It really depends on your business model, which is dependent on your market and what you have to offer.Which one would you choose if you could only own and operate one machine? Mini skid or chipper? Why??
This has mini written all over itGuys 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!!
Agreed. @mphillips , you are set up for the mini, and you already have great disposal options. Chipping would potentially require you to find new disposal sites/methods and buy a new truck. Ditchwitch Zahn is a great option if you’re not handling big material often and don’t want to lug plywood or mats around.This has mini written all over it
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.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.