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Author Topic: Wp 235 firewood processor  (Read 1171 times)

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Offline dirthawger

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Wp 235 firewood processor
« on: November 01, 2017, 04:39:54 am »
Hey everyone,

I'm about to start a small firewood business,  I've got my eye on the WP235 pto firewood processor.  It's a nice price at $9000, id imagine the monthly shouldn't be too bad especially since I'm kicking my website service to the curb.  They charge $350 a month and i haven't gotten any business from it.  My question is do y'all think my tractor is big enough? I have a mahindra 4530,  its a 44hp with 10.5 gpm hydraulics. The wp235 recommends 45 hp and 12-15gpm. Yall think my tractor should be able to handle it?

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 08:34:01 am »
I think the tractor hp rating is more for the 3ph weight than the hp required to run the splitter, 25 hp will run a 10 gpm single stage pump.

Not sure of the price comparison but I would think that even the smaller wp635 would be faster and more economical to run compared to powering a splitter with your tractor at full throttle. This would also free up your tractor for material handling.

My 2 cents, really only 1.55 cents at todays exchange rate if you are in the US. ;D   

Offline dirthawger

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 06:11:54 pm »
yea i like that 635 you're talking about. Biggest problem I'm having right now is finding a company that will sell to me.  The main wallenstein company said they couldn't sell to individuals in united states.  Then i called several others and they said they're a distributor to call a dealer. One dealer didn't even know they were a wallenstein dealer and the others i couldn't get them to return my calls. I've never had so much trouble trying to give my money to someone,  haha

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 07:17:30 pm »
Well where are you?  If close to the border maybe pop over and get in Canuk country.

Offline North River Energy

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 10:07:07 pm »
That splitter will fit the tractor, but how well does it fit into a logical business plan?

As Hilltop366 suggests, time is of the essence, and you'd do well to consider that a firewood business is as least as much material handling, as it is cutting and splitting.

It's straying off the topic a bit, but what other equipment do you have devoted to this endeavor?

Offline dirthawger

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 12:44:24 am »
I shouldve stated in my first post but this will be an add on to my stump grinding business.  But the equipment that will be for the firewood side is my 1 ton, 16ft trailer, my tractor and 2 chainsaws.  Not sure if that's what your asking. I plan on going on site and loading the logs and transporting to my house where ill do the splitting. My only concern with that is ill have to haul tractor to the site, unload it using my tracked stump grinder (it's a beast with a 60hp turbo diesel engine) then ill have to go back and haul my tractor back.  I don't think it will be too much of an expense hauling like that but im not sure.  Seems as if ill run into that problem with either machine cause if i get the 635 ill have to haul it to the site split and then go back and get my trailer and hand load it. 

Right now on my tractor i only have forks that bolt onto the bucket so im very much considering getting either a grapple attachment on my loader or a 3pt log loader attachment. A small log trailer would be ideal but im not prepared to spend 20k on one.  I don't yet have a supply of logs but I've seen free wood on craigslist all the time, i also talked to a small logger and i plan on contacting the big logging companies also. Theyve been logging out by house and they just leave the tops on the ground. But I'm sure as soon as i take interest they'll want some money for them. I wasn't sure if NW louisiana was prime firewood selling country but we do get moderate winters and there are several people selling on Craigslist.  Though i don't know how hard itd be but if i could get hooked up with walmart, gas stations, home depot or those KOA camp grounds that would be awesome.  But i have not the first clue on how to go about selling to them,  any tips on that part. But this is a service i really want to add and i make enough from my fulltime job and stump grinding to comfortably pay for a processor until it kicks off good. Any help or opinions are most welcome.

Offline dirthawger

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 12:48:04 am »
WP235 - $8,499.00
WP635 - $9,599.00
Freight to 71107 - $600.00

The 6 way wedge is an extra $600 and the chainsaw pivoter is also $600, i really wanted both options but a pivoter might be more of a convenience than necessity i don't know.  But time is money and it would definitely be a time saver

Offline barbender

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2017, 01:00:12 am »
Anything that cuts down the motion of repetitive tasks is a plus. I've been running a fully hydraulic Dyna processor the last couple days, I can't imagine running one with a manually engaged saw now.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2017, 06:17:16 am »
Tops? Limbs left on them? A slow way to get wood. Unless the tops are a foot across. A tractor is not made to go where a skidder-forwarder goes.
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Offline dirthawger

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2017, 09:30:24 am »
Yea they do have limbs left on them but can't think of any other way to get free wood other than craigslist. Ive considered buying loads of pulpwood but id need to be selling. Yall got any advice on becoming a supplier to big stores,  gas stations,  and camp grounds? Im sure im over complicating it, just go ask id imagine but id have to bring something to the ttable as im sure they already have an established supplier.

