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Shadowrider
12-06-2005, 09:58 PM
Any tips for getting into the firewood bussiness?

TURF DOCTOR
12-14-2005, 02:22 PM
Unless there is a big market in your area,try restaurants we have done good with these.

Guthrie&Co
12-15-2005, 06:47 PM
use a chainsaw

olderthandirt
12-15-2005, 06:53 PM
use a chainsaw


ROFLMAO ........... Great advise

The landscaper
12-15-2005, 07:31 PM
Thats funny

The landscaper
12-15-2005, 07:35 PM
I don't know from experience but I hear its a lot of work for not a lot of pay off. It seems like you use so much effort and machines and time, you really can't make a ton on it. I could be wrong. Obviously some people do it and have to make some money if they keep doing it. In my area, every other house has a sign out with firewood for sale.

I will be interested to see how people do it on here though, because I have an endless amount of woods to work with.

Petr51488
12-15-2005, 11:38 PM
I sell firewood during the fall and winter. I own a wood splitter. You should invest in one of these and possibly a conveyor belt to load the wood easily.. i plan on making one myself next year.

The landscaper
12-16-2005, 10:50 AM
What kind of conveyor belt are you talking about? Like the ones used on farm for straw and hay?

I am suprised more people haven't jumped on this thread. I would have thought a lot of people on here sold fireword in the winter months.

olderthandirt
12-16-2005, 03:00 PM
What kind of conveyor belt are you talking about? Like the ones used on farm for straw and hay?

I am suprised more people haven't jumped on this thread. I would have thought a lot of people on here sold fireword in the winter months.

They do, just embarressed to admit it :waving:

rodfather
12-16-2005, 03:39 PM
I did it eons ago with a buddy of mine.

We used to load up a mason dump with sides and take it into NYC on a saturday morning. You would sell it by the bundle (5-10 pieces each). A cord of wood this way would get you about $450 or so and that was back in the early and mid 80's.

Two problems though. One, you needed to have an extra person riding shotgun with you to watch as you went into the apt. buildings to deliver. If not, you could come out and find people helping themselves to whatever they could carry away (this I found out the first time I went in alone). And two, there was always the doorman who had his hand out so you could use the freight elevator to make your deliveries.

Oh yea, a chainsaw does speed up your operation:)

The landscaper
12-16-2005, 04:19 PM
dang, I wish I could get 450 this way. I don't know exactly what its going for but I would think less than 200 for sure and prolly under 150-175.

Olderthandirt, what is it around you?

olderthandirt
12-16-2005, 05:38 PM
$100-$125...................

RonB
12-17-2005, 01:09 PM
If you are cutting wood without a request for a certain length, what is your standard cut length?

Petr51488
12-17-2005, 05:40 PM
What kind of conveyor belt are you talking about? Like the ones used on farm for straw and hay?

I am suprised more people haven't jumped on this thread. I would have thought a lot of people on here sold fireword in the winter months.

Any type of conveyor belt.. The ones for straw might be to big.. but for me.. one that would be about 2 feet wide, 12 feet long would be perfect. It would help me stack and load faster.. I would use either a small electric motor or a gas motor..

sildoc
12-17-2005, 08:40 PM
To make any money cutting firewood you have to presell it. This takes time and customers. It builds year to year.
Even preselling it you need to have a good trailer that can haul 3-5 cords on top of your 1 cord on the pickup.
Here we are getting right at 165 per cord presold.
My father and I go out and cut right at 8-10 cords in a 6 hr period + an hour drive time. Biggest thing is that you need to prescout your trees before the real cold weather sets in. Make sure you have good dead snags.
One of our other bonuses is that we do alot of thinning in the winter to keep in shape. Alot of time we stack and let season for a year on thinning we do and come back the next year and haul off for sale.
There is money in fire wood but you need to know what your costs and market is.

sildoc
12-17-2005, 08:54 PM
To make any money cutting firewood you have to presell it. This takes time and customers. It builds year to year.
Even preselling it you need to have a good trailer that can haul 3-5 cords on top of your 1 cord on the pickup.
Here we are getting right at 165 per cord presold.
My father and I go out and cut right at 8-10 cords in a 6 hr period + an hour drive time. Biggest thing is that you need to prescout your trees before the real cold weather sets in. Make sure you have good dead snags.
One of our other bonuses is that we do alot of thinning in the winter to keep in shape. Alot of time we stack and let season for a year on thinning we do and come back the next year and haul off for sale.
There is money in fire wood but you need to know what your costs and market is.

