Securing a truck load of logs

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,601
Downeast Maine
Buying logs is a bit of a regional deal, so I'm hoping to hear from some more of our Maine residents. Our property is short on maple and other good fuel hardwoods, and I don't want to cut down any living maple or birch just to burn them. My "hay dealer" was able to turn around his 25'+ gooseneck on my driveway, so I'm betting we could get a good size truck up to our property. I have a tractor with loader, grapple, and skidding winch so moving logs is not an issue. Should I contact the local logging company and see what they say? I am certainly not from here and worry that I'll get the "from away" pricing if I call the smaller logging companies around.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,115
Northern NH
Buying logs is a bit of a regional deal, so I'm hoping to hear from some more of our Maine residents. Our property is short on maple and other good fuel hardwoods, and I don't want to cut down any living maple or birch just to burn them. My "hay dealer" was able to turn around his 25'+ gooseneck on my driveway, so I'm betting we could get a good size truck up to our property. I have a tractor with loader, grapple, and skidding winch so moving logs is not an issue. Should I contact the local logging company and see what they say? I am certainly not from here and worry that I'll get the "from away" pricing if I call the smaller logging companies around.
Ideally you show up at one of their job sites where they are cutting and you offer to buy a load delivered and pay cash when its delivered. Just make sure its an easy delivery, No mud, no powerlines with clear spot to unload. I some cases the entire job is contractors. If your road is posted in the spring you need to let them know and that may cut down on their level of interest.
 
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velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,040
Sand Lake, NY
I'm pretty sure my log guy gets the ones the mills don't want, and he still gets a pretty penny. Someone told me about him, but they advertise in the local weekly called, oddly, "The Advertiser".
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
790
Massachusetts
TLDR - Look up all the local tree services and logging companies within a radius. Make a spreadsheet and start calling. If you see guys cutting on the side of the road don't be shy...pull over and ask what's happening with the wood. Have cash ready. You'll be surprised that some of them just want to dump the wood and make some extra $$ versus the usual rate at the mills etc or be happy to help a local burner.

My log sourcing story:

Not from Maine but I buy my firewood in the form of bulk logs. I think its the best way for folks without massive acreage to harvest or those who simply want to eliminate the dangers and work load of felling trees.

I live in suburban MA and there are TONS of tree companies within 15 miles of me...over 20 of them in fact. I made a little spreadsheet of the companies and started calling the closest ones first. I called the big ones and the smaller mom and pop places and kept track of the responses. Tree guys don't always answer or call back...they have tons of local work and may not want to be bothered with little old me after logs.

After calling 10 or so I got a hit on a guy next town over. He delivers me a trailer full of hardwood yard tree logs, which is about 1.5 to 2 cords worth, for $100. It's typically 80% red maple with some oak, ash, and cherry mixed in. Pretty good. My son lovingly calls this up "Tree Guy Ed" lol. I'm Tree Guy Daddy.

I was after more logs earlier this year and Tree Guy Ed wasn't getting back to me so I hit the spreadsheet again and called the next closest 10-15 companies and I got another hit, next own over again but the opposite direction. This is "Tree Guy Jason". He delivers me a full logging truck load of hardwood logs, which is about 5 cords, for $400 next day. Said he'll give me as many loads as I want...even offered me 5 loads for $1,000! Great deal but I live on 1 acre in the suburbs and am 1 guy doing the work what would I do with 25 cords lol.

Fast forward about 2 weeks after I hook up with Tree Guy Jason and I'm finishing processing the giant load of logs into rounds/starting splitting and Tree Guy Ed calls me saying he has a load of primo maple. Yikes! My driveway is literally chock full of wood. I spoke to the wife and she said what's 2 more cords soooo I made room lol. Had 7 cords in the driveway at once! Still working on it. Have about 3 cords left in rounds stacked in the driveway waiting to split when the snow melts. Been non stop snow lately.

