New Firewood Setup

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sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
857
Central Ohio
For the past 15 years or so that we have lived at our house I'd generally have to touch a piece of wood four to six times in order to get it from the woods and into the house. My normal routine was to cut the wood into 16" lengths in the woods, load the wood onto my tractor, dump the big stuff on the ground and stack the smaller stuff. I'd then come back later and split the stuff that was too big to stack. As wood was needed in the house I'd bring it in via wheel barrow or tractor loader. We have a walk out basement so I can drive the tractor right up to the basement door. IMHO - I was touching each piece of wood way too much.

This past spring we decided it was time for a new tractor after I almost flipped the old one twice putting out round bales. Part of the criteria of getting the new tractor was a machine that was capable of lifting at least 2,000lbs at the pivot pins. From my calculations a tote of wood weighed anywhere between 1,000 - 1,500lbs depending on the species of wood.

A few months ago I made a couple trips to a local mulch company and bought twelve totes. The price of the 270 gallon and 330 gallon totes were the same so I opted for the 330 gallon totes since I could get more wood into them. By my calculations each tote holds around 1/3 a cord of wood. I'll leave the totes open up top and then in August or so I'll put shrink wrap on six or seven totes. We only burn a few cords of wood a year.

For the few days it hasn't rained and I've been able to cut, the new system has definitely cut down on the amount of times I'm touch a piece of wood. My new routine is to grab an empty tote with the tractor and take it to the woods with me along with my splitter, cut the wood into 16" lengths, split the big stuff and put it directly into the tote. I do have be cognizant of not having a tote full or splits or rounds though. I try to mix rounds and splits as I'm loading the tote. The one major down side I do see to this setup is that I cannot easily inter mix species of wood on each tote. I like to burn different species of wood during different times of the day.

Our house has a walk out basement. Now I can just take the tote with the tractor and drop it into the basement onto some moving dollies so I can move it around the basement.

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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,805
Central Mass
A tractor can always save a couple of steps, nice system you have now. How much do those totes cost?
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,967
Woolwich nj
Good for you streamlining your opperation. Makes life alot easier.. im a firm believer in equipment..the less you handle, lift, load the better..good looking tractor BTW... l leave one or tew pices of equipment at the house here and may have 1 or 2 where im pulling wood from if its not close to the house. I grab an F550 dump to move the rounds or log lenth to the house for processing..
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
857
Central Ohio
A tractor can always save a couple of steps, nice system you have now. How much do those totes cost?
$30 a piece. Most of the ones I got were from 2018. So they should last a decent mount of time since they haven't been sitting out for a long time. The guy said he give me a break if I bought 20 at a shot. I however don't have a semi or long enough trailer to haul that many. I can get 6 at a time between my truck and livestock trailer.

Buying the twelve was a hard pill to swallow, but as I get older my time becomes more valuable to me.
 
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sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
857
Central Ohio
Good for you streamlining your opperation. Makes life alot easier.. im a firm believer in equipment..the less you handle, lift, load the better..good looking tractor BTW... l leave one or tew pices of equipment at the house here and may have 1 or 2 where im pulling wood from if its not close to the house. I grab an F550 dump to move the rounds or log lenth to the house for processing..
I should of added this to my last post. I'm lucky in the that we have a pretty decent size chunk of woods. So I've never had to leave my property to get firewood. Between EAB, some recent high wind storms, and thinning that needs to be done I have enough wood on the to last me in perpetuity. I have a buddy that uses his dump truck to haul wood with. He said he wish he would of gotten one a lot earlier.

I definitely could see this setup working for someone else that has enough of the right equipment. You could haul the totes and tractor ( skid loader / anything that has pallet fork ) on a trailer and then just load the totes up on the trailer when you are done. You'd probably need something on the other end to unload them though.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,967
Woolwich nj
I should of added this to my last post. I'm lucky in the that we have a pretty decent size chunk of woods. So I've never had to leave my property to get firewood. Between EAB, some recent high wind storms, and thinning that needs to be done I have enough wood on the to last me in perpetuity. I have a buddy that uses his dump truck to haul wood with. He said he wish he would of gotten one a lot earlier.

I definitely could see this setup working for someone else that has enough of the right equipment. You could haul the totes and tractor ( skid loader / anything that has pallet fork ) on a trailer and then just load the totes up on the trailer when you are done. You'd probably need something on the other end to unload them though.

