Central Maine Coal Co-ops

Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: coal-cooker On: Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:22 pm

Has anyone in the southern or central Maine area considered ordering a large shipment of coal directly from the mines? I would be interested in joining in with others to buy coal. Maybe we can get a better price than what we have to pay in the area. I typically use 5 to 6 tons a year am get tired of paying $300 a ton.
coal-cooker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Crane/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Coal Cooker/Mark II

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: jockel On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:11 pm

I am planning on buying my first Coal Stove in the next couple weeks and predict I will need about 2 tons of rice for next heating season.

I have gotten prices of over 300 a ton as well. What kind of price do you think a truck load would bring of bagged coal direct from the mine?
jockel
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pocono Back

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:52 pm

I live in the Machias area and was thinking of having a local trucking outfit pick up a load. They usually charge $1.50/$2.00 a mile I think. I do not know what the price is at the mines for bagged coal. I do know they can put 24 pallets on a flatbed. if I pay half what I am here and 2 bucks a mile one way I still save a bunch. $6912 bought here and $4856 at 2 bucks/mile one way. I estimate 700 miles to me. I don't need 24 tons so maybe we can work something out. We have to be able to get it off the truck at each stop.
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman (Back In Maine)
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000


Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:17 pm

KLook wrote: I do not know what the price is at the mines for bagged coal. I do know they can put 24 pallets on a flatbed.


If you really want save money you need to buy in bulk and have it dumped somewhere. The issue there is you need the space and a scale or some method of splitting it up correctly. You're talking about a significant amount of savings between bagged and bulk. I'd also add the trucking companay is probably going to charge you more if you start adding a lot of stops and most homeowners are not going to be able handle getting a pallet of coal off a truck quickly. The trucking companies are not going to mess around, time is money.. For this to really work well even if its bagged or bulk you need a central place to drop it off and have everyone pick it up there.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 2:25 pm

I have a place to take it off with a forklift. The guys is S. Maine might be able to find an accomodation. We are to far apart to dump in bulk and split it. Is there any site that lists the prices?
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman (Back In Maine)
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: rberq On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:16 pm

It's food for thought, Justin. And KLook, if you have a usable drop location, where are you?

I use close to 4 tons a year, but as a practical matter I have to use bagged coal, which the dealer now deposits neatly in my garage on pallets. Also as a practical matter I could borrow equipment from my brother to transport my bags from a drop point, but the price break would have to be substantial to compensate for my time and for hiring a couple high school kids to do the lifting and stacking. And from reading a lot of posts here, from guys who pick up their coal at the breakers, you had best know what you are doing or you can come back with a big truck full of lousy coal. Then there's the issue of coordinating delivery with need -- I said I use 4 tons, but I bought ahead this year and I have most of next winter in the garage already. I'd be happy to take 6 tons or so at a time. but I couldn't take it now, whereas someone else might need a pallet at a time delivered once a month. And there's the issue that I burn nut, Harry burns rice, and Joe burns stove (names changed to protect the innocent).

I'm honestly not trying to be a wet blanket; if we could make this work I'm all in favor. How about a buyer's co-op where we pool our needs and see if dealers will bid on the whole package? Since the dealers already have the supply channel, the storage facilities, and the delivery equipment, we are relieved of all that hassle. I have no idea if dealers would go for that, since they still have the same delivery expenses. They also know, collectively, that if they DON'T offer a price break we still must buy from one or another of them. Their only incentive would be that the group would steer it's members their way, in return for the price break. Has anyone here had experience with fuel-oil group buying? For example, I know that sometimes all the teachers and staff of a school district will band together and get a price concession from an oil dealer in exchange for -- what? -- a semi-formal promise to buy so many thousand gallons among the group. Ditto with landlord associations, where the association can steer many dozens or hundreds of apartment houses to a dealer. Presumably we could do with coal what those groups do with oil.

Kimmel and Blaschak coals seem to be readily available in Central Maine. Kimmel from Paris Farmers Union and from Knight's Farm Supply, Blaschak from Agway and a variety of hardware stores. I have used both with good results. What other reliable brands is anyone familiar with, and available here? Ring's Coal in Auburn (under new ownership) buys in bulk and delivers bulk or bagged. I have used only a few bags from them, and it seemed to be very good. What other suppliers does anyone know of?
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:18 pm

I don't live in Maine but I would like to setup a coop for LI, NY so I'm interested in how this all plays out. I think the only way to get this to work would be to get a truck load of bagged coal. I'm paying over 300.00 a ton plus delivery and a stacking charge. It sounds similar to what you guys are paying in Maine. If you can get 20 tons at under 200.00 a ton you will still save some bucks. Bulk would be the biggest savings but where are you going to dump it so that it doesn't get mixed in with dirt when it's shoveled out? And who really wants to deal with shoveling it onto a truck and then off. Plus how do you determine who gets what? Bagged would make it so much easier. I really like the convenience of bagged too. The other issues are:
1. Who will collect the money? (There needs to be some trust involved).
2. Where to dump the bags?
3. How to make sure the bags are secure if everyone can't pickup the same day?
4. I'm sure I'm missing a few more issues. While this is a great site and the people here are the friendliest, etc. I don't know how I feel about forking over a few grand to someone I really don't know too much. This is not going to be that easy.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:39 pm

The problem that I see with bagged coal is that there are only two breakers/companies that sell their coal bagged as well as bulk.. Blaschak, and Reading.. Reading has some problems with quality of coal and consistancy in size of coal in the bags... Blaschak while is good coal, it is about 20-30% higher priced than any other coal, bulk or bagged.

