Discussion in 'Business Management' started by stltreedr, Jul 10, 2012.
the take down cost was my complete cost. I live in an area that has a lot of tree companys too.
well, I just spent about an hour typing out a really long reply to your post, and when I hit the send button AS crashed again. I'm going to have a beer and a good weekend.
Sounds like a plan. Take care.
I checked out your website to see what kind of work you do, and see if the app might apply. It's a nice site. One complaint, though, for your own sake wear some PPE. I know you've been doing this a long time, but I've known plenty of seasoned vets that get hurt because of not using PPE. At the very least, the OSHA fines can put you out of business.
I wouldn't go pointing fingers too much there, especially not as a relatively new AS member ;-) I took a look at your website too, but thought better of posting what I thought of it. For a guy with supposedly 10+ years in the industry, all the images you posted were pretty second rate. No big/complex trees at all, just the sort of stuff that most of us would knock out before morning tea. Lots of pics of bucket truck work on small trees, no sign of professional rigging work. Stubs all over the place, and an 019T as a climbing saw. Pretty sloppy looking work overall, definitely not the kind of stuff I'd be putting online to showcase my company. The daily standard of work for most professional tree companies is higher than that, even if nobody is watching. That one vid with the small chipper (owned, or rented?) shows a single guy hap hazzardly feeding a few small poorly stacked pieces of wood into the chipper and then wandering off.
Just sayin'. Nice use of PPE though.
I meant no disrespect, just trying to raise awareness. I've been a involved with tree crews for a long time, investigated a fatal accident while the body was still on site, worked with guys that have lost eyes, severe chainsaw cuts, etc... Just trying to help. I don't mind some constructive criticism, either. So I will keep your thoughts in mind as I edit my site.
This is such a great idea. We have just developed a similar App, now available on iTunes called Arborist App, that does quoting and invoicing. I have been thinking on creating a tree removal cost calculator for some time. We could develop this idea of yours quite easily. We should talk.
This is such a great idea. We have just developed an App for Arborists, called Arborist App, which does quoting and invoicing among other things. It is available for free download on iTunes.
A tree cost calculator app is also a great idea, which could be developed quite easily
I'm interested in getting with you about this, PM me or give me a call.
Cool idea but I can't see this tool ever being accurate. Way to many variables when quoting. We run a semi-automated system to work out our prices which is based on time, equipment, dumping etc but you still need to take a look at the job...
Thanks for the comments. I always look at the job and get a signed contract before work begins. This is for safety reasons and because there is a disclaimer on the calc. that provides protection for trees that can't be removed by conventional means, traffic protection, etc. I also always reserve the right to walk away from any job.
As far as accuracy, according to me and a bunch of other guys on AS, it is very accurate. More importantly, it is consistent, and adjustable. The original software was designed to work in US $ and in my area, so there obviously will be regional/ international differences.
Thanks for checking it out. Take care and work safe.
Just applied the calculator to my last tree
And I charged $750 for take down and clean up, the calculator said $560. My disposal was $120 (all cost, no money in my pocket) and the calculator said $10.
That said, I may be high in some regards, but it was way off in others...
I'll stick to my methods for now on trees.
A stump removal calculator, now we're talking!
I set up an Excel spreadsheet (with some help) for pruning or removal bids.
It has active cells next to a wide range of possible parts: number of employees, wages for each, hrs., subcontractors, their hrs, OH and travel. The employee hrs are doubled, the subs have 20% added; OH is a range of numbers based on a proportion of the job total, the idea being that on bigger jobs, you use more equipment and incur more wear and tear.
It works pretty well, especially because it reminds you to include all possible costs (you just leave some options out by not filling in a number). Comes out with around 20% business profit (I make more if I am in on the job with a wage as a climber or safety/job site manager on crane jobs). That 20% then goes to pay for my office time and bidding time, as well as for buying new equipment and a draw for personal income (if all goes well).
Problem: you can still underestimate the hrs needed for the job! Nothing to help there but experience.
