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Everything posted by gdh

  1. gdh

    Favourite Christmas song.

    Within reason I like all of them. Once December comes it's nice to hear them again, I'll choose 'christmas wrapping' by the waitresses (I think that's right) and for a newer one 'Christmas time' by the darkness. Also this:
  2. gdh

    Battery saws makita vs Stihl and Husky

    Weirdly I was looking at milwaukee saws just before seeing this. No intention of giving up the performance of petrol but now the batteries are up to 12ah it is tempting...
  3. gdh

    Christmas tree harvesting

    I think it depends if you consider £600 a week good pay, it's obviously more than the majority of people of people earn but if you're lucky enough to earn more good for you, I was just making a throwaway comment because no one I work with is on that sort of amount. I say hours are irrelevant because working more, or less, is a choice depending upon your work ethic, how much you want to earn etc. Not everyone minds working away either or has a young family and I don't see why pay would revolve around that (although your personal career should). If people are happy to work for that (as I would be, no intention of stopping my current work though) and the business is making a profit I don't see the problem.
  4. gdh

    Christmas tree harvesting

    Not really the point of this thread but it's well over minimum wage and more than most people I know earn. Hours are pretty irrelevant and time away from family I think is an individual choice so doesn't affect pay. There's better paying work, there's worse paying work, just do what you enjoy.
  5. gdh

    Christmas tree harvesting

    I'd be more than happy with that pay, seems like an interesting job to. For a short period at least. I wonder if anyone pays per tree, I wouldn't mind a contract like that. I reckon mini digger and tree shear is the way to go but some jobs will always be better by hand.
  6. gdh

    Tajfun 400 joy

    The new one is? I've only ever done one with a joint sorry. I'm guessing you have to take the motor out then but probably best talk to Kilworth.
  7. gdh

    Tajfun 400 joy

    Never did it on our tajfun but when I did it on another machine it's easiest to pull it round with the old one as you take it off.
  8. gdh

    3mt Log splitter

    Ryetecs probably your best bet then, we mostly do billets with our oversized so went for the short one and it's done well for us. You might be better hiring one for the cost though unless you have a lot of work for it.
  9. gdh

    3mt Log splitter

    Ryetec will probably build you one to spec, we've got their 40ton, 4ft length one but that's a big machine already for towing. Is it for big stuff or stakes? We've also got a 2.5m 10 ton posche which has a pushing and pulling ram to make it shorter.
  10. Pretty boring and I'm 'only' 26 but I grew up on the family beef and sheep farm, got good grades in school (although could have tried harder) but just wanted to farm so left at 16 and started work at home while doing a few certificates and a livestock course. We've tried a lot of ideas over the years on the farm; going big into contract baling (still do some), growing wheat, barley, lupins and looking into daffodils as a cure for altzheimers and planting willow although neither of those panned out. Unfortunately the central farming business wasn't making enough to live off. We tried a pheasant shoot for a few years which I enjoyed but a combination of high costs and poaching meant we couldn't continue. More recently we host a few endurocross races, more as a hobby than a business, I only ride quads myself but they're good fun. Throughout all that we've sold firewood, my dad did a few odd loads from 96 onwards but it wasn't until we formed a separate partnership from the farm to get a loan that we started to quickly grow. In the past 8 years we've gone from 100 tons a year to 1800 to the point where we now kiln dry and cut nearly every day in the winter with a couple of extra staff at peak times. I'm quite business minded so hopefully despite some challenges coming up we can keep the firewood at the same level despite all the paperwork but I'm hoping to do more livestock work and maybe have a day off...
  11. gdh

    Time off at Xmas -- How much are you taking

    I always try to take between Christmas eve and new year off, except for a few hours a day to do livestock and essentials. I normally end up working more than I want to but I don't take any other holidays so it's nice to break the year up and reset if nothing else. Unfortunately firewood customers don't seem to listen to that.
  12. gdh

