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Everything posted by Chalgravesteve

  1. No problem. The point of a newsletter is to continue to engage with your customers. In my view, especially if you are selling in bulk, then there can be a longer period between them reordering? So, to maintain a communication with them also maintains your name in their minds so they are more likely to think of you as they need to reorder or you prompt the thought that they need to. If you dont don’t talk to your customer, someone else might. It’s just a simple mechanism to keep you in their minds.
  2. I agree, we have 2 different markets. I cater for the people who can’t/won’t store firewood in volume. I’m way cheaper than buying nets from the garage and more expensive than loose bulk suppliers. I’m selling mine at around £150 per m3 and it’s a mix of hard and softwood. I’ve got 250+ local customers, I data capture and I’m going to be starting a newsletter for my customers next season, same as I do for my golf business members. I think the same principles apply to both sectors. Claiming it’s better for the customers health, them shifting the logs themselves, is pushing it though! 😂😂 So the elderly, disabled, etc etc are all better off by shifting it themselves? 😃👍
  3. A website people can order from, a facebook site that people can see that links to the website/online shop is essential. All that will happen over the next decade is that online purchasing/searching will increase. High quality product and SERVICE is what people want. I laugh when I read stuff on here. All people are interested in is how they can do it for the least amount of hassle themselves. Turn up, tip it on someone's drive and go. Excellent service. We deliver everything in barrow bags and put them where the customer wants them. 85% of my customers buy again. They ask what about the bags? I say I collect them when I deliver the next lot. Simples....
  4. I don’t have an arb business. I’ve got 8 tree surgeons who bring me their arb waste and chip foc. They don’t have yards and need empty trucks every day. I don’t want to do surgery. Mutually beneficial relationship. Boiler heats an accumulator tank which runs the kiln. I’ve no idea how long it will last but I look after my kit. It seems pretty solid after 3 years running so far.
  5. £10k? You are doing it wrong! Electrics cost me about £2k per annum. We burn seasoned arb waste that is difficult to split in the boiler. If I didn’t have to jump through hoops to get the RHI accreditation I could have built the boiler and kiln for substantially less. As it is the whole thing is paid for now so the cost of operating the kiln for a year is about £2.5k and we could in theory get 40m2 a week through it so 2000 M2 i reckon it costs me about £4 a cube if I ignore the rhi
  6. Yup that’s about right. No bad debt. It’s paid for in advance. We rarely do COD. It’s as much about service, delivering the bags to the customers log store not just dumping it on the drive. We even taken them through or into some houses!
  7. Main business is my golf club. I do the firewood as a winter business for my greenstaff. So I already have most of the overheads covered and it’s just additional revenue/profit and keeps everyone busy. I now want to expand it and employ someone full time which means we need to double our output to about 1800/2000 bags to justify the additional staff cost. We dont advertise as hard as we could so it’s entirely feasible to do it in my opinion.
  8. We sell almost exclusively in barrow bags. Hand packed so they are solid. We sell a bag between £39.50 - £49.50 each depending on how many are ordered together. 4 or more for the £39.50 rate. We sold virtually bang on 900 bags this year. I reckon they are about 100kg a bag on average so that would be 90 tonnes. Website is quite tidy, thanks!
  9. That's exactly the problem with seasoning wood against kiln drying it. The sheer volume of space required to properly season firewood is enormous, and certainly in the London/Home Counties/south East England area, you can find many other uses for such large covered areas that produce more/same income for less work. Stock is simply money tied up. If someone holds £100,000 worth of stock for two years to season it, whilst I hold £5,000 worth of stock and keep replenishing it, and I turnover my stock once a week for a 26 week season, then I actually sell £130,000 worth but only tied up £5,000 at any one time......Its not how much stock you hold, its how fast you sell it and replace it and sell it again that counts.
  10. I'm fairly small scale (about £40K sales a year) We serve the local market within 15 miles radius. Own kiln, so we split, dry it in kiln for a week and sell it. Repeat as often as necessary. Was going quiet (for a week) and its gone nuts again. We create stock in the summer and by this stage of the season we can keep up with demand.
  11. Waste of time as a wheel barrow. What you want is one of these.... carries 500Kg easily. Manual tipping of the rear body. 48V rechargeable batteries, they cost me £850 each. Absolute bargain!
  12. Thanks. I had already told him about those as well!
  13. Probably sorted it...looking like a stovax riva large.....
  14. Hi All My brother has just moved into a new place which has a stovax stove installed. He says it can be connected to the radiators as well, although I've not seen it up close to see if it does have a back boiler or not? I'm working on the basis that the two front flaps under the doors are the main air vents, and that the lever on the right side will move the internal grates to drop ash into the bottom of the stove to clear it out? I'd be grateful if anyone can identify what stove it is and where any other vents might be for airwash/secondary burn? I will be telling him to shift those logs leaning up against it pronto!! Cheers
  15. Hot air rises!! Try lying where they lie. It is surprisingly ok, but generally, we have some part of the body at glass height and that is too hot.
