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Author Topic: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?  (Read 1402 times)

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Offline woodrat

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for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« on: June 08, 2022, 11:49:19 AM »
So, I'm in the process of getting my firewood thing together. I'm still shopping for a splitter or processor, also starting to think about the delivery part of it. 

I've been looking at dump trailers, and they seem pretty expensive, and there are not very many used ones out there, and the ones that I'm seeing used are either really thrashed, or nearly the price of new if not.

So I started looking at small dump bed trucks, 1 ton rigs with a dump flatbed mostly. Also have seen a couple of heavier dump trucks but still not above the requirements for a CDL. 

I want to be able to deliver two cords of dry alder/fir/maple in one trip, and not have to unload by hand. Probably around 5000-5500# payload. 

Advantages I can think of with the trailer is that I don't need to fuel or insure it, and a 6x10 or 6x12 with higher sides would easily accommodate the weight and volume of 2 cords. However, I can also imagine it being awkward to fit into some places where I would need to deliver firewood. And I wonder what kind of hassles go along with the battery powered dump cylinders. 

Advantage of the 1 ton truck would be easier to fit into tight places, but also would be kind of limited in payload, and also needs to be added to the insurance policy. Plus fuel and maintenance on another rig. And, most of the 1 ton dump conversions are also battery powered setups. 

Anybody with more experience in the firewood selling game have some input on this? 

Thanks!
1996 Woodmizer LT40HD
Yanmar 3220D
Wallenstein FX 65 logging winch
Husky 61, 372XP, 346XP, 353
Stihl 036, 046 with Lewis Winch
78 Chevy C30 dump truck
35 ton firewood splitter
and lots of other junk...

Offline woodrat

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2022, 11:53:53 AM »
I've also considered putting one of these kits on my old 93 diesel dodge pickup and at least be able to haul and dump a cord, anyway. My truck has single rear wheels but the extra heavy axle, brakes and springs.

Dump Bed Kits - Pierce Arrow Inc.
1996 Woodmizer LT40HD
Yanmar 3220D
Wallenstein FX 65 logging winch
Husky 61, 372XP, 346XP, 353
Stihl 036, 046 with Lewis Winch
78 Chevy C30 dump truck
35 ton firewood splitter
and lots of other junk...

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2022, 12:02:49 PM »
You might want to talk to @Bruno of NH  about that fancy trailer he had on demo loan last fall. He is, I think getting a custom one built for him now. Not sure where that thread is and I can't recall the name of the trailer, but Bruno will know all that.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2022, 12:07:27 PM »
I've had both and much prefer a dump truck.
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Offline woodrat

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2022, 12:25:07 PM »
Is it reasonable to expect a 1 ton dually with dump bed to carry a payload of 5500#? Or should I be looking more at larger but sub-CDL rigs? 
1996 Woodmizer LT40HD
Yanmar 3220D
Wallenstein FX 65 logging winch
Husky 61, 372XP, 346XP, 353
Stihl 036, 046 with Lewis Winch
78 Chevy C30 dump truck
35 ton firewood splitter
and lots of other junk...

Offline Spike60

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2022, 12:40:24 PM »
Dump truck is probably the easiest to use when delivering. But a couple things come to mind. Sounds like you may already have a truck that could haul the trailer? If so, then the expense of a dump truck might not make sense in the early going here. Plus, the bigger the dump truck, the less you are going to use it for anything else. And if you are loading by hand, the dump truck will be noticeably higher than the trailer. 
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Offline GRANITEstateMP

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2022, 12:46:53 PM »
I prefer a dump truck but have dump trailers. Dump truck is nice, getting more than one cord in a 1 ton may be an issue, maybe 1.5 cord? Corley has a nice bed set up on his new truck, not sure of the capacity?

I have 2, 82in X 12ft dump trailers.  I easily put 1 cord in them and tow them behind a 3500hd srw. You can get 1.5cord, but you need abit of side boards.  Be careful on dump trailers, check, then recheck the cdl rules, I'm 90% sure any trailer over 10k now requires a cdl A. I bought one trailer new and one as a great deal used. They both have full coverage insurance, no way I could wreck one and easily replace it out of pocket. I like the two trailers fill one move it, fill the next. By then its a good time for a break, like going on a delivery!  95% of the time the dump trailer is easy to get to a delivery spot...those other 5% of the time, "Boy Howdy" :o
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Offline Gere Flewelling

