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Old 02-17-2012, 09:40 PM
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How much to charge for pruning

I have about ten apple trees and a few pear trees to prune. The only thing they don' t teach you in college is how much to charge, I was just wondering a round-about starting price for minor pruning.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:38 AM
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If you are just starting out. Give them an hourly rate. This will give you an idea of what you can do in a set amount of time. Then you can start bidding jobs. Dont sell yourself short. and be safe
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:39 AM
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I try to never give an hourly rate but charge by the job.

Just yesterday it took me and a helper 3 hours to prune/cleanup/dispose of waste on a large and medium apple tree I quoted $300.00 for the large tree and $100.00 for the smaller tree = $400.00...

If I charged hourly $50.00/hr I would have only been paid $150.00 I would have added green waste disposal fees = $50.00 for a grand total of $200.00.

I paid my helper $100.00 for those 3 hours = he is very happy as well.

You don't make money if you charge by the hour quote the entire job then get it done as quickly as possible while still being safe.

and yes this is my first post on this site... :)
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:46 PM
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How do you bid a job? When you look at a tree you use prior experience, knowledge of the tree and of the work to be done to estimate how much time it is going to take you to complete the project. Then you take that number and multiply that by what you have already figured your over head per hour is. Guess what you just estimated the job by the hour. The only difference is, if you under bid it you eat the difference. Yea you may make out on half your jobs. But why not just make out all around on all your jobs.
A lot of people are bashful to tell the customer an hourly rate, cause that is a direct corrilation to your overhead. Who cares. Your rate is your rate, if they want you to do the work they will pay, if not you wont be doing the work.
Lets look at it this way... My rate is 125/hr (seriously thats what I get). At 3 hours I get 375. 25 less than you. I dont have to pay a guy to help so now it took me 4 hours. Now we are up to 500. Because of the hourly rate. You just lost out on 100 extra, and the 100 you paid your friend. So whos ahead at this?
Right off the bat you are not charging enough. If you are charging 50/hr and you have help that goes to 75 or 100/hr automatically (if you have the proper insurances).
All Im saying is there is more than one way to skin a cat, I dont work hourly very often either, but when you dont have the experience to bid, hourly is the safest way to make money. You just need to figure in what your profit margin is into your hourly rate. Simple and we all do it everyday.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:58 PM
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Thanks for the ideas, I could see where someone would be a little frightened at $125.00 but as you mentioned if they want your work they will hire you. And not having prior experience I could see where you could get into trouble charging by the job.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:29 PM
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Per Man Hour

Estimate how long the job will take from when you pull out of the yard in the morning to when you get back to the yard or the next job.

For example, if the estimate is 4 Hours with 3 men at $50 per man per hour then 4x3x50 = $600

My company tries to charge $75 per man per hour, but we are lucky to get $65 per man per hour. When I worked for Barlett, they were charging something like $90 per man per hour which blew my mind.

But those are company rates, so they have to worry about office workers, salesmen, liability/comp insurance and diesel costs. Without these expenses these rates aren't really justified but you can try. I'll charge these rates for weekends because I like my free time and don't care whether I get the job or not. What do you want to make per hour? Now do the math.
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  #7  
Old 07-14-2012, 10:25 AM
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Charge by the job!! Minimum of $150 just to come out..

www.atlanta-area-tree-service.com
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