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Author Topic: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?  (Read 2346 times)

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2018, 02:53:17 PM »
So I can buy a chainsaw cheaper in the Ozarks? Chainsaw parts are cheaper,chains too? Oil and gas too? A truck to haul all that around too? Parts for truck is cheaper too?And so on.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Online mike_belben

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2018, 04:07:29 PM »
Humans and their time are cheaper in appalachia.  Equipment is more. 


Southside- that is a good point. 
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Offline luvmexfood

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2018, 05:32:32 PM »
Mike is right about the different wage rates in different areas. The Feds have a prevailing wage rate for government funded jobs in different areas. When I do work for an outside employer in some of the big box stores it is nothing to see them have different wage rates in different areas. Twenty percent difference plus a sign on bonus in some areas. Not saying it's fair just a fact of life.

As far as falling timber you should get a rate that corresponds to your experience, equipment etc. Then it really doesn't matter what species your cutting. Yes the owner is going to get more for the timber if it's walnut but your cost's, labor etc. is going to be the same. If you charge landowner A one rate, landowner B one rate and landowner C a different rate and it will get out the ones you charged more will be upset why they had to pay more for the same work. Just my opinion. It and a dollar will get you two raisin cakes up at the corner stop and rob.

I know a fellow that is over the pricing for a grocery store chain that is regional. They have three different pricing tiers for the same product depending on what area the store is in.
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Offline starmac

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2018, 05:48:12 PM »
I have no idea what you should charge, or even how. I feel like if you can swing the deal and both parties are happy is what counts. As far as wages being different in different parts of the country, they generally match or at least try to match the cost of living for the area, No your pickup, chainsaw, etc is no cheaper than anywhere lese, or at least not any more than the local dealer can stand, may even be higher, but the shop you have work on them generally is, so is land, housing etc.
prevailing wage here for a truck driver here is 59 and change an hour, a lot higher than a lot of places, but it is comparable to everywhere else on account of the cost of living.
Now all that said, I have worked for myself all my life and I do not expect to just make wages when doing work on contract, you should be able to make better than the wages for the area, whether you can or not.
A side note  logging wages in Alaska are low compared to other jobs, I actually make less contracting my log truck out, and furnish fuel, tires, insurance, etc for less than just plain old wages. It is what it is, I do it because it is a change of pace and I LIKE it, money is not everything.
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Offline treeslayer2003

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2018, 07:13:47 PM »
last i did for some one else, i charged about 100 bucks per semi load. idk if id do that now, but its a starting point. comes out to about 25 er 1000 bdft.

Offline coxy

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2018, 07:25:00 PM »
its all the same in every job  the rich get richer and the poor get poorer  ;D ;D

Offline luvmexfood

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2018, 08:49:55 PM »
its all the same in every job  the rich get richer and the poor get poorer  ;D ;D
So true. The local fast food restaurants still pay minimum wage to start. I do agree with Starmac. Beside your wages your "company" which is yourself should also turn a profit.
Give me a new saw chain and I can find you a rock in a heartbeat.

Offline starmac

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2018, 08:57:47 PM »
I had a guy once tell me that some folks would rather starve while working for himself than answer to company man every day. I think he was talking about himself and me at the time, but there is a lot of truth in it.
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Online Skeans1

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2018, 08:58:56 PM »
One thing I was taught when bidding jobs is figure out your expenses, your wages, and then what you want to make as profit. Expenses gas is roughly 2.75 a gallon, bar oil costs me 8 a gallon, your insurance, your health insurance figure everything in the first time you bid a job then you're not coming back with a higher rate later. I'd be willing to bet the party looking for a cutter goes through them since the other faller has been out tramping for higher paying work.

Offline Oddman

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2018, 09:24:45 PM »
Well fellas I sure have got plenty to chew on...wish I had more experience in the field of contract work but I gotta start somewhere! One thing I keep hearing from y'all and others is to be real careful not to do it too cheap. Heck my problem is that I WANT to get out there and lay down some walnut, nevermind making wages and expenses and a bit extra...but I gotta be looking at the next job, could be it's one that other folks have passed over, rough ground, poor timber, underbrush...sure done plenty of that and I don't want to do it again for peanuts, that's for sure!
Thanks again guys, keep the advice coming, I will report back on how things go.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2018, 09:24:48 PM »
I think .20 a foot is good money. Crews around here cut and pile for .10-.15 a foot no trucking and the big mills pay around $28-30 per ton to cut and truck pulp. And burger flippers are $10++ and RNs are $25++. I'd charge the same for any tree species. Just try and figure your expenses and add and wage your happy with then add a little more for bad math and see what he says.