I have learned to stand firm on my bids and not negotiate lower, because I end up doing nearly the same amount of work anyway--- clients have NFI about what: "I'll do the clean up" or "the grass doesn't matter" amounts to, so you have to do a lot of clean up and site protection anyway or they will snivle and get pissy, about the war zone that was their yard, never mind the liability of leaving hazards behind.:bang:
I think so anyway. And I am getting better at enforcing my own contracts -- as in: "no, I can't split the job up, no, I need to be paid in a lump sum, not installments, no, I can't put off part of the job for two months, yes, I need a down payment on a two or three day job before I start, etc. or it is a NEW CONTRACT and will COST MORE" . Well, in the future, anyway, I am too much of a softy .
You could make that spreadsheet the app...
And then you sell it to this guy to make a few bucks. When I applied the calculator to my last tree job (my main emphasis is stumping, but you gotta branch out..get it?), the calculator was way short of what I bid the job for.
That being said, I also bid the stump (seperately) and my custumer wanted me for the whole gig. Like a lot of posters here on AS, do the job well and professionally, be up front with the customer on what the job will take AND look like when completed, and THAT is what makes the sale.
I'm an owner operator with well maintained older equipment and a local in my main business area. Word of mouth, a small sign in my yard along with the license and insurance required by my city and state, along with getting with other stumpers in the area has brought me a couple of bucks so far. I have a gift of gab as well, that helps me get some sales, but like a lot of folks here, I am still learning the art and science of getting the bid down right. The science part is pretty easy, what does it cost (ALL costs) to do the job, the art part is all those variables that every job has and I believe what a lot of posters have said - experience counts for this portiion.
As for now, I'll keep plodding along and probably keep under bidding what I should charge, but I am in the positiion of not needing to get every job I bid.
Thanks for checking it out, guys. It sounds to me like disposal in your area is much higher than it is here. if the disposal fee $120 instead of $10 for Bob's job, the calc would've produced a bid of $670, which is about 10% lower than the price he charged. This amount could be due to regional cost of living, pricing etc. You guys also have EAB in Minnesota too, right? Can't wait for that to get here and drive up prices!
Anyway, I met with a new software developer at the advice of some guys on here, and the price of the app, again, was $10K From the poll, it seems that there is some decent interest there, but with marketing costs and expenses paid to apple, android, etc... It probably would never pan out. The software guy also advised us to patent the process, another $4-5K.
Looks like for now, we'll just use it to market our website locally, and keep plugging away in the trees. Maybe another year or so and we'll pull the trigger on the app.
Thanks again for all the input from everybody.
just curious here. A tree that comes out of my calculator, for me, at $560 bucks, would typically take about 1.5- 2 hrs for 3 guys, and my equipment. ( bucket, chipper, log truck) Which works out to about $93 per manhour. ( not too shabby in my book)
What kind of time, manpower and equipment did you have in the job you tested it on?
FYI, we just did a 36" dead cherry, took 15 mhrs for a little over $1900, that one comes to $126/hr.
The cost/profit still varies on each job, but for me, it is much more consistent than it was when I was bidding without the calc.
Thanks again, have a good weekend.
Dude, that was prior to finals week and deer hunting...
I don't remember the length of time. It was 2 of us, and I want to say 6 hrs total. Pickup truck, jeep and dump trailer, 2 saws and ropes. The majority of the tree had to be chunked out and directed where to fall due to proximity of STUFF in backyard. I will have to get with my partner/subcontractor (can't afford employees and he doesn't want to spend any money of equipment unless I chew his butt) to double check the price of that job. He gets pissed at me with my tree job bids so guess what? If you don't like my tree bids, then YOU do it (and he bids pretty good).
I was just curious, no reason to dig through records here.
Ran a random example through, I'd. never get a job at those cost.
60' tall, 45' wide, 18" DBH...nothing around it was 1,700! I'd be out of bidness.
Hey tony, thanks for checking it out. You didnt provide a drive distance, but i used your example with a 50 foot drive distance and it came to 818 . I agree that your figure sounded wayyyyy to high. You must enter at least 1 in the drive distance column.
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