Im on the scrounge.. im lucky that there is alot of woods and farmers around me so for many years i'v been able to grab wood. I bring my kubuta home and when scrounging around the house i can just drive the wood to the house.. I have 13 cord in log lenth at my brothers that i will be working on pulling out this January
 

Slocum

Member
Mar 30, 2018
98
North Central Indiana
Im happy for you. In the last 2 years I’ve accumulated 36 totes. I wanted enough to hold 2 years worth of wood. Which I have ended up with enough totes to hold more than 2 years of wood. Only thing is I don’t put my heavy hard wood in them. Oak and locust still get stacked and season 3 years at least. I have a 33hp kubota and a tote of locust or oak is a bit much for it. It moves them but it’s hard on it. I also built a set of 3 point hitch forks. That helped but it still labored my tractor to lift so I’ll keep lighter hard woods in the totes.
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I’m able to carry totes into my garage, that puts the wood about 20’ from our stove. I also cut the plastic tote on a angle to make a roof. Then use bailing twine to hold roof down. I did a test this past summer to see what dried the best. I had one tote with a roof on it and a tote uncovered. In September I tested the two after being out in the sun and wind all summer and the wood in the tote that was under roof was 4% less moisture that what was uncovered. It was honey locust I did the test on. I like your set up! Enjoy
 
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webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,061
Indiana
5CC6A891-E689-47AA-B075-855196501E3C.jpeg
I’ve been using the totes this season. It really saves time!
I wouldn’t bring the whole tote inside. Mice love nesting inside. A buddy of mine brought one in, after he started seeing mice pop out, it promptly went back to the patio!
 
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darktower007

Feeling the Heat
Oct 16, 2018
281
Chattanooga
What a blessing to have land and a tractor.
I live in suburbia....Houses everywhere. My neighbors think I’m nuts for cutting wood.
They are like “Gas is so cheap what’s wrong with you?” Lol
I’m like... Damit I like it.... go pound sand!
Excellent set up you have there well done!


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sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
857
Central Ohio
I’m able to carry totes into my garage, that puts the wood about 20’ from our stove. I also cut the plastic tote on a angle to make a roof. Then use bailing twine to hold roof down. I did a test this past summer to see what dried the best. I had one tote with a roof on it and a tote uncovered. In September I tested the two after being out in the sun and wind all summer and the wood in the tote that was under roof was 4% less moisture that what was uncovered. It was honey locust I did the test on. I like your set up! Enjoy
Nice setup @Slocum. I like the idea of using the plastic tote to cover the wood during the year. Unfortunately mine are long gone. My neighbor suggested putting a small tarp over each tote after I filled it but I was concerned about the wind pulling the tarp off.

I'm hoping to put a leaner on my barn this year so I can do bring the totes out of the weather in late summer, similar to what you are doing. Current barn space is too too tight to bring them inside. :(
 
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sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
857
Central Ohio
View attachment 236451
I’ve been using the totes this season. It really saves time!
I wouldn’t bring the whole tote inside. Mice love nesting inside. A buddy of mine brought one in, after he started seeing mice pop out, it promptly went back to the patio!
Didn't think about mice nesting in the totes. I'll have to check them before I bring the into the basement. I find them in my wood stacks all of the time.

How do you like your Kioti ? I looked at a DK45 but the dealer I was working with only wanted to sell me a machine that had been sitting on his lot for 2 years. Our other local dealership was clueless about them since they were new to the brand.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,425
NE Ohio
I'm hoping to put a leaner on my barn this year so I can do bring the totes out of the weather in late summer, similar to what you are doing.
Great plan. I do the same...only I use wooden racks that I built...move them around with my forklift.
I load them up with wood out of the main stacks in the spring (stacks are 3-4 yrs CSS) and then sit them out where they can get sun n wind for a nice "final drying" over the summer...its amazing, even at 3-4 years CSS, the wood height still shrinks a bit in the rack over the summer...oh, and the racks have old tin roofing over them too. Then, in the fall, while it is still hot and dry out, I move them into the wood shed for the winter...this gets the racks onto concrete also...which my little fork lift likes much better than muddy unfrozen ground! (never fails, I always need another rack right when a thaw comes)
The rack then get hauled into the attached garage as I need wood...I initially made a HD wheeled cart to roll the wood into the basement right next to the furnace...umm, yeah, big mistake. All that warmth woke up all the critter n bugs that had taken up residence in my stacks. Leaving them out in the attached, but unheated, garage works out much better.
 
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webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,061
Indiana
Didn't think about mice nesting in the totes. I'll have to check them before I bring the into the basement. I find them in my wood stacks all of the time.

How do you like your Kioti ? I looked at a DK45 but the dealer I was working with only wanted to sell me a machine that had been sitting on his lot for 2 years. Our other local dealership was clueless about them since they were new to the brand.
I can’t find anything I don’t like about it so far. It’s only got about 140 hours on it.
 
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Slocum

Member
Mar 30, 2018
98
North Central Indiana
View attachment 236451
I’ve been using the totes this season. It really saves time!
I wouldn’t bring the whole tote inside. Mice love nesting inside. A buddy of mine brought one in, after he started seeing mice pop out, it promptly went back to the patio!

I went all out on mice a few tears ago. I have 4 bait stations in my Quonset hut. 2 in my pole barn. I have them under control for the moment even though I’m surrounded by woods. I haven’t found any sign of them in my totes of wood. Just carried #5 for the season into the garage today.


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xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,334
Lackawaxen PA
Slocum, what did you make those plastic covers from. Something like that would make a nice tarp support on a running double row of wood. Currently I use a wood frame. It keeps the tarp off the wood and allows water to run off.
 