So now when we go out back to get wood my son asks if that particular batch is from Tree Guy Ed or Jason. Its important info at 5 years old! ;lol
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,369
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I wouldn't bother hitting up any local tree services or checking in with folks cutting alongside the roads or power lines. Local tree services often keep the wood for themselves to sell or just leave the wood for the landowner since 9 times out of 10 the landowner either burns wood or has a buddy who burns wood. Around here not too many places charge for wood disposal so getting rid of the wood isn't usually an issue.

I personally would ask around at the local saw dealership or similar places . . . chances are they'll know a few local loggers -- either independent or working for a small operator. Call them up and ask them the cash price.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,601
Downeast Maine
I wouldn't bother hitting up any local tree services or checking in with folks cutting alongside the roads or power lines. Local tree services often keep the wood for themselves to sell or just leave the wood for the landowner since 9 times out of 10 the landowner either burns wood or has a buddy who burns wood. Around here not too many places charge for wood disposal so getting rid of the wood isn't usually an issue.

I personally would ask around at the local saw dealership or similar places . . . chances are they'll know a few local loggers -- either independent or working for a small operator. Call them up and ask them the cash price.
Local saw dealer is also a logging company and usually has a stack of logs staged next to the building. I thought they might end up being my only lead.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
790
Massachusetts
Was at the local Lowes today and saw some kiln dried firewood pricing...$7.37 for 0.6 cu ft. Yikes, thats a whopping $1,572.27 a cord!

20210216_115940.jpg
 

MMH

Feeling the Heat
Jan 21, 2019
337
NV
Not in your neck of the woods, but I’d agree with everyone in here. Do some homework and make some calls. One thing I’ll add that I think is important is mentioning that your interested (assuming you are etc) in building/maintaining a relationship, I think this makes your supplier more interested. My last truck load is from out of state, and he has been delivering to the area for years, it’s a few hundred miles one way for him. Also tree companies, some keep it as others said but some don’t and are more than excited to give you the wood as that’s less cost for them in the end.
 
Dec 2, 2018
39
Maine
My father still gets full trucks delivered but he is too far south from you around Augusta/Rockland area. Keep searching and keep asking you will stumble on someone good.
 

logfarmer

Burning Hunk
Oct 25, 2015
208
Ohio
I would like to have a truck load of logs delivered myself, there is one saw mill 10 miles west of me. I’ve just never asked anyone yet. All our local tree company’s keep the wood and sell it at a premium price but it’s never seasoned!
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,601
Downeast Maine
Mills usually pick up loads of spruce, pine, and/or fir, unless it is a specialty mill that is making flooring or furniture grade lumber.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,369
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Mills usually pick up loads of spruce, pine, and/or fir, unless it is a specialty mill that is making flooring or furniture grade lumber.
If you ever make it over this way I know Peavey Manufacturing at one time would sell mill ends and scraps -- pretty sure it was all ash . . . but of course that is not what you are looking for.

An alternative to the saw shop would be to ask around town at the local general store in town if you have one . . .
 

logfarmer

Burning Hunk
Oct 25, 2015
208
Ohio
The saw mill make have scraps available for free. Worth checking out.
The mill uses hard woods, they make big bundles of the scraps and sell them for $30/bundle last I knew. I bought 2 bundles the yr we bought our place and it made one cord believe it or not, and the price at the time was $15/bundle. But he never has any available...
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,503
Northern Maine
FYI the price of harvesting permits went up a fair amount to the wood cutters and we all know what runs downhill.
Best bet is to call a few places but if you get too far outside the local area the log trucks don't run on free.
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,784
NNJ

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
396
California redwood coast
The other coast from Maine so not an option for you, but if the delivery cost is minimal, this is tempting me:
Screenshot_20210220-194913_craigslist.jpg
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,115
Northern NH
The other coast from Maine so not an option for you, but if the delivery cost is minimal, this is tempting me: View attachment 275033
Funny, that sounds like the area where the biomass plant I worked on several years ago was getting all the free Tan Oak they wanted for free by the truckload.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,601
Downeast Maine
Funny, that sounds like the area where the biomass plant I worked on several years ago was getting all the free Tan Oak they wanted for free by the truckload.
Do you know if "Stored Solar" biomass plant here in Whitneyville is operational? About a week ago it smelled very strongly like a paper mill in the Machias Valley. Right before the big ice storm and right after.