LwnmwrMan22
12-24-2005, 01:48 AM
Next year will be my 11th year selling wood.

It's alot of work for not very much pay.

I've got about $70k in equipment to do it.

This year we're stacking all of our wood on collapsable pallets so that when we deliver next fall, the wood is already stacked and we can pull the wood off the trailer with a 4-wheel and all-terrain pallet jack.

We can deliver (12) 4'x8'x16" loads in one trip to Minneapolis / St. Paul, each being about $125 + extra for restacking, if the customer doesn't want it left on the pallet.

Those 12 loads can be dropped off in about 5-6 hours, depending on the drive time inbetween each, when people are home, etc.

Just like with lawn care, you have to become very mechanized if you're going to do any amount of wood by yourself, or you're just not going to last.

I only sell oak firewood, which I get for free, I just have to go cut it myself.

Hopefully in 2-3 years I'll have a kiln so I can dry the wood in 10-14 days.

Petr51488
12-26-2005, 12:42 PM
I only sell oak firewood, which I get for free, I just have to go cut it myself.

Hopefully in 2-3 years I'll have a kiln so I can dry the wood in 10-14 days.


They make the kiln's that can do that? How much do they go for? Is there a websight for something like that?

muddstopper
12-26-2005, 05:36 PM
I don't know if you can actually buy a kiln for drying firewood but it wouldn't be hard to make. Most of the homeowner plans for lumber kilns are nothing more than metal leanto's. I don't have the correct angles, you will have to look that up, but basically you frame up a leanto shed and cover it with tin. You leave an uncovered space at the bottom and an opening at the top. You make the leanto with doors so that you can place the lumber, or in your case firewood, inside and then close the doors. the convection of the heat rising inside the kiln sucks fresh air thru the opening in the bottom an circulates it around and thru the wood inside, exiting out the top. the air rising thru the structure will pull the moisture out of the wood, drying it to a seasoned condition. From what I have read, it doesn't take all that long to complete the process. I suppose you could add heat or fans to the structure to speed things along. I also suspect that you could use plastic instead of tin to keep cost down.

Signature Landscaping1
12-26-2005, 08:56 PM
Ive been selling oak firewood with my dad for about 4 years now, we started out with a conveyor, now we have a kubota tractor loader, its way better than the conveyor, faster and easier. and we also have a splitter, and a bunch of chainsaws, it always helps to have a splitter.

LwnmwrMan22
12-27-2005, 12:47 AM
They make the kiln's that can do that? How much do they go for? Is there a websight for something like that?

No, you don't use a metal leanto.

You buy an old shipping container, like the ones that they use for ocean-going vessels.

Alot of Wal-Marts or other large box stores use them now for storage behind the stores.

They're about 40' long and 8' wide, and can fit about 20 pallets of wood in them.

Then you use a air circulating fan and some venting fans on the top.

Here's an article that might be of some interest as well....

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrn/fplrn254.pdf

You need to get the moisture out.

If done right, maybe with some heat, you can turn your wood over in about 5 days, rather than letting it just sit for 6 months - 2 years.

LwnmwrMan22
12-27-2005, 12:55 AM
If you want the actual kiln....

http://www.firewoodkiln.com/

Petr51488
12-27-2005, 06:00 PM
Thanks, My dad works on tractor trailers and can get me one of them containers but the location of where i live just wont permit that. Im better off stacking it and tarping it. And i wouldn't pay no 15000 for a kiln.

muddstopper
12-27-2005, 09:19 PM
I think the $15000 price tag is a little steep also. You can buy those containers for $1000-$2000 depending on type and size. Of course you still have to know how to get the right air circulation and vent properly or you just end up with a storage shed.

