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General Forestry => Forestry and Logging => Topic started by: Busybeaver on July 08, 2018, 10:56:06 AM

Title: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 08, 2018, 10:56:06 AM
We are considering buying a small truck to haul logs. We are new to this but have already made a few deals and are quickly realising how expensive it is to hire a truck. Not looking to spend a bunch of cash at this point but need something to haul with 2 or 3 times a month.i wanted to get some opinions on options. We are looking at something like this. What do you guys think? Thanks
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: barbender on July 08, 2018, 11:20:50 AM
There's a reason it's expensive to hire a truck.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 08, 2018, 11:26:26 AM
Barbender. There are lots of reasons why its expensive to hire a truck.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Dave Shepard on July 08, 2018, 11:30:35 AM
It's about $60/1000 International here for trucking. It would take a long time to pay that truck off, plus the added expenses plus you aren't running the mill if you are trucking. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: sawguy21 on July 08, 2018, 11:44:31 AM
That is a lot of money tied up in a piece of equipment that will get used infrequently. Then there is licence, insurance, maintenance to consider pllus the driver(s) need for a cdl. I can't see making it pay.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Southside logger on July 08, 2018, 11:45:03 AM
Owning a truck gets more expensive every year, using it two or three times a month is a guaranteed way to loose money.  One DOT ticket or significant break down and you could be looking at loosing a LOT of money.  Older log trucks are DOT magnets.  Focus on finding ways to increase your profit margin at the mill to off set the cost of trucking.  
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 08, 2018, 11:48:27 AM
Owning a log truck is expensive.  Insurance, plates, tires, lights, brakes, inspections, fuel, etc. to haul two or three loads a month....  Hire trucking :)
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 08, 2018, 11:51:49 AM
I appreciate the feedback. I have a driver that would be driving for free. My uncle is a retired driver but still maintains his licensing and runs a load here and there. Unfortunately he sold his truck a couple years ago when he retired.  So driver is free, he is the one that suggested getting a truck and he would make runs for us. We are just getting started and in our first month we will have paid a company 1400 dollars for trucking. We have 1200 acres we will start select cutting this fall and the trucking cost will grow a lot. I have already talked to two logging crews and think I have decided which one to go with. At the rate we are going i wouldn't think it would take long at all to pay for a 20,000 dollar truck. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 08, 2018, 11:54:33 AM
It's not the $20,000.00 initial investment it's the costs to put it on and keep it on the road.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 08, 2018, 12:10:51 PM
Buzz Martin had it right when he wrote this. (
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Dave Shepard on July 08, 2018, 12:14:29 PM
That's a different scenario from two or three times a month. It's still probably cheaper to hire, as long as you can get reliable trucking. How much is it going to cost to get that truck ready for inspection? To keep tires on it? Fuel? This may be off, only you can tell, but I'm going to guess that truck might cost you $40,000 in the first year. That's purchase price,  tax, title,  registration, insurance, fuel and whatever else it might need fo stay legit. That may not be an issue if you spread that over say five years of reliable service. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 08, 2018, 12:15:22 PM (
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 08, 2018, 12:34:11 PM
Corley, I realise that . We have friends of the family that have been in this business since the 70s . My friend has a large railroad salvage company and spent 400,000k on his last truck.  He went from about nothing to over 6 million in equipment in 25 years. I'm kind of surprised at the opinions I'm getting on here. Every one local I talk to tells me freight is what kills you and a truck should be priority number 1 for me. I realise I am new but I know people that have started where I'm at and now have multiple trucks , mills and their own logging crews. These guys are the ones guiding me.  Introducing me to their connections in the industry. These are the footsteps I am trying to follow. I have big aspirations and even bigger dreams. That truck I posted on here was sent to me by a family friend that has been in business for 35 years, owns multiple mills, trucks and logging crews. He thought it would be a good place for us to start. I was hoping to get some different opinions on types of trucks and other options here. I respect all of your opinions and I definitely see your point of view. I guess what I'm trying to say is it's not a matter of if we are getting a truck it's what kind of truck and how much to spend.  
Dave two or three times a month is what we need right now in our infancy. We have big plans for the future and are being pushed to grow rapidly on mutiple fronts.  The exact words that were told to me was the door is wide open and I'm gonna kick your but right through it and make sure you hit the ground running. When we started I wanted to have a nice little retail place and become a yellowhammer but the people I know are really pushing me the other way towards the wholesale production market. I have a lunch meeting on Thursday with a mill owner from up north that heard about us from a wholesale buyer. He has been in business for 20 years and wants to talk to me about investing in our business. His exact words were I would kill for your location and he has been looking at property in this area to setup a second operation. These aren't woodmizer types of guys these are send out 5 or 6 semi load a day kind of guys. Wether I like it or not I've been thrust into this industry and am being pushed from every direction.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mike_belben on July 08, 2018, 12:51:24 PM
A mill without logs might as well be shut down a few days for the sawyer to go put on his loggin britches.  If you ever hire help youll need to provide them a job every day.  An unplanned 5 day shutdown will ensure they find more stable employment. So i think part time sawing and part time logging to keep your full timers around is wise practice.  The 135yr old handle mill here just closed for lack of laborers.  Once you got guys ya gotta keep em or youll close too. 

