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Author Topic: Buying a 2nd mill....planning stage.  (Read 1361 times)

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Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Buying a 2nd mill....planning stage.
« on: January 18, 2012, 09:45:13 AM »
My close friend is about to retire from Law Enforcement. He has helped as an off bearer on my mill lots of times.
He is pondering the idea of getting his own BRAND NEW WOODMIZER!  8)

We would combine our advertisements as being one company in our area.
My mill is stationary and I DO STAY BUSY!
We would have his mill to travel in the area and saw on site jobs.

I can figure the set up fee, BF fee, travel fee, etc. ( I learned all this from you guys!  smiley_thumbsup )

My question is what would be the MINIMUM BF you would travel to saw logs in a 50 TO 60 mile radius?
I hate to turn down any job.....but its gotta make a profit!  :)
The older I get I wish my body could Re-Gen.

Offline customsawyer

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Re: Buying a 2nd mill....planning stage.
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 09:57:00 AM »
I don't like to limit myself. I have had one customer that had me pull my mill to Charleston, S.C. to sawmill one cherry log. I tried to tell him that it would not be a good deal for him as the fuel cost alone would be more than the lumber was worth. He then informed me that he would pay me $1500.00 dollars if I would come and cut it. I hooked to the mill and went. It took me 3 hours to drive there, 1 hour to mill log and 3 hours to drive home. I think I still came out on the deal. About a year and a half later the customer informed me that he had built a gun cabinet and couple of other items that he had sold for $10,000.00 dollars so he is a happy customer and says he would do it again in a heart beat. I try to remember that I don't know what the customers plan is and as long as they are happy than that is what is important.   
Two LT70s and to much other support equipment to mention.
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Offline Chuck White

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Re: Buying a 2nd mill....planning stage.
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 11:34:29 AM »
If I was going to travel 50 miles to saw logs for someone, I would want either 7,500 board feet to saw out or my rate for sawing 7,500 board feet, minimum.

Even when I'm sawing locally, I won't go for less than 1,000 bf or equivilent pay!

But, on the other hand, like customsawyer said, sometimes there are special circumstances.
~Chuck~
Retired USAF (1989), Retired School Bus Driver (2012), and now a Mobile Sawyer
1995 Wood-Mizer LT40HDG2425 Kohler - Shingle & LapSider, Cooks Cat Claw Sharpener and single-tooth setter, 4-foot Logrite cant hook.
Basic mechanical skills are all that's required to maintain a Wood-Mizer

Offline CalebL

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Re: Buying a 2nd mill....planning stage.
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 12:11:19 PM »
I have a 1000' minimum.  I have found if you explain this up front, a lot of times they will still have me come out even if they have under my minimum footage.  I don't charge for travel or anything else like setting the mill up as long as they are within 50 miles. 
2005 LT40 HDD34
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Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Buying a 2nd mill....planning stage.
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 12:56:28 PM »
 I don't charge for travel or anything else like setting the mill up as long as they are within 50 miles.
[/quote] from CALEBL





Then what do you charge them to saw per BF? Or do you charge by the hour?

Thanks Calebl,

David
The older I get I wish my body could Re-Gen.

Offline CalebL

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Re: Buying a 2nd mill....planning stage.
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 01:31:03 PM »
I don't charge for travel or anything else like setting the mill up as long as they are within 50 miles.
from CALEBL





Then what do you charge them to saw per BF? Or do you charge by the hour?

Thanks Calebl,

David
[/quote]

35 cents a bdft.
2005 LT40 HDD34
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Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Buying a 2nd mill....planning stage.
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 07:53:32 PM »
POSTONLT40HD,

It really depends on your market area.  Around here, a 1000 bdft minimum would put me out of business.  Many of my clients are in the 250-500 bdft range.  Larger jobs are great but taking care of small jobs keeps them interested, and me on their mind when they are ready again. 

I do charge a travel fee, $1.50 p/mile, one-way, and a $25 minimum milling fee.  I've never done a mobile job that activated the minimum milling fee.  My website explains all of the costs and indicates a 50 mile travel area, mainly because I don't relish driving more than an hour before starting to work but I have gone somewhat farther, especially when they can't find someone else to work with them.

I love what I do and I hope that I don't ever get so busy that I would feel like declining the small clients.  I used to be one of them.   ;D

Tom
07 Timberking B-20, Custom-made log arch, 20' trailer w/ log loading arch, F350 SD flatbed dump.  Princeton piggy-back forklift.  Bobcat S250, Stihl 025C 16" and a Husqvarna 372XP 24/30" bars, Grizzly 20" planer, Nyle L200M DH kiln.
If you call and my wife says "He's sawin logs", I ain't snorin'.

