“Big enough to supply, small enough to care!”
UCL operates one sawmill based (29°23’20.31″S 30°45’53.16″E) in Glenside in the KZN Midlands (see the map below).
The sawmill cuts approximately three hundred cubic meters of round log per day through the wetmill. The raw material is supplied by farmers in the surrounding districts, ranging from Glenside, New Hanover, Dalton, Greytown and as far as Krankop. Most of the suppliers are shareholders of the holding company UCL Company (Pty) Limited based in Dalton.
Another load of round log from our suppliers. Finished product being stacked at the sawmill.
UCL, formerly known as Union Co-operative Limited, was formed in 1924 and the suppliers were Co-op members before the conversion to a company. We have a very loyal and committed group of raw material suppliers who have a real stake in the business. As all saw millers know, the key to a sustainable business is a long term supply of raw material.
The saw logs are cut into boards by Linck frame saws and bandsaws in the wetwmills. The main wetmill line has a log and a deal framesaw. The log framesaw cuts a cant (width) and the deal framesaw cuts the thickness producing the finished board.
A Deal Framesaw in the main line (Left) and a band saw in the small log line (Right).
The boards are then passed through a board edger to “square off” the boards. The boards, commonly known as “planks” are then stacked and dried in kilns. The stacking of the boards into the stacking bays is done manually.
The Sawmill has upgraded to more modern TFD kilns. These new technology kilns have significantly improved throughput by drying a larger volume of timber in less time, allowing us to prepare and deliver product to customers a lot quicker and with less drying defects because of better drying controls.
One of the new TFD kilns recently installed at the sawmill.
The boards are then trimmed, cut to size and finished in the drymill. We have recently installed Leadermac planers in our drymills to improve the quality and the finish of the boards.
New Leadermac Planer
Customers often require the boards to be treated. It increases the timber’s life as it withstands weather conditions and insect infestation. Treated products are essential for most structural purposes, especially near the coast. The products are treated in a high pressure vessel, where the preservative CCA is forced into the board under high pressure. The company primarily treats to H2.
A bundle of timber about to be treated in the treating tank.
Timber being treated with CCA (top left). Bundles stacked and prepared for dispatch.
Once the product has been cut to size and treated for the customer, it is stacked, strapped and shipped off to the customer.
New Super-link addition to the our Fleet. (left) Truck load ready for delivery. (right)
The company produces various sizes of sawn pine timber distributed domestically and internationally. Although our main line is structural timber for the roofing industry, we also manufacture the following:
- Finger Jointed lumber
- Half round/Cladding
- Pine ceiling and floors
- Low cost doors and frames