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Author Topic: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?  (Read 4786 times)

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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2022, 08:31:36 PM »
Moodnacreek, I recently found a kiln up my way (he is an hour west of me) that does other folks lumber only now. He has a HUGE kiln and charges a buck a BF due to his energy costs. DOes good work and pretty timely for me, plus, he is a great guy just around my age with a lot to share. He does regular monthly loads that get trucked to his kiln from Long Island. If you have a trucker, you could probably work something out. If you want to run up this way, I can arrange a meeting, or give you his contact info. He just did some 12/4 x 24 by 16' slabs for us and pretty quick too, I thought.
 (Disclaimer, I have no financial interest in this.)
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 562, & 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, but almost.

Offline Southside

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #41 on: September 29, 2022, 09:02:59 PM »
My weekly sales on the food side of the business range from 10-15% food stamps right now.  

That light at the end of the tunnel is a train. 
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2022, 09:35:57 PM »
I found Yellowhammer a F-350 Super Duty.  Thereís 40,000 new Ford trucks in Kentucky.

LT 35 (Sold) Future Owner Woodmizer LT50, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Offline longtime lurker

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #43 on: September 29, 2022, 09:46:58 PM »
I just believe  there are a lot of sawmills out there that folks purchased for a lot of wrong reasons . Also a lot of poor lumber and slabs are just sitting and going unused. As interest rates rise the economy is going to slow at some rate. If $$ gets tight a lot of used mills will be for sale. I also am of the opinion that a lot of interest in mills was driven by you tube videos at I time when guys had a lot of extra time and $$. It looks really easy on a video to make some lumber and build your dream cabin. The reality is that you need a lot of support equipment and milling is hard work.
War story time... ;D ;D ;D
Guy comes in here a couple months back and he wants me to saw some Queensland Maple for him on shares. Now Qld Maple is one of the worlds better cabinet and joinery species and it's got a limited range most of which is now locked up and protected and I cut every bit of it I can get hold of. But one of the anomalies of the lumber game is that scarcity does not always result in a price increase... you need volume to drive a trend and if volumes are constrained the wholesale guys dont push it, the architects don't spec it, and Suzy Homeowner doesn't know it exists to want it for her new kitchen. But I'll still cut and hold because I have a better clientele than that and I can turn it into bucks easy enough.


Anyway, the guy's got a load of logs and they aren't bad logs, and he wants me to saw them on shares:
Me: "Okayyyy, what are you thinking here old mate?"
Dude: "Well I've got some trees and you come cut them down and put them through your mill and we split the timber"
Me: "How about if you want some of it cut I'll contract saw a couple up at my normal rate and just buy the balance of the logs from you?"
Dude: "What's wrong with just doing it on shares?"
Me: "Not a lot, it's just that I've got 20 years experience and a million dollars tied up in the industry, and you've got a couple  of trees. What kind of split you thinking here?"


Despite how it looks in the tube videos it's work, and most people don't like work. There'll be a glut of lightly used mills on the market soon enough
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline Tom K

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #44 on: September 30, 2022, 06:42:55 AM »
Basically, I was ready to spend a quarter million bucks yesterday and all I came home with was a headache and a $20 chicken finger combo with cheese bites from Zabyís.


Iím ready for it to be over.
No offence to Yellow Hammer, but this is exactly what I was saying. There are a lot of people/businesses in the same position as him right now. They have the money to spend but can't find something to spend it on since there's nothing in stock.

Not being political, but the government pumping trillions of dollars into the economy is the main cause. All of those dollars need to land somewhere, and then the price structure needs to correct from there. This will take some time.

I've heard rumors of Ford cutting back on some fleet purchases. Some big construction companies that usually order 50-70 trucks (250's-550's) a year are being told they will only get 15-20 trucks next year. These trucks get used and abused and just get worn out eventually. They aren't the pavement princesses most of the suburbanites think they need to drive. This goes on for a couple years and we have issues. Most of these fleets run pretty much bare bones trucks. You would think they would be more readily available then high trim models due to less chips needed, but they are not being built because there is more profit in the high trim models.

