The U.S. Army is working on moving procurement of hardwood decking for U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) 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.
Initial work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Lab and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Tech 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.
Producers and vendors of white oak are being asked to fill out this survey and submit to the U.S. Army to assist in the assessment of availability and costs. Surveys are due by December 28.
There is some expectation that other species of U.S. hardwoods could be included in future procurement rules if white oak is successfully integrated. The U.S. Army uses approximately one million board feet of hardwood each year.
Contact Dana Cole with the Hardwood Federation at Dana.Cole@hardwoodfederation.com with questions.