Offline Meadows Miller

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Re: Buying a 2nd mill....planning stage.
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 09:47:24 PM »
Gday

Im just working on the same thing as we are looking very hard at a LT40hyd  ;) and Im with Jake on what he had to say dont limit yourself the longest distance I have gone was about 1000 miles for a mobile job and the longest distance someone has shipped timber to me to saw was nearly 2200 miles from Perth Wa to Melbourne Victoria  ;) If the customer thinks its worth it which it usually is as I dealt alot in Recycled and Specialty Cut Timbers people look more at what they are getting rather than the cost and there are not many people who will handle it ;) :) I will say one thing though they like to know the volume price upfront and what its going to cost them per bft But im not cheap with that stuff sawing starts at about $1 bft here  ;) When I was working with one bloke for 4 years we use to pack the Kara up and put the loader onto the tray truck on a friday arvo haul butt from Melbourne to Sydney 575 miles overnight set the mill up sat morning and get two semi loads off 6x6 through to 12x12 posts plus recovery sizes Cut in two days then Haul butt home to Melbourne and have the mill sawing orders there again on monday those where the days  :) :) :) ;) :D :D ;D ;D ;D 8)

Jesi and I wil prob run at the $250 to $350 per thousand depending if its one off or ongoing production work  ;) and ill set up a radius charge "ie" within 75 miles off Mobile Al will be free but a minimum amount like 2000 bft applies under that will hourly based ;) ie $45  per hour travel and $80 per hour on site ;) but ill make it known if they can combine a couple off jobs with friends to bring it upto the min bft rate it will be that  ;) Thinking like that If I dont muck around and get stuck in I can easily Drive out saw 2000bft off lumber and come home in the same day  ;) $700 for a days work and abit off gas is better than a kick in the teeth  i say ;) :D :D ;D ;D 8)

Jesi knows We will go dang near anywhere if there is one off the two following things combined with a good job either They are paying me reasonably high rate or there is Enough Volume there to warrant dragging myself and the mill there and setting up camp for at least 4 days sawing or around 10000bft min  ;) Im working on Volume Contract pricing and We are willing to travel from AL to FL,GA,TN,MS,LA rite on out to East Texas but it all depends on the job  ;) ;D

Regards Chris



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Online terrifictimbersllc

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Re: Buying a 2nd mill....planning stage.
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012, 11:49:06 AM »

My question is what would be the MINIMUM BF you would travel to saw logs in a 50 TO 60 mile radius?
I hate to turn down any job.....but its gotta make a profit!  :)
This is one of the tougher issues for the portable miller to get standardized on .  You may not be satisfied with what others are doing.  Understand your time and costs and decide what you want and need to make.  Working in a travel and minimum charge (doesn't have to be related to BF) can help.  Customsawyer's example is a great one where the customer is motivated and knowledgable.  But the same situation with a novice customer and a rotten log, could be disappointing for both of you.  It is hard to have to charge an arm and a leg to mill a small amount far away, get excellent help from a customer who looks like he knows only work, and to be paid by his wife out of a coffee can from the kitchen.  You can also deal with your own minimum charge issues by asking the customer if he wants to wait till you have another small job in his area and is willing to be flexible on the milling date and time.   And you don't want to charge different people differently, IMO.  You can also help the customer find a closer sawyer. 
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide, 2001 WM LT40SHDD (42HP Kubota, Accuset2, FAO's, Lubemizer, debarker),  Logrite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed

Offline CalebL

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Re: Buying a 2nd mill....planning stage.
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012, 02:51:50 PM »

My question is what would be the MINIMUM BF you would travel to saw logs in a 50 TO 60 mile radius?
I hate to turn down any job.....but its gotta make a profit!  :)
This is one of the tougher issues for the portable miller to get standardized on .  You may not be satisfied with what others are doing.  Understand your time and costs and decide what you want and need to make.  Working in a travel and minimum charge (doesn't have to be related to BF) can help.  Customsawyer's example is a great one where the customer is motivated and knowledgable.  But the same situation with a novice customer and a rotten log, could be disappointing for both of you.  It is hard to have to charge an arm and a leg to mill a small amount far away, get excellent help from a customer who looks like he knows only work, and to be paid by his wife out of a coffee can from the kitchen.  You can also deal with your own minimum charge issues by asking the customer if he wants to wait till you have another small job in his area and is willing to be flexible on the milling date and time.   And you don't want to charge different people differently, IMO.  You can also help the customer find a closer sawyer.

A lot of times when a customer has 300-400 bdft, I will try and combine it with someone else that is close to him.  Most of the people I saw for are farmers or cabinet makers and have lots of logs they need sawn. 

The smallest job I have sawn was about 250 bdft.  It was a for a guy that really wanted me to saw his log and I told him I would do it but he had to wait for me to be in the area.  He ended up talking to a neighbor of his and he needed a bunch of cedar sawn up so I ended up getting another job and that put it right around 800 bdft.  They split the other $70 charge for the 1000' minimum and both were extremely happy. 

I don't mind doing small jobs but I won't do them until I can combine them with other small jobs. 
2005 LT40 HDD34
2000 Cat 226 Skid Loader


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