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Author Topic: How many cords are in my truck? Trying to figure firewood volumes (picture!)  (Read 11300 times)

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Offline Kelvin

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Howdy all,

Here is a picture of my truck with firewood logs in the back.  I assume there is a certain amount of deadspace between the logs, how does one sell log length firewood and make sure people are getting the cords you are selling?  It was easy with big logs as i found where someone said a forest cord is 500 bd ft and i could scale the logs.

I thought i calculated the volume of my truck and figured it was close to a full cord 8' x4'x 4' (right?)  My truck bed is 10'x 7' x 30" tall (actually by volume larger than a full cord).  Now my problem.  I am selling one full cord or 3 face cord delievered for such and such amount.  I thought i had this right, as i cut these dead standing ash trees that are pretty dry and folks like the small straight diameter.  My buddy asked for a load and i dropped one off.  he cut it up and stacked it like a squirrel, and it came out less than 2 face cord.  So, i told him "hmmm... well sorry about that i guess my pile of logs aren't forest cords, just pay me for what you got"  When i pile up firewood logs to sell, i guess i can't just pull out a certain amount of my pile so many feet by so many feet.  I have to sell 1/3 more logs to make up for the difference?  That really kills the slim profit margin.

Now that same guy buys 8' long firewood in the log from a large company that brings in a semi trailer load of green oak( for 20% more than what i'm charging).  I'm wondering, seeing as he can't 'test" their wood by cutting the whole load and seeing if it measures up, what would one expect to get when you cut a forest cord of log length firewood?  He pays for something like 10 cord in the semi.  I think you could stack real careful and compress anyones load, i certainly load the truck as tight as i can.  If this is just how it goes, how do you explain it to people, as when they buy a cut cord, i would think you could stack a cord (though i bet not w/ most people's "cords" around here)



Offline beenthere

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Kelvin
In my opinion, ...
That is not a well stacked load of logs that would/could be measured to get a cord measurement. Sorry, but best to sell it bucked, split, and stacked. Or if loaded on the truck, sell it "as is" and let the buyer decide (or take) what he gets.
But I don't think you could sell what is shown on the truck to represent a cord of wood (given that the truck box calculates to that).

(and PS, you can modify your posts and add pictures...no need to start a new thread  :) :) )

south central Wisconsin
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Offline Kelvin

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Actually the volume of the truck is 175 cubic feet and the full cord is 128 or 73% of the volume of the truck.  Not thinking about how my truck is stacked, say you have a pile of logs on the ground that is 8' long, 4' tall and 4' wide.  Is this a forest cord?  Obviously logs can't stack as tight as split cordwood, so how do you sell log length firewood? 
I had thought of saying "you get what i have on there" but how can i sell that?
Kelvin

Offline Reddog

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If I am buying buy the cord, I expect the load to be packed tight like this.

 


Offline customsawyer

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    • The Custom Sawyer
Go by the scale house and sell by the ton.
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Offline logwalker

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Take an average load and cut, split, and stack it. But what is average???

Joe
Let's all be careful out there tomorrow. Lt40hd, 22' Kenworth Flatbed rollback dump, MM45B Mitsubishi trackhoe, Clark5000lb Forklift, Kubota L2850 tractor

Offline Kelvin

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Howdy,

I think the angle of the photo makes the load look worse than it is as there is some difference in length.  How about this picture?







Anyhow, i guess that is my question as well.  Depending on how much time you spend stacking firewood, you can make it take up less or more space, but i guess i should do it in a normal way and figure out how much is in my "load" and stick with that.  thanks for the ideas,
Kelvin

Offline bull

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scale the logs 1 cord is 500 board feet scaled works for me !!!

Offline Meadows Miller

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Gday

Kelvin I buy my logs by the ton over the scales or weigh bridge if you have one in your area it might be easyer to weigh your truck then each load you del you just give your coustomer the recipt with the weight and then then bill them by the lb .its worked well for me for years as i do 1/300 ton of firewood a year down to melb 60 miles away at $145 to $165 a ton dep on species in 9 ton loads .
I think it would be easer to go buy weight than to measure each load of logs in the bush esp on firewood it might be worth bringing up with your coustomer as its hard to get a average on random length loads of  small to med dia logs . Good luck Mate

Reguards Chris
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Offline woodmills1

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I also deal with the problem of selling long length firewood.  Each load is different, depending on the dia, length, and straightness of the pieces.  I vary the price according to my Idea of how well the truck is filled.  My measured volume is 4 cord total, so I will subjectively call a load anywhere from 2 to 4 cord, I also vary my price from $80 to $100 per cord.  Most of my buyers are repeat customers so we have gotten to know and trust each other.  I laugh at myself when I hear out of my mouth things like............well it is probably a little over three cords  so we can call it 4 cord at $80 each for $320 or 3 plus at $100 so I guess it is $320 worth of wood :o :o
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Online SwampDonkey

