5. Protecting You When Buying Wood

                             JANUARY 15th, 2015 UPDATE: 

I am pleased to announce that we are now an ACCREDITED BUSINESS under the Nova Scotia Better Business Bureau as well as an ACTIVE MEMBER under the Firewood Vendor's Association of Nova Scotia also found under Access Nova Scotia.

Please check out what consumers say about my business and way I do things under the Nova Scotia Better Business Bureau under Customer/Consumer Reviews

WOOD ISSUE UPDATE May 28th, 2015. This noted below is very important to read. And once you do, take heed and DO THE MATH!

After receiving several calls this week about companies; and in general, wood sellers, some registered with the Registry of Firewood Vendors in Halifax and surrounding areas, and then after a conversation with Measurement Canada referencing the same, I am appalled at the response on the matter. Classified as being sold as a 'UNIT', this so called practice is way less than a proper cord by MEASUREMENT CANADA STANDARDS and Measurement Canada informs me that this is LEGAL, even though it is not a proper cord based on a STACKED CORD of 128 cubic feet. When I look at this, I see TWO STANDARDS here and sadly, YOU, THE CONSUMER, you are the ones being SCREWED ONCE MORE by the way of Government. We need CONTROLS - not people being allowed to change the rules or say, 'it is legal as long as the customer is told it is a UNIT or some other wording letting them know it is NOT a PROPER CORD, all in all, being sold 'LEGALLY LESS' than a cord and in the process of that, not using the words 'CORD or STACKED CORD' What the hell is wrong with people? And here I thought Measurement Canada wanted to make this an even playing field.

Having ONCE AGAIN checked Measurement Canada's site on Firewood, the following ARE NOT CONSIDERED AS LEGAL MEASUREMENTS pertaining to FIREWOOD. (Short Cord, Face Cord, Thrown Cord, Processed Cord (for which a UNIT CORD TRULY IS coming in between 85 to maybe 100 cubic feet), apartment cord and other amounts not listed and are TOTALLY ILLEGAL MEASUREMENTS in CANADA. So, my question is, why suddenly is Measurement Canada in Nova Scotia allowing this? In my books, it is allowing others a path to SCREW the consumer. So, be on your toes, always insist on a 'PROPER STACKED CORD AMOUNT, and above all, get your calculator out and do the math before ordering short cords as 'UNITS' or any other method of description. Remember, a guaranteed cord is 128 cubic feet. On a $300.00 cord, based on 128 cubic feet, that literally works out at $2.43 a cubic foot. On a 'UNIT'  sold, that becomes anywhere from $3.17 to $3.52 per cubic feet. So, WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF DOUBLE STANDARDS and GOVERNMENT. 


                                  #5. Protecting You When Buying Wood

                  I Sell Tri-Maple Mix Hardwood cut & split @ $     .00 per cord.



In life there are NO easy solutions. We try counteracting this by making intelligent choices by, and based on the facts that we get proper and clear direction in our search for the proper answers. As for what is right, and for what is wrong for the Property Owner, it is he, or she, who should be the one that is in charge of making the correct decision in life as by what his, and her family needs are.

                                                              Section #5 Summary:

                                                     (1) Protecting you the consumer
                                                         (2) How to protect yourself
                                             (3) How can I get the best bargain on my wood
                                              (4) How long will wood that is cut and split last
                                           (5) Learning to protect yourself before buying wood
                                   (6) Learning DRY MEASUREMENTS pertaining to firewood
                                                (7) Noted Scammer Tricks being hard to detect
                                                             (8) Learning Measurements
                                               (9) Measuring delivery truck, trailer and unit sizes
For detailed cost comparisons and cordage on processing 8 or 16 foot wood, please go to section #4.


One of major problems in the Firewood Industry portion in Nova Scotia is the lack of Government Control and Enforcement. We will indulge this later in full. However; ONE OF THE BIGGEST instigators of the problems encountered is the advertisement of products by anyone and everyone without Proper Legal Business Names, Proper Business Locations, Proper Contact Information, Proper Phone and Email Contacts that are the openly used on the Website KNOWN as KIJIJI. Unfortunately, KIJIJI is one of the biggest offenders to you, the consumer, for being screwed over because their policies toward the consumer LITERALLY SUCK. They are there strictly to protect the subscriber to their service and if you read their policies clearly, you will see that  it is a ONE-SIDED VENUE as being their way without any HONEST INTERFERENCE. 


Sadly, when these fraudulent ads; and fraudulent ads is what they are, are installed, only the people who operate these sites are privy to the real identities and contact information. They have one concern and it is not you the consumer. Their job is to extract money for advertisement because they too are a business supported by means of selling goods. They do not care if the person is legitimate, they do not care if the business is legitimate and WILL ALLOW ANYONE TO POST WITHOUT A PROPER BUSINESS NAME, PROPER ADDRESS AND PROPER HONEST INFORMATION IN GENERAL. As for the Consumer, you have ABSOLUTELY NO PROTECTION or RECOURSE should any of this fail. Sadly, 95% does fail and people get burned daily because of the LACK OF CONTROLS. 

