Some people split wood and others process firewood. That is why firewood businesses lean toward a wood processor - because it is one machine capable of each process.
The basic “processes” are cutting, splitting, and transporting wood.
Cutting and splitting as processes are obvious, but transporting wood can get lost in the mix. Don’t worry though - you don’t need a firewood processor to transport your firewood, just a firewood conveyor.
What Is a Firewood Conveyor?
A firewood elevator isn’t that different from the traditional conveyor belt you may find in a factory. It is a firewood elevator’s height and hopper that sets it apart from other conveyor systems.
Most often, IBC totes are used to collect and measure the volume of firewood. These totes are usually 46” to 53” tall, so a conveyor without any elevation would not be effective.
Furthermore, firewood can be loaded onto trailers, truck beds, and other elevated containers.
So, it is not only necessary for a log conveyor to elevate wood, but a firewood elevator also needs to facilitate quick height adjustments.
For example, the TWC-12 conveyor will operate at a minimum height of 5’5” and a maximum height of 8’. The height change is facilitated by a hydraulic lift cylinder and controlled by a spool valve at the bottom of the conveyor.
A firewood conveyor’s hopper - another defining feature of log conveyors - is a funnel-like feature located at the bottom of a wood conveyor. The hopper is where logs are loaded onto a conveyor.
Without a hopper, a wood elevator would be difficult to load logs onto, especially if they are being pushed from a log splitter to the hopper.
Different Types of Log Elevators
Firewood conveyors can be equipped with a rough-top belt, rubber paddle belt, or chain-driven paddle belt, and movement can be facilitated by a driven roller, one chain, or two chains.
Timberwolf’s conveyors are driven by tapered rollers, one being driven and the other idle. The advantage of tapered rollers specifically is that they self-align when the belt isn’t tracking correctly.
Additionally, all TWC conveyors have the option of being equipped with a rough-top or paddle belt. The rough-top belt is the cost-effective option that will move logs with ease, though it may struggle in icy conditions or with very large logs.
Timberwolf uses a rubber paddle belt in order to consistently handle logs of all sizes under any conditions. Also, it is much easier to service and replace a rubber paddle belt versus a chain-driven conveyor.
Chain-driven conveyor belts are fairly popular in the firewood industry, as they are simple to operate, heavy-duty, and able to perform in all weather conditions. Still, there are disadvantages.
If you need to convey other materials, say something more fragile, you will not want to use a chain-driven, steel-paddle belt; doing so may ruin your materials.
Engine Power and Hydraulic Performance
Firewood conveyors are built around durability, not speed or power. So, smaller engines are often used to power log elevators.
All of Timberwolf’s log elevators are powered by a 4.9 HP Honda engine because it is economical, which allows for longer run times. Long run times are important for wood conveyors because they are usually a stand-alone process in firewood production, continuously running throughout operation.
On the other hand, hydraulic speed and efficiency can set a firewood conveyor apart from the competition. Quick and simple height adjustments are essential for the firewood industry because no pile of logs stays the same height forever.
Timberwolf’s TWC-12 and TWC-16 use a single hydraulic lift cylinder to raise and lower the conveyor. The TWC-24 and TWC-32 also use a lift cylinder, but they are also equipped with telescopic axle arms on either side of the lift.
These arms move in unison with the hydraulic lift cylinder in order to provide maximum stability, which is needed on these large models.
So, if you are in the market for a wood conveyor, don’t get too caught up on the reach and max operating height; durability and consistency are what you should look for in a log elevator.
Is a Firewood Conveyor Worth It?
Yes, if you are selling firewood. Timberwolf’s customers often opt to add a conveyor in addition to their wood splitter instead of going for a firewood processor because they see a significant boost in production at a fraction of the cost of a processor.
Not only are firewood conveyors productivity-boosting, but they are also labor savers. After the initial setup, no one has to operate the conveyor, just watch it offload clean-cut firewood.
What are you waiting for? Check out Timberwolf’s line of firewood conveyors, ranging in length from 12’ to 30’!