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Author Topic: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?  (Read 29283 times)

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Offline Furby

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2008, 01:39:05 PM »
I'm positive your gross is well over that.
A truck and trailer have CGVW (Combined Gross Vehicle Weight).
If it's a dump trailer then I'm 99% sure the physical weight of the truck and trailer are at least 7500 pounds, probly more.
You should be able to find the gross rating and CGVW rating of the truck by looking on the driver's door/door frame.
Your trailer should also have a plate listing it's gross weight.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2008, 02:18:32 PM »
Ok, let me get 2000 lbs in here for a ton this time. :D Thanks Ron. ;)


2 cord of  hardwood would be 9000-9600 air dried, 8600 kilned to 12 %, 11000 green. A cord is not a solid 128 ft3 remember.
Move'n on.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2008, 04:15:47 PM »
Cubic foot weights for:

Red oak - 64 (green), 43 (dry)
White oak - 63 (green), 45 (dry)
Hard maple - 56 (green), 44 (dry)
Soft maple - 50 (green), 38 (dry)
Hickory - 64 (green), 50 (dry)
Ash - 48 (green), 42 (dry)
Beech - 54 (green), 45 (dry)
Birch - 57 (green), 43 (dry)
Elm - 54 (green), 35 (dry)

Seems like your giving about 50-60 cu ft of solid wood per cord.  I think I'll buy mine somewhere else.   :D
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2008, 04:24:33 PM »
Actually about 100 ft3 of solid wood per cord is what I'm allowing. But I forgot to mult by 2000 lbs :D  DOH!
Move'n on.

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2008, 04:32:53 PM »
So, 2 cords of green red oak would weigh 6 tons, and dry would weigh 4 tons.  Your numbers are closer to 1 cord, not 2.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2008, 04:44:15 PM »
Yup, Ron my brain wasn't working and forgot about mult my 5.5 tons by 2000 lbs  ::)
Move'n on.

Offline TeaW

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2008, 06:06:49 PM »
Ron,
How many cubic feet to the cord are you allowing. I have seen alot of different charts talking about the weight of wood . I think it varies to different locations. A log trucker told me that there is 1000# difference between southern Ontario and Northen ON, on 1000 bd/ft of logs . Oak grows slower north of here.
I don't go by charts, I cut split, pile and wieght it = 5500 lbs.
But like SD said you could do it 3 times and have that many different answers
TeaW

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2008, 06:34:20 PM »
TeaW, did you realize that slow growing oak or ash is actually less dense. Why? The early wood of any species I'm aware of does not change in width, weather it is fast grown or slow grown. The late wood is what matters, and late wood is denser than early wood in ring porous hardwood. Now with hard maple or yellow birch, it wouldn't matter too much, it's diffuse porous, which means the wood pores are uniform throughout the piece. Now with cherry and butternut it's semi-diffuse and does matter somewhat, because the early wood pores are bigger and decrease in size from the beginning of the growth ring toward to end of the late wood.  And wood density varies within a stand of wood, between dominant and suppressed trees. ;) Is this what you had in mind?

Wood moisture changes with the seasons to, don't forget that. It's not a huge difference, but I do know the mills in the past have given a seasonal adjustment for the scale. Don't know if anyone is doing it now, since I have not worked at the marketing board for a few years and have not sold wood. My guess, is it's one price, hopefully averaged. But, in reality, probably forgotten about.

Ron's figures probably come out of Madison, WI and are also published in the  WoodTech Manual. I believe they are standardized figures for weight of wood by species and moisture.
Move'n on.

Offline letsgetitracing

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #48 on: January 11, 2008, 06:36:55 PM »
i know for a 100% fact that 8 face cord of dry cut (in august and weighed in october) ash is 8500 lbs we weighed it and stack about 10 loads to check  it had 12 to 15% moisture
Homemade firewood processor, 200 ton log spliter, 322 cat excavator, 966 c cat loader, 3 semis, 11 trailers, 50 ton low boy 12 inch tree chipper 3120xp 394 xp 372 xp 3 365  357 55 rancher 346xp 338xp  stihl 056 mag ms 290 026 echo cs440  4 cs3000's  jonsered 2165 2150

go BIG or go Home

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #49 on: January 11, 2008, 06:51:45 PM »
I wasn't far off for 12 % hard maple, yellow birch, beech @ 8600 lbs. ;D Ash and red oak is slightly lighter. ;)

Surprisingly, white ash is lighter when green than hard maple and not so surprising is it doesn't take as long to dry. But air dried wood, I have a hard time grasping that it would be drier than 25%. Might be dry on the surface, but what about deeper inside the stick. And there is a difference in reading end grain versus through the bark. ;)

I would think 12-18% through the bark, and 25-30% on the end grain for air drying. It's wicking through the end grain quicker because that is the most efficient pathway of water if the tree is going to keep from burning up during growth. And as the end dries the flow rate diminished deeper in the stick because of the water saturation point and cell bound water and temperature. And probably some other stuff I haven't thought of. :D
Move'n on.

