Established in 1921, our companies' reputations are founded on superior product quality and unmatched customer service. In over 95 years of business, we have never had an early failure complaint. We have always been taught to build on a solid foundation, and we view our product as the foundation that utilities build their businesses on. With that in mind, we are using the same proven treating process that we have always used in that we steam condition and vacuum dry the wood before treating with Penta. To give some background as to why we believe that the steaming process is the best process for poles, we have to give some technical details. There are 2 ways to remove moisture from the wood so that the preservative can penetrate deeply into the wood. You can use dry air blown across the wood in a kiln for several days, or you can use steam to heat the wood in a pressure vessel and then reduce the boiling point via lowering the pressure with a vacuum to slowly boil the water out of the wood. We like the steaming process because the properties of steam make it a self-correcting heating media. The steam heats the wood by condensing on the cooler surface, the condensing process draws more steam to that area, and as a result, the cooler areas in the charge naturally attract more steam so that the entire charge heats at a very consistent rate. It is a self-correcting and forgiving process in that it is not dependent on an operator loading the charge a certain way.
Our goal in the steaming process is to heat the wood for an adequate amount of time to stop any incipient decay that may have started as well as to remove enough moisture from the wood during vacuum drying so that the preservative will penetrate all the way to the heartwood. Our goal is to manufacture a pole that will have a service life of 50+ years, not a pole that meets the minimum specifications. Additional benefits of our steam conditioning process include an easier to climb surface due to no case hardening effect from kiln drying, a consistently drier surface and “no bleed” attributes associated with steam conditioned wood, and less brittleness in the wood because of the slower reduction of moisture content in the wood. We believe that the treating process that we employ is the best in the industry in terms of proven quality, which results in a much lower cost to our customer over the life of our product.
WHITE POLE SUPPLY
Meredith Pole & Timber Company, Fitzgerald, GA was started in 1955 but rebuilt from the ground up in 1997. Meredith Pole & Timber represents the state-of-the-art in white pole mills with a capacity of approximately 600 to 800 poles/day. Meredith Pole & Timber is a woman owned business with the majority of the stock held by Amy Meredith Schneider – the fourth generation of the Meredith family carrying on the family tradition. We also purchase poles from several independent mills in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama to supplement our production capacity.
For Penta - William C. Meredith Company, East Point, GA.
Poles are framed, steam conditioned, and treated with Penta in East Point, Ga.. We currently operate with two steaming/treating cylinders that are 8' in diameter and 92' long. The plant was rebuilt and modernized in 2009 to include complete PLC/computer control of conditioning and treating process. WCM has all the necessary equipment and manpower to supply and support both treating cylinders on a continuous basis.
For CCA and CCA-ET - Partnered with CCA treating companies
Poles that are to be treated with CCA go through the same quality process including framing in East Point before being shipped to our CCA treating partners to be treated with CCA or CCA-ET. Our CCA treating partners perform their own quality control for the CCA treatment, but all poles recieve a second round of quality control when they arrive back to our distribution point in East Point, Ga..
INVENTORY AND TREATING TIME
AMS maintains an average 60-day inventory for all customers strategically located to provide prompt delivery schedules. These inventories consist
of all treated pole sizes and classes that are used by each of our regular customers.
White poles are trucked daily from the pole mills to our treating plant to cover any special needs and/or inventory shortages. Because we maintain a 60-day inventory of treated poles, we are able to make short notice treating schedule changes to cover a customer's emergency needs. Normal lead time from shipment to stock is about 1 to 2 weeks; normal lead time for special pole treatments is about 2 to 3 weeks after receipt of order.
East Point, GA – Inventory of Penta and CCA poles are distributed by truck using Barnes Transportation and by rail using Norfolk Southern. All truck delivers are made using self-unloading equipment.
St. James, MD – Inventory of Penta poles are received from East Point, GA via Norfolk Southern rail cars, unloaded and stored by Utility Supply, and delivered to the final destination by Barnes Transportation.
New England / New York – we partner with Stella/McFarland for supply and distribution of poles in the Northeast quadrant of the United States.
Blackshear, GA – CCA poles are distributed by truck using Barnes Transportation or ACE Pole trucks and by rail using CSX. All truck delivers are made using self-unloading equipment.
Fitzgerald, GA – Inventory of Penta poles are distributed by truck using Barnes transportation and by rail using CSX. All truck delivers are made using self-unloading equipment.
QUALITY CONTROL AND INSPECTION
For our companies, quality is our top priority. We have continuously supplied quality treated poles to all of our customers and have had no early failures in our product. We are equipped with our own laboratory to run all quality analysis required to assure our quality process, including lime ignition analysis and Oxford X-ray analysis to confirm proper Pentachlorophenol and CCA retention.