New Here, some hourly wage ?'s

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Brendonv, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. Brendonv

    Brendonv LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Im new here to the board and have to say there it alot of good information. My question is, I want to start a small tree service on the side, i have some removal jobs set up once spring is here, what would be a good hourly wage to charge for tree removal, and for pruning (took arborist exam, failed by 2 points :realmad: , going to take it again). I was thinking about charging $60 an hour for removal, i will be running 3 chainsaws, climbing if necessary, and one truck. (no chipper yet, going to take brush away). Is that fair, or to low?
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    You need to charge what ever will cover your wages, overhead and profit.

    For some guys, that figure is $60/hour. Other's are lucky and only need to charge $40/hour. A lot of others have NO clue what the figure should be, and charge anywhere from $15-35/hour. No way to make money at that rate.

    I know a lot of tree guys like to make sure they will be bringing in between $1000 and $1500/day, so base your estimates on that. For what you will be doing, and from what I've seen on this subject, $60/hr may be low. Remember, tree work isn't exactly a low-risk endeavour.

    Have you found Arboristsite yet? Read up on EVERYTHING there, especially hit the "Injuries and Fatalities" forum.

    Good luck on the re-test!

  3. Brendonv

    Brendonv LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    thanks alot for the input, i was unaware of the aborist site...THANKS!!!
  4. lawncare4u

    lawncare4u LawnSite Senior Member
    from S>C>
    Messages: 399

    LOw $1000.00 to $1,200.00 per day take down trees then charge a haul off fee to fit you,,if you don't you'll lose your (donkey)....
  5. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    If you are doing it on the side, do you have all the proper insurances? What if you damage someones home or vehicle?

  6. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    There are four things that go into how much you can and should charge.

    DFelix hit the first one. You have to know your overhead, profit, and billable hours to know if you are covering those.

    The second one is that you have to have some idea of what is competitive in your market. If the numbers from above are not reasonably competitive you will be watching Oprah.

    The third is your own productivity. If you know what you need to cover overhead and you know what other guys get for the same work, you still need to have enough production so that the consumer feels they are getting their money's worth (at least as much as the next guy). In other words, if Joe Blow charges $60 an hour and takes down and removes 40 trees in one day and you charge the same and only can do twenty then you are charging to much.

    The fourth is reputation with demand. Sometimes a well established company has developed enough of a good reputation that they have more people calling them to do work than most others. If they can not expand enough with people and equipment, they can get the most out of what they have instead. They charge more and shrink their percentage of closed sales. In other words, they may price themselves out of 50% of the people that want them to do the job. But if that keeps all of the people and equipment they have busy they get more money out of the same overhead. You can not decide whether you fit into this category or not, the market will do that for you.

    It always come down to the fine balance of how much you are wanting to charge vs. how much someone is willing to pay YOU rather than how much they are willing to pay others that do the same type of work as you.

    It is like asking someone on the sidewalk how much they would pay to have their house painted. Then pointing at someone else walking by as you ask how much they would pay to have HIM paint their house. I think you would get different answers depending on who you pointed to. It is no different.

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