Looking to the Police, Better Business Bureau, Measurement Canada, Small Claims Court and or hiring a lawyer WILL NOT HELP. As in Government, they have proven to me so far that they do not care enough to wade into this and make the necessary rules needed to enforce protection and protect the consumer. One of the biggest offenders in the fight to protect the consumer is the FREE Advertising sites that DO NOTHING to verify truth. As for Kijiji and Craig's list to mention a few, EACH AD should have a WARNING attached automatically to let people know that they need to be careful and verify all information before entering into any transaction. I tried, as did Measurement Canada. To date, NOTHING has been done, and truthfully, I doubt it ever will. So people, BE WISE, BEWARE and BE ON YOUR TOES.


(2) How to protect yourself:
There are multiples in ways to do this if you are educated in the process of buying firewood. First, learn all you can about it and the tricks the scammers and cheaters pull. They count on your ignorance to the fact of you NOT KNOWING ANYTHING on the topic. Let us start with 'what is considered as legal units of MEASURE' as used in and with the sale of FIREWOOD in Canada. Keep in mind that MANY people selling firewood do not abide by the rules and laws when selling firewood. Always beware of a new term used in the sale of Firewood and that are not listed here or recognized by Measurement Canada. If you choose not to, you WILL NOT have a leg to stand on when you are scammed. It is important to remember that Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Fraud by misrepresentation of any form is an inditeable offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. To protect yourself in buying wood, please read and understand the section directly below this one.  

(a) a proper cord based on Measurement Canada is 128 cubic feet of wood piled 4 feet wide by 4 feet high by 8 feet in length preferably cut evenly at 16 inch cuts for accurate measurement.
(b) a fraction of a cord.
(c) cubic feet or cubic metre.
(d) stacked cubic metre.
(e) fractions of a stacked cord or cubic metre. 

The following is a list of terms commonly used in the sale of Firewood that IS NOT LEGAL and deemed ILLEGAL in, and for the sale of FIREWOOD in Canada. Do be careful on any representations that use any of these terminologies or new ones that you are not familiar with.
(a)  processed cord
(b)  stove cord
(c)  face cord
(d)  tossed cord
(e)  single cord
(f)   short cord
(g)  furnace cord
(h)  apartment cord
(i)   bush cord
(j)   rack of wood or firewood
(k)  truckload of wood or firewood  
(l)   pile of wood
(m) a rick of firewood
(n)  half ton truck load of wood or firewood

Protecting yourself is easy. However, you must be smart if you want to beat the Scammers, Cheaters, Fly by Night Operators and Part Time Sellers at their game. When making contact with anyone about firewood, know exactly what it is you want and how to ask for it. If you don't, you should be reading this whole website in its entirety. What I know and what is written here WILL save you money in the long run.

When finally deciding on the person or business of your choice, insist and make perfectly clear up front the following terminologies and requests.

(1) Ask for the load or cordage you want to be delivered properly stacked or piled in rows on the truck. Most suppliers will have an extra charge for this practice (usually $10.00 per cord is the normal charge). However, it is the only way UNLESS the seller will put it in writing that he will guarantee the proper cubic feet of measured wood on the unit to pile out properly to a piled cord or cords of 128 Cubic Feet per based on the order as clearly described in (#a) above under Measurement Canada definitions of a cord. These are the only two ways that you can be guaranteed true cordage. Remember this, paying the extra to have it stacked and properly corded on the truck will INSURE you will not be SHORT CORDED. Keep in mind that the Scammers and Cheaters WILL NOT be HAPPY about this and will most likely hang up on you, tell you where to go and simply tell you a higher charge will be applicable. It is important to keep in mind, $10.00 a cord is a SMALL FEE to make sure you WILL BE GETTING YOUR PROPER CORDAGE. And keep in mind, as in the receipt stipulation below will show, all must be clearly done by the legal terminologies to prove there was a CONSPIRACY to COMMIT FRAUD and a FRAUD initiated thru intentional misrepresentation.

(2) Make it perfectly clear that you will be measuring the truck box or delivery unit to make sure the cubic feet tendered can legally be loaded and hauled as agreed. If you choose not to, this will be YOUR ERROR in GOOD JUDGEMENT.

(3) Avoid buying wood from trucks with compartments of dividers in them. The more corners, the less volume that can be loaded unless properly piled in these sections in tiers.

(4) Always be present at the time of delivery. NEVER ALLOW or ASK ANYONE to be there and do your job for you. This would be your biggest mistake especially if the person you ask IS NOT familiar with firewood, cubic measurement and cordage.

(5) Never take delivery in the dark no matter how much artificial lighting is used. Scammers and Cheaters rely on the dark while perfecting their schemes and scams. 

(6) Make it very clear that you WANT and EXPECT A RECEIPT DETAILING the cordage, the cubic feet in total being delivered, stating it was either a piled cord or loose tossed load. Further this by insisting the bill or receipt show the correct address of the seller, contact person's name, phone number and any other information you feel is appropriate. NEVER allow the driver to leave without a receipt. If you do, it will be your mistake, and his, or their gain. Without it, you have virtually no protection or anything to prove otherwise to fall back on.

