Gutchess Lumber hardwood lumber products

Gutchess Lumber is a National Hardwood Manufacturer You Can Trust

If you’re in the market for hardwood lumber, whether it be for cabinets, caskets, stair treads, millwork, fine furniture, etc., then you know there are a lot of options out there. But if you’re looking for a supplier you can trust to provide quality hardwood lumber products consistently, then look no further than Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc. We’ve been in business since 1904, and we have a long-standing reputation for being a national leader in the hardwood lumber industry. Whether you need one truckload or one hundred truckloads of lumber, we’re here to help.

“We like your quality and service and have fewer issues with your lumber compared to our competitors. We know your price is higher, but we have a better yield with Gutchess’ lumber.” -Furniture Manufacturer customer located in the United States of America (click here for more testimonials)

 

What Sets Us Apart

There are a lot of things that set Gutchess Lumber apart from our competitors, but three things, in particular, stand out: our commitment to customer service, our superior product, and our unmatched experience.

First and foremost, we pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service. We understand that buying lumber is a big investment, and we want to make sure you feel confident and comfortable every step of the way. Our sales team is knowledgeable and helpful, and they’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.

In terms of product, we only sell the highest quality hardwood lumber. We source our lumber from responsibly managed forests, typically within a 150-mile radius of our seven locations across New York and Pennsylvania to control each step of the manufacturing process from forestry all the way to the mill. Most of our products are kiln-dried to ensure optimal moisture content. Green lumber sales are also offered by Gutchess Lumber. We offer a wide range of lumber grades and sizes to choose from, so you can find the perfect product for your needs.

Finally, there’s our experience. We’ve been in business for close to 120 years, and in that time we’ve worked with customers of all shapes and sizes – our lumber products have been used by small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. This experience has given us the knowledge and expertise needed to provide each and every one of our clients with the best possible service and product.

If you’re looking for an American supplier of high-quality hardwood lumber that you can trust, then look no further than Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc. We have the experience, commitment to customer service, and superior product that you need. Contact your region’s representative today to learn more about what we can do for your business.

Historical photo of the Gutchess Lumber mill in the 1900s

The Gutchess Lumber Story: From One Central New York Sawmill to Global American Hardwood Supplier

Founded in 1904, Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc is an employee-owned (ESOP) and family-led business that specializes in the production of superior quality kiln-dried hardwood lumber products. We are one of the largest suppliers of American hardwoods in the United States, with customers all around the world. Our hardwood lumber products are used in a variety of applications including furniture, cabinetry, flooring, millwork, stair treads, and much more.

Gutchess Lumber began in 1904 as a small, regional lumber company serving central New York. George Gutchess started the sawmill business by powering his mill with a wood-fired steam tractor. In the beginning days of Gutchess Lumber, oxen and horses were used to transport lumber across surrounding regions in New York state.

Today, Gutchess Lumber operates out of seven strategically located mills across New York and Pennsylvania, shipping truck loads and container loads of lumber to customers across the United States as well as all over the world. We attribute our success to our commitment to customer satisfaction and our dedication to producing the highest quality product possible.

The Gutchess Lumber Difference

What sets Gutchess Lumber apart from other American hardwood suppliers? Quality control is paramount at our facility; we grade all of our kiln-dried lumber according to the National Hardwood Lumber Association standards. This results in a more stable and consistent product for our global customers. Our lumber comes from prime timberland in the northeastern region of the United States. Our forestry team is dedicated to working with private landowners to develop plans that benefit the environment, meaning that our hardwood lumber products come from well-managed forests that adhere to our responsible forestry management practices.

In addition to producing high-quality lumber, we also pride ourselves on our customer service. Our international sales team members are happy to work with your schedule, no matter where you are in the world, to answer any questions you may have about our product or your order. We know that when you’re buying lumber internationally, time is of the essence; that’s why we work hard to keep lead times as short as possible.

If you’re looking for an American hardwood supplier that you can count on for consistently high-quality lumber, Gutchess Lumber Co. Inc. is the right choice for you. We have been in business for over 100 years and have shipped container loads of lumber to satisfied customers all over the world. Contact your region’s sales representative today to learn more about how our hardwood lumber products can maximize your yields.

Meet John Linn: Gutchess Lumber’s KD Sales Manager

John Linn, KD sales manager, recently celebrated his one year workiversary with Gutchess Lumber. Since October 2020, John has become a vital member of the sales team and the organization as a whole. Here is a bit of John’s story:

I’ve been in the hardwood lumber business for about 19 years. I started in the industry working for a small concentration yard in Roanoke, Virginia, mainly providing Yellow Poplar for a trading company in Cortland, New York that was exporting container loads overseas. Eventually that Virginia yard closed and I moved to New York in 2004 to work for that trading company.

