What do you think of this tree-trimming price?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by pl1985, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I did a tree-trimming job over the winter that was way over my head, just to keep my guys busy. It was a huge shopping center, about 4 city blocks long and two deep. About 90-100 small 20' or so trees total, had to remove all limbs up to at least eight feet 8' for safety regulations of the shopping center (most had limbs starting at 4'). At least 40 yards of debris at the end. The catch is that instead of just chipping the wood into the back of a truck we had to cut it into small pieces and pack it tightly into pickup beds and small trailers. About 6 days and 6 trips to dump and the job was done. I was going to charge the guy a little above cost since we did it so low-tech and weren't efficient. Does 2600.00 sound reasonable for that size job? Am I way low or way high?
     
  2. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    Sounds like your low. How about some profit? 6 days!! It doesn't matter if you weren't as efficient as possible, you still need profits don't you???

    What's this line of thinking of being scared to charge too much.

    Did you say you'd do the work by the hour? I don't know what arrangement you had, but it's important to be clear about the $ before you start.

    I would definitely be around the 5 grand for that or more. The next jobs, make it clear what you charge... you need profits like everyone else...hard to believe isn't it...:laugh:

    :)
     
  3. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I agree completely. It was kind of a unique situation. I run a crew all winter and this helped make the slower weeks 40 hr weeks; sometimes it's in 'break-even' mode. They spent at least half the time bundling the sticks, and stuffing them into truck beds and trailers. A crew with a chipper and covered over dump bed couldve done it in half the time. I'm just wondering if the price and the size of the job (# of trees, etc) sounds in the ballpark. I was thinking I was way low too, so thanks for the input.
     
  4. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I agree completely. It was kind of a unique situation. I run a crew all winter and this helped make the slower weeks 40 hr weeks; sometimes it's in 'break-even' mode. They spent at least half the time bundling the sticks, and stuffing them into truck beds and trailers. A crew with a chipper and covered over dump bed couldve done it in half the time, probably a third of the time. I'm just wondering if the price and the size of the job (# of trees, etc) sounds in the ballpark.

    There was no talk of price beforehand. The guy is a good customer, we do full-service maintenance on his residence and get a good price for that, so that reduces the sting a little.
     
  5. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    I know what it's like to offer a new service and not have the proper equipment to be real efficient. But after a few jobs and charging like you have the right equipment we found ourselves able to invest. At times, we rent the necessary equipment, others we just do it as best we can. Sometimes the customer pays for ineffiency and it's a way to gain a leg up.

    We're getting a lift van next week. A used one, and it's going to be for pruning, building repairs and anything that is around the 20 to 40' height. It's on a 1 ton ford van and requires no side stabilizers.

    That purchase if in part due to some pruning we did last year. We had no lift vehicles but we still billed out over 40 grand, so the profit helped pay the van. :)
     
  6. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    Shouldn't the price be something you figure out BEFORE you do a job this big?

    I charge em by the hour on trimming too, but it's usually $30 for a few limbs, not 100 times that. Especially with a good customer

    Also, be sure to read your liability policy. If you aren't doing that routinely, you may not technically be covered for tree work, even small ones. I know when I applied they made sure to ask if you did that or not.
     

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