Pricing

Fltreeguy

New Member
How does everyone bid each job? Do you have a amount per hour you want to make and bid accordingly? Do you add expenses on top of it, like equipment rental etc? Just trying to see what others do.

Also, out of 10 estimates what’s the realistic average amount you expect to get?
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
Thats pretty much what I do. Hourly rate x my guestimate of hours on job. I have a crane sub who if I use I add his rate. If it is an exceptionally dangerous or hard job, I multiply my rate by 1.5 to 2 times or even more if its really sketchy or will take an absolutely epic effort. Travel time over 30 minutes gets charged.
 

Fltreeguy

New Member
Thats pretty much what I do. Hourly rate x my guestimate of hours on job. I have a crane sub who if I use I add his rate. If it is an exceptionally dangerous or hard job, I multiply my rate by 1.5 to 2 times or even more if its really sketchy or will take an absolutely epic effort. Travel time over 30 minutes gets charged.
Mind sharing the rate you try to bid at? Everyone in my area seems all over the place and it’s hard to find a middle.
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
Mind sharing the rate you try to bid at? Everyone in my area seems all over the place and it’s hard to find a middle.
Well, I guess I gave you the easy version the first time. Every market is different. Even within my range, markets differ. Keep in mind I am a small company. Including myself I have a 4 man crew. I climb almost everything myself. We have 2 1 tons, a chipper, and a loader (its a backhoe with a removable hoe). For many years I had only 3 guys and aimed for $250 an hour. I aim for about $300 now with 4 guys. Certain affluent neighborhoods can support higher rates and more meticulous service. My goal is $7000 a week with not more than 40 hours per man payroll. that's where I need to be to grow and make a decent, not extravagant, living and I can get work at that rate. Spring and winter can be tough. People get desperate in winter and bids fall real low. If I am slow, I need to drop my rates too. In spring, people are trying to recover from winter and bids are still low until the season heats up. You have to anticipate the trends and go with it to an extent. The more work I have lined up, the higher I bid, or I start giving winter bids. A winter bid is slightly under my normal rates but higher than what my competition will be biding when it actually is winter and they have no work and my customer agrees to wait till winter to get the work done to get the savings vs the do it now price. I've been working in the same area for 17 years, so I have a good feel for what others will bid for a job and that's why my rates are where they are. There are always some low bidders that I won't shoot myself in the foot to compete with. You have to figure out your cost and what you need to take home, plus something to grow with. For me, it took a few years to figure out where I need to be. Hopefully I will be getting a bucket truck tomorrow and that will get me off of the job site more often and out doing more bids. It will also make some jobs much easier/ quicker, but not all. So the way I bid will probably change. Until I get into it, I won't know for sure how to best adjust.
 

CanaryBoss

Well-Known Member
Hourly rate X estimated time. I never share how I come up with it unless asked directly. I don’t care if it’s a grand oak over a glass house-my rate is the same. When I used to have to rent stuff, I would add that in. When I can use the crane, I add that in. $200 per hour. Usually it lowers my overall rate though because my normal $500 per hour rate for my lift, chipper, skid, and grapple goes way faster with the crane. For example a $2500 five hour job might only take 2.5 hours with the crane so the $700/ hour rate would only be $1750. Crane work is the best deal I can offer. Yesterday a gentleman had us out for a 10 hour daily Rate with crane so it had to be $7k
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
See Canary has a much different market than I do. I do $7000 a week, he does it in a day. No one does that in a day in my market. Also, no one has a grapple saw in my area. Hey @CanaryBoss , what does Davey charge in your area? They charge $90 per man hour here. I often exceed my goal of $75 per man hour. All depends on the job and the neighborhood.
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
And come to think of it, we get more work done per hour than Davey. They are the highest price around my area most of the time. Its not just just about the hours, but the productivity. I will never beat a crew with the right machines when they can use them, but they can't touch me on a technical rigging job. I have a niche there. I did a tree a couple weeks ago where I made $500 an hour (whole crew) for two days (one tree). It was very technical, no machine access unless someone has a 200 foot radius boom that can setup on a step slope.
 

