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Firewood – the real challenge is moving the logs to where you need them ~ by Angus

Firewood - the real challenge is moving the logs to where you need them

People say that the problem with the world's food supply is not about having enough to go round but about having it where it's needed.  The same applies to woodfuel and energy in general.  Like many people ,I have recently installed a wood-burning stove and the challenge is to find easy ways of getting the firewood to the stove.  Of course, there is the cutting and splitting and seasoning the wood as well.   But , the other issue is getting it from woodland to home , in a way that is inexpensive and does not waste fossil fuels.  One way that a friend of mine uses is a trailer on his bike, but this has quite severe limitations on how much can be carried.  You can see it demonstrated here:  http://peplers.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/carry-freedom-bike-trailer-review.html

If you are going to use a car or van you can use "backloads" for moving your firewood - if a vehicle is going to a woodland for another reason we try to make sure that the return journey is used for bringing firewood home.  Another energy-aware method is to make sure that your wood source is near to home and people sometimes make arrangements with a local tree-surgeon,  to take their "arisings" as they call them (logs to you and me) when the tree cutter is passing the house.  It may seem crazy but some tree surgeons find themselves actually paying to dump the trunks of trees or branches that they have cut.

The old saying about wood burners is that they warm you up three times - when you cut the wood, when you split it and finally when you burn it.  If you include the physical energy in moving the firewood it's probably actually at least four times that your firewood will heat you up.  Here's a video clip showing an easy way to move logs:

This was taken in the Swiss alps from the passenger train that goes through a high pass to get from Paris to Italy;  it shows logs being transferred onto a train for transporting to a timber mill.  In some countries, where labour is more scarce and therefore more expensive, they are very likely to use hydraulics for moving wood around.

CampfireTechnology is advancing rapidly in the moving of firewood and it's not just about bikes and hydraulics.  The strong plastics used for jumbo bags mean that logs can be more easily lifted and stored without being loose or in materials which rot away.   New log splitters are also making the process of preparing wood fuel easier and safer.  Here's an example:


The recent rises in energy prices for conventional fuels are not just driving demand for woodlands but are encouraging people to look at better ways of moving their logs and other woodfuel from woodland to their wood stove.

Posted in: Energy, sustainability & economics, Practical Guides ~ On: 13 April, 2013

5 comments so far

Mick Roseblade
13 October, 2019

Re, moving logs down stairs. Try constructing a slide and let gravity do most of the work for you.

Anthony Yannaghas
25 February, 2019

This message might not be picked up so late after this article was written, but always hopeful.

Does anyone have any ideas how to get large quantities of cut logs down steep stairs? The house is set close to the hill with the car park being above the first floor. Access to the house is down a gentle slope and the accessed via a bridge to the first floor onto the landing. There are steep steps that continue down to the ground floor where the log store is a short walk away. I know the obvious is to cut the logs down at ground level, but unfortunately they were cut at source. They weren’t palleted either. So all loose. You could lob them down one by one…

fleimio c/o Vault Finland ltd
30 November, 2017

I read your post, Great post with nice information.. Thanks for sharing..

href=”http://fleimio.com/product/fleimio-woodhopper/” rel=”nofollow”>transporting firewood

Oliver Rickman
17 May, 2013

Nice post. If you haven’t got much to spend and you looking to move wood around you property or land… As long as the area is not too large, you cant go wrong with a builders wheel barrow, they are sturdy and will cost about £35 in you local builders merchants. Wood will have to be cut to fit but they can certainly hold a lot.

I didn’t want to spend much but needed something slightly bigger and more efficient, so we invested in a mini dumper which can hold 2 / 2.5 wheel barrow loads and is about 3ft wide so it can still fit through your standard household gate. This set us back about 3k second hand but it has been a great investment. It is tracked and runs on a diesel engine.

Mike Pepler
13 April, 2013

Thanks for the link! The bike trailer is a nice way to move the logs, though we do use a car & trailer too, as we do all our heating from wood and solar. But when we do use a trailer, we take care to pack it as densely as possible with logs, to reduce the number of trips required, as in the second half of this timelapse video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJappc18OvI

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