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Problems with the industry as a whole

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by sstanis, Oct 20, 2006.

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  1. sstanis

    sstanis New Member

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    Being a wood-burner for about 3 yrs now, I know that there is a learning curve. However, no single entity can be singled out in this industry. There are so many problems and no general consensus, that is partially the reason that more people are not "burners."

    For instance, the "burner" industry as a whole does little to educate the america population on its virtues. Cannot say that I am much of a TV watcher. But it seems that every once in a while. So will see a plug on the TV, Radio, newspaper from the oil industry, coal industry, or gas industry--ie parent organization and not individual companies. They all extoll the benefits of their particular industry. Cannot say that I have seen that from the wood-burning industry. True, the US govt and other govts have a few web sites for wood-burning. But when has the govt ever been good about advertising or getting the word out.

    Moreover, a general consensus as far as education. I have a hearthstone heritage. The dealerthat I bought it from, me being a neophyte, was more than happy to answer my questions and provided good advice. They even created a little pamphlet with dos and donts that they give to their customers. This and reading this board have turned me into a successful wood-burner. Product education and knowing the needs of the customer and guiding them to the proper purchase would do alot for this industry. Education---when I lived in NJ, we would always get a little reminder from the fuel oil company or the natural gas company that it is time to schedule our annual maintence. Which for a reasonable charge, they would provide, allowing the boiler to operate in a clean, efficient, and safe manner. Cannot say that I ever got that from my stove dealer. Spoke to many people, neither have they. The un-educated and the lazy are the ones who start chimmney fires or have their stoves burning in in-efficient manners.

    Moreover, it is a problem with the wood processing industry itself. First yr cut and split my own wood. However, I am a resident physician and do not really have that much spare time, considering I work 80+hrs a week, not including a 45 minute commute each way and study time. 2nd season bought early, was delivered 2 cords of "seasoned" wood. That wood needed a bit more seasoning jsut by looking at it and feeling it. Have a barn so stored it. Even in November some of that wood was hissing at me. Figured out that placing wet wood on top of the stove does a good bit of drying (as long as someone is home to flip the pieces every once in a while).

    Ran out of wood during the season, hd to order, came home to a pile of wood with I kid you not solid chunks of ice adhered to it and covered in snow, had not snowed for the previous 2 weeks. Call back same dealer repeatedly, finally got a call back 2 days later, they said give it awhile then it should be ready to burn. I almost blew a gasket, I said: "would a fuel oil company sell a person gelled fuel and say give it awhile it might light." WOuld the utility say that your natural gas or propane should be ready to burn in a few weeks." no answer back. Then they asked me what I wanted. "i said take your wood back and give me something that burns. I did not pay 200 buck for a cord that might burn in a few weeks. they said they cannot do that, sales final. I found out alot of other dealers in the area are just the same. Did I report them to gov't weights and measures. Nope. Did I go to news media. Nope. What I did was borrow my brothers pick up, proceed over one weekend night to load it up and literally entirely cover and block the door to the place with their one cord. Left a nice note attached; "here is your folking wood." This is the same place that advertises; "we season 20ft logs for one yr and split into into the truck b/4 delivery. It is ready to burn upon delivery."

    Started odering wood from the guy up the road. he splits and seasons his for a yr. However, you have to watch he leaves his uncovered for the entire winter. so gotta buy early. Almost originally bought a pellet in the beginning. Thank God I did not. No person in the area could get pellets after December. Found out to be nationwide. Please do not give me that horse-chit excuse that b/c of Katrina no trucks available to transport. The supermarkets had trucks to stock their shelves. Home Cheapo could get deliveries. Hell, the local pizza man, got his deliveries. the other excuse, everyone ran out of wood to make pellets. Bullshit, there are soo many trees in the US. Oh, so the pellet makers only use waste wood. Well that same guy you seasons wood for a yr is a big operation. he takes trees from the trimmers, puts them into a grinder root system and all and makes mulch. Guess the inept people in the industry never figured out you could grind them more and get sawdust for pellets. Hell was reading today that a company in Texas, has a trahser like device and literally "plows" fields of mesquite to make cellulose alcohol. COuld use the same device and expend less energy to make pellets.

    Guess I could go on and on, the reason why more people and companies are not into "wood burning" Is that the industry has no general consensus or message to convey, it is poor at advertising, some are inept, poor consumer education. I was in marketing b/4 I went to med school. "find out the customers needs and then fulfill them." I do not have a need for unseasoned ice-covered wood, I don't have a need for lack of pellets to heat my house therefore the pellet stove only makes a conversational peace. I do not have a need for a dealer who cannot explain reasons for and help me figure out poor draft. I do not have a need for large amts of dead trees laying on the ground giving their stored carbon back to the atmosphere as CO2. I do not have a need who cannot educate

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  2. sstanis

    sstanis New Member

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    Oh, please do not get me started on the "health care industy". I could do on and on about that one for hours. Many doctors believe the industry is on the verge of collapse. The industry is starting to make change. However, one thing that everyone can do in that respect is while becoming involved in the health and the health of their family, please do not request the doctor perform every single test imaginable. Secondly, the best source of information who can get on the internet is from respected sources, not some naturalist bi-polar person who at 3am is ranting about how taking grape-seed extract and weekly colonic cleansing cured her of cancer.

    I read this forum every day, even during the summer and say that I have learned alot, b/c it is a respected forum and has lots of knowledgable people on it
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Welcome! Glad you decided to finally post! :)
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Last year Exxon Mobile looked into expanding into the pellet industry. We all know how they treat us as fuel customers. It might have been good at first
    the finances and backing to build mega pellet processing plants. Our shortages would have dwindled, possibly cost would have been lowered.
    Which on a short term basis is good. But getting beyond that, we are dealing with Exxon. How soon would they use their financial position to dictate the market?
    One by one the independents would be forced out of business or bought out. A whole new monopoly would arrive and dictate pricing and availability.
    We all know how they treat us now, No thanks. Wood supply is a huge concern. The Pellet mills have competition more today than in the past.
    Junk wood is being used in the lumbur industry. Chip board orienated strand boards engineered joist and trusts. Even junk wood is valuable and goes to the highest bidder.

    In New England we also have wood to electric generations plants that buy up the wood chips. You are right we waste wood Construction sites.
    too much wasted wood ends up in dumpsters. Many people spread wood chips for landscaping. There is a lot of competition for waste wood and
    no uniform delivery system. ITs not as simple as your post indicated. Could it be the pellet market is not big enough to compete with other users?

    Nobody was prepared for the aftermath of Katrina more so today. Nobody saw pellet stoves becoming Vogue. Demand outstripped supply even before the season started?

    There is no historical equilvant to look to for direction. Tomorrow all those pellet stove can fall from favor, then what happens to that new expanded pellet plant?

    We have a saying on the wall in the office your lack of planning does not necitate an emergency on our part. You dissed a guy for not supplying seasoned wood in the middle of winter? because you lacked proper planning. Come to reality wood is stored on open lots. What do you think wood wood would cost if it were stored in out building? Would I spend a half mill and sell
    for $200 a cord? A lot of wood selling are from local small dealers landscapers none have the capital to offer completely seasoned wood im Mid winter. We have a kilm dryin
    plant not far away. Dry wood $470 a cord., Real hard to regulate someone that sell 50 cords or less. But if we buy enough ahead and in the spring take the time to stack /split or cut we control our own destiny and how dry our wood is. Plus spring wood is cheaper to buy and a good amount of prime drying time is ahead.

    Finally in reply DR. This is a familly forum glad to have you aboard, but your next post tone out the expletives.
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