iDRY Vacuum Kilns


scaling timber

Started by GlennCz, August 01, 2005, 09:11:03 AM

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We took our second load to the sawmill on Thursday.  I was a little disappointed in the amount paid for the load and so I studied the log scale report and what i found was that most of the logs, about 90%, received the highest grade they could based on diameter of small end.  So how could I really complain?  I know that we are doing a thinning and so we are taking out the crappiest wood(but with some value) and leaving the better stuff that has room to grow.

Is it customary for the logger to go with the logging truck and watch the scaler work??  I can see it's all a long process with the truck taking about 45 min's to load then that amt again to unload at the mill.  Do you think it makes any difference if someone is looking over the shoulder of the scaler?

Also, I know I got a great answer to the question of wether now is a "good time to sell timber" and I was told it is like the stock market, which I understand enough to know I can't predict it-sometimes it goes higher or lower than we would ever think).  But I am doing a 60 acre thinning and I hope I'm not "for sure" doing it at the wrong time.  I know that log prices might be higher with bad weather and muddy spring, and that might be a good time to sell, but then I'd have the same trouble everyone else is having with the weather and potential damage to my property.


I suspect you are right in there amongst many others wondering how to get more for all the hard work you go through to get the logs to the mill.

Certainly wouldn't hurt to go with a load to see what the scaler does, IMO.  I'd go through the load of logs and get the small end diameters, and record them, so I had a record to compare the scale sheets against.  Then you would know more about that load before it leaves on the truck. I'd try to learn as much about the log grades of the buyer, and have a good idea what I am sending, as well as what I am cutting. Sometimes a log-length cutting decision can be made at a different location to better the grade of a log, as well as the value of the wood in the log.
south central Wisconsin
It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others


 All the scalers I deal with, are more than happy to have us there watching and asking questions. I make it a point to go with the 1st couple of loads, and watch the scaler. I can learn what they are looking for, (eg lengths, curve, hearts). That way we can make better bucking decisions on the landing. Most scalers are fair, some are exceptual. I stoped in for a check, for a load we sent the previous week, and there was an addition from the previous load. The scaler bucked 1' off a grade log and got veneer out of it. So they payed us the difference. I thought that was more than fair.
Ed K


like I said in my initial post, i thought the scaler was pretty much giving me the highest grade he could based on size, so I can't fault that.  Tomorrow I am going to watch a different scaler at a different mill, luckily just 3 miles away from my woods. 

This has turned into one of the most interesting projects that I've been involved in in my life.  I've read a ton on proper forestry techniques and luckily I found a good logger, whom I can work with!, we have worked a fair $$$ relationship, and we are marking timber together and he is cutting and dragging it out.  Basically, I am trying to grow beautiful timber 20 yrs from now, releasing alot of nice, medium hard maples and in pairs taking the crappier piece and trying to save the nice stuff.  Then every 3rd group or so, I cut down a nice $$$ tree.  But without doubt, the most rewarding part of this project is that I am in my woods everyday, sometimes even a few times per day, and piece by lovely piece we are going to be looking at just about every tree in my 60 acres of timber, (except hemlocks), cut out the weak with some matures, and then grow some nice timber.  What a lovely responsibility that has somehow landed on my lap and I hope to be a good steward of what was given to me.  I am just a temporary owner of this land. 

So I have the loggin and marking figured out I hope, The beech I can handle, now my biggest problem will be these darn deer that chew every little shoot in sight.  It is amazing how think the saplings are right against the state road that borders my property, the deer aparently don't brouse right along this road and the saplings are soo thick here.  My other problem in places are very dense ferns, but hopefully these let go a bit once I open up the forest with my thinning. 

Moscow, Pa(near Scranton-in the Poconos)



Sounds like you and your logger are doing well. One thing to remember is that as discussed elsewhere on the Forum, diameter has alot to do with grade, more so than length. If you are removing alot of smaller, cull trees they will bring less per board foot than larger diameter ones.

I've never met a grader who wouldn't let you watch him grade your logs and answer your questions. The grader/buyer's job is to supply his mill with suitable logs and anything he can do to help you produce quality logs only makes his job easier. If he won't explain to you what he's looking for then find yourself another log buyer.
If you're not broke down once in a while, you're not working hard enough

I'm not a hillbilly. I'm an "Appalachian American"

Retired  Conventional hand-felling logging operation with cable skidder and forwarder, Frick 01 handset sawmill

Pretend farmer when I have the time


IMHO, no timber should ever leave your property without knowing exactly (down to the penny) how much you'll be paid for it.  Grade means nothing if you're getting jabbed on scale.

They will scale your logs at your property. 

If I had 2 truckloads of high grade hardwood logs anywhere here in Wisconsin, I'm 100% certain I could have no less than 20 interested parties show up, with check in hand.


>If I had 2 truckloads of high grade hardwood logs anywhere here in Wisconsin

thanks much.  Right now we are just cutting regular cherry and maple(mostly) hardwood, at about 2.2K per load of 55 logs.  Don't really think I would get "bidders" to come by for that, also the logs are in a pile and would be difficult to grade on my landing.  But when I cut down veneer, which we are marking but not cutting yet, we are going to get a truckload on my landing and lay them out for grading and we are going to get a few interested parties to bid.


Scalers here are generally licensed and it's not suppose to matter who they work for, there are rules. Even so alot of the loggers will watch them because they are sometimes truckers of their own wood. I don't know of a scaler that will make issue with you watching them scale. Actually, sometimes the buyer/scaler will buy some questionable wood if they need wood badly. I know of one scaler that got canned for favoring the producer/logger too much. The mill was buying too much stuff below grade.
"No amount of belief makes something a fact." James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

2020 Polaris Ranger 570 to forward firewood, Husqvarna 555 XT Pro, Stihl FS560 clearing saw and continuously thinning my ground, on the side. Grow them trees. (((o)))

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