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Author Topic: Cutting ties  (Read 1033 times)

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Offline taylorsmissbeehaven

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Cutting ties
« on: November 01, 2017, 07:17:20 am »
I have an opportunity to cut a couple hundred ties for a farmer that I have worked with several times in the past. He is a great guy and I want to be fair to him but I am afraid that there is not enough meat on the bone for us both. He has to fell the trees, clean up the mess, buck and move the logs, and haul the ties. He has a fella that will help in exchange for the slabs to sell as firewood. No side lumber, just strait ties. Do you guys that cut ties charge your regular board foot prices or is there a better way? Thanks for all advice and insight, Brian
Opportunity is missed by most because it shows up wearing bib overalls and looks like work.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 07:25:10 am »
   I'd suggest using my hourly rate to be fair to both of you. If the helper keeps the logs coming and the finished ties moving the customer will do better and fair to you. If he is slow and takes too much time is still fair to you.
Howard Green
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Offline JB Griffin

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 10:52:28 pm »
Not cutting any lumber off those ties is beyond wasteful.  Most of the time on bigger high grade logs the lumber  might be worth more than the tie.

I think the question is more do you know what will make a tie and what wont. The tie market is very, very volatile right now, dont take much to get culled. Most mills around are still on a quota.

Fair to you may not be fair to me, so I wont comment.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 02:16:54 am »
Hourly is the way to go on this. Charging Bd/Ft for effectively 4 cuts wouldn't be fair on the client, and would probably make the deal uneconomic. You need to work out what a fair hourly rate is for you. This can be based that on your bd / ft rate if you want. Say you would normally saw 150 bd/ft an hour at 50c, then you would be charging $75 an hour.

The incentive is then on the customer to get things set up with good logs / help / machinery so he gets the most product from your hours work. A tie should come off and a new log in it's place as quick as practical, and you just keep the saw humming. o

Firewood is a valid end use for the slabs. Sure you might recover some boards, but then the sawing takes twice as long, and is the value of the boards worth it? Firewood is worth "X$" per cord, and slabs with a bit of "meat" left in them make great firewood, with no need to split anything.  This is assuming the logs are smallish, big enough to make a tie, so a grade above "firewood", and you aren't slabbing off 8" of wood from each side.  :D It's basically the helpers pay, so don't short change him. He's thinking he's getting some meaty mill slabs that he can just lop to length with his chainsaw and his next winters heating is sorted, or with that many logs, he can sell some and make more cash that way?
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 06:36:15 am »
Around here hed prolly make more $ selling the logs than sawing em but i havent seen the logs.
Boy, back in my day..

Offline drobertson

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 06:46:15 am »
without the proper equipment this endeavor sounds sketchy at best for every one, except maybe the firewood guy. I would be sure to have an outlet for the ties, and I would also find somewhere to go with the outside lumber.  It sounds like you will need to find the price per tie, maybe use this as a starting point for figuring what you will need to do the job.. My bet is, unless he likes working for nothing,  he may wish he had not started.
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 06:50:15 am »
Around here hed prolly make more $ selling the logs than sawing em but i havent seen the logs.

Indeed, good logs at all are more $ as logs.   


Offline taylorsmissbeehaven

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 07:02:12 am »
Yes there is a lot to this endeavor. I have worked with this guy several times. It is an 800 acre cattle farm with plenty of  equipment and folks that are not afraid of work. He has already talked to a buyer that will take all we can produce. I know what the man will pay him as well and I dont think that there is enough for both of us to be happy. Just thought I might seek the advice of those that had been there done that! Thanks to all, Brian
Opportunity is missed by most because it shows up wearing bib overalls and looks like work.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2017, 07:15:55 am »
Another thought here for you, maybe just offer the guy some $ for each tie log, say a discount on what the ties would have sold for but taking out the sawing costs.  You get the logs, saw them, take the side lumber, any actual slabs get to firewood guy, and you get the right to sell any of the logs if you find a few that make a higher grade, take them down to your local exporter.