CanaryBoss

Well-Known Member
See Canary has a much different market than I do. I do $7000 a week, he does it in a day. No one does that in a day in my market. Also, no one has a grapple saw in my area. Hey @CanaryBoss , what does Davey charge in your area? They charge $90 per man hour here. I often exceed my goal of $75 per man hour. All depends on the job and the neighborhood.
Davie is not established residentially here. My rates are higher than others here but my equipment allows for it because of the volume I can accomplish. We shoot for $12,500 a day currently. My small crews do 2500 to 3000-that’s just bucket and chipper and my big crews do 4500-5000, thats tracked lift one more person, skid, chipper, loader, etc. my big crews can easily do double what my small ones can. for people who need a lot, it’s the best value. My small crews are best suited to handle $250 to $1000 jobs. The setup/breakdown process is easier so they don’t loose so much time in traveling, etc. still, my small crews hourly rate is ultimately about 90 per man hour. My big crews are $125 but don’t let the numbers fool you cause they are twice as efficient when it’s big work. Confusing huh?
 

Serf Life

Active Member
Winter rate usually worth it to get more work then, or "we can postpone this to freeze up and it will be cheaper" as it is less manicured cleanup (fuck raking in snow, and no leaves) and less chance of turf damage so faster takedowns. Have target per hour, and add x amount for what gear and how many loads of chips/wood etc. I charge travel to job but not round trip, unless it's via boat. Competiton super varied: I bid $1200 for job and made out well, another company bid $6000 and are hacks. Don't race to the bottom but also don't skin the sheep.
 

Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
To be frank, every area will have different rates, it's has to do with competition, what does your local market tolerate? Here in the interior of BC it's mostly farms in the country and homes surrounding a large lake. We have 2 local contractors to service this area and several outside businesses such as Davey and Asplundh and a few others. Disposal of waste is cheap and easy, unlike the city where they charge by the ton and there are only a handful of sites that take tree waste. So the cost to do work here is cheaper because the competition can do the work for less. I aim for 1600 a day with bucket, chipper, 1 ton chip truck, and 3 man crew. I find for estimating purposes its far easier to break it up into 2 hour minimum blocks than by the hour. I won't even do a job for a 1 hour charge. Now keep in mind when we add a loader I still bid the job as if it were done all by hand, the loader speeds up the process so what was bid as 1600 day can be done in say 4 hours? potentially? But that seems to work well because you are still tied to competition rates for total job pricing.
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
Mind sharing the rate you try to bid at? Everyone in my area seems all over the place and it’s hard to find a middle.
It's important, particularly in public forums to avoid engaging in any pricing conversations, which might give the impression of price fixing. I'm sure that's not at all your intention, but you really have to sharpen your own pencil, and figure out how much you'd have to charge for a given service in order to perform it sustainably and profitably.

This is why at arborist workshops, presenters will dodge questions on pricing. They may discuss details with you in private after the end of the presentation, but not in a public forum.
 

SomethingWitty

Arkansawyer
It's important, particularly in public forums to avoid engaging in any pricing conversations, which might give the impression of price fixing. I'm sure that's not at all your intention, but you really have to sharpen your own pencil, and figure out how much you'd have to charge for a given service in order to perform it sustainably and profitably.

This is why at arborist workshops, presenters will dodge questions on pricing. They may discuss details with you in private after the end of the presentation, but not in a public forum.
Materials and labor, just like everything else.
 

Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
It's important, particularly in public forums to avoid engaging in any pricing conversations, which might give the impression of price fixing. I'm sure that's not at all your intention, but you really have to sharpen your own pencil, and figure out how much you'd have to charge for a given service in order to perform it sustainably and profitably.

This is why at arborist workshops, presenters will dodge questions on pricing. They may discuss details with you in private after the end of the presentation, but not in a public forum.
I think that's being a bit extreme? Price fixing requires two or more businesses engaged in the same business type agreeing to charge a set price in order to influence a bidding outcome or a price payed for sold goods or services. Is anyone here doing that? I think not. This is not much different than someone asking how much I charge to do a job, it would be inappropriate to discuss the details with competition until after the bid was secured and a deal struck.
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
I think that's being a bit extreme? Price fixing requires two or more businesses engaged in the same business type agreeing to charge a set price in order to influence a bidding outcome or a price payed for sold goods or services. Is anyone here doing that? I think not. This is not much different than someone asking how much I charge to do a job, it would be inappropriate to discuss the details with competition until after the bid was secured and a deal struck.
Then you're welcome to proceed....and you'll understand why I won't. All good.
 
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