    Hows the log sales going now

    We've sold more than ever in the year because of wholesale loads but our own sales seem down a bit for the time of year. Not sure if it's because we put prices up or just the weather. Still 300cube of logs last month so keeping us busy and we normally peak in January, February when suppliers who don't dry their logs run out.
  13. Wage bills are much higher here and it tends to be in small blocks with poor access. Most contractors don't want to haul a load of machinery for a few acres as it's not cost effective. Add to that paperwork with felling licences, bat surveys, agents etc it makes more commercial sense to do massive blocks abroad than the small woodlands we have in this country. I would never import firewood of course, I don't think the disease risks and transport are worth it. To the original question; I think the minimum price will go up for biomass and customers like ours who only have wood heating but the occasional users who are willing to pay £100+ a cube will probably start to cut back before they pay anymore. A lot will depend on whether the oil/electric price keeps rising and if the government decide to tax imports or even wood burning in general which I think is the bigger risk.
  14. Yes, it's on a ram. Unfortunately it's not quite long enough to double stack anything over 8ft but it's nice for longer pieces.
  15. Few random thoughts; I think a steering drawbar is essential if you're using it in the woods, gives you a lot more flexibility. Go for the biggest trailer you can, with hardwood you'll normally only get half it's capacity on. Most larger trailers have hydraulic legs which will speed up all jobs over manual ones. Land drive is nice but pointless if you're primarily on tracks and takes another spool You need a return pipe or power beyond on top of the spools. Edit: pic of our farmi 14ton, very good trailer but build quality could be an issue after a few years.
  16. We've done a bit of forestry (hardwood) work with our takeuchi 8tonner and it certainly speeds things up, especially felling into a field when you can scrape up brash quickly which you can't do with a forwarder/trailer. Also have a tree shear which is brilliant for debranching and smaller trees.
  17. gdh

    Post an image of your stove

    Aarow, I think around 20kW.
  18. gdh

    Is it worth it?

    I think splitters make a better product than cones so would always prefer to use one but from experience there isn't much of a demand to rent them. We've only rented ours a few times in 3 years. Problem I see is that smaller operations will run a saw through and larger ones will have their own equipment. If you could find a few landowners with biomass boilers who want their own billets I think it could work but it's finding them /getting their attention that's the hard part. Also renting one with a trailer /360 is a big cost for a new customer to take unless you're brave enough to quote per ton...
  19. The problem with comparing to other industries is that everything seems better when you're not involved. For example I do pay one mechanic £45 an hour which seems expensive but we also have a local we pay £20. It's the same where I know someone who installs solar panels for £150 a day but he works with labourers who are on £60. Everyone thinks they're undervalued but if everyone increased we would be in the same relative situation, money is important but I would rather do something I enjoy than earn slightly more doing something I hated.
  20. gdh

    Safe loads

    I would have tied the handles to avoid it spilling but I don't think it's a serious problem.
  21. gdh

    Are air dried logs to be made illegal?

    Yes, as far as I know it's gone apart from the last few that already applied who are allowed to complete. I'm not sure if there's still a grey area on replacing an existing installation.
  22. gdh

    Anyone used thunderbolts?

    We clad most of our shed with insulation using them and they're strong enough to hang off once they're in.
  23. gdh

    Are air dried logs to be made illegal?

    That's why we started, it was either massively increase storage space and still struggle to dry below 20% or adapt a shed into a kiln. It cost a fair bit in insulation and piping but luckily RHI will pay off the boiler installation as opposed to going for oil or diesel. The strange thing is that they're encouraging kiln drying with legislation on dry logs but they've also removed RHI on log drying. As usual it's knee jerk reactions rather than a long term plan.
  24. gdh

    Are air dried logs to be made illegal?

    The UK system is different to Northern Ireland in that they had the common sense to put a limit on the heat you get paid the full amount for. There's still people taking advantage of the system by heating huge open sheds/factories but it's not limitless.
  25. gdh

    Are air dried logs to be made illegal?

    We use around 150tons of softwood to dry 1500 of mostly hardwood from 40 to 15% moisture. That's very rough and includes drying some woodchip.


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