The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

FARMA


Council Tool

Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Baltic Abrasives Technologies Nyle Kiln Dry Systems




Author Topic: what to charge for my sawing service  (Read 1623 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline randy d

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 32
  • Age: 70
  • Location: Ogema wisconsin
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
what to charge for my sawing service
« on: January 26, 2019, 09:31:42 PM »
I like to saw logs and do a pretty good job but have a terrible time charging for this service.I don't  need to get rich but would like at least to cover expenses I think I will have to make my wife finance manager. Randy

Offline WV Sawmiller

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 5770
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Hinton WV
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • Green's Sawmill Services
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2019, 10:36:02 PM »
Randy,

   Welcome to the FF. We'd love to have more details such as your location, mill type, background etc. Filling in the info in your profile helps us answer any questions you may have or make useful ( ???) suggestions such as whether to serve grits or hash browns with your fried catfish.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Brad_bb

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3389
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • My timberframe blog
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2019, 01:43:26 AM »
Do you plan to mill portable or at your place?  Do you have support equipment?  Will you be milling alone or paying an off bearer to work with you?  What do other mills in your area charge and do they charge by the hour or by the board foot?  Don't aim to break even, aim to make money.  It is your time and skill and you are worth something.  Don't undercut yourself.  Try to calculate as many of your expenses as possible.  You might think you're making money, but if you don't know all your costs, you could be working for free.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline randy d

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 32
  • Age: 70
  • Location: Ogema wisconsin
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2019, 10:15:55 AM »
I am in NC Wisconsin I have had 2 lt15 Woodmizers and have a lt28 coming in the middle of Feb. We can be portable but prefer to cut here at home. What I have found in this area if you charge close to what other areas charge you will not have much work that's why I look at it as a hobby. I am 70 years old spent 39 years welding on Prentice log loaders and have been retired for13 years. I have never eaten grits and we don't catch many catfish mostly crappies and blue gill and walleye. And we had -27 this morning. Randy :snowball:

Offline BigZ La

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Donaldsonville, La.
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2019, 11:48:59 AM »
The last wood I had sawed I payed the guy 50.00 an hour. To me that was cheap. 

Offline Brad_bb

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3389
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Joliet, IL
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • My timberframe blog
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2019, 12:24:11 PM »
I don't saw for other people, but one guy near me charges $100/hr.  He has an LT50 hydraulic with a helper and skid loader.  I think it's a little high so I wonder how much business he gets.  I had him saw for me once and measuring the output I still think it was high.

LT28 appears to be a non-hydraulic mill?  That makes a big difference as to your output versus a manual mill.  A hydraulic mill would be much easier to run as one gets older.  I'm 47 and the manual log handling on my lt15 is getting old.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline hopm

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 188
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2019, 12:40:38 PM »
the last I sawed at .30 a bdft.......1600 bdft......all cedar...still laying here cause I can't get the guy to come pick it up...on the verge of selling the lumber

Offline Resonator

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 390
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Woods near Wausau, WI
  • Gender: Male
  • Board Footage and Cord Woodage
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2019, 12:49:10 PM »
Howdy neighbor! I saw with an LT28 near Wausau, and am just starting to get my name out, and try to grow a business. I charge hourly rate (more than $50 ), and have had a few customers bring me logs. With a manual mill I'm trying to go for the smaller jobs, and prefer to work from home, so I can use my tractor to load the logs. Doing a portable job, you'd have to work out an agreement with the customer to provide log loading. The one good thing about Wisconsin is there are plenty of trees, just need land owners willing to make some lumber!
Under bark there's boards and beams, somewhere in between.
Cuttin' while its green, through a steady sawdust stream.
I'm chasing the sawdust dream.

Proud owner of a Wood-Mizer 2017 LT28G19

Offline Sixacresand

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2030
  • Age: 70
  • Location: Gordon, Georgia
  • Gender: Male
  • John and Nancy
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2019, 02:04:44 PM »
I charge 35-40 cents a bd ft just to roll the logs on the mill loading arms and mill the logs.  Ideally, the job is at the customer's place and he does the off bearing, stacking, getting logs to the mill, chainsaw work, cleaning up the mess, disposing the sawdust and slabs.  .  

Offline randy d

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 32
  • Age: 70
  • Location: Ogema wisconsin
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2019, 03:25:07 PM »
I started out with the first lt15 and it was not long before I had wood stacked every where in my yard I did a few custom jobs and sold some lumber then we had other interests and sold the mill. then last year we noticed that a lot of our spruce were dying spruce bud beetle I think and our son wanted to build a cabin  so we bought an other lt15 and we sawed about 10,000 bf of spruce white and red pine and balsam 2x6x8' studs and 1" lumber soon realized that rolling those big logs was a lot harder than it was when we had our first mill so we sold it to my nephew and ordered the lt28 when it comes we have about 80 logs to start sawing when it gets a little warmer. Resonator I envy you all that nice hard wood in your area we have mostly pine spruce balsam we do have a hard wood 40 that we will be tapping some sap on when it warms up. randy

Offline John Bartley

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 351
  • Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K1P0
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2019, 08:44:30 PM »
While many people still charge by the board foot, I never will.  For my revenue to depend on so many variables that come with "per board foot" just doesn't work for me.

