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If I were starting a firewood business I would look to maximise automation and minimise handling. So large capacity firewood processor, log deck with old forwarder/tractor with timber trailer to load it. Conveyor off with well-vented potato boxes to be loaded. Boxes taken by small telehandler to one of several large polytunnels for drying (good halfway house between natural drying and kiln drying). Box rotator on telehandler to load into segregated tipper for rapid deliveries of part loads. 

 

You'd need to be doing at least 2000 cube a year for it to be worthwhile, and I'd try to focus on softwood due to more rapid drying times and quicker processing. 

 

But I wouldn't start a firewood business to be honest.

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I would probably get a little unit with a forklift and delivery truck and import everything. If you find a tidy supplier there's still good money in it if you can get the customers but again your right in a minimum of 2000 cube a year to make a good wage. Low starting and running costs.

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4 hours ago, arboriculturist said:

 

You start to wonder if due to the cost of firewood now, people are starting to burn less of it.

 

 

For those that burn it for ambience, as a luxury, there is probably some link to increased cost = burn less.  Ironically it likely drives that type of consumer to either burn cheap, wet rubbish, or to cut back from their 2-3 m³ a winter to just a couple of dozen sack fulls from the garden centre. Or they switch to coal/smokeless.

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31 minutes ago, neiln said:

For those that burn it for ambience, as a luxury, there is probably some link to increased cost = burn less.  Ironically it likely drives that type of consumer to either burn cheap, wet rubbish, or to cut back from their 2-3 m³ a winter to just a couple of dozen sack fulls from the garden centre. Or they switch to coal/smokeless.

Yes, I've seen some pubs we supplied switch to coal. I think the whole imported kiln dried market will not find it easy in the next year or 2, exchange rate, Brexit and the fact that more people are buying with environmental conscientiousness! 

 

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4 hours ago, arboriculturist said:

Yes, I've seen some pubs we supplied switch to coal. I think the whole imported kiln dried market will not find it easy in the next year or 2, exchange rate, Brexit and the fact that more people are buying with environmental conscientiousness! 

 

Are imported kiln dried logs any worse (forgetting the ecological importance of some of the forests that they are harvested from) than power stations running on woodchip that is transported across the Atlantic from the USA? And don't even mention where some of that is reportedly sourced!!!

 

Not trolling, just asking purely to encourage debate. Personally I'd like to reduce my own carbon footprint but sometimes I'm not sure you can do right for doing wrong.

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3 minutes ago, Gary Prentice said:

Are imported kiln dried logs any worse (forgetting the ecological importance of some of the forests that they are harvested from) than power stations running on woodchip that is transported across the Atlantic from the USA? And don't even mention where some of that is reportedly sourced!!!

 

Not trolling, just asking purely to encourage debate. Personally I'd like to reduce my own carbon footprint but sometimes I'm not sure you can do right for doing wrong.

Previous generations sourced all their timber locally, carried or moved by horse and cart, cut, split and stacked. That should be the starting point.

Moving forward in time - all our roundwood used to come from within 20 mile radius with no shortages.

Further forward - retailers are importing Kiln dried from Russia, Latvia etc. etc.

 

We all need to be endeavoring to take a few steps back in time!

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6 hours ago, ash_smith123 said:

I would probably get a little unit with a forklift and delivery truck and import everything. If you find a tidy supplier there's still good money in it if you can get the customers but again your right in a minimum of 2000 cube a year to make a good wage. Low starting and running costs.

2000 cube is that for 2 people? What level of Income would you anticipate each from kiln drying your own rather than importing if you could produce and sell  2000cube ?  Thanks

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31 minutes ago, arboriculturist said:

Previous generations sourced all their timber locally, carried or moved by horse and cart, cut, split and stacked. That should be the starting point.

Moving forward in time - all our roundwood used to come from within 20 mile radius with no shortages.

Further forward - retailers are importing Kiln dried from Russia, Latvia etc. etc.

 

We all need to be endeavoring to take a few steps back in time!

And buying fruit and veg (or growing it ourselves) sourced locally and in season - not strawberries from Israel at Christmas.

 

Come Brexit we may not have much choice :vroam::lol:

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1 hour ago, arboriculturist said:

2000 cube is that for 2 people? What level of Income would you anticipate each from kiln drying your own rather than importing if you could produce and sell  2000cube ?  Thanks

At least I would have thought. 2000 cube with log sales being approximately half the year. 26 weeks delivering 5 days a week would be 130 days so you would have to deliver 15 cubes a day! That's one very busy delivery guy and you got a lot of logs to cut as well.

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At least I would have thought. 2000 cube with log sales being approximately half the year. 26 weeks delivering 5 days a week would be 130 days so you would have to deliver 15 cubes a day! That's one very busy delivery guy and you got a lot of logs to cut as well.
2 people, 2000 cube minimum.
Our delivery driver does a minimum 9 cube and at most 15 (if all really local) a day in the winter 5 days a week and 6/8 cube on a Saturday. We also get quite alot of people collecting. We've got 2 vans so if it's busy we put a run of 3 cube on the second van.
That's what I mean, if you just bought it all in and really pushed it you could have 2 drivers running out and not worrying about cutting it!
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