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Author Topic: A first for me today  (Read 1793 times)

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Offline NWP

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A first for me today
« on: October 30, 2012, 12:24:23 AM »
I've been in the wood business for 22 years and I bought firewood logs by the ton for the first time today.  It's not a common practice around here as grade and pallet is scaled and usually firewood logs are sold on a per load basis.

My question for those that buy it like this regularly is, what is a fair price per ton?  I paid $25 per ton delivered.  I figured a cord of firewood averages 4-5,000 lbs depending on moisture content and species.  These logs had been cut for around 4-5 months so I assume they lost some weight in the summer heat but I don't know how much. 

The volume of wood per ton would fluctuate based on the species of wood in the load, but I suppose it all averages out in the end.
1999 Blockbuster 2222, 1997 Duratech HD10, 2011 Case SV250, 2000 Case 1845C, 2004 Case 621D, John Deere 540A, 1990 Peterbilt 378 w/ Hood 7000 loader, 2012 Chevrolet, 2005 Chevrolet, several trailers, and Stihl saws.

Offline Autocar

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 08:39:07 AM »
When I had it I sold mine for $15.00's a ton to a area sawmill that has a firewood processor.
Bill

Offline bill m

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 08:59:46 AM »
I don't think I would ever sell or buy wood by weight. To many variables.
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Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 09:20:10 AM »
Millions of cords of pulp are sold by weight around "here" every year. If you don't sell by weight well then you aren't selling. Less variables selling by weight than stick scaling a load of wood or something. Paying for exactly what your getting, not paying for air space, short logs, etc.

UP here a quick and dirty conversion is 2.4 or 2.5 tons per cord of green hardwood. 

Offline bill m

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 09:40:48 AM »
I know wood is bought and sold by weight all over the country and I can see why. There are no discrepancies in weight. I'm just saying for myself I would not sell logs or firewood that way. As for pulp I don't really make much money on it, just covers expenses. I don't cut much of it anyways - 100 cords a year would be a lot.
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Offline s grinder

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 11:17:39 AM »
A cord of of green Red Oak weights 5880 lbs.How do you know how much your actually getting getting?When the pros buy wood by the ton they scale you before and after which is certainly fair,that way everybody knows what their getting.The only way i'd buy it is to go to a scale[which i'm luckly 1 mile up the road] and weigh him out both ways.

Offline NWP

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 11:36:26 AM »


How do you know how much your actually getting getting?When the pros buy wood by the ton they scale you before and after which is certainly fair,that way everybody knows what their getting.The only way i'd buy it is to go to a scale[which i'm luckly 1 mile up the road] and weigh him out both ways.

We did weigh before and after.  How could it be bought by weight if it didn't get weighed? Does a non professional guess the weight?
1999 Blockbuster 2222, 1997 Duratech HD10, 2011 Case SV250, 2000 Case 1845C, 2004 Case 621D, John Deere 540A, 1990 Peterbilt 378 w/ Hood 7000 loader, 2012 Chevrolet, 2005 Chevrolet, several trailers, and Stihl saws.

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 11:45:30 AM »
When you stock pile a couple 1000 cds in Feb. an Mar. and haul it in June an July they stick scaled it. When its piled 30 feet high with the sun and the wind you can lose up to 30% of your weight.
The same when cutting blow down, selling by weight you can lose your butt. When i cut for the Co., they made sure it laid at least 30 days before they hauled it. I think if a guy knew how much wood the mills steal by buying by weight you wouldn't sell another cord by weight. I can remember back in 1968 the older loggers were upset when the mills were talking about buying wood by the ton. They said its an honest way to seal your wood.

Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 12:09:10 PM »
At least around here if you let pulp sit that long anymore they wouldn't buy it. They want it fresh and white. In the winter it can sit, but come spring/summer you better get it moved asap. Guys will try to sneak in "dark" wood from time to time, its a gamble if they will buy it. And since the seller is getting paid by weight it is in his best interest to get it moved from the stump to the mill ASAP for max value.

As for losing when selling by weight its just as easy to lose stick scaling. Subtracting a couple inches here and there on the height and length and translate into large loses.

Bottom line if you can't trust your buyer then you can get screwed no matter how you sell wood.

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2012, 01:09:32 PM »
Rough Poplar a semi can haul about 10 cds, peeled Poplar i hauled 15 to 18 cds, i had to be careful not to get to high.

A friend of mine got stuck on the bridge on hwy 2 south of Grand Rapids, Mn. with a load of peeled wood, he figured he had 22 cds on, it was like hauling hay.

They stock pile as much wood as they can in the winter mouths, the mill pays the logger more a cord to do this. There are fields full of wood, they'll pay a farmer x dollars to use his field. The shorter they can keep the haul, means they can stock pile more wood before road restrictions go on.

When your logging Co. wood, they haul the wood when they want to. I had no control of the hauling, even when i had my own truck. I've had wood lay 3 months before they hauled it.
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline CuddleBugFirewood

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2012, 01:13:21 PM »
2011- I paid $27 ton for firewood logs/pulpwood for my firewood business.  It takes on average about 3 tons of hardwood logs to make one cord of firewood (oak / hickory).  I pallatize almost all my firewood and this figure is accurate for me.  You end up with lots of waste from bark/sawdust/end cuts/splinters that get sorted out as trash. 

