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Not an arborist or log producer / supplier here , simply a consumer ( or certainly not a Kiln Dried crate exporter to the UK , impression which you may get after reading )


First post , most likely will be the last


Below are just my experiences , not indented to come here and flame , just wanted to share.


Important : Please do not take offence


I will tell you why I will be buying kiln dried “ EU “ imported kiln dried crates , which seem to have gained popularity recent years and my reasons behind it but I have a feeling many people in the same boat as me


I have been burning logs for past 20 years and I am sad to tell you I think with one single exception, I have never bought logs from the same supplier, as a repeat customer.


Pretty much every purchase , some sort of bitter experience , to the point it has become an ordeal to look again when the log store runs low , what new sellers have emerged in the area and keep fingers crossed they will supply what they promise


Few recent purchases below and disappointments . . Which reflect not only this years disappointments but 20 years of log buying as a whole.


I built my own log store which takes exactly 4 m3 stacked volume logs .

First enquiry of the season was with the only second attempt to buy from same local log supplier ( the first was a bit of disappointment due to volume issues and quality of the logs but I hoped for the best and was willing to give another try in view of supporting “ local “ businesses )


Even though making the point very clear 4 m3 stacked volume of logs is what is required and paying for it ( £275 I believe he charged ) end result what I got once logs were delivered and stacked , 2.5 m3..


Now I understand loose volume is difficult to gauge vs stacked , surely there is a big discrepancy here ? I was not naive to expect 4m3 exact as it was ordered ( although it would have been a refreshing change ) but certainly not 40% less


Volumes offered / described by majority of log suppliers are vague , misleading and borderline amusing.


Scoop load , Pickup load , tonne bag , builders bag , bulk bag , dumpy bag , trailer load , transit load , list goes on ......


We are in 21st century , people expect little more clarity here , want to know what they are getting exactly and how much of it .


We are not familiar with what exact volume of your pickup truck load , even if we did know , it is unclear whether it will be delivered heaped , level or under , so clearly a pointless measurement unit.


And the wonderful bags , same again , rather than vague description of bag types , we need to know volume , those bags vary in sizes 50cm , 70cm , 90cm ? Up in the air , likewise full bag , filled up to 3 quarters full , what is it ?


When is he last time you walked into a petrol station and filled your car with non-universal unit of a bucket which its size differ from station to station ?

How difficult is it to quote reasonably accurate volume in universally accepted measurement rather than above?


Had numerous suppliers claim 90cm x 90cm x 90cm is a cubic meter “ cube “

Second experience of this year ( since I had to top up my log store unexpectedly early , due to being short changed 1.5m3 beginning of season )

Look online , come across the another site offering “ quality “ split seasoned firewood , cubic metre bag , £50 a bag , doesn’t sound bad right ? OK, let’s try them !


Enquiry on the phone first

Q) What size are the bags please? A)I don’t know exactly , they are “ big “

Q) What is in the mix please, all hardwood and / or what species ? A) 90% hardwood , might be few softwood

Q) I definitely do not want stuff that spits, pine etc , can you guarantee? A) Yes of course minimal softwood and no spitters

Q) What size of the logs please? A) Standard 25cm long

Great , right ? Order placed !


3 bags delivered , 85cm jobs ( approx. 80% full) , clearly not a “ cube “ , nowhere near it , not difficult to measure volume , height x width x depth =Volume . Even all mobile phones have calculators nowadays, it does not require a science degree to multiply 3 numbers to work out volume.


Sizes , he did say 25cm long , majority are approx 25cm , but I would say at least 20% 30cm long


Also , when you quote split logs , one would assume they are split in proportional thickness/width to the length of the logs , ie. say 10cm or 15cm max wide , right ? Errr , no , wrong


What he failed to mention however , was some of the logs are as wide as they are long ,25cm cube , I would say 30% of the total load . Now , I am one of the lucky owners of a Morso Squirrel ( I think they are fantastic ) , which is small but thankfully exceptionally deep chamber , but some of these lumps can no way fit . Even if they did , there is no way you could burn them anyway as that would leave zero room for adequate embers underneath . So I had to get my trusty log splitter out yesterday and re-split his “ split “ logs , some of them up to 3 times to get usable size logs out of the lumps


Quality of the wood ? Simply put , errr , terrible. Covered in dried mud / soil , cannot see the grain , looking dull grey / mud colour , churned in mud field to give the look / impression they are well seasoned / aged look and feel ?

The mix ? Oh , don’t get me started ! I would say at least 30% minimum pine varieties 20% other softwoods , I am no log expert but I know when I see hardwood.