I have always charged $60/hour + $25 per band for tramp metal or stones and if the customer brings labour it costs him less and saves my back.  I charge $30/hour for travel and setup.

I have always believed that 'where" you are or what sort of "economic prosperity" your area has (good or bad) is irrelevant. If  times are good you'll do well.  If times in your area are bad, you have to decide how poor you want to get before you go broke.  Discounting yourself just because everyone is poor is the fastest way I know to go broke, so save your money and don't even start the mill.
Kioti DK35HSE w/loader & forks
Champion 25hp band mill, 20' bed
Stihl MS361
Stihl 026

Offline YellowHammer

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3669
  • Age: 54
  • Location: New Market, Alabama
  • Gender: Male
  • Take Steps to Save Steps
    • Share Post
    • Hobby Hardwood Alabama
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2019, 10:38:24 PM »
In a basic answer to a basic question, in order to make a profit you must make a profit.   ;D

If you dont now your real expenses, you cant know if you are making a profit.  Its extremely easy to turn on a sawmill, or other piece of equipment, and lose money.  I've seen (and done it) many times.  

Turn the mill off, grab a spreadsheet, and start listing everything it costs for you to saw.  Be critical, be realistic, and figure it out.  Then add your labor.  What rate? At least as much as your real job or what you would consider fair if someone were to offer you a job to bring you out of retirement.  Then translate that in a bdft rate or an hourly rate, whichever you prefer.  

Personally, I charge by the bdft, do all my sawing at our business location, and use all our equipment to mill efficiently.  I will not turn my mill on unless Im making the equivalent of $100 per hour, either for myself or a customer.  We don't charge for slack time, we put the customers logs in the same process as our own, mill for quality, not production.  We get jobs because we saw straight lumber and do it quick, generally with a two week or less turnaround.  Other local mills around me take months to get to customer logs.  There is one guy locally who's customers come to me and complain that their logs will almost rot before he gets to them.  I know the guy, he's a nice guy and runs his mill routinely.  So why would he prefer to saw his own logs but not the customers?  Because its not worth it.  He doesn't charge enough to motivate him to mill up customer's log over his own.  He knows he's losing money but still doesn't adjust his rate because that is the standard local rate.  Its status quo, which is bad business.    

Lets put that rate in perspective.  Bulldozer cost, $100 per hour.  TrackHoe, $125 per hour.  Dump truck operator, $85 per hour.  Automnotive shop rate, $90 per hour.  Software development $180 per hour.  Professional consultant $200 per hour.  

Charge the fee that makes you money and pays a salary.  Or more. But never less.  

I charge a higher than local rate and stick to it.  Typically the conversation goes like Customer: Wow, thats pretty steep, so and so down the road will do it for $xx less.   So I reply, Well, why are you calling me?  Customer says, Hes out of business.  I say Yep, that figures.
HobbyHardwoodAlabama.com

Offline Peter Drouin

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 8791
  • Location: New Hampshire
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • A&P Saw mill LLC
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2019, 06:46:22 AM »
  

I charge a higher than local rate and stick to it.  Typically the conversation goes like Customer: Wow, thats pretty steep, so and so down the road will do it for $xx less.   So I reply, Well, why are you calling me?  Customer says, Hes out of business.  I say Yep, that figures.

smiley_thumbsup

A&P saw Mill LLC.
45' of Wood Mizer, cutting since 1987.
License NH softwood grader.

Offline tylerltr450

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 80
  • Location: Coal Region PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Trust me I run SAP and a sawmill
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2019, 08:58:29 AM »
Charge whatever the market will bear. I local person less than 7 miles down the road was charging 10 bucks more and he was unable get any work. Needless to say he had to sell the mill because he was unable to make any money. On the other hand I charge my rate and my phone is always ringing. He calls me crazy for not charging more however is it crazy to charge x amount and not even run the mill? Personally I rather not just have a lawn ordainment.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded
2006 Dodge 2500 first Auto to NV5600 swap, EFI Live Tune by me
John Deere Tractor

Offline John Bartley

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 351
  • Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K1P0
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2019, 06:29:26 PM »
Charge whatever the market will bear.
I have to push this back a bit.
Charging "what the market will bear" is fine as long as it's enough to make a GOOD living.  If the market is filled with poor people, don't join them ....
Kioti DK35HSE w/loader & forks
Champion 25hp band mill, 20' bed
Stihl MS361
Stihl 026

Offline tylerltr450

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 80
  • Location: Coal Region PA
  • Gender: Male
  • Trust me I run SAP and a sawmill
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2019, 07:20:40 PM »
Charge whatever the market will bear.
I have to push this back a bit.
Charging "what the market will bear" is fine as long as it's enough to make a GOOD living.  If the market is filled with poor people, don't join them ....
Your absolutely correct however I would consider portable sawmilling as a luxury item, not everyone needs a guy to saw them lumber when the box stores are hard to beat. If your trying to make a living in a poor market I would consider different avenues with the sawmill in order to make a GOOD living.
Timber Harvester 36HTD25 fully loaded
2006 Dodge 2500 first Auto to NV5600 swap, EFI Live Tune by me
John Deere Tractor

Offline SawyerTed

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Germanton, NC
  • Gender: Male
  • Summey Lumber Services, LLC
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2019, 07:17:25 AM »
I was at 36 cents a board foot and realized that wasnt quite enough.  Im now sawing at 40 cents a board foot or $80/hour just for sawing. Off bearers,  chainsaw work, lumber/slab handling, hauling, delivery all cost an additional amount. 