If youre lumber is selling then you already know the market will bare the cost. If you are selling out of lumber faster than you can bring in logs, considering raising the lumber price a hair to cover offering good money to redirect logs your way and keep it flowing.

a log truck and a dumptruck will have a problem of some sort every other day or so much of the time.  If you can handle that, have at it.  I suppose it doesnt matter if the 20k truck ends up costing you 40, as long as it brings in 70. Guy i weld for shells out 10k a month in fuel, and thats a lot less than his payroll.  Dont think numbers, think cashflow.  You can live a long time with the numbers all wrong.  You shrivel up and die when the cashflow quits.  If sawdust is your cashflow, keep it flying and worry about numbers later. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 08, 2018, 12:53:38 PM
The big hardwood mills up here have their own trucks but contract most of their hauling or the logging contractors have their own.  A local veneer mill sold their trucks and now contracts all hauling including finished product.  It was a better arrangement for them.  If you're going that big you'll need more trucking than that little Mack.  It's what works for you.  When I was logging having my own truck was the last thing I wanted to deal with.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Bruno of NH on July 08, 2018, 02:31:58 PM
Look into some thing like this 
My friend hall's this with a 6 wheeler an international dump.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Autocar on July 08, 2018, 02:51:29 PM
Here is my opinion moving equipment hauling logs it is nice to get it done when YOU want it done. I will never regret getting my own truck everyone is right there exspensive to own but the freedom it gives me to do what ever when ever I am ready to do it is priceless .
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mike_belben on July 08, 2018, 02:59:36 PM
Im with autocar.  I cant schedule anything, ever.  If i do i will just miss the schedule.  We get there when we get there lifestyle dictates you must own all your own stuff in order to do anything at all.  
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: barbender on July 08, 2018, 03:17:34 PM
I'd say, if you're looking at a truck because you need the freedom to move something when and where you want it and you don't have reliable trucking, that's one thing. If you are getting into trucking because of how much it's costing you and you want to save money, I think you'll have a rude awakening in a short period of time. Every region is different, up here there are tons of owner/operators coming and going from the wood hauling industry every year. There's all these guys that want to be their own boss and make a million, they soon discover it's not that easy. They start having a hard time making payments, etc. It keeps the trucking very competitive. I've thought about starting a one man logging crew before, and I would probably get a small truck like you had pictured. Not to save money though. For cleaning up jobs, delivering small loads of firewood and such. The bulk of the trucking would be hired because I couldn't do it as cheap myself.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mike_belben on July 08, 2018, 03:51:32 PM
All good points.  

I am doing taxes right now between mom duty.  Few years back i bought a 2ton truck because my dodge dually was worn out, too small, didnt have enough brakes, tires were always overloaded.. etc etc. I paid $3,000.  It had a 466, a manual trans, crew cab and a sleeper, was under CDL..  It all looked great on paper.  

Im depreciating $17,832 of real money, every penny spent on putting it into service.  And $3,006 for the first year of operation.   Dont even ask me how it happened. Motors, trannies and every wear item on the thing will nickel and dime you to death.  In 2016 all i did was fix that truck.  

