If you could only have one??????

JaredDTS

New Member
Location
Kill Devil Hills
Do you have something to chip into for a chipper? Do you have a trailer to haul the mini and also haul brush? If you have access to a place to dispose of brush at a reasonable price a mini and trailer will save you a lot of strain on your body. I find chips are easy to get rid of to people for free and save disposal fees. You can usually find something to do with logs, I used to split them and give away or sell the wood to save money when I started so a chipper and a small truck with a dump was a good starting point.

When I got a mini I had to purchase a trailer to haul it first so that was an added cost to getting one. If I could I would get a mini and just haul the brush/logs off to dispose of, that is probably the quickest, if you have a reasonable location to dump. It's also less maintenance than a chipper can be. Some people around here just burn the brush and some even hire the kn site dumpsters and just load everything into those and pay the disposal. Disposal fees are fairly high here, though.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
Which one would you choose if you could only own and operate one machine? Mini skid or chipper? Why??
It really depends on your business model, which is dependent on your market and what you have to offer.

At this point in my career, I could make a go with the 7" chipper I just bought by focusing on reduction pruning combined with mulching. That necessitates a PHC clientelle base, and knowledge of how to reduction prune.

I could likewise start up with an ms661 and a predator stump grinder attachment for it.

Or, I could buy a mini with a bmg and do just about any job here, because I can sub wood hauling for cheap - ~$300/load. Down in Orlando area i was charged $700/load, so a chipper seems more like a requirement there.

The mini is usually the go-to despite what the slightly addled elderly gentleman from NJ says (@Mark Chisholm ), but it depends on the market and your abilities. Try casting a wide net and seeing what the market says, then respond to that as you are willing and able.
 

mphillips

New Member
Location
DFW
Guys I really appreciate all the responses and advice. Just to clarify my situation a little bit. My wife and I co-own our tree care company. We’re in our fifth year and growing organically every year. We stay booked out two to three weeks though out the year with only word of mouth and referrals. I’m afraid to do any advertising due to the fear of not being able to keep up. We even had a slight back log during the winter this year. We live in the Dallas Ft Worth area so we’re able to to tree work all year long. We’re a full service company that specializes in the care and preservation of trees. We do mostly pruning, cabling/bracing, airspade work and PHC with some removals. We also do plantings in the fall. I’m one of only a hand full of Certified Arborists in the metroplex who are on the job site and doing/supervising the work. I have customers who have chosen to hire and work with us purely because of this. I’m often doing the work by myself due to the serious lack of available quality labor. I’m able to use part time help or sub contracted labor when it’s available but that’s not always the case. I’ve even offered $20.00/hr and no responses. We’re at a point now we’re we’ve got to make our first equipment purchase in order to keep up. I currently use an f250 and a 16 ft long goose neck dump trailer with 4 ft sidewalls. I chose a dump trailer due to the utilitarian aspect. Often times when we do airspade work I sell mulch ring installs of up to 7 radio feet so we deliver and install bulk mulch. I also transport trees in the trailer. Also, over half the pruning and removals we do is on properties in municipalities that pick up debris as long as it’s stacked curbside. If we do need to haul debris I have a landfill that’s around 10 miles away and charges $40.00 a ton. It’s about $50.00 a cut down load for me. I feel at this point I have a harder time getting help than I do getting rid of debris. I guess that’s the only downside to serving an area that has a medium family income of around $100,000. I’m going to eventually own a chipper and a mini but I’m just trying to decide which to purchase first. Thanks for all the help ladies and gents!!
 

Barc Buster

Well-Known Member
Guys I really appreciate all the responses and advice. Just to clarify my situation a little bit. My wife and I co-own our tree care company. We’re in our fifth year and growing organically every year. We stay booked out two to three weeks though out the year with only word of mouth and referrals. I’m afraid to do any advertising due to the fear of not being able to keep up. We even had a slight back log during the winter this year. We live in the Dallas Ft Worth area so we’re able to to tree work all year long. We’re a full service company that specializes in the care and preservation of trees. We do mostly pruning, cabling/bracing, airspade work and PHC with some removals. We also do plantings in the fall. I’m one of only a hand full of Certified Arborists in the metroplex who are on the job site and doing/supervising the work. I have customers who have chosen to hire and work with us purely because of this. I’m often doing the work by myself due to the serious lack of available quality labor. I’m able to use part time help or sub contracted labor when it’s available but that’s not always the case. I’ve even offered $20.00/hr and no responses. We’re at a point now we’re we’ve got to make our first equipment purchase in order to keep up. I currently use an f250 and a 16 ft long goose neck dump trailer with 4 ft sidewalls. I chose a dump trailer due to the utilitarian aspect. Often times when we do airspade work I sell mulch ring installs of up to 7 radio feet so we deliver and install bulk mulch. I also transport trees in the trailer. Also, over half the pruning and removals we do is on properties in municipalities that pick up debris as long as it’s stacked curbside. If we do need to haul debris I have a landfill that’s around 10 miles away and charges $40.00 a ton. It’s about $50.00 a cut down load for me. I feel at this point I have a harder time getting help than I do getting rid of debris. I guess that’s the only downside to serving an area that has a medium family income of around $100,000. I’m going to eventually own a chipper and a mini but I’m just trying to decide which to purchase first. Thanks for all the help ladies and gents!!
This has mini written all over it
 

Mark Chisholm

Administrator
Administrator
My guess is only you could truly make the best decision.


A mini will drag and forward. If you don't have to dispose of it, then that would be the choice. If you have to haul debris, then I would almost guarantee that I could finish most jobs in normal sized yards quicker with a chipper than i could with a mini. The time to load and unload brush and the wasted space that hauling creates is painful.

If you need the mini for other tasks than that is a different deal.
 

CjM

Active Member
Location
Asheville
[QUOTE="Mark Chisholm, post: 650371, member: 8" hoses break, tracks fly off, fans get rammed and machines over hear almost daily, so there is always perspective.
[/QUOTE]

They're both loud, dirty, expensive old possums
 

marne

Member
Location
TX
My vote for a zahn with turf tires. Most simple, fast, lightweight and nimble machine out there. But go for those turf tires, seems as if you don't need traction but the least impact on pristine lawns.
 

RogerM

Well-Known Member
just a thought...... For the cost of a decent sized mini...maybe you could buy a used chipper for keeps and rent a mini for several jobs, when needed.
 

owScott

Well-Known Member
Location
Lafayette
Hard to really understand how to answer this, but usually the first machine any tree worker buys is a chipper. It saves so mucht room.
Mark I agree, a mini can do alot more tasks but that doesnt seem to be the real question. A chipper is the 1st piece in the progression along with a dump truck. Loading a trailer on big removals isnt effiecent. Using a grapple truck to haul brush isnt part of this equation either. I have seen people, most of us starting out, go from a trailer to a chipper and say it is much easier and faster. Never seen anybody go from chipping back to a trailer and say wow thats better. A trailer maybe for a small operation doing prunes maybe but for any company doing alot of production or removals trailering brush IMO is silly. I understand a chipper and truck is a big expense compared to a trailer but the amount production it brings to the equation will far surpass its expense in the long run. I respectfully disagree with most of you treeguys here on this 1. A mini before you have a way of getting rid of brush effiecently doesnt make sense. This opinion is assuming we are talking about a tree service not somebody sub contracting or doing just cut and leave work.
 
Kask Stihl NORTHEASTERN Arborists Wesspur TreeStuff.com Kask Teufelberger Westminster X-Rigging Teufelberger Tracked Lifts Climbing Innovations
Top Bottom