: A Face Cord of Hardwood Weighs...

12-11-10, 05:10 PM
Was my STS pulling a ton? Two? More?

It's got a Class II hitch but the 2006 STS-4 V8 is only rated for 1/2 ton and 100 lbs tongue weight. I'm sure I exceeded that 100 lbs, but how badly was I really overloaded?

I'm not all that worried for the car, even though I know the hitch is really just mounted to sheet metal. I drove about 12 miles very gently, picking the smoothest, least traveled roads between my house and Trailright Lumber. 2 miles of interstate was unavoidable but I stayed below 60 MPH with hazard lights flashing to alert the fast traffic. Trailer movements did transfer strongly to this midsize car.

It was as solidly packed a face cord of split firewood as you're likely to find. (FYI that's 8' x 4' stacked.) It was mostly oak, about 10% cherry but there were a few softer woods like pine. $80. The trailer is one I've used for years; a light folding job that I added a 1/2" sheet of plywood & light gates. Its own GVW has to be well under 1,000 lb.

I can recall similar runs with a '98 STS and a Roadmaster. That STS felt the load, but the the 2006 felt it more. That Roadmaster barely noticed this kind of load. It's not a matter of power. N* pulls as fine as one could ask. That full-frame Roadmaster was solid and would pull better than many trucks; in comfort and style.

I miss the big cars. When I can't get an American V8 in a car, I'll likely buy an American truck. But the question stands. How much was this pull?

12-11-10, 05:21 PM
1/2 ton? That's IT? Man, that isn't much - my 2000 STS (with the proper hitch) is rated to 3,500 or so.

12-11-10, 05:45 PM
Hard to guess - the true weight of a half cord of wood is determined by the wood type and moisture content. Nowhere near a ton, though. If your trailer tongue weight was set correctly you shouldn't have had handling problems.

12-11-10, 06:12 PM
Thanks Sub. No handling problems but I didn't even push hard enough to tell. If I ever use the trailer for any distance, I'd make sure to check tongue-weight & balance. I know this car isn't designed with towing in mind. The wood was 'dried' - all cut last season.

By the way, a face cord is 1/3 cord. A cord is 8' x 4' x 4'. A face cord is 8' x 4' x 16" (std log). Ever read any Sam Clemens?

12-11-10, 07:09 PM
Lulz. I pulled a 2 ton boat with my '95 for a few summers. It felt it, no question. So would your Roadmaster. :yup:

12-11-10, 07:20 PM
i used to only measure in full cords... two each year stacked in the stove room

12-11-10, 07:35 PM
Wood heats you 3 times: When you cut it, when you stack it, and when you burn it.

We use 4' x 8' x 2' (24"), or a half cord as a "face". I think the term is subject to interpretation.

I usually cut to 18" or 20" (our woodstove preferred length) and then split..............so it's anybody's guess !!!

12-11-10, 09:35 PM
Wood heats you 3 times: When you cut it, when you stack it, and when you burn it.
Boy, ain't that the truth.

12-11-10, 10:38 PM
Evidently the definition of 'cord' could vary by state law. Wikipedia:

The cord is a unit of measure of dry volume used in Canada and the United States to measure firewood and pulpwood. A cord is the amount of wood that, when "ranked and well stowed" (i.e., arranged in a manner so that pieces are aligned, parallel, touching and compact), takes up volume of 128 cubic feet (3.62 m3).[1] This corresponds to a woodpile 4 feet (122 cm) wide, 4 feet (1.2 m) high, and 8 feet (244 cm) long; or any other arrangement of linear measurements that yields the same volume. In Canada, the cord is legally defined by Measurement Canada.[2] In the United States, the cord is defined by statute in most states. The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 130, section,[3] defines a cord and provides uniform regulations for the sale of fireplace and stove wood. In the metric system, wood is usually measured in steres and cubic metres: 1 stere = 1 m ≈ 0.276 cords.

Other non-legal definitions of firewood volume include standing cord, kitchen cord, running cord, face cord, fencing cord, country cord, long cord, and rick, all subject to local variation. According to the Weights and Measures Act in Canada, the only correct measurements of firewood and pulpwood are the cord and fractions thereof (e.g., half cord, quarter cord).

The name cord probably comes from the use of a cord or string to measure it.

I enjoy 'niche' technology; lighthouses are a perfect example. Steam-powered riverboats qualify. :)