HHP, Inc., located in Henniker, NH, was founded in 1989 when Richard Carrier and Ross D’Elia purchased Henniker Hardwood Pallets. They broke ground on where the current mill stands, a few years later in 1992. HHP has since become a family affair with Richard Carrier and his brother, Marco Carrier, both now being HHP’s principals and Marco Carrier’s son, Joe Carrier serving as HHP’s general manager.
HHP has an annual production of 13 million board feet, with 80 percent made up of Northern Red Oak. “The Red Oak from this region here in Central New Hampshire is sought after for its tight grain, consistent color, and its lack of mineral,” said Bruce Dahn, Hardwood kiln-dried sales manager. “Our customers won’t have to do any color sorting at the end of the day. The product that they buy from us is over trimmed and over edged so that they get a better yield and a better end result, allowing the customer to take our product and put it straight into their production process.” HHP is known for their consistency across all of their Red Oak production, as well as their other primary species, which include, Hard and Soft Maple, Ash and Yellow Birch.
HHP saws 4/4 and 5/4 boards on a regular basis. “While our primary and biggest item is still 4/4, we always try to keep at least one kiln charge of 5/4 a month in process so we have it as a regular item across all grades from the uppers right down into the common grades,” Dahn continued.
HHP offers custom widths and lengths, as well as proprietary grades. Their bin sorter allows them to hone in on their customers’ needs as they grade their kiln-dried lumber for a second time. “Re-grading our kiln-dried material ensures we catch any degrading of the lumber and to make sure our customers get the consistency and value they continue to invest in,” Dahn said.
HHP has a wide range of customers, from those looking for lumber to go into high-end flooring or a millwork application to those looking for custom to standard pallets. “We manufacture what works best for our customer,” Dahn noted. “From the custom sorts that go to our high-end end-use customers to the distributors and manufacturers that need a custom designed pallet to carry the load that they want shipped, we strive to be efficient and cost effective by consuming all of the full range of products that are produced in the mill.”
HHP is known to promote the ease that comes with doing business with them, whether it is moving material in and out of their facilities, or the consistency of their product, they strive to make their clients lives simpler. “You can receive HHP lumber any way you want, as long as it has the HHP logo and blue paint on the ends,” remarked Dahn. “Our customers that we sell to on a repeat basis, especially the distributors, see this as an added value on an already superior product.”
Another way that HHP continues to add value to their products, is to end wax every pack of green lumber produced, all year-round, with U-C Coatings Anchorseal. Whether it is going on sticks for kiln drying in HHP’s kilns or being sold green.
“One thing that Marco and Joe have always emphasized is the quality of the products that we produce here at HHP and the pride that we have when we put it into the marketplace,” said Dahn. HHP makes a point to pay attention to the little things, like putting grooved HT export blocks on every pack produced so that they are easier to move around and no loose blocks have to be picked up after moving packs.
The added details that HHP puts into their products goes beyond adding extra blocks on packs leaving their sawmills. “Our most experienced graders regularly go back through packs of green & KD lumber to ensure the Trim X System’s output,” Dahn noted. “We are not trying to force boards up, into a grade. So, when a grader disagrees with how the Grade X System viewed the board, we go into the system and recalibrate the way it interprets the defects seen so we are consistently getting the production graded the way we want. We can do this because every board is sprayed with a unique identifying number as it is moved to the bin sorter.”
HHP uses VisionTally with their kiln-dried lumber, ensuring that each piece is accounted for, and the footage is accurate. “We are giving our customers the confidence that they are getting what they paid for, and the documentation that they get along with these packs helps lower their stress levels,” Dahn added. “Once the packs have been strapped & labelled, there is no question as to what the contents of each one is, no matter how far it has traveled.”
HHP continues to utilize the oversized space that the mill was initially built on. “When the foundation was laid back in 1992, they made sure they had a good layout and allowed room for plenty of expansion,” said Joe Carrier. This forethought has allowed for additional equipment, such as, a McDonough double cut carriage, two PHL resaws, a PHL/Comact optimizing edger, that feeds the Trim Expert, on to a PHL trimmer and PHL 60 bay bin sorter, with USNR scanning, as well as the VisionTally. They also have seven Nyle Dry Kilns, with a drying capacity of 75,000 board feet each, with an annual drying capacity for Northern Red Oak of 6 million board feet.
The accuracy of the equipment that HHP has invested in is paramount, as they ship their lumber around the globe. HHP ships to markets including China, Europe, Vietnam and the Middle East. “What works best for HHP is when we are able to find a key account, or a group of accounts that we are able to do regular business with. Whether it’s a container every three months or five containers every month, we look to do business with someone that is looking for a high-quality product that needs a consistent supplier,” Dahn said. HHP also finds it crucial to not overwhelm themselves with distribution partners. “We try not to water down the distributorship within a given market. It is important that we can distribute all the wood that we can produce through a limited number of these partnerships,” Dahn continued.
“Since we produce a niche product, our clientele that really needs and values the Northern Red Oak is spread out,” said Dahn. Since HHP’s products are spread out around the globe, they export their products mainly through the Port of Boston, as well as sending containers through the Worcester railyard to the New York and New Jersey ports and occasionally sending containers through the Montreal port. When moving their products domestically throughout the United States and into Canada they use a combination of HHP trucks and independent truckers based on where the lumber is headed.
“One thing is for sure, HHP is well positioned to take care of their customers as the market continues to change and evolve,” said Dahn.
HHP is a member of the National Hardwood Lumber Association, Hardwood Manufacturers Association, American Hardwood Export Council, The New England Lumbermen’s Association and the National Wood Pallet Association.
To learn more visit www.hhp-inc.com.