Offline taylorsmissbeehaven

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 07:39:08 am »
Thats a good idea, thank you NW. I work a full time job and expect to show up to a pile of logs and a large loader ready to go. I dont have time to deal with the logs, I just run the saw! The farmer has large equipment, 18 wheelers, and plenty of help. I am going to suggest that he look into selling logs as a consideration. There are many outdoor wood burners in the area so getting rid of heavy slabs will be no problem. This speeds the process and keeps him from paying me for additional cutting. My saw and I know for a fact that he has enough wood to repair barns and fences for the rest of his life!! Ill keep y'all posted as to success or not as this all plays out, Brian
Opportunity is missed by most because it shows up wearing bib overalls and looks like work.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 08:56:36 am »
drobertson,

   I most respectfully disagree. If Brian can establish a sawing rate (BF or hourly) that will make him acceptable wages he should do okay. Same with the firewood guy. It even sounds like the owner has found a buyer who will pay what he finds acceptable so sounds to me like everybody wins in this deal. If anybody finds during the actual process they are not making decent/acceptable compensation they can stop or renegotiate the contract. Everybody should know in pretty short order. Nobody may get rich but everybody could make decent wages out of this.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Magicman

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2017, 09:20:35 am »
When I encounter situations such as this, if the cut list is lumber; I saw "bf rate".  If cants/ties; I saw "hourly rate".  My opinion regarding "what if" or "what else" the customer could/should have done is a moot point. 

My job is to saw the cut list, get paid, and leave a happy customer.
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 09:38:44 am »
WV, you are right, it can be done, but on first reading, it sounded like a hand over hand type situation, which is pretty brutal,,I thought he said they between the two not enough meat on the bones,, :D after reading the fact of hired hands, and equipment, well, sawing is sawing.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy,  If one could get 12 ties in an hour, not sure of the mill, that's a good day, it's still not counting the logging, just saying, honestly, I hope he gets the job, around here I would have jumped all over it.  But I would have urged to get some outside stock, depending on the wood type and grade.  I see some very heavy outside slabs coming off with a four face cut.  And with the grading and  allowable wane restrictions, some logs maybe sawn past the point of no return, thus making some very prime firewood. anyway, its fun to talk about it, still wish I had my saw,,,
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline paul case

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2017, 07:23:03 pm »
My guess is that the help that is gona unload those heavy slabs will not be happy nor last long.

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Offline 4x4American

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 08:08:57 pm »
I don't see any way to do it besides by the bf..ask the tie buyer if he'll pay for the ties based on how many hours you guys got into logging and sawing...ain't gonna happen!  Once you start playing with the big boys, everything is done by the bf, then you have a solid set price for what you're doing too, no surprises.  I still think he'd be better off to sell the logs though..unless you find a market for the side lumber I don't see it being worth messing with it.
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2017, 10:09:41 pm »
It's all the more reason I mentioned as a few others,, get the outside lumber, sell what is sawn,  you get the price you need, a quarter a board foot should make you money, if not? then he surely won't be happy with on hourly rate,, there will be culls, someone needs to get that locked in for sure, handling that is another issue,, out side lumber,  firewood has value, not the same as flooring, but again, wood types is the factor here,
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline taylorsmissbeehaven

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2017, 07:30:07 am »
I have not seen these logs yet but I suspect that They are gonna be a lot of leaners from the edge of pastures he is cleaning up and expanding. I assume that is why the firewood guy is so interested. I have enjoyed reading what everyone here has to say. I suggested to him last night that he look into selling logs. He said he would but I could tell he would rather saw. We always have a good time, really nice folks, BIG family that all works together. I look forward to seeing how this all plays out! Brian
Opportunity is missed by most because it shows up wearing bib overalls and looks like work.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2017, 08:03:04 am »
Sounds like the social side of the process would be worth any hassle. 

Offline drobertson

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2017, 09:19:05 am »
Sounds like the social side of the process would be worth any hassle.
nativewolf you got that right, sounds like these folks would make it right regardless,  I had an older land owner that I sawed for many times, it was always a pleasure working with and for him.  I still remember the first job from 2005, I laugh now because on our first talk I said I reckon I can't work for you, he asked why,  I said, Sir, you have too sharp a pencil! :D Well fact is he still does, but he is fair, and straight, honest pay for an honest day.  All that saying, handling ties is a honest days work, rollers would sure be handy to have near by.
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Cutting ties
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2017, 10:37:04 am »
   I still say charge by the hour or by the log/tie.  Any reason to think you could not cut one log every 10 minutes as a conservative estimate? If so and you charge $10 each is $60/hour. More if you saw more.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"