My profitable hobby
I know the trailer is full when the tires rub on the fenders
I got a kick out of this article because it's very similar to my own experience. I started with an old hand-me-down vintage Stihl (041av) that ran great when it wasn't vibrating to pieces. Now I have 3 modern saws (ok FIVE) and never head to the woods without my main felling/bucking saw (Stihl ms361), my wonderful lightweight limbing saw (Stihl mini-farm boss ms180), and my backup saw (Stihl ms390). All saws were craigslist bargins of course because I'm a skinflint- $315.00 for the 361, $200.00 for the 390, and $35.00 for the 180. And all were in great shape, the 390 and 180 barely used at all!
I also scored a tow-behind gas powered splitter at a garage sale for 50 bucks. The 5 hp Briggs was shot so I put a Harbor Freight 6.5 hp overhead cam engine on it ($99.00 with coupon).
My wood rig is a 4x4 S-15 Jimmy pulling a small utility trailer with a 3500# axle. It works very well but I'm limited to one cord per trip. I cut beetle killed lodgepole pine which weighs in the 2800-3000 range depending on how high I overstack the load.
I cut my trees into 80" logs and buck them into 16" rounds at home. This reduces the amount of time I spend in the woods. The benefit is I can get two loads per day on weekends or one load during the week after I get off from my sucky day job.
Where I live there are limitations on when and where I can cut on public land. In the spring the days are longer and less competition for trees and any downed trees you harvest with a high moisture content have time to dry out over the summer. During the summer chainsaw use is not allowed due to fire danger.
Then in the fall the cutting season resumes and on rare occasion the Forest Service will open up a new cutting area. When that happens the first weekend is a feeding frenzy because everyone is after the easy pickings. Twice I've arrived where I wanted to cut the night before and slept in my truck to ensure nobody beat me to the wood I wanted.
I could cut and sell more wood if I had time but for now it's just a fun profitable hobby. I take pride in my product vs the dillrods looking to make a quick buck. One of my customers paid another seller in advance and NEVER got their wood! Can you imagine? I sell roughly 6-8 cords annually and have never had a complaint.
It's also a great workout!