As it is with most successful lumbermen, Ohio Valley Veneer had humble beginnings. Starting out in 1986 with a two man logging crew and the passion to excel, Ed Robbins was on a mission. That mission, mostly unknown to him at the time, was going to revolutionize the forest products industry in Southern Ohio and beyond. Being a fourth generation lumberman provided Ohio Valley Veneer with a deep appreciation for the people and understanding of the tradition and the lifestyle, but most of all it prepared Ed by instilling what was most important: hard work, honest dealing, quality products and the vision to excel.


Founding Ohio Valley Veneer in 1990 to buy, sell and export logs, Ed soon found himself hiring mills to custom saw where it fit market conditions. In 1992 he was able to purchase the land where his father and grandfather had operated sawmills since 1958 and in ‘94 built his first mill on that hallowed ground. The heart of that mill was an eighteen year old Cleereman Model 36 purchased at auction and they ran it every day until 1998 when it was replaced with a Cleereman 36 Proportional carriage. Now Ohio Valley Veneer mills produce more than a million board feet of lumber monthly as well as exporting lumber and some of the world’s finest hardwood veneer logs from the hills and hollers of rural southern Ohio. Those mills now include five linear positioning carriages, four LP42’s, one LP48, and a HS36 Proportional.


Ed’s original mission to bring passion and professionalism to the lumber business now directly employs over four hundred and shows no sign of slowing down. He credits a portion of his success to making sound decisions when it came to major equipment purchases, and he’s proud to say that Cleereman carriages have been instrumental in that growth because, as he puts it, “they just run”. Now purchasing an average of one million dollars in new machinery annually, Ed shared why he continues to run only Cleereman carriages. “A company’s salesman can sell you the first of anything, be it a sawmill, loader or whatever, but that company’s service and parts departments will sell the second one”. Over the course of his career Ed has purchased sawmills from numerous manufacturers and one thing is constant, if that mills stays in production for Ohio Valley Veneer, it gets upgraded to a new Cleereman. It’s that simple.


According to Ed, choosing Cleereman has been one of the greatest moves of his career and credits Cleereman’s low cost of ownership as instrumental in his ability to continue to grow Ohio Valley Veneer. As he often says, “they just run, they seldom break down and when they do the parts are reasonable AND AVAILABLE WITHIN 24 HOURS”. In addition to a superior sawmill carriage, low cost parts and fast breakdown service, the one thing that most impressed Ed was how Cleereman does business when a Cleereman mill experiences a fire and Fran Cleereman and the entire team do whatever is necessary to get that mill owner back in production. In many cases saving the company and hundreds of jobs with it. That kind of dedication to insure family businesses thrive is one of the many things that separate our industry from so many others. In any other industry, whoever put their deposit down first would be ahead of the burnt mill, but doing what is right – not what is expedient is what separates companies like Ohio Valley Veneer and Cleereman from hundreds who produce similar products.


Growth at Ohio Valley Veneer shows no sign of slowing down as the proven formula of efficiency, superior quality and passion to produce the very best lumber and timber products continues. Aggressive, but patient, acquisition is part of Ohio Valley Veneer’s growth plan and Ed is targeting areas known for quality logs such as East Tennessee, Southern West Virginia and Indiana. Following the efficiency path, Ohio Valley Veneer is scheduled to take delivery of their first Cleereman Lumber Pro. Chosen specifically because of its proven low cost of ownership due to reduced electrical consumption, thin kerf, low maintenance requirements, double cut capacity, modular design and its ability to serve as both headsaw and resaw. The Lumber Pro, with its single operator, is expected to replace three or four thin kerf narrow band sawmills greatly reducing overhead and allowing those employees to move into more productive positions.

Atlanta EXPO Attracts a Crowd


5/25/2017 9:47:23 AM

The 34th Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition – Expo 2017 – opens its doors June 14 for three days of exhibits housed at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center. More than 180 exhibitors will display the very latest in technology and equipment that advances the wood products industry into the 21st Century.

“This international show promotes the sawmilling industry as high-tech, providing the tools and machinery needed to produce quality products that help build global economies,” notes exposition director Eric Gee. “Like our show two years ago, Expo 2017 is a sold-out showcase of mill upgrades for both softwood and hardwood operations,” he adds.

A visit to the show is enhanced this year with the debut of a new app for handheld devices. The app provides full coverage of the event’s exhibitors, the floor plan, special events during the show, with links to social media. It’s available for Android and I-phones – download on the Goggle play or I-Tunes App Store; search: FOREST EXPO.