It was there that I learned the export market and gained many valuable relationships with suppliers around the country and end users in overseas markets. Being able to travel domestically and especially overseas to visit end users, gave me invaluable insight into the hardwood industry that most people don’t get to see. I travelled mostly to China and Southeast Asia several times a year, getting to know the culture, customers and lumber industry there.

When I started with Gutchess Lumber, it opened an entirely new world of knowledge and opportunity for me, since it was the first time I was directly exposed to the entire production process, from the standing timber, to the sawmill, down to managing the KD inventory. Gutchess Lumber is an amazing company to work for who invests in its employees. I have a new appreciation for the lumber industry in my current role and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings.

Chris Wickersham’s 34 Year Journey in the Hardwood Lumber Industry

Gutchess Lumber Co, Inc. is proud to have seen many years of multigenerational leadership and employee-ownership. The following story was written by one of our sales representatives, and multigenerational employee-owners, Chris Wickersham.

It is hard to imagine over 30 years in the same industry! My journey in the hardwood lumber industry began back in 1987. For my first two years I worked in the Southern Indiana area for a hardwood veneer manufacturer that also produced and sold green hardwood lumber. I was a sales representative that covered IN, KY, TN, MS, AR and TX. It was a great first job out of college, lots of freedom to learn how to sell and take care of customer’s needs! My customers were all on the manufacturing side making products such as office furniture, pianos and even caskets.

In 1989, I moved over to the largest hardwood veneer manufacturer in the U.S., which happened to be building a state of the art hardwood lumber sawmill in PA. After moving to their sales office in Southern California I was able to sell both hardwood veneer and hardwood lumber throughout CA and parts of Mexico. It was great experience with a wide variety of customers: manufacturers, distributors, architects and designers.

In 1996, staying with the same company I transferred to the Dallas TX area where I began to home office (not a normal thing back then!). My territory was expanded to handle Texas to the west and became exclusive to selling hardwood lumber. My customer base also shifted more from manufacturing to distribution. Finally in 2010, I was fortunate to join the employee-family owned company of Gutchess Lumber. It was a great fit from the beginning, as I continued to handle the same territory and customers that I had been covering for many years.

At Gutchess Lumber, we are committed to producing the best possible product and I am happy to be part of that. We put quality first and our customers readily recognize that. It is always a fun part of my job when I get to travel with our customer’s sales reps to see on going jobs first hand. It is amazing to see the beautiful products that come from our lumber. It certainly makes my job much easier to have such a high quality product to represent!

There has been many changes within our industry over the past 30 years but one thing has remained the same and that is the people. I think that is what makes our industry so unique. People who are down to earth, honest and use good common sense. That seems to be a lost art these days. Many of my customers have become great friends over the years. Several have passed the company reigns down to the 2nd generation which is always exciting to see.

Hopefully with a few more years to go, I may actually see that 3rd generation customer! Now that is being old!

Life at Gutchess Lumber: Celebrating Multigenerational Employee-Owners

Gutchess Lumber Co, Inc. is proud to have seen many years of multigenerational leadership and employee-ownership. The following story was written by one of our sales representatives, and multigenerational employee-owners, Chris Griffin. 

Hardwoods have been a part of my life from a very early age. Playing in the forest as a child, watching my grandfather cut pulpwood, splitting cords of wood by hand for a summer job as a teen and eventually working with my father harvesting timber after graduating high school.

My younger years forged a natural path to 30 years of employment at Gutchess Lumber. As a fourth-generation family member to work for Gutchess Lumber, my career began in the mill, where I first started piling lumber off the green line. From there I would soon graduate to running an edger, and this is where I quickly found a passion in learning how to saw logs. So, I did whatever I needed to do to learn everything about the whole process of making lumber: bucking logs, edging boards, trimming, and grading lumber. Within a year I held the Head Sawyer position, diligently working on crafting my skill. I had watched and learned from the sawyers that came before me and was determined to be the best sawyer I could possibly be.

I enjoyed my 25 years in the mill, but it was time to move on. So, I accepted an opportunity to work in lumber purchasing. This job entailed identifying good quality sawmills in the Northeast and purchasing their lumber. The position was another opportunity for me learn more about the industry from others involved with it. I soon learned that majority of the people in this industry have sawdust in their veins and are very passionate about their work. And while all do things a little differently, we are all striving to the same end goal of premium quality hardwood lumber.

I held this position for three years before graduating to Domestic KD Sales, where I am still to this day, selling lumber into Canada and into the Southeast region. In this position, I am able to provide our customers with the finest hardwood lumber produced in the Northeast.

