Got LOGS !!!!

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Finally. Our log dilemma has been solved. After calling every source I could track down, I decided it was best to really try hard and convince my local guy (logger/mill a few miles away) to work with us. Every other place I called kept referring me back to his company. All of the locals speak extremely highly of the business and owners, so they have a real solid reputation. He finally agreed to meet with me on Sunday at a local pine stand he was clear-cutting. He wasn't being rude or anything, just kept telling me he thought other guys would probably have what I wanted and that he doesn't sell full length logs normally as nobody wants them. The hidden theme I picked up on though was he kept repeating that he'd have to ask his son. As luck would have it, I ended up speaking with his son directly when the owner wasn't available. Wow, what a difference. Not only did his son not see a problem with my request, he said he'd talk with his pa and explain things. A few hours later, the pa called me and we met at the logging site. After a short conversation it was easy to figure out that he was not really involved much in the operation any more and more or less had his sons running the show. No matter how many times I told him what I was looking for and that "no, I don't want 40 footers cut down to 20 footers to make them "easier to handle"", he kept trying to convince me that I was crazy and that they sold these chopped up logs to the log home kit companies "all the time". He also was pretty insistent that the tops were way less than 10" (that's what I was asking for as a minimum) even though I'm standing there staring at the trees and it's painfully obvious that these are more than good enough. After about an hour of shooting the bull, he finally relents and says "well, if that's what you reaaallly want, we can cut them down for you no problem". I'm thinking great! Finally! So here's how the rest of the conversation went: (I'm guessing he was in his late seventies)

Me: how soon can you cut them?
Him: This week.
Me: Great! How much do you need to get per log?
Him: He looks at me funny and says "I have no idea".

Gotta admit this was a confusing moment.
Me: Look Bill, I want to do business with you and keep things local. You have the trees I'm looking for. My site is 2 miles away from here. As long as I can afford what you're asking, I'll get you money this week and we got a deal. But I would need to know how much you're asking obviously.
Him: How should I know? I don't sell trees by the full log.
Me: Ummmm, I can't agree to BUY the logs from you unless you tell me how much (said with the most genuine smile I could manage).
Him: Well, you know we're reasonable. I'm not going to work you over or anything.
Me: I don't think you would either, BUT you've already said you can't get them to me at the price I asked for so I can't commit to an unknown dollar amount responsibly. You don't expect me to have you deliver the logs to the property without knowing how much I owe you, right?

This finally seemed to sink in.
Him: Can you be up here tomorrow to talk with my son?
Me: (trying to hide my excitement of talking with a sane person) Of course. What time? (It's a 50 minute drive and I actually do have a job).
Him: Well, I'm not sure. I think Pete will be here tomorrow but he has other cuts going on and he eats lunch.
Me: Well Bill, it's a long drive for me and I'll probably have to take off work. Is there a way we can make SURE Pete will be here if I come up? Like maybe give him a call or something?
Him: Yeah, I can do that.

At this point I mistakenly stood there in silence waiting for him to dial his boy. He stands there looking at me. In silence.
Me: Umm, are you going to call him now or give me a call later or something?
Him: Yeah, I can call him (proceeds to take out his phone and call Pete).
Him: (hangs up phone after talking with Pete). Looks at me and says "yep".
Me: So, I should come up tomorrow? Did he say a time?
Him: He eats lunch.
Me: Can you give me Pete's number so I can give him a holler?
Him: I don't know how to do that.

After a brief mental battle of how to proceed from here, I decided I'd just drive up shortly after noon and figure it out. I thanked Bill for his time, listened to him tell me how crazy I was again and we parted ways.

I got there about 1:30pm and there wasn't a soul to be seen. I got out of the truck and felt the exhaust of the nearest machine. Still warm, so I'm figuring Pete must be "eating lunch"..... Drove over to my property to waste time and puzzle over how to fix my telehandler some more. After about an hour drove back over to the logging site and found Pete!

Pete: Hey Jim! My Dad said you'd be up but he didn't tell me when.
Me: (trying hard not to look shocked) Yeah, I really didn't give him a time, sorry about that.
Pete: So he says you want FULL trees??
Me: Yes. (Then I explain all over again the same conversation I've had with his Dad 10 times already).
Pete: Cool! You're going to build it yourself? Peel the logs and everything?
Me: Yep. Crazy right?
Pete: Yep, you're nuts. These would be good trees for that I think though.
Me: I agree. You think you can find 50 of these guys with 10" minimum tops, 40' long?
Pete: No problem. I'm thinking you don't want these machine stripped though, it will chew up the logs.
Me: Yeah, would rather have them not chewed up if at possible (said with a smile).
Pete: I'll give my Amish guy a call and he'll hand cut them for you.
Me: That would be awesome, BUT can YOU tell me how much you're asking for the logs? You're Dad was a little confused on how to price them out.
Pete: Ha! Yeah, Dad loses track of things now-a-days. He really thinks you're crazy.
Me: Guilty as charged, but how much?

Finally, Pete stops to think, pulls out a calculator, and gives me a price 40% higher than I had hoped but 75% lower than the other 100 loggers I had talked to the past month.

Me: That's more than I budgeted but I know you're being fair. Can you make that a delivered price?
Pete: (long pause) Yep. I can do that.
Me: How long will it take to get em cut and ready?
Pete: Tomorrow. The Amish guy is pretty good.
Me: (laughing) Ok, how about delivery and payment?
Pete: I'll have to give you a call. Weight limits are still on but we expect them to come off this week or the next. You can pay me after we deliver. Probably in the next week or two.

Yayyyy! Finally. More $ than I hoped but not the end of the world. Better than waiting another year for the perfect deal to surface or not. Then Pete says that he wants to cut one for me so I can make sure it's what we're looking for. I'm liking this guy more by the minute. Here's some pics of what we bought today:

Now to get the tele fixed, cut some trees to lay the logs out on and start the paperwork process of land-use permit, etc... Looks like I could by peeling as soon as this weekend!

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  1. donjuedo's Avatar
    Excellent! You cleared that hurdle.
  2. panderson03's Avatar
    wow Nick. sounds like you really scored. how much did you end up paying, if you don't mind me asking?