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Processing 20+ cords?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mcote, Aug 12, 2009.

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  1. mcote

    mcote New Member

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    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    I have been doing a lot of wood this spring and summer, trying to get ahead for this and next year. I have about 10 cord put up so far. A few of my neighbors have approached me and want to buy their wood from me next year, cut split, and delivered. I enjoy doing wood and want to do this and the extra income would be great. The ones I have talked with so far account for 17+ cord next year and I could probably round up another 8-10 cord in other customers. I have a 4 wheeler and heavy duty woods cart, couple of chainsaws, splitter, 12' landscape trailer, and the space to process the wood. I have access to cut about 20 cord/year and haul it home and I would probably have to buy tree length delivered for the rest. My question is, how should I best go about this? If I were to purchase a used piece of equipment to aid in this process, what is the best use of my very small budget to improved efficiency? Tractor with loader? Skid Steer? Dump trailer? Small processor? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks.

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  2. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    I think your all set up now.
    Haul wood out of woods with wheeler and cart.
    Split wood right out of cart then throw onto trailer. If you don't have a table on your splitter ,get one or build one. Will save lots of bending over.
    Haul trailer to neighbors and stack wood right where they want it. This will save extra handling and stop all quantity disputes keeping you in good relations with neighbors.
    If anything I'd get a tractor with bucket as they are very useful for other things.
    The name of the game in firewood is to touch the wood as little as possible. Keep this in mind and you will make money.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Any time you have to buy new equipment to start a business, be very careful. In addition to that, buying materials (buying tree length) makes your profit very, very small. Then how would you afford to buy more equipment or pay for the upkeep on what you have?

    In short, a firewood business always sounds like a good business or at least a nice second income. However, every time I've put a pencil to it, then it does not sound so good. I'd enjoy it but certainly wouldn't make much money by doing it....and I have all the wood I'd need so would not have to buy more. I still can't see how it would pay enough to start it. But then, I'm slow too.
  4. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Depending on your splitter set-up you might want to get a four way wedge to increase your splitting efficiency. Go to u-tube and look at some of the inventions that are out there. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROPHlijhYk4) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPrC5PS9MY8) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSCBPj3jTMA&feature=related) (I like the last one the best) Some lower end wood processors are nothing but high pressure, fast cycle hydraulic rams that force wood into inter-changeable multi blade wedges. You might be able to build one much cheaper than buy one. Log length deals in my area are not so good that I would consider buying log lengths to render into firewood for personal uses let alone sale purposes.
  5. jj3500

    jj3500 Member

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    Loc:
    Orange County, N.Y. Southeast corner.
    IMO, unless you really love busting your butt. I take into account: all the machines and all their maintenance, (big machines equals to big $ to operate), fuel you burn to operate the saws and your vehicles, wear and tear on your body itself, (bumps bruises, cuts etc).

    Like someone said above, you are really not going to make a ton of money. I think you really have to go to this on a large scale to make any money. But I could be very wrong too.
  6. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    The way I do it is I sell only what I can keep up with, all the while making sure that my own supply is years ahead. When I am out of "excess wood", I don't sell any more. I would never buy new equipment with the thought that I am going to make enough money selling wood to pay for it or make it worthwhile. I don't even own a hydraulic splitter, but split all my wood by hand with a 6# maul. My wood hauler is an ATV with a little Harbor Freight kit trailer behind it. If someone needs wood delivered, I can haul some in my old Jeep pickup. So that's it for my equipment list: 3 saws, one of which runs; a 6# maul; an ATV and little trailer; old Jeep 2wd pickup. I don't make a lot of money, selling mostly small amounts to campers, but what I do sell is all pure profit for beer or whatever. My equipment is paid for.
  7. fespo

    fespo Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    South West burbs of Chicago
    I have been selling wood for over 20 years and you don't make alot of money. I get ALL my wood from tree service companies delivered to my yard for Free. But i still have to cut it, move it , split it, sell it. You have to pay for gas , oil , chains, ete. It was good for me years ago when i was laid off in the winter and need something to do. I have about 20 - 25 cords to sell this year and IM DONE FOR EVER. I will only cut and split for my self. I sold a cord to a man tonight from Down Town Chicago for $190.00. He was very happy, he was paying 120.00 a face cord delivered and i was 190 a cord picked-up in my yard about 30 south of the city. Fespo
  8. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

