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Author Topic: firewood processors  (Read 15614 times)

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Offline Mapleman

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firewood processors
« on: December 30, 2011, 08:48:12 PM »
I'm new here although I've been reading the posts here and in the sawmill forum with great interest for the past couple of weeks. 

I'm in the market for a firewood processor and would like to hear any feedback owners might have concerning the quality and reliability of their machines.  I've been looking seriously at the Rapido Loco circular saw processor made by Woodbine and would especially like to hear any feedback on that processor and the Woodbine company.

Thanks

Dave
"The older I get, the better I used to be."

Offline T Welsh

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2011, 10:13:37 PM »
Mapleman, I just watched the video of the rapido loco, quite impressive!
One thing to keep in mind when purchasing a processor is what do you expect it to do!
1. what size will you be mostly cutting
2.how much production are you willing to pay for
3. where is the company located and will they give back up service and parts
Would a used unit do the same thing or do you want to start out new! ask yourself a lot of questions,then go see the one you settle one in action with your own eyes! do not bank your decision on the video,s you see they are perfect situations. see one at a farm show or a lumber show, also ask for references and testimonies . Good hunting! Tim

Offline thecfarm

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2011, 08:01:45 AM »
Mapleman,welcome to the forum. Did I see a $60,000 price tag? Can be done,but you have to have the wood to put through it and the customers to buy it too. That thing will go through some wood.Are you in the wood business now?
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Offline bill m

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2011, 08:08:44 AM »
The Rapido Loco is listed at $67,900.   CRD Metalworks is located in Williamsburg Ma. , about 50 miles from me. They make a great machine.
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Offline T Welsh

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2011, 08:19:31 AM »
Mapleman,welcome to the forum. Did I see a $60,000 price tag? Can be done,but you have to have the wood to put through it and the customers to buy it too. That thing will go through some wood.Are you in the wood business now?
Thats the other thing about processors! they only do one thing. unless you push out over a couple of hundred cords a year they are expensive toys. we have a builtrite SC20 and it gets the job done,we push about 200+ cords a year through it and it sure beats doing it by hand :D. Tim

Offline Mapleman

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2011, 09:38:05 AM »
Thanks for all the replies so far.

I've been selling firewood for quite a while now, about 150 cords a year, with a splitter and conveyor.  That's about all I can handle between the end of sugaring and when haying season starts for me, but I could sell more.  Also at 60 I'm not getting any younger and can see my production falling off if I continue to do it by hand.  A processor is a big expense but I figure I can still run it when I'm 80 (as long as my mind holds up) and still bring in money to pay property taxes.

I'm in southern VT and Woodbine isn't far from me.  I visited them a couple weeks ago and they seemed like nice people, gave me the VIP tour, but didn't have any completed machines to give me a demo.  It's be nice to hear from someone who has one of their rigs to see if they hold up as well as they look like they would.  I'm considering the Rapido Loco 20 - a smaller machine but at 55000 it's a lot less than the bigger model and still can up to 20".

Dave
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Offline Holmes

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2011, 10:15:42 AM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum Mapleman.  I looked at one of the earlier processors by CRD a couple of years ago, chainsaw bar type. It was working great until it got to the max. size wood it could handle, 20", and it could not push it through the 8 way splitter. They have probably worked that problem out, just so you know. It was an impressive machine, had a Deere engine. Holmes
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Offline Randy88

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2011, 06:57:59 PM »
I've looked at and even ran most every brand out on the market, my advice is to get names of people who own them and avoid the sales pitch and go directly to owners and ask them questions, I've found over the years of research that they all have drawbacks, which ones you want to live with is the answer you need to figure out yourself.   I figured if I lived long enough I'd build one myself to try to over come most of the problems the comercial units have that they won't address and fix.    By talking to owners of the different machines I learned a lot more than any video or salesman will ever tell you or inform you of.     If your starting to look, or have only looked at a few, then I'd say your starting your process of figuring out what you need or can afford and also the resale vavlue if you go to upgrade it or downgrade it later in life.     

It might pay to go to a smaller unit and also have a log splitter to split the larger logs into smaller quarters to run through a cheaper processor that handles smaller wood, just a suggestion of what I"ve found.   Not sure if you have a tractor to put on instead of buying an engine, a pto unit is some cheaper also how are you going to load it?   

 A 50-70k processor takes a lot of wood to run through it to pay for it.    Do some checking around and maybe come across a repo unit a bank is trying to sell off at a considerable decuction in cost over new, I've come across several like that but at the time I didn't have the funds available to buy them, I wasn't prepared for them at that time, but they are out there.

Your on the right track by asking questions and the more you ask you'll figure out you need to ask even more yet.   I'm not sure how many cords a year your planning on doing but at the amount your doing now a big dollar processor will sit idle most of the time unless your going to do 8 or 10 times the amount your currently doing now.   Just a suggestiion but maybe look at a smaller one with plans to upgrade later on in life or down the road, you might find eventually your tired of doing firewood and wish you'd never seen such a high dollar unit to try to sell and recoup your money on.    I found a few with pto units doing 5-7 times the amount your doing now for less than half the money your talking and they told me it was big enough and didn't want anything bigger, they also used the tractor to use the rest of the year for other things as well, like cutting hay and baling and farming with during the summer months.     

