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)

Weight of Firewood cord

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by ahlkey, Feb 2, 2009.

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

    ahlkey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    I am loooking to buy a new dump trailer and would like to at least estimate the total weight of a cord of seasoned firewood? I know a lot of variables exist based on actual wood splits, species, and how dry it is but it would be nice to average two full cords of hardwood per trailer load. I normally only cut hard maple, oak, white ash, and hickory. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,525
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    Better get a 10,000 lb GVW trailer if you plan on hauling 2 cord.
  3. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,301
    Loc:
    Adamant, VT 05640
    varies _tremendously_ by species of wood.

    the woods with most heat value are the heaviest (sort of like pellets- apparently, the heat value per ton is about the same no matter whether hardwood or softwood- a ton of biomass is a ton of biomass)

    data is out there on weight/ cord/ species, here's one start:

    http://www.csgnetwork.com/logweight.html
  4. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,301
    Loc:
    Adamant, VT 05640
    challenge is, then you'd better have a vehicle able to handle pulling, braking, and steering with a big trailer.... may be best to get something more modest, trailer-wise, and do more small loads
  5. ahlkey

    ahlkey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Thanks for link on weights per cord. If I use either Oak or Hard Maple for two cords it would then be around 10,500 Lbs green and once it is seasoned for a year likely under 6,000 lbs. Therefore, if the trailer weighs around 2,500 lbs I would still have a payload of about 7,500 or so with a 10,000 GVWR trailer. I have a 3500HD chevy truck Diesel with a combined GCWR of 22,000 so it appears I should be ok. Does this sound about right?
  6. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,436
    Loc:
    S/W MI
    This link gives over 50 types of wood and their weights per cord and btu properties. http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm
  7. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5,007
    Loc:
    Hamilton, IL
    with this truck and a 10K GVRW tailer I'd think you could load the trailer and the truck as full as you can and still be ok. My dad has a 2500HD diesel and my Father-in-law has a 3500HD diesel. Both could do that job. Dad also has a 1500 Diesel Ram and I think it could tow that no problem (service truck crap in back keeps him from doing more than towing.

    brake assist is nice if you can get it, but I bet you'd be ok without if you drive safely.
  8. ahlkey

    ahlkey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Somewhat surprised to see that a full cord of seasoned hardwood (ie.. OAK) would weigh around 3,700 lbs? I would of thought after it is seasoned it would weigh at least 50% less than green. Not sure if these firewood charts are based on 20% moisture levels or not? If you consider that green bolts weigh over 5,000 lbs and that a cord right after splitting would lose some volume in the stacking as well it is hard to figure. The links are very interesting but it would be nice to get any feedback based on some actual first hand experience. I guess I could run a cord of dry wood across the nearest weigh station and see what I get? Thoughts
  9. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,410
    Loc:
    northern-half of maine
    as pointed out above, you're trk will handle a 10,000lb trailer, plus throw your bed full on the trk. I wouldn't do anything of that weight without trailer brakes. Its a lot of weight. You'll basically have 3 times as much weight as what the brakes are designed for.

    You'll have about 256 cu/ft of wood on the trailer. Simple math 16ft long x 7ft wide x 2.5ft high gives you about 280cu/ft. Load balance will be important also.
  10. the_dude

    the_dude Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    298
    Loc:
    Southern WI
    Can you expand on the 1500 diesel Ram? I have never seen a 1/2 ton diesel. There has been talks for years of building them, but I am not aware that one exists???
  11. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,528
    Loc:
    USA
    I've never heard of one either... Unless it was custom built after it was purchased.




    OP,
    You might want to keep an eye on those weights, especially the trailer weight. I have a heavy duty 7x14 14k GVW dump trailer and it weighs a lot more than 2500 lbs. In fact, I'd guess it weighs somewhere around 4,200 to 4,500 empty. I can hold up to 4.5 cords in my trailer (with the side extentions), but the weight of green hardwood adds up very quickly. It takes less than a couple cords of green oak to reach my 14k GVW, and I can tell you my CTD knows there's something substantial behind it! I would suggest you look for a 14k GVW trailer if you think you'll want to load it with two cords of green hardwood since two cords of green oak is close to 11k all by itself.
  12. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,970
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Wouldn't green weight be a better standard?
  13. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,970
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Huh?
  14. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,770
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    I have both 5x8 5K single axle and 6x12 tandem 12K dumps that I pull with a 3/4 ton Suburban. The single axle weighs 1700 lbs less, has half the additional toll on the Thruway, costs much less upfront and is cheaper to register every year. It turns in tighter places and I don't think twice about leaving the safety of the driveway with it. It is much easier to load by hand especially if you do a crude stack job in the trailer to maximize your trip. The biggest advantage is that my driving habits don't change with the smaller trailer while I have to be conscious of the load with the bigger trailer. I extended the sides to go roughly to the height of my truck and my loads stack out between 3-4 face cord. A nice additional benefit is that if you use your local free mulch pile, you can back the small trailer into the pile and effectively flick a large load in 15 minutes without breaking a sweat.

    That said, the tandem hauls more, a flat isn't the end of the world and my old 2 ton Ford tractor/loader/winch fit in the back. Unless you have another purpose that justifies the bigger trailer, the cost of ownership is much lower with the smaller trailer, it is easier to use when loading by hand and it is more than capable of moving and dumping 3-4 face cord at a time.

    With either trailer, make sure that it has Load range E tires all the way around on it. Blowouts with a full load are inconvenient at best. I highly recommend using trailer brakes as they are a lot cheaper than a brake job ($600 just in parts for pads and rotors on my truck) and some members of law enforcement and an increasing number of DOT vans will ticket you for it. Most importantly, it is much safer at higher speeds and descending any kind of grade.
  15. ahlkey

    ahlkey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Thanks SolarAndWood. You make a good point about trailer size and as suggested before I may be better off making two trips if I have to. 80% of the time 1.5 cords would be more than enough. I do have another truck that would be even more suited for a 5K dump trailer. My only concern with a 5K dump trailer is if I load it with green wood with 3-4 ft sides I am likely to exceed its payload capacity. I willl look at 7K trailers as well. Thanks for your help.
  16. mikeathens

    mikeathens New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Messages:
    648
    Loc:
    Athens, Ohio
    I've seen used tandem axle dump trucks for less than you're going to have into a 5-tone trailer. Just look for a used dump truck...haul 12 tons of firewood, AND be the envy of all of your neighbors.
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,358
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    I think the on-going cost of ownership for a dump truck would out-weigh the purchase price difference.
  18. ahlkey

    ahlkey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    Thanks for all the solid feedback. I agree when you factor in the cost of insurance and upkeep on another truck the trailer option seems more viable for me right now. I also have a 4 wheel drive 1500 Avalanche so I would not want to get another vehicle at this time. I could also use the trailer on both trucks from time to time. So today I made the decision and bought a 10,400 GVWR Loadtrail Dump trailer that is 6.5 X 10, which should allow me to carry 2 cords of dry hardwood. The trailer weighs 3100 lbs and has a 14,000 hydraulic lift. I think this was a good option overall for me.
  19. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,026
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    If you want to try out that new trailer to see how it works, feel free to drop off a load at my house! :)
  20. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,525
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    Envied until you pay the insurance,tags,and license!
  21. ahlkey

    ahlkey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Wisconsin
    I should add that since I am putting this trailer on Farm status I did not pay any state sales tax and the Farm license is only $35 dollars a year. Insurance will not change from what I currntly have. Sorry Madison is a little far for me but I can't wait to try it out.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page