Offline customsawyer

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #45 on: September 30, 2022, 07:06:39 AM »
So many of those same companies buying fleets of trucks, are in the "spend it or lose it" situation. They are going to be looking for something to spend it on.
One thing I have learned in my 29 years of owning a business, is that we are basically penalized for saving money. If you spend it and kick the "tax can" down the road then it makes the economy look better. This gives some folks in office something to brag about, even if it is a false reading.    
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Offline Tom K

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #46 on: September 30, 2022, 07:17:06 AM »
Agree. We run into the same thing with the farm. Either you spend some profit and write it off, or pay 30% tax on it.

Those truck dollars will float around and land somewhere that there is something in stock.

Offline taylorsmissbeehaven

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #47 on: September 30, 2022, 07:26:05 AM »
I agree with you Tom. I drive 250 and 350's cause I pull equipment and materials around most days. I could get a 4wd bare bones truck in the 30k range. Now everybody needs a truck like that to pull the side by side to the farm on the weekend and expect the trucks interior to match that of the sedan they drive during the week. Even before the pandemic it was getting hard to buy a work truck. Now its impossible. How did folks ever get along before there seats were heated??
Opportunity is missed by most because it shows up wearing bib overalls and looks like work.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #48 on: September 30, 2022, 07:47:15 AM »
Yeah, it's kind of frustrating, and certainly no offense to me.  Me buying high end equipment is what I like to do.  I used to not be able to buy a pot to you know what in, so now I want to buy what I want to buy.  We save up for it, and now, now bueno.      

We save up for routine business purchases, try to plan things out, and then the plan goes in the toilet.  For example, the reason I'm wanting a new truck is that we had planned on replacing my older Chevy, 150,000 miles, when it started to become unreliable.  So it is now, and I need a new truck, no big deal, I have the money, it's in the business plan, and you'd think, somewhere in this country there would be one.  So I started looking at late model used uses and they cost more than than the new ones, the one that sticks out is the used one cost $26,000 more than the used one, at a dealer about 15 miles away.  So then I start looking at new ones and they won't be available for 6 months or more.  Even if I order one in October, Ford won't even start building them until January, and then it's 3 to 6 months, so realistically, it may be 9 months, before I can get the one I want.  So now I'm driving around in an unreliable truck until I can find a solution, and every thousand bucks I have to invest in repairs could have been put into a new one, so is a waste.

It used to be that I could walk into a dealership and buy the the high end models because no one else could afford to wanted them.  So I get a better truck quicker.  I also got extremely high resell on the high end equipment, much better than barebones stuff.

When I went to the Chevy dealership, they didn't even come out to talk to me, which was unusual.  So I asked the manager why and he said they hardly had any salesmen left.  They didn't have any stock so can't sell stuff, so the salesman don't make commissions and move on.


Also, I see rolling stock as an excellent investment.  Good high end equipment doesn't lose value these days, it stays the same or goes up.  So spending money that I can get back is not an issue.  Don't forget how much money we made selling all our old equipment this year.  If I can buy a high end truck, use it for a year, and resell it for as much or more than I paid for it, that's easy money.  But the plan falls apart when I can't get the replacement.

If my truck isn't as comfortable as my tractor or skid steer, I don't want it, and it sure won't be more expensive.  The tractor I bought in 2014 cost more than the Ford Platinum truck I'm looking at now.  I've worked hard for years, and the reality is that I spend $20 grand a week on logs or lumber, sometimes more, sometimes less, so the numbers for a new high dollar ride aren't that big, especially compared to the equipment and stuff.  My LT70 wasn't cheap and doesn't even come with a heated seat!        
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyíre burned, and you canít fix them.  So donít burn the cookies.

Sawing is fun for the first couple hundred boards.

Offline taylorsmissbeehaven

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #49 on: September 30, 2022, 08:16:56 AM »
No heated seat on the lt 70, whats this world coming too?? It is a shame that my ctl is more comfortable than my daily driver. Then again maybe its for the best considering the terrain difference between the two.  :D These are odd times we are living in. Gotta sit back and see how this all plays out.
Opportunity is missed by most because it shows up wearing bib overalls and looks like work.