(7) If the truck is not properly lettered disclosing the true identity of the seller or business, make it  perfectly clear at the time of the order that you will be asking to see the driver's license of the truck, vehicle permit, Insurance, Nova Scotia Inspection Sticker on the left lower corner of the wind-shield (note and take down the ID # inside of the sticker) and any other relevant information that will give you access to the seller should an issue arise. Keep in mind that once they enter your property, this is your right. This is your only protection should an accident or incident take place,  involving the truck, you or anyone else. Also, it will verify the fact that the seller is who they claim to be. If they refuse, show them the road because you have most likely foiled their plan to scam you and saved yourself  money AND HEADACHES IN THE PROCESS.

(8) Never pay for the wood until it is on the ground and you are satisfied that you have gotten everything that you agreed to. If they refuse, do show them the highway. Remember, they know you and where you live. They are asking for you to trust them and this is someone YOU DO NOT KNOW. If you choose to ignore the warnings, you deserve to be scammed. 

(9) Never accept GREEN WOOD unless it is what you ordered. To be sure it is what you want and agreed to, take a Moisture Prove Unit and check for moisture. Remember, GREEN WOOD is a problem and will only cause more problems if it is sold to you as dry or seasoned wood.

(10) Always make sure that the wood you agreed to buy is clearly defined on the receipt. If it is MIXED WOOD or COMBINATIONS of MIXED WOOD, have it clearly identified. If it is being sold as strictly ONE SPECIES of wood, make sure it is CLEARLY IDENTIFIED IN WRITING and there is a signature made in your presence to verify that someone in your presence clearly identified the type of wood sold and delivered. 

(11) If the wood was negotiated to be cut in 16 inch lengths and split and sold this way, DO MAKE SURE the receipt clearly identifies this point. If not, you have nothing to prove otherwise.

(12) On making contact with ANY SELLER, with today's available technology, NEVER buy or make an agreement from anyone who is not willing to give you an Email or Fax of COMMITMENT on what it is they are offering, wanting to deliver and a firm guaranteed price by dollars and cordage or cubic feet to be delivered. If they say no, it would be a clear indication that they DO NOT want to have a record of contact that they can be held accountable to. If they refuse, it is clear that they are afraid of the consequences if the contract (and that is what it would be) would not live up to what was negotiated.

(13) With today's technology, it is a good idea to have a camera or a camera phone on hand when the truck arrives to tender delivery. It will be YOUR RIGHT to take pictures of the TRUCK, DRIVER and CARGO once he and the unit is on your property. In doing so, there leaves little room for argument on what was tendered for delivery, the truck and the driver.

(14) Immediately after the load is tendered, pile it. If there are ANY discrepancies, do contact the seller immediately. If there is an issue on measurement, do give him the opportunity to come and measure for himself while reminding him that you have a contract by Email or fax. If you don't, you will most likely be out of luck and out money.  If he hangs up on you, ignores you, or worse yet, tells you where to go, do report him to the proper authorities. However, if YOU DID NOT do your part by obtaining the information as disclosed in #7, I do suggest you have been had and your goose is cooked.

 (15) Last, but not least, we challenge the most important piece of the sellers information. Do check with the Nova Scotia Firewood Registry, Measurement Canada, the Better Business Bureau, The Police or RCMP in your area, The Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stocks to verify the true IDENTITY of the person or business you are buying from or through. If you don't it is your stupidity and your mistake. Trust me, if you don't do this, you are making their job of SCAMMING you that much easier.

Things that seem simple are not always carried out in that manner. In the firewood business, if you play with fire; trust me, you will get burned. It is so easy to take the precautions and make the correct moves to protect you, your investment, and your agreement on negotiating the purchase. If you bought from the Internet and there were no names to the ad, this is a clear indication that the person selling has much to hide. This is where #'s 7 & 15 are the most important while making the inquiry or commitment before the load is delivered. These are the simplest of manners in which to protect yourself when negotiating or purchasing wood. For the record, I DO NOT SELL to ANYONE unless there is a contract in place outlining the Cutting procedures, the delivery procedures and all monies as outlined in the Email or fax. This is considered as good business in the world of Scammers and Cheaters. So....a word to the wise, PROTECT YOURSELF and MAKE IT CLEAR AS TO WHAT YOU EXPECT FROM THE PERSON or BUSINESS THAT YOU ARE BUYING FROM.

      We have covered much of (H) to (M) throughout the sections combined. A good read will educate you on much that you don't know about wood.

This is one of the toughest to address whereas everyone is looking for a deal. This isn't about saving $5.00, $10.00, $20.00 here, or $40.00 there. This is all about you learning about wood, procedures, trick and things that happen. One important lesson I have learned over the years is this, 'You Get What You Pay For.' REMEMBER THIS WHEN BUYING WOOD-----PEOPLE OFFERING WOOD DEALS ARE  DOING IT FOR A REASON. People maintaining a good business practice and operation with wood will deal with: 
(a) Quality Wood.
(b) Even Pricing.
(c) No adjustment on pricing to make a deal. 
(d) Proper Cuts.
(e) No Gimmicks.
(f) A Proper Name, Address and Contact Info.

