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   Spend a few minutes with Michael Hensley, operations manager at Unaka Forest Products, and you know that lumber products are not just his family business, they are in his blood. His father was a logger and brought his twin sons and daughter into the family business. Michael attended forestry school in North Carolina and he knows hardwood and his saw line machines inside and out. “We do it all, from buying the trees to shipping the pallets,” said Hensley.

    Unaka runs 10 to 12 hour shifts in their hardwood mill. In late 2011, Unaka installed an M2L Stacker and reduced their labor count on the saw line by two. “One reason we chose the AIT stacker over its competitors is that it doesn’t require as much labor,” said Hensley. “And the controls are as simple as grammar school.”

    Hensley did the math on the return on his investment for the M2L Stacker and figured that the stacker will save over $700,000 in employee expense over the next 10 years. “We’re not paying an hourly wage or insurance and retirement for that machine-and it’s there every day!”

    Hensley added, “We did have to make some adjustments to our line to match the saw speed with the stacker but the M2L is very low maintenance. We haven’t had to purchase any parts since we installed it.”