Offline 280 rem

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2018, 11:41:38 PM »
Iíve never heard of same pay rate regardless of species. A cutter going to the woods is gonna get paid a higher rate per foot to cut walnut than he will tie grade oak, and heís gonna get paid more to cut tie grade oak than to cut pallet grade trees, never heard of otherwise unless he wasnít getting fair end of the deal. If someone is gonna stick a saw in a walnut tree for me Iíd sure want them to have more than 5 cents worth of experience and more than 5 cents worth of care for what heís doing. A good cutter might lay down 10,000 feet a day of low quality timber but he ainít gonna lay down 10,000 feet a day of walnut.
We saw walnut lumber for the same reason Willie Sutton said he robbed banks, "because that's where the money is"

Select 4221E, baker edger, cat 908 loader, Jd 548E, timberjack 230d, hood 7000 loader.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2018, 04:59:32 AM »
I think a good cutter or anyone working for someone should take the same care for any and all work. Weather it's low grade high grade it's not the cutters to judge or determine its value. It's only his job to get the job done to the best of his ability. I understand low grade gets paid less than high grade but I believe here that's due to the profit differance. But the percentage of pay vs value is about the same.

Offline Oddman

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2018, 05:53:28 AM »
Oftentimes walnut is spread out a fair ways tree-to-tree...it had better pay more just for that reason alone, a guy can spend all day chasing down a couple dozen on one property.
 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2018, 06:14:48 AM »
Good point.

Offline 280 rem

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2018, 07:47:25 AM »
Well the reality of it is there is a difference in what is expected in cutting an $80 tree down or an $800 tree down. I would want to be paying someone enough that they arenít in a rush to get some footage layed down for the day and something gets busted. Also the knowledge of how to cut can be changing the butt log value by a $100 or more. You would be pretty sick if you had an 8-18 sawlog when you could have had a 9-18 veneer log if the guy would have cut it 10Ē lower for example. The knowledge is whatís of value. You donít start driving at 16 in a corvette here, is what Iím saying.
We saw walnut lumber for the same reason Willie Sutton said he robbed banks, "because that's where the money is"

Select 4221E, baker edger, cat 908 loader, Jd 548E, timberjack 230d, hood 7000 loader.

Offline 280 rem

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2018, 07:52:13 AM »
Oh Iím sure there is a lot of guys who would love to have cutters cut their walnut for a pallet log rate. That is how the rich get richer  8)
We saw walnut lumber for the same reason Willie Sutton said he robbed banks, "because that's where the money is"

Select 4221E, baker edger, cat 908 loader, Jd 548E, timberjack 230d, hood 7000 loader.

Online Skeans1

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2018, 08:03:45 AM »
Typically if there's a grade above say our standard export or domestic fir or say I need to jack the girl over the price would be wet at X amount per hour above rate, otherwise every species would be treated the same. Say one of my personal firs at 200+ feet roughly 5' dbh takes me at the most 15 to get it down, same tree going for a pole or has a back lean over a line could be half an hour or longer in 6 hours not a whole lot gets done then.

Offline Lumberjohn

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2018, 08:47:09 AM »
Probably the easiest is to charge by the tree, maybe $30.00 a tree or so. Just a guess, but wouldn't overall run of walnut average 200 bdft or so?- I don't have my stick handy right now and its been awhile. It would depend on if you have to buck, slash tops and chase trees all over like others have said.

Online mike_belben

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Re: Contract timber cutting - what to charge?
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2018, 09:14:29 AM »
I think we are starting to look at the difference between self employed contractors who find their own jobs,  and employees who go where the boss tells them.  Where i am at, the employee doesnt have the leverage to be negotiating per tree.  He gets paid a fixed rate of some sort generally based on skill, speed and dependability.  The employer covers tax withholding and cutter just worries about showing up, makin it to quitting time and getting his check on friday. I know a few and they dont negotiate tree rates per job.   
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