Slocum

Member
Mar 30, 2018
98
North Central Indiana
Slocum, what did you make those plastic covers from. Something like that would make a nice tarp support on a running double row of wood. Currently I use a wood frame. It keeps the tarp off the wood and allows water to run off.

They are the plastic tank that was originally inside the tote.


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Wood1Dennis

Burning Hunk
Jan 17, 2016
144
Eastern Wisconsin
Our house has a walk out basement. Now I can just take the tote with the tractor and drop it into the basement onto some moving dollies so I can move it around the basement.

Nice setup Sloeffle. Ive toyed doing something like that. I like the old tote liner roofs that slocum created. I would just have to get it to my chute and then toss is into the basement. Isn't it a pain to dig the wood out of the totes, especially when they get nearly empty?
Greetings from another Caddy owner
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
857
Central Ohio
Isn't it a pain to dig the wood out of the totes, especially when they get nearly empty?
Greetings from another Caddy owner
I cut the a portion out of the front of the tote. If you look at the last picture you can see it. Once the tote gets to about a quarter of the way full I’ve been emptying them into the wood rack in the basement. Then when the weather permits I’ll take the old tote out and bring a new one in. I like letting the tote sit in my basement for a week or so before burning it. So far, no bug or mice problems.
 
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jaoneill

Feeling the Heat
I've been experimenting with a similar system except I've been using pallets that I can move to the woodshed with a tractor. I bought a bander, which works well, but I learned not to band the wood on the pallets until I'm ready to transport them. Banded all of them as I stacked them (right off the splitter) the first year but found that the wood shrank so much that the bands were all but falling off when I tried to move them a year later; had to re-band the lot......
 
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sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
857
Central Ohio
I've been experimenting with a similar system except I've been using pallets that I can move to the woodshed with a tractor.
I can get all of the pallets I want for free so my initial thought was to use pallets. I however couldn't think of a way to build a "cage" around the pallet that would be sturdy enough to hold the wood for transport between the woods and my house. If you any pictures of your pallet setup I'd be interested to see them. I've ran out of totes ( 2 years worth of wood in the books :) ) and don't plan on making another trip to get anymore until late spring / early summer.
 
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JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,691
Wisconsin Dells, WI
That is a sweet setup. I justify my method as doubling as a free gym membership. ;lol

Thinking out loud here in terms of how many times I lift the wood from woods to furnace.

1. woods to trailer.
2. trailer to pile
3. pile to splitter
4. splitter back to trailer
5. trailer to stack
6. stack to wheel barrow (have to wheel up hill in the snow, so I do multiple wheel barrows full in order to load cart at next step)
7. wheel barrow to cart
8. cart to wood rack in basement
9. wood rack to bin to be weighed
10. bin to wood furnace

1 and 2 are done during winter cutting season. 3, 4 and 5 are done in spring when I split/stack. 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are done when ready to be burned.
 

jaoneill

Feeling the Heat
I can get all of the pallets I want for free so my initial thought was to use pallets. I however couldn't think of a way to build a "cage" around the pallet that would be sturdy enough to hold the wood for transport between the woods and my house. If you any pictures of your pallet setup I'd be interested to see them. I've ran out of totes ( 2 years worth of wood in the books :) ) and don't plan on making another trip to get anymore until late spring / early summer.
I don't have any pics but I "stick" and cut my wood 24" which makes for pretty stable criss/cross stacks, four to a pallet about 4' +/- tall with the top layer of each stack lying in the same direction. I then put a band over each side (2 stacks) and it's good to go. I have a fairly good sized woodlot and have established a few "landings" to which I skid the logs and have room to work. For the most part I transport the full pallets, six or eight at a time, on an 8'x16' flat (hay) wagon over fairly decent tractor roads so it's not like I'm bouncing and jouncing them through the woods. I generally throw what little limb wood I bother to cut into my wood trailer or the gator as I go, so that the pallets contain almost all splits that are easy to stack and relatively stable. I have actually moved not quite full (height wise) pallets around the landing without banding on occasion with no issues.
 
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jaoneill

Feeling the Heat
I can get all of the pallets I want for free so my initial thought was to use pallets. I however couldn't think of a way to build a "cage" around the pallet that would be sturdy enough to hold the wood for transport between the woods and my house. If you any pictures of your pallet setup I'd be interested to see them. I've ran out of totes ( 2 years worth of wood in the books :) ) and don't plan on making another trip to get anymore until late spring / early summer.
Try a search on here for pallet methods, there were some threads a few years back with different methods. One that I tried that was a PITA was to use 3 pallets, bottom and opposing sides, with a single band around the top. I thought the upright pallets took too much space from the wood capacity of each bottom pallet and it took time to set up each unit.
 
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sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
857
Central Ohio
That is a sweet setup. I justify my method as doubling as a free gym membership. ;lol
I don't mind the exercise one bit. But as I find myself getting older, I can't do strenuous repetitive physical tasks such as splitting and stacking wood day after day like I could ten years ago. Sitting at a computer all day for my job doesn't help much either.