Offline Pclem

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2017, 12:40:15 pm »
If you are looking to get into gas stations and stores, you should have your firewood business well established first, so they know you're the real deal. So it'll take at least a year for dry wood before you go knocking on doors and making calls. Once you have the nice, small dry wood they want, then call them. That kind of wood is going to require resplitting also, and I'm not sure that WP is the tool for the job. If it was me starting out again, buy a fast splitter to resplit efficiently, like a 2 or $3k kinetic splitter. Buck your logs with a chainsaw. Your free wood off craigslist isn't going to be productive through the wallenstein. Those videos make processing much easier than it really is unless you have nice wood :)
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Online DDW_OR

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2017, 02:20:10 pm »
my 2 cents.
if it is that hard to get the wallenstein, imagine how hard it will be to get parts.

get a processor with it own motor, frees tractor to move logs.

get the skid steer quick attachment for the tractor loader.
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Offline North River Energy

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2017, 07:26:44 am »

Sounds like you're still working out the details on your local market. Once you get that at least somewhat sorted, you can figure out how much material you need to move in a given time frame in order to make a profit.
Assuming you want to make some money with your time.

I'd be hesitant to put that kind of money into a splitter unless I knew it would pay for itself, and that it fit into the rest of the production scheme.

Granted, ten grand might be a sneeze in the hanky for you, Regardless, you could get more value out of that investment with a different choice of equipment.

For instance you'll be more effective with a slower splitter and a functional conveyor. And you'll be further ahead if you have a comb bucket on the tractor, so that you can scoop your blocks from the pile and then use the elevated bucket next to the splitter as an in-feed table.

As Barbender notes, if you're going to be spending hours interacting with the machine, you don't want to be making awkward and repetitive movements.

Further, 'free' wood usually isn't. And you (generally) don't want to write an entry-level business plan around a 'free' resource.



 

Offline TKehl

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2017, 08:15:10 am »
First step is determine your market.  Do you burn wood yourself?  Know people that do?  Ask them questions especially how much they pay if they buy it.

Next, I would do that by cutting a few cord by hand and see if it actually sells for prices that make sense.  Also determine if you will deliver or they pick up.  LOTS of material handling with firewood.  Some accept dumped in a pile, others have to have it stacked to see you didn't cheat them (nothing against you, but many have been **** before and some people are just wired that way).  You also need to leave time to let it dry before you sell unless they will buy green wood.  Should be covered, but old roof tin with open sides to let the breeze through works good.

Getting access to tops can be very easy if you contact the landowner.  Many pay them to be ground into mulch.  Free is a great deal.

Last thing is the processors don't like crooked wood.  I've run some basic numbers and for prices paid for firewood and cost of processor logs, it took a LOT of cord to break even.  Much easier further North or especially in the northeast where more wood is used or cost is higher respectively.  I mean DanG, I can get as much wood as I want cut split and delivered for $100/cord by bubbas selling for beer money even though many advertise higher prices.  If I didn't already have the equipment, I question if it's even worth my time cutting for myself.   ;)
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Offline Pclem

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2017, 08:56:43 am »
I agree with your last paragraph TKehl. The only way I see profit in firewood is to sell [regular wood] at huge volumes, and compete with the beer money sellers. Or, set yourself apart from those guys and take the time to process nice fireplace wood, delivered and stacked, and DRY ;) Set YOUR prices. The latter is what we've been doing, and we're finding alot of customers that just want nice wood from an honest guy. They've been beat up with guys looking to make a quick buck for the weekend.
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Offline dirthawger

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2017, 09:52:05 am »
So glad to get opinions from you guys, but I do want to say that $10k is no where near pocket change. I was just saying between my fulltime job and stump grinding id be able to afford it especially since i cut my expenses by $350 a month getting rid of a high dollar website and seo that i ignorantly got. I think i really need to take a step back and do what y'all say and split by hand first maybe this year and see if i even sell anything.  Ive had an ad up for a week and haven't gotten any calls. I do need to find if there is a market before jumping in, i assume you do that by putting ads up and seeing if you sell? I think the excitement of being moderately successful with stump grinding got me all excited and wanting to jump in head first no questions asked which is unwise.

