1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

The mother load

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Highbeam, Apr 27, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,800
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I posted a previous thread showing my tractor on the trailer and a truck full of red alder. I was asked about why I don't jsut load the trailer along with the tractor and also asked why even bother with the whole thing for a measly truck load of softwood. Well, the truth is that when I visit the woodlot with my tractor I do fill the truck but I also prepare a pile of cleaned logs in a nice location so that I can return with an empty trailer to pick up....... the mother load.

    These photos show more than 2.5 cords of red alder plus a little of the other mysterious white wood that is probably some sort of willow/aspen/cottonwood. I have grown quite fond of red alder as well as these other low density woods and have found that they burn pretty long and hot in my stove. I only burned 4 cords of wood this last year with all but a small portion being cottonwood so what you see in this mother load is more than half of my season's fuel.

    First photo: from the bumper of the trailer looking ahead. Lots of tops. I cut them at 36" long for transport so that I can stack them vertically for a very stable and secure load above the rail.

    Second: the side shot. The trailer is a 10,400 rated unit that weighs 2500 so I can haul 8000 lbs of wood. Since the dovetail could not be part of the boxed area, I left an equal 3' length open in front to hold the spare tire, saws, and a few logs. The center 12' holds 2 cords which according to the wood charts should be less than 8000 lbs of cargo. Just barely. The truck is a one ton and rated for 9900 lbs and weighs 7500 so 2400 lbs of cargo including tongue weight of the trailer. Well, that one ton was almost bottomed out so I shorted the load as you can see from the normal 2/3 of a cord to 0.5 by laying the last logs down. I was getting scared of the 50 mile drive home and those tires were squished a bit.

    third: The load on the ground. Throwing the 3' long logs is no treat. Neither is lifting and carrying them to the tail of the trailer.

    Yes, some of this wood is sub-prime. I believe that using the sub prime wood is superior to letting it rot in my forest.

    Oh and one final photo that will also be in the gear forum. I got to use my new toy this weekend. Quite a bit better than the poulan despite the safety chain.

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2,449
    Loc:
    Yukon Canada
    Its about time you got more wood. Looks like your stock in the background is dwindling. :lol: Seriously though, it looks like you got the wood market all locked up in your area and that Poulan deserves a rest. Nice setup/toys ect...
  3. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,646
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    I burned alder almost exclusively for 2 years. I was all free and blocks from my house. It beats the hell out of $200 per cord of anything.
  4. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,436
    Loc:
    S/W MI
    I have the 029 Farm Boss by Stihl . It has been my primary cutting saw for 20 years and have only had to replace the clutch in it in all that time. You can buy various chains for the Stihl if you really feel attached to the Poulan but I think I would use the Poulan for limbing. Any load of wood is work and when dried right it's heat. My gather is not as successful as yours right now so I would say you're doing well.
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    9,226
    Loc:
    Lake Wissota
    Nice load Highbeam. 4 cords of softwood is pretty dang good burning 24/7 all winter, is that what you average? It took me just over 3 cords of hardwood this year.
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,969
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    loading and unloading that trailer my back wouldnt be able to get of the couch for a week. (thats some big rounds )
  7. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,434
    Loc:
    Delaware, Ohio
    wOOt!!!

    Do you have helpers? Or do you have to do all the work yourself?

    I'm just curious. None of my buddies are into wood burning. My wife tries to help as much as she can, but just simply doesn't have the brute strength or endurance to help me tackle a big project like that.

    -SF
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,800
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Three cords is great. That cat just sips the wood.

    The season before last I burned for 9 months and consumed 7 cords of cottonwood. Over that summer I replaced the very bad windows and insulated the attic and floor which seems to have helped tremendously as this year I started a month later and consumption is down to 4 of softwood. Well not even four yet but I still burn almost every day. My other heat source is electric wall heaters and besides cost, they are a bit noisy and stinky when they haven't been run for a year.

    My goal is to get back to over 12 cords assuming that I will need 6 for this winter. Once I settle in to a routine I can trim back my safety margin and maybe only prepare 10 cords.

    Another project I completed this weekend, which will be known as the weekend of back torture, is to dig out a nice backyard fire pit. The pit is 4 feet across at the bottom and 5 feet at the top entirely one foot below grade. This fire pit will use up the culls plus some of the cordwood I'm sure.
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,800
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    No helpers. My girls are quite young and love to watch but those rounds are heavier than a bale of hay and triple their weight. If one were to roll onto them it would be ugly. The wife is also about the weight of one log so it's just me. I know other folks that burn but none local that do it full time. It really is a hobby and some great exercise.

    I pulled up to those 13 logs at 8am and cut them, loaded them, and left the woodlot at about 2:30. I then got home and unloaded it before dinner at 6. So each log was lifted at least three times and total wood weight was right about 9,000-10,000 based on green wood weight charts. So it was a 30,000 lb day.

    If I had stopped before unloading the wood I don't know if I would have gotten it done that day.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,969
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Thats very impresive for one person in a weekend!
  11. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,646
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA

    In Buckley? Are you serious? Man. . . I thought Buckley was a logging town.
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,800
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Buckley has natural gas service and their industry has been a huge state "school" (actually a mental institution) for many decades. We still have loggers and such but no mills anymore. I'm certain that there are folks that burn full time but they are not my buddies. Like so many other former logging towns that have another source of income, the roots are there but most of the current residents are not in the logging industry.

    We see lots of log trucks passing through. They closed the big weyerhauser mill up the road a bit further several years ago. I think our logs go to the Tacoma tideflats or maybe even Longview.
  13. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    215
    Loc:
    Niles, MI
    So I look at the wood in the pictures, and I think: "Hey, nice load, but mother load? Come on". I stumbled across about 10 cords of oak, mulberry, and a little cherry a few weeks ago. Then I saw the gazillion cords of C/S/S wood in the background, and gave myself a quick smack. It looks like you pick enough up in a few weekends to make my once in a season score look like small potatoes. Well done...
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,800
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Thanks, I have been getting a little carried away with the accumulation of firewood.

    The mother load was mostly referring to the amount of wood I was able to haul down the road with a regular SRW pickup and trailer. I got some strange looks on the road and even one city slicker asking me, sir, what kind of wood is that? This is on I-5 by the Tacoma dome, we were moving pretty slowly but still....

    I might try selling some. Maybe in winter when the going rate was over 200$. A few of those cords and I could afford to buy a new splitter!
  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,969
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Thats how I bought my 460!
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,343
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    Perhaps you didn't catch the play on words. I'm sure highbeam knows the difference between mother load and mother lode.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_lode
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page