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Chipping?

Discussion in 'Commercial Tree Care and Climbing' started by treeman82, Dec 21, 2002.

  1. treeman82

    treeman82 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I am sure that all of you guys have done jobs where the brush is on the ground in "piles" and the customer wants it run through the machine... either in addition to a regular job... or as a job itself. What do you guys do in these situations as far as getting rid of the chips goes? I did a job today that was a bunch of chipping as well as pruning... I figure that we just from chipping the piles this guy had made about 20 - 30 yards of chips. How do you guys handle the customer when all you are doing is making chips left and right? I know that this guy today got a heck of a deal.
     
  2. Menchhofer

    Menchhofer AboristSite Guru

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    If I understand your question correctly. I usually bid brush piles either by the hour or a flat rate. It depends on what the pile contains, how long it has been there, and type of material.

    A flat rate if it looks easy and hourly rate if it would be something taking up many hours.

    As to what we do with the chips...as usual we haul them away to re-processing center or sometimes the customer takes them.

    Most of the time, there is nothing worse than chipping someone else's brush. Most of the time is spent pulling out limbs twisted in the pile instead of actual chip time
     
  3. John Paul Sanborn

    John Paul Sanborn Above average climber

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    Chipping piles I don't make are a bee-itch because they are usualy stacked witough forethought. Even if you tell them how to do it; but first in the direction of the parked chipper.

    So it is allways "on time" only. No matter how they wheedle for a firm bid, then it is no more then a high number.

    Drive times and tipping fees need to be figured in too, if they don't want to take the chipps on site. I usualy explant that they are good for mulching or planting certain species in a few years later, like yellow birch, which want highly organic soil. The fact that it will save them on cost is always a big selling point.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2002
  4. treeman82

    treeman82 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have been bidding brush piles by time as well. However after seeing the difference in material processing / chips created it just can't compare to doing regular tree work where I have to get it down to the ground first. I think that there should be SOME form of additional charge or manipulated hourly charge for chipping... but I could be wrong??
     
  5. Stumper

    Stumper One Man Band

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    If I understand your post 82, you are actually figuring both your pruning and clean-up and chipping of someone else's mess at the same hourly rate.? You are generating much more chips to haul in the chipping only work and want to offset this somehow.......If I have it right I would first suggest a move to fixed bids in your pruning work. If you aren't ready for that then you might try bidding your chip only jobs at an hourly rate plus x per yard of debris if hauled.

    I am confident that you could make more on pruning with fixed bids (figure your estimate at a higher hourly rate than you are charging now-if you underestimate the time required you have a buffer). If I told people what I want per hour many of them would be horrified ( they don't understand the difference between gross and net). On the other hand if I quote the job the typical response ranges from "is that all" (obviouisly I goofed up-could have got more:rolleyes: ) to that sounds reasonable. ( Of course there are some who think it is high but those people wouldn't go for my hourly rate either).
     
  6. Treeman14

    Treeman14 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I always give an hourly rate for chipping, with a ball park estimate of time if the customer insists. I don't see any reason to have different rates for climbing and chipping. After all, chipping can be done by a couple of low wage groundies, so your labor costs are lower. Most people are amazed at how quickly a large pile of brush can be chipped.
     
  7. Eric E.

    Eric E. ArboristSite Operative

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    I always bid chipping of brush piles by the hour. That way there is no arguement about price when you return to a brush pile that grew. It seems around here piles always grow after the price is set.
     
  8. John Paul Sanborn

    John Paul Sanborn Above average climber

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    With material that is not on the clients property.

    I liked the story of a noeighbor who dragged a big pile over the the chiiper, droppped it and walked away. Not even a please or thank you.
     
  9. treeman82

    treeman82 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I am not too concerned with 2 people chipping up a pile of brush. I am more concerned about what happens when 3 or 4 or 5 people attack a pile of brush or wood. Chips get created FAST. So far I have not had to haul off chips from those types of jobs... but I can't help but think that the customer is getting a LOT of debris handled for a minimal amount of money. I normally try to price tree work as in... we are going to remove this red oak behind the house for $xxx.xx. But when the customer wants a lot of work done, I just tell them it is this much per man hour, and however many hours it takes... oh well. For example, I went to remove a large ash tree this summer, told the customer $800 to cut it down, move the wood, and chip up all the brush. After the tree was down, the guy had a bunch of brush that he wanted chipped up, along with a couple limbs here and there, a small tree over there, etc. I just tell them in those situations.. by the hour.
     
  10. blackwaterguide

    blackwaterguide ArboristSite Member

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    piles

    Man, i know all about that one. How much tochip up a pile of brush, a guy says on the phone. Almost invariably, you will find just under the brush (stacked wrong, of course) plywood, 2x4's, nails , barbwire and Lord knows what else. I bid it by as long as I think it could possibly take, then double that amount. Or by the hour. I don't cheat the occasional client who has all brush. I give him some of his money back. Happy holidays everyone. Be safe.
     
  11. DDM

    DDM Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A boat anchor and a 4 wheeler can solve the problem of a improperly stacked pile of brush. :D I tell the customer that im going to Charge him XX$ per hr for chipping and anything that wont go thru the chipper stays there I.E. Lumber ect
     
  12. TREETX

    TREETX Banned

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    Matt (tree82). I know you are smart but you ask a lot of questions that have really simple answers.

    Live in manhours 1hr with 4 men = 4hrs

    Then add a risk factor or an I don't want to do this sh!t factor.

    I do a little extra chipping for free. that is just part of customer service. But chipping alone, NO!! That is because I don't like the kind of work and consequently bid HIGH.

    Let your price dictate how much brush you end up chipping.

    I usually just explain to customers that I am not into hauling but when they have tree care needs, give me a call.

    Nate

    I don't in any way mean that your questions are stupid, keep em comin, keeps us thinking.:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2003
  13. John Paul Sanborn

    John Paul Sanborn Above average climber

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    I know other people that bump up thier hourly rate to do chipping, just because it sucks. On top of that it usualy does not last long, so you have a truck and crew diverted for 45 min or so. I've only doen chipping once where it was all we did for the whole day. Dragging piles is hard on the body.
     
  14. Oxman

    Oxman ArboristSite Operative

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    re chipping

    I ,almost without exception do not chip brush that other folks have generated. I will chip a few branches for a customer but thats about it. I cannot rent out my equipt for less than a rental yard can. Most people who want this service would prefer to have the work completed for less than the cost of the rental of a chipper from a rental yard.:D
     
  15. treeman82

    treeman82 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Thanx guys for your help, and understanding. John, I was not referring to 45 minute jobs... I was referring more to where you have 4 guys attacking a pile for at least a couple of hours.
     

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