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Brackley Firewood

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Hello all,

 

Your help would be appreciated!!

 

Me and my mate are going to sell firewood. We have a small yard where we are allowed to store a container. We could buy in a lose loads of kiln dried firewood and we could buy a small loader or skid steer and put it into the container and then we could by a tipping trailer and load them into the trailer when we sell them. This means we could tip on the persons drive etc. 

The other option is we could buy in creates and using a pallet truck we could put them into the container. My Dad has a truck with a tail lift on and when the customer places an order we could put it into the truck and then unload it using a pallet truck. With this method the customer would have to have a solid drive. 

Another option is to buy it lose and then load it into tonne bags and unload by dragging off a normal trailer. 

 

I Hope this all makes seance and please comment on it.

 

Many thanks.

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All options work.
The question you should be asking is can you get the customers to justify the expense of any set up?
Ps the trailer option requires a tacograph on your towing vehicle or VOSA will be on your back.

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Either be tiny and sell free arb arisings that you split when you’ve got nothing better to do or be big and profit with economies of scale. Being in the middle, buying expensive final product or expensive raw material (roundwood lengths that then need cutting and splitting) to then try to sell against every farmer and tree surgeon in your postcode, is pointless. You’ll just make petrol stations, trailer manufacturers and the government happy.

 

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5 hours ago, AHPP said:

Either be tiny and sell free arb arisings that you split when you’ve got nothing better to do or be big and profit with economies of scale. Being in the middle, buying expensive final product or expensive raw material (roundwood lengths that then need cutting and splitting) to then try to sell against every farmer and tree surgeon in your postcode, is pointless. You’ll just make petrol stations, trailer manufacturers and the government happy.

 

This is spot on.  I have been in the firewood trade albeit small time.  Use to turn over probably £10k of my annual turnover on firewood but it was all free arb arising either from my own jobs or scrounged off freelance climbing jobs i had.  It was profitable and worth doing, then the price of logs went up and all my climbing customers started hanging on to the wood themselves meaning i had to buy more of it on myself, quickly

tirned into a laborious pass time for little gain 

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Following this thread with interest as I'm looking at getting into the firewood side more.

 

I've been going over all types of setup but i think being able to tip straight to customer would save a hell of a lot of time, be it transit or trailer tipper! I'm just trying to work out how best to pile it so it dries quickly without spending too much time stacking it etc. Ideally I'll just chuck it straight onto a big pile which is seperated by pallets to keep air flowing. Then just load a pre measured tipper by hand and deliver to customer. 

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Anyone setting up for firewood now, should be focusing on next season, Sept 18  onwards 

Only advice I could give is let the job pay for any gear that you buy and only then when you reach a point where you can't work without it

Bottom line chainsaw and axe 

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On 24/12/2017 at 20:09, Brackley Firewood said:

Hello all,

 

Your help would be appreciated!!

 

Me and my mate are going to sell firewood. We have a small yard where we are allowed to store a container. We could buy in a lose loads of kiln dried firewood and we could buy a small loader or skid steer and put it into the container and then we could by a tipping trailer and load them into the trailer when we sell them. This means we could tip on the persons drive etc. 

The other option is we could buy in creates and using a pallet truck we could put them into the container. My Dad has a truck with a tail lift on and when the customer places an order we could put it into the truck and then unload it using a pallet truck. With this method the customer would have to have a solid drive. 

Another option is to buy it lose and then load it into tonne bags and unload by dragging off a normal trailer. 

 

I Hope this all makes seance and please comment on it.

 

Many thanks.

There is a lot of misconception about selling firewood , if you are thinking about starting up and with a Business Partner then you will both be Busking at the weekend to make ends meet .

Ste

Edited by IVECOKID
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Look what people are selling around you. If you want to start small with not a lot of room or investment look at buying in pre cut/dry and sell on. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money to start off. You can look at people like white horse energy or other wholesalers for buying a few crates of kiln dried and just turn it around quickly. Instead of worrying about cutting and waiting 1/2 years for it to dry you can start selling straight away. To make money with Firewood you need to do volume, it doesn’t matter if that’s processing and drying yourself or buying in and selling on. If I was to start again I think I would have to think long and hard about just buying in and selling on. Not so attractive now the exchange rate to the euro is awful but you can still make good money with very little overheads. To process/dry over 1000+ cubic metres a year you need to be looking at around £100k worth of kit. To buy a container of kiln dried, a forklift and a cheap truck  £10-12k and you can start selling from day 1. The margins are tight in Firewood and processing/drying yourself is a very time consuming/pain in the arse thing to do. Like everyone else has already said being in the middle is very difficult and something I went through for a few years. Selling a few hundred cubic metres, spending every hour under the sun processing and trying to dry it to make no money is soal destroying! 

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I would say loose loads tipped opn the drive would be best. The issue my customers have had with crates and bags is that you can easliy get lots waste in the bags and the crates can have hidden surprises in the middle. I have also found that the majority of my customers want a local product from local woods, not crates made in Poland, but this is depends on your area I would say.

I would say loose loads on a trailer would be best although as firewood comes under forestry and therefore agriculture you wouldnt need a taco if you stayed localish (belive its under 50km.) As has been said above, you want to keep cost down to start with, especially if you have a business partner, you dont want to buy loads of timber, an expensive loader and trailer and only sell a few loads that you then have to divvy the money up. I would also personally sdtay clear of putting logs in containers unless they are very well vented. All the containers that I ahve been in have always been full of mositure, Im guessing due to getting hot and cold so easily. As long as they are off the floor and covered they shoudl stay dry, or stick them in a barn or similar.

And as said above, if you are looking for this to be more than a side line for beer money, you need to sell alot. And to process and deliver you need reliable vehicles and machinery and that does mount up in cost. I found last season even having a truck that didnt like starting in the cold would soon mess up a day! But if you are willing to out in the effort, make your product stand out and be sensible, hope fully youll do well.

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Not clear how you are planning to dry your logs. Presume the container is for machinery storage as it sure as hell wont be any good for drying them.

 

For a simple firewood set up just buy in roundwood and get a contract processor in to cut it up for you. I do this for a couple of logs sellers and works well for them and keeps the overheads down. 

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