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Author Topic: What would you charge to run someones mill?  (Read 1429 times)

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Offline flatrock58

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What would you charge to run someones mill?
« on: May 14, 2017, 04:36:28 pm »
The older gentleman I talked about a while back finally got his loaded LT50 and edger and has a log deck coming.  He has a lot of logs stacked up already and wanted to know what I would charge per hour to cut some into cant for him.  What would be a fair fee per hour to run someones mill?  Figured I would charge $60/hour to run my mill, but never even thought what I would charge to run one for someone. 
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Offline Bigshooter

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2017, 05:06:05 pm »
$30.00 hr seems fair

Offline 4x4American

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 06:25:16 pm »
I agree, $30/hr seems spot on to me.
Boy, back in my day..

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2017, 07:00:39 pm »
How long are you going to be working the job?  If the owner sets the time you run it, you may end up being treated like an employee under tax laws.  That will mean the owner has to pay his half of SS and supply workman's comp.  If you're planning to be an independent contractor, make sure you have control of the time clock, and have other clients. 

I worked as an independent contractor for a long time.  I had other clients besides my primary one.  I was also set up as a business.  I worked on a board foot basis.  I kept the production records.  I also didn't work on equipment or do repairs.  I also didn't make any business decisions.  I simply cut logs to the specs of the owner on his equipment.  They provided logs, additional labor, equipment, and markets.  I supplied a bill each week, and a check was there at the end of the week.   

If this is a short term job, then hourly rates may work well.  It's those long term jobs that you have to be careful of.
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Offline flatrock58

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 09:52:47 am »
Bigshooter and 4x4American.  That is probably about right.  I don't think I would do it for less than $30. 

Ron.  I really have no plans to do it long term.  I just have too much to do and don't have the time.  My neighbor has eome nice pines cut and gave me about 60 logs.  I need to get them cut and stacked sooner than later.  I was going to help him out to get started.  I would be kinda fun to run a brand new LT50 for a while. 
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Offline SlowJoeCrow

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2017, 10:11:25 am »
I think the biggest question is: Would you be able to go back to your LT40 after running the LT50?? ;D

Offline flatrock58

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 10:03:47 pm »
SlowJoeCrow.  You do have a point.  It will be hard to go back to the LT40, but a LT50 is not in the budget. 
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2017, 10:07:58 pm »
Another thing to think about, a new mill is going to have bugs that need to be worked out.  So I would definitely do it hourly especially if he expects you to be fixing whatever it needs. 
Boy, back in my day..

Offline GDinMaine

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2017, 10:20:00 pm »
  My neighbor has eome nice pines cut and gave me about 60 logs.  I need to get them cut and stacked sooner than later.  I was going to help him out to get started.

Wait a moment. Your neighbor gave you 60 nice pine logs and now you are charging for running his mill? You must be quite a nice neighbor. How much is that pine worth? How long is he asking you to run his mill?
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Offline POSTONLT40HD

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2017, 10:26:37 pm »
SlowJoeCrow.  You do have a point.  It will be hard to go back to the LT40, but a LT50 is not in the budget.

I ran an LT50. A buddy of mine let me run his for about an hour and I didn't get paid $30.00.
There's not that much difference.
I'm thinking......

Offline flatrock58

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2017, 10:38:48 pm »
GDinMaine.  They Older guy wanting me to run his mill is not the neighbor who gave me the logs.  The guy with the mill is very wealthy and just wanted a mill to play with. He bought the LT50 with every option and a diesel edger and a log deck and a 12' extension.   He owns a grading company and has at least 100 logs from grading jobs that he needs to cut up.  I asked him how long it is going to take him to learn to run the mill and he said he wants to get someone to run it!  I really have plenty of logs of my own to cut with my mill and was not planning on cutting with his.  I need to finish my workshop and build my solar kiln too.  Retirement is way too busy and the days are way too short.  If it was just cutting an hour or two it would not be a big deal, but he wants me to cut for weeks and I will need to get compensated.  Probably trade out for grading.
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2017, 06:50:15 am »
I agree with the goat.
My neighbor Tim has one.
The only difference I see are the side supports and chain turner.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 07:11:13 am »
$30 per hour is just too low in my opinion.  What do you charge to mill on your own mill?  When you swap for him do you think he's going to swap grading work at $30/hr plus actual equipment costs? 

I would up-sell the situation by offering to do a training class on his 100 logs, you'll teach him how to load, sort, find defects, properly set the mill, mill different cuts, mill different woods, basic maint, etc etc.  I'd video record it for him, at least the informative parts.  Then I'd charge him $75/hour.  Not because you are milling but because you're doing expert work.