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2022, 04:14:04 PM »
My son and I had a firewood business for a few years.  He was a logger and had access to tree length hardwood.  It made a good fill-in income for him.  We started off with a dump trailer that he hauled behind his f-150.  I worked pretty good for a start except that it would strew out a cord of wood across the customers yard as it didn't dump very high.  Clearly a dump trailer with wheels under the body would have been better.  No real issues with the dump hoist as long as the wiring was designed to charge off vehicle battery.
We added an old 2wd dual wheel ford f-350 with a electric dump hoist.  It had a 9' body and worked well at safely delivering a cord of wood.  The issue is that the truck was old technology with not power steering and a 6 cylinder motor.  Not convenient enough.  Bought an newer but old 2wd f-350 long wheel base and built a 12' body with 4' high sides.  Could easily put 2 cords in the body, but the truck just wasn't stout enough to safely haul the load.  Bought an old IH 1700 series that had a flatbed body that was used to haul cemetery vaults on.  Put the dump body it from the f-350.  That was the perfect truck to deliver 2 cords of wood.  It had a diesel engine and a 5 speed trans, hydraulic brakes.  Just enough power for highway speeds and would just get the job done efficiently.  Used it un until we closed down the business.  Sold it to another firewood guy who seems to be happy with it as well.
Also had a Super Duty 350 single wheel 4wd with an 11' flat bed dump.  Worked ok except it was hard to get a cord of wood in and not loose any off the truck.  Good luck!
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2022, 04:18:18 PM »
Look up Ants trailer solutions on the internet and u-tube
The trailer sort of stacks the wood not dumping and spreading out the load.
I have delivered with both
The dump trailer draws less dot action around here.
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls , F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools

Offline barbender

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2022, 06:56:54 PM »
I have a love/hate relationship with my dump trailer. They rust and get bent up very easily, and the price of them now...I think the model I have is now around $12K new😬 That said, it serves me very well, with extended sides on it I can haul and dump 2 cords of firewood. I'd like a 4x4 1 ton dump as well, but they are crazy money. Best bang for the buck is a 2 ton dump truck or dumping flatbed, but then you will likely have higher plates, insurance, and their basically aren't any 4x4's. It all depends on the conditions and situations you'll be delivering to.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline B.C.C. Lapp

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2022, 09:21:07 PM »


I want to be able to deliver two cords of dry alder/fir/maple in one trip, and not have to unload by hand. Probably around 5000-5500# payload.


I've been selling fire wood for decades and Ive always delivered in a pickup or a dump trailer. But really the dump trailer is mostly for bringing wood into the yard.  Just curious but why do you want to be able to deliver two cords at once?     Most of us try hard not to even sell by as much as a cord at a time.   Sold in smaller amounts wood brings and make more.   I sell a cord delivered for $225.  If I sell that same cord in small racks or by the face cord I will get close or over 300 for that self same cord.
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Offline woodrat

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2022, 09:51:32 PM »
I'm not in the urban/suburban fireplace wood market where I live. People want to buy 3-5 cords all at once for their winter heating. I would have to drive quite a ways to get into that "face cord"/nice price market, and at these fuel prices, it would probably be a wash. 

That being said, the more I look into what my options for hauling are, it seems like in order to safely and adequately haul 2 cords at once, I'm looking at either a pretty spendy dump trailer, or a 2+ ton dump truck. So I'll probably start out just using the old diesel dodge to deliver a cord at a time. 

I do have a 53 Chevy 2 1/2 ton flatbed that I haven't used in 20 years, but could probably be brought back into service with a thorough brake job and engine tune up. I used to haul hay and firewood with it a long time ago. But I would have to build a dump bed for it. Still, might be worth it. Already has a pretty low mile 292 in it. 

I'm seeing a couple of one ton dump bed trucks for around 5-6K, which is the very low end of what I could get a lighter duty dump trailer for right now. 
1996 Woodmizer LT40HD
Yanmar 3220D
Wallenstein FX 65 logging winch
Husky 61, 372XP, 346XP, 353
Stihl 036, 046 with Lewis Winch
78 Chevy C30 dump truck
35 ton firewood splitter
and lots of other junk...

Offline Spike60

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2022, 11:28:00 PM »
Be nice to see a pic of that '53 if you decide to put her back to work. :)

We did a little excersize today about how much could be saved if you bought a 35mpg car to save fuel costs of a 20mpg truck. Only came out to about $107 per 1000 miles @ $5 a gallon. The payback if you spent $10,000 on the fuel squeezer would be about 94,000 miles of driving. Plus a couple sets of tires and whatever else, cost of an additional vehicle on the road.

In your case the cost of an extra truck to be able to deliver 2 cords in one trip could make any savings somewhat elusive. Doing a cord at a time may not be as efficient, but the customer should be paying for that, not you. Just factor it into the price.

But then there's that ole '53. This might be a good excuse/reason to have some fun and put that old classic back on the road instead of letting it rust away where it's sitting. The break even on that project is simply to deliver enough wood to pay for getting it back in service. Easy target to hit.
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2022, 07:51:25 AM »
Plus a couple sets of tires and whatever else


This would also be a savings as it will cost less to service, maintain and re-tire a small car vs larger truck. Probably would not change the end results enough though.