  16. The only building I have nearby that requires heat is the staff facilities which essentially is a mobile home/caravan. It was non qualifying for RHI when we set up our scheme and if I make it nice and toasty in there they won’t go outside and split logs in the cold and wet! 😂😂 next nearest building that can use the heat is 100+ m away and the insulated pipe work to put it onto the Rhi boiler is not worth the cost. We park the old diesel forklift next to the air vent in the shed. -5 outside and starts on the button. 😃👍
  17. Likewise. I’m not going to change our existing system or add capacity. It’s fine as it is and there is plenty of scope to get more wood through the kiln over 12 months.
  18. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published the Government's full response and here is a brief summary of the changes: The Government does not intend to remove all drying practices as eligible heat uses. This includes drying of crops, and wood used for purposes other than fuels which will remain eligible (subject to the existing scheme rules around drying) However, the Government will: Remove wood-fuel drying as an eligible heat use other than where the renewable heat installation is replacing a fossil fuel heat source. Where installations are considered to be in development, they will have an additional six months after the reforms take place to get an RHI application in. For plants that are in development, evidence will be required such as planning permission and purchase of equipment to be eligible for the proposed transition period Remove the drying, cleaning or processing of waste as an eligible heat use as soon as the reforms are implemented Further tighten the eligibility of swimming pools so that only swimming pools that are used for a municipal or commercial purpose receive Non-domestic RHI support These changes will apply to new participants (those applying for accreditation after the new rules come into force) and existing participants who add capacity on or after the date the reforms come into effect. This is in addition to any participant who begins to use heat generated by an accredited installation for an ineligible heat use on or after the date the reforms come into effect. Additionally, the Government will amend RHI scheme rules so that installations, where heat is produced predominantly for single domestic premises, will no longer be eligible under the Non-domestic RHI. The Government will not, at this time, amend the eligible heat use criteria in relation to any other heat uses. These changes are currently anticipated for spring 2018. In effect, this will mean once the new regulations have gone through the parliamentary process which could be as little as six weeks from now Excellent.....so those of us who are already accredited will have absolutely no likelihood of increased competition in the kiln dried market for the next decade or so...... was clearly a masterstroke in getting our setup sorted out early doors......
  19. I’m not sure I would want the downstream heat from my kiln heating a “normal” building. Once it’s passed over the logs to dry them it has become laden with moisture so it needs to be vented in my opinion. Taking heat off the boiler to the building as a separate draw is a different issue.
  20. I'd be interested in that info as well, I'll get a picture of my 4 fans when I can get at them! I've got a 270Kw boiler, system paid for itself over three years. If the RHI stopped I'd still be kiln drying the firewood as the income from the firewood sales is more than double the RHI income now and increasing each year. We keep tinkering with it to find out what gives us the fastest drying time, so for example, originally, the fans ran until the accumulator tank dropped to 30 degrees from its maximum of 80 which is where the boiler fans shut off. By raising the low cut off to 40 the drying fans run for a shorter time but the kiln temperature is always higher. Warm air holds more moisture so the drying has got quicker despite the running time being less. The only bit of drying time we lose though, is the fans going between 39 degrees and 30 degrees in the accumulator tank, which clearly wasn't having any great impact on the drying in the kiln itself. My fans do run 24/7 during the week though usually, from one loading of the boiler in the morning. Very occasionally, we might top the boiler up but thats rare really.
  21. I process a lot of arb arisings, where log diameter can be anything between 10" to 30" diameter, and each chunk either already in the 6" to 8" size or we cut it to that so we get 6-8" logs out of it. I'm looking for a horizontal splitter, so we can just load multiple pieces on to the bed and then push through the splitting knife. At the moment we feed them through our normal processor on the conveyor belt and drop them into the hydraulic ram channel, but it would be far quicker to put them straight onto the ram bed, than put them onto a conveyor which drops them onto a ram bed one at a time. We also get 1.5m large trunks, so again it would be better to run that through a 4 way knife and then use the standard processor to turn that into logs. I'm looking at the Binderberger Gigant 40, with a 12 way knife, which looks a great piece of kit. Has anyone got any experience of actually using it, or even got any suggestions of anything similar or better suited? Cheers
  22. Page 3 of the call for evidence..... in the statement prior to asking questions they say.... Wet wood is classified as having greater than 20% moisture content. We are considering phasing out the sale of wet wood where this is sold in packaging that does not lend the wood to being seasoned before use, for instance in packaging of up to 2m3 (a large dumpy bag). LOL I can't wait to read the rest!
  23. I sell mine as stovemix, a random mix of hard and soft. I have an 85% returning customer ratio and of the other 15% who don't just reorder, they usually buy a pile of wet crap from somewhere and then come back to me once they have tried it. I explain to all my customers, that its how dry it is, is vastly more important than whether its hardwood or softwood. Wet hardwood buggers up your flue as well. So I reckon mine is about 50/50 hard/soft mixed together.
  24. Sounds like the hydraulic system to me. Either a valve is stuck open/part open in the valve bank allowing the oil to bypass the ram to pressure it, or possibly (and easier to check I would think) that there is a blocked hydraulic filter? That will slow the amount of oil that can be sent through the system. I don't have one of the machines, but I have a stack of machinery which runs off hydraulics and those would be my favorites from my experience. You can get the system pressure tested so that you can see where there is good pressure and where it is dropping off, which in turn isolates the problem.
  25. Ah cheers. Clearly they have a flat bracket below the belt and sandwich the belt between the L and the flat plate. That would spread the load and resist tearing the belt I would think. Just what I needed, thanks


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