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Author Topic: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service  (Read 5287 times)

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Offline Kelvin

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Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« on: August 25, 2008, 10:47:45 PM »
 Well i finally offered my local tree service guy prices i would pay for logs, instead of just having free ones dropped off when he was in the area.  I risked loosing a few free ones for getting first dibs on the big jobs.  It paid off in only a few weeks.  This was 20 trees of a clearing job of white oak that has 40 more trees to go.  I've gotten quotes from local loggers from $3-$4 a bd ft to $1.25 a bd ft for butt logs.  I think this will pay off in the long run.  Offering tree service guys an amount that would be a good deal compared to what mills pay and what you could buy from loggers for.  I offered $.50 a bd ft for butt logs and $.25 a bd ft for uppers in white oak, cherry and walnut.  Tree service guys get paid for taking the trees down, and a decent amount on the side for the log pays for the hassle of keeping them long and loading them on trailers.  Thought this might be an idea that some people on the forum would think about trying to get these logs that usual get turned into firewood (as its easier to handle).  Just something to consider.





Offline DanG

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2008, 02:33:31 AM »
That's a nice load of logs, Kelvin.  I'm just glad to see that you're not giving up.  You seem to have seen that you just can't make a living depending on free logs.  If you're able to get a fairly consistent supply this way, the price you've offered the tree service should still give you an excellent return for your efforts, even if you pass on a nice little savings to your customers.  Here's the way I look at it. If your custom sawing rate is a quarter a foot(or whatever), then that amount, plus a little for handling and marketing would be your break-even point.  In other words, if you pay four bits a foot for white oak, like you just have, and sell the lumber for just a buck a foot(I'm sure you can do better than that!), you've made a good day's wage for yourself.  The trick is going to be in being dependable to your supplier.  It will only take a couple of times of you telling him you can't come pick up the logs at the necessary time, and he'll never call you again.  If you're going to be in business, then you've gotta be IN BUSINESS, and not just in business when it is convenient.  An arborist cannot be leaving logs around in hopes that a sawmill guy will show up to get them later, or his own business will suffer.  I've had more than one tree service tell me that they haven't had good luck with sawmillers, so they just figure in the tipping fees and don't even bother to call anybody.  Sure enough, they haven't called. :-\  If you got a good guy, take care of him! ;)

Now, much of what I just said was just a general commentary on the business, but I also have something to say to you directly, Kelvin.  I want to say that I have a great deal of admiration and appreciation of you for what you've done for the ForestryForum.  Through your willingness to spill your guts about all the troubles and misgivings you've had, you have helped many of us to keep things in perspective.  You have shared all your problems with us and made us all wonder if you were really cut out for this, yet you are still here, still sawing, and still exploring every avenue you can find to make it all work.  I don't know how many guys have been through here talking about all the success they were having, and suddenly they have given it up because they were broke.  You have persisted through some pretty tough times, and you have built your own house with your own lumber, and managed to keep body and soul together through it all, so I hereby declare you a SUCCESS! 8) 8) 8)
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline ellmoe

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2008, 06:21:14 AM »
   Ditto what Dan said. Good luck with your new strategy.

Mark
Thirty plus years in the sawmill/millwork business. A sore back and arthritic fingers to prove it!

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2008, 06:33:12 AM »
If you get surplussed with logs, just sell the excess. They sell better fresh than laying on the yard all during the warm season.  ;)
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Offline solidwoods

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2008, 07:24:31 AM »
Good news, looks youll need a longer log deck 8).
.50bf is a good price for you. $3-4 is very top end veneer logs.
Logs are rock bottom around here because most mills are shut down.
The Wizard II metal detector would pay off also ($90ish).
Next if you can match up the log length to the length your customers want, it may increase efficiency.
I purchase logs from 2 tree services also, I also go local with my knuckle boom trk. to put the logs on the trailer.  That is very valuable for them, they used to have to hand/trk drag the logs and hand load them or spend hrs/chainsaws chunking up the log and hand loading it.  I also let them dump chips/brush on my property for free, that saves them a landfill fee.
Next for me is make an auger fed chip burner for hot water for the kilns.

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Offline WDH

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2008, 07:46:04 AM »
Quality, quality, and quality.  Log quality that is.  For the large commercial operations that is the key.  For any sawyer that is the key (from what they have told me, from what I have learned myself, and I am sure from your own experience.)

Establishing reasonable quality parameters that you expect when you pay for logs is a good idea if you have not already done so.  In fact, think about developing a specification sheet that you can pass out to potential sellers.  It could show what is worth the most to you in terms of small end diameter, the prime lengths that you want, knot size/position, etc.  Clearly laying out your expectations when you are paying will forestall confusion and hurt feelings down the road.  It will also insulate you from being considered fickle or unpredictable.  It is very important to have high expectations and to be consistent.  Poor quality is always trying to raise its ugly head and get a toehold on you.  Managing log quality was always the biggest challenge day in and day out when I was buying logs for the mills that I procured for.

Some will bring you junk and be shocked :o that it does not meet your expectations.  They will likely blame it on you rather than their intent to take advantage of you.  That spec sheet could become dogeared from use if your strategy works.