Thankfully its hasnt given me a lick of grief the last 2 years.  But thats the math on old heavy equipment.  Pay now or pay later. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 08, 2018, 04:44:54 PM
General rules of thumb for an owner/operator of a Michigan Log Truck is 5 days for the truck, one day for yourself and if what you're doing doesn't equate to $100.00 an hour you're losing $$$. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Dave Shepard on July 08, 2018, 05:13:09 PM
You reveal more with each post. I still contend that you will make your money at the mill, not in the truck. Your uncle is retired. How long is he going to run that truck before he wants to retire again, or get a paycheck? I can see owning the truck if you can't get your logs moved on time, that's a real problem. You are hiring the logging, so you aren't moving equipment. The way I lookat it is trucking costs me $0.06 per foot whether it's 5,000 feet or 500,000 feet. Plug it into the sawing costs and leave the headaches to someone else. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 08, 2018, 05:19:22 PM
I really do appreciate all of the advice . When my dad and I decided to get a mill I had no idea what it would lead too. I imagined a slow start with nothing coming in for awhile.  We had that attitude of trying to do a small retail business that would hopefully slowly grow. We aren't financing anything and we had a set amount that we were willing to risk and if we hit that without money coming in we would sell the equipment and take a hit. I was told by someone in the industry that during the last recession a lot of big places shut and now business is booming again and there is a gap that needs to be filled opening the door for smaller mills to fill the void. The wholesalers I've been talking to and selling to say the same thing, bring it in as fast as you can. When I ask about limitations on quantity they laugh and say your little lt70 isn't capable of producing anywhere near the amount we are looking to buy. They also say this is the slow season for them and they pickup more steam in the fall. I dont know a lot of guys just a couple big ones so I don't know how it's normally done but they way they tell me to make money is to cut out as many middle men as possible. They have their own timber buyers, logging crews, trucks , mills , kilns. The one place that has been lighting a fire under my but has 8 full time timber buyers that cruise the state buying up as much timber as they can.  The stuff I'm working on is the scraps they leave in their wake. Tuesday I'm going to sign a contract to buy 12 large beautiful walnut trees from a guy that couldn't even get a buyer to come out and look at them . He said he called a hslf dozen places and no one will come out because he only has 8 acres and they didn't have time. One place told him they were 2 months out to set an appointment to look at his timber. Everyone I know is swamped with work over here. Concrete, plumbers, electricians, builders they are all swamped. I used to build houses and then owned a small commercial construction company and this reminds me of how things were before the crash that put me out of business back in 2008. I have a close friend that has a good sized concrete company and we recently had a discussion about this . He is worried and I am worried that we can't sustain like this. He made it through the recession but it cost him a ton of money. He says he has his guys running trucks 60 hours a week and is booked for months. He said in his 20 years the only time he has seen it like this is before the collapse.  I've has so many conversations with people that my head is spinning on which way to go. I have the cliche sayings running through my head. Don't get to big for your britches, what goes up must come down , make hay while the sun is shining, strike while the iron is hot. Part of me says to says to jump in and capitalize while the getting is good and the other part of me is scared that I won't have time to get the return on the investment before the market crashes again. I don't know what's going on in other parts of the country but around here it's crazy right now. I live just outside west Michigan's largest city in what used to be a small farming town a few short years ago and now we have a large outlet mall. Farms and forests are being converted to shopping centers and housing developments at an alarming rate and it scares me. I'm only 40 years old and far from an expert on the economy but from what I've seen in my short life around this area I'm worried about 5 years from now or maybe less. Sorry for the long post I just have so much going through my brain it just kept coming out
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 08, 2018, 05:43:22 PM
Guys part of the problem I'm having is finding the trucking and what I have found has been higher than I anticipated.  I've called all the independents that the people I know have referred to me, I've called at least a dozen places i found through Google. I get either we don't haul logs, we are too busy , or I could probably get to it in a couple weeks. I found three guys that could do it and all the prices are around the same. 700 dollars to haul 1 load that is 61 miles from here. I tell friends with trucking connections and they say it's way high and give me a guy to call. I call these guys and it's the same story, love to help you out but don't have the time call me back in a few weeks.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Dave Shepard on July 08, 2018, 05:54:18 PM
Another post, another critical detail.  :D If you can't get the logs trucked on time, then you are over a barrel. One trucker I use is $250 a load for tri axle, the other is $200 for the first hour, then $100 for every hour after. $700/load, even at 61 miles sounds steep. What size truck? 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mike_belben on July 08, 2018, 06:16:50 PM
Are these logs at the landing 61 miles away or they need a logger too?  How many board feet are getting hauled and what species?

You have a big skid steer.  What have you got for a truck and trailer to move that with?  

Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mike_belben on July 08, 2018, 06:18:46 PM
Regarding your swirling thoughts.. I lost it all a few times.  My advise is in stormy waters, avoid debt.  The less debt you have to service, the larger and longer a crisis you can weather. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Puffergas on July 08, 2018, 06:40:21 PM
Loan your uncle the money to buy the truck. I'm sure he could pick up some extra hauls to fill in.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: David-L on July 08, 2018, 06:57:57 PM
Best thing I ever did for my Logging business is buy my own truck. Once its sorted out , and with low use breakdowns aren't often but do happen. For me its my schedule and no more calling wondering when the independent guy is coming. loading trailers, Is crucial for me and having your own truck allows that. Also nice to peddle some pole wood for $ once and awhile. I say assess the truck thoroughly and have a game plan in place. I will mention that I am the mechanic so that could be a make or break.. Good luck. I have a 1988 Mack RD690S with a 300L motor and a 120 Prentice, Tough as nails those Macks are.

Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Skeans1 on July 08, 2018, 07:21:52 PM
This is from a different part of the country but trucks are a necessary evil to have, the guys that don’t loose out on jobs or are waiting to get one. One think we don’t see out here is a ton of owner operators there’s some but they’re always with someone who has company work because it’s steady work with a set rate.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 08, 2018, 08:26:52 PM
  One thing you need to think about is that when/if a correction comes it's the little producers that get axed first.  Mills look out for their highest producing logging firms and lumber companies look out for the bigger mills.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mills on July 08, 2018, 09:09:51 PM
I think we've had this conversation a couple of times.  I don't want to haul any more than I absolutely have to, and try to contract the hauling out as much as possible, but I'd be up a creek without my truck. Either their schedule doesn't match mine, or their truck is too big to make to the landing. Nothing worse than a weather front moving in, and the trucker doesn't show up. Had a couple of times where veneer logs got stuck at the landing because a trucker didn't show up before the rain.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 08, 2018, 09:30:18 PM
Dave I'm not certain what size truck. I told him what was there and he said it would be a partial load. He said it was self loading with a pup trailer.
Mike I do have a truck and trailer and already picked up one load. Was about 10000 bf there and we brought back maybe a 1/4 of it if that.  It looked like 3 or 4 more trips to us. There was a loader on site and the logs are stacked along a nice wide driveway. Pickup is 4 miles off the main highway, drop off to me is 1/8 of a mile off the same highway. Most of it is walnut.
I'm not going to go into debt but we reached our spending cap and if I go much further I might have to sell one of our rental properties.  I have a decent nest egg but the vast majority is wrapped up in rental homes and a few properties.
Puffergas, not a bad idea but I'm not sure how long or how often he would drive, he is retired. My dad said he wants to get licensed to drive as well.
David l that is a pretty sight.  It looks like you can haul quite a bit with that set up. I was an auto mechanic for a few years and have a stockpile of tools but never worked on the big trucks. At this stage in life I feel my time is better spent an generally pay a mechanic for work. He's been doing work for me for a few years asnd generally comes to me and uses my tools.  For what he charges it's hard for me to take the time or hassle of doing it my self.
Skeans,  the guy that is hslimg this load for me owns his truck but said he is contracted to someone and will be running my load in the evening after he fulfills his prior obligations.
Corley, my thoughts exactly.  These places could easily set up for more production themselves but I think everyone's still feeling the sting and it's less risky to supplement than to expand. When the demand drops off they just drop the little guys .

This is the one load we brought back. Originally I thought 2 loads but I'm new and don't have a clue and it's more like 4 or 5
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mike_belben on July 08, 2018, 10:15:53 PM
Did you happen to scale that load?  If its legal and your state doesnt make you get an A license for it, maybe hauling like that when you have to isnt so bad?  

What about sending your uncle in that rig?  Or renting a log truck?  

Is there always a knuckleboom on site to load you up?  Out here small loggers mostly run cheap old 4 post straight trucks and farm plates.  F700s, L9000s, IH's.. Even seen a few chopped school bus log haulers as well as plenty of cab chassis 1tons with welded bunks for hauling 12s and shorter.  Can get into those for $4-6k and not sweat a recession.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: BargeMonkey on July 08, 2018, 10:51:58 PM
Honestly if the truck isnt thrashed and you broke down the cost of trucking for 3-4ld a yr without major breakdowns you would come out even. A straight log truck is cheap to register, if you stay under 6k miles you dont pay HUT. I would starve to death if I was dependent on someone else to truck wood for me. 
 A truck of that age isnt really going to lose money, that's not a bad price but you want to look it over, the obvious things are what hurt, new rubber, breaks, springs, it doesnt take long BUT you also know what you've got when you do buy a truck and start going thru it. 
 Mack superliner cabs are getting rare here, the hoods bring good money, make sure the cab isnt glued on. 
what's it got for an engine / trans / rears ? a 120 prentice is a tough loader, couple hoses a gr. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Matt601 on July 08, 2018, 10:59:16 PM
Do you need a loader? If you really don’t I wouldn’t have one on my truck. I have 2 bobtail trucks one with a loader it wt in at 27,500 other one is 20,000 I can load each truck to 55k so I get 7,500 lbs of more wood with the one without the loader. That paids for the fuel.

The truck in the pic you posted looks very familiar. I think it was a guys that only had it a few months and got tired of logging and sold out.

