The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Forestry and Logging => Topic started by: Robert R on June 04, 2005, 06:46:06 PM

Title: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Robert R on June 04, 2005, 06:46:06 PM
The mills that I sell logs to want them off of the trailer before they scale them so they are easier to measure.  That makes since at first.  But the last load of walnut I sold they only offered my about half of what I thought they should have.  However, with the logs on the ground, I either have to take their offer or take nothing.  Kind of feel like I am over a barrel.  Is that the way it works elsewhere.  If that is the case, I am going to have to buy a grapple trailer pronto so I can pick my logs back up and take them elsewhere.  I would have burned that walnut for firewood just out of spite rather than sell it at that price if I had a choice.  I think I was baited and switched because I took down twice as many boardfeet of far bigger and straighter logs than my first trip there and only got $100 more.  Any suggestions or ideas?
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: leweee on June 04, 2005, 07:18:12 PM
Try another mill.....sounds like a raw deal >:(
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: leweee on June 04, 2005, 07:24:10 PM
Tell us about this amazing team of horses ;D

(http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/12348/palate.JPG)
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Tillaway on June 04, 2005, 07:24:33 PM
Any third party scaling Bureau's in your area?  If not, sell the logs on the landing.  That way you can have multiple buyers look at them and get a better price.  Delivering logs and accepting mill scale can be risky.  You need to get a copy of thier scaling rules to know what they want.
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: TeaW on June 04, 2005, 07:46:13 PM
Sometimes ( if you have low volume) you are better to deal with a log broker or another logger who is doing more volume. make sure the mill wants what you have and sell on the landing if you can.
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Ron Scott on June 04, 2005, 08:15:08 PM
Yes, contact the different log buyers and sell the logs on "your" landing to the highest bidder for the best prices.  smile_juggle
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: hosslog on June 05, 2005, 08:12:30 AM
Are they buying by grade?
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Sawyerfortyish on June 05, 2005, 09:08:29 AM
When logs come in at my mill you better believe we unload to grade and scale. Would you buy a car off of a trailer full of cars? No way you would want to walk around and at least kick the tires. I wasn't there so I can't really judge what the grade was. But there are a lot of things to look at when grading walnut.  If you wern't happy maybe you should have asked for some that you thought were worth more be put back on your trailer.  I know at this point your reluntant to ask to do that but they are your logs yet. Like others have said try a differant mill next time. Ask before they unload if you can't come to an agreement if they would have a problem loading them back on.
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Robert R on June 05, 2005, 04:31:20 PM
Yes, they are buying by grade but I can't get them to commit to what exactly makes a grade 1 log.  Seems to me to be kind of dictated by the whim of the buyer.  That was my concern last time.  I thought these were better logs than the first load but they graded lower and I couldn't get an explanation as to why.  Thanks for the tips.
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: hosslog on June 05, 2005, 06:20:27 PM
Robert, I would look for another buyer. Log grades are pretty standard.

No. 1 has 3 clear sides minimum 12" dia.
No. 2 has 2 clear sides minimum 10' dia.
No. 3 has 1 clear side
 
A clear side has no knots or other defects.

Of course no defects is usually veneer. :)

There are guys here that can give you a more complete explanation but that is what     I keep in the back of my head when I am cutting logs. ;D
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Sawyerfortyish on June 05, 2005, 06:38:55 PM
Also in walnut like ash you have a percentage of white to brown in ash or black in walnut. In other wards if you have a log 16" dia with 4" of white wood it will affect value
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: GHRoberts on June 05, 2005, 07:07:01 PM
I don't know the buyers in your local, but they should have a sheet like what is posted at:

http://www.wightmanlumber.com/logprices.htm

It specifies how they grade and what they pay.
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Ron Wenrich on June 05, 2005, 07:49:18 PM
Mills have a tendencey to make up their own rules when it comes to scaling.  Unfortunately, loggers also have a set of rules they use when it comes to bucking.  When the logger delivers logs that the mill can use, then everything should go great. 

Split logs, double hearts, dote, bug holes, sap stain, seams and the like also effect the grade.  So does shake, diameter and sweep.  Sweep is the biggest grade killer of perfectly good logs.  I would drop logs with too much sweep and entire grade, when I bought logs.

If they're not telling you what their log specs are, I would move on.  They don't really want to buy your logs.  I would explain every defect to any logger that wanted to take the time to find out. 

