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I felt bad for them. Need help with pricing.

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by Eagle90301, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Eagle90301

    Eagle90301 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I was on FB the other day and someone posted a Buyer Beware about someone who came to do work for them and never finished the job. I'm not a professional but figured i'd offer to give them a hand. I offered to haul away the logs for free based off of the only photo they posted( figured free firewood for me). After we started talking a little they sent me a few pictures of what they had and I soon realized it was way too much for me to haul (they are about 40 minutes from me via the expressway) I told them this and they said all they wanted was the wood cut into manageable pieces they could move. I don't want to be a jerk and rip them off but I also don't want to screw myself on price. Me being a novice did not know where to even start with pricing to buck the logs down. What would you charge if they wanted it split? Like i said this started because i felt bad and wanted to help them out. I have attached a few photos. wood 1.jpg wood 2.jpg wood 3.jpg
     
  2. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    For me it looks like an hour of cutting so 40 min drive, 1 hr job, 40 min drive what's your hourly? R you going to bring any wood home? Some of that honey locust wood burn real nice! I mean 40 mins really isn't that far... if you can get a load figure your gas cost and ad a few bucks for lunch. You get your load gas is paid and how much longer are you there to cut the rest?

    What concerns me the most about this whole deal is look at the direction of the notch for the tree by the garage and look which way it lays... kinda scary!

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
     
  3. Ryan'smilling

    Ryan'smilling Addicted to ArboristSite

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    It depends on what kind of saw you've got. For me, I'd bring a couple big saws and a few chains. It'd probably be an hour or so of cutting as no tree too big suggested. That's just to buck them. If they want them noodled into 50# pieces, figure double that. I'd also be driving a Honda Accord at about 28mpg, so my transportation isn't very costly. Personally I'd charge about $150 for bucking only and $200 for bucked and noodled. Honestly, you could do some math and come up with a number that better reflects the actual costs, but that number for me is just kinda the minimum I'd accept to load up saws, gas, oil, chains, tools, PPE, etc and drive that far to cut wood. If they want the whole shebang cut, split, and stacked then I'd probably tell them an hourly rate that works for me.

    One thing that you ought to keep in mind is that yard trees often contain hidden "treasures" which can wreck a chain before you realize it. If you think you're gonna ask for $100 and you'll both be happy then you wreck two $25 chains all the sudden things didn't go so well for you.
     
    treesmith, CacaoBoy and Eagle90301 like this.
  4. benjo75

    benjo75 ArboristSite Operative

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    I used to feel sorry for people like that when I started. I thought those poor people. They really got ripped off. But after 25 years of doing this everyday I've realized that does happen on rare occasions. More often than not they call every tree service within 100 miles then go with the cheapest price. When you go with the cheapest price you won't hardly ever get the best job. I regularly loose jobs based on price. The only consolation is most often they call me back next time after they deal with messes like this one. Several times a year I loose a job based on price then the customer calls me in about a week and wants me to remove the tree from the middle of their house. No thank you. I will not have my equipment seen on the property. People will drive by and say look what they done to that house while my equipment is sitting in the yard. I feel sorry for them but I tell them that they got what they paid for. If homeowners will quit hiring these shady tree services they will soon fade out and leave the reputable companies to do the work correctly.

    All that being said, charge whatever you want for the job. If you don't mind working for free then don't charge anything. I personally would charge my normal rate and assume that they learned a valuable lesson by using a less than reputable company. As no tree to big stated it's about an hour with a saw assuming no metal in the trees. If there is a question of metal then it's $35 every time I hit something. I didn't put the metal in the tree and can't afford to spend all day sharpening or running to the saw shop buying chains so I can continue working.
     
  5. Eagle90301

    Eagle90301 ArboristSite Lurker

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    thank you all 3 of you for your advice. I enjoy working for free for those I know or if it will benefit me more than it will cost me this is not one of those times. I have 2 saws I will take with bars ranging from 14-20" and plenty of chains to accompany them. I know if i only take 1 it will break on me. I am going to tell them $200 to buck it into 16-20" pieces, and leave the wood where it sits. if they want it split that's extra. The one good thing I have going for me is I picked up a whole mess of chains dirt cheap a few years ago, but they don't need to know that. My first thought was i would go through a handful of chains and it would take a few hours to do.

    My job affords me a lot of days off and figured I could help them out and make a little extra money at the same time. By no means am I a "Professional" but i understand of the concepts how to fall a tree, and basic safety. I also know when to say no i'm not touching the tree its out of my skill set. It sounds like from reading this persons post that the contractor had no clue what they were doing. The contractor ended up hitting another tree and taking it out too. I also was reading the contractor stopped responding and changed their FB name.
     
  6. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Dont hit the ground that way you'll only need one chain!

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  7. Eagle90301

    Eagle90301 ArboristSite Lurker

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    That’s my goal. But I’m realistic I’m sure I’ll mess up atleast a few chains.
     
  8. treesmith

    treesmith tree hugger/cutter

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    If you've got a metal detector handy...
     
  9. Little Al

    Little Al Addicted to ArboristSite

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    i wouldn't do the job for free as from experience there tends then to be more jobs with the expect antsy that these will also be "Freebies" at least charge you fuel for your truck & saws fuel oil & bar lube the labour charge is your call but dependent on circumstances I would ask a token charge or the going rate The problem Iv'e come across is a "good turn" done is in some cases taken advantage of which leads to ill feeling on both sides + iv'e been bad mouthed for helping out & then been expected to do a 500$ job again as a freebie The quote being " I m a widow you know & have little income " waving about hands with several thousand $'s worth of diamond rings
     
  10. Eagle90301

    Eagle90301 ArboristSite Lurker

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    well little update... i messaged them on Saturday and said I'd do the job and be out Monday if they wanted (cut wood into manageable pieces) for $200. I supply saws, chain, fuel, everything. No response back I guess they don't want to pay. I would have entertained an offer. thank you everyone for the help.
     
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  11. ropensaddle

    ropensaddle Feel Lucky

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    What gets me Ben is when I bid one purposely high because I don't wanna do it I almost always end up with the dang job lol
     
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  12. benjo75

    benjo75 ArboristSite Operative

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    Yep. You can always count on getting those.
     
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  13. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Funny how that works.
     
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  14. jefflovstrom

    jefflovstrom It was a beautiful day!

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    Half of your day spent, how much is that? 800-900 just for you? I don't know.
    Jeff :cool:
     
  15. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yard tree sometimes have nails, dog chains, laundry line hooks, electrical cords, wire, any number of metal objects that can wreck a chain. Best to come prepared.
     
  16. grizz55chev

    grizz55chev Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A cheap metal detector?:cool:
     
  17. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Bro I've cut roughly a million bazillion yard trees! I work for one of the highest production tree services in my area y'all make it sound like you will hit something every single cut haha

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  18. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    But it is possible right?
     
  19. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yea, I'd say out of the thousand or so trees I cut every year I hit about 3 times a year

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  20. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    mostly every other cut. last yard tree 5' dia Box Elder. Only thing I didn't find with the saws was a kitchen sink, but the the coup-d-degrau was the T-Post dead center that was the original support when it was a sapling.
     

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