Thininking of jumping into the firewood biz next year. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Firewood' started by BadRancher, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,255

    I've heard it referred to as a face cord, 1/2 face cord, a truck load, and a $40 stack, it just seems to vary alot even in a small area.
  2. birdturd9726

    birdturd9726 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    if you are going to do firewood, invest in the right equipment...that pretty much what it comes down to. You cant make any money with a home depot splitter that takes 30 seconds to cycle. Need any advice just ask.

  3. ochosdaddy

    ochosdaddy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    Not worth it IMO. Been there done that. Sometimes you can make it pay ok, however more often than not it's not really worth the time and effort.

    But IF you go for it don't invest heavily into it. Gas powered hydraulic splitters are powerful, but slow. Cycle time is one thing to look into. There are faster splitters out there, but they'll cost you a lot more. You can buy decent 22 ton hydraulic splitters from farm supply stores for around the $1000 mark. You might as well buy new because used splitters are always in high demand and go for more than they're really worth. Buy a decent splitting maul too....for some logs it's actually quicker to split by hand.

    Don't go cheap on a chainsaw. Quality saws well outlast disposable offerings. No point buying a new (cheap) saw every year.

    Firewood is traditionally sold by the cord, which measures 4'tall x 8'wide x 4'deep when stacked. However, it's rare to find people selling a true cord anymore. These days sellers like to call it a "face cord" which means just the 4' tall x 8' wide measurement, or the "face" of the stack. The depth of the logs typically measure 16-18", as this is the size most fireplaces/stoves will accommodate anymore. Many people scuff at 24" logs, but then there are some that prefer them. I always cut at 18". Others sell by the truckload to beat around the cord issue. A full-sized truck can only haul a true cord of wood if it were stacked nicely. Which brings us to 1/2 cord, or a "rick." This is what I would sell. I had an 8' bed with a tool box and when just thrown in the bed and mounded above the rails, it would make around a rick. I ended selling a rick of mixed hardwood for $85 which included delivery and stacking. This price was $5 higher than what others were charging in my area. This was several years ago, and I'm sure prices have risen since then. Oak, hickory, and ash are more valuable.

    One last thing, you can't sell green wood. It's best to season it for a minimum of one full year.
  4. birdturd9726

    birdturd9726 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    i find more money in firewood than landscaping/maintenance, especially more than the residential end. I tow around almost $100k in equipment to cut a lawn for $35, then have to bill it out and wait for the money. Firewood is split, load up deliver...BAM... cash in hand. like i said, if you have the right equipment, then it becomes a breeze. FYI a $1000 splitter will not cut it. if you are thinking about going into firewood then allot yourself about $10,000 to get your hands on a good splitter
  5. MLI

    MLI LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 464

    I noticed you use a Super do you like it? Is that the machine you used to make that enormous wood pile in your pic? Been thinking for years to get into the firewood business, but lack of space to operate kills the idea. We get around $300 full cord up in Ma. delivered. Seems like good money until you pay rent for space, log slpitter, bobcat, dumptruck, fuel, labor etc.
  6. Don't cut up any logs that could be sold for lumber. A good saw log can bring as much as $1,500. Contact a local saw mill to see what they want.
  7. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,060

    Its a lot of work. In my opinion , not worth it unless you are also getting paid to cut the trees down. Again , just my opinion.
  8. birdturd9726

    birdturd9726 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    i started off with a supersplitter. i still have my supersplitter too. it is a great little splitter and Mr. McCann, the owner of supersplitter has excellent customer support, if anything breaks i have it next day. Overall for them money it is a good splitter, the only problem is that on larger pieces it kills time. I make two separate piles of rounds, one for everything under about 16" in diameter and the other everything over. The pile in the picture was made with a timberwolf tw-6. i keep the smaller pile of rounds which you cant see in the picture in another section of my yard where i use the supersplitter and split the wood directly into the truck this time of year for people who season it themselves. firewood has been good to me and i plan on continuing to expand that side of my business. This year i have a contract for wholesaling wrapped pallet, less money but alot of volume. If your wood is well priced and you can keep up with producing high volume, then you can make decent money. That picture was taken two days ago and is alot less than what i sell for the year. The only problem i have run into in the firewood industry is keeping up with the deliveries. All my deliveries are made within a 25 mile radius and i have 2 trucks running from 7:30 am to 9:00 pm in the winter.

    making money is alot of work. With the price of fuel oil, firewood has become a great business. There not too much money to be made if you have all the equipment to only do 100 cords. my opinion
  9. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,060

    Im assuming in suffolk county you are getting a premium. I pay about $225 a cord up here ( 2 pickup beds loaded even with sides)
  10. birdturd9726

    birdturd9726 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    this time of year it is $150 a cord for fresh wood. in the winter, depending on supply and demand $200 - $250 per cord for seasoned. 2 pickup beds loaded even to the sides is what i sell as a cord also. When i deliver, i load it with a loader and give 5 cubic yards.

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