Ed Jr. said sawmilling is a tough business, but not one he’s looking to get out of. He often works 12-hour days, starting at 4:30 a.m. It’s not just his job; it’s a family affair. He said he basically started working for his father when he was 9 years old.
“It’s the only thing I know,” says Ed Jr. “To me, it’s not work. It’s more a way of life. It’s almost like a farmer. He wakes up. He takes care of his animals. He treats his cows. It’s the same every day. That’s basically what this business is about, when you run it. There’s always something to maintain, always something that needs work. It’s like having a child that never matures. That’s the truth.”
The main blade, the lower blade (48 inches in diameter), has its 50 teeth sharpened twice a day.
In addition to diesel fuel running at $5 a gallon, other machinery operating expenses are notable. For some of Brightman Lumber’s hard-working machines, an oil change (done every 350 hours; previously it was 250 hours) can cost upwards of $1,000. A 2-inch by 4-inch oil filter for machines costs $200. And the price of oil over the last three or four years has gone from $550 to $900 to fill their 50 gallon barrel.