When purchasing firewood, it can be a little overwhelming because it seems like everyone has a different way of doing things. From total weight to cords, to cubic feet. From stacked wood to loose wood, truck boxes and bobcat buckets.
WHAT IS UP WITH ALL OF THAT?!?!
Here are 4 Firewood secrets about wood measurements that will make sure you get what you pay for when purchasing firewood
Measuring firewood by weight is only acceptable when the wood is kiln-dried to a consistent moisture level. This is because the firewood will be consistent in weight for a given quantity when perfectly dry.
However, be careful not to get taken advantage of when purchasing firewood by weight. Wood stores large volumes of water, and water adds a significant amount of weight to firewood. This means if your purchasing wood and it is not perfectly dried, you will pay more for subpar-quality firewood.
2. Truck box
When purchasing firewood by the truck box, it is a very dishonest metric for both parties. There is no standardized truck box size that exists on all pickup trucks. This means when you are quoted by the “truck,” you could be losing out on quantity if they are basing their amount off of a larger truck box, and yours is smaller.
A business will generally look out for their own best interests, so purchasing it by the truck box can leave you paying more for a lesser quantity of wood. And if you show up with a larger than average size truck, do not be surprised if the price becomes different from initially agreed upon.
3. The Cord and Cubic Ft.
A cord is a measurement used in the firewood industry that simply means 4x4x8, 128 stacked cubic feet. When purchasing bulk wood, you will regularly see the cord split into increments, including ⅛, ¼, ⅓, ½, ¾, and full cords.
A standard industry term is the face cord or bush cord, which is simply ⅓ cord of firewood. This term exists because the average piece of wood in the firewood industry is 16” long and is stacked into a 4×8 foot space. 3 rows deep of firewood in a 4×8 area will give you your full cord measurement. Which makes the “face,” the 1 firewood depth of wood you can see ⅓ of an entire cord.
Using stacked cubic feet is the most accurate way of measuring firewood for both parties involved. It ensures the company is giving you the precise quantity of wood and that the client is receiving the exact amount of wood that they pay for.
To ensure you are receiving the appropriate quantity of firewood, make sure to stack your wood into a tightly stacked square and ask if it is consistent in length. This way, you can be confident you are getting the correct amount of wood upon purchase.
4. Stacked vs. Loose
The most honest way of measuring firewood is to stack out the wood into a designated space to make sure that you are not spending money on all the air pockets created when firewood is tossed in loose.
A stacked cord is measured at 128 cubic ft. But a loose cord is generally between 165-184 cubic feet of loosely tossed in space. As you can see, a more extensive range will make the quantity less accurate, and the air space makes a significant difference in the amount of wood you receive.
Do not be fooled by someone selling you a full cord at 128 cubic ft. of loosely stacked wood. Once you take away all of the air space, you will find yourself with significantly less wood than you expected and paid for.
If you are picking up firewood yourself from a provider, make sure to measure your truck box or the space you are going to fill to determine the length x width x height. This allows you to know the exact quantity of firewood you will be able to take and that you will be charged appropriately for the amount that you can receive in the space provided.
When ordering firewood on delivery, make sure to ask the company what their process is to determine the quantity of wood being delivered and that everything is upfront and honest.
Lastly, if you receive less firewood than expected, do not feel afraid to reach out to your firewood provider to make any adjustments that are required for your quantity. If it is a good and honest company, they will make sure to rectify the fact that you were delivered less wood than you ordered.