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Author Topic: Tie business could EXPLODE  (Read 1589 times)

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Offline nativewolf

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Tie business could EXPLODE
« on: November 01, 2017, 07:58:20 am »
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/railroad-sues-over-millions-rail-125912884.html

Ok, so the day job is litigation technology.  Thought you guys would want to know that Norfolk Southern has sued Boatright saying Boatright did not properly treat the ties and that they are failing fast. 

4.8 million ties may have to get replaced faster than normal.  That's 200 million bdft in ties to replace (ok, rounding errors I am sure).

I know some of you cut ties, some have given up, some thinking about it.  If you are close to a Tie plant prices could pop a bit.  That's a hell of a lot of ties to replace. 

Offline paul case

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 08:17:07 am »
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 08:21:26 am »
Well actually I think he was spot on.  The industry has had several catastrophic derailments and ties are linked to many.  Pressure is now on to increase inspections and so you are seeing this lawsuit.  They slapped crap on the tracks and Stella made $.  Now the RR companies are doubling up on inspections and are actually doing what they should have done 5 years ago.  The oil fracking business has increased RR demand even as coal has slumped a bit.

Oh, should have mentioned parent company of Alabama Boatright is Stella-Jones; a Canadian firm.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 08:33:35 am »
Actually that was a prescient thread and I'm glad you remembered it.  Enjoyed reading the comments. 

So, what is the going rate today?

If they, NS, got crappy ties everyone else did too so who else did Stella ship too?  They are the largest preserver in the NA?  but are they the largest tie manufacturer? 

Going to be interesting, if a train derailment is linked to those ties, the legal costs will be amazing.  Hope I can get Stella as a client.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 10:14:46 am »
The grade ive sold most is ties.. thats about all thats left behind for future cuts after a stand's been high graded.  Ive always tried to stay abreast of markets and have tried many mills.  The one that pays best is primarily a tie cutter that yards and resells most if the higher grade logs to its parent mill or others.  The scaler shared some insight with me in the spring. 

Said during the 2008 crash the railroads got stimulus money from the govt and began overhauling their lines.  I guess the mills in this area that did survive managed to on ties alone because all other markets died.  By now all the railbeds are pretty new. 

When i first started selling there i could sell any length.. 9ft thru 16 in 1ft increments with 3" trim.  Last trip all theyd buy was the 9s and 16s which indicates a slowing.  They were saturated with tie logs and were only cutting on an order of 8'6s or whatever the trimmed length was.   

So basically id say that this replacement demand would surely help keep the tie price afloat but i think there is a lot of tie cutting capacity left from the 2008 buildup thats ready to supply the demand.  Certainly our forests are becoming more and more full of small tie grade timber.. I see log trucks each and every day loaded with 16" and under oaks. 

I hope there is a rise in tie price but i think it'd be much more gradual.   Mills are smart enough to raise the price slowly as demand ramps up.  They can only cut and send out X amount of finished product in a week.  Price doesnt rise until they dont have enough sawlog input to maintain that sawn log output.  Ive seen two mills go on a maintenance shutdown for a few weeks to build up the stockpile when they ran out of logs, rather than raise price. 


Online Mooseherder

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 02:01:12 pm »
While shopping at the Blue store yesterday came across them selling used RR ties for 19 something.
The pile was halfway sold and there were plenty of beat up rotten ones in the bunch.

 

 
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 03:46:14 pm »
The grade ive sold most is ties.. thats about all thats left behind for future cuts after a stand's been high graded.  Ive always tried to stay abreast of markets and have tried many mills.  The one that pays best is primarily a tie cutter that yards and resells most if the higher grade logs to its parent mill or others.  The scaler shared some insight with me in the spring. 

Said during the 2008 crash the railroads got stimulus money from the govt and began overhauling their lines.  I guess the mills in this area that did survive managed to on ties alone because all other markets died.  By now all the railbeds are pretty new. 

When i first started selling there i could sell any length.. 9ft thru 16 in 1ft increments with 3" trim.  Last trip all theyd buy was the 9s and 16s which indicates a slowing.  They were saturated with tie logs and were only cutting on an order of 8'6s or whatever the trimmed length was.   

So basically id say that this replacement demand would surely help keep the tie price afloat but i think there is a lot of tie cutting capacity left from the 2008 buildup thats ready to supply the demand.  Certainly our forests are becoming more and more full of small tie grade timber.. I see log trucks each and every day loaded with 16" and under oaks. 

I hope there is a rise in tie price but i think it'd be much more gradual.   Mills are smart enough to raise the price slowly as demand ramps up.  They can only cut and send out X amount of finished product in a week.  Price doesnt rise until they dont have enough sawlog input to maintain that sawn log output.  Ive seen two mills go on a maintenance shutdown for a few weeks to build up the stockpile when they ran out of logs, rather than raise price.

Apparently the tie facilities skimped on the treatment so the ties are rotting and quick.  Some were just dipped in diesel but if you scratched them ..you saw untreated wood.  Did it all to fool client and inspectors. 

Crazy. 

So, millions of ties to get replaced again.

Offline Riwaka

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 04:43:29 pm »
My guess the tie suppliers (concrete and wood) will have to have every tie tagged (batch sample tested) and certified before it is installed (gps location recorded with accurate gps), so the railroad will know where every new tie came from and who made it.
Likely that there will be a shift to more concrete ties, rail beds over time and each concrete batch tested and the steel re-bar also tested.
http://precast.org/2016/04/coming-untied/

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2017, 05:03:54 pm »
For freight rail in the US there is just so much track...so much.  Concrete all in is 2x that or wood and they don't last that more than 2x longer.  Huge incentive to spend less today. 

Easy to screw up pre cast concrete; just look at all the bridge failures, road failures with bad concrete batches- shady or accidental.