Do we get that thrill at the pumps or grocery store when we say, 'Let's Play-----LET'S MAKE A DEAL?' No! But, and for argument sake; imagine when you get the so called 'BOGO DEALS' at the big grocery store. Did you ever consider the mark-up for them to do that? Again-----this is called Hidden Pricing. Come on----get realistic! No BUSINESS gives ANYTHING AWAY FOR FREE. Can you see Nova Scotia Power giving you a free month of electricity because you bought power from them for the previous 11 months OR 5 OR 10 YEARS? I mean----wouldn't it be nice to buy power for 11 months and then get the BOGO on the last month each year? Hell yes----SIGN ME UP! NO!!!!! IT IS SOMETHING YOU NEED. IT IS A SERVICE PROVIDED THAT THEY HAVE A MONOPOLY ON. They are no different from the Grocery Chains who both control and set prices without any Government Regulation other than on milk to my knowledge. Government has made us, The Consumers, the True Victims. The Grocery Giants are the ones who both own the wholesaling businesses and that do control pricing. I am not picking on these businesses, but I am merely pointing out the things we DO NOT think about and take for granted. 

So-----let's look at the wood business? Who in their right mind is going to give you; a stranger, a deal, free delivery and more wood than what you really should be getting in that 'So Called Deal'?  Look at the real picture here and THINK! NO ONE!!!! 

 Simply put; this is about what is best for you, your family and the safest wood burning experience possible. The issue of a deal should not even be in the conversation. It should be about the best quality in wood THAT WILL BURN THE LONGEST and THE SAFEST. It should be about BTU quality and for you to buy for the absolute best heating results possible. 

I get calls and Emails here all the time and asked if we can beat someone else's price. To those people I answer simple. I don't try, and am not interested in playing the bargaining game. I don't wage one person against the other by trying to beat anyone's prices. I have the same price on wood for everyone and offer the same quality, the same cuts and the same types of wood; JUST NOT MIXED WOOD. The biggest choice you have to make with me is the choice of thickness in cut and size that you want. I have lost business because I do not sell mixed hardwood and play the pricing game. For me, this is about giving you the best wood for the money you want to spend and can afford. Remember this; a bargain could get you split wood of all different cuts, sizes and types like the chap in the next paragraph. Simply put; who has control in this situation? It is the SELLER, and/or, the BUYER being you? YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BOTH BUYING, AND GETTING UP FRONT. BEYOND THAT-----YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT AT ALL TIMES. If not, you are just wasting your hard earned money. 

I had a customer call me from Eastern Passage in August requesting a quote price on 4 cords of Maple. After a brief discussion, he established that with the freight it made the wood expensive. He then furthered that by saying that he could get winter hardwood in his area for close to half the amount quoted. Whether I believed him or not wasn't the issue. To me it really didn't matter. When he asked for a deal, I said no. He never liked the response and abruptly hung up. ((((This was much like a gentlemen in the Windsor area who....and I quote, 'Come on Frank, if I buy 6 cords, I'm sure you can sharpen your pencil and give me a better price.' Politely, I told him no. I furthered this by saying that my price on wood and deliveries were the same for everyone and that I didn't play the pricing game. He quickly replied: 'You missed out on a good customer here.' and the line went dead.))))

Going back to the fellow in Eastern Passage; I did tell him that if he felt comfortable with the wood in his own area, then that was the best thing for him to do. Nonetheless; he should really be sure of the wood, the source and the quality before tossing money around on a deal. The same gentleman called me in October and asked me to bring two cords of Maple. He disclosed he had made a dreadful mistake and was very disappointed in the wood he bought. I was reluctant at first, but I did agree and made the trip. He paid the same as everyone else for the wood and transportation. While there, he showed me the four cords he bought for the money he saved at that time. He asked my opinion on what I thought about the wood that the other business delivered. There were cuts from 12 inches to 20 inches. There was also a mixture of Maple, White Birch, Green Poplar,  Spruce and some Alder bush wood. He saved money at the time as he calculated it. He quickly realized that when he piled it, there were no four cords of wood. With all of the staggered cuts, it was not his chimney that the smoke on the missing wood was going up. 

My concern was the issue of no BTU value in what he had purchased to burn. The other issue was the mixture of what the wood really was. He asked if it would be better to burn it with what he got from me. I told him no whereas mine was green in September and it should be dried before attempting to burn the Maple.  The idea when he ordered it, it was for the upcoming year. So, he decided to change his plans and wanted to do what he shouldn't. I did share a couple of quick methods on drying if he could put it in his garage with the aid of a fan and dehumidifier. As for how he faired out, I didn't ask. But I was pleased that he ordered another 6 cord of Maple early December for May 2012 delivery. I guess this was my answer.

This is very simple. If it is good wood, green when you get it and you season it properly, you can get as much as 2 to 4 years out of it depending on where and how you store it outside. Inside, it can be as much as 7 years. but, the downside would be no moisture and it would burn quicker for that reason. This is based on keeping it in a dry place where air can get to it. It is also based on it being cut fresh and properly seasoned. To me, FRESH is what has been discussed in another section and HAS NOT been laying around so bugs, larvae, moisture, water, mildew and rot become part of its landscape. Remember this; it is important to know the source of your wood and everything about it possible before bringing it into the home. If not, there is no telling as to what you may get.  

 Drawing the line on deliveries and formats of delivery that are designed to protect you from the Scammer, Cheater and Liar selling you wood.

