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scrounging just doesn't seem worth it anymore.......

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by fire_man, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Eastern Ma
    I got my free wood supply started by scrounging whatever I could, off neighbors, from the side of road, town woods, etc. but with all the painful humping and back breaking carrying (and wear on my truck) it just does not seem worth it when a grapple load gets delivered right to my door for $650. Humping even the small 12"" diameter stuff just 10 feet from the side of the road has more than once thrown out my back and sent me into pain orbit. How do you professional scroungers do it?? I know the herniated disks in my back don't help, but how do you justify all the extra work humping wood when it can be delivered fairly cheap? It just seems better to pick up the phone and place the order right to my lot. I just turned down 4 big oaks from a friend's house. One good thing about scrounging is you can be more selective in the type of wood. Oh well, I guess this 50 year old back has just caved in...

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  2. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Hamilton, IL
    if you are humping the wood, then I think you are doing it a little differently than I am, lol....
  3. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I know I am not the oldest "humper" on here but at 59 I can still do it for now and do enjoy most of it, but a bad back is a bad back so do what you can take care of your self.
  4. okotoks guy

    okotoks guy New Member

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    May 22, 2010
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    Alberta
    I scrounge from the local tree service guys and kijiji.The wood is already bucked up.
    Sometimes I can back right up to the pile,sometimes I use a cart to get the rounds
    from the backyard.I've got a fairly screwed up back as well and for me the heavy
    lifting seems to actually help it.I know that sounds off,but I think the lifting helps to
    strengthen the core muscles which helps stabilize the lower back.You probably know
    this already,but when lifting, picture trying to pull your belly button through to your
    spine.This alone will put more stress on the abdominals and less on the lower back.
  5. Capt

    Capt Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    124
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I enjoy doing it, plus it keeps me in better shape during the summer. I hate the summer time, and between scrounging and dog training, its the only other thing that gets me outside. Not that I am overweight by any means, it just keeps me more active.
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Anderson, Indiana
    I went ahead and bought one of those saw that cuts splits and stacks all in one motion if you keep the chain sharp!
  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Schenectady, NY
    My back is worth much more than any money I'd save by scrounging if I had a bad back. I don't blame you for having somebody drop the stuff off in your yard. I bet you would have been able to split in your friends yard though.

    Matt
  8. sapratt

    sapratt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
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    394
    Loc:
    Northwestern, Oh
    I got to the point that I take the saw, hammer, and wedges with me. I'm not going to pull muscles anymore. If its out by the road and its free then
    I'm going to use the easiest way I know to move the stuff. We have a saying at work. You don't get paid to hurt yourself. We're not getting paid
    to get the wood but we are saving money when we burn it.
  9. ggans

    ggans New Member

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    Dare I say it but have you ever considered Coal? $650 will buy a few ton's of it..at least..
  10. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I scrounge because I enjoy it, but I don't have a bad back. I agree that simply buying logs would save a lot of hassle and might not really cost much more if wear and tear plus even a minimal per hour rate for my time is included.
  11. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Yes! I have considered coal. But I knew a few people who use to heat with coal and they all had similar stories of messy coal dust all over the house. And I'm not sure how hard it is to get rid of the coal ash - I would not want to dump it on my property like wood ash. There are lots of heavy metals in it. I do enjoy burning wood, as long as the log-lengths get dumped 30 feet from my garage everything (cutting/splitting/stacking) becomes fun. Its humping bucked logs out of the woods or any distance to a truck that does me in.
  12. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Nothing beats the rush of a good score. Just got home with a cord plus of hardwood off a construction site. Had to buck this load up which is not the norm. Plus side is it is cut to my ideal 18. Even with the extra bucking time, I was home in 2 and half hours with a cord plus. I don't consider that a bad return on tax free time and $15 in gas.
  13. ggans

    ggans New Member

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    try this.. http://nepacrossroads.com/forum-55.html
  14. billjustbill

    billjustbill Member

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    Texas
    It sounds like you've reached the place in life that you have to choose....

    Checkout small engine repair places for engines and gear boxes to build yourself a powered loader/lifter to give your back some help. Make your loading ramps longer so loading with your new loader or a heavy-duty big wheel dolly that can help with the vertical lift and movement/placement. OR CHOOSE to just slow down a bit more and lower your expectations.

    A bargain is only a bargain if you can use it, lift it, and get it home with both the prize and the person safely.... ;>)

    Bill
  15. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I've never bought log length but around here I think it can be had for 60 bucks a cord. At that price once scrounging gets tough I'll be buying logs.
  16. Capt

    Capt Burning Hunk

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    If and when you find log length for that price, PLEASE let me know! I'd quit scrounging myself, too!
  17. ggans

    ggans New Member

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    That goes for me too...
  18. shawng111

    shawng111 Member

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    Count me in too fellas
  19. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    That says it all. I tell myself no free load of wood (even a year's worth which is 4.5 cords) is worth the excruciating agony of another back episode. The problem is my dumb brain and my weak back don't always communicate too well. I don't know I'm doing damage to myself until about 24 hours after the damage has already been done. I'm not going to look back on turning down those 4 beautiful oaks, even though I hear them calling me right now. :ahhh:
  20. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    I understand completely. For $650 I would be sold. You will still have fun with the saw and splitting etc.... and still save money on heating costs. Its $2300 to $2500 for a log load of beetle killed spruce here so I still haul my own and pay $65 a cord for log length to top up my pine scrounging. @ $5 a gallon I guess there is still a saving, but I am trying to save more. I burnt no oil last year. Good on ya for coming clean. Heating with wood isnt easy. Ya gotta have some love for it and I/my body still does. :)
  21. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    No dishonor in cutting log loads fire_man. There they are delivered to your front yard, cut 'em any time you desire. I never scrounged but agree that it would be difficult for me...we'd most likely burn coal before scrounging.
  22. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Mid Atlantic
    I'm real close to 'retirement age'. But I'm still fit enough to do it. If the back started truly bothering me, I'd stop. Can't begin to tell you how much I love and appreciate 'free'. I can't really afford a grapple load anyway. I need the exercise- really. I really enjoy the work, so far- 3 years into it. And yes, I also love the rush of finding a really good score. But no, I wouldn't pursue it to the point of ruining my health, and yes, I appreciate the dangers in harvesting and processing wood.
  23. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I'm with ya on the log length. I do the same, and I'm 50. Sure, I'll drag in some stuff off my couple wooded acres from time to time, but the bulk of my firewood gets delivered and dropped on a pile.

    Honestly, around here you can buy split and have it dumped for $135 a cord, sometimes even a bit less, and I've been saying to myself, 'self, when are you going to start buying it split?'
  24. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    I have 2 boys that have a few years then I have a good 10 years of splitters and stackers! I think I will be scrounging for a while...
  25. ChrisNJ

    ChrisNJ Feeling the Heat

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    Burlington County
    Understandable with a bad back and luckily mine is fine. In the past 2 years I have gotten a hernia and a dislocated pinky, but after 14 years sitting in a cube I thoroughly enjoy all the exercise and every little piece of free wood I gather I feel as though I am giving my propane dealer a good kick in the rear. Having said that, this past spring I did have a tree guy drop off about 1.5 cords of bucked wood for 45 bucks and considering how much easier a delivery is rather than my own gathering any other health problems would lead me to await deliveries. Actually spoke to a tree guy last winter about a delivery of rounds and he said he would deliver 3 cords of rounds since I was so close for 160. I never called him back but I think I will when I exhaust my current load of wood I need to pickup.

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