Couple other things id like advice on.  I want to keep running my stump grinder, i really want to start selling firewood,  and i have a real desire to log with horses and a sawmill, turning everything to finished product on site. Am I spreading myself too thin? Should I choose to either focus on firewood or logging/sawing? Or is that about par for the course being involved with many aspects of the timber business? My next question is business classes.  Do yall recommend i take some? Ive considered it but I've thought how is taking a few classes going to help me make more money stump grinding?

Offline TKehl

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2017, 09:50:40 am »
Only you can know if you are spread too thin.  Some of the best advice I’ve been given is to get one operation running smoothly before expanding to another.  Sounds like you may be there with stump grinding.  But going one step at a time is good.  (Would have saved me a lot of grief if I’d listened.  ;))

I will also invest some seed money into a new enterprise, but then it needs to support itself, stagnate, or fail.  There may be exceptions to this, but you need to have valid financials to back up your reasoning. 

Having a FT job helps cushion things.  I’m happy if equipment pays for itself over a reasonably short time period without a ton of hours on my part.  If I were relying on that equipment for income, it may not fly.  I build my side hustles as “income insurance”.  Keep everything paid for and I have more options than I can reasonably use, yet if I lose my job, I have equipment that I can just switch on and go. 

As for business classes, if you can find a day (or handful of day) course on keeping books, advertising, marketing, etc (probably at a community college), I could see that being valuable.  A degree in business won’t help stump grinding nearly as much as hustle and a garden rake.  (Customer won’t remember how fast you cut, but will remember how well you cleaned up afterward. ;))   

There are some great podcasts out there for free that have been immensely valuable to me.  I will PM you a couple links.

Finally, it doesn’t hurt to think about synergies.  For instance, you may want to consider doing some landscaping.  After the stump is ground, the homeowner will probably want it landscaped.  If you did a good job with the stump and have a reasonable bid, they will probably just say go ahead without calling anyone else.  At a minimum, get to know a landscaper that you can recommend.  Refer business to them in exchange for stump referrals.
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Offline starmac

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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2017, 01:12:05 pm »
I am hauling logs to a firewood guy right now. He has 2 twisters and sells all of his wood in the small bundles, no way he could afford the freight on the logs selling by the cord. All firewood sold like this has to be dry, no exceptions. I do not know the particulars, but I do know he is under contract with some of the stores he delivers to and they are spread out over quite a few miles, at least 300 miles in fact.  He runs 2 processors and a lot of the split wood has to be rerun, keeping at least one man on that end running the wood back through. It is pretty labor intensive, one guy running the processor, one guy on a bobcat keeping it fed and another guy refeeding it, then 2 people manning the twisters. Then guys running the delivery trucks.

This is all with us delivering him 20 to 24 foot dry logs that have been run through a dangle head processor, so no limbs to deal with or labor cutting logs to length to fit his processor. Before we started supplying him he was using long logs and it took another man or two and a lot more time just to get logs ready to load the processors.

I can't imagine running even on a small scale with the processor running off of your only tractor to load the deck with, seems like it would be mony well spent to get an auxillary pto to run the processor.
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Re: Wp 235 firewood processor
« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 10:15:10 am »
So I know I say this a lot and it probably comes off like I am trying to sell machines but not the case. We just found a niche and are making really good money at state parks  and would make even more if we invested in more processing automation.   Selling bundles and bags to stores still makes you sell at wholesale prices and the chain stores buy in huge quantities from established large producers...so getting a local Walmart is not going to happen.  Gas stations ...yes but you sell for $2.50 a bundle and they sell for $5 and you still have to deliver and stack in low quantities.   We sell strictly bags (2 cu ft by volume) and bundles...  .75 quft at 15 north Texas State parks and we give the state or friends group 10% of the gross (before taxes).  We will do over $200K in sales this year selling about 165 cords.....with profits of about $100K.  We are working to get that margin larger by providing Dino bags to local producers so they can just drop the wood in the bags and fill them  ( the loose count does not vary as much as you think but be keep track of how many small bags we get out of each large bag and pay accordingly).  We skid steer the bags to trailers and then back to our shop and the bags are dumped onto a table and bagged immediately and stacked ready for transport.  Next years profit should be even greater with this process and having routes that lower transportation costs.   State Parks are the lowest hanging fruit and a pretty easy sell.....they call us now.