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verypoorfarmer

Firewood processing charges

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On the contrary it was a constructive post.

 

We have reduced the ram movement to about 32.5cm to reduce the free movement before it hits the log.

 

Trakmet is I think fairly typical in throughput to chainsaw operated processors with a direct drop into the splitting chamber - I would expect machines with a separate splitting chamber and circular saw to be faster. I think the big difference is with these machines that have 12 way or box knives in two ways - the number of logs produced and the consistency of profile but also these splitters tend to operate in a shaft where it is not possible for small logs and debris get wedged underneath. With the Trakmet and the Dalen the 6 and 8 way star splitters cannot produce consistent logs with a variation in input material size. You have to have very consistent sized sorted straight and unbranched material if you are not to get a variation between 100 and 200mm diameter logs. This is not acceptable to our customers. I do quite a few for wholesale to burner suppliers and they check the bag for rubbish and oversize.

 

If we were processing 4 meter perfect logs all 250mm diameter I dare say we could get up to 5 bags (say 5 loose cube) an hour but life is not like that. Remember we do process straight into bags. If we were processing to 500mm length and not worrying about oversize the limiting factors would be loading and stacking.

 

Trakmet do not do a 12 way - we are looking at producing one with a local welding shop.

 

There are so many inconsistencies in comparing operator and machine performance - if you look at the pile above for the burner market there would be a fair proportion of oversize. Its probably fine for the open fire market - I know a farmer who produces huge logs by comparison but does not sell very many! If you are processing into a pile its quicker but we sell in bags because that's what our customers want. How many bags an hour can be produced per man from a pile sorting for oversize and discarding rubbish.

 

If I was looking for product consistency and performance I would choose a machine with a box splitter, and a separate system for removing the rubbish. And I would go out and buy artic loads of specified 250mm logs at 4 meters. Birch is excellent for that. Ash tends to be varied in size and not quite straight but makes fantastic firewood.

 

Interesting stuff . It may be we are too sensitive about product consistency.

 

I expect you've looked at them already but 12 way splitters are only good on large diameter timber, for smaller logs you have to switch back to a 6 way, or similar, or you get logs that just make an outer layer of kindling on the ring.

 

If you're going to make one it should be splayed out at the back so it gets bigger as the log goes through and avoids blockages.

 

Edit: just watched a video of the 450 and it looks pretty good. Only things that let it down are the splitter isn't dual speed (faster on smaller logs)and the controls are a bit scattered instead of a one handed joystick.

 

Also noticed it runs a harvester bar, it might be quicker on a standard bar but I guess it's faster than the splitter anyway.

Edited by gdh

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On the contrary it was a constructive post.

 

We have reduced the ram movement to about 32.5cm to reduce the free movement before it hits the log.

 

Trakmet is I think fairly typical in throughput to chainsaw operated processors with a direct drop into the splitting chamber - I would expect machines with a separate splitting chamber and circular saw to be faster. I think the big difference is with these machines that have 12 way or box knives in two ways - the number of logs produced and the consistency of profile but also these splitters tend to operate in a shaft where it is not possible for small logs and debris get wedged underneath. With the Trakmet and the Dalen the 6 and 8 way star splitters cannot produce consistent logs with a variation in input material size. You have to have very consistent sized sorted straight and unbranched material if you are not to get a variation between 100 and 200mm diameter logs. This is not acceptable to our customers. I do quite a few for wholesale to burner suppliers and they check the bag for rubbish and oversize.

 

If we were processing 4 meter perfect logs all 250mm diameter I dare say we could get up to 5 bags (say 5 loose cube) an hour but life is not like that. Remember we do process straight into bags. If we were processing to 500mm length and not worrying about oversize the limiting factors would be loading and stacking.

 

Trakmet do not do a 12 way - we are looking at producing one with a local welding shop.

 

There are so many inconsistencies in comparing operator and machine performance - if you look at the pile above for the burner market there would be a fair proportion of oversize. Its probably fine for the open fire market - I know a farmer who produces huge logs by comparison but does not sell very many! If you are processing into a pile its quicker but we sell in bags because that's what our customers want. How many bags an hour can be produced per man from a pile sorting for oversize and discarding rubbish.

 

If I was looking for product consistency and performance I would choose a machine with a box splitter, and a separate system for removing the rubbish. And I would go out and buy artic loads of specified 250mm logs at 4 meters. Birch is excellent for that. Ash tends to be varied in size and not quite straight but makes fantastic firewood.

 

Interesting stuff . It may be we are too sensitive about product consistency.

 

Thanks for taking the time on such a comprehensive post.

 

We are the same in looking only to produce a quality product, which is one reason we only specify max. timber diameter of 300mm even though 360mm is near the maximum. Also spend time grading before processing.

Anything above 8 way would not give the results we need.

480 mm diameter would give wedges 240mm long - totally unacceptable.

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You say the Trak-Met doesn't have duel speed! The one I've ordered has, my machine when it gets here! should be less than 2 weeks! Trak-Met Firewood processor PLD-450 25t semi-automatic with Extras of a Hydraulic splitting knife, Dual speed ram and oil cooler, an 8 way knife and log deck.

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As a non firewood processor owner nor operator, the key is sustained production, which, unless running multiple staff and support machinery, can only be well sub 60 minutes in the hour, guessing 1/3 sorting and loading incoming logs up, 1/3 splitting and 1/3 dealing with the produced firewood, leaving it sorted and stacked for re-sale.

