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Tree trimming job, is my price way off the mark?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by pl1985, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 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 80-100 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. Smith Lawn & Landscaping

    Smith Lawn & Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    Too me thats sounds way too low. But it all depends on what you charge per hour?? If i were to do that job it be around 3,500 but i would also include a dumping fee..
  3. Mark Bogart

    Mark Bogart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    Six days @ $2,600. $433 and some change a day. I believe you are way low. How many people helping you? What are the dump charges?
  4. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    I know I'm way low, but the point is at least half the time was spent just bundling the wood and trying to jam it into pickup beds and trailers. With an efficient setup (chipper throwing wood into covered over dump bed), it wouldve probably been 1/3 of the time or less.
  5. Mark Bogart

    Mark Bogart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    Good learning experience!
  6. pl1985

    pl1985 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    Haha yeah. The reason I took it on is because I have one crew that runs year round with winter cleanups. The job helped me fill out the schedule of a couple weeks. Didn't make much at all, but kept the guys working and making money through the winter.
  7. Mark Bogart

    Mark Bogart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    I'm not bashing you but to me the numbers don't work. How many people helped you? What were your dumping charges? Insurance? Don't see how you made any money.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Keeping the guys busy is maintaining the business and paying them is better than paying for a chipper. If you personally, come out with some cash as well, you are doing better than I, in the frozen tundra, right now.
  9. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    If all you spent was 30 minutes a tree It would come out to around 3000. so to just break even to keep the guys working I would say you did ok. Next time remember a commercial chipper runs about 200 a day and will save you a lot of time on the road in gas and dump fees. I have an old 1 ton pickup bed trailer that has ben built into a dump with sides for doing this type of work.

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