Offline sandsawmill14

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2017, 07:31:36 am »
GDinMaine.  They Older guy wanting me to run his mill is not the neighbor who gave me the logs.  The guy with the mill is very wealthy and just wanted a mill to play with. He bought the LT50 with every option and a diesel edger and a log deck and a 12' extension.   He owns a grading company and has at least 100 logs from grading jobs that he needs to cut up.  I asked him how long it is going to take him to learn to run the mill and he said he wants to get someone to run it!  I really have plenty of logs of my own to cut with my mill and was not planning on cutting with his.  I need to finish my workshop and build my solar kiln too.  Retirement is way too busy and the days are way too short.  If it was just cutting an hour or two it would not be a big deal, but he wants me to cut for weeks and I will need to get compensated.  Probably trade out for grading.
if he is in the commercial lumber business $20-$25 an hr is all you will get :)  if he is retail you might get  little more   :)
you have to remember he is alot farther south than alot of you guys and here the average sawyer pay is $18-$20 an hour and thats with 20+ years of experience :-\ everything is cheaper down here

nativewolf  only about 1/4-1/3 of the lumber would average $750 a 1000bdft or above so the bottom 1/2 of the lumber wouldnt even pay the saw bill at $75 an hr plus the expenses  :)

flatrock if you dont want the job price it high enough you will be glad he said yes and if you want the job figure out what you actually make an hour while running your mill and price according  ;)
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2017, 08:40:37 am »
  $30/hr does not sound unreasonable to me. What would a skilled/experienced operator charge to run a bulldozer, drag line or backhoe in your area? I'd think the skill levels to be comparable.
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Offline cwimer973

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2017, 08:59:12 am »
$30 hr x 10 hrs = $300 (magic number)
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Offline PC-Urban-Sawyer

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2017, 11:29:15 am »
$30 hr x 10 hrs = $300 (magicgoat number)

There, fixed that for ya!

Herb

Offline nativewolf

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2017, 11:46:03 am »
GDinMaine.  They Older guy wanting me to run his mill is not the neighbor who gave me the logs.  The guy with the mill is very wealthy and just wanted a mill to play with. He bought the LT50 with every option and a diesel edger and a log deck and a 12' extension.   He owns a grading company and has at least 100 logs from grading jobs that he needs to cut up.  I asked him how long it is going to take him to learn to run the mill and he said he wants to get someone to run it!  I really have plenty of logs of my own to cut with my mill and was not planning on cutting with his.  I need to finish my workshop and build my solar kiln too.  Retirement is way too busy and the days are way too short.  If it was just cutting an hour or two it would not be a big deal, but he wants me to cut for weeks and I will need to get compensated.  Probably trade out for grading.
if he is in the commercial lumber business $20-$25 an hr is all you will get :)  if he is retail you might get  little more   :)
you have to remember he is alot farther south than alot of you guys and here the average sawyer pay is $18-$20 an hour and thats with 20+ years of experience :-\ everything is cheaper down here

nativewolf  only about 1/4-1/3 of the lumber would average $750 a 1000bdft or above so the bottom 1/2 of the lumber wouldnt even pay the saw bill at $75 an hr plus the expenses  :)

flatrock if you dont want the job price it high enough you will be glad he said yes and if you want the job figure out what you actually make an hour while running your mill and price according  ;)

I agree- I don't think it really is attractive from a sawing perspective and thus I wouldn't sell it as sawing rather I'd sell it as expert services-teaching someone to saw/maintain mill.   If he takes it then good money if not then no loss.

Offline flatrock58

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2017, 10:08:37 pm »
Lots of good advice.  I think I am going to price it high and see what he says.  I wouldn't mind spending some time helping him learn with out charging, but sawing all day for weeks when I have lots to do at home will have to be worth it.  He said he will get some local day helpers to offload.  I told him that it won't work if he gets different people every day.  It will take too long to train a new person every day.  It sounds like he doesn't plan on running the mill himself, he wants to have it and pay someone to run it. We will see.
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Offline terrifictimbersllc

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Re: What would you charge to run someones mill?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2017, 06:13:15 am »
I was thinking about this and decided if it were me I'd subtract $15-20/hr (to cover mill and blade costs) from my present rate ($75) and ask that.  Add back an appropriate amount more, to cover whatever driving were involved.  Same here on helping him learn but different view looking at a lot of time.  Charge what makes you want to or at least feeling good to do it. 
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