So I guess for a rule of thumb divide by 3 or 4 to allow for essential maintenance, refuelling, tea breaks, snags and stoppages.

From 20 years of rueful observation of my own(and working alone) low producitivy, to include felling through to stacking under cover for use or resale.

Never mind the time spent tidying up the work area afterwards.

So while the manufacturers quoted figures are in no way dishonest, they are more than a little misleading.

cheers

mth

Edit;

Obviously if pulling into a yard to operate a machine by the hour, one would presume the hirer has a huge pile of clean timber waiting, and will attempt to maximize processor output, choosing to tidy up once the machine is off-site.

Which is totally different to owner-user "big picture" hourly productivity.

Edited by difflock

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Very interesting different prices! But I'm thinking how many cubes processed in a day? Mot of the wood I'll be processing will be mainly oak up to 450mm diameter and about 500mm long with an 8 way knife I'll have a log deck and this machine is supposed to do 6cubes an hour with deck, if I was to split for 7 hours and split 5 cubes an hour should have 35 cubes a day split if this how much I did split what should I charge?

 

Sent from my SM-G955F using Arbtalk mobile app

 

If it was me I would commit to a day that way both sides will have a better idea of what's achievable with the kit available. Also some oak can be a real pain to split especially is seasoned a while. If it's hard going at least your only committed to a day and can alter price to reflect work involved.

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I have the electric PLD450 semi auto. I like it, though I don't work it very hard.

 

The ram will at times get stuck on an 8 way (and sometimes even a 4 way) split on some tougher hardwoods. London plane was brutal. It takes us about 35 to 40 minutes to do a cube of hardwood, but I hate hardwood with a passion for firewood.

 

Quickest was processing some surplus to requirement larch saw logs. 30-40cm diameter, split slightly oversized (35-40cm, 8 way split, odd bit resplit) and 3.7m lengths. It consistently took 4 minutes per cube (which was me splitting it alone).

 

So, regarding rate, I've no idea. Production rates vary so wildly, all I can suggest is go for an hourly rate.

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You say the Trak-Met doesn't have duel speed! The one I've ordered has, my machine when it gets here! should be less than 2 weeks! Trak-Met Firewood processor PLD-450 25t semi-automatic with Extras of a Hydraulic splitting knife, Dual speed ram and oil cooler, an 8 way knife and log deck.

I've now got my trak-met 450 processor after spending time getting to know the machine I'm quit pleased, on a good day with nice trunks we were filling a 6 cube trailer with oak approx 500 long, diameter was 10 - 16 inches through an 8 way knife in 50/55 minutes more than 6 cubes a hour but when they're curved and riggly 4.5 - 5 cubes an hour! very impressed biggest annoying problem was the unloading elevator couldn't take the quantity of split wood coming out it was over flowing even over the extensions on bottom of the elevator. But overall very nice machine.

 

Sent from my SM-G955F using Arbtalk mobile app

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For the wood we process which is the smaller straight stuff from arb waste, my dalen is the fastest out there, it's manual for the chain/bar operation/speed so cutting little stuff is easy, the car head fully removes, it also cuts up to 18" and I've done some decent cord on it and can easily do 10 cube on my own in an hour, unfortunately lately I have been doing other work and the logs we've got is mostly all chainsaw and axe/splitter work. I do have a growing pile of cord and will get some pics for you guys.

 

 

 

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Some really good videos.

 

Verypoorfarmer really interested in how you are getting on with the Trakmet. I agree on straight wood to your specification at 500mm and diameters up to 18inch (9 inch diameter logs) with someone else loading the log deck you can easily get 6 cube an hour. The log diameter will vary from 5-12 inches depending on how good you are with managing the splitter height. That's excellent for my log boiler but the 250mm demanded by my customers at 4-5 inch maximum would take 2-3 times as long. If you take into account loading the deck, resplitting, clearing the splitter head and removing the chaff, adjusting and sharpening the saw chain (a challenge on that machine), you are back to my estimate of 1-2 cube an hour loose output.

 

You did ask the original question relating to charges - there are not that many log boilers around even now and most self supply as I do. The majority of the market is wood burners and they need the smaller specification logs.

 

William Petts shows some excellent videos. I use the Trakmet as I did the Dalen as a splitter and in terms of straight throughput from ringed up arb waste they are both very fast You do have to ring the wood up however and that impacts on the speed - its just about a second person flat out. You would also have to resplit a fair amount and your customers are clearly quite happy with larger diameter logs. As one person operation 50% time ringing up and 50% time splitting I would agree 5 cube loose an hour could be achieved to the log size demonstrated. That's 10 cube if someone else is splitting and feeding the belt.

 

I used to do 30 cube containers of ringed up wood to wholesale and it would take us 10-12 hours two people to ring up and load 30 cube of loose rings. Using a crane, tractor and two big chainsaws. My customers would get about 50-60 bags out of this using vertical splitters. So say 50 bags in 20-24 man hours that's 2 or 3 loose cube a person/hour ringing up.

 

I am not challenging what you guys are are doing - in many ways I am testing my throughput as I set out in previous posts - you are either much more efficient than my operation or doing substantially differently. I am rethinking my log diameter and testing it with my customers for instance.

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