Ronnie's Lumber Mill is a Double Springs sawmill that mainly cuts cross ties. Ronnie Frost is the owner of the mill and he has owned this business for 21 years. The mill employs 19 workers. He's been in the lumber business for 32 years.
The mill buys hardwood logs that are over 11" in diameter. They also cut some of the wood from the logs into wood to be used in the pallet industry, and into trailer flooring. Cross ties make up the bulk of his business and the demand for cross ties is increasing. Fuel prices have increased the profits of railroads, and the industry is in a period of growth. Ronnie mentioned a number of interesting facts about cross ties:
- Cross ties last about 5-6 years.
- Cross ties are discarded not because they rot, but because the spike comes loose.
- Concrete cross ties are not likely to replace the demand for hardwood cross ties.
- Cross ties must be air dried for 9 months before they can be installed.