North Coast hardwood is such a great product says Ryan McCarthy

medium_Coffs Hardwoods - Desapping Pole Planer.jpgSustainable production with a very positive carbon story - that is surely the Holy Grail to meet future needs without damaging the environment. It is the basis of the North Coast Hardwood industry exemplified by Coffs Harbour Hardwoods.

Coffs Harbour Hardwoods is located in Glenreagh, a small village west of Coffs Harbour. It has been on the site since the early to mid-80s after relocating from the Jetty area in Coffs with a need for a bigger site. The bigger site enabled growth including a treatment plant for the treatment of power poles, a green mill for structural products, drying kilns and a dry mill plant for the production of flooring, decking and other kiln dried products.

The business commenced in 1961 and today is run by the McCarthy family who employ more than 90 staff, making it one of the largest employers and economic contributors in the Coffs Coast area.

The company has 3 core parts comprising:

1) The manufacture and supply of power poles & cross arms for the electricity networks. Image is of a de-sapping power pole planer

2) A green mill for supplying heavy section timbers such as bridge and wharf timbers and

3) A dry mill which provides dried products such as flooring, decking and in more recent times a joinery for specialist production.

medium_Coffs Hardwoods - Hardwood Girders.jpg

According to Ryan MCCarthy "we have become very diverse in what we can produce such as large bridge girders or de-sapped power poles for use in the rail networks right down to a lathe turned handle. Our focus is to be able to provide our customers the ability to get all of their requirements from the one place. With the price of freight it is beneficial to be able to get all of your timber from one supplier to eliminate the extra cost".

In recent years the firm has increased its transport fleet to provide a better service, particularly around delivery times and schedules. According the Ryan "Our power poles are delivered to some remote locations and the option is there if the need to self-unload is required which is necessary on a lot of jobs". "We continue to look at new ways of making our company more efficient and if our customers need it then we will create new lines to suit. We will also increase our ability to utilise our fall down products to minimise our waste".

Ryan goes on to say "North Coast Hardwood is such a great product and is so diverse in its uses. To be able to use it to hold up a bridge or sit down at a table in a café and eat off it is something that not many other products offer. It’s pleasing to see the end result of some of our jobs and what they’re being used for, the whale sculpture hanging from the ceiling in the Coffs Harbour shopping centre is an art piece that is reflection of the timber industry in the Coffs area and the ocean that are both important contributors to what Coffs Harbour was built on".