Get the best truck you can afford. I like internationals I just love how they run.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 09, 2018, 12:01:22 AM
Mike, we did not scale that. That rig belongs to the guy in the pic. A good friend of mine. He has a cdl and is the friend that family owns the railroad company.  That truck is his personal truck and he said without dot numbers he didn't want to go over that amount of logs for fear of being obviously overweight and getting a ticket. He thought that load was overweight.  Due to a horrible tragedy in his family that I wouldn't feel right discussing here. None of their big trucks are insured at the moment or else we would have taken this rig. It was parked right next to that gooseneck and it would have only cost me fuel and a six pack of beer when we got back to my place.  We have considered renting a truck but figure for what we want to do we would be better off owning .
Barge monkey,  thanks for the advice. That truck pictured was sent to me as a suggestion of what type of truck he thought would suit a new guy like us well. We haven't started looking at anything yet. Going to have to sit down with the old man tommorow and try to figure out how much we want to spend.  I think I could swing about 30 grand without too much worry but anything over that and I think i would have to sell one of the houses or properties or do something I really don't want to do and finance. I have a beautiful 22 vacant acres on a river south of me that I only go to and walk maybe once a year. The neighbor offered me 80k for it last year. He started off at 50k about 6 years ago and slowly ups his offer year after year. I've considered selling that place for a long time and it would be quick cash but I was thinking one of my kids might like to build a home there someday.

Matt I think I need self loading. Most of the time there will not be a loader on site and my bobcat won't lift high enough. Guys tell me I could build a dirt ramp with the bobcat to load and unload but that sounds like a pain and wouldn't consider it a long term solution by any means.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: barbender on July 09, 2018, 01:07:06 AM
At the risk of talking out both sides of my mouth, "Buy a truck! Don't buy a truck"😁 If it is to serve your purpose and keep you on schedule, and keep you in logs, by all means- buy a truck!👍 I think it could be a tremendous asset. If I was running my mill full time, I would want a smaller truck myself so I wouldn't have to be dependent on others schedules. I could've summed up all my rambling by saying, if you need a truck go get one, just don't do it thinking you're going to save money😉
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: snowstorm on July 09, 2018, 05:59:58 AM
the mack ad says 10 sp. if its really a 8ll thats good if its the old rt1110 or the super 10. no. if you cant drive it and fix it you got no bussiness owning one. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mike_belben on July 09, 2018, 07:40:13 AM
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Kinda like an open ended fortune cookie that doesnt make things any clearer.  If you are debt free, have property and equipment.. then you are in better shape then 9/10s of america.  If sawdust is your cash flow and logs are interrupting that for lack of trucking then something needs to change.  

Few questions on this guy who will haul for $700 a load:   is he running a self loader straight truck or self loader trailer?   How many bd ft can he fit legally?  If the next job is closer is it still $700/load?   
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 09, 2018, 08:45:10 AM
  Once you develop a relationship with a trucking company and prove you're a reliable, steady, client rates may very well come down.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 09, 2018, 10:14:05 AM
Barbender , I was really vague in my first post but i figure if I can come close to breaking even and have a truck to show for the money spent instead of just a bill being a trucking company I'll be happy. I figure I can use the truck for bringing finished product to the buyers as well. I really think that I'll get a lot of use out of a truck.
Snowstorm,  I'm going to figure out a price range today and start searching.  I'll post whatever options we are considering here and hopefully you guys can tell me the pros and cons of those options.  It's not that I can't drive or fix a truck. I have driven the big rigs short distances and feel confident I could drive anything.  My friend tells me getting a license would be easy. I had my own mechanic shop and still have my snap on box full of overpriced snap on tools. I owned a very succesful welding, fab shop and still have most of my metal working tools. I'm confident if a man put it together I can fix it or rebuild it. It's just that at this point in my life I feel my time is better spent elsewhere and I no longer enjoy that kind of work like I used to.  I'd rather take my kids to the park than get under a truck.
Mike,    I think he's running a straight truck with a pup trailer. I don't know how much he can haul. I told him I'll have another load next week that is 15 miles from here and he told me to try and find someone else but if I couldn't he would try to help me out.   We don't own all of our properties out right but most of them are paid for. My family has done very well with real estate.  We have ten kids and if I died tomorrow each one of them will have a house to live in that is paid for.  My mother grew up dirt poor on a farm in a single room house with 5 siblings. That house is now a chicken coop. She is the reason why the family is doing well now. She worked her but off , I hardly saw her growing up . She was always out working on her next real estate deal. She taught me the value of hard work. I started working in the muck fields and picking blueberries and had a paper route when I was twelve. She made sure I knew what it was like to struggle and work hard. When I got older she invested in me and helped me get going. She always told me that I would never make it anywhere working for someone else, it takes money to make money and it's not necessarily what you know but who you know, figure out a way to make money while you are sleeping and above all else be dependable and stand by your word. Now that I am older she tells me not to work my life away and to make time for my kids and she doesn't want me to do what she did and miss watching my kids grow. My mom is a heck of a woman and it is going to ruin me when she gets called to her next life.
Corley, that seems to be the consensus.  It's going to be hard to do that because they all seem to have plenty of work. I don't think there is anyone around waiting for their next haul. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mike_belben on July 09, 2018, 11:03:23 AM
God bless her.

