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Pay % from a logger

Started by RobertJD, May 07, 2022, 02:20:04 PM

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 A logger has offered me 40% for good grade and 30% for low grade is this a good deal for me or is it to low i already have a 16 foot wide great road it's only 300 feet off black top road where he will load  and he says timber will all be a very short drag and the mill is around 40 mins away and I am in West Virginia  Thank you  

Texas Ranger

Don't know your location, but in Texas the logger gets around 25-30% of mill price, up or down depending on grade, mill location, site, and any other thing around.  To me the numbers are wrong.
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Round here it's generally 50-50 unless its high value stuff like walnut sometimes goes 60% to the landowner.


where abouts you located?  it would help 
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I think he is somewhere in West Virginia 
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Other factors too are distance to ship the logs, size of the harvest, landscape challenges, etc.  Moving onto a 10 acre select cut with no roads and three brook crossing 75 miles to a mill vs a 200 acre clear cut, flat as a pancake, 10 miles to the mill will impact things.  
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All good replies.  It also depends on how much competition, how many poor loggers.  The sad fact is that most loggers are not making a profit- they pay bills and a small salary.  Its very competitive as well.

Rather than worrying too much about the exact split in revenues I'd be worried about the  sale & harvest process:  STRONGLY recommend hiring a consulting forester if one will take the job.  

The consulting forester will:

  • Estimate volumes, arrange a competitive bid sale.  Bids that should bring in more money than the average logger offers at first pass.
  • Design a sale process that will comply with the state rules (which in WV can be a bit restrictive on the logger- lots of safety compliance and things like that) and monitor the harvest so everything goes smoothly.
  • You will be paid before the harvest begins, the risk falls on the bidders.
  • Monitor the post harvest rehabilitation- seeding skid trails, etc.
  • Consultants get paid off the timber harvest receipts- from 5-15% depending on the quality & volume of the timber and overall value.  

If you are asking the question of what % is fair (and good on you for asking) I would strongly recommend trying to get a forester to manage the sale.  
Liking Walnut


A forester representing the landowners interests needs to be independent and basically adversarial to purchaser and entity doing the harvesting. One person wearing all the hats is a conflict of someone's interest.


Around here most foresters put their 10 percent in their pocket, and you won't see them again. Its best to do your research and find a good logger with good references and work with him. 
Clean and Sober


Quote from: Nemologger on May 26, 2022, 09:41:47 PM
Around here most foresters put their 10 percent in their pocket, and you won't see them again. Its best to do your research and find a good logger with good references and work with him.
This is also my answer. Land owners that have or are ready to sell timber need to find each other and talk. One name will come up as the honest logger in the area. He will be busy.


Lots of loggers in my area and most are honest and hardworking as well. They vary greatly in equipment used, some have good well maintained skidders, dozers and trucks, others are sort of threadbare operators. Back when we had more pine post cutters and pulpwood cutters there were even more low end loggers & cutters often barely able to move their product.  
Asking a landowner definitely has it's limits given they are not likely to know the market nor forestry or logging. My wife's family has sold timber several times over the years, each time of which I knew they were getting a poor price for the timber given the entire setting information. I stayed well away from commenting other than to my wife privately as we had no involvement at all.
Given fuel prices right now the logistics are tough on all concerned. Talking directly to the loggers & foresters who rise to the top of your search will help the OP feel the choice is well informed given their side of the discussion.  
In my area, sawmill owners will readily share the names of loggers they know and trust. Some will go un-named. 
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Ron Scott

Have a professional consulting forester appraise your timber to determine its minimum stumpage value and then put the timber sale out on bids among the respected loggers operating in your area. 

Gary Davis

the numbers look backwards to me 


 Hire a forester, as much as I hated to say it yrs ago, now i would rather cut 80% of these jobs with one because it's someone in between the logger / landowner, keeps the logger somewhat honest and the landowner from asking for so many extras the job isn't profitable. 


It's definitely worth your time to hire a forester. Unfortunately, there is just too much variability in a harvest to know for sure what a good rate is. You only learn by making mistakes, and timber harvests occur so rarely, mistakes simply aren't very efficient. If you want to learn more about specific variabilities in a harvest, there is more info here:

However, if you want to know the going rates for stumpage in west virginia, you can find a price report here:
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