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10 April 2015 T IMBER L INE www.timberlinemag.com From Miniscule to Massive: Equipment is Key for Upstate New York Chipping Companies To maximize efficiency in the chipping facet of their operation, Seaway Timber recently added a track-mounted Morbark 50/48 drum chipper to its fleet. Companies that generate quality fuel chips — particularly those who provide them to high-profile customers — rely heavily upon their equipment to ensure a good product and an efficient, uninter- rupted operation. For two of the larger chipping companies in far upstate New York, that has meant utilizing some of the latest in chipping technology and enhanc- ing the performance of that equipment with yet another innovative tool. The end result of that twofold effort for both Watertown, N.Y.-based Pala Wood Service Co. and Massena, N.Y.’s Seaway Timber Harvest- ing, has been a dramatic uptick in efficiencies, lower fuel costs and a consis- tently better product. Powerful Chips A central component of both Seaway Timber’s and Pala Wood’s chipping efforts of late has been contracts with ReEnergy Holdings, LLC. The Albany-based biomass company owns and operates eight biomass- to-energy plants in the eastern U.S., including ReEnergy Black River, a 60- megawatt biomass plant located at Fort Drum, just outside of Watertown. The once-coal-fired plant recently underwent a $34 million renovation, enabling it to take in sustainably harvested local biomass from area producers and use it to generate enough electricity annually to power more than 55,000 homes. For Pala Wood, which had all but stopped chipping due to lack of a customer base for that product, discus- sions with ReEnergy represented an opportunity to get back into the market, ac- cording to Bruce Strough, Pala Wood’s current owner. “We were definitely excited about get- ting back into chipping,” he says. “Perhaps the most intriguing element of those dis- cussions, however, was a program ReEnergy had in place in which they would purchase a Morbark chipper for their sup- pliers who would then pay for that chipper through the volume of chips delivered. We were thrilled about picking up this new piece of business, the equipment arrange- ment was even better than we could have imagined, and the fact that ReEnergy was providing a Morbark 50/48 chipper was icing on the cake. We’d used a Morbark chipper back when we were first chipping and have used nothing but Morbark tub grinders since we started doing mulch. So the comfort level with their equipment was definitely there.” Upstate Cattle Drive Today, after endorsing that deal, Pala Wood takes its 50/48 whole tree chipper to jobsites throughout the region, tackling projects ranging from commercial land clearing to clearing fields for agricultural use and more. “We are currently clearing for an out- of-state rancher who plans to bring cattle to the area for grazing,” he says. “The areas Bruce Strough, owner of Watertown, N.Y.-based Pala Wood Service Co. Find Machinery Suppliers at: www.TimberEquipment.com