Brothers Lee and Edward Robinson started the family-owned sawmill company by sawing local timber for a wide range of applications. One of those early niches was flooring for a new mode of transportation destined to replace horse-drawn wagons: flatbed trucks.
With the demand for paper dominating the timber industry in the South, prime hardwood logs were becoming increasingly expensive and more difficult to acquire. As early as the 1940s, Lee’s son, T. Lee Robinson Sr., began searching elsewhere for hardwoods, including overseas.
Estate issues following the death of Edward Robinson led the family to sell the sawmill to Scott Paper Company. T. Lee Robinson Sr. remained with the sawmill for a few years, but he couldn’t stop thinking about the clear hardwoods that he had seen during his international travels.
OHC was established to import superior hardwoods from Southeast Asia for the transportation industry. T. Lee realized that Apitong keruing, and other tropical species were stronger, denser, longer-lasting and less expensive than the American hardwoods he previously supplied.
With a loyal, devoted and experienced manufacturing team, OHC grew into a complete flooring mill with dry kilns, a planer mill and a cut-up plant. They now import more Apitong than anyone in the United States.
Full-length trailer flooring revolutionizes the truck flooring industry. OHC uses its patent to build full-length kits with finger-jointed boards the length of the product, which dramatically simplifies the installation process by eliminating virtually all cutting and fitting for the trailer manufacturer in the production line.
Now in its third generation, OHC President Lee Robinson Jr. and VP of Sales Bill Schaffer travel to Brazil to research, inspect, and purchase tropical hardwoods like Ipé, Cumaru, Garapa, and Tigerwood for decking, porch flooring, and other outdoor living applications.
After Hurricane Katrina, transport along the river to the Stockton, AL Manufacturing Facility was forced to stop. They instead leased 88,000 sq. ft. of space to house 2.5 million board feet of hardwoods coming in from the Port of Mobile.
As the Outdoor Living division grew, OHC purchased a sales office in the midwest and leased warehouse space to service customers in northern states. In 2017, OHC moved into a larger office and warehouse to better serve its expanding Midwest business.
With the ability to custom kiln dry and machine for any hardwood application, OHC begins importing Meranti, Spanish Cedar, Sapele and Sipo for the Millwork industry, as well as Teak and Marine Grade Plywood for the Marine industry.