Lumber Handling in Sawmill Operations

Stacking and re-stacking lumber takes its toll on your time and your back. In this thread, sawmillers talk about smarter ways to handle lumber. October 20, 2005

I seem to be moving boards too often. I stack them after I saw them then move them and restack them in the kiln and then move them and restack them in the barn. I was thinking about building a new kiln on a cement pad and then building a cart or two. My idea is stack the wood off the saw on the cart then pull the cart into the kiln and when dry pull the cart to the barn and unstack. Does this sound like an idea that would work? Can a solar kiln be built on a cement slab, and how will that affect the drying process? Has anyone done this?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor M:
Good point - I stack/sticker right off the saw, and I air dry everything. Every handling step eliminated saves time and your back. Early on I would get a big pile of sawn boards, then move them to sticker. Unless it's a custom job going right out, it all gets stickered. 4' wide x 4-5' high is what I can move with the tractor forks.

From contributor E:
I also have the handling problem. I now have several wagon running gears (chassis) which I use to cart material, stickered in and out of shelter. I air dry on the chassis, then move wood to a storage building (open-faced) and then later, move it again to plane and stack in a different building.

From contributor S:
You can pick up a used forklift for a lot less than you probably realize. Sometimes a 3,000 to 5,000 thousand lb capacity lift can be picked up for $1,000 or $2,000. Just don't get one with solid tires if you're ever going to use it on dirt. We just got a 5,000 lb capacity Toyota and will probably have less than $500 in it when it's all said and done and ready to use. I got a 28,000 lb Hyster here, but it's way too big.