Sounds like a truck wont be a lawn ornament for you and you should just go get one.  Deep reduction, walking beams and locking power divider are mandatory IMO.  If you can find a full locking rear i would lean that way.  Being able to get in and out without needing a twitch is priceless.  
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 09, 2018, 12:44:22 PM
Well in typical dad fashion he doesn't agree with me on my comfort level of spending.  I told him 30k and he thinks much higher.  He found what he thinks he likes and I think he's off his rocker.  Said he wants me to pull 30k out of my account and he's going to cover the rest. This is what he's looking at. What do you guys think of this truck?
Mike, what are walking beams?
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 09, 2018, 01:35:34 PM
How many miles are on it and what's been done to it?  490 HP is a bit light on a Michigan Truck.  Most guys are running 600 HP plus.  Check the frame at the back of the cab.  They break there.  Sercos are good loaders.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 09, 2018, 03:59:34 PM
Corley,  do you have anyone in MI I could contact to try and find a truck to buy. Thanks 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: chevytaHOE5674 on July 09, 2018, 05:45:01 PM
That last truck is at "skeeters" in 3 lakes Wisconsin which isn't far from me. I drive thru his lot every time I go by, and there is nothing on his lot that I would pay close to asking for and nothing that I would buy unless I planned to go over it with a fine tooth comb and dump a bunch of money into. Most of his stuff has been rode hard then rode hard again.

After working for a guy who had a log truck that was much newer than what your looking at, it was the worst thing he owned. Every dollar he profited on the logging side of the biz was blown keeping the truck legal and driveable. Best day he had was when it went down the road.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 09, 2018, 07:34:19 PM
Chevy Tahoe.  Thank you for the insight on that truck.  Do you know anywhere reputable? I find it kind of funny on the varying opinions and storys I hear. One guy tells me buying a truck was the best thing to do and has over a million miles. Says that truck has paid for itself 5 times over and was very profitable then I get the story's like yours.  The best thing I ever did was send my truck packing. Seems to be about a 50 50 one way or the other. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: barbender on July 09, 2018, 08:52:08 PM
Busybeaver- the first thing I would say is, a go getter like you will probably make it work whatever comes your way and that makes a huge difference when things aren't going right. Now, the question I have looking forward is, do you want this truck for odds and ends and filling in holes in the log flow, or do you want to haul the majority or all of your timber yourself. The first truck you pictured would fall into the first category, the second one is getting into the latter. However, I think if you want a real production rig you have to look at spending more $$$ so you don't buy someone else's pile of headaches.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 09, 2018, 09:29:22 PM
  I'll make a call tomorrow.  I know a guy ;) :) 
  These trucks that have paid for themselves five times over were more than likely speced right, purchased new, and taken care of very well. 
  Used trucks are typically sold for several reasons and should have very big buyer beware signs in the windows
  With the lack of trucking down there have you thought about buying a new truck and keeping it on the road all the time?   
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Southside logger on July 09, 2018, 10:17:34 PM

One thing I have seen in the responses are that the guys who say owning a truck is mandatory and a good investment are all loggers, not sawmill operators. They get paid to haul logs, drop them off and go get more. If I understand correctly you want to be in the sawmill business, not the logging business, look at things from that perspective as you decide what you want to invest.  

One could make the analogy that diesel for the mill is expensive so on paper buying a refinery would save money for the mill, but in reality does it let you actually net more? 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 09, 2018, 10:46:10 PM
Barbender , I was thinking about once a week at this point but it sure does look like it will get used more in the near future. My dad was talking today about trying to find other work with it when we don't need to haul our own. He's thinking he's going to try and haul something everyday of the week. That's fine and he would do it but you know who's going to have to find work for that truck? I am. I'm feeling like my plates pretty full at the moment and he's pulling out another one to load up for me. 
Corley, I would really appreciate any help locating a decent truck. My dad was looking at that 70k truck but was asking me how much new trucks were. I told him too much. He's of the mindset of buying new or newer for fear of buying someone else's problems. I told him I'd put in 30k and he can put in whatever he wants and get whatever he wants. If he wants to drive a truck full time he can have at it. I just want to make piles of sawdust. 
Southside , the guys I talk to around here that run mills have their own logging crews and equipment and tell me I'm going to be better off if I can get my own crew and equipment.  Personally I don't want to be a logger or a truck driver but I wouldn't mind having them on the payroll. I've called about every trucking and logging company within a hundred miles of here and I get the same story. We just log for our own mill and if we have extra we sell some here and there. I have 2 loggers that are helping me out at the moment but they both have their own mills and are just getting me going I'm not counting on it long term. If I could find a couple more guys to buy logs from I'd give up on this truck nonsense and stop going around trying to buy timber. At this point I'm waiting to go visit with the father in law. He's flying out from Arizona to show me his property and if that goes the way he says I'll be trying to get into the logging business asap.  
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: chevytaHOE5674 on July 10, 2018, 12:51:35 AM
The guys I know that make a good living trucking logs are the guys that buy new trucks and drive them for a few years and then trade them before the problems start. They also drive them 5 or 6 days a week 12+ hours a day.