Simply put, do you know when you are getting proper wood delivered for your money? 
Do you know when the wood is delivered, what is really considered as a true cord?
Do you know how to pre-CUBE truck or trailer measurements before the load is tendered?
Do you know the path to check on people selling wood before you buy?
If any of your answers are NO, or you are left somewhat confused by the terminology or questions, you need to lean much before trusting and giving your money to anyone. 


In Nova Scotia we do have an organization called the Registry of Firewood Vendors of Nova Scotia.This can be found under Access Nova Scotia. This would be your best and safest manner in which to obtain names of Reputable Businesses and a proven track record with Measurement Canada out of Halifax. You can also contact Measurement Canada for more clarification on person's selling wood whereas it is their business to keep on top of these issues. On top of that; even tho the BBB have no legal powers to protect you, you can access their website to find out if the name chosen has had any complaints or unsolved issues. To further that, an even smarter move is to check with the Registry of Joint Stocks in Halifax, Nova Scotia to verify if the person or company you are dealing with, in fact is a business, has a registered business name with the Province and is a business in 'Good Standing.' You can also call the local police or RCMP and ask on a person and location from which they are operating to verify if they have had complaints and any issues of concern. If none of these are an option, PAY ATTENTION to the WARNING SIGNS HERE.

Do keep this in mind though, if you DO NOT verify any of these avenues, and you get scammed, burned, or cheated, it was YOUR FAULT. Correcting your mistakes will be expensive and usually not worth the lesson learned. On the other-hand  if you would have taken the time to check on the person, persons or business, you would most likely would not have had the experience.


Above and below is one of the delivery units I own and use. I will attempt to make the calculations on cubic measure pertaining to wood simple in hopes of explaining how wood is cubed and calculated for delivery. This trailer is going to be measured on INSIDE MEASUREMENTS as should any unit hauling wood. Let me begin in a simple manner with wood first. 

A standard cord of UNPROCESSED WOOD, or ground laying cord of UNPROCESSED WOOD as we call it in the business, can be calculated several ways. However; once it is cut from its 8, 12 or 16 foot length, it is not really a standard or unprocessed cord anymore. Based on that, one must learn and understand the following measurements. Once you do, NO ONE will be able to take advantage of you by selling what we call, 'SHORT CORDS' (under many forms of names) of wood unless you become slack on your end. Short cords of wood are defined and represented in many ways from half ton truck loads to 85 to 100 cubic feet on a cord. These are ILLEGAL MEASUREMENTS in CANADA and should be challenged on the Measurement Canada Website. 

A standard cubic foot measured cord is based on LENGTH by WIDTH by HEIGHT or DEPTH as some see it. A standard cord of unprocessed wood before cutting and splitting is 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 4 feet high in a pile and will cube out to 128 Cubic Feet. Whether cut or uncut, it still takes 128 feet to make a standard measured cord. However; once you saw, cut and split THAT CORD, it is no longer a standard cord and WILL NEVER measure out to the cord it was before cutting. In actual fact, once cut and split, it becomes between 68 to 70% of a standard or ground laying cord. When wood is loose loaded and piled due to air holes, tight packing, staggered stacking and the way it is piled due to cut sizing, it can be a bit more or less than the 68 to 70%. Trucks using COMPARTMENTS is even worse by short loading and cording by as much as another 10 to 20%.

This trailer below loaded is 12 feet long, by 6 feet wide, by 4 feet high. Those numbers before cubing would be 12 feet X 6 feet =72 square feet. At that rate it is calculated as area only. We then take the area and add the depth or height by the 4 feet, which will not only change area to cubic measurement, but will equal 288 cubic feet. As some sellers calculate, they then divide that number by the cord being 128 cubic feet. However; this is wrong. If we do this; and I have heard from many people this summer how they have been 'Short Corded', they would divide that figure by 128 cubic feet and calculate the load delivered as 2 1/4 cords of wood. This would be wrong and only in the favour of the seller. If you did the math (or piled the wood) at 68% being the figure we go by, you would be 'Short Corded'. You would only end up with 195.84 cubic feet of wood which actually calculates to 1.53 cords based on the calculations of a true standard cord of wood ONCE PILED. That works out to just a bit over 1 1/2 cords. 

To calculate loose cordage, (a cord thrown loose or conveyed loose in the trailer or a truck) it should actually be calculated at 165 to 168 cubic feet of wood. This is because the 128 cubic feet (Standard Cord of wood) will have air holes and cross wood piling and pocketing. Once the 168 cubic feet is piled, the differential of the 68% of the standard cord is usually made up and will balance within 1 to 3% of the total corded load. When properly piled, it will actually make a full standard ground cord in a tier of 4 feet wide, by 4 feet high, by 8 feet in length and should equal 128 cubic feet. Nonetheless; if we were to pile the wood in tiers on this trailer, we could actually get the 2 1/4 cords level to the top of the sides. To prove a point, that would be a waste of time and work because of dumping it.