When someone tells me so and so down the road saws for less.  I tell them to go see them and be quick about it!  I could saw 6 days a week.  My list of jobs is running 2 to 3 weeks out. 
Woodmizer LT35HD25, Kubota MX5100, IH McCormick Farmall 140, Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill, Husqvarna 372XP, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Ram 3500 6.7 Cummins

Offline Dad2FourWI

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 267
  • Location: Central Wisconsin
  • I love my job
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2019, 07:08:09 PM »
Hello Randy d,

We are due south of you right off hwy 13 in Adams.

I also started with a manual LT-10 and due to a bad back injury.... well, my wife found a used LT40 and life is much better!  ;D We charge $75 to $100 /hr depending upon what the customer wants and how big a job it is. Then the usual costs of blades due to metal and/or rocks, etc... are added when needed.

We also like to work from our own millshed ... we have our system setup to handle the flitches, and dust and we are faster and more efficient with our own equip. Also, we have an edger and this again tends to allow us to squeak more lumber out of the logs and keep the mill running much faster.

I have to agree with many of the comments... people tend to not charge enough for their time and experience. If we are not busy with cutting jobs for customers, then we fill that time cutting for our own farm use...

Well, we are not busy now.... with these temp in the -20s to -30s F... my sons decided to quit until things warm up.... and the fact that the mill refuses to stay running... well, we'll catch up on the work in a few weeks!  :D :D

Take care and stay warm!
-Dad2FourWI



LT-40, LT-10, Bobcat T750 CTL, Ford 1910 tractor, tree farmer

Offline Randy88

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 868
  • Location: Iowa
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2019, 06:35:06 AM »
Just my two cents worth, I've seen and hired a good many custom sawyers over the years before I bought my own mill, some were good and actually got something done, others were good and got virtually nothing done, some were bad, some really bad and others nobody knows because they never actually did anything other than buy a mill for a lawn ornament.   

Figure your costs, so you can make a profit, then if your good and get things done, you can basically charge whatever you want, someone will hire you, if your not any good, nobody will hire you no matter how cheap you are, and if you can't get anything done, it won't matter what you charge, nothing will get done anyhow.    It might sound harsh, but kinda how I've seen it work out in the end. 

I'd been charged so much an hour, so much a board foot sawed, some charge so much a board foot in log form, some charged a travel fee, others didn't, some came to me, others I had to take the logs to them, some provided help, others we had to help, some charged for blades, others didn't, some charged a setup fee, some didn't, one provided an edger, most didn't, two did it all including stacking and stickered the lumber, most didn't, some loaded their own logs, most we loaded, some took care of the edgings, most we had to, some did great work, others just good work, some did really bad work, some sawed like we wanted, others did as they pleased, some actually followed cut specifications, others had no clue how to, some sawed accurate lumber, some sawed to look like lumber, and the list is endless as to the differences in sawyers, so to compare one to the next for pricing is in my opinion is about impossible until after they are done and then took the total board footage sawed and divided by the cost charged to know my cost per board foot, then either subtracted or added our labor and other costs onto or from the total, then calculated a figure for quality lumber sawed and the junk we tossed away due to bad sawing and that list is also endless.  So to me when someone say's so and so charges less or more is a complete joke in my opinion, again just my two cents worth.    








Offline randy d

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 32
  • Age: 70
  • Location: Ogema wisconsin
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: what to charge for my sawing service
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2019, 07:53:22 AM »
we have decided to as we have in the past and saw mostly for our family and be very selective on all other jobs and price according to how much we want the job. worked a full time job for39 years and don't want an other full time job we enjoy fishing and camping to much to work full time. Randy


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
What is the best way to charge for milling service?

Started by markkelly on Sawmills and Milling

7 Replies
989 Views
Last post January 21, 2013, 11:35:06 PM
by WDH
xx
WHAT DO YOU CHARGE FOR SAWING?

Started by rs1626 on Sawmills and Milling

40 Replies
7774 Views
Last post May 03, 2004, 09:12:09 AM
by Preston
xx
what to charge for custom sawing

Started by Luckyfarmer on General Board

3 Replies
596 Views
Last post October 08, 2009, 12:31:05 PM
by SamB
question
What do you charge for custom sawing?

Started by 2bearslumber on Sawmills and Milling

4 Replies
2098 Views
Last post May 20, 2004, 07:22:51 AM
by oakiemac
 


Powered by EzPortal