Rules Corner – Close is Never Good Enough

May 2021
By Mr. Dana Spessert

As NHLA Chief Inspector, I am lucky to have the opportunity to meet and speak with so many people in the hardwood industry. As you can imagine, meeting so many different people allows me to hear many differing opinions and understand various ways of doing things, especially when it comes to hardwood lumber inspection.

Something I hear often and something I find troubling is, “if the board is a unit or two short, I put it in there anyway.” This statement may not sound like a bad idea on the surface, but let’s compare it to a paycheck. Your check is “only $20 less than it should be”, or how about buying gasoline at a convenience store, “it’s almost a gallon.”  I could give countless examples of how shorting anything in life is a bad idea, but I think these examples have proven my point.

The NHLA Rules were put into place to provide a measurement for the volume and quality of each and every piece of hardwood lumber that is produced. The hardwood inspector’s job is not to decide what is acceptable. Their job is to determine if it meets the minimum requirements to be in that grade.

Too often, in today’s world, we accept “close enough” or “nobody cares” when in fact, the vast majority of people that I have met in this industry do care, and they expect everyone else to care and do their jobs correctly.

So, this brings me to the point of this article, a good Hardwood Lumber Inspector may be enough to get by, be close enough, but a great Hardwood Lumber Inspector will make your company more reputable and, at the end of the day, will make you more money. To be a great Hardwood Lumber Inspector, you need to have the education necessary to achieve greatness.

NHLA has the tools necessary to help anyone that needs or wants to move their company to the next level. Since 1948, NHLA Inspector Training School has been teaching the hardwood lumber grading rules; we have a team of National Inspectors in different areas of the US and Canada, whose sole purpose is to be ready and available to assist our industry.

NHLA has developed programs to monitor grade accuracy and observe many other areas of the lumber manufacturing process to help your company achieve the best possible products and ROI.

Let me ask you, are you taking advantage of all these assets that are sitting at your disposal?  If not, why? Contact me today; I would love to hear your challenges and help you find a way to overcome them and have your industry thrive!  I can be reached at [email protected] or 901-399-7551.