Also with a log truck you generally put "log" plates on it because it is the only affordable way to plate a truck with that capacity. Log plates limit you to hauling a raw product ie: logs. If you go hauling lumber on that truck then you need apportioned plates because its no longer a raw material, which will get pricey.

Funny UP here in logging country we have sawmills, loggers, and truckers, mostly separate businesses. Some mills have a logging and trucking crew but a majority of their logs still come from 3rd parties.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Ianab on July 10, 2018, 03:01:37 AM
The guys I know that make a good living trucking logs are the guys that buy new trucks and drive them for a few years and then trade them before the problems start. They also drive them 5 or 6 days a week 12+ hours a day.

That's basically how things work locally too. All the log trucks on the road are fairly late model, not necessarily new, but new enough that they are reliable and worth keeping on the road. Some of the larger logging crews have their own trucks. Some of the larger mills have their own trucks. Others are just trucking companies that work for whoever needs logs moved. 

Once you start paying for the truck / licencing etc, then the way to make money is to keep the truck rolling and earning $$. Have the contacts with the loggers and mills, and work with them. 

Basically no one runs smaller trucks to haul logs as the economics don't work out, and the "network" is there to access trucking as needed. 

Of course there is a lot of trucks on the road. Probably a truck and trailer rolling through town every 5 mins, with half a dozen companies in the business. Competition keeps the rates down, but there are making $$.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Firewoodjoe on July 10, 2018, 05:03:43 AM
There a necessary burden. And not cheap. New used they all cost a lot. I know I drive and maintain one. You sound small I would not buy a Michigan truck. To much truck and there $400,000 new for a reason. If your just supplying yourself and sawing “lower production” buy a gooseneck with a loader on it. Google the “wheeler gooseneck” haul for yourself when you can and hire when they are available. I’ve found buying things that others would also buy is helpful. People love gooseneck trailers. And you could sell that fast if need be. That $70,000 mi truck is ragged out and you will sit on it. Either with it broke or waiting for someone to buy it.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: snowstorm on July 10, 2018, 06:14:28 AM
why not a trailer or 2. 1 log 1 flat or a flat with stakes. a decent tractor. a forwarder to pull your logs and load the trailer. you will need a crane in the mill yard anyway  
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: David-L on July 10, 2018, 06:46:45 AM
the mack ad says 10 sp. if its really a 8ll thats good if its the old rt1110 or the super 10. no. if you cant drive it and fix it you got no bussiness owning one.
id' kill for an 8ll in mine. I've got a 7 speed maxi-torque. 5th in direct will let you go 70mph plus if you dare unloaded.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mike_belben on July 10, 2018, 09:26:07 AM
A bunch of wise fellows have told me.. One good truck tractor and a bunch of trailers.  I am with snowstorm. 

A self loader only does logs well.  A tractor can do it all.  When you have a driver to employ youll send him off for logs, send him off with lumber, send him to move the skidder or knuckleboom, move a buddies hay gear, do power only stuff.. Etc.  Easier to keep a tractor busy.  Make sure you got a 2 way wet kit.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mike_belben on July 10, 2018, 09:35:33 AM