Offline Riwaka

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2017, 09:55:19 pm »
Appears the Asian buyers have their pocket books out for logs that are cross tie suitable.
https://rtastats.org/   (93 percent of cross ties wooden)

https://www.roclatie.com/  (Vossloh AG) Rocla concrete purchased by Vossloh AG

http://www.koppers.com/pages/pressure-treated-wood   (Koppers wooden cross ties)

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.655.7172&rep=rep1&type=pdf   (Railroad cross tie comparison - wood less overall emissions).

Offline paul case

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 07:52:59 am »
I saw some ties and since the $40 tie thread they actually went down in price from $28.25 to $27.50.

PC
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
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Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2017, 08:40:01 am »
I hear you Paul.  Not sure what else to say about the current price but if they have to pull 5 million ties that's going to do something to pricing I'd think.  I believe there had been a bump in the 2008-12 period but it then leveled off, is that right?

Something exacerbating RR ties now is that so many ties are failing due to poor treatment and a lack of testing that any train derailment that kills folks is going to be a major $ litigation (and rightfully so).  RR and tie makers have been put on notice and if they don't pull and replace, whew...my day job could generate $ and that is never a good thing. 

I guess the thing to do is be aware of the possibility of a boost and be ready to ask for more $ knowing that prices might be an issue.

On the downside, so many pulp mills closed that loggers are desperate to move lower grade logs any which way, that could swamp the tie yards?  Just thunking out loud. 

On my own land our logger is going above and beyond to move smaller poplar and cherry, smaller poplar (8-14") going to shavings mills at $30/ton and cherry gets to firewood processor for not much.  I feel for him. 

Offline paul case

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 07:29:16 pm »
I doubt that many logs that would make a good tie was sold for pulp wood.

Ties were as good last year as I have ever sold them. However I have never told the tie company how much to pay me. The Idea that 1 mill, any mill, could dictate tie price to a tie buyer is absurd. It just don't work that way.

PC
life is too short to be too serious. (some idiot)
2013 LT40SHE25 and Riehl edger,  WM 94 LT40 hd E15. Cut my sawing ''teeth'' on an EZ Boardwalk
sawing oak.hickory,ERC,walnut and almost anything else that shows up.
Don't get phylosophical with me. you will loose me for sure.
pc

Offline 4x4American

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2017, 08:42:18 pm »
I see good tie logs going to the pulp mills all the time around here...the pulpers don't care they just send it.  I haven't sent any ties out in a few months but last time I checked they were paying $22.76 for a 7x9x8-1/2....
Boy, back in my day..

Offline 4x4American

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 08:54:58 pm »
Are any of you guys members of the RTA?  What would I gain if I became a member, if they could help me find a new buyer that pays better I'd be fine with paying them $425/year min on $.01/tie..but...how many different tie buyers are there up around the NE anyways I thought Stella was it.
Boy, back in my day..

Offline WH_Conley

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2017, 09:16:50 pm »
Most tie logs go to the pulp mill around here. Stumpage on pulp is $3.00 a ton. On logs the land owner will usually get 40 percent. The logger will clear more on pulp.
Bill

Offline killamplanes

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2017, 10:14:52 pm »
I use to cut tie. I enjoyed it. But it was frustrating dealing with side lumber and then kooper squeezed me down to oaks and hickory only. Unless I delivered a 150 miles away they would take most anything. Not trying to be negative but I wasn't willing to keep jumping thru the hoops.  But with the right logs those good days were real good to my bank account. And it was my bigginning, though I drifted away from it and went straight pallet stock and sell my tie logs due to time constraints. What I learned about the tie business is the market is slow to change. And a couple of guys with bandmills don't pull the market. It gets feed by large mills and grade mills that aren't counting  bdft a day but semi loads a day.  And the tie is really a byproduct for them and one that pays better than pallet stock. IE grade doesnt want heart. My2c
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2017, 12:17:13 am »
I get 3x more selling tie logs than pulp so i cut and split it for firewood instead.  With my archaic equipment and under cdl truck i cant break even in peckerwood.

Offline Wudman

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2017, 11:56:43 am »
CSX just laid in a new rail adjoining one of my tracts.  It didn't do us much good though.........concrete ties as far as you could see.

Wudman

Offline ehp

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2017, 10:22:17 am »
what I use to send to the mill as logs to make ties sure has changed , now tie logs HAVE to be pretty good logs , good enough that the mill cuts grade lumber out of the same log, I do send lots of the 13 ft up to 16 ft for cross ties , pretty much you can only have small limbs on outside of log,

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2017, 12:08:06 pm »
Im able to get tie price for some real rough logs even down to 12" diameter where its 4 sides wacked off and onlyna tie inside.  I typically only have two or three logs out of 20 that get knocked down to #3 sawlog for too much sweep, shake or ant hole.

What i really have a hard time with is middle range.  getting above tie price for better than tie log.  30 cents/bf is a breeze, getting 1.25 -1.80/bf for WO stave is easy.  Getting 50 cents /bf for a 2 sided 18" oak... That is my struggle.  They knock stuff down to tie on me all the time over every imaginary defect and you know full well theyre gonna get a tie and a stack of side lumber but only pay me for the tie.  Someday ill set up a mill and keep those logs for myself. 

Offline ehp

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2017, 08:33:55 pm »
ya I get lot more than that for my tie logs , but I sure donot get that for my WO unless its slicer , I sure wish we had a slave log market here but we donot

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Tie business could EXPLODE
« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2017, 12:12:44 am »
If im only bringing oak i can avg .35 cents for standard tie but maple and hickory are like .27 to .30 cents.  Best tie price i can do is .46cents on white oak switch tie.. 13" min and 16'6 long.   I think a red oak switch is .39 or so