BID THAT TREE !

#2
Not entirely sure how to pull it off? Say post a series of pictures with hazards like power lines or alligators? Distance to hospital etc etc
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
#4
...with hazards like power lines or alligators...
I can see it, now. One of the "hazards" will be that they have a 19 year old, good looking daughter still living at home, changes her clothes 35 times a day, always in her 2nd floor bedroom which has no curtains, blinds, or shades.

WINNING BID:
"Sir, I'll pay you $500 and cut the whole tree into firewood, split it and stack it close to your back door... but I need about six months to complete the job."
 

SomethingWitty

Well-Known Member
#5
Ha I just call a few of my competitors and tell them to email me the price don't bug the tenant then I go in 50 bucks cheaper.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
I haven't been a jackleg, half drunk, shirtless cowboy with a chainsaw in years... But I believe I'd whoop somebody's ass if I found out that I had only been setting a bid for another guy with no chance of getting it because I'm not talking to the customer.
 
#6
I haven't been a jackleg, half drunk, shirtless cowboy with a chainsaw in years... But I believe I'd whoop somebody's ass if I found out that I had only been setting a bid for another guy with no chance of getting it because I'm not talking to the customer.
Yeah that would be pretty underhanded for sure! That’s why I thought of this post. I lost a bid a few days ago that was in the 7-9 thousand range. I gave that margin because of excavator time and dumpy fees to get rid of 3 monster cottonwoods - also 8 firs and some rotten birch they wanted for firewood? The high price was because we wanted to leave the forest in pristine condition and there was much rigging involved to accomplish it. I can’t imagine it will look very nice with a bid below mine? But you never know? A day or so later I asked myself what would it be like if you could ask the tree community how much they would charge and why?
 

SomethingWitty

Well-Known Member
#7
There is no doubt that having friends that have a slightly different market than you (different portion of the metro area, removals vs pruning, hauling vs contracting it out, bucket vs crane vs tracked lift vs climbers only) that you can call and ask questions is valuable. It is hard to be completely honest with a company that is a virtual doppleganger of yours simply because no matter how much you like each other, if it has to be me or you, it is going to be me.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
#8
Yeah that would be pretty underhanded for sure! That’s why I thought of this post. I lost a bid a few days ago that was in the 7-9 thousand range. I gave that margin because of excavator time and dumpy fees to get rid of 3 monster cottonwoods - also 8 firs and some rotten birch they wanted for firewood? The high price was because we wanted to leave the forest in pristine condition and there was much rigging involved to accomplish it. I can’t imagine it will look very nice with a bid below mine? But you never know? A day or so later I asked myself what would it be like if you could ask the tree community how much they would charge and why?
Two prices, two specs!

When someone comes in and says they can do it cheap enough leave enough money in the homeowners pockets to reveg by crash and dash, the homeowners will have your pristine bid (confidence that it CAN be done low impact), and the crash and dash price.

If the customer says they where bid 7K for pristine, bidder#2 might say $4600 for lesser service. You might have bid $4000 or not. Bidder #2 has the advantage, especially if you don't offer higher impact specs and price.

I just got under bid. I asked (by text) what other bids were like, but haven't heard back.

When I bid it, I suggested that if we cleared some other stuff they wanted to get rid of, in the future, it would be more work, same cost or less, as it would increase our working room for felling.
I told them I was confident I could squeeze on tree in whole. They said great. I said, and I'm not 100% positive I won't hit their paver wall/ patio, so unless I can risk hitting the aforementioned plants shrubs if do it differently, and absolutely not damage anything.
 
#9
We gave a range of 2000 dollars. The high side was pristine the low side maybe some collateral damage to understory. But yeah that helps to give 2 prices for sure.
There is no doubt that having friends that have a slightly different market than you (different portion of the metro area, removals vs pruning, hauling vs contracting it out, bucket vs crane vs tracked lift vs climbers only) that you can call and ask questions is valuable. It is hard to be completely honest with a company that is a virtual doppleganger of yours simply because no matter how much you like each other, if it has to be me or you, it is going to be me.
The idea of using a site like this for the purpose of estimating, is that you and most everyone else on this site are not operating in my area. As a side note, if you are particularly skilled and meticulously safe/ do really clean work- you don’t need to advertise. We removed our adds from the local papers and we refused yellow pages because we can’t deal with the volume already. So much so that losing a job such as the one I mentioned is almost a blessing in disguise!
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
#10
You could estimate hours onsite with crew and equipment needed.

It would be way off in some ways, but could be useful in others.


It at least would propose alternate strategies.

A lot of pics and/ or video, with estimated measurements of the trees and access would help.


Someone might plan to drag up a hill, where another person says to set up a 'slow-line' (reverse speedline from JB Holoway (sp?)).
 

cerviarborist

Well-Known Member
#11
When I attend conferences and workshops, it's not uncommon after a presenter describes the processes and materials required to fulfill a particular assignment, for someone in the audience to ask "What would you charge for that?" Without exception the reply has always been either "See me after the presentation if you'd like to talk about that question." or "Time and Materials, like everything else."

