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It can only be a sideline for me. I'm reducing volume this year, haven't had time. 

Like Beau said its a lifestyle thing as I do love seeing a big pile of dry wood...

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1 hour ago, Taff855 said:

After 10 years of doing firewood as a sideline moving about 100tonne a year I have given up this year simply because the hours and space needed and equipment cost in repairs and maintenance and the main reason my body is broken.

 

There are easier ways to make money.

 

Now that everywhere around me wants to sell "seasoned" wood  that clearly has just been felled via face book or eBay...

 

The public want cheap products and if a cube of hardwood from me is £100 and a cube of "hardwood" from pikey Dave is £60, they will always go by the cost even the customers I have had for years are saying "dave" down the road can do it for less.

 

I know my product is actually hardwood and seasoned and below 20% and the customers know my product is too, but they see the £40 as a saving so will always go for it no matter how much you advise.

 

 

Sorry to read this.

 

It doesn't have to be back-breaking. I process for a guy doing around 250 cubes a year. He owns nothing other than a bust saw an old axe and a pickup. I turn up every few weeks with a processor and he and me bash out 25-30 cube a time. Come the winter he just loads up the truck and sells it. As for drying yes that is harder without some kit. He just leaves it in piles outside and pulls a tarp on and off depending on the weather. Think he retails at £85 for what looks like a stingy cube. Clearly, markets vary but we have found a cheap website brings in the good customer and avoids all the "what's your best price" nonsense you can get with Facebook. Good luck on your future ventures 

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9 hours ago, arboriculturist said:

Where are you located in the UK and how are the timber prices for you?

Somerset prices for hardwood have reached 80/t delivered. Talking to Haulers it seems like more and more suppliers have had enough. If you are in an affluent area gardening businesses I know of are doing really well, whereas firewood suppliers are barely ticking over. Landscaping is an easy business to expand in areas where people have money as they rarely want to lift a finger. I've seen one man bands expand to 4 teams of 2 with vans.

Local timber merchant is quoting £100 @ ton + VAT, for imported silver birch round wood, delivered has been since Christmas in Cumbria 

 

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Supply will be the biggest problem facing us all in the years to come. We have gone from producing 100% hardwood 2 years ago to now 95% softwood this year and import the rest as we can't find the 1500+ tons of hardwood we need. One of our haulers said the other day they had 3 loads of processor size ash 5 miles away from me but we couldn't have it as euroforest were paying them £900 per load on haulage alone to take it to the biomass plant in Kent (from South Wales) taking into account roadside hardwood prices are £60+ a ton we are at £100+ a ton delivered it. Bonkers.
We have been going for 7 years now and would struggle to make a decent yearly wage for 2 of us on just firewood, the timber merchant side of the business is now bigger within 2 years.

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On 23/05/2019 at 20:33, Big J said:

Producing and selling firewood is only really viable if you are one end of the spectrum or the other. It works well for someone with a transit, a chainsaw and a splitter. Very low overheads and earns some beer money.

That could be me, although I'd say I'm making slightly more than beer money. 

I did 80 bulk bags last year, do 20% more each year and make a profit. But no way do I make more than I would doing other things! The main thing is for me, if I have a quiet day in summer, I can turn waste from jobs into £3 -500 worth of winter income, which is useful!  Plus a couple of dozen happy customers who often use me for other things.

I can also see how you can make on a tiny profit, huge turnover operation, but as said above, its the middle ground that's hard!

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On 24/05/2019 at 17:50, Taff855 said:

 

The public want cheap products and if a cube of hardwood from me is £100 and a cube of "hardwood" from pikey Dave is £60, they will always go by the cost even the customers I have had for years are saying "dave" down the road can do it for less.

 

I know my product is actually hardwood and seasoned and below 20% and the customers know my product is too, but they see the £40 as a saving so will always go for it no matter how much you advise.

 

 

True.  Another dodge others are pulling is to reduce the bag size and maintain the same price.

A

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I would definitely be in the middle section.     It is more about indirect profit by saving on oil and gas heating.

It is a bit like playing music with the band, it just about pays for the petrol and guitar strings but it is a labour of love.

I have to deal with the fallen timber in our woods anyway and we have the teleporter and barns and saws for the farm.  I bought a Palax Combi  many years ago which has paid for itself many times over.  

We put the wood into one ton boxes which probably hold less than three quarters of a ton of Ash logs.  We use about thirty to forty every Winter and it saves a lot of gas money.

More importantly because the work has been done I feel I can be generous with the heat and the house is as warm as toast through the Winter whereas I would be turning the gas down and messing about with thermostats. without the wood heat.

My wife and I love the rituals of firelighting and stove tending which we have made as easy as possible

 

I loved the earlier comment by Big J of "Selling the unprofitable to the ungrateful" which certainly sums up the attitude around here, hence I have stopped doing that.

 

I love the whole process from tree to fire and it is not only healthy exercise but a way of life for us, so the profit is not only about the money we saved

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2 hours ago, Billhook said:

   It is more about indirect profit by saving on oil and gas heating.

...But if you worked out what that would sell for you could pay for a lot of gas and insulation... Financially firewood does not often make sense for either the producer or the user.. 

 

We process wood from arb waste as an extra to fill days and to give guys a way of  topping up their income from working saturdays.  We don't do much and charge £85 a bulk bag.

 

I have a log burner and use 5 ir 6 bags a year because it's nice.. I am sure if I sold the logs it would easily pay for the additional gas I used if I did not use logs..

 

Logs are a luxury product that cost alot to produce either in time or machines.  Unfortunately production can be low skilled, there are people who are willing to work for peanuts and others who do it as a hobby.

Edited by benedmonds
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1 minute ago, benedmonds said:

...But if you worked out what that would sell for you could pay for a lot of gas and insulation... Financially firewood does not often make sense for either the producer or the user.. 

 

We process wood from arb waste as an extra to fill days and to give guys a way of  topping up their income from working saturdays.  We don't do much and charge £85 a bulk bag.

 

I have a log burner and use 5 ir 6 bags a year because it's nice.. I am sure if I sold the logs it would easily pay for the additional gas I used if I did not use logs..

 

Logs are a luxury product that cost alot to produce either in time or machines.  Unfortunately as production can be low skilled there are people who are willing to work for peanuts and others who do it as a hobby..

Agreed. 

 

I brought 18t of fairly dry, windblown ash back home for my domestic supply. It produced 45 cube of logs, but took about 15 hours in total to cut and stack (large logs). 

 

It'll probably save us 4 tanks of oil, which is £2400 (4 x 1200l), but I could have sold the firewood at roadside for about £1200. Add to that the £200 haulage, my time for cutting and splitting (which went faster as I had the forwarder to speed things up) and then the approximately 15 minutes per day of bringing wood into the house and stocking the fire over the winter and it really doesn't make any sense.

 

 

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