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Spring COVID Shutdowns Lead to Slim Lumber Stock for Summer


Spring COVID Shutdowns Lead to Slim Lumber Stock for Summer

August 25, 2020
Flat-bed truck hauling lumber
Image: stock.

The lingering effect of lumber mills shutting down during March due to COVID-19 and struggling to resume production to pre-pandemic levels has not only increased the cost of wood and created shortages, the situation prompted a Wisconsin builder to chase delivery trucks to Home Depot. 

Marling Lumber lumberyard manager Robbie Hurst said the last customer he knows of who found tongue-and-groove deck boards did so in an unorthodox way.

The customer spotted a semitrailer truck hauling a load of decking lumber down the highway and followed it. The customer tailed the semi for 10 miles until it reached its destination: a local Home Depot store.

“It was late at night, and the driver of the lumber truck just parked the vehicle,” Hurst said.
“The first thing the next morning, the customer rushed back out to that Home Depot and bought up all the deck boards that truck brought in the night before.”

Tracy Tonnes, manager of Nelson-Young Lumber Co., in Edgerton, says “the supply chain is highly compromised because in some states, manufacturing was shut down during COVID closures. Some items have extended lead times. Others are just not being produced, or production is so limited that many yards aren’t able to get the product.”

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