The only way to make a significant savings would be to buy bulk, drop it where the co-op members can get to it and bag it yourself.. this of course would require a place to unload the coal, a scale to weigh the coal as it is bagged, and someone to keep track of it all.

I'd call around and see what the price of bagged coal at the breaker is. then see if there is any savings to be had.

Greg L

.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: coal-cooker On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:13 pm

Glad we are getting some interest in this. Bulk has a lot of issues with it, especially if the group was spread out. I do like the idea of working together to get a supplier to order in a big shipment as a group order. I am in the Augusta, ME area where we have 6 dealers that I typically buy from. I would think we could get something going with one of the dealers in the area, especially if the dealer was going to get a better deal on his coal by ordering a much larger amount than he typically does. I would love to get coal for $200 a ton. I know it sounds high to someone in PA, but in ME or any of the other northern states, $300 plus is the norm with a hefty delivery charge added on. At 200 a ton or less, I would take 6 or 8 tons myself. I will talk to the dealers I buy from and see if any are interested in a large order. Check with the dealers in your area and lets see how we could do.

Thanks for the great responses.
coal-cooker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Crane/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Coal Cooker/Mark II

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: coal-cooker On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:41 pm

I currently shop the following Maine dealers and buy from the lowest at the time. These were current as of 2/22/08. They don't all carry all sizes.

Ame Supply, Wiscassett, Kimmel, $6.99/50lbs.
Farmingdale Agway, Farmingdale, Blaschak, $6.29/40lbs.
Stoter's Lumber, Waldoboro, Blaschak, $5.95/40lbs.
Union Agway, Union, Kimmel, $7.95/50lbs. 7.25 for ton or more.
Knight Supply, Augusta, Kimmel, $8.95/50lbs.
Brunswick Coal and Lumber, Brunswick, sold out for the year
Damariscotta Hardware, Damariscotta, Blaschak, $6.75/40lbs.

Hope this helps those looking for sources.
coal-cooker
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Crane/Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Coal Cooker/Mark II

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:11 pm

Get a price for bagged coal from:

http://www.baggedcoal.com/Home_Page.html

They are a division of Penn Keystone Coal Co., LLC a large coal sales agent.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:24 pm

But from which breaker/mine does baggedcoal.com get their coal from?? If it is some really bad coal, then it is next-to worthless, and will cause more problems than saving $50-$100/ton would make worthwhile.. there is nothing more frustrating than owning several tons of bad coal.

greg L.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: rberq On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:39 pm

Justin, I applaud your enthusiasm, and again I don't want to be a wet blanket, BUT before you start talking to dealers shouldn't we count noses, try to get names and at least verbal commitment of how many tons, what sizes, each person expects to need by, say, this time next year. Also would be crucial to know to what town the deliveries would be made. We could each talk to others we know who burn coal and see if they would be interested. We would need a critical mass -- I don't know whether it's a dozen or five dozen people -- in order to interest a dealer, and they would all have to be in his delivery area.

Agway stores are independently managed, so could be dealt with individually -- divide and conquer. Ditto the hardware stores. Paris Farmers Union covers a much larger area and I think (but don't know for sure) that they are centrally managed, also big enough to handle a group deal and reputable enough to stand by an agreement.

Maybe the first step is to gather names, form a geographically based "Association" of interested parties, and proceed from there.
rberq
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 1300
Coal Size/Type: Nut -- Kimmel/Blaschak/Reading
Other Heating: Oil hot water radiators, propane

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: traderfjp On: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:05 pm

I don't want to be a wet blanket either but I don't see any incentive for a dealer to sell wholesale to their retail customers. Maybe if you took 15 tons they would give you a slight break. On LI there are only 2 dealers. One is very stable and the other one hasn't been doing it that long. We are being held hostage. I don't mind paying a premium but their prices and attitude is out of hand. Even if I don't save money I want to cart it home myself from PA just not to give those D* heads my money. It may be that if you're only a few hours from PA that the most economical way to get bagged coal is to rent a truck and haul it yourself. This eliminates a lot of headaches and does away with the high premium a trucking company would charge. However, I would love to do the coop thing and not have to drive to PA.
traderfjp
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: Channing 3

Re: Central Maine Coal Co-ops

PostBy: chaploneywj On: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:23 am

ello Maine,

I am a dealer in Maine and if you find bagged coal for $200/ ton let me know I would be interested. If you want to know the price, it is cheapest at reading coal. Reading charges 182/ton. The trucking outfit ends up about 54.54/ton. The truck can hold 22 ton. Any more than that they are over weight. That's 236.54. Reading gives us a summer stocking deal. If we buy 100 ton we get $1 off/ton. If we buy over 300 ton we get 1.50 off/ton. If we buy 600/ton we get $2.00 / ton off. 236.54 is with one single drop off point. We operate on a small margin but if you could come up with something we would try to help.

Bill
chaploneywj
 
Stove/Furnace Make: NewYorker automatic Boiler