Everyone I've ever talked to told the same thing, a processor is only as fast as you can feed it logs and haul the firewood away from it, and no faster, if your waiting for logs or have to haul the firewood away yourself, then the processor sits idle doing nothing and the larger ones are a waste of money, production means nothing when its sitting idle, that was the single biggest thing I learned from the dozens of machines I ran and owners I talked to, none of them told me or bragged on cords per hour, most said it was dependant on so many vairables after a while it ment nothing and to not buy any processor for production on a per hour basis and that the higher dollar machines were not worth the money, even those with them told me to do it over again they'd not buy a high dollar machine, it wasn't worth the cost.   That put me into a whole different mindset as to what to look for in a processor.  Just my two cents worth, so take it for what its worth.   

Offline Mapleman

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2012, 06:56:21 PM »
Randy88 -

Thanks for your long and thoughtful reply.  You've got me thinking about the wisdom of spending more money on a high capacity machine.  My logic was that I had a short time to get the wood done and delivered in between other activities and soon enough that my customers would have a good chance to get the wood dry enough to burn in the coming winter, and that a higher production machine would help with that. 

I have a backhoe with forks to load it.  I also have a tractor to run one but don't want to get it double booked with the processor when I need it for haying.

I've been looking for used machines but they seem to be scarce.  Do you have any suggestions as to where to look?  Is there some place that banks have listings of repossessed property?

You said you've run a lot of different machines, was there one brand that you liked better than the others?  Did you run both a chainsaw and a circle saw machine?  If you have the time, any input you can give me would be appreciated.

Thanks

Dave

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Offline leonz

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2012, 07:46:40 PM »
I'm new here although I've been reading the posts here and in the sawmill forum with great interest for the past couple of weeks. 

I'm in the market for a firewood processor and would like to hear any feedback owners might have concerning the quality and reliability of their machines.  I've been looking seriously at the Rapido Loco circular saw processor made by Woodbine and would especially like to hear any feedback on that processor and the Woodbine company.

Thanks

Dave




The Chomper is another option in firewood processors wherein it uses a shearing method
the shear the wood to length and split it at the same time and it uses cable winch to pull the tree
length logs into the shearing/splitting chute of the processor and it does not require a machine to
load it as it does not require or use a live deck of any type.

The smallest model Simplex 14 unit  is PTO powered and any tractor with 40 plus horse power can power it.

The chomper Simplex super 16 can shear and split 16 inch diameter logs.


If you would like I can e-mail you copies of owners references in your area as well as the information packet.

Please note I do not and have not represented Raineir Hydraulics who manufactures the Chomper line of
firwood processors and firewood conveyors.

Online beenthere

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2012, 08:08:13 PM »
leonz
Where are you located?
Have you seen the chomper work, or used it?

And what hardwoods will it 'chomp' at 16" diam ?
south central Wisconsin
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Offline bull

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2012, 08:02:18 AM »
Im running a 2009 multitek 1610 ez. real happy with this machine. Paid $26,500 delivered ! Yes it will process a cord of perfect clean straight saw logs in an hour.  On the reality side *(one man operation/partially worn out body)* normal firewood logs. I am quite happy with a cord every 2 1/2 hours.  No maintainance issues pretty much everything is right there easy to get to, the most difficult is working on the bar and chain, but is not a major issue.... I have run over 10-15 cord thru between sharpenings. Had over 100 cord on the original chain and still running the original bar, although I will be changing that out soon ! Has been straightened twice due to operator error !! Ooops !!  Average yearly output 60 cords.......   Nice small machine that can be road ready in 15 minutes  or less and pulled w/ a pickup !!  P.S. my son is in a wheelchair and can operate the unit with little assistance !! So @ 80 you will still be able to run it !!

Offline T Welsh

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2012, 06:28:35 PM »
Mapleman, Try these site they are pretty good starting places that may lead somewhere!
http://www.forestryequipmentsales.com/
/ and sawmill exchange
good hunting! Tim

Offline gunman63

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2012, 07:29:18 PM »
been there, done this,  I have a hakki processor, 16" dia limit on paper, more like 14" in real life, just like the rest, yes 16" will run thru it, no needs to be straight, no knots, sawlog material.
  Done the auger style splitter on a bobcat post hole auger, yep that works too, slow and time comsuing.some wood splits right open, most dont, some  split into wedges, some split out the side and end up short,
   ran my processor for 2 years, now i hire my wood cut and split, $25 a cord, i cant do it that cheap with a processor, and nothing more thats to big, to crooked, to limby, they cut it all, use there chainsaws, gas, and splitting mauls.
   if i was to do it with a machine again, i would get one that would do 20" wood or  bigger. or if your stuck on a processor, and want a smaller cheaper one, and if u buy  your wood in, be fussy, pay a 5 or 10 dollar premium per cord and buy only what u can run thru your machine, if its over 14 or 15 inch cull it, the loggers will learn