Many things have changed throughout the years since I sawed my first log. Automation has been introduced into the mill. Harvesting is now primarily outsourced. Consumer needs fluctuate. Throughout it all, the one thing that has not changed is my dedication and passion for hardwoods and Gutchess Lumber.

Learning in the Lumber Industry: From Pulling Weeds to EVP

Gutchess Lumber Co., Inc.’s “Learning in the Lumber Industry” series consists of a monthly article focused on career paths and opportunities in the lumber industry and written by our Executive Vice President Brian Conklin. This is the first article in the series.

I suppose the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” might sound a little silly to some of you. If you are like me, you haven’t been asked this question in a very long time. But for some of you, I hope, you have recently been asked this question and you don’t know the answer.

I have many memories of growing up. I can remember teachers, my parents and other family members along the way asking me, “what do you want to be when you grow up”? For many years I thought that I was going to be a major league baseball player. I can’t tell you how many times I visualized in my mind, while lying in bed at night, me hitting the game winning grand slam with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth in game 7 of the World Series. At least in my mind, and for many years, that seemed like such an achievable task. While I played many years of baseball and have many fand memories of the game, I soon realized that the game winning hit in the World Series was…, well it was just a dream.

I graduated high school in June of 1994. Unfortunately, I still could not answer the question that was asked so many times of me up to that point in my life. I had graduated high school and really had no idea what I was going to do with my life. The one thing I do remember upon graduation was wondering where the last 18 years went. Those years just flew by. I did not possess any special skills. I really didn’t know how to build or fix anything (if anything my attempts at fixing things only made it worse ). I really wasn’t disciplined enough at that point in my life to go to college. Even if I was, what would I major in? I had no idea. However, I was smart enough to know that I needed a job. So, I applied at a local sawmill. Keep in mind that at this point in my life I did not know a single thing about the lumber industry. I literally could not have properly identified a Cherry board from a Red Oak board. I had never seen a sawmill in operation, so all the various equipment and lingo was all new to me.

I will never forget that first day on the job and how intimidating it was. I really did not know anyone, had never seen any of the equipment nor did I know how any of this equipment worked. However, I have always had a good attitude by nature, I was dependable (I never missed work and was always on time), I liked learning new things and generally speaking I was the type of person who took pride in their work. I was very fortunate to have mentors along the way that saw the potential in me and help direct my career. If you would have told me in June 1994 that I would be where I am today, I likely would have laughed at you.

In this series I will talk about my career path and the career opportunities that exist not only in on our industry but here at Gutchess Lumber. If you are at a point in your life and you are not sure what your career path might be or if you are looking for a career change and not sure what that might be, do not worry. With some dedication and hard work, there are so many exciting opportunities today, much more than when I got into the industry 25 years ago. This industry has taken me all over the world and has given me the ability to make a very good living and provide for my family, all the while learning new things almost on a weekly basis.

Lady Lumberman: One Woman’s Story in the Hardwood Industry

One of the few women in the lumber industry, Trudy Burdge, shares her journey on how she became a leading saleswoman at Gutchess Lumber Co., Inc. This is her story:

My journey in the hardwood lumber industry started early: I was born into it.  My father owned and operated a small sawmill. A few of my uncles owned and operated sawmills as well. Several of my cousins worked in one of the family sawmills or were loggers cutting trees for them. Some drove truck, either hauling logs or delivering lumber. Almost every single one of my relatives was involved in one aspect or another in the lumber business. It was more than just their livelihood, it was their life. As I grew up watching them work and listening to their stories, I knew I wanted to be a part of it myself. I wanted it to be my life as well as my living.

After high school graduation, I got a job with a local hardwood concentration yard. I started out working in the plant, first stacking lumber and a few months later, driving a forklift. I spent a year in the plant before moving into the office. Over the next several years, I went from being an office worker to becoming the office manager. That role eventually led to a position working with the company IT department to develop software for the entire organization. My time in these different areas gave me a broader understanding of the business. Those opportunities provided a great learning experience that made it possible for me to ultimately move into sales, which was one of my career goals. To that end I’ve been fortunate. A lot of people took an interest and guided me along the way.  Every step I’ve taken, someone – a co-worker, a manager – has taken with me. So many have shared their knowledge. They gave their time and effort to help and teach me. For that, I am and always will a be grateful to them.

While there are still fewer women than men in the hardwood industry, we women are gaining in number. My path to sales may differ compared to other women selling lumber, but we all have a common goal of doing the best we can for our company and our customers. I am proud to represent Gutchess Lumber and to sell Gutchess Lumber products.  I am proud to be a part of an industry where a man – or woman – does business “on a handshake”. That’s how my father said it was done in his day and I’m glad it’s still done that way in mine. I was born into this; I have sawdust in my blood.  And I want to encourage and assist other young people, especially women, into joining this great industry.