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I would scale by tonnage if selling log length firewood. If it's seasoned or dead take the meter reading and relate that to oven dry weight then convert to cords. The weights recorded in the texts are done on 1 ft3 blocks.

tons x (oven dry weight + oven dry weight x Moisture %)
                ### ft3/ loose cord 1

I think you have to remember to deduct 12 % for OD condition. So if you find the wood is 28%, take 12 % off for oven dry weight condition. 1How much do you allow for air space? Add that to 128 ft 3, I'd use 153 for around 20 % space. I did the math on ash for green weight and it works out to what we get on a semi load, 12 cords. I think there is only 5 lb difference between green and OD white ash. Black ash would be a lot wetter/heavier when green.
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Offline RSteiner

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From what I recently learned by experience the judging the volume of wood in a truck load can be a little tricky.  I cord of wood comes from plup wood days when it was cut in 4 foot lengths unsplit and piled in a row 4 foot high, every 8 feet of pile was considered a "cord". 

Translating that into a volume of firewood that is cut stove length is where the problem begins.  I cut my firewood into 18" long pieces most cut it into 16" lengths so that when it is piled in a cube the cube measures 48" X 48" X 96".  Take a true pile of "cord" wood and cut it into 16" lengths and split it, the volume of the neatly stacked wood will be a bit more than the 128 cubic foot volume of 4 x 4 x 8.

Now dump that same pile into a truck bed and the cubic foot space it will take up is a lot more than 128 cubic feet.  It use to be firewood dealers around here could sell by the cubic foot measure with 180 cubic feet of "thrown in" wood to be considered a cord.  That is not allowable any more.  I read in an older publication that a cord of wood consisted of about 70 cubic feet of solid wood so out of a 128 cubic foot pile 58 cubic feet is air or about 45%.

Log lengths in a truck would pose other problems, the straightness of the logs and the tightness of the pile.  Selling by weight would create more problems depending on the species and the dryness of the wood.

I think the best solution is to take an average load and cut it into "stove length" pieces, split it, and pile it neatly then measure the cubic foot volume of the pile.  Depending the the laws of your state, the next time you sell a load you can tell the buyer that the load should average a certian amount.  I would feel better giving the buyer a little more than expected.

Randy
Randy

Offline mike_van

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There must be a lot of air in that load Kelvin, to only come up with 2 face cords.  I think the best loads are put on with a grapple loader, it's so easy to get a better, tighter stack. A guy can turn a log in a second, to get a better fit. Some big end first, some small. I'm guessing you loaded with a frontend loader, tractor? It's hard to see over the sides, unless you get off, wiggle them around, etc.  Weighing a load isn't an option for me, the closest scales are about 15 miles one way.
I was the smartest 16 year old I ever knew.

Online SwampDonkey

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You may be right Randy, so instead of 153, use 180 or whatever has been published by USDA or your state. I think 180 rings a bell from what Gary_C has told us in his state. It's a bit light though on what I have found by buying tonnage and splitting and stacking myself. The mills here use 2.5 metric tonne of green hardwood per cord. Our regulation however states that it has to stack up to 128 ft3.
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline ely

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it is sold here by the ton now that they buy pulp wood by the ton. used to pulp wood was sold in short lentgh like was stated above and the man at the scale house would come out and scale your load with a stick. he would also look very careful for crooked and hollow wood. ::)

Online Gary_C

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Here is the Minnesota guide for buying firewood that contains everything you need to know about buying firewood:

http://www.state.mn.us/mn/externalDocs/Commerce/How_to_Buy_Firewood_102902050140_BuyingFirewood.pdf

 ;D
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Offline chep

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Kelvin,
use Smalians cubic foot formula
: Diameter small end squared x .005454 + Diameter of big end squared x .005454 divide by 2 (for average) then multiply by length(feet)= cubic foot volume per log

I believe this is the correct formula, if not then I am sure there is plenty of knowledge on the site that will correct me.
this may seem a little labor intensive, but if you do it for a few loads then you can come with an average for your truck good luck

Offline RSteiner

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The cubic volume formula that I use is   .7854 X Diameter squared X lenght.

If your measurements are done in inches to get cubic foot volumes divide the cubic inch number by 1728.

Maybe an easier method to determine voulme would be to take an average of the two end diameters and figure the cubic volume from that figure. 

What you are left with however is the solid volume of the log.  A cord of wood is around 40% air or about 70 cubic feet of solid wood out of the 128 cubic foot volume of 4 x 4 x 8.

So if you sold some one a load of wood based on the soild volume of the logs at 128 cubic feet they will want all the wood from you they can get at a per cord price.  ;D

Randy
Randy


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