Offline John Mc

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2012, 09:52:40 PM »
There are a few options that are partway between a chainsaw with a hydraulic splitter and a full-fledged firewood processor. LogRite sells one such option (see video here on FF in their section below or check out their sponsor link to the left). Hud-Son Forest Equipment in Barneveld, NY also sells some smaller firewood processors. You might want to check out the Badger, the Wolverine, or the Little Brute that they sell. They also sell some used equipment which occasionally includes firewood processors.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Corley5

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2012, 08:50:16 AM »
I've had great service from my 14-12 Block Buster and am glad I didn't spend a bunch more money on a bigger machine.  There are times when higher production would be nice but not enough to offset the higher cost.  I would however like a diesel engine  :)
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Offline blackfoot griz

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2012, 11:29:11 AM »
Mapleman,

One huge consideration is what to do with the split firewood. Any processor will create a pile of split firewood. Eventually, you have to deal with the split stuff or move the processor. I built a processor and working alone have discovered that I spend much more time dealing with the split stuff than running the processor. It takes 10-15 minutes for me to completely fill a full sized  pickup box. When the truck is full I use a hand crank live deck and transfer the firewood to a pallet--generally in 1/2 cord units. Some say it looks a little trashy, but I mix in the small slivers--don't have to mess with kindling. Without killing myself, I can do 16 pallets (8 cords) in a day.

At this point, I don't sell a lot of firewood, but it is nice when somebody comes to pick up a load to have it on pallets. There is no debate about the volume and it is easy to load.

How do you guys handle all of the split stuff?


Offline Corley5

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2012, 11:42:32 AM »
I don't stockpile any wood.  Mine is all processed into the delivery vehicle and delivered.
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Offline Buck

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2012, 12:35:30 PM »
I wish my multitek had a larger engine and was diesel.
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Offline Randy88

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Re: firewood processors
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2012, 02:35:34 PM »
Mapleman, unless you can be in two places at once driving more than one machine at a time, your either cutting wood or doing hay, a PTO is only a few minutes to remove and take the tractor to do something else, not sure what you have for a tractor, how big or how new.   

A high dollar processor is nice, and unless your doing 1000 plus cords per year, your not really using it much, if your doing say 200 cords per year and can even process half per hour of what they claim, your only going to put on maybe 70-100 hours per year which isn't much.   I"ll bet your going to be loading firewood, stacking, loading logs, or walking back and forth between the jobs more than that per year, so if you can save half or more in costs, what are you really adding in time spent processing, maybe 25-30 hours more per year on a cheaper processor or do some math and figure out what those hours cost per year for the extra machine.   

Now for the circular saw blades verses the chain and bar style, first have you heard others mention that they have bent bars and straightened them or worn them out and replaced them, well the circular saw isn't void of its problems either, if you can bend a saw bar you can tweak a blade as well, have you ever bent a circular saw blade? how about hitting something and sprung a blade like in hitting a larger rock or chunk of metal or damaged the insert holders or over time they wear and don't hold teeth tight, like circular saw mill blades do over time, I"ve run circular blade mills in the past, my grandpa owned one for decades and also hit things and had to have the blade hammered so it ran true again.   Now armed with that, a circular saw blade in a processor isn't immune from this either, and firewood is the harsher environment you can come across for debris in the forestry industry, nothing like milling saw logs or quality lumber, you get the rejects and stuff nobody else would run through a mill of any sort, not the best stuff.    Yea there is more maintenance to a chain and bar type but its also cheaper by far to replace as well, for the hours per year your putting on if you replaced the bar and chain many times per year your still money ahead, doubtful you'll replace the bar but a few times in your lifetime unless you bend it, but its still cheaper than a blade to replace.   

The next downside to a blade is they don't shut off, they run constantly unlike a bar and chain which stops when you take your hand off the lever, so if you get off and pry on a log or chunk of wood in the splitter the circular saw is still running or wait until it slows and shuts down before getting off to work on the processor or pry a log into where it needs to be, just watch anyone using one and see if that happens or not, 95% of the time the blade is still running full power and with no blade guard on it either, or put it this way when someone makes a hand held saw with a circular blade in it I'll think about using a circular saw on a processor, but thats just me.   Yes they are quick and powerful and can cut it off fast and you have such short turn around and if you ran day in and day out full bore maybe it would add up, but for less than 600 cords per year, what do you save in time per year over a bar and chain?      Do as you wish but go watch some people run them away from the salesman and see for yourself how they work and how they handle the wood and how much time they spend doing these things, as one guy told me answer your cell phone and you've lost all the time you've saved by running a high dollar processor, it shot your cords per hour in the butt and he needed to answer it constantly to take firewood orders and arrange delivery times with customers while the processor sat idling so he could hear his phone.

If it were me I'd get a list of names from the companies trying to sell you a processor and go see them work and talk and ask them personally plenty of questions, most are honest and since they're not making money off you will tell you the truth of the machines drawbacks and problems and what they wished it had differently than it does, also look at the machines themselves and see how they hold up for the hours on them.    If I can help you in any other way let me know, best of luck on your search.   

As for names of processors, do an internet search and it'll give you plenty of names to look at.


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