The USDA has come up with some standards for grading logs.  Most mills ignore it.  Its based on the defects on the 2nd best side.   
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Robert R on June 05, 2005, 08:12:46 PM
Thanks for all that help.  I even offered to pay him for his time to explain what was good and what was bad about my logs.  I told him I wanted him to look forward to seeing my truck pull in because it would have good logs on it but I need to learn just what exactly is a good walnut log.  I think he is more interested in low balling folks like me who don't really know what they are doing.  So now the search will begin for a new place to sell my walnut logs.  And I need to find one in a hurry because a ditch man at church just offered a couple trees on some of his ground about 25 miles from me that are going to be bulldozed if not taken out.  I've got a good outlet for pallet logs and oak and ash but I am not sure what to do with walnut.  Will it keep well if I just bring them home and let them set until I find a new walnut buyer?
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Ron Wenrich on June 05, 2005, 08:36:59 PM
It depends on how long you keep them.  Walnut doesn't really stain.  I've sawed walnut that's been sitting for long periods of time.  If its veneer quality, I wouldn't wait too long.  Even the mills will turn their noses up at logs sitting too long.

You might want to get in touch with your state forestry bureau to find mills and buyers in your area.  To really make money at logging, you have to be effective in marketing your logs.  Here's a list of Missouri Forestry Division offices:  http://agebb.missouri.edu/mkt/timber/bull12v.htm

Here's an article about walnut from the Unirvesity of Missouri.  It also explains about log grades. 
http://muextension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/forestry/g05051.htm
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Robert R on June 05, 2005, 10:20:21 PM
I just again wanted to thank you all.  It is very impressive how forth coming you are with information to help a beginner rather than clinging to "trade secrets".  I think you all are highly commendable and just wanted to let you know. 
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Hoop on June 09, 2005, 03:30:58 PM
Log sellers that deliver their logs to a mill and have them grade/scale them are completely at their mercy.  The mill knows you have $$$ invested into trucking the logs to their mill.  They know they have you by the short hairs, because its unlikely you will pay additionals expenses to truck the logs elsewhere.

You are far better off to hire a truck to grade/scale the logs ON YOUR PROPERTY.  The log buyers will give you a price.  After they give you a price, you can tell them yes, no, or maybe.

As others have stated, time is of the essence.  Maple stains quickly in the summer.  Many other species will stain as well.  You'll only have a couple of weeks.
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: SwampDonkey on June 09, 2005, 05:27:41 PM
In my area the local forest products marketing board keeps a database of markets, prices and their specifications for logs. When considering hardwood log markets, private producers (loggers/woodlot owners) can bring their products to the wood yard to be scaled and graded for the best markets.  As soon as the mill receives and scales the wood, the scale is sent to the marketing board to pay the producer (1-2 weeks). Some mills will buy on the marketing board scale, some no. Everyone marketing wood (any species) through the marketing board system pays a levy or brokerage fee - 1.7 %/management fee - 0.5 % at our local Board. Last year the local Board moved over $15 Million in wood sales. The marketing board and some mills sponsor log bucking and grading courses for producers to attend. The marketing board staff and log buyers will provide information on grading for any of their markets at any time.

Also....
'The New Brunswick Forest Products Commission is an independent Commission overseeing the marketing relationships involving forest industries (pulp mills and sawmills); forest products marketing boards (private woodlot owners and producers) and the provincial government.'
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Ron Wenrich on June 09, 2005, 05:52:18 PM
We have one mill that will go out to your logside and buy the logs.  The boss has told him to make sure he makes up for his expenses.  He also had one buyer where they split the difference on logs he bought and later sold as veneer.  Just because they come to your woodlot does not mean you'll get a better deal.

Its better to learn your  log grades and learn how to scale logs.  Not every scaler is out to get you.  Scale and grade the logs before you go so you know how much to expect.  You don't have to take the mill a second load.

When I scaled logs, I had to be always watching that the loggers were on the up and up.  I knew which ones to watch and which ones were honest.  Same goes for mills.
Title: Re: When you sell logs to a mill . . .
Post by: Robert R on June 09, 2005, 08:11:52 PM
I know exactly what you mean, Ron.  Where I sell my palate logs at, if he isn't there, I just unload and paint my initials on the small end.  About 3 or 4 days later, I get a check in the mail and it is always within 10 bucks one way or the other of what I was expecting but I know exactly what he is going to pay--20 cents a foot Doyle, minimum 8 inches in 5, 7 or 10 foot lengths.  It is that grading that stumps me.  I just need to find another buyer in whom I can have more confidence.  I have printed the numbers to the Missouri offices you provided but haven't called yet.  Will early next week.  Thanks again.