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Collum’s Lumber Co. Mills S.C. for More Than 80 Years

Fri July 09, 2010 - Southeast Edition
CEG



Uriah Collum founded Collum’s Lumber Company in the 1920s in Batesburg, S.C. Now operated by his grandsons, Hank, Mickey and Bill Scott, the company has been keeping the area in boards, telephone poles, fence posts and spindles for more than 80 years.

Collum’s Lumber Company has several properties where it harvests its own timber, in addition to purchasing from other growers throughout the state. Southern yellow pine is harvested, cut and transported to the Allendale lumber mill. From there, the trees go through a complete transformation before they are ready to be sold to lumber suppliers.

After the trees are unloaded from logging trucks, Collum’s Prentice knuckleboom loaders are used to sort and organize them for the debarking process. The logs are then passed along the assembly line, where they are cut to a predetermined length by giant saws. Next, using state-of-the-art technology, the log is “read” by a series of optimizers. “We get the most out of every log by using the latest technology available,” said Bill Scott. “The optimizer reads the log and determines how it should be cut.”

The logs are then cut into traditional-sized boards: 2x4, 2x6, 2x10, etc. Operators are placed at various stations along the assembly line to monitor the computers and the line, watching for any issues that may arise. Once the boards have been cut, they are dropped into bins based on their size.

When a bin is full, the group of boards are moved along the line and stacked to enter the dry kiln. The stacks are moved to the dry kiln, where steam is injected into the drying chamber. After drying, the wood is then moved to the planer mill.

Running the wood through the planer ensures a smooth finish. The boards also are re-checked for quality and size in the planer mill. As the wood goes through the planer, it is again read by optimizers where it is assigned and stamped with a grade. It also is here that the boards are stamped with the Collum’s Lumber Mill logo. Once the boards have been re-evaluated, sorted and stacked, they are moved to storage sheds where they await sale to lumber suppliers.

Collum’s Lumber Company relies heavily on Pioneer and Blanchard CAT.

“Collum’s has partnered with Pioneer for our forestry equipment since the 1970s,” said Bill Scott. “It’s simple. When I need parts and service from Pioneer, I get them. The folks at Pioneer go the extra mile. For example, I’ve had a technician stay in the woods until three in the morning working on a machine. They’ve driven parts here that I had to have the next day. They accommodate me however it needs to be done.”

In addition to being a loyal Pioneer customer, Collum’s Lumber Company also relies on Blanchard for its Cat products.

“All my trucks run on Cat engines. The 3406C engine is the best engine Cat ever built, in my opinion,” he said.

For more information, call 803/584-3451. CEG Staff