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Old 07-30-2017, 04:04 PM
 
6 posts, read 16,324 times
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Hello there, I will be moving to Idaho Falls or Pocatello here in a few months. Myself and my family of three boys and a Mrs to be exact. We have been visiting different states the past few months, Texas, New Mexico and those were not what we are looking for. Then we decided to look into idaho by pure luck.

We showed up in Pocatello and KNEW this is what we are looking for. Such a beautiful place.

We really prefer Poky as the locals call it, but Idaho falls is nice too and seems to have more going for it as far as work is concerned. I have experience in solar energy construction and mainly warehousing/forklift.

But I really want to work for myself. I hear that Idaho is one of the top states to start a business. I specifically want to start a firewood business in either Poky or I.F.s. My question to you locals is do most people in the area run their fireplaces in the winter or is most family homes running on gas? I also would need a source for getting firewood. If anyone has any good info on something like this I would appreciate it. Also what kind of competition am I looking at?
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
26,990 posts, read 18,272,303 times
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Chopping firewood is a very competitive business here.

The wood is easy to find; all one needs are permits to cut in the nearby surrounding natl. forests, but the Boy Scouts cut it for fund raising, a lot of folks cut their own, and there are already a lot of woodcutters who have been doing it for years here.

Once someone finds a wood supplier, they will stick with them. It makes sense to do so, as the earlier the wood comes and is stacked, the easier it is. And often the cheaper it is, when the weather is still hot. So, a newcomer who gets into it will probably find the best customers have already been taken long ago, and are happy with who they use.

I'm not sure how steady the demand is, either. I purchased a new gas fireplace insert last winter, and learned they were selling fast due to the efficiency and safety improvements that were mandated on the industry in the past few years. The price of natural gas plunged over the same time, making gas cheaper than firewood once all the factors are included in wood burning.

Last winter was cold, long, hard and snowy, so if the firewood ran out early on, it would be a real hassle re-supplying enough to last the winter. The wood was available, but stacking and then fetching through so much snow for so long may have been more hassle than some folks would want to take on readily.

Of course, there are some who depend on wood for their heating, so they bought it, like it or not.

But you're right in your other thought, oakhammer; Idaho, especially this area, has always been a place where a person can start up a business and succeed. I did.

The thing about competition is this; if a person wants to make a go of it in a business he loves, he has to use his head first and his back later. If you really want to cut firewood, there's a market here for it. It is up to you to find your niche in that market, and that may require some hard thinking and imagination to do. But those are always the things that bring success.

I suggest you look for employment here until you become familiar with the area, its people, etc. and get the time needed to establish contacts and relationships. Business here is still very face to face, who you know, and how good one's reputation for reliability and all the other good qualities needed are. Word of mouth is very powerful here.

I'm a native, so when I started my business, I was already well known. But even then, I had struggle and had to prove up to my first customers to get them to come back a second time. When they did that, another customer would follow their lead.
You can do that, but you will have to expect a longer period of establishment in all probability. But that's where the imagination thing comes in- if you have something no one else has, you have a step up that may be better than being known well.
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Old 07-30-2017, 11:53 PM
 
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Thanks for the insightful advice BanjoMike. I like your thoughts of getting a job here first and getting to know the area and the people. I don't think it would be wise to just jump into the firewood business. When I do start, I want to start small and work my way from there.

Also I will be arriving in early October. Will it begin snowing around that time? Is it necessary to have a 4x4 vehicle living in the area as well? I have a toyota corolla and a dodge durango that is not a 4x4.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:14 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
26,990 posts, read 18,272,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakhammer87 View Post
Thanks for the insightful advice BanjoMike. I like your thoughts of getting a job here first and getting to know the area and the people. I don't think it would be wise to just jump into the firewood business. When I do start, I want to start small and work my way from there.

Also I will be arriving in early October. Will it begin snowing around that time? Is it necessary to have a 4x4 vehicle living in the area as well? I have a toyota corolla and a dodge durango that is not a 4x4.
It usually doesn't snow that early, but it always could. It all depends on how early early is. Whatever snow falls in October usually doesn't last.

A good set of winter tires can often do as well as a 4x4. A 4x4 with less good tires can get stuck worse than a 4x2. Don't count on 4 season tires to be as good, but much depends on the tire and the vehicle.

I drive a FWD w/ Bridgestone Blizzaks, and it's gotten me through 5 winters just fine. The only trouble I've had is the car high-centered after last year's blizzards, before the streets were plowed. I sure could have used a 4x4's clearance then. But if a wheel could get a grip, I could usually fight my way through the drifts. Last winter was the first big one we've had in quite a while.

But a reasonably driven AWD or 4x4 does make a newbie feel safer. If you're thinking about an Idaho car, a Subaru is always a good choice here. Be aware they retain their resale value here, though, and there are others that do as well, even if they don't have the reputation.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:26 AM
Status: "HATE THE IGNORANT, YES YOU!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Idaho
3,722 posts, read 3,358,518 times
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What Mike said! ^^^^^

When walking in the AM with the dogs in the cold months, I can smell plenty of wood burners. Where people get the firewood from I don't know since I don't burn it. (I live in Chubbuck, just north of Poky.)
As for where to get it, you can check at the BLM/Forest service office on the south side of Poky. They can tell you where you can cut and that would be where you can get a permit to cut on BLM/Forest service lands in the area.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:09 PM
 
6 posts, read 16,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banjomike View Post
It usually doesn't snow that early, but it always could. It all depends on how early early is. Whatever snow falls in October usually doesn't last.