Offline B.C.C. Lapp

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2022, 08:48:08 AM »
I'm not in the urban/suburban fireplace wood market where I live. People want to buy 3-5 cords all at once for their winter heating. I would have to drive quite a ways to get into that "face cord"/nice price market, and at these fuel prices, it would probably be a wash.

Yeah, I get that. I'm in kind of an in between area myself.   A lot of my customers are campers and back yard summer time burners.  But quite a few are heating their homes with it.   I do like having both kinds but I clearly make more money off the people burning for enjoyment and recreation.
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Offline jimbarry

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2022, 06:54:06 AM »
I'm not in the urban/suburban fireplace wood market where I live. People want to buy 3-5 cords all at once for their winter heating. I would have to drive quite a ways to get into that "face cord"/nice price market, and at these fuel prices, it would probably be a wash.
If you are looking at just a dump truck, it comes down to the GVWR and the TARE for the vehicle. 
We had a '09 Silverado 3500HD (1 ton) that was 12,000 lbs GVWR. The steel landscape dump body (4ft H x 9ft L x 7ft W) brought the TARE to 9,400lbs. That left 2,600 lbs for payload. If you are hauling seasoned maple/ash/birch (30% MC) that weighs 3,500lbs (at least it does here) for 128 cu ft of stacked firewood, then the truck is only good to legally haul 3/4 cord. It "could" fit in 1.5 cord if it was stacked into the landscape dump body. It could fit in 1 cord tossed in. If one cord or less is your marketplace, that's the truck to have. 


 
You could go with a dump trailer, you will need one to fit the volume you are hauling. This is one we had, 7x14ft with 5ft sides, 14,000 lb rating, trailer was 3,800 lbs. Cargo capacity would of been a little over 10,000 lbs. We used it to haul up to 2-1/2 cord but we were borderline close to the GCWR of 21,000lbs. And... hauling that much weight over rural pothole roads, and winding, hilly gravel roads, onto properties with unknown ground conditions and in many cases limited turning space...well, made the job difficult, and sometimes dangerous.


 
We sold the trailer and kept the 3500HD for smaller, local deliveries. Then built a larger truck for a 3 cord delivery. 2007 Sterling single axle with dump bed, 30,000 GVWR. TARE was 21,000 lbs. Custom cage built. Worked ok but the crane we put on it limited carry capacity to 2 to 2.5 cords. The crane was handy though.


 
Sold both trucks and now have a new truck, International CV515 SFA, and put a Multilift hook lift unit on it. GVWR 22,500 lbs and 4x4. Having a custom bin made for hauling firewood. It will be able to haul 2 cord easily and the bin will have a mid gate to carry 2 cord and deliver them separately. Just waiting on the bin to be made.

Offline hedgerow

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2022, 08:54:50 AM »
Back when I sold firewood I had a one ton Chev with a dump bed and a single axle dump trailer and would have a cord on each. Most of the folks I sold to only would take a cord at a time. I would unload the trailer at one place and then drop the trailer in a parking lot and go unload the truck. Most of the places I sold to had to be stacked also. If your going to haul two cord at a time on a trailer or truck your going to need a 1.5 or a 2 ton truck or a triple axle trailer. 

Offline OH logger

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2022, 05:38:00 PM »
I use a single axle kenworth grain truck with air brakes. I beefed up the bed for firewood. Works great GVWR 34,000. 16 bed with side extensions. Haul 3 cord at a time and ONLY 3 cord. No less.  Costs  the same whether I have one cord or 3. If they want less than three cord which some do they have to come to my place.  I actually get about the same for wood that is picked up versus delivered. When I was gettin started I used my trailer and before that borrowed a trailer. Not near as handy as a truck but cheaper

Offline woodrat

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2022, 12:26:30 PM »
For now, I found a small dump bed truck that can handle a cord of dry alder and fir, once I put slightly higher sides on it. Cheaper than any of the dump box trailers I was finding, and easier to get into tight spaces, too. 

Plus I've really been needing something like this for around the compound anyway. Manure, gravel, dump runs, scrap steel, etc. 

1978 Chevy C30, 292/4 spd, PTO dump. A bit of rust in the cab, but tight steering and brakes and the engine runs great. 



1996 Woodmizer LT40HD
Yanmar 3220D
Wallenstein FX 65 logging winch
Husky 61, 372XP, 346XP, 353
Stihl 036, 046 with Lewis Winch
78 Chevy C30 dump truck
35 ton firewood splitter
and lots of other junk...

Offline thecfarm

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Re: for firewood, dump trailer or dump truck?
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2022, 12:42:18 PM »
Nice bumper!!!
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79


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