Cutting Firewood By The Semi Load

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Cutting firewood by the semi load is probably the fastest way to stockpile large quantities of firewood.  

The wood is often referred to as pulpwood, cordwood or a loggers cord.  

Even though it's a lot of work, cutting firewood by the semi load is a lot cheaper than buying seasoned firewood that's been cut, spit and delivered.

If you burn a lot of firewood each year and you don't mind cutting it yourself, this is a great way to acquire a lot of wood at a decent price.

How much can you expect to pay for a load of firewood that's delivered on a semi? 

Prices will vary by location, hauling distances and fuel prices but on average a 10 cord load of firewood will cost around $750-$950.

Buying larger quantities at a time, like 20 cords, will even save you more money.

Typically a 20 cord delivery will cost around $1400 - $1600.  

This may sound like a lot of money, but 20 cords is enough to last the average homeowner 2-3 years or maybe more depending on how much firewood you burn.

Having The Wood Delivered - Cutting Firewood By The Semi Load

The quality of the wood and the service will change with each company.

Sometimes it's worth paying a few extra dollars to buy from a reputable company in your area.

Choose a location to have the wood delivered to that's easily accessible for you and the truck driver.  

Also choose a location that receives a lot of sunlight because the wood will slowly season as you spend days, weeks or months cutting it up.

If the truck has a grapple, ask the driver to lay down runners and then stack the logs on top of those.  

Most companies will do this automatically.

This elevates the wood off the ground and it makes a nice platform for cutting the logs on.

Remember, after you cut up 10 cords of wood it will leave behind a lot of sawdust, bark and debris.  

If you choose to have the wood delivered in your yard, expect to have a lot of cleanup afterwards.

If possible, I recommend having the wood delivered somewhat close to your wood shed, but out of the way so it doesn't interfere with your daily activities.  

Cutting The Wood Once It's Delivered

Although a firewood processor is the fastest way to process the 8 foot lengths, most of us will simply use a standard chainsaw.

I've worked for years trying to come up with the perfect way to process the wood once it's delivered.  

For the larger logs it's easiest to leave them on the runners which elevate the wood off the ground.  

You can simply cut 2/3's through the log, roll it, then finish the cut form the other side.

You can also cut completely through the wood that hangs past the runners.

Keep in mind that these 8 foot length logs don't have any limbs or small branches to deal with.  

You're just cutting the straight base of the tree so you can cut a lot of wood in a short amount of time.

Cut the smaller logs on a sawbuck.  It works really well if you have someone to help you load the wood onto the sawbuck.  

A sawbuck works great for the smaller logs because it prevents them from rolling when you try to cut them.

The sawbuck keeps the logs elevated off the ground so you don't have to worry about hitting your chain in the dirt, plus you can stack multiple pieces in the sawbuck at once, cutting several pieces at one time.

One of the biggest dangers when cutting firewood by the semi load is dealing with large piles of firewood and the possibility of a log rolling off and injuring you.  

As you can see from this picture below, the wood pile is creating a vertical ledge.

The logs could shift and fall on you at any time.  

To help prevent injury, push the logs off the top off the pile to prevent this avalanche effect.

Splitting Firewood By The Semi Load

You'll also have to consider splitting the firewood after it's cut.

Typically, bulk firewood delivered on a semi is used by homeowners who heat with a wood burning boiler stove.

These large outdoor stoves can effectively burn firewood that has not been split

The 8''-10'' rounds of wood work perfectly.  

Plus, since outdoor wood stoves burn a lot of wood, cutting firewood by the semi load really saves you a lot of time.

If you're planning on using the wood in a fireplace or indoor wood stove, you'll need to split it so it dries out.

Again, there's a lot of wood on a semi so that means you'll have a lot of wood to split.

A hydraulic wood splitter is the best way to split the wood. 

Although one of these machines will cost about $1000 or more, they last a long time and they're a great investment.  

If you don't have the budget for a log splitter, you can always rent one from a local rental shop.  

A few years ago I rented a Huskee log splitter for $50 a day which is actually a really good price.

If you're going to rent a splitter, take a few days before and just cut the rounds into firewood sized pieces.  

Once you have a huge pile cut up, then rent the splitter and just split all day long so you're getting your moneys worth out of the rented splitter.

Cutting Firewood By The Semi Load - Overall

Overall, cutting firewood by the semi load is a great way to safely cut a lot of firewood in a short amount of time.  

Without having to actually fell a tree yourself it reduces the possibility of injury and allows you to have access to firewood without owning acres of land.


About the Author

Nick Greenway

Obsessed with firewood, Nick is behind over 350+ of Firewood For Life's articles, as well as countless reviews, guides and YouTube videos to help readers like you reduce heating costs and create the perfect fire.