Among the many products of Oregon's forests are poles and piling. These products form the basis of an industry with distinctive manufacturing and marketing processes. Based on information collected through interviews with officials of the pole and piling industry, this report describes characteristics of the industry-its major markets, marketing procedures, and industry problems. Manufacturing is traced from timber harvest, through the peeling process, storage and seasoning, and finally treatment with wood preservatives before shipment. Major customers are identified as power and communications utilities, construction contractors, and the federal government. The West Coast is the major geographical market served, with sales further east meeting with stiff competition from producers in the South. The report discusses sales procedures and methods for storage, inventory control, inspection, quality control, transportation, and product promotion. Major industry problems are described as competition from steel and concrete substitutes, decreased demand for poles because of underground installation of utilities, and possible future difficulties in obtaining raw material supplies.
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