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Author Topic: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD  (Read 6544 times)

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Offline LogDawg

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Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« on: May 23, 2007, 09:24:56 pm »
   I am looking for input as to what I should be doing for bf per day with my WM LT40. I have only used the mill a short time and the best I have done is 200 bf in an hour. That was one log and working alone. On the WM site the add says up to 400 bf per hour. I assume that is sawing one log that will produce 400 bf of lumber. I understand it is not a perfect world and there are a ton of variables. I am just looking for ballpark numbers. Most of the production milling here will be 12" to 24" spruce logs.
  As I mentioned in a previous post my mill is located close to the road and draws a lot of interist. I had a knock on my door tonight and a fellow asked me if I would be interested in taking my rig to a remote coastal island and milling enough lumber for two houses. I figured I had better do some homework before setting at the negotiation table on this deal. I told him if still interested to check back with me in a couple of months.
  Some input on rates per bf would be great to. Thanks in advance for your input.
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Offline metalspinner

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2007, 09:55:14 pm »
Quote
that is sawing one log that will produce 400 bf of lumber.

That is one heck of a big log.  I'm sure they were talking about several "regular" sized logs under perfect conditions.  When I have big logs to saw, my sawyer's bf per hour plunges.  He has an LT 70 Super Hydraulic.  The extra handeling and turning and fussing with trying to squeeze it between the guides slows thing down. :-\  We move along real nice when the logs are in the 20" range.
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Offline Bibbyman

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2007, 10:05:30 pm »
I believe 400 bf/hr is doable on an LT40HD standard.  But it’d take good logs of average or better size and an experienced sawyer that keeps pushing for ever way to optimize his performance. 

It’d also take help to keep logs on the loading arms,  lumber and slabs away from the mill.  Sawing at that rate for a half day would build up a pile of slabs and lumber that you wouldn’t be able to climb over.

After and hour or so of sawing and offbearing at that rate,  a fatigue factor sets in.  Then you (at least I) start making mistakes.

I’ve found that for every hour of sawing it takes another hour of doing something else – moving logs, lumber, slabs, maintenance on the mill (change blades, fuel, etc.)

200 bf/hr is pretty respectable for someone of limited experience.

Sometime back we got to talking about how to improve predication on a band mill.  I pulled together a composite of that post and put it in the Knowledge base.

Here is a like to that info.

How to increase band sawmill production
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Offline TnSawyer

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2007, 10:31:46 pm »
I have '93 wm lt40 hd and I am happy if I get 200 bf / hour.  It depends on what diminsion lumber you are cutting, log size, how you edge your slab boards, or a number of things.  I think those numbers that WM gives are possible on a perfect day.  I'll say it this way: The mill can do it, if the operator can.  To make those numbers U and the mill both have to been running wide open.

Offline RMay

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2007, 10:39:59 pm »
If you are cutting 16 feet log in two bys you will have more BF. than 8 feet logs in one bys. If you are cutting 200 bf. without a forbearer you are doing  good . ;D
RMay in Okolona Arkansas  Sawing since 2001 with a 2012 Wood-Miser LT40HDSD35-RA  with Command Control and Accuset .

Offline LogDawg

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2007, 11:03:54 pm »
  According to the handy calculater in the toolbox it should only take a  21" log 18' long to get 400bf of lumber. I didn't factor in the bandmill overage exactly but if I figured somewhere near. That doesn't sound so unrealistic.
   Bibbyman thanks for that info. I actually found that post and read it a while back. It did wonders for me. In a nutshell it looks like anything over a thousand bf a day is a bonus. These mills are like giant, roaring pinball machines and the higher the score at days end the more money you make. It is an entertaining challenge for sure.
  I would think how a person and or if a person dealt with flitches or not would make a big difference in output. I have just started timing myself and comparing the actual bf yield to the scaled log yield on each log that I mill. I have not got in a full day of uninterupted milling yet to get an idea of a full days work. Thanks to all.
  
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Offline Tom

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2007, 11:06:38 pm »
Me and my LT40HD with one helper(the log owner generally) would average about 1300 board feet a day at 20˘ a board foot.  Stacking, log handling and slab removal was the log owners responsibility, though I didn't mind helping some.  A sawing day usually ended up being between 5 and 6 hours long even though we were around the mill for 8 or 9 hours.  Mill maintenance, site maintenance and visiting takes up a bunch of time.  It's not one of those kinds of jobs where most people can go balls-to-the-wall for 8 hours, turning on at 8am and shutting down 5 with measured lunch.

