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

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

  1. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    I lived in an area with black jack. Sand Spring OK, it is hard wood and tuff on the chains you can see sparks fly off of black jack when the tree is green and alive.
  2. ochosdaddy

    ochosdaddy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    Anyone in my area who invested $10,000 in a splitter to sell firewood would be caught with their pants down by the end of the year. Just not that big of a business here. Just like lawn care/landscaping, every market is different. Why do you need $100k in equipment to mow a simple lawn?
  3. birdturd9726

    birdturd9726 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    you dont need a $100k in equipment, but most of us have close to that once you add everything up, truck, trailer, mowers, trimmers, blowers, ect. most people dont realize it.
  4. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    Yea, you would end up selling the splitter after a year here for a serious loss.

    Hell, you can drive by homes in the country and they have free firewood stacked out by the main road.

    It doesn't get cool enough in GA to really use that much firewood and most people have gas fireplaces now.
  5. MLI

    MLI LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 464 long did it take you to get a customer base this large? Seems your selling about 300 cord per year?! I was thinking of craigslist and local paper. I already have the dump truck, but would need to invest in a splitter and Bobcat. Yard space to rent maybe an issue, but the landscape business could absorb the rent for now. I can see 100 cord would'nt really pay off, but think 2-300 would be worth while....hence the question of how long it takes to build that kind of customer base.
  6. birdturd9726

    birdturd9726 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    last year i cleared 800 cords. this year im expecting to do almost double. if you have been reading my other posts, i have another section of my yard that i have about 100 cubic yards of small rounds that get split into trucks daily to be delivered. My best customers that buy 4, 5 and 6 cords buy during the summer and season it themselves. This helps me with not having to store so much wood. I have been doing wood for 3 years now and i love it. if i were you, i would find a nice low-keyed location since firewood makes a lot of noise and i would invest in a good splitter. A bobcat in not necessary but it does help with moving large logs and loading trucks. I bought my first bobcat to keep up with loading trucks halfway through my first year. before that, all logs were handled by hand and with a big steel cro-bar and trucks were also loaded by hand. right now i am in search of a payloader to improve loading time and an excavator to keep my log pile neat. one main concern you may want to check into is the availability of wood by you. even 200 cords is a decent amount of wood. You need to maintain an extremely large pile of logs. once winter approaches, tree services shut down and incoming logs quickly come to a halt. no matter how messy ur operation may get at times, never stop the logs. right now in my yard i have about 40 log loaders of logs. it is a pile larger than some small industrial buildings. sit down and take a look at firewood on paper and if the numbers work and if they do give it a shot. yes, it is a lot of work, but in the end your guys will love it when they work all winter long while everyone is out on unemployment. i let my guys run my yard and they appreciate that. i rarely touch any firewood in my operation, i mainly do deliveries.

    as for the customer base question... it really depends on your area. if your in a densely populated area and home heating oil is high, then firewood will do good if people have stove and wood burning inserts. if you deliver what you tell people you will deliver and dont take cuts in your quality then your business will grow very quickly. just give them what they pay for, no more, no less. much of my business is through referrals for quality and price.
  7. esenterprise

    esenterprise LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    You definately have a big customer base. Ive been doing this for about 2 years and Im not even close to where your at
  8. newtostone

    newtostone LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 681

    what is your take on a inverted log splitter on a skid? I was thinking that might be pretty quick as I wouldn't have to get out of the machine and keep costs down as I will be selling much less than 100 cords a year. I already have a skid the space and a dump truck, so my only new cost would be the splitter for about 2 grand.
  9. birdturd9726

    birdturd9726 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

    i have never used one before so i can not really give you a good opinion. i personally dont have a splitter attachment for my skid because your burning a lot of fuel to do a little work and its not the quickest. I would recommend buying a super splitter instead. i thought about buying the attachment for the skid to bust open the big logs, but it never appealed to me enough to actually buy it.
  10. Km81

    Km81 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    In NY you cannot just cut a tree and sell it to a mill. You have to have a permit to sell to mills due the transmittal of disease.

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