The Hardwood Federation has been notified that the U.S. Army is working on moving procurement of hardwood decking for U.S. Department of Defense flatbed trucks from an imported species (Apitong or Keruing) to U.S. grown and milled hardwoods. This move has be initiated due the listing of numerous Apitong species as extinct, critically endangered or endangered. The U.S. Army uses approximately one million board feet of hardwood each year.
Initial work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Lab and the Michigan Technological University School of Agriculture has identified White Oak to meet all criteria for U.S. DOD flatbed trucks. The U.S. Army is now conducting outreach to solicit interest from the U.S. forest industry and to identify potential commercial sources for White Oak trailer floorboards. There is some expectation that other species of U.S. hardwoods could be included in future procurement rules if White Oak is successfully integrated.
It is essential that the U.S. Army hear from producers and vendors of White Oak so they can assess availability and costs. If you are a supplier of White Oak, please take the time to fill out the attached survey and return it per the instructions. If you know of other companies that supply white oak, please share this e-mail or let me know so I can send it out. Information is due by December 28.
Do not hesitate to contact the Hardwood Federation if you have any questions.
Dana Lee Cole
Executive Director, The Hardwood Federation