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #50 on: September 30, 2022, 09:21:04 AM »
Ian fixed declining lumber pricesÖin a most unfortunate way.  
LT 35 (Sold) Future Owner Woodmizer LT50, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Offline bigblockyeti

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #51 on: September 30, 2022, 09:30:55 AM »
Even before the pandemic it was getting hard to buy a work truck. Now its impossible. How did folks ever get along before there seats were heated??
I priced out a '23 F-250 XL, crew cab, 8' bed, 4x4, 7.3gas and a few options to make it work better as a truck.  I don't care about the interior beyond power windows, I'd get it without A/C if that was an option and rubber floors are easier to keep clean (when actually working) than carpet.  It has an MSRP of $59,8XX and the dealer will sell it to me for that but I'd have to wait for quite a while to actually get it.

Offline SawyerTed

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #52 on: September 30, 2022, 11:13:09 AM »
I suspect that CTLs. mini excavators, telehandlers, work trucks and lots of other equipment, building materials and home furnishings are going to be in high demand/short supply due to Ian. 

Watching the news a few minutes ago, in the background a truck with two or three CTLs rolled through behind the reporter.
LT 35 (Sold) Future Owner Woodmizer LT50, WM BMS 250, WM BMT 250, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #53 on: September 30, 2022, 08:03:38 PM »
I have been nursing my 150k mile truck along for about a year and half. I absolutely refuse to play the games being played. I imagine a sizeable percent of the backlog is people thinking the inflation game will continue. "Hey, I can buy stuff, write off the depreciation" and it will actually appreciate. Yep a few lucky folks cashed that covid check. Thing is the pendulum always overcorrects and it is now on the downswing.

Covid comes along about every 100 years or so. That last 2 years were an anomaly. Household debt is moving into record levels. The bubble is going to burst and soon. You got 100k and need a truck than by all means enjoy the ride. Think the 100k truck used will be worth more than 50K 2 years down the road, you may be disappointed.


Online Walnut Beast

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #54 on: September 30, 2022, 09:11:20 PM »
Everyone crying about a 100k diesel truck better get use to it. Everything has gone up. We are on new levels on everything and if and when stuff comes down I seriously doubt you will buy a 100k diesel truck in two years for 50k. And if itís dually truck they hold value even more

Offline Southside

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #55 on: September 30, 2022, 09:17:26 PM »
I am old enough to remember both 2008 and the '80s farm crisis.  History will repeat itself again.  
Franklin buncher and skidder
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Riehl Edger
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Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows

Online Walnut Beast

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #56 on: September 30, 2022, 09:35:31 PM »
I do know one thing the one acre of land Iím selling for 44k will be worth more than that 100k truck diesel or no diesel in a few years 😂

Offline longtime lurker

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #57 on: September 30, 2022, 10:26:56 PM »
I am old enough to remember both 2008 and the '80s farm crisis.  History will repeat itself again.  
History always repeats itself. I'm old enough to have managed 18% interest rates in the late 80's here during "the recession we had to have" which was government induced. That hurt, but overwhelmingly business confidence was strong. We did need it too... that couple years of treasury induced pain saved us a big crash during the Asian/Japanese crash on the 90's.
I'm not old enough to have managed the inflationary spiral of the 70's though so my personal playbook doesn't have a survival guide for what's ahead yet. But I'll manage, cuz I'm flexible, and inherently fiscally conservative, and know when to put it all on the line and when to duck for cover. 
What gets me though is that I'm just a dumb old sawmiller who knows that history repeats itself... and there's a lot of supposedly smart people who manage economies who can't seem to learn new ways to avoid the same cyclic disasters.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2022, 08:28:52 AM »
History is all we have. Who can see the future? History tells us what could happen next.

Offline 230Dforme

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Re: With dropping lumber prices, when will demand for sawmills follow?
« Reply #59 on: October 01, 2022, 05:39:50 PM »
Had structural steel fabrication and erecting company for 30 years, did $ 1,000,000 jobs.
Minimal equipment owned, union iron workers, rented shop, $800 month
Doing tree work now, good local equipment.
Bucket truck, dump truck, chipper, $ 25,000
Canít believe what people spend on equipment 

Me and Moodnacreek think alike, just wish heíd 
move to next door to me 😳






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