A good set of winter tires can often do as well as a 4x4. A 4x4 with less good tires can get stuck worse than a 4x2. Don't count on 4 season tires to be as good, but much depends on the tire and the vehicle.

I drive a FWD w/ Bridgestone Blizzaks, and it's gotten me through 5 winters just fine. The only trouble I've had is the car high-centered after last year's blizzards, before the streets were plowed. I sure could have used a 4x4's clearance then. But if a wheel could get a grip, I could usually fight my way through the drifts. Last winter was the first big one we've had in quite a while.

But a reasonably driven AWD or 4x4 does make a newbie feel safer. If you're thinking about an Idaho car, a Subaru is always a good choice here. Be aware they retain their resale value here, though, and there are others that do as well, even if they don't have the reputation.
So if I buy a set of the Snow tires, will I still need chains in addition to the tires?

I have also read that Idahoans do not hire outsiders, so do you recommend changing my plates and getting Idaho I.D. before I start looking for a job? Or is this statement fiction? Thanks.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
26,990 posts, read 18,272,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakhammer87 View Post
So if I buy a set of the Snow tires, will I still need chains in addition to the tires?

I have also read that Idahoans do not hire outsiders, so do you recommend changing my plates and getting Idaho I.D. before I start looking for a job? Or is this statement fiction? Thanks.
Chains are always the option that will keep you moving when all else fails.
All else failing, however, may be rare. It all depends on where you go, how bad the weather is, etc.

I own a set of chains I've never taken out of the bag, and they are so old now they don't even fit my present vehicle. But that's just me.

My brother ranches, and he can wear a set of chains out over the winter just feeding his livestock every day.

Chains are a hassle even when they are needed. They are noisy, can tear up a driveway or a dirt road if driven to fast, and gas mileage decreases with them on at any speed. Chaining and un-chaining can be a messy job, when someone has to get down on hands and knees in the slop at the side of the road.

But they will always get you 5 more miles down the road than anything else. So they are all up to you.

The new winter tires are as good or better than studded tires. Their only problem is the rubber compounds used are so soft that a person has to take them off as soon as the pavement warms up in the spring. They grip like crazy on hot pavement- a lot like racing slicks- and they last about as long as racing slicks, too. They melt on hot pavement just like slicks.

Mine have been excellent on ice, soft and packed snow floor, mixed ice/dry, and in the rain. I have a set of 4-seasons, and when they begin to slip, I change over. As soon as the nights are consistently above freezing in the spring, I take them off. This winter was their 5th, and I expect them to go at least 4 more before I need another set. Rotating them with the other tires has extended the 'summer' set's tread life as well.

If I ever think I'm going to need chains, I'll go get 'em on the winter tires. They will get me to the tire store with no probs.
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:59 AM
Status: "HATE THE IGNORANT, YES YOU!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Idaho
3,722 posts, read 3,358,518 times
Reputation: 7772
I drove around last winter, which was the snowiest winter since I moved to Chubbuck and never had a problem. Even drove the Teton Pass a few times; once in a snowstorm (coming back from Jackson), once a day after a snowstorm (both ways) and once quite a few days after a storm (both ways) and I have All Terrain Goodyear Wrangler Kevlar tires (not those SR-A tires that GM likes to put on trucks which are garbage). But I do have a 4x4 truck that also has the AWD position.

Basically, most of the winter the truck is in AWD since ID does not salt roads (good thing) and plowing can sometimes take a few days depending on the roads.

As for hiring, can't say, but I have met some who do not like "outsiders" moving here, and in my case some (neighbor for one) were very inquisitive of what I did for a living and why did I move here from Moab and curious about my politics. (Many I met; like BanjoMike) don't care and very friendly.)

The Moab issue is solved when I tell them I was not a born and bred Utahan, where I used to work would raise a lot of eyebrows (and when I stated retired Federal government they automatically assumed FBI -NOT-since they have a large field operations site just down the road in Pocatello) but when explaining my political views it calmed them down.

I would guess ID might be like UT, small locally owned businesses "might" discriminate against a transplant from another state; however, I would doubt that a larger business would not. (For example, a place like C.A.L Ranch, Tractor Supply, Lowes, Home Depots, etc.)

I can say I DO NOT regret moving here!
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Old 08-01-2017, 03:40 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
27,622 posts, read 37,342,938 times
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It is possible that you will have trouble being hired from out of state if you are still out of state, hoping to get a job before you move. It depends upon what you are qualified to do. Businesses tend to not want to hire people who might not show up and many businesses do not want to pay relocation money if they can hire local.

As for being out of state and already moved to Idaho, again it depends a little bit on what you are qualified to do, but many businesses are having problems finding employees who will show up on time, pass a drug test, and put in a full day's work. If you are a good worker, I can't imagine too much of an issue because you have recently moved to Idaho.

A lot of this deal with hiring local involves hiring people you know or people your kid went to school with or someone you have worked with before. It isn't so much that it is discrimination against outsiders as it is simply a better bet to hire someone that you already know how well they work. You come in from out of state and nobody knows anything about you. It's not a firm policy against hiring anybody from Florida (or wherever)
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:30 AM
 
434 posts, read 335,426 times
Reputation: 174
I moved around quite a bit, sometimes without a secure job offer. The fact that I was in the office Monday morning was enough to get me hired in a lot of cases.
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