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Offline MikeH

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2007, 11:09:59 pm »
 I can take a 25" diameter oak bust it into 8 sections to quartersaw on lt70 and be happy to get 200bdft. in 1 1/2 hour then add another 1/2 hour thru the edger. That is with 8 foot logs, If I had 16 footers it would add maybe 10 minutes and double production till back gave out! ;D

Offline WH_Conley

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2007, 11:43:19 pm »
With a helper, MY helper, that has worked with me, the numbers look good. We have had several 2000-2500 bdft days. We have had more that  we don't want to talk about :(.

Seems that bdft numbers that make the most are like  a buddy of mine had me saw a couple of years ago. Retired sawyer. Good logs, 1x6 and 1x8, on the outside boards, once the grade drops, 2x6 and 2x8 out of the middle 
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Offline Brucer

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2007, 02:18:10 am »
In the manual for a '96 WM LT40HD, the published rate was 1000 BF/day for one person, 2000 BF/day for two people.

In the 2003 catalogue the suggested rate was 200 - 400 BF/hour (with lots of  "your mileage may vary" warnings.

The latest catalogue says "up to" 400 BF/hour.

All these numbers are peak rates -- you can do 'em for a short while, if conditions are perfect. They aren't realistic for sustained production, unless you have a well established production system, with lots of support equipment.

Last year, working alone, I sawed 84,000 BF in 150 working days, putting 502 hours on the meter. That's 560 BF/day. Some days all the logs were optimum size, the customer kept them coming with no delays, and there was always someone waiting to offload the timbers. Then I'd put out 1200 BF. Some days the logs weren't staged for me and the forklift was in use; or I'd saw for an hour and something would break. Those were 250 BF days. Some days were maintenance days or upgrade days or "sell the old mill and pick up the new mill" days, and on those days I had 0 BF/day.

Realistically, for long term planning I use the 560 BF/day figure. That's my true average :(.

Of course I've listed all the activities that keep me from actually running the saw, and I'm working to eliminate them. I'm aiming for a long term average of 800 BF/day (without helpers).
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Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2007, 02:13:10 pm »
I think Brucer's 'long term average' is a more useful kind of figure to plan by.  We have a LT40hd along with quite a bit of support equipment.  We milk so we normally only work at the mill about 4 hrs (actual working time) per day.  We cut our own logs and saw a lot of stuff that most loggers would leave in the woods.  We saw ties,  pallet stock and grade lumber and deliver it about 30 miles from home.  By the time we do all the banding, repairing,  maintaining,  stickering,  unstickering,  loading, etc.  We only get out a couple of loads a month-----about 6000bdft.  That figures out about 60 bdft per hour :o :o   The sad part is that the past couple of years,  the mill has made more profit than the stoopid cows :D :D  I'm getting rich real slow ::)
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2007, 07:02:12 pm »
I haven't really studied how much I cut an hour, but I know that when the stars are all lined up and the black cats have been run out of town, I can cut 150 feet and hour by myself on an LT40 manual. But, and there's always a but, that requires a lot of prep time, and a log deck full of nice logs. Today, I got to the mill at 11:00, got the log truck fired up, manged to get it down to the log yard, only to find out that someone had pruned the seat off on some low hanging bridge appendage. OK, let's see if the forktruck will cooperate. No, not really, but after a secret "forktruck coaxing ceramony" we were on our way. Did you say ether? I didn't say ether. Must have been someone else. Managed to scoop up two nice pine logs. Oops, there was another one speared on the end of a fork. Oh well, it only smashed the end off the log deck. Well that didn't take long to sort out, but where did this DanG oak log come from? Well, we'll just have to work around that one. Sawmill running? Check! Blower running? Check! Edger running? Negative! Unplugged the sawdust chute, there, that's better. And we're off! Sawed out 80 feet of inch boards, it was 2:30, went home thoroughly disgusted.


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Offline LogDawg

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2007, 09:24:58 pm »
  Thanks all for the most accurate numbers and great stories. I don't know if .20 per bf is the going rate on not. I know of several that advertise in a Maine swap paper for .18-.20 per bf.
   With the price of rough lumber pushing a 1.00 per bf at the lumber yards I'm surprised that millers are not getting more than .20 bf for thier milling rates. I did find some lengthy posts and discussions on here about rates but have yet to draw any conclusions.
   