The moisture levels of these quality “ seasoned “ logs ? Well, I happened to have my trusty moisture meter nearby , so let us take a measurement !


Measurements are taken from inside after I re-split . Admittedly the softwoods were not too bad , as expected , most around 27% inside , not ideal but they will burn eventually , they won’t sizzle at least ! But hardwood ones , not one single piece under 30% , found few as high as 40% .


Now , these Kiln dried crates , can I be blamed to say , this is where I will be spending my money on from now on?


Uniform size , tightly packed on crates , you know exactly what stacked volume you will be ( hopefully ) getting. You know exact wood species will be supplied


Are they expensive ? Not really , I have seen online retailers doing them for as low as £220 for 2 m3 delivered nationally , for Oak , Oak/Birch or Ash crates. To be honest , as far as the pure volume comparison I think it is probably even better value than the industry “ standard “ bags or truck loads etc..

I am not even fussed about it being kild dried , as I understand they will soak up moisture and come to more or less same level as properly air dried logs in couple of weeks. All I want to know what I am getting and exactly how much of it.


Now , as I stated at the beginning , this is not a flame or personal attacks , purely my bad experiences and wanted to share


If however , you are one of my suppliers , or ones like it , I am sure you would know who you are , it is time to change these silly practices , before you lose alot more of your customers to this new emerging Kiln dried import competition . People are not silly .

Edited by LogDesperate

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Your not wrong on most of it.


We don't use bags but suspect the chap using 90cm square bags is supplying a cube. Tried some 100cm square bags once but due to how much they bulge could get way over a cube of logs in it.


I can see why the imported stuff is gaining popularity and we try to offer the same quality product but home grown and air dried :thumbup1:


I have sent you a PM

Edited by Woodworks

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When u say first post probably last post i hope so cos i got bored reading all that halfway through ,no offence:thumbup:

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You are right. Volumes and quality of logs is a minefield for the consumer and probably does need tightening up. There are however a few of us that sell quality logs and aren't trying to mislead people. Where abouts are you?


Sent from my SM-G920F using Arbtalk mobile app

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When u say first post probably last post i hope so cos i got bored reading all that halfway through ,no offence:thumbup:


An yet you felt the need to post :001_rolleyes:

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Very interesting post :thumbup1:


It doens't have to be your last either!


Interesting to hear different opinions from different people :thumbup1:

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Kind of 50/50 on the sentiments you express there....


Some might be reasonable to expect, some perhaps not quite so reasonable.


Nature doesn't really deal in perfect uniformity and consistency, you might be better with:


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Reckon you should be buying in roundwood and producing your own logs.


Oh but then 26 tonnes on the lorry vs 39m3 @0.7 conversion or should it be 0.55 cos it's less straight but it's been down 2 years plus the lorry was late and it was your wedding anniversary and it rained increasing the weight on the lorry so the moisture meter was called for but then one species seems to produce more logs than another per tonne so no mixed loads but don't want all oak and I'm suspicious of ash green m/c plus I'm not paying for bark so I'll import from abroad until the crate size changes or a pest has eaten the dry birch from the inside and out and set off across the countryside.



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I doubt we're one of your suppliers and like to think we offer good value and high quality logs (nearly all of our customers are regulars) but I'll try and explain to you the production side of things. These are more random thoughts than in any order.


First thing is that tote bags (not all suppliers of course) are a poor unit of measurement because they stretch over time so a 90x90x90 bag when new will hold 0.7cube but after a few uses will hold 1cube.


Very few British companies offer stacked wood because it's a lot of effort for no gain so you're better off buying 6 cube and with decent suppliers that should be consistent regardless of how it's delivered although it sounds like you've had some bad experience regardless.


Unfortunately UK suppliers will never be able to compete on price and quality with imported logs because the wood is so much cheaper in Europe and they can justify cutting it by hand to get more consistent logs because wages are so low. Not much can be done here of course as it's the same with any industry although I would say £110 a cube is very expensive.


It's virtual impossible to get a consistent size with firewood because the diameter of timber is never the same, nor is the length but I agree it shouldn't be more than about 10% longer than listed although, while it shouldn't be massive, most of our customers ask for a range from kindling to big chunks in their loads to manage the fire.


The rest I think you're right ; there should never be more than the odd bit of softwood in a hardwood load and there's currently too many units of measurement but thankfully more people are using cubic metres all the time although according to trading standards that's not allowed and we can technically only sell loads by names like small, medium and large.


Best of luck finding a decent supplier anyway.

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