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Author Topic: What to charge for felling trees  (Read 3836 times)

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Offline TimGA

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What to charge for felling trees
« on: June 23, 2012, 10:33:36 PM »
Hey all, I have a job to price start to finish. Milling the logs is no problem, my question how much to charge for felling 14 pine trees 28 inch dbh, limb, cut to length, move to mill on site, all within 150 yards,  I have tractor w/fel. Want to be fair to customer and myself.  Thanks     Tim
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Online beenthere

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 10:43:12 PM »
How long will it take you to do that part of the job?  Start to finish.
Working alone?
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Offline TimGA

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 11:05:06 PM »
Beenthere, I am figuring about 1 to 2 hrs per tree, some have quite a number of limbs. I will have a helper. It always seems to take longer than you think.  Thanks   Tim
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Online beenthere

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 12:04:40 AM »
Do you think you are worth $50 per hour with using your own equipment?
Using that as a guestimate, Then you'd be charging someone between $700 and $1400 for the 14 trees.
Will they sit still for that?

What log lengths are you thinking to cut? Is the ground easy to move over with a tractor ( or steep hillside) ?  How small a log will you remove and saw?
What is the helper going to do? Furnish his own saw? What would you pay the helper per hour?
Do you need to break down the tops? Or pile the tops for later burning/chipping? Or do you need to leave the area clean (sans the stumps)?
Is the "start to finish" just the logging and moving to the mill, or also sawing and stickering and returning the product?
A few questions, so hope it helps you calculate what you might charge. ;)
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Offline MHineman

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 01:58:02 AM »
  I'm moving to charging per hour for most jobs like this now.  I have a pending job that entails cutting several Black Locust from the customer's neighbor's woods.  The most recent call makes it sound like the neighbor is expecting all the tops to be "cleaned up".  The customer made a comment about chipping up the tops.

  I'm glad now I did not quote a price per tree based on my time needed to drop the tree, cut the top lose, skid it out and buck it up.  The tops being even cut down and pushed into piles would add considerably to the time needed.

  I take the cost history I have for maintence on my equipment, consumables, depreciation on the equipment, and however much I'm willing to take for my time to arrive at an hourly rate for the job.

  Don't be suprised if they balk at the REAL cost to get the work done.  Be ready to walk away rather than quote a price that means you are doing a lot work "just for fun" instead of profit.
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Offline WDH

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 07:48:59 AM »
OK, here is some rough logic:

If you approached it like a logger and charged to cut, skid, and load on a truck, then haul to a location with a haul of 40 miles or less, a reasonably comparable price that a logger would charge would be about $18/ton.  This is for a full scale efficient operation, not just 14 trees.  Most loggers will not move in and cut only 14 trees. 

Each tree will weigh about 2.75 tons.  2.75 tons x $18/ton = $49.50 per tree.  For practical purposes, round to $50.  Call that a market rate of a sort.  14 trees x $50 per tree = $700.  If each tree saws out at 900 BF x 14 trees = 12,600 BF.  $700 divided by 12,600 = $.055/MBF sawn for the logging. 

But, you are not a logger and you do not have all the equipment to make that an efficient process.  Since these are rough calculations with a lot of estimates, you might just add $.10/MBF to the sawing price.  That would be about $1260 for the logging.  That would be very fair to the landowner and justifiable in a discussion. 

If it takes 1.5 hours per tree x 14 trees = 21 hours.  $1,260 divided by $21 = $60/HR. 
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Offline Tree Feller

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2012, 08:23:09 AM »
I'm not sure the customer couldn't just go buy the lumber for what it would cost to log, haul and saw those 14 trees.
Cody

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Offline Cutting Edge

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2012, 12:13:29 PM »
OK, here is some rough logic:

Most loggers will not move in and cut only 14 trees. 

Each tree will weigh about 2.75 tons.  2.75 tons x $18/ton = $49.50 per tree.  For practical purposes, round to $50.  Call that a market rate of a sort.  14 trees x $50 per tree = $700.  If each tree saws out at 900 BF x 14 trees = 12,600 BF.  $700 divided by 12,600 = $.055/MBF sawn for the logging.   

If it takes 1.5 hours per tree x 14 trees = 21 hours.  $1,260 divided by $21 = $60/HR. 

WDH, you call that "rough logic"??  To me it sounds like a DanG good way to figure it!!  Maybe it could be a new FF "calculator".  Keep certain parameters and a person could figure it forwards/reverse to break down prices either for themselves, customer, both.  Could be helpful for negotiating costs.

Thanks WDH!!   smiley_thumbsup
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Offline colinofthewoods

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2012, 12:52:39 PM »
WDH is the man.

 Its funny how using logic lines up with most peoples gut feeling of the $50/hr price range.

Offline TimGA

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2012, 03:47:23 PM »
Thanks for all your responses and your time to do so.
                                                                                       
I had been toying with $50/hr for equipment and $10/hr for helper = $60/hr.