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    NY
    I'm not making any big money here . Ive sold 30 cord this year and have 20 cord to go . I get payed to clear & remove them . We take the trees in 16' lengths to the yard to cut them into rounds and split them .
    I have a fire wood crew of 3 ( my sons).
    The thing is i have all the equipment to handle the wood , hauling wood is just a extra thing to do with little expense .
    Its nice to have a dump trailers & dump truck to pull them . MY skid steer is good to load long logs or moving a 1/3 of a cord of wood at a time .
    Last week we loaded 80 yards of oak/ maple rounds with the excavator.
    In the spring i split wood on site and deliver wood as the dump trailers get filled.
    I want to get a supper split log splitter so we can split faster .
    I do love my dump trailers .
    If i where you i would stay with the system you have now unless you have a different reason to tool up . John
  9. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Mukilteo,Washington
    I would keep it small to start. The best advice I can give from 31 years in the fuel business is develop a high paying customer for firewood. It does take a long time but it has paid off for me. They are out there, they want it delivered on time,clean,cut to the correct length and split well, and always a very large cord. They will call you the first few times and think your price is high. But everytime they don't buy from you and choose another supplier that rips them they will always wonder what yours could of been. They will come around sooner or later. I always say you can't supply everyone so pick the ones you want. Build it on quality. This year we are selling Madrone Oak mix for $490.00 cord, Maple $365.00, Alder/Fir 340.00. This also has a $22.00 fuel charge added to these prices plus good ol sales tax. We deliver and dump where ever the truck fits. www.nwfuel.com is our web site. Our truck has a split gate in the middle which is hinged on top and has air locks that keep it in place. We dump the cord on back and trip the switch at the next customer and then dump theirs. The picture of the truck is also on the web site. I built the truck in 1997 for $80,000 and I have 450,000 miles on it now. We sell approx. 400 cords per wood season which I declare as August thru January. This is a part time wood business which I have tried to get out of. My customers will not allow me to quit, I guess that is the downside to this type of customer. We then use the truck for landscape supply deliveries in the spring and summer so this is a way for a break from the wood. My wood is cut and split by a processor and stacked in 1/3 cord racks (4' high 8' long by the 16" length) and placed in the field for drying. When we load we pick up the rack with forklift and hook a chain on the top rail of rack and then raise the rack and tap the brakes and the rack tips over. Takes about 15 minutes for one person to load truck(2 cords) The cords are loose in the truck and my customers don't ever question the quantity so I don't have to show them stacked wood.The Super Cedar firestarters were born and financed from this firewood busi



    Thomas
  10. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    Holy Crap!!!
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Holy crap is right. If I could sell firewood for those prices I would definitely consider it!
  12. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    Mercedes and Porsche find people to buy their products. It could be as simple as asking for it.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    save your money you will know what to buy when the time comes! good grinder comes to mind
  14. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I sell oak for $150 per cord. Of course, on a much smaller scale! Half of a face cord/one sixth of a cord to campers for $25. Unlike Mercedes or Porsche, my operation is more like used Kias. An old, used, rusty Kia. Yep, that describes me. :lol:
  15. Risser09

    Risser09 New Member

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    Loc:
    Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    I pay very little to get log length hardwood delivered to my property from a nearby tree service. If I sell for $165 per cord (the going rate here for green wood), after wood cost, fluids, etc., I average a $130 profit per cord. From cutting to splitting to delivery, I average 3 hours per cord. This comes out to $43.33333 dollars per hour of work.

    My biggest benefit is not having to harvest any wood. It gets dropped where I want and is ready to be cut to rounds.
  16. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    x2!

    Maybe I'm a bit of a simpleton, but for that price, I'd expect it to be delivered stacked, covered...and then then delivery guys would make my wife and I dinner and throw in a bottle of wine and a case of beer. God bless ya if you can those prices. I'm sure your margins are much better than most..and that's gotta help.
  17. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    I buy it from guys like yourselves and I too pay top dollar for it. I can pay as much as 370.00 a cord for the Madrone Oak. My margins are no different from yours. I just choose to sell to a different customer. Ones that don't complain over a few bucks, as long as the QUALITY is there.
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