A truck load of some kind of oak would be wonderful, but we have all the fir logs wee need!
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,115
Northern NH
I think tan oak is regarded as a trash tree out west. I dont think it like east coast oak.

Stored Solar owns lot of plants in Maine and more recently in NH. I dont know which plants they are running these days. Some of them only run in the winter when the power demand is high and hydro is less available. ISO has real time status of the all the plants connected to the grid but that info is not public as I think whether or not a plant is operating can be a competitive issue. My guess is some biomass plants are in standby mode meaning they have a skeleton staff and could run while others are just shut down waiting for a buyer or partially stripped out waiting for scrap prices to go up. Google Earth images are few year old in a lot of Maine but as of 2016, the plant in Sherman Mill Maine still looks like its all there despite being shut down for at least 10 years and the Greenville steam plant still looks like its mostly there but major parts and pieces could be missing from both. The Sherman Mills plant is a "Cadillac" of a design the nicest one I have seen but its on the New Brunswick Grid not the New England grid so its not worth running unless someone puts in 13 miles of cables to tie it to the New England Grid.

The plants slowly deteriorate if they are not run, there are techniques to delay the inevitable but at some point they slowly turn into lots of valuable scrap. Years ago one of the biomass plants at the Maine Wood Pellets plant in Athens got moved to Old Town instead of scrapping it.

The big omnibus budget bill that passed in January had a declaration that biomass power is considered renewable, some state likeMass do not regard it as renewable. With the new Clean Power Plan kicking in my guess is these plants may get a new lease on life but like everything else to do with power, the politics weigh heavily into the mix. I dont see another biomass "bubble" like the one that happened 10 years ago where there were extremely attractive incentives to build biomass plants but who knows.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,601
Downeast Maine
I think tan oak is regarded as a trash tree out west. I dont think it like east coast oak.

Stored Solar owns lot of plants in Maine and more recently in NH. I dont know which plants they are running these days. Some of them only run in the winter when the power demand is high and hydro is less available. ISO has real time status of the all the plants connected to the grid but that info is not public as I think whether or not a plant is operating can be a competitive issue. My guess is some biomass plants are in standby mode meaning they have a skeleton staff and could run while others are just shut down waiting for a buyer or partially stripped out waiting for scrap prices to go up. Google Earth images are few year old in a lot of Maine but as of 2016, the plant in Sherman Mill Maine still looks like its all there despite being shut down for at least 10 years and the Greenville steam plant still looks like its mostly there but major parts and pieces could be missing from both. The Sherman Mills plant is a "Cadillac" of a design the nicest one I have seen but its on the New Brunswick Grid not the New England grid so its not worth running unless someone puts in 13 miles of cables to tie it to the New England Grid.

The plants slowly deteriorate if they are not run, there are techniques to delay the inevitable but at some point they slowly turn into lots of valuable scrap. Years ago one of the biomass plants at the Maine Wood Pellets plant in Athens got moved to Old Town instead of scrapping it.

The big omnibus budget bill that passed in January had a declaration that biomass power is considered renewable, some state likeMass do not regard it as renewable. With the new Clean Power Plan kicking in my guess is these plants may get a new lease on life but like everything else to do with power, the politics weigh heavily into the mix. I dont see another biomass "bubble" like the one that happened 10 years ago where there were extremely attractive incentives to build biomass plants but who knows.
The website is a bit overwhelming. Is there a way to get a map of just Maine?
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,503
Northern Maine
It was a sad day when the Greenville plant shut down. Before the final death I heard they were burning carpet scraps but don't know for fact.
I'm not even sure if the stacks remain as I never have a need to go into the industrial park. It was a great landmark for night navigation on the lake when snowmobiling home.