Beenthere thanks for input had all the same thoughts helper son-in-law I have the saws and all equipment hope to just off bear to pile or on to trailer provided by customer but will sticker for a price.

M. Hineman like you per hour works small trees quicker large trees longer all relative customer wants to change up midway no problem.

As for determining a price WDH this is priceless very calculated arrival at a price not just pulling a number out of the sky! Exactly what I was looking for thanks again.

Tree Feller customer is going to pay someone to take trees down and dispose of might as well be me - he is going to make a barn shed of some type.

This is what I love about the forum someone has an answer and is willing to share!
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Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2012, 04:09:01 PM »
OK, here is some rough logic.......


.......hold on, let me get a pencil......   say_what

Where's the Spoon?

Offline WDH

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2012, 08:38:23 PM »
David,

You will need two pencils.  Make sure that they are sharp  :D.
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Offline customsawyer

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2012, 09:18:57 PM »
I would lean a little higher than $60.00/ hr. If I am running a tractor and a saw plus providing help then it should be at least $75.00/hr. This is just me and might be because my tractor is a bit bigger than most use for this type of work. If you have a little smaller (cheaper) tractor you might come out at the lower rate. One thing that I have learned in doing jobs like this is that if I am not going to profit it is better to go fishing then wear out yourself and your equipment. One of the downsides of this line of work is sometimes you have to make mistakes to learn.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2012, 09:44:42 PM »
Never heard of too big of a tractor.  ;D
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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2012, 09:55:06 PM »
I said it was bigger than others use for this type of work not that it was to big. ;D
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Offline barbender

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2012, 10:09:34 PM »
It is a very big tractor and sometimes not big enough, going by how far off of the ground the back tires were in one picture I saw. Or was it too big of a log? ;D
Too many irons in the fire

Offline barbender

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2012, 10:15:50 PM »
BTW TimGA, loggers try to get $40 per cord $80 per thousand to put wood on a landing up here, that's leaving all the slash/tops in the woods. If you are doing clean up, thats where you have to.go hourly.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2012, 10:19:49 PM »
I would lean a little higher than $60.00/ hr. If I am running a tractor and a saw plus providing help then it should be at least $75.00/hr. This is just me and might be because my tractor is a bit bigger than most use for this type of work. If you have a little smaller (cheaper) tractor you might come out at the lower rate. One thing that I have learned in doing jobs like this is that if I am not going to profit it is better to go fishing then wear out yourself and your equipment. One of the downsides of this line of work is sometimes you have to make mistakes to learn.
   I think 75.oo /hr would be a place to start. but Im never the low bider ;D
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Offline RMay

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2012, 11:02:11 PM »
If it is good logs and open woods I will log & mill for 35 cents a BF.
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Offline WDH

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2012, 07:06:21 AM »
There are several times when I have known Jake to have more log than tractor  ;D.
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Offline PC-Urban-Sawyer

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2012, 10:04:19 AM »
It is a very big tractor and sometimes not big enough, going by how far off of the ground the back tires were in one picture I saw. Or was it too big of a log? ;D

Barbender,

I'm not sure if CustomSawyer has run into a log that's "too big..."

Herb

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2012, 01:03:37 PM »
Happy Birthday,    PC-Urban-Sawyer.   :)
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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2012, 07:16:23 PM »
They are never to big just need to be trimmed a bit to fit. ;D
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Offline John Mc

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2012, 09:05:42 PM »
Another way of looking at this is to check into the price of buying log-length firewood on the landing.  Around here, standing firewood trees go for anywhere $0 (if the access to the is a hassle) up to around $10 or maybe $15 a cord if the access to them is easy.  Log length firewood that you pick up on the landing might be about $100/cord.  I'm thinking log length on the landing might be similar to the service you are providing (of course with firewood, people aren't concerned so much with banged up logs, or having them bucked to the right lengths, so their cost of getting them to the landing might be less than if they were moving sawlogs.)

Just a though that might give you one point of reference.
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Offline WayRiver

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2012, 04:46:58 AM »
I met a successful logger 20 years ago...that worked on "the rule of thirds".  a third for labour, a third for equipment/operation, a third for profit, overhead, taxes.

I wished I could meet his ratios....but thats probably why I am a hobby miller only.  ;D 

Offline TimGA

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2012, 10:12:11 PM »
Would like to say thanks again for all the responses.
After reading your answers I decided to go with Customsawer's and Peter's start at 75.00 p/hr because of equip and cost of operating it. Gave him a price, we will see what happens. Told him if he finds someone else to fell trees, buck and stack for less, no problem just call me when your ready to cut em up! We have known each other for many years. Like Customsawer said lets go fishing if were not making any money,  to much invested to wear it out for nothing, and ourselves.
    Thanks again guys.        Tim
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Offline WDH

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Re: What to charge for felling trees
« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2012, 10:18:46 PM »
Good deal.
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