iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Wood processor recommendations, entry level

Started by gaspasser, July 16, 2023, 05:19:42 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Thanks for the insight guys. All great tips. Plenty to consider. This forum is really a huge asset. Appreciate all responses as I sort out how to go about this project. Best....


Hi gaspasser, Like stavebuyer and big eddy I like to cut up the trees in the woods and carry out the rounds. I used to carry out the wood in four foot sections but those got hard for me to handle so I made a firewood carry box for my tractor forks.




With the weight on the back the tractor is like a tank and can go anywhere. My tractor is 42 hp.
To underestimate old men and old machines is the folly of youth. Frank C.


 As you get going, you will find yourself evaluating your equipment, your work flow, and your product so see how to improve or streamline or eliminate steps like we all do. Here are some guidelines to get you started.

My wife and I process firewood from a log pile using chainsaw and 4-way splitter. It takes us on average 2 hrs a cord (4person hrs) from logs to piled splits, working at an all day pace. We've done a cord in under an hour, but can't keep that pace up. I recall Jimbarry saying he and his wife average about the same, and that their average was no different when they were using their small processor. We use different workflows, but his time is similar to ours. We've been at this long enough that we've got a flow that works for us for what we do. Any major improvement now requires a significant change in equipment or process. I think Jimbarry would say the same. I'd also be interested in knowing what Granites average time per cord is, as he dumps straight into the trailer for delivery. Stacking splits consumes a big part of our time and adds no customer value when the splits end up unstacked in a pile on the customers driveway, but we don't sell green, so it has to get from the splitter to the pile somehow, then from the pile to the trailer later.

Add the time to load the trailer, travel time to the customer and time on site, and we end up with almost 8 hours of person time per cord, although some of that is windshield time where we are sitting. Still it's time out of the day we are not doing something else.

I have no idea how long it would take me to fell, limb and block up a cord of wood and bring it out to our splitting yard.( I cut our wood for our use and bought logs for firewood sales, and they don't mix). But others will have inputs.
I would estimate 1hr of our original 4hrs is blocking time, which would go away if the wood arrives as blocks.

I also don't know how much to increase our 2 people x 2 hrs if you are one person working alone. Again - others will chime in. Splitting is more than 2x faster with two people operating together, but deliveries could be done just as quickly with one person as with two. (Although it does help having a spotter when backing the trailer in to where the customer wants.)

Food for thought


Thanks Big Eddy..very helpful info. Appreciated. The recurring theme from many folks seems to be that firewood is not very profitable. My goal is just not to let the trees I need to cut go to waste. I have a full time job ( will retire in 2-3  years), but spending time on the lot evenings and weekends is "tractor therapy"  and enjoyable. So making enough to pay for some equipment would be sufficient for me. Got a tractor, dump truck, mini-ex for harvesting and moving logs. My rate limiting step is splitting.  I have a single wedge 30 ton splitter which is slow. Oregon does not make a 4 way wedge. I could fabricate/weld one up but unsure how to proceed,  was looking at processors but they are big bucks (22-35k for a basic setup ). So latest thinking is a high volume splitter (Eastonmade, Wolfe Ridge,  etc) but of course wait time are out 20 weeks. Could stock up on logs and rent a processor. So lots of options/factors to consider. Always a challenge, lol. 


I fully understand the tractor therapy concept. I too have a full time job with a few years to go, and cutting and splitting is my therapy. After 8-10 hours of emails, conference calls and video, a couple of hours of blocking and splitting is my happy place. 

There is money in firewood. And there's more money in firewood from your own land. There is also a lot of work in firewood. If you enjoy the "work" as I do, then a low hourly wage doesn't matter. Other folks pay for gym memberships. I get paid to exercise, and I get to spend time with my spouse and best friend doing it. We have fun working together. We make a profit every year, after expenses and equipment upgrades, and that's good enough for us.  But if it wasn't fun, then we'd stop pretty quick. 

The part neither of us enjoys much is the windshield time, so we're picky with our customers. We have defined a small free delivery radius and if you're outside that, too bad. We will sell everything we have inside that radius. We don't need to drive further so we just don't, regardless of how much of a delivery fee they offer to pay.  And we are not setup to load other people's trailers, so no pick up option. 



I understand that. Myself, it's when i use the sawmill. I do woodwork, from cabinetmaking to timberframing from may till november, wintertime running a chairlift. But when i get on the samill, it's like hollidays!
French CD4 sawmill. Latil TL 73. Self moving hydraulic crane. Iveco daily 4x4 lwb dead as of 06/2020. Replaced by a Brimont TL80 CSA.


If it's tsi and nice poles that you are thinning check out supersplit . Use the tractor/exc to load a table, buck on the table with chainsaw then supersplit into the truck/conveyor. You won't find a faster splitter in smaller diameter wood


Storing up logs until you have enough to rent a processor for a day or two is a good option.
Too many irons in the fire


For me my number one tool's for harvesting trees and cleaning up the limbs is a 100 HP skid loader with a 8 foot grapple on it. We haul all of our logs out of the timber to be processed into firewood.  