The only nice thing i will say about old trucks is if they got fuel and crank fast theyll start.  No dealer diagnostic baloney.  And you can overhaul an old truck piece by piece as you can afford while deducting the parts entirely as capital expense in that year.  When you go buy a ready to run truck as one lump sum, its a capital depreciation spread over 7yrs or so. Now Im not saying that will solve a trucking problem in the moment.. Just throwing out that a commercial truck can be a good tax shelter.  Put 40k in your mustang and uncle sam taxes the 40k as income.   Put 40k in your petercar and he mails you a big refund check.  Pre ELD classic tractors are not losing value at all.  Older skidder isnt a bad tax haven either, the parts will again generate an immediate expense deduction and youll have a machine with new parts. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 10, 2018, 05:02:14 PM
Thank you for all the advice.  I got dad talked out of a truck for the moment. I told him to wait and see how things play out for a month or two.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: mike_belben on July 10, 2018, 05:34:12 PM
It doesnt happen to me often at all, but the hardest thing to do when you actually have money is to twiddle your thumbs and let all those great ideas marinate for a while.  Money begets spending. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Satamax on July 10, 2018, 05:44:36 PM
I don't know how it is in the US, but here, there is an italian guy, who crosses the border every now and then, to fetch some larch, with a JCB fastrac, and a huge trailer. Agricultural plates on the trailer. He doesn't need the licence to drive this. Insurance and all that is cheap.  The tractor has been modified a bit i think. Cos he does a good 35/40mph empty with the trailer. And he does a good 80 miles trip and return. 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Bruno of NH on July 10, 2018, 06:26:22 PM
The trailer I posted a picture of is a big trailer. 
The only reason it's not a goose neck is my friend had a chip truck to haul it with all ready.
I would look into the trailer if it was me.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Maine logger88 on July 10, 2018, 08:28:27 PM
Would your friend sell that tractor with the center mount flatbed? I’m with snowstorm and mike that would be better suited to hauling logs as well as the finished product. You could also pick up a flatbed without a loader for deliveries as well as pick up a low bed for moving equipment 
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: 4x4American on July 10, 2018, 09:47:06 PM
Tractor with wetline and a bunch of trailers would be ideal...but from the sounds of it you don't have enough room to park it in your yard let alone unload/load the thing.  I reccomend get a cheap triaxle log truck with a decent loader on it.  That'll get your foot in the door, help you get started and into wood.  Easy to manuever in tight areas.  You're talking about logging 8 acres, well, it'll be alot easier getting in and out of those jobs with a triaxle than with a TT.  With a TT you're gonna either be building roads or pulling the thing out when it's stuck.  My friend@Onlyonrubber will tell ya, he cuts company wood and they build the roads for him to get in and out of with tt's.  Not to mention with their big equipment they need a 15 acre header to operate lol. It's incredible how many uses you'll find for a log truck around the yard in general.  Then take the extra capital and get a real loader (like a 544 JD or a IT28 Cat - skidsteers are for smalltimers lol) and expand your yard because you're gonna need TT access and plenty of room for all your different sorts of logs and lumber and slabwood.  And don't forget to leave yourself some money for buying wood.

Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Busybeaver on July 11, 2018, 09:59:05 AM
Bruno, I've looked into those trailers a little but so far haven't found any that can handle very much weight.  What brand is that trailer? Will it lift a 6000 pound log? I closed the deal on a walnut timber job last night that will be substantially larger than the load I had delivered last night.  
How many trips do you think it would take with that trailer to haul these 2 loads? Would that trailer handle being fully loaded with hardwoods?
Maine logger, he talked about selling it but he said that trailer wouldn't handle the weight that we would like to haul.
4x4 we are going to come back to the truck deal at a later date. Need some time to look around, consider options and I need to educate myself on trucks before I can make the best decision for us.
The guy that delivered that load for us was diving an 88 kenworth 800. He said he's had it for 12 years and has had very few issues with it. He said his opinion was guys that trash trucks run them hard, don't maintenance like they should and run in a different environment. He said around here is easier on trucks than northern MI.  No hills, mostly highway and no logging roads.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Skeans1 on July 11, 2018, 10:40:04 AM
Have you looked into a self loading mule train?
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 11, 2018, 11:41:55 AM
Two machines pushing and one pulling to get 160,000 lbs of loaded truck through mud holes is probably considered severe service ;D ;D
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: thecfarm on July 11, 2018, 02:11:07 PM
Corley5,I would like to see a picture of that.  :o  
I have seen them push a truck up my small hill coming out of the woods. But no one was pulling too. And only one forwarder was pushing.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Bruno of NH on July 11, 2018, 03:59:44 PM
It would take 4 or 5 trips with that trailer.
I think it lifts 4,000
I will check
I can't remember the make.
The sponsor Pickens Equipment makes them also. 
If you got a short straight truck with log bunks you can load both.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: 4x4American on July 11, 2018, 05:14:03 PM
No offense but for the price of one of those gooseneck log trailers you could buy two decent triaxle log trucks!  I have an ‘89 freightliner triaxle I picked up for 10 grand awhile back.  I got mainly it for a yard truck to unload trailers and sort logs, but I think with some tlc I’ll have her on the road.  Frame is in nice shape, bunks in good shape, new hydraulic pump, big cam cummins under the hood, Hood 7000 in decent shape.  She’s a little rough around the edges.  I got offered 15k for it today from a logger.  Told him not for sale.
Title: Re: Logging truck
Post by: Corley5 on July 11, 2018, 05:39:49 PM
Corley5,I would like to see a picture of that.  :o  

When this is going on there's no time for picture taking.  The truck needs to get on the road and the machines back to producing wood ;) ;D :)