What I do in a case like this is as follows: I measure the cut and split load on the trailer by the measurements at the length of 12 feet, the width at the 6 feet and the depth or height at 4 feet 9 inches (or 4.75) tapered from center to the sides, front and rear. Most times it is higher than 12 inches in the center because of smaller cut wood. If you note that the trailer is well over an extra foot high in the center, it will balance out any differentials and usually a bit more when piled. This finally cubes out at 342.0 cubic feet differing only at times of 1 to 3% either way. However, it is 9 times out of 10 in favour of my customers. Calculating this by what should be  considered as a loose thrown cord, I divide that by 168 cubic feet. By the  amount needed to actually make a standard ground laying cord, you end up with 2.0357cords of the proper piled cord of wood. This will make your full two cords and in most cases a tiny bit extra. This is considered a proper loose cord scale and SHOULD BE THE ONLY calculated scale used when you buy wood. For your protection, clearly make it a point up front that you will measure the truck box, trailer, or carrying device upon delivery before being unloaded. NEVER PAY FOR ANY WOOD BEFORE DELIVERY IS TENDERED AND YOU ARE SATISFIED ALL IS AS AGREED TO. By doing this, you will be getting your true cordage of wood or know exactly what YOU ARE NOT GETTING. This is not complicated using a calculator and tape measure. Remember, I am always open for reasonable questions.

This would be the same scale used on 1, 2, 3 or 4 cord loads. It is important to remember that the amount of volume DOES NOT CHANGE on or with more cords. When someone tells you that they will sell you 4 cords or more on a load, BE VERY CAREFUL. It would take one very large sized truck box to haul that kind of load. Presently I am building one. However, to haul FOUR CORDS of cut and split wood, the truck will have to have a box at 18 feet long by 8 feet wide by 4.75 feet high to cube loose loaded wood at 684 Cubic feet to be divided by 168 Cubic feet per loose cord to Cord out at 4. 0714 cords when piled out at 128 Cubic feet. No, it is not confusing. One has to understand cording, cubic measure and math in general.

If you also consider that the average 2 cord of Green Cut Hardwood can average between 4500 to 5500 pounds per cord, I am sure any scale master would like to meet one of these people and loads on the highway . You must realize that single axle trucks cannot scale the weight for this type of load due to being way overweight and exceeding the actual manufactures safe guidelines pertaining to the safety factor of the unit. Even the heaviest of single axle trucks would be pushing it to scale 3 to 3 1/2 cords of loose loaded green cut wood. With the truck I am building, I CANNOT and WILL NOT haul green cut, leaf or sap cut wood. As for Winter Cut or Seasoned wood, the weight scales are posted earlier and the truck I am building WILL legally do the job. This trailer below and load alone is between 11,000 to 12,000 pounds. 

   This trailer is holding a proper 2 cord load cut and split @ 342.0 cubic feet. 



Another point to bring forth is manual hand blocking or cross piling on a loose load. This is done more often that people realize. This had happened to me about 12 years ago. I was lucky. I was not going to be there when the wood was delivered but running late, I was. However; things changed to the dismay of the seller. The person delivering had no dump on the unit and had hand thrown it into the one ton truck box. Needless to say, he was astonished to find me home on delivery. Many who do this, calculate this with the idea of either cheating someone unsuspecting of it, or, as a means of  making up on that shortage of the actual cut cord. This practice is normally done with people hand loading wood where they intentionally will cross pile the wood in squares or pockets. THESE PROCESSES OR SCAMS ARE CALLED PLATFORMING, CORNER PILING, FLOOR DECKING and CROSS PILING THE LOAD.

 This is done as to increase the amount of air hole space in the load. On the other end, and for the person unsuspecting, it will enable those persons to make it look like they are actually tendering a larger load upon delivery. Having said this; BE THERE and watch the wood coming off. If it doesn't look like it is a normal loose falling load of wood from the box, ask them to wait until it is piled. Most will then baulk and quickly come up with excuses, or go in DEAL MODE. I am not trying to instigate issues, but merely warn you that things as this happen only too often. People with inadequate equipment, compartments built in the truck or unit, or people who really don't care and want the 'QUICK BUCK', ruin it for others doing it correctly. REMEMBER THE SECTIONS PERTAINING TO DEALS. To protect yourself from this practice is difficult.  You need to be on your toes and trust very few unless you know them and someone referred them. However, being on your toes and letting the seller know that you are aware of tricks cannot hurt. The best method is being present, being on your toes with calculator and tape measure in hand while watching everything carefully as it comes off of the truck. For the people who want to be paid before unloading, these are the ones that have much to hide. For the record, the average two cord of wood when dumped off of a truck should lay on the ground in a head approximately 12 to 14 feet long, 8 to 9 feet wide and average 3 feet high. If it doesn't, consider all options before paying ANY money.

Here, all wood is machine conveyor loaded directly from the wood processor into the truck, and/or trailers. I operate a one person operation (me) only, and trust me. I am too old to indulge in playing these games and wasting my time in hand piling, or working wood in that manner. It is important to understand that not all people do things as this. However; like anything in life, when it comes to making a fast buck, saving a lost buck, or getting the best on a deal or mistake-----there are the exceptions and scammers who will not waste a moment or blink of an eye to take advantage of you in your moment of trust.


As for the truck below, the measurements on the box calculates to the following:
At 11 feet 7 inches long, by 7 feet wide, by 4 feet 2 inches high as we piled in the trailer, or a bit higher in the center as pictured, this actually makes the cubed calculations of  345.45 cubic feet. We then divide that by the loose thrown cord of 168 cubic feet and we will finally end up with 2.056 cords of wood.

