Spanish Trail Lumber tour enlightens attendees


    Ross Jackson, general manager of Spanish Trail Lumber Company recently toured a dozen Jackson County residents about the latest events taking place at Spanish Trail Lumber.
    Jackson gave informative stats as to the process of turning logs into lumber. He told those touring that timber comes from the field wet and has to be dried once it is processed. Basically, logs come in at 55% moisture and they start the process of turning round trees into squares and rectangles before it then goes into a dry kiln. It is then dried to19% moisture or less. That prevents it from shrinking, warping and inhibits any mold growth. Anytime you are below 19% moisture in the lumber, mold won’t grow.
    Spanish Trail Lumber Company takes in 400 loads of logs a week and they crank out 120 loads of lumber a week. Those numbers alone produce quite a traffic of trees coming in with lumber going out along with all the by-products. On any given week there are over 650 trucks in and out of the mill, all with a driver behind the wheel.
    The existing main line sawmill is set up to process 15-inch trees. If they have some come in bigger than the standard 15-inch, they can handle trees up to 22-inch. They have an offline carriage-style mill to break those logs down with. Traditionally, the sawmill harvested trees in about a 60-mile radius around their mill. However, after Hurricane Michael they had to resort to a 100-mile area to get enough trees to feed the mill. STLC makes two products, 2X4’s and 2X6’s, from 6-foot to12-foot lengths. They sell lumber as far away as Texas, Virginia, Tennessee and of course all over Florida.
    At STLC, there are a lot of byproducts too, like their green sawdust, green chips, and bark. They actually use the green sawdust to dry the wood in the kiln. They also produce dry planter shavings that are sold to the pellet mill in Cottondale.
    Spanish Trail Lumber has 115 employees but that does not include truckers that are hauling logs to and from or the timber harvest crews that are out getting trees.
    The tour allowed attendees to watch inside the mill where they turn round logs into boards.
    Association Board member and local landowner, John Alter praised the experience of the tour, “As a tree farmer, I especially enjoyed seeing how my timber is turned into a valuable building commodity.”
    Some of the exorbitant expenses incurred by STLC raised the eyebrows of everyone there. One tire on the log stacker is $14,000. They are investing $50 million in building a brand-new state-of-the-art Quad sawmill this year right alongside the old mill. Complete from a brand new 27” ring debarker, new log merchandising line, new Quad saw line, new trimmer, and sawmill sorter line to start up later this year. Anyone interested in working at Spanish Trail Lumber can call 850-592-5812 for more information or drop by the mill for an application.


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