sanford facility, Brian Belanger, has a lot of experience in Pine,” Chris offered. “He grew up down the road from a mill and he’s worked in this business for 34 years. So if anybody understands retail that’s selling Pine right now, he does. He understands their point of view and what their needs are while maintaining our marketing channels of wholesale distribution. Our goal is to provide the retailers exactly what they need through wholesale, wholesale distribution and co-operatives.”
“We are the furthest south Pine mill in Maine and our closeness to the I-95 corridor provides for easy access to product shipping in the south and the west,” Sales Manager Brian Belanger commented. “At the Sanford facility we produce only Eastern White Pine, which is in high demand for its appearance and durability. Pleasant River’s commitment to quality and attention to detail contributes to our continued success.”
Pleasant River’s dimension mill was purchased in 2004. Since then the company has invested over $15 million in capital modernizing the facility to increase production and efficiency. This site consists of a wood merchandising facility that processes the raw material into appropriate lengths for the mill, a sawmill facility that produces 90 million board feet of dimension lumber annually, a drying facility with capacity to dry 100 percent of the lumber produced on site, and a planing facility that dresses all of the dimension lumber produced on site. Production on the site has been at or near capacity since extensive modernizations began in 2005. The site also boasts a strong safety record, having achieved several safety awards from state and federal agencies.
Pleasant River’s dimension mill, located in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, was purchased in 2004. Since then over $15 million has been spent modernizing the facility in order to increase production efficiency.
By 2008 Pleasant River purchased a 130-acre site in West Enfield, ME. On the site are a full planer facility and dry kilns. All one-inch boards and some stud grade lumber are transported from the Dover-Foxcroft site to this location to be planed and graded. The site currently planes approximately 14 million board feet annually. Lumber is shipped directly from the site via truck. The owners of the company have designated the site for future expansion given the quality of the property and the access to rail.
Pleasant River Companies is a member of North American Wholesale Lumber Association, Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The company employs 170 people between all four locations. For more information visit www.pleasantriverlumber.com.
A saw filer at Pleasant River’s new Sanford, Maine, facility.
SPF lumber ready for prompt shipment from Sanford, Maine.