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Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2007, 08:09:29 am »
i guess it depends on where you live, but i figure band costs are approximately $.02-.03 /board foot if you use resharp, and probably more if you value your own time and own a sharpener.  and gas these days is crazy, we're probably spending over $.01/bf on fuel costs, then there's the vehicle costs to tow...

where I live, you'd go broke super fast sawing at .20/bf 

I've hit 200+bf/hour over a 10 hour day, but that was no breaks and no lunch, only stopping for blade issues.  sawing white oak and hickory 4/4.  nice size logs that you're cutting 2x stuff out of would speed things up.
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Offline jpgreen

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2007, 09:11:14 am »
It didn't take long to double my production simply by dragging off the slab as soon as I was through the cut, on my operators side, on a pile 90 degrees to the mill- leaving about 4 feet so I could walk by with the saw head.

Made it easy to work alone, as I first started pushing the slabs off on the log arms, then I had to move them a few times to a pile. I push the cut boards off on the the arms, and have a flatbed trailer parked where I can drag them off and stack easily.

I'm thinkin' about fabricating a roller table to the trailer making dragging boards easier and faster.
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Offline LogDawg

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2007, 07:29:32 pm »
Hi Dan, I didn't want to offend anyone but I don't see how a guy can work for .20 a bf either. One fellow that I asked to cut my logs before I got the mill wouldnt come to my site for less than a thousand feet and he also had to approve the logs before coming. I doubled up with a friend and came up with a over a thousand feet and he still was not interested.
  I am thinking 65 dollars per hour and catering to the small lots that the .20 bf guys don't want to mess with. I am also thinking .35 a bf for large lots stacked and ready to back up to and cut.

  JPgreen, I am handleing my slabs exactly as you described. I am throwing them into an old one ton dump and or a trailer. It seems to work quite well. I am pulling the boards off the mill while the sawhead is making the next cut. My tractor that has forks is not here but once I get it here from the jobsite it has been on I plan to park it so that the forks are across the end of the saw so that I can slide the boards off onto the forks and then stack them at there final destinaton. I am finding the flitches to be the real time suckers. I quarter sawed a log using the method in the WM manual and it got me thinking that rather than sawing 1" or 4/4 flitches that maybe it would be better to make one deeper cut on each side of the log so that after four cuts you have a cant and then the flitches would be easier to handle. I think I will start timing how long it takes to deal with flitches and counting the cuts made to find a method that works best. I'm sure this is old hat for most but its good fun for me!!

 
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Offline jpgreen

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2007, 07:34:20 pm »
Wish I had a big tractor with forks... ;D
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Offline Tom

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2007, 07:39:06 pm »
I don't know how I've been doing it.  I think I'll quit.  Maybe make more money.
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Offline LogDawg

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2007, 08:02:32 pm »
  Tom a person that is happy at what they do is the most wealthy person in the world in my opinion. You sound to me like you would pay someone to let you saw there logs if it came to it.LOL. After having a couple of small business ventures I have gotten to be kind of a number cruncher but the bottom line for me is to find somthing I enjoy. There is a lot to be said about getting out of bed in the morning and looking forward to going to work.
 
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Offline Tom

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Re: Realistic production numbers on WM LT40HD
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2007, 08:19:15 pm »
Now that's a mouthful.

When folks are creating their business and deciding on what prices to charge for items and services, there are some things they often forget to take into account.  Not only do you have to know what you need to stay in business, you need to know what people are willing to pay for it.

I think Sawmilling, especially portable custom sawing, falls into that area where one of your first considerations is to be a good neighbor, a good sawyer, and honest businessman and make sure that the customer is satisfied before you are.

A sawyer that has been in business for awhile can afford to hold lower charges than someone starting out.  That is why competition is so stiff for a new fellow.  It's not that the new fellow is charging too much or the old fellow too little, it's because the overhead is different and the older fellow has one of the most important business attributes on his side, Good Will.

If the new fellow can make it on increased charges, it might be that the old fellow will follow later.  If he can't make it on what the old fellow is charging, he might not make it at all.  That is why the general advise given is to not compare your business and charges to other people.  Figure out what you need and go after it. But, don't blame someone else if your business plan doesn't work.

Contrary to many other business, in sawmilling, you may find that experienced competition will help you to try to succeed. :)

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