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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job
If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.

Killer deal for a new service


Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.
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  #1  
Old 07-14-2009, 10:46 AM
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Default Killer deal for a new service

I got a call from the customer who's yard I finished yesterday. He wants an estimate on chipping up a bunch of branches that were piled in different areas of his property. He explained he would be back in town on the 15th and asked me to get him an estimate. I am still tossing it around as I have no clue what to charge and for that matter I am not equipped for such a job HOWEVER. I called up our care taker and asked him to look and see if there was a chipper/shredder at our ranch, He did and there was but it was old and he said very hard to start. I remember not to long ago a friend of mine mentioned having one he was selling so I called him. He explained he still had it and wanted $100 for it. He said it is this model

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...711&lpage=none

HE said its only about a year old and still looks near new and runs great so of course it was a brainless decision, he will be delivering it today. Now I will be able to offer this service, save over $700 on the equipment after taxes are worked in and to make matters better rather than filling my yard wast can with tree and bush clippings from customers I can shred them up and use them in the flower beds here at home or at a customers house for yet another service. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2009, 11:34 AM
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I bet if Andy jumped in here, he would have a lot to say.

How are those chippers new?

Have you figured out yet how much you want to charge per hour to use the machine?
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Old 07-14-2009, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I bet if Andy jumped in here, he would have a lot to say.

How are those chippers new?

Have you figured out yet how much you want to charge per hour to use the machine?
Steve. New this chipper is $799 from Lowes. I have no idea how much to charge for the service so suggestions are more than welcome. I don't want to rip anyone off but at the same time I don't want to rip myself off.
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonw View Post
Steve. New this chipper is $799 from Lowes. I have no idea how much to charge for the service so suggestions are more than welcome. I don't want to rip anyone off but at the same time I don't want to rip myself off.
Congratulations on the chipper purchase. One of those deals you can't afford to pass up.

If it were me I would charge at least $50.00-$60.00/hour for that service.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:00 PM
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Thats really not a bad bid. I am estimating only about 2, maybe 3 hours for the job so its an easy hundred bucks.
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:31 PM
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Jason,

Have you looked at the branches? How big are they and any idea if it's hardwood or softwood, this little chipper is pretty good at shredding leaves and small branches, chipping up to 1 1/2", I understand it's rated for 3" however with that size motor it will never do it based on my experience.

If it's softwood bows, ferns, hedges...it will struggle as it's self feed, if the branches are dry it's desperate hard on the blades so carry a spare set and the tools to change them, once they start to dull it will no longer feed.

As for the rates, we run larger auto feed chippers, tractor and operator will run:

5" Chipper $65.00
6" Chipper $75.00
8" Chipper $85.00

Extra helper, which is required as it takes two to three people to keep them fed is $35.00 an hour.

Bid your jobs by the hour if you can, these small units are pretty slow, I have two customers that have them and they said what we were doing in an hour takes them at least 6, keep that in mind as customers may complain it's going too slow.

Andy
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for all the info. As far as the branches they are all about 2" or less. Mostly Pine and Oak dried for several years. I decided to use it here at home for a day or 2 before putting in the bid. The customer is very cool and in no hurry so the extra day or so wont hurt my chances at the job. I figured this way I will have a better idea of how long it will take after grinding my own branches up.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:58 PM
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Thanks for all the info. As far as the branches they are all about 2" or less. Mostly Pine and Oak dried for several years. I decided to use it here at home for a day or 2 before putting in the bid. The customer is very cool and in no hurry so the extra day or so wont hurt my chances at the job. I figured this way I will have a better idea of how long it will take after grinding my own branches up.
The critical thing is an extra set of blades, if you do not have a manual I suggest you get one, also take it apart and practise changing the blades, when being paid for the client they want it done fairly quick, I have one extra set for each unit and made a jig for the slow grinding wheel to sharpen them, I have looked at one of these up close a few weeks ago at a clients place, he did a lot of work with it.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:05 AM
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Andy,

If he finds out he needs a more powerful chipper/shredder, is there a next step up you would advise him getting?
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:28 AM
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I tested it out yesterday and have a few observations. First of all its not in as good of condition as I thought. It works fine but could look better but I don't worry about that. Some degreaser and a wipe down and it cleaned right up. My next observation is its quite bigger "about twice the size" of the one pictured. I was putting 2" branches in it and it was spitting them out without even working like no ones business. It dose need a tune up and took a while to get started but once it started it ran like a raped ape. The one way bearing in the pull starter slips every now and then and the air filter is rather dirty but these are things that can be fixed and worked with. The way I see it I still got a hell of a deal and if it will stay running for a couple few hours it will more than pay for itself.
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