Renting a firewood processor

Ashful Posted By Ashful, Jul 25, 2019 at 9:44 AM

  1. Ashful

    Ashful
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    When it rains, it pours. Thanks to a recent tornado, I’ve brought home roughly 6 cords in the last week, and you can’t even tell I took anything from the church property I help to manage. There must be close to 200 cords down there, and to help them get rid of the stuff, I’m committing to take 20-30 cords of it this month.

    Trouble is, I’m having to stack it in some pretty inconvenient places, as my home wood lot isn’t really set up to store 30 cords in the form of 15-foot logs. I need to get this stuff processed and stacked.

    Any advice on renting a firewood processor? I’m in southeast PA, if anyone can recommend an outfit. If not, I just need to get a good sense of what will work for me, and what questions to ask, or arrangements to make, when I call around on the hunt. Even my super-fast hot-rodded hydraulic splitter is going to be too slow, to get this volume of wood done in any reasonable time.
     
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  2. blades

    blades
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    one heck of a problem to have. I do not know about renting a processor-never seen anything listed that way- perhaps a short term lease? There is a firm not far from me that advertises processing- but I have never inquired. As the smaller ones are some what mobile that might be your option- at what cost though?
     
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  3. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Oh, they definitely rent them by the day, either with or without an operator. I need to check with a former co-worker, who rented one locally last year. I remember they were processing a similar amount of wood, with the goal to get it done in one weekend, and I think they did over 20 cords per day with one guy managing the infeed and a second managing the output. In their case, the finances of it made sense, and I suspect I could justify it as well, given the amount of wood I’m piling here.

    The one they rented lacked an input conveyor, they had to use one of their large farm tractors to set the logs onto a carriage about 6 feet off the ground, so that may not be the machine for me. But at least it’s a point of reference, and one potential source.
     
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  4. Jan Pijpelink

    Jan Pijpelink
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    https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/hvd/d/firewood-processor-sales-rentals/6928987623.html
     
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  5. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    To really keep a processor busy (to its potential capacity) it almost takes 3-4 guys...one to operate the machine, one to load logs, and one or two to assist the other guys.If your coworker did 20 cords with 2 guys they must have had almost the ideal setup all the way around.
    "Straight" logs help too...anything too crooked or large really slows things down.
    BTW, the machine we had out was a Dyna...
     
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  6. bholler

    bholler
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    I am thinking about renting one next year when I get a new load of logs in.
     
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  7. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Good info! They actually had 3 on-site, with a part-time 4th. But I believe one of the full-time three was mostly operating their traditional splitter, working the pile of stuff that wasn’t suitable for the processor. I might have misunderstood his description of their work, but that’s how I understood it.
     
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  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Be careful about hiring neighbor kids. This is unsafe work and you’ll be in a hurry. Could be financially horrible if someone gets hurt.
     
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  9. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Good point. I wasn’t planning on hiring any, but it’s still good to add, for others reading this thread.
     
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  10. Eureka

    Eureka
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    Craigslist ad here; guy will come to your location for $35/cord if you load his processor with your equipment. $50/cord if he uses his skid steer to load it.
    I’ve seen others advertise $75/hour if you load. 2 cords/ hour average.

    A processor leasing/rental outfit advertises $400/day and $1600/week for a 24’ Brute Force with conveyor. Average 2-3 cord/hour, you do all the work.
     
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  11. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Great numbers. Thanks!
     
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  12. Poindexter

    Poindexter
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    Late to the party. Are none of these logs worth milling into planks to air dry for seasoned dimension lumber later? Just asking. Now that I don't live back east, I now appreciate all the fine hard woods from back east, hard maple, hickory, ash, white oak, red oak, all very expensive to ship to Alaska for making cabinets and cutting boards. Walnut. Eastern White Pine. Apple. Cherry. Sycamore.

    I get that space is a premium at Ashful's place. Is there room at the church yard to air dry some board feet of good stuff to help pay for a new sidewalk or something in a couple years? The guys with the trailer mounted band saw mills should be going bananas.
     
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  13. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Yes, about 140-160 cords of the wood is being milled on-site by a local tall ship restoration group, and what is not useable by them for their ship (essentially all of the white oak) or scaffolding, is going to be donated by them to another local organization that restores log cabins. The 40-60 cords that have been left for me and one other guy is the “junk” that isn’t worth milling.

    Did I mention we had a “few” trees come down?
     
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  14. Poindexter

    Poindexter
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    I believe "a few" is indeed exactly what you said.
     
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  15. Woodsplitter67

    Woodsplitter67
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    So did you ever rent the processor if so how did you make out with it
     
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  16. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Not yet. If I end up doing this, it will be this fall or winter. I've been plugging away at some of it on my own splitter, in the mean time, but I'm not making a ton of progress.
     
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  17. Woodsplitter67

    Woodsplitter67
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    Id be intrested on some info on renting and how you made out
     
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  18. Ashful

    Ashful
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    A buddy rented one last year, so I already have his feedback on that. More later.
     
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  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    But your hot rod splitter is super fast! You mean there’s more to speed than just the stroke time?
     
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  20. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Nope. I can still do more with my splitter than just about anyone else with their 22-ton hydrualic. But when trying to process 10 cords in a day, you need more than a single splitter.

    I've been spending so much time on hauling, I haven't had more than an hour here or there to split. We finally have one property cleaned up to the point where the rest can sit another year, but I have a second property that I've barely started. We are talking multiple dozens of cords, here.
     
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