1 ton per 1/3 cord pallet that will weight roughly 1300 - 1400 lbs after cutting, splitting, and seasoning about 6 to 8 months.

If I buy in 2013, I will be paying $25 a ton as the only other place to take it to is newpage in kentucky, and they are 80 miles away and paying around 29-30 a ton.   

Trucks weigh before they come to my lot, and we use an empty truck weight for that rig that was established earlier or immediately after unloading.  I don't ask to weigh the empty truck every time.  As was said earlier, if you can't trust who your buying from or selling to, better find someone else to do business with. 

Offline bill m

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2012, 01:22:46 PM »
What about wood density as this will affect the weight of a cord of wood. A log with 3 of 4 growth rings to the inch will weigh a lot less than one with 30 rings per inch.
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Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2012, 01:26:00 PM »
Lumberjack things have changed. I haven't heard of anybody peeling pulp since the 70's, just too much labor involved. We used to cut and deck a lot of wood along the highways in the spring to get through into summer, but with fuel prices high and wood prices low there isn't enough money to handle that wood multiple times. Deck it in the woods and then right on the truck to the mill, if you touch it more than that you aren't making as much or you can be losing money. 

Not many mills own land and timber anymore, most of it has been sold off to timber investment organizations, so the mill has little/no say in who/what/when the wood is moved. Most loggers like to keep the wood moved as they don't have to build as large of landings, and the fresher it is the more its worth (both saw logs and pulpwood).

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2012, 01:29:05 PM »
Bill density can change things but generally it will all average out. Some is denser than average and some is less dense. Like most things in the wood business its all about averages and estimates. 

Offline shortlogger

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2012, 01:54:11 PM »
I would think a fair price would be somewhere between or around the price if pulp or pallet wood depending on the quality of the logs.
1 Corinthians 3:7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase . "NKJV"

Offline CuddleBugFirewood

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2012, 01:58:11 PM »
I'll second the averages...  for me... 3.06 tons per cord average over 2 years, not as good as I had origionally hoped.  But that is the best I can figure from my records.  My records were not as good in 2010 as they where in 2011, so that average will hopefully get better in 2012.  I sort out all the junk wood that tends to get mixed in (sycamore, sasafrass, oversized or extra knotty oak/hickory etc) and send it on to new page or sell it to the amish at/below cost to move it (they cut it up for their outdoor stoves).  It does me no good rotting on my lot or to try to run the super knotty/crooked logs thru the processor.  I am losing money on those logs either way, so better to cut my losses quick, and clean my lot up so I can use that space.  On selling to the amish, we "guess" on weight.  After doing a little of this, you know the averages and can get fairly close.  If they are happy, I am happy getting rid of the junk.  No use in driving 6 miles in the opposite direction with their tractor to weigh the load if they are comfortable with the "guess"

I had about 50 tons that I could not use in my processor out of about 1200 tons purchased.  That is a 4.2% junk ratio.  Seems like no matter what you ask for a junk log or two will always find is way to the truck.  I know every load can't be perfect, so if it doesn't get excessive, I am ok with that.  I am interested to see how the rest of my firewood year goes.  I am not buying until I can sell all the wood I have cut now.  All this must be priced into the end product.

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 02:10:08 PM »
Lumberjack things have changed. I haven't heard of anybody peeling pulp since the 70's, just too much labor involved. We used to cut and deck a lot of wood along the highways in the spring to get through into summer, but with fuel prices high and wood prices low there isn't enough money to handle that wood multiple times. Deck it in the woods and then right on the truck to the mill, if you touch it more than that you aren't making as much or you can be losing money. 

Not many mills own land and timber anymore, most of it has been sold off to timber investment organizations, so the mill has little/no say in who/what/when the wood is moved. Most loggers like to keep the wood moved as they don't have to build as large of landings, and the fresher it is the more its worth (both saw logs and pulpwood).
I'm sure i know this, i was using peeled wood for an example how much weight wood can lose.

I know a couple Co.'s here that own many 1000's of areas and are still buying land up. They have their own loggers and hire other loggers to log their land. And they also bid Federal and state sales, and log private land to, this is what makes it hard for a independent logger to make it. They ran us out of business in the early 80's, a independent logger can't bid against them an make it.

Sometimes i had to give the junk wood away, so i could close a block.
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline 240b

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2012, 04:07:22 PM »
If your selling wood your getting the short end of the deal. The processors (mills) always have and always will have the upper hand. its just not worth thinking about.  For me it matters who I am dealing with, "will this buyer still buy from me when things get tight? Or should I sell to this guy for a few dollars more, but will shut me off when the markets full?" Scaled or weighed same thing, the advantage is built in for the buyer.   

Offline 1270d

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2012, 06:01:16 PM »
LJ, got any photos of those 30 ft high decks?  None of our equipment could come close to decking that high. The mills around here don't deck that high with their equipment either

Offline Ken

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Re: A first for me today
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2012, 06:26:36 PM »
I sell the vast majority of my firewood by the truckload.  I cut my wood 16 - 18' and ship the wood either on a tandem truck, which I call 6 cords or we use the tractor trailer and call 2 bunks 12 cord.  Not every bunk will saw out 6 cord and the finer it is cut and split the less there is.   

Most all mills in this area buy by weight.  I like it much better as there is no shorting the scale.  Very few contractors stockpile wood.  Ship it as soon as a load is ready.  No money having it sitting on the landing. 
Lots of toys for working in the bush


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