Here is a links to the lean to design I have seen in other places.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/library/1982_July_August/A_Homemade_Solar_Lumber_Kiln

This is Woodmizers lean to lumber kiln. don't know the price of this one. it should be easily adaptable to fire wood.

http://www.woodmizer.com/en/secondary/kilns/solar.aspx

LwnmwrMan22
12-27-2005, 11:00 PM
I think the $15000 price tag is a little steep also. You can buy those containers for $1000-$2000 depending on type and size. Of course you still have to know how to get the right air circulation and vent properly or you just end up with a storage shed.

Here is a links to the lean to design I have seen in other places.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/library/1982_July_August/A_Homemade_Solar_Lumber_Kiln

This is Woodmizers lean to lumber kiln. don't know the price of this one. it should be easily adaptable to fire wood.

http://www.woodmizer.com/en/secondary/kilns/solar.aspx


Yes, you all are right, that $15k might be a little steep. However, on my end of it, I think it's reasonable.

After all, the processor I bought last year was just over $43k.

The links to the "home-made" kiln, it says that it takes up to, possibly more to dry the wood.

With the $15k kiln, it takes 2-6 days.

Now I will agree that there's costs with the $15k kiln to get the heat and such, but if you're doing tree work, there's usually scrub trees that people don't want to burn in their fireplace anyways, that you could use to run the kiln.

Yes, it's expensive for $15k to dry wood, but look at it as you're trying to mow 80 acres with a 21" push mower because you don't want to spend the $10k+ on a zero turn mower.

If you can turn your wood, that means that you need that much less land to use the wood.

That means that you could drop a tree one week, the next week sell it, not leave the wood laying around taking up space for a year or two.

muddstopper
12-28-2005, 09:59 PM
If i had $43 grand in a processor, I would probably be thinking along the same lines you are. I have cut wood all my life, had my own log truck before I had a drivers license. I never liked fooling with firewood, to much work and not enough money. Of course back then we used a go-devil to split with. We would sell the logs and just leave the limbs and such. Since we cut year round, we always had good seasoned wood laying, still in the woods, that we would just go cut up. You would be surprised how fast a tree top would cure out with the leaves drawing moisture from the wood. For your operation and the volume of wood you are handling, one of those container kilns might be the answer. For someone that just sells firewood as extra income, the lean-to kiln or even air drying might suffice.

I have considered getting back into selling "some" firewood. I see all the trees left to rot by developers that can be had for the asking, might even get paid to clean them up. With heating prices getting higher, I think the firewood market might be pretty good and getting better. We used to get $30 for a rounded up long bed pickup load. Guess you can tell its been a while since I sold any wood.

LwnmwrMan22
12-28-2005, 10:08 PM
If i had $43 grand in a processor, I would probably be thinking along the same lines you are. I have cut wood all my life, had my own log truck before I had a drivers license. I never liked fooling with firewood, to much work and not enough money. Of course back then we used a go-devil to split with. We would sell the logs and just leave the limbs and such. Since we cut year round, we always had good seasoned wood laying, still in the woods, that we would just go cut up. You would be surprised how fast a tree top would cure out with the leaves drawing moisture from the wood. For your operation and the volume of wood you are handling, one of those container kilns might be the answer. For someone that just sells firewood as extra income, the lean-to kiln or even air drying might suffice.

I have considered getting back into selling "some" firewood. I see all the trees left to rot by developers that can be had for the asking, might even get paid to clean them up. With heating prices getting higher, I think the firewood market might be pretty good and getting better. We used to get $30 for a rounded up long bed pickup load. Guess you can tell its been a while since I sold any wood.


Yes, I agree, that it's all about volume, and much like any other line of work in this industry, location.

Within the last 4 years, we've seen wood jump from $300 / full cord (4' x 4' x 8') delivered and stacked to just under $500 for the same thing.

People here are paying almost $100 for a stack of wood 4' x 4' x 16" if you'll deliver and stack it.

This year we're making racks on pallets and am limiting ourselves to customers that will take a 4'x8'x16" volume of wood, left on the pallet.