I think that buying quality will serve you well.  You can get stumpage prices that are being paid from a variety of sources, some published (in the South, anyway).  Local foresters can also be a good source of info on what prices are trading in the market.  Giving yourself something to compare to also justifies your expectations and establishes credibility. 

Like DanG, I have enjoyed your candid posts. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Kelvin

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2008, 09:24:49 AM »
Thanks guys for the kind posts.  It is interesting to have gone through this, starting with such a goofy idea of how the markets work and now digging out from the other end.  I actually believed those pictures of turning logs to lumber with big piles of money around them (we all know the ads)  While its true, you do turn logs to money, most people only want the best part of the log and when you look at a woods and figure what part of them make good saw logs, and what part of a good saw log makes good lumber the percentage really is a lot different then what you could ever imagine.

Yes, quality is the thing that makes or breaks you, but i have two interesting customer options.  One wants it so junky and knotty i wouldn't have thought of cutting the logs for firewood let alone furniture lumber, and the other wants perfection (vast majority)  Its interesting how the rustic/unique/reuse market is getting more popular and is starting to make up a percentage of our sales.  You have to have these two thoughts in your head... is this log perfect enough, or is it crazy enough to make one of the two groups happy.  No one wants the in between average stuff so much. 

Now i have all this white oak coming in, i'm thinking of an enviromental porch decking product to replace treated lumber decking for people who don't like that stuff in their soil.  There are a bunch of organic farmers around here and i think they aren't allowed to use it, but maybe the new stuff is actually healthy for you now?
Well, thanks for the posts you guys, and while i still think i'm making $3 an hour at this, at least i'm not going further in debt.  Might find a viable business solution to this market yet!
Kelvin

Offline Ironwood

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2008, 10:42:25 AM »
Good for you, ya gotta make it taste good for the tree trimmers. That's my rule, most know what I want, species and uniqueness.

 

 Dont forget to pitch the white oak decking due to the new treated lumbers ability to rot the metal below on trailer frames.  ;D

 Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2008, 11:22:08 AM »

 
Quote
There are a bunch of organic farmers around here

  Who do you suppose those Farmers sell to ???

  THERE is your Niche market, Kelvin. People that want Organic produce, also want to save the land from poisons. They will buy your stuff, once you educate them.

  As Ironwood said, explain all the BAD stuff those chemicals do, and how YOUR lumber is "Organic".  8) 8)

  Good thread, Kelvin.  :) :)
All truth passes through three stages:
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   Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

-- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2008, 11:23:54 AM »
While its true, you do turn logs to money, most people only want the best part of the log and when you look at a woods and figure what part of them make good saw logs, and what part of a good saw log makes good lumber the percentage really is a lot different then what you could ever imagine.


Well, from all my ramblings about quality of timber for my kneck of the woods you know why hardwood saw material is small volume up here. Sure if you cherry pick all the woods for the good ones then the but logs are going to be good, but what about the other 60 % of the tree and 70+ % of the hardwood timber?  ??? :D :D
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Offline solidwoods

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2008, 06:21:47 PM »
kelvin.
Get a molder(spooky voice smiley).

About the #3 grade.  I like outdoor furniture (I'd be glad so send plans/math).
jim
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Offline olyman

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2008, 09:20:46 PM »
The Wizard II metal detector would pay off also ($90ish).
[/quote]  and where????? could these be bought???????  how expensive does a person need to go on a detector for wook----and i know a cadillac aint necessarily better than a ford

Offline DR_Buck

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2008, 09:43:51 PM »
Kelvin,

Another thing to consider with your low quality white oak is 1x6 fence boards.  Try and get the logs at 16'3".  They're going for over $8 each around here.   No drying......green. :)
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2008, 10:33:10 PM »
I am selling oak fence at $12 per 1x6x16 when the order is for all 16 foot and for $10 when the order is some 16 and some 8.  I still am not paying for logs and have picked up 2 more tree service companies.

As stated i show up on time all the time to keep my tree service guys happy.  One of the new ones uses a crane and a huge chipper so I show up just after they start cause they are so fast.  I got a load from them last week that was 2700 bd ft in just 13 logs.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline Ironwood

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2008, 06:43:18 AM »
I was on a "site" the other day where the tree service had two top of the line Vermeer chippers one "small" (probably chip 16" and one that would chip a 24" log :o :o. They are purchasing the next size up 30"  :o. MAN is tht impressive. If you want a log from them you better be punctual!!!!

             Ironwood
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2008, 06:57:07 AM »
Those big chippers where common here on road sides of forest companies in the 1980's Still a few around. They had feller forwarders that snipped and loaded 70 foot long hardwood on the bunk behind, walked out to the yard where a flail debarker fed this big hardwood through. On the exit, a big chipper chewed it up and spit it into a van. 100's of acres upon acres chewed up before it got to the mill, logs and all. It was like mining, only above ground. :-X
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Offline Ironwood

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Re: Nice load of white oak logs from local tree service
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2008, 07:51:34 AM »
I had been in the Temiskaming (sic) Ont. area years ago and had seen one of those. Yeah, they gobble up ANY woody biomass. It is just unusual to see this size equipment on a tree service job. It's ALOT of capital to spend. I suppose it is getting hard to find grunt labor and this eases the burden to the employees and then they may stay on longer?

 Ironwood   
There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.- Wayne Dyer


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