Tree Surgery and Understanding the Cost
Tree surgery can be an expensive business, so it important that the customer understands the cost of everything that is involved.
Many tree surgeons find it a little frustrating to be questioned about the price of a job that they have charged for. It becomes even more frustrating when it comes after they have already completed the previously quoted and accepted for job! However, we all know how expensive everything is nowadays, and it is always important to be vigilant about what your money has been spent on.
This article will give you an insight into the costs of running a professional tree surgery company, so that you have a greater understanding of what is behind the price you have been quoted.
Generally, if a customer has been watching a team of arborists hard at work all day, they will feel they have got their money’s worth. However, what a customer cannot always understand is why they have been charged £250 + VAT when the team have completed their task in an hour, packed up and are ready to leave the site.
As a comparison, take into consideration what a plumber or electrician will turn up to a job with: a van and a tool bag. They will then charge roughly £40-60 per hour.
To put the comparatively expensive price of tree surgery in perspective, consider the following for when your tree surgeon arrives at your property:
A team of tree surgeons for a day will cost anywhere between £500 and £850 depending on the workers and equipment required for the task. This figure works out at an average of approximately £80 per hour.
A tree surgery team will generally consist of the following equipment, machinery, clothing, and people – the costs of which are broken down below:
- A tipping vehicle – £10-30k
- A woodchipper – £15-30k
- A stump grinder – £8-60k
- A selection of chainsaw and associated hand tools – £4-7k
- Two sets of climbing gear – £1k
- Ladders £200-400
- Two qualified Arborists (training ranges from £5-10k with some larger companies requiring extra training and stand-down days, for example, combined with an average daily wage of approximately £220.00)
- Chainsaw boots, chainsaw trousers, helmets – £400
- Chainsaw petrol and biodegradable oil – varies.
- Insurance Public and Employers liability – £5-10 million cover (not to mention the fact that tree surgery is a comparatively hazardous industry).
[A tree surgeon up a tree]
Other Factors to Consider
Most tree surgeons will typically work on a fixed price rather than at an hourly rate unless the job is more than a few days’ work or a customer has a budget to work to. The reason is generally about needing to meet their daily rate, which, when trying to fit more than one or two small jobs into a day, can be a bit of a juggle and often might not go to plan.
It is important also to note that once having left a site, an allowance of time that it takes to get back to our yards, unload the arisings from the first job before heading off to the next one, must be factored into the initial quotation. This is something that probably will not have come up in conversation or have been mentioned in the quotation, as it is not a significant proportion of the overall cost, but it is still relevant.
Another subject often raised is the cost of low-level pruning and hedge trimming, which is priced at the same rate as undertaking larger tree works. We understand that this is not always intuitive; however, due to the equipment, time, workers, and insurance required, similar levels of costs are involved.
This is only a brief run-down of all the costs involved when taking on a job (from a tree surgeons point of view) but it adds some context as to why you are charged a certain amount for any tree work that you may require.
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