“Here is a handheld tool to manage your show schedule in real time,” noted SFPA exposition director Eric Gee. “Visitors can schedule appointments with exhibitors and take notes about what they see at the show,” he added. They can also connect with other attendees and exhibit personnel, making for a more interactive networking experience. “This app is the latest in exposition event technology and provides the user with a wealth of information in the palm of their hand,” commented Gee.

Sponsored and conducted by the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) every two years since 1950, this event has traditionally included many of the biggest names in the business displaying everything from sawmill machinery to materials handling equipment, attracting key representatives from the nation’s largest wood products manufacturers.


Hakki Pilke firewood processors are built in Haapajarvi, Finland with over 30 years’ experience. Every year thousands of machines are shipped to five continents around the world. Customers are using the products in varying conditions but mainly for producing firewood professionally for sale. For a manufacturer it is a challenge to fulfill different customer needs with the product, which is why Maaselan Kone listens international Hakki Pilke users and dealers carefully in order to understand the market needs and challenges. All product development is based on customer feedback and extensive testing. Testing is done in close collaboration between the factory, importers and experienced customers.

The latest model in the lineup, Easy 43, is designed for professional wood processing. It is a successor of very popular and globally well-known model Easy 42. Most of the inventions and new features of the new model derive from the requests and suggestions made by Hakki Pilke users. Hakki Pilke distributors were already involved in early prototype testing phase to help the factory to find the right direction in the project. Maaselan Kone finds this kind of close collaboration highly rewarding and successful.

New Key Features Requested by International Customers

Hakki Pilke Easy 43 raises the bar for firewood processing by many world’s first features such as the new cutting mechanism only seen before in forestry harvesters and the delay-free splitting system designed to make processing as effective with both small and big sized logs. “After comprehensive testing in 6 different countries and over 20.000 cubic meters (5.500 cords) of hardwood and softwood species processed, we have developed many long-awaited solutions for international Hakki Pilke users. New ergonomically designed interface and other features such as log landing plates, automatic log infeeding and the patented AC 10 automatic saw chain tensioner are all solutions for the industry’s existing problems,” says Timo Jussila, Development Manager, Maaselan Kone Ltd.

NEW TYPE OF CONTROL
All the main functions are ergonomically positioned on the joystick. Sawing button performs following functions:
- log clamp activates
- saw is activated and lowered
- log landing plates are raised
- log measuring device is retracted

HYDRAULICALLY RETRACTING LOG MEASURING DEVICE
The hydraulic log measuring device retracts automatically during sawing to allow the cut log to fall freely into the splitting groove. The firewood is measured precisely to ensure right sized final product.

LOG LANDING PLATES
The log landing plates ensure that the logs land into the splitting section in a controlled manner. Landing plates can be used in automatic or manual mode. Manual operation enables the controlled dropping of the last piece of log.

HYDRAULIC AC10 – Saw chain tensioner
The AC10 maintains optimal chain tension, preventing it from coming loose or breaking. The correct chain tension notably increases the service life of the chain and bar. The chain can be replaced effortlessly without any tools.

LOG INFEED ASSIST MECHANISM
The infeed assist mechanism feeds in a new log during every splitting motion, ensuring that a log is always ready for sawing at the right time. When infeed assist is turned on processing a log requires using only two joystick buttons.

Resulting productivity and satisfied customers

The new Hakki Pilke Easy 43 is an example of a product boasting many features the end users have requested from the manufacturer. It is very easy to use and reliable in all conditions. It is flexible in terms of processing different type of raw materials from small timber to big knotty logs. Processing is continuous and has no disruptions with cycle time below 3 seconds for cutting and splitting. Improved ergonomics in processor control and log handling enable the operator to work longer without getting tired. Further development will be done in collaboration with professional heavy users.

“Thanks to the new features of Easy 43, processing firewood is now easier and more efficient than ever before”, praises Anssi Westerlund the Managing Director of Maaselan Kone. “In addition, appearance of the new machine follows the modern and user friendly Hakki Pilke design”, he adds.

About Maaselan Kone Ltd

Maaselan Kone Ltd has been manufacturing world leading firewood processors since 1984, and exports 80 % of its products to over 29 countries worldwide, being market leader at many of its markets. Hakki Pilke firewood processors are renowned by professional users around the world for high productivity and fast investment payback time. International Hakki Pilke users are always at the heart of the product development process. For more information, see www.hakkipilke.fi We are expanding our distribution network in the US, contact us for more details.