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Recycling Timber & Construction Mats

Posted By Kipp Marstall, Friday, July 10, 2015

Market for Crane Mats?

This post is to begin a discussion on the Crane Mat market, submitted by industry colleague interested in  timber mat recycling. Please share your comments/opinions below.

"I was curious as to if anyone has tapped into this market before or if anyone had any insight on the topic. There seems to be a lot of excess decommissioned mats out there that just get burned or thrown in landfills. I would like be more green at the same time possibly make some profits. Shredding these oversized pallets to mulch or biomass seems to be best answer."

Tags:  business  industry  mulch  pallet  recycle  renewable  wood 

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John Lieber says...
Posted Monday, July 27, 2015
This is an interesting analogy to the start up and growth of the recycled pallet industry. Twenty-five years ago, used pallets faced the same demise as used mat material. The difference in the two industries is that in the beginning of the pallet recycling industry hand tools and manual labor defined the ability to take a pallet apart and reassemble it. It took a few years to develope and modify machinery and tooling to remachine wood with nails embeded. Today, because of the advances in machinery designs and tooling, circular saws and cutterheads developed for the pallet recycling industry, I feel these used timbers can now be remachined to remove dirt, rocks and bolt segments to produce usable lumber parts like stringers and deckboards. The success of remachining these timbers involves, first, matching a moulder or planer with custom engineered tooling designed to cut the foreign material embedded in the timber to redefine the surface area of the mat timber. Second, when this is accomplished the timber can then be run through additional machine and tool systems to cut up as desired.

A cost study would need to be done to evaluate and compare the profitability of mulch and biomass to usable board foot recovery. I would expect all three options are profitable depending on local or regional economic demands.

I hopes this helps, as I feel that with the lumber shortages which exist in various regions of the country, mat recovery for pallet parts could reduce the lumber shortages for both manufacturers and recyclers.
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