The reason for this, I've heard again and again is to avoid public discussion of pricing strategies between contractors and to eliminate any optics which might be misconstrued as collusion.

This is an interesting thread, and I wanted to offer a suggestion which might provide even greater relevance to the readers while helping to avoid any misconstruing by parties outside of the thread.

If instead of arriving at a dollar figure, everyone looking at the subject scenario would discuss how they'd address the project, including crew configuration, tools and/or materials and special techniques, we'd be getting output which puts the job into context for everyone as well as ideas of how to efficiently fulfill a given assignment with alternative constellations of equipment and manpower.

I'd love to get that information followed with a concluding statement like "With a crew of (number) and this (tool) and that (machine), we could do it in 12 man hours and 2 hours on the machine. We could do it with (number) fewer hours if the client is willing to accept a small amount of collateral impact on their landscape"

We can then all figure out on our own if we're inclined, the local cost of that manpower and machinery.

Again, cool thread. I hope to learn a lot from it.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
#12
When I attend conferences and workshops, it's not uncommon after a presenter describes the processes and materials required to fulfill a particular assignment, for someone in the audience to ask "What would you charge for that?" Without exception the reply has always been either "See me after the presentation if you'd like to talk about that question." or "Time and Materials, like everything else."

The reason for this, I've heard again and again is to avoid public discussion of pricing strategies between contractors and to eliminate any optics which might be misconstrued as collusion.

.....
Collusion on pricing is a real concern at conferences/workshops/trade association meetings. Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department don't like price fixing. Not sure how that fits into an open internet forum???

But I do thing something like this is best covered with things like:
*How long would this take you
*How would you accomplish this
*What equipment would you use here
*etc...

Hourly rates are going to vary drastically by:
*Locale
*Equipment used
*Experience of crew

So I'm not sure that is a fruitful discussion anyhow (to a degree), but total cost of job is. For an over simplified example if somebody can take down a tree with their TreeMech in 3 hours, but they are charging $600/hour vs. a 'traditional' crew taking it down in 6 hours, but their rate is $300/hour they cost to complete the job is the same...so from a client's stand point "who cares"? From a contractor stand point, we can either celebrate that we can do that job for $1500 and be profitable or wonder why we can't do it for less than $2400 without feeling like we are losing money.
 
#13
Collusion on pricing is a real concern at conferences/workshops/trade association meetings. Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department don't like price fixing. Not sure how that fits into an open internet forum???

But I do thing something like this is best covered with things like:
*How long would this take you
*How would you accomplish this
*What equipment would you use here
*etc...

Hourly rates are going to vary drastically by:
*Locale
*Equipment used
*Experience of crew

So I'm not sure that is a fruitful discussion anyhow (to a degree), but total cost of job is. For an over simplified example if somebody can take down a tree with their TreeMech in 3 hours, but they are charging $600/hour vs. a 'traditional' crew taking it down in 6 hours, but their rate is $300/hour they cost to complete the job is the same...so from a client's stand point "who cares"? From a contractor stand point, we can either celebrate that we can do that job for $1500 and be profitable or wonder why we can't do it for less than $2400 without feeling like we are losing money.
Price fixing implies that we, the people that for the most part live worlds apart are colluding to control prices over an entire market or in a local area. This is accomplished not by estimating but by agreeing to maintain a fixed price for a good or service.
That was not the intent of this thread, nor is it even possible because of the many variables involved. It’s primary intent was to help beginners get an understanding of the bidding process itself. Things like labour costs vary with local economies and to a greater extent the value of a countries dollar. 27 percent devaluation in the case of a Canadian dollar compared to an American one. But all in all, the thought process and planning will usually be the same.
A primary example, might be your idea of a cut off point in material handling when an excavator should be employed vs. hand work- that kinda thing.
 
#15
How many of you have gone to meet a client to talk about the work only to have the client nickel and dime you from the start? For me that gets my spidey senses tingling in a bad way. I normally switch my mode of negotiation to... my schedule is incredibly full for the next few months so if you want the work done sooner .... At that point I just want to end the conversation and move on. I will not do work for people that try to cheap me out. Sometimes I may say, if you can’t afford to do the job maybe you should either get another quote or hold off until you can feel better about the price.
Normally if you are gonna get stiffed it will be by a nickel and dime client.
 
#17
Estimating and bidding takes some time and usually some hard lessons learned.
Indeed! In the beginning it’s very tough to get right. Many of us have, and will again, get half way through a job and realize the only ones getting paid are the crew.
The reverse is a nice surprise though, when everything comes together and you come in making a profit!
 

rope-a-dope

Well-Known Member
#20
I have no doubt i would suck at bidding too, which is why i support a thread discussing the challenges and gleaning knowledge from other dudes that do it a lot.
Most of the jobs i do seem to only have enough man hours to do the cutting.
 
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