Firewood orders gone very quiet cos everyone else is doing it

Discussion in 'Rural Diversification' started by Chasingmytail, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. Chasingmytail

    Chasingmytail Member

    Newport, SE Wales
    Over the paste few years we have been busy with firewood but this year seen a massive drop. We don't advertise big scale only Yell and FB. Its a small off shoot. Personally I find it a pain because when you are running ragged you have to spend days cutting wood.

    The biggest problem I see is FB Marketplace as every kid is doing it incredibly cheap and on top of that delivering 12 mile radius free (24 miles in a 4x4 madness). I suppose the volume they are doing makes up the small margin. I doubt whether they sit down and do figures. Seeing that on the odd occasion we were paying someone £10ph to cut the stuff its not going to be a highly profitable business. On top of that delivering 1 cube 7 miles is such a waste of time but on some deliveries it has to happen. Also started being strict with any deliveries over 7 miles have to be 2m cube. Lots of people want a bag/crate delivered by hiab.

    Some business around have the kilm dried and have benefited from good RHI payments but still with overheads labour and diesel I wonder if its all that good. Delivering around pooky back streets no good with trailers you have to have a small tipper or use pick up so that means longer journeys with small orders.

    Where we win is the 8" cut not many do this and so many people now have tiny burners. Stacking service also a winner but again this year big drop.

    I question with Mr whether its really worth the bother and investing (through grants) upgrading a processing system because we already spend enough time off farm this is another demand over the weekends. Then delivering up and down the lane. But you can make some good money when say doing 5m stacked. Its a nice income stream but I don't know what to do about it now.
    Grassman and 7610 super q like this.
  2. Firewood is a mugs game. Too many young lads with a pickup and chainsaw that will do it for some beer money.
    If you think you can make it pay them good luck to you. I won't be selling any again.
    Rob-B, Hfd Cattle, Chae1 and 9 others like this.
  3. kill

    kill Member

    South West
    I'd be very surprised if anyone doing logs actually earns clear anything over minimum wage by the time logs are handled multiple times and seasoned for around a year but I doubt many logs paid for in cash are ever declared to the taxman as earnings.
  4. Still Farming

    Still Farming Member

    Glamorgan Wales
    All fair in love and War .
  5. Actually cutting them doesn't take long at all but by the time you have lifted them into a trailer to carry them in, lifted them into a splitter, then thrown them into a shed to season, then picked them up again to put in the back of a pickup or trailer to deliver then thrown them into the shed or wherever the customer wants them it takes a bloody long time! I added up how long it took me to fill my quad trailer doing that and in the end logs were for free it barely covered the labour never mind replacement chains or oil or wear and tear on gear. That was for £60 for a trailer full and everyone complained it was too expensive so I told them to do it themselves :finger: I only did one or two trailer fulls before I decided to jack the job in.
  6. egbert

    egbert Member

    I'd never do logs as a main business.
    Even as a co-product, we have to watch the time spent carefully.
    And we're based in a concrete yard, using a telehandler and bunkers, running a saw through strapped bundles and/or processing offcuts through a auto-feed processor.
    Chainsaw, axe, and picking everything up manually? We do a bit, and there's not a chance in hell.
    Grassman and hendrebc like this.
  7. 7610 super q

    7610 super q Member

    It's the same with everything. You'd be flabergasted by the number of folks on FB flogging eggs / hay / haylage ( at way below COP )/ logs.......
    The word " diversification " has a lot to answer for.
    Grassman, JCMaloney, Courier and 6 others like this.
  8. I do my own and fudge me I would not want to do that all day for £100/hour. It is the most mind numbing thing I have ever done and I have done plenty of carp work, believe me. Refilling the chainsaw with petrol is almost considered a 'break'.

    Friend of mine does it in his spare time using hard wood he has obtained FOC.

    £50 for a half tonne sack, he will cut them whatever length folk want and has a processor. Simply puts the sack on the back of a pick up, delivers the thing by dragging it off the back. Easy.
    JCMaloney and hally like this.
  9. I tried free range eggs on a small scale. Couldn't sell them even below supermarket prices :(
    When I decided fudge this I'll give the eggs away till I can get rid of the hens. EVERYONE turned up asking for eggs :mad::mad: so anyone who hadn't bought any before got told how much they were and almost all of them said they didn't want to pay for them and left without any :rolleyes::mad: the ones that did pay were shocked to be asked for money when they knew the postman or someone who had been paying before had some for free :cautious:
    Apparently farm stuff doesn't cost mohey to produce because so and so gives so and so a few eggs every now and again and so and so does too. Well fudge you all your not getting anything for free from me again :finger:
    flyonthewall, Chae1, Grassman and 9 others like this.
  10. Kevtherev

    Kevtherev Member

    Welshpool Powys
    Same as any other job everyone else is doing it and FB marketplace is full of folk selling logs or offering mini digger and man for day @50p.
    Or offering hedgecutting for £15 an hour...
    Grassman, JCMaloney, s line and 5 others like this.
  11. Lads will drop off two one ton tote bags of split logs here that need a bit more drying for £30 a bag. It makes more sense for me to do my side business at weekend and earn more than £60 and let them faff about with firewood for feck all.
  12. You don’t do much marketing? There you go, things don’t sell themselves. How do you differentiate yourself, by quality of logs, size, type of wood, dryness, by service ie turn up when you say you will, type of delivery ie well just dump them on your nice gravel drive and scarper etc You can not compete with the cut price beer money brigade so you need to do it differently. I am just about to start doing logs in a bigger way, still as an extra to main farming mainly as I have 40ac of nice ash, beech and oak that would go to waste and maybe fortunate that I live in a very affluent area. I do appreciate that it would be very hard to make money if you have to buy in the wood. Our rule when going to clear up fallen trees etc is never ever pay for it! Oh and keep investment low don’t try and get too big as you will be racing to the bottom IMHO
  13. tepapa

    tepapa Member

    North Wales
    The sale price of logs doesn't pay the labour to cut, split and deliver. You basically give the logs away for free to earn minimum wage. Let some one else do not it unless you can market it as super dooper premium heat fire bricks.
    Grassman and hendrebc like this.
  14. Nearly

    Nearly Member

    North of York
    David Mitchell has alot to answer for. ;)
    General-Lee, Smith31, Chae1 and 8 others like this.
  15. Brilliant sketch though
    Repeat, Steevo, ollie989898 and 2 others like this.
  16. hally

    hally Member

    Always think firewood warms you at least twice :(
  17. I guess if you have a ready supply of hardwood, can afford to season it properly and can cut them down to 8 inches or so, and have a way of delivering them and so forth, it is probably worth another 10 or even 20 quid a bag. Do you have a processor?
  18. Lincs Lass

    Lincs Lass Member

    north lincs
    3 times, cut it, carry it, burn it
  19. So many doing logs around our way. A few years ago there was only about two people selling logs in a 5 mile radius. Now I reckon there's at least 15 in the same 5 mile radius. Some we'll know guys and quite a few fly by night guys with a chainsaw and a pickup.
    JCMaloney likes this.
  20. Courier

    Courier Member

    If you can make logs heat a room 3 times over yuo can count me in - Until then I'll make do with running an ASHP off about 2% of my wind turbines output and save the logburner for effect

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