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Wood Scrounging Advice

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mbcijim, Sep 8, 2008.

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  1. mbcijim

    mbcijim Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    419
    Loc:
    Schuylkill County, Pa
    I work for a general contractor who also is a commercial and industrial real estate developer. We probably own 500 acres at the moment, and extended family of the developer probably has another 1,000 acres (all wooded).

    I've been involved in cutting, pushing, and BURNING, a 100 acres once. Probably every two months I have wood to get rid of. Sometimes, several acres.

    We routinely pay our employees or outside contractors to cut down and haul away (or burn). There is a disconect between connecting you, the log burner/user, and real estate developers (at least in Eastern Pennsylvania).

    I am sure other developers would like to connect more directly with you. We struggle to find large companies to come and clear our land. Tomorrow I am meeting with one of those companies who is finally clearing about a 1/3 of an acre. It took me 3 months longer than I wanted and probably 20 more phone calls than I wanted to. I need people like you guys.

    So here's my advice to you, the guy who needs wood:
    1. Call! I've been doing this 10 years and I don't think that I've ever had one guy call asking for firewood. How many of you have ever called a developer or contractor?
    2. Call again! In most cases, it will be difficult to keep your name on file and remember to call you. I'd rather you call every 2-3 months. The problem I will more likely have is that I can give you too much wood and you won't need any more for a few years. I don't expect you take all of it. Take what you can and don't cherry pick. Cut the next ten trees in line, not the 36" oak on the ground 200' back that's 5 years dead.
    3. Expect to organize your buddies or take a few days off. I want the wood cut, and cut soon. Most times it can't take 2 months. I need it done in 2 weeks.
    4. In my office there are 5 guys directly responsible for wood removal. I don't know if the other guy needs wood removed. You might have to call all 5 individually. Get to know all of them.
    5. Get to know company on-site superintendents. Sometimes we (the office guys) forget to take care of the wood, and the problem falls on them. They are the guys who actually cut it down if I forget to hire someone. If you show up with your truck & saw (and a case of beer to donate), most likely he'll let you have the trees.
    6. I don't want money. I want expediency. Don't get in my way. Get in, get out. Bring all your tools and don't ask to borrow ours. Haul the wood out the day you cut it. Be self sufficient. This comment is probably the most important. If you follow this comment, I guarantee you will have a lifetime supplier of free wood.
    7. Find a buddy with a tri-axle that you can give $100 to and will wait while you load it and drop it at your house. They'll haul a lot more wood than your truck & trailer. Yes you're wasting $100 in your mind. Re-read comment #6, i.e. expediency, if you want to work with us continously.

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  2. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,506
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    If I was located nearby you wouldn't have land clearing issues.
  3. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    276
    Loc:
    Lake of the Ozarks
    I commend you that your company is willing to work with people over waste wood. I can say the developer in my immediate area for Walmart (they have increased the size of the store to a new location three times) absolutely refuses access to downed wood for liability reasons even if you are willing to waive it. All they do is log it out and burn the tops. I know if they advertised on the local radio station and the ad will likely be free since they are doing a community service could get this removed over a weekend's period of time.
  4. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,506
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    They wood have to have 3 traffic cops to control the flow of pickups and trailers along with 3 or 4 referees from the WWF to make sure scroungers weren't killing each other over who gets the best wood!

    I was on a job site once after the construction crew was gone for the day doing some site grading with a dozer. I had pushed some tops into a neat/loose pile for a couple of guys who wanted the wood and had been working the pile for a couple of weeks. One of the guys had been cutting and loading while I was grading and had cut probably 20-30 too many pieces to fit in his truck and then left. I proceeded to grade around the building out of site from where he was working for about an hour. I came back into view of the pile to see the guy who had cut the wood in the middle of a heated arguement with another guy who had loaded his already cut wood. I minded my own business but kept an eye on them.At one point I thought it was going to come to blows but it didn't. Later the wood cutter told me this had been going on for quite some time. Apparently this guy had been watching from his house down the street to see when this guy drove by with a load of wood and then rushed up to the site with his truck loaded up and left before the cutter returned. The cutter got wise quick and left for a short period of time and returned still loaded to catch the thief. This guy was still REALLY PISSED when I talked to him after the fact.
  5. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    621
    Loc:
    Pocono Mountains, PA
    Check your PMs. I may be able to help a little, depending on where you are clearing.
  6. CK-1

    CK-1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    258
    Around here.. Usually once the trees are cut at the top and bottom, its stacked for the log trucks. I pass quite a few areas where the trees are awaiting pickup from these trucks..
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