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Consensus - Easier to load in log length or buck up on site?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by AKSHADOW, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. AKSHADOW

    AKSHADOW Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    I've just begun my annual wood gathering for the year. I take April and May for felling, bucking, splitting, and stacking each year and I'm always trying to lighten the workload (as everyone is). So my question to everyone is: do you find it easier to load your wood in 8' sections where you cut it, or do you buck it up immediately and THEN transport it back home?

    The reason I ask is this year I thought I would leave in log lengths so that I could measure the amount im cutting easier. My Bronco holds just over a half cord in the back, but that would be neatly stacked in log lengths. But yesterday I got to thinking that loading it un-bucked, only to un-load and cut again is a waste of time. The problem being, if I bucked it up on site, I would have to neatly stack each 16" section in the back of the Bronco to "accurately" measure the wood Im cutting.

    So why not just cut it and not measure? Well, knowing how much to cut has become a source of anxiety for me. I like to do everything in "assembly line" style, and do only one "activity" until its done. I.e. - cut all the wood needed for the winter and transport to one spot. Then buck up all that wood. Then split all the wood. My reasoning is that things go faster when you don't have to keep on resetting to a new "operation".

    What do you think? Am I crazy? Thinking about it too much? What do you do?

    - Erik

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  2. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Buck to manageable sizes and load. Lighter to lift and can pack more in with less space. Of course there are variables that impact your choice like time, location, equipment, etc.
  3. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Buck up on site . . . easier to man-handle into the trailer/pick-up . . . and in my case, easier to load into the cart behind the ATV.

    No need to be anxious . . . just cut as much as you can . . . or as much as you feel like cutting before switching over to a different stage of wood processing . . . variety is the spice of life . . . and it's what makes processing wood fun for me instead of work.
    Taylor Sutherland and Trilifter7 like this.
  4. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Buck it on site, IMO. Once you're wielding the saw, it's nice to get it all done rather than pulling the saw out again, get the fuel, find your files... It's easier to cut from longer pieces without waste, as well.
  5. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I'd only cut and move around long lengths for time constraints.
    Also preferring "assembly method", but I'm also getting older and I'm finding I ache less if I switch up tasks sooner.

    Splitting rounds rolling them off the tailgate can be -convenient-.
  6. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    I dont cut, but i do scrounge a lot and lately I have been splitting at the site. Its less mess on my yard, i already have enough mess. the way i see it is, i am doing them a favor by taking the wood out of their yard for free.
    Jon1270 likes this.
  7. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    That's what I do. I might run a tank of fuel through the saw and then hope on teh splitter and split all that I cut... just mixes it up, not as boring and gives my back some relief too.

  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    8" or smaller, buck to 60".
    12" or larger, buck to 20".
    30" or larger, buck to 20", and bring a ramp.
  9. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    It comes down to your equipment, and your back.

    In my case.. I'm about done with tree length. I hauled a few down the driveway this morning while it was still frozen. I got about 2 hours of sunshine in before the top started to melt.

    Spent the rest of my time cutting to 10' logs and stacking with the forks on the loader. I'll cut to length, and split/stack on pallets in the next step.

    If I was PICKING anything up by hand prior.. I sure would be cutting it smaller. Try to lift a 10 foot log.. then lift 5 two foot pieces. I know which feat I'll be able to repeat.

    JP
  10. Hills Hoard

    Hills Hoard Minister of Fire

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    I don't keep my chainsaw in the ute so during the week anything I grab is loaded as is. On weekends I sometimes set out with the chainsaw though and will chop then because you fit more in the tub.

    I also don't like to stick around at the site too long in case someone decides to take offense to me taking the wood... if the wood is on the side of the road for example, the the law here is ambiguous......well, it clearly states you can't take it, but i don't know of anyone who has been told off for doing so as it saves the council, the roads authority and anyone else responsible from clearing the wood..
  11. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    I was loading my truck with 4' to 6' lengths and really messed up my shoulder, I don't do that any more.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Buck on site.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    The only time we did not buck on site was when we were using a buzz saw. We no longer have that saw so all bucking is done at the tree now. Splitting comes later as we split only once per year.
  14. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Dennis has it down, listen to Dennis! Cut it on site if at all possible, easier to lead and then you only have to split when you get it home. Depending on the siyuation, I'd even consider hauling the splitter to the tree location and splitting and then loading the splits, the mess and the majority of the work are done on site away from the house.

    TS
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  15. Havendalefarm

    Havendalefarm Member

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    We bucked on site for years. If just doing it for myself I can't see how anything else makes sense unless your cutting a bunch of small wood and could load the longer lengths easier. If I tried just loading long pieces I would probably get stupid and cut them the wrong length and end up with a bunch of shorties left over at the end. Always used a 16" bar for bucking to gauge the length once in a while. Wouldn't want to have to try and measure a bunch of eight footers.
    I live on a farm and have equipment so we use a winch and just skid tree length to a landing and process all wood there.
  16. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Yes, sawing it up on site is the way to go in my opinion. Many times I'll split, at least partially, on site also. My back can only take so much lifting, and if it's gotta be sawed up and split anyway....
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    I also like to cut to length on site, Big rounds I'll split at least in quarters.
    Split the rest at home.
  18. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I just do what I feel like that day. ( admitidly I have been doing logs more lately ) As for size the leftovers burn nice and give quick heat when yu need it so either way is good.

