A quick guide to logging and selling wood.
Step 1: Cutting Trees
Your first step is obviously to cut some trees. This might be trees that are just in the way of your farm and fields, or you might go for one of the forest areas. If you're point is to make money, my recommendation is to only cut trees that are thicker than 500cm (the big ones). Such a tree should give you 5k-9k income per tree, dependig on your selling point. Smaller trees give much less profit for about the same amount of work.
You can cut the trees with:
- A chainsaw - The cheapest equipment and enables you to do all the necessary work manually. If you like doing it this way, there's a lot of money to save, but it is quite time-consuming, no matter how good you get at it.
- A tractor with the TR3200 - This attaches to any tractor and efficiently cuts any tree you bump into. However, you then have to cut off the branches and most likely cut the log into smaller and more manageable pieces with a chainsaw anyhow. Notice that in FS17 you can raise and lower the hydraulic hitches, which gives you some control over the cutting point with this tool.
- A Skid steer with the RT3000 or CFB-16 - This is similar to using a tractor, the tools simpy cut the trees at the base and you have to manually cut off branches and split the logs later. Handling the skid steers can be a bit of a challenge (and fun) and you have more control over where the cut is made. Using a skid steer makes logging in terrain easier than with the tractor, in particular when using the tracked version. The CFB-16 additionally grabs the tree, which basically means you'll tip over once it's cut...
- Finally, you can use a tree harvester, the small Sampo Rosenlew HR46X which only cuts small trees (so, why bother), and the Ponsse Scorpion King. The harvesters cut the tree, clears off the branches and cuts it into manageable sizes.
Personally, I recommend leasing the Ponsse Scorpion King for about 3-4 hours (remember to put game time to real time!!!) and go for all the big trees in one of the forest areas.
Step 2: Collecting Trees
If you're going cheap and manual, you just cut the logs down to small pieces and grab them by hand and use anything (pickup, tipper, trailer) to transport. These small logs can then easily be sold at a drop off point or chopped to wood chips. (see selling points)
For a little less manual work, use a tractor with a frontloader and pick up bigger pieces. The Fliegl Timber Runner is cheap and can transport long logs, making this a viable option. Alternatively get a telehandler or wheel loader, but these are expensive and not really worth the cost. Again, you get most profit for your efforts and time if you stick to big trees only.
Next, you can use the small log trailer with a crane, the FHL 13 AK or the Ponsse Buffalo. The small trailer does a good job if you cut the pieces to about 5m. It doesn't fit as much as the Ponsse Buffalo, but the Buffalo is slow and expensive. I recommend to use the small log trailer to collect and then transport with the train or the Fliegl Timber Runner for efficient handling.
If you want to make woodchips from smaller pieces (you can set the harvester to cut at 2m, or use the chainsaw) at the logging site, the Jenz HEM583Z is a good alternative for a patient gamer, as it can be pulled throught some terrain with a tractor and has its own crane. It then spits the chips into a bigger tipper for easy transportation. Picking up all those small pieces can get tedious, though.
Step 3: Selling logs or Wood Chips
Finally, you want some money for your efforts and can choose to sell the logs directly or make them into wood chips.
There are three drop off points for logs which all give the same price. I get about 5k for a big tree at any of these. If you use train to transport, just drop off at the train stop by the saw mill using the big crane. This grabs a whole lot of logs at once, and it's an easy job. If you use a trailer, just back it up into the pond after you unfasten the belts. The last point is to drop logs off at the ground in front of the saw mill, but that requires more work so why bother.
Then you can make wood chips using the following options:
- The HM4-300 is a small wood chipper which can only process small trees. You could use it with the Sampo Rosenlew harvester, but really, why bother...
- Use the Jenz HEM583Z to pick up logs from the logging site and process them there. Then dump the chips at the saw mill selling point. This is a good option in terms of transportation, but you have to cut the logs down to 2m or less.
- Use the Jenz BA725D to process larger logs (I used the small trailer and fed it 5m logs efficiently). Again, you need a tipper to gather the wood chips and then drop off at the saw mill. The chipper can be pulled by a tractor and used anywhere, so this is a really good option combined with the small trailer. You could also place the chipper next to the saw mill drop of point, but you end up with a pile that has to be manually handled.
- Use the Jenz HE700StA (it's in the placeables category) to process and sell directly. This gives a slightly reduced profit, but kinda worth it, since you don't need to transport the wood chips and you can also feed it 5m logs.
- Finally, you could place a heating plant somewhere nice and sell your wood chips there. But, the placeable chip processer pays better, so why bother.
Summary and Profit Chart
Which option is best depends on how big you are on logging. Using the most expensive equipment requires selling a lot of logs just to make up for the cost. You can do a lot with the cheapest solution, but that also requires much more manual effort.
Here's my suggestion: Lease or buy the Ponsse Scorpion king and cut all the big trees in the forest near field 20 to 5m. Then buy the small trailer to collect the logs. You can transport them using the train (just cross the narrow bridge and place the train near your farm) and sell at the saw mill. Alternatively, if you're up for making some more investments, get the Jenz BA725 mobile chipper and feed it 5m logs with the trailer for a higher profit. You can then also store the wood chips and wait for a great demand. If you make logging into an ongoing business and plant more trees in the area, it might be worthwhile getting the placeable chipper for easy handling.
Place / Income for 500cm-ish wide tree
- Any selling point for logs / 5,070,-
- Mobile Chippers and Manual Drop off / 8,815,-
- Placeable chipper with immediate sell / 8,060,-
- Pleaceable heating plant / 7,096,-