It'll be $135 delivered. If they want it taken off of the pallet and stacked somewhere else, and extra $50. If they want to stack it someplace else themselves, then we'll just throw the wood off next to the driveway.

I'm doing this so in about 4-5-6 years I can have it all set up for a kiln.

I'm trying to build the firewood business to a turn key operation with about 5-600 customers / year, and then sell it for $200k or so, that's the plan anyways.

AssuredServicesCo
12-31-2005, 12:08 AM
Down here in Texas it doesn't get that cold so when it does we would go out on the side of the interstate and park with a flatbed full of firewood. We found people were inpulsive and would stop and buy. I agree you sell more by the stack and most poeple who are just stopping to grab a few sticks only want a few pieces anyway. I is alot of work to obtain and split the wood. You can of course buy a cord from a firewood woodyard and resell it as stacks if you can't do splitting. Alot of tree companies have mountains of split wood...you just have to make sure it's suitable for firewood. Down here we use Live Oak and Pecan since it's so plentiful.

newz7151
12-31-2005, 12:43 AM
Down here we use Live Oak and Pecan since it's so plentiful.

Wow, you're jsut wasting pecan if you are burning it in a fireplace.. Sell it to the BBQ places that do their own cooking

northwest lawn
05-05-2006, 11:01 PM
what type of firewood processor did you buy.....im looking into getting one. just curious to know the brand and style that you bought and how you like it.

ripple
05-06-2006, 07:16 PM
Trying to get a cord or so everyother day. Split and stack now for next winter...

golfguy
05-07-2006, 12:52 AM
Assuming you have a pickup truck already your in business for 500-1000 dollars depending on what saw you decide to purchase.

Locate a woods that was recently logged, ask for permission to cut up the tops, take your saw and your axe and cut.

1 face cord equals 12" wide, 4 feet high and 8 feet long. It is easily attainable to fit 2 face cords on a fullsize pickup as long as you pack the sides and corners well.

It is important to identify your wood. People do not want a load of Poplar showing up at there door. It is also imporatnt to know which wood requires which time to dry. Delivering wet wood is a no no.

Never deliver wood with insects like grubs or ants and never deliver wood with rot in it.

Contrary to what some beliefs are here, there is decent money to be had in wood. Take a modest 4 cords a day (easily attainable by 1 person) a modest price (50 dollars a cord) and a modest 5 day work week (260 days a year) you will find your total to be $52,000.

Not a bad some of money for mainly cash deals, little start up money and no overhead!

DVS Hardscaper
05-07-2006, 09:39 PM
Personally, I do not believe in taking tree tops after harvesting of timber. Yes, I do process the tree tops, but I find that simply cutting DEAD timber to be far more productive. If you can find land owners that have STANDING DEAD timber, then thats the route I recommend you go. For the record - more people get killed falling dead timber than falling green timber, as the saw vibrations cause rotten limbs to break off and fall. SO be very alert, and be very carefull when cutting standing dead timber.

I use a skid steer with forks to get the timber out of the woods. Very productive for me. I cut the timber to 14' lengths for hauling on dump truck (see pic). In the pic, there is approx 2.5 - 3 cords of wood that will be yielded.

I also have a John Deere compact utility tractor with a log splittel mounted to the 3 point hitch, which runs off the tractor's hydraulic system.


http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y212/ScapeItWS6360CJ7/97c116cb.jpg

B2E
06-06-2006, 07:46 PM
Wow, there are serious amounts of money being used here!
I have not sold wood for a few years now, but do plan to do it again this year. I will try to cut a load or so each week when I start later this summer, most of what I sell is Red Oak, look at it cross and it will split. Dead straight grain. But also include White Oak and Hickory, if I find a dead one.
All we have ever used is a truck, a trailer, chainsaws, splitter and yes believe it or not a pole ax, sledge hammer and wedges. Splitter only recently made its arrival.
Used to get off work at 8am go to the farm cut a pick up load, split it and be in bed by 11am. Deliver it in the evening. Will be between 75 & 100 dollars load.
Use it for extra Christmas money.