To some, this may seem boring, and yet, unimportant. However; remember that if you are paying anyone for wood to be delivered that is cut and split, you should be getting what you bargain for. The best cut in the industry that will give you the best even cord count based on an 8 and 16 foot piece of unprocessed wood is 16 inch cuts. Any wood over or under that means you are not getting the best cut and package available. The wood comes in to us processors usually at 8 and 16 feet in length with the latter classified as (R.L.) or Random Length. I have seen loads over the years at staggered cuts being from 4 to 6 and 8 feet with the shorter being buried in the load. Unfortunately, this is where the short and many staggered off size cuts originate. It is also where a processor like me can lose if he is not paying attention to what is being delivered.

Having the wood in 8 and 16 foot pieces; and if you divide the 16 inch cut by the length of the wood broken down in inches, it then becomes a processed piece with even cuts. Aside from that, less waste, better cord count; other than a block ends, which basically comes from any piece longer than the 8 or 16 foot delivered log, random cutting, all contribute to short cording and bad cutting. Those cutters operating processors have a natural laser or mechanical setting that assures you of the same cut on 8 and 16 foot wood. If someone tells you otherwise, be on your toes and learn to become Dick Tracy.

If you receive a load of wood with many staggered cuts, the person or business selling the wood is gaining.  Each piece shorter than 16 inches; and in some cases, longer than 16 inches, is taking away from the actual volume and cord count by creating extra volumes of air space within the load.  Even cuts work toward even cordage without exception. Keep in mind that a 12, 13, 14 or 15 inch cut, and loose tossed in a truck will actually occupy close to the same volume in occupying air space until piled. Once piled, you will be shocked. It is important to remember that a crafty individual can occupy more space through hand cross piling and pocketing whether it is on a truck box, bin or pallet. Once piled, the differential is well noticeable. This can take from 3% to as much as 15% off of the proper piled cord of wood based on it being a loose loaded cord, or a 168 cubic foot cord. This depends on how much, or if any of the above has transpired. I have also seen where one individual cuts and dumps with a tractor bucket into the truck box because he has no conveyor. I had seen the same individual in the box adjusting wood to appear differently by occupying more space. These practices take from you and gives the edge to him on cord count.

           This truck below is holding a proper 2 cord load of cut and split wood @ 345.4 cubic feet.


Learning Truck and Trailer Sizes and what the unit is actually and legally capable of carrying when it comes to Cubic Measurement and weights in Firewood. For your protection, you must be willing to take the time to measure and calculate loads of wood when being delivered to prevent the person from Scamming you. Remember, they are not the ones in command when that unit enters your property. It is 'Your Right' to make sure all is proper and legal with what you are buying and agreeing to.

I have began this quest on a 168 Cubic foot cord in June of 2011, because people screwed me over when I bought wood many years ago. I learned. You need to. SADLY, the amount of crooked business going on with a few of the people selling wood in and thru the HRM, Brookfield, Prospect, Peggy's Cove, Terrance Bay, and general areas of the Mainland Nova Scotia is outrageous. The amount of names being used is even worse since the biggest instigator of Crooked Practices emanates from his TRUE LOCATION on Bissett Road in the HRM District who does make this Industry look bad for everyone. Remember: on average - it takes 165 to 168 cubic feet loose loaded cord to make up a 128 standard ground cord of wood when piled.  You will find a complete scale of truck and trailer sizes that will CLEARLY tell you how much wood can be loose loaded and therefore piled from a delivered load based on the size of the unit. Also, the scale to calculate will also be included.

Continued from section # 3.


First, it is important to understand that these calculations are based on properly cut wood at 16 inch cuts. If the wood cut IS NOT at 16 inch cuts and staggered or random cutting, these scales could be off as much as by 10% or more and all the way up to 30%. Smaller cut wood as Kitchen Cuts 10 to 14 inch will appear to look like you are receiving more wood,  but will give you less in wood and less in heat quality when dumped or piled. No matter, learn to stick with a proper even cut of either 14 or 16 inch. Anyone receiving staggered cut wood will definitely lose whereas staggered uneven cuts will benefit the SELLER and not the BUYER, being you the consumer.

A standard or ground piled cord = 128 cubic feet. It measures 4 feet wide by 4 feet high by 8 feet long.
A loose loaded cord on a truck will have to measure 165 to 168 cubic feet to properly pile out to 128 cubic feet. This is the ONLY scale that will work so learn it before ordering. We will do the larger units first and truck or trailer, the size will be calculated by the average norm used in the trucking industry. The truck size, tandem or single axle will not matter whereas it is the inside measurements of the box that is important. However, legally the most wood that can be scaled on any single axle truck would be 4.00 cords in an open NO COMPARTMENT UNIT. However, the sizes below show both the average and path to calculate cordage when piled.