    Pete
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  19. AKSHADOW

    AKSHADOW Member

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    All good comments for sure. I think they all support my "oh...right" moment yesterday when I realized I may be making more work for myself. The only other variable is the "site" is still on my property, just not where i'd like to stack and store the wood. So for the time being, I think I'll buck where it is, and then once all of the snow has melted I'll split on site as well.
    Backwoods Savage and Pallet Pete like this.
  20. Locust Post

    Locust Post Minister of Fire

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    I've done it both ways but much prefer to buck to lenghth on site. That way I don't have to fool with the saw again, just start splitting. A few times I had to do log length because the farmer was chomping at the bit to get the land cleared and what I didn't get in a hurry was going in a pile to be set on fire.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  21. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Buck at the wood cutting site. Safer & easier for me to handle rounds than logs.
    Some big heavy rounds are rollers & rolled on the trailer.
    Wood chip mess is at the site.
    I do 3 to 4 trips then split & stack.
    I measure the stack of splits for how much wood I have.

    What do you think?
    Am I crazy? Yes, but many of us are, :)
    Thinking about it too much? Yes, but many of use do ;)
    What do you do? Fell, limb , mark the log every 17" , then skid to the trailer with an ATV then buck & load.
    Backwoods Savage and HDRock like this.
  22. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    If I had the equipment (self-loading log truck or trailer) I wouldn't do any more cutting on-site than I had to. Get in, get your loot, and get out. Tip your hat to the ladies.

    Without the right toys however, handling log length stuff gets a bit dicey.

    [​IMG]

    I'm shifting to cutting 80" poles for small diameter wood (under 6"). Then I can load the poles into my sawbuck (at home) and 4 cuts later I get 5 16" length rounds for every pole. Assuming I can get 3 6" poles per layer into a 36" stack, that's 4 cuts vs 72. :eek: The smaller the pole (diameter), the more efficient this method gets.

    Splitting on-site has it's ups and downs. Yes, you might get away with leaving the mess behind, but you also get less wood per load. The general consensus here is that wood piles expand as they go from logs, to rounds, and finally to splits. I've split away from home before but usually it's at a staging site to which we've already hauled all the rounds.
  23. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Whether this matters depends on whether volume or weight is the bottleneck in your carrying capacity, which in turn might depend on what you're cutting. Don't some trucks run out of rear springs before they run out of space, at least with something like green oak? It's been years since I owned a truck. I didn't burn wood when I had it, didn't work it hard for anything, and it was just a Ranger to begin with so I don't have a feel for what your heavier trucks can and can't do.

    I scrounge in urban areas, and the trees are almost always bucked up before I get there. I kinda wish they weren't, since the lengths are always random. I split on-site whenever possible. But, I'm not doing anything assembly-line fashion because I'm just grabbing wood as it becomes available, and there's always the danger that someone else will beat me to it. I don't think of cutting wood as a chore to be done in predictable measures, I think of it as an opportunity that knocks, for which I have to be ready. I take it for granted that I will change activities frequently, and address that inefficiency by traveling light -- no trailer or special loading equipment, just a saw, a Fiskars axe, maybe a steel wedge and small hammer, and a plastic sled. I guess wood cutting might feel very different if I had my own woodlot and just had to motivate myself to go do the work.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  24. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Depends on the situation, and all aspects of it.

    If using a trailer behind an ATV (or tractor), I make that trailer into a portable sawbuck by throwing a pallet-based sawbuck onto it, then I pile the smaller stuff on that in long lengths from where it lays when I cut it. I drive that to my 'processing/piling' site, and cut it to length right on the trailer/sawbuck.

    Everything else too big around to pile in long lengths on my sawbuck trailer gets cut to length & split right where it lands, then piled on the same trailer but this time onto a 'piling pallet'. When the pallet gets full, I drive it to my site & unload it with a FEL where it sits until it's seasoned & ready to move into my basement via the same FEL and a pallet jack. Sometimes I bypass the use of the trailer & just pile onto the pallet right on the FEL - if I can get the tractor to where the tree fell.

    That's all on our own property so there's no rush to get downed wood to my back yard - if I wasn't on our own property, I'd do whatever it took to get it to my back yard as soon as possible. That would likely mean cutting to whatever length I could (relatively) easily load into whatever I was hauling with, then finishing the bucking & doing the splitting in the back yard. If it was real big stuff, it would be split where it landed first.
  25. geoff1969

    geoff1969 Member

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    usual try to cut to lenght on site then just split it when i get home.

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