Bruno of NH

Gaspasser stopped in at the mill yard today and we had a great visit.
He came back and brought me and my help some of his natural honey.
He has an open invitation to vist anytime and talk about firewood. 
I mentioned that I could possibly buy some of his hardwood as pallet logs for my blocking contract that I have .
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls , F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools


Appreciate you letting me come by and see your impressive  operation Bruno. Learned a lot and you gave me great ideas to get my project underway,.  Much appreciated!  I'll keep in touch neighbor. Thank you again. Best...

Bruno of NH

Quote from: gaspasser on August 02, 2023, 09:35:25 PM
Appreciate you letting me come by and see your impressive  operation Bruno. Learned a lot and you gave me great ideas to get my project underway,.  Much appreciated!  I'll keep in touch neighbor. Thank you again. Best...
I wouldn't have a successful operation if it wasn't for all the good folks on the forum for helping me out over the years .
They helped me on site and answered many questions. 
Also advice and support. 
It's like a big family that I'm glad to be part of.
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls , F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools


Wallenstein (in canada) sells a small processor for about 20 grand that pulls a whole tree into their machine, you use your chainsaw and it pins on the machine. As the log drags through you cut the log, it falls down into the splitter trough and then gets split. It works pretty well for longer tree sections or whole trees, but not for shorter logs. 

S logs

A blockbuster 22-22would work really well for you in this situation. Those machines are very well built and work amazing

Old Toad

We had a log arch and 4 wheeler when the kids homefooled (homeschooled) and a double axle trailer to deliver firewood. They chose not to spend the money on a dump trailer, they had the funds.
Around 2008 times got tough and firewood prices fell, we shut down, no profit, an excellent business lesson. We mostly focused on waterfront people, stacked where ever they wanted.
Now, used 43hp Kubota, used 9k Wallenstein logging winch, 25 year old woodsplitter, updated. Logs are stored on 2 rows of concrete parking curbs.
Building a log platform with a roller conveyor attached, another roller conveyor to the woodsplitter. Chainsaw will be mounted to the end of the platform.


Old Toad
A pic or two of this "now" setup would be great to see.. a video even better.  ;) ;)
south central Wisconsin
It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Old Toad
This is the thread I have been working from, the youboob video is my inspiration.
Just got the axle and broken springs off the trailer tonight. Shackles, nuts and bolts to install new springs tomorrow.
Off to the welder soon, I hope.


Took delivery of new L6060 this week. Clocked 4 hours getting used to controls and switching between bucket and forks. Surprised at how challenging it can be to see over hood for proper alignment of implements or lifting pallets. Anyone use a camera on front? Plenty of practice jumping in and out of cab. Have yet to install subframe and front snowblower. Have 1100 foot steep, icy gravel driveway. Glad to have chains and keeping it in low 4wd. Also considering aftermarket bucket edge (something like Pirhanna bar). Having fun so far.


I installed a camera and it really helps the vision thing. Wireless. Wouldn't want to be without it on the forks.

Bruno of NH

Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls , F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools


Btulloh and Bruno... thank you. Btulloh... would you share which camera model you are using please? Thank you


Here's my post on that. Camera model is listed. Happy with the choice. Many choices out there of course,

The placement shown in my picture didn't end up being the best place to put it. Moved it to the cross bar in the fork frame and that's worked out. Kind of a fork's eye view. Sometimes in shadows or unlit buildings I wish I had a light mounted there also.


Gaspasser  I think you like the Kubota. A few years back I needed to up grade what I call my side by side tractor. That I use for spot spraying and put a homemade carry all on the back to haul tools to cut cedars, fix fence and etc. Its pretty green around this farm. I ended up buying a new MX-6000 with a loader no cab. It was during COVID. Make shopping very interesting. I have around 1400 hours on it and have had zero issues. Only two things I don't like about it is fuel tank is too small. Can't run a full day spraying on a tank. It too light weight in the rear. Even with cast wheel weights. Should probably load the tires. I do most of my heavy loader work with a 100 HP skid steer. Mines hydrostatic drive and for what I use it for it perfect. My green friends can't believe I bought a orange tractor.


Load the tires on that mx for sure. I have the mx5400 and same problem with the light rear.  Loaded tires but no wheel weights on mine. I use a 1000 lb counterweight on the three point when doing heavy stuff.  The tractor feels right with no load up front except the loader and emty bucket with the counterweight on the back. I think the weight of the loader arms is such that the rear end of the tractor is just not heavy enough without a lot of extra weight. That's my only real complaint with the mx. My old l3250 has better balance but not as much grunt as my mx.

Thank You Sponsors!