PLEASE NOTE: TRUCKS AND/OR TRAILERS DESIGNED TO CARRY WOOD DIVIDED INTO INDIVIDUAL COMPARTMENTS WITHIN, OR ON THE UNIT ITSELF, WILL WORK OUT AT EVEN LESS WOOD. THESE CAN DIFFER BY AS MUCH AS 10 TO 20% BECAUSE OF THE SMALLER CORNERS ON THE AREA CALCULATED AND COMBINED OCCUPIED SPACE. THE ONLY WAY THAT THIS WILL DIFFER IS IF THEY CUBE OUT AT APPROXIMATELY 180  TO 185 CUBIC FEET PER COMPARTMENT. THE LARGER THE OPEN AREA AS IN A OPEN TRUCK BOX ON THE SIZES POSTED BELOW, THE EASIER AND MORE ACCURATE CALCULATION ON THE WOOD. An important note to consider, should anyone be delivering in what is considered a gravel truck or box, be very careful whereas 90% of the gravel boxes WILL LOOSE CORD between 2 to 3 cords if lucky. Here again, measuring the unit before dumping is wisely suggested. Just because the truck looks big, it DOES NOT mean that you are getting what you are paying for.

Length:  X  Width:  X  Height: = Volume =
18 feet  X   8 feet  X   6 feet  =864 cubic feet divide by 168 =  5.14 cords when piled. (Monstrosity) 
18 feet  X   8 feet  X   5 feet  =720 cubic feet    "       "  168 =  4.28 cords when piled. (Highly unlikely)
18 feet  X   8 feet  X   4 feet  =576     "      "      "       "  168 =  3.42 cords when piled.
18 feet  X   8 feet  X   3 feet  =432     "      "      "       "  168 =  2.57 cords when piled.

16 feet  X   8 feet  X   6 feet  =768 cubic feet divide by 168 =  4.57 cords when piled. (Highly unlikely)
16 feet  X   8 feet  X   5 feet  =640     "      "       "      "   168 = 3.80 cords when piled.
16 feet  X   8 feet  X   4 feet  =512     "      "       "      "   168 = 3.04 cords when piled.
16 feet  X   8 feet  X   3 feet  =384     "      "       "      "   168 = 2.28 cords when piled.

14 feet  X   8 feet  X   6 feet  =672 cubic feet divide by  168 = 4.00 cords when piled. (Possible)
14 feet  X   8 feet  X   5 feet  =560     "      "       "      "   168 = 3.33 cords when piled.
14 feet  X   8 feet  X   4 feet  =448     "      "       "      "   168 = 2.66 cords when piled.
14 feet  X   8 feet  X   3 feet  =336     "      "       "      "   168 = 2.00 cords when piled.

12 feet  X   8 feet  X   6 feet = 576 cubic feet divide by  168 = 3.42 cords when piled.  
12 feet  X   8 feet  X   5 feet = 480     "      "       "      "   168 = 2.85 cords when piled.
12 feet  X   8 feet  X   4 feet = 384     "      "       "      "   168 = 2.28 cords when piled.
12 feet  X   8 feet  X   3 feet = 288     "      "       "      "   168 = 1.71 cords when piled. 
These calculations above are standard box sizes on average trucks with a standard width wheelbase. 

18 feet  X   7 feet  X   6 feet = 756 cubic feet divide by 168 = 4.50 cords when piled. (Highly unlikely)
18 feet  X   7 feet  X   5 feet = 560     "      "       "      "  168 = 3.33 cords when piled.
18 feet  X   7 feet  X   4 feet = 392     "      "       "      "  168 = 2.33 cords when piled.
18 feet  X   7 feet  X   3 feet = 252     "      "       "      "  168 = 1.50 cords when piled. 

16 feet  X   7 feet  X   6 feet = 672 cubic feet divide by 168 = 4.00 cords when piled. (Possible)
16 feet  X   7 feet  X   5 feet = 560     "      "       "      "  168 = 3.33 cords when piled.
16 feet  X   7 feet  X   4 feet = 448     "      "       "      "  168 = 2.66 cords when piled.
16 feet  X   7 feet  X   3 feet = 336     "      "       "      "  168 = 2.00 cords when piled.

14 feet  X   7 feet  X   6 feet = 588 cubic feet divide by 168 = 3.50 cords when piled.
14 feet  X   7 feet  X   5 feet = 420 cubic feet divide by 168 = 2.50 cords when piled.
14 feet  X   7 feet  X   4 feet = 336 cubic feet divide by 168 = 2.00 cords when piled.
14 feet  X   7 feet  X   3 feet = 252 cubic feet divide by 168 = 1.50 cords when piled.

12 feet  X   7 feet  X   6 feet = 504 cubic feet divide by 168 = 3.00 cords when piled.
12 feet  X   7 feet  X   5 feet = 420 cubic feet divide by 168 = 2.50 cords when piled.
12 feet  X   7 feet  X   4 feet = 336 cubic feet divide by 168 = 2.00 cords when piled.
12 feet  X   7 feet  X   3 feet = 252 cubic feet divide by 168 = 1.50 cords when piled.

12 feet  X  6 feet   X   6 feet = 432 cubic feet divide by 168 = 2.57 cords when piled.
12 feet  X  6 feet   X   5 feet = 360 cubic feet divide by 168 = 2.14 cords when piled.
12 feet  X  6 feet   X   4 feet = 288 cubic feet divide by 168 = 1.71 cords when piled.
12 feet  X  6 feet   X   3 feet = 216 cubic feet divide by 168 = 1.28 cords when piled.

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