Offline letsgetitracing

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2008, 06:56:53 PM »
nope not at all and i thik my boss is about 15 to 20 pieces light on his face cords any way i seem to get 7 face cord when i stack them he gets 8 but i guess i care about stacking he is trying to stretch it out

so i think the number you are using are exactly right
Homemade firewood processor, 200 ton log spliter, 322 cat excavator, 966 c cat loader, 3 semis, 11 trailers, 50 ton low boy 12 inch tree chipper 3120xp 394 xp 372 xp 3 365  357 55 rancher 346xp 338xp  stihl 056 mag ms 290 026 echo cs440  4 cs3000's  jonsered 2165 2150

go BIG or go Home

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2008, 08:02:30 PM »
TeaW

There are a lot of variables that effect the amount of solid wood in a cord.  If you are talking pulpwood, then if you would have perfect cylindrical pieces, you would end up with 100 cu ft of solid wood.  But, woods run trees aren't like that. 

The variables include diameter, length of stick, crook, roughness and knots.  For hardwoods, smooth and straight would range from 85-98 cu ft of solid wood.  The smaller the diameter, the lower on the scale.  For straight, rough and knotty, that will drop to 78-92 cu ft.  Put in some slightly crooked stuff, and you're range is 75-89 cu ft.  If you are just talking tops and branches, you'll drop down to 58 cu ft.

So, if you have an idea of what you're running in cu ft, then you can just plug in weight by looking at what the type of wood you're dealing with. 

Now, if we look at the numbers that letsgetitracing has offered, his 8500 lbs of dry ash would come out to a little over 200 cu ft of wood in 8 face cords.  That would come down to only 25 cu ft per face cord.  Assuming 16" wood, would come up with a total of 75 cu ft per cord of solid wood. 

If letsgetitracing takes that amount and puts it into 7 cord (when the boss isn't looking   ;)), then he is getting 85 cu ft/cd.
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Offline Ed_K

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2008, 08:56:56 PM »
 Want to see what it takes to do firewood full time? This months Timber Line has a feature on Tree Hugger Farms in Westmoreland NH. says their doing 5k to 7k per yr (good yr). I talked to Jon Clark (owner) yesterday, he sold his log truck, to busy to go and get the wood.
 Bull, I diversified,I don't do cord wood anymore cause I couldn't do that an log the wood too. Cides I sold my truck to your friend Ann. I'm looking into ctl equip to get er done.
Ed K

Offline stumpmakerr

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #53 on: August 12, 2014, 10:18:39 AM »
Hell, just do it. If i listened to everyone that gave me advise, id have nothing. Go for it. You have a good chance of failling, but how are you going to feel if you never take that chance

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #54 on: August 12, 2014, 03:09:03 PM »
Around here if you market the big three (for our area) beech, hard maple, yellow birch you'd be busy. Some fella's can't even get enough supply for more customers. A lot comes off provincial public forest.
Move'n on.

Offline glassman_48

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #55 on: August 12, 2014, 04:42:36 PM »
burnwood,
I already had a tractor with forks, already had a nice 12' dump trailer and pickup to haul the trailer.  I purchased a mid sized firewood processor and purchased 20 pulp cords at a time usually a couple hundred pulp cords a year.  I could not make money on firewood, and was charging 225.00 per pulp cord plus tax and delivery.  I diversified last year and started doing firewood bundles, then purchased a semi load of eco bricks (compressed sawdust bricks).  This year we will sell firewood bricks, wood pellets, firewood bundles and finally firewood.  The firewood has the least amount of profit for me.  I would have to purchase my raw materials much cheaper which at present I cannot do.  I have a full time glass business, and do this only part time with my son.  We just purchased 6 commercial acres and some day if I can develop the property I would like to put a house up and maybe get a small sawmill and sell firewood processors, log splitters, firewood bundlers etc. on the property.  That is a few years off but I have to get some retail sales in to keep a good profit coming in.  I have refurbished some equipment and sold a couple of pieces to make some $$$ too.  We never ever stack firewood, we only stacked 3 face cords (1 pulp cord) the first time (16" wood) just to see where the wood would be in our dump trailer.  Now I only sell by the trailer load and I tell customers its approximately 1 pulp cord.  Many horror stories around here about firewood sales man getting in trouble with customers from shortages.  I would start small and have all 3 of you devote so many hours a year and build up some customers.  You will see after a couple of years if this game is for you or not.   good luck,,,,,,,,,,,ed

Offline Corley5

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #56 on: August 12, 2014, 07:34:14 PM »
The original poster, Burnwood, hasn't been active since Jan. of 2008.  I do wonder what he decided  :)  It was good to read my post about the firewood business from way back then 8) 8) 
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Offline timberlinetree

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #57 on: August 14, 2014, 06:36:07 AM »
Right now the firewood business is booming but the EPA warm winters and low oil prices could change that! If you all are doing it because you love it and want to pay the bills go for it but if you are looking to get rich invest in stocks and stay where you are. I have seen cycles with wood demand/ no demand you just don't know.good luck & pm about log length wood I'm in western mass.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #58 on: August 14, 2014, 09:18:56 AM »
What low oil prices? Wood is by far cheaper up here and nicer heat.  ;D
Move'n on.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Firewood business...big enough market to run a business?
« Reply #59 on: August 14, 2014, 06:30:59 PM »
Well I'm doing good. Business wise. Profit wise....I can pay a helper $11 an hour and then I think I'm clearing around $30 a cord. Not counting break downs or owning the equipment. Nights and weekends deal too. I like it though and lately I only deliver it and he runs the processor so a few hundred bucks a week ain't bad I guess


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