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Hows the log sales going now

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On 11/30/2017 at 19:40, gdh said:

All I see is the processor, I've had enough :).

 

It's been the busiest month we've had and everyone I speak to is the same. Must have sold 3/400 cube this month.

 

We're getting more orders than we can dry and just used up the last of our stockpile. I'm deciding between force drying at a loss to keep people happy or turning them down... 

How much do you think it would cost to dry per cube without the RHI tarrif  with your chip boiler? Thanks

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7 minutes ago, arboriculturist said:

How much do you think it would cost to dry per cube without the RHI tarrif  with your chip boiler? Thanks

I've actually just been working that out because we go over the rhi limit.

 

Assuming you put it in from a covered stack and it's not soaking it takes £3-4 a cube of chip (chipping ourselves) and another £3 of electric. 

 

The bigger cost is the shed, boiler, boxes and fans. Even on a twenty year pay off you're looking at another £2.50 a cube without interest on loans and that's doing 2000cube a year and assuming nothing breaks.

 

It's taken us a lot of time to get our system efficient and it will be different for everyone but I would say £10-15 a cube if we started again from scratch. 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, gdh said:

I've actually just been working that out because we go over the rhi limit.

 

Assuming you put it in from a covered stack and it's not soaking it takes £3-4 a cube of chip (chipping ourselves) and another £3 of electric. 

 

The bigger cost is the shed, boiler, boxes and fans. Even on a twenty year pay off you're looking at another £2.50 a cube without interest on loans and that's doing 2000cube a year and assuming nothing breaks.

 

It's taken us a lot of time to get our system efficient and it will be different for everyone but I would say £10-15 a cube if we started again from scratch. 

 

 

Sounds about the same as I worked it out for our log boiler buying in sub 20% Softwood cord to use in the boilers. Still well worth doing it even if the RHI wasn’t available. The going rate is £80/90 per loose cubic metre buying in from the EU so far cheaper buying and producing yourself

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52 minutes ago, BrendanTreeFeller said:

Cutting and chipping softwood, burning the softwood to force dry hardwood, so people can have their "kiln dried hardwood logs", that will revert back to atmospheric MC when they are stored outside at the customers premises ... have I got this wrong or does this not strike anyone else as insanely wasteful, or maybe just insane?
Maybe it makes money due to wrong headed subsidies - still doesn't make it right IMO.

I think you might be missing a few points, modern fires and accreditation schemes are requiring dryer logs and in most areas you can't get it that dry without a kiln of some sort, definitely not in the winter. 

 

We dry so it's all below 17%, I don't see the point of going dryer as that's

what it rises back up to when stored so I'm with you there. 

 

From a business point of view we make no money from the subsidies, it costs just over what we claim in RHI to dry wood. For us we wanted to sell more wood a few years ago and instead of building masses of storage to cut in the summer it made more sense to build one drying shed and be able to cut all year and react to orders. We could put up the prices in mid winter when people who air dry start to run out but I prefer to be fair to customers as the drying is close to being free anyway. 

 

In terms of wasting wood it takes 150 tons of softwood to dry 1000 of hardwood firewood. That 150tons extra makes the logs about 10% dryer than air dried so they produce more heat (they don't have to burn their own moisture),  are lighter and need the chimney swept a lot less often. It also means we can compete with imported kiln-dried firewood.

 

I've nothing against air dried wood by the way, most of the time it burns just as well and with a lot of suppliers it's a cheaper option but for our business we couldn't get it dry enough and our customers, especially the ones with boilers for their homes need a very dry efficient log.

 

Edit: apologies for the length, I was trying to answer the question not bore you :)

Edited by gdh
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19 hours ago, gdh said:

I've actually just been working that out because we go over the rhi limit.

 

Assuming you put it in from a covered stack and it's not soaking it takes £3-4 a cube of chip (chipping ourselves) and another £3 of electric. 

 

The bigger cost is the shed, boiler, boxes and fans. Even on a twenty year pay off you're looking at another £2.50 a cube without interest on loans and that's doing 2000cube a year and assuming nothing breaks.

 

It's taken us a lot of time to get our system efficient and it will be different for everyone but I would say £10-15 a cube if we started again from scratch. 

 

 

Most people don't seem to cover their stacks and also the labour cost needs to be factored in, as well as prevailing outside air temperature conditions.

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Does anyone here have a "summer" rate for selling logs? I can't help thinking that selling cheaper logs in the off season would mean a more even workload over the year.

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45 minutes ago, matelot said:

Does anyone here have a "summer" rate for selling logs? I can't help thinking that selling cheaper logs in the off season would mean a more even workload over the year.

If you have the infrastructure in place like gdh, you want to fully utilise that investment. Many industries run 24/7/365 therefore maximum the return on investment. That's taking things to the extreme of course.

Just look at processed food manufacturing and how many of the largest player process their competitors products to optimise their facilities usage.

The very best business entrepreneurs are able to develop 'seasonal' business to extend the seasonal norm into a far longer time span. Very quickly that became clear to me and I use every marketing strategy I know of to increase turnover even if the margins are reduced at certain times of year.

Edited by arboriculturist
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We offer green logs cheap in the late spring and summer. £140 for 2 cube as opposed to £200 for same when dried. Just processing straight into the truck without all the rigmarole of storing and drying it. We dont do offers on dried logs though.

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On 30/11/2017 at 19:40, gdh said:

All I see is the processor, I've had enough :).

 

It's been the busiest month we've had and everyone I speak to is the same. Must have sold 3/400 cube this month.

 

We're getting more orders than we can dry and just used up the last of our stockpile. I'm deciding between force drying at a loss to keep people happy or turning them down... 

What is force drying? I always believe it'

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