John Rock Inc. adds $2 million in machinery at Pennsylvania pallet plant
February 27, 2018 | 6:52 am CST

COATESVILLE, Penn. - John Rock Inc. has invested $2 million in new machinery for its pallet manufacturing plant, one of the five largest pallet firms in the U.S. The machinery will arrive over the next 90 days. 

Bill MacCauley tells Time magazine that the accelerating U.S. economic expansion, including imports and exports, have driven a rise in demand for pallets. "When they import goods, they import 'em on a pallet." The federal corporate tax cut that took effect this year also spurred him to invest.  

"Our biggest challenge is labor," MacCauley says, which brought John Rock Inc. to raise its starting pay 10 percent, to $11 an hour, helping it compete with wages in the landscaping business, according to the February 28, 2018 issue of Time

Bill McCauley, President 
By the end of 2015, John Rock was already producing 100,000 pallets a week, according to Pallet Enterprise, magazine using five tons of nails (imported from Korea), with sawing operations generating four truckloads of sawdust daily.
McCauley took over the firm in 1997 from founder John Rock and built a highly efficient plant that opened in November 2004. "This was not just any run of the mill wooden pallet operation," says the firm. "[McCauley] took many of the processes, ideas, and philosophies that he had proved successful at his old plant and pushed them to the very edge of the envelope of high volume production. Some pallet industry leaders have described this facility as the 'Disney World' of pallet manufacturing."
 Ed Healy, Director of Operations
John Rock sources lumber at more than 75 mills, some of which it operates itself - including two in Virginia. Its access to plentiful certified sustainable Appalachian forest regions of Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland gives John Rock Inc. cost-effective opportunities for sourcing raw material unavailable elsewhere.

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Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.