Onsite sawing prices

Further discussion of how people charge for onsite, rough sawmilling services. January 24, 2001

I'd like to hear how you charge for onsite sawing. What do you consider acceptable for a dayís work in fees and expenses? How much lumber do you expect to cut in a day? What region are you operating in?

I charge $150 per thousand board feet and $20 for a blown blade.

I expect to cut 2000 feet per day (average). I cut stickers from their stock (free).

The customer is often present or has a helper handy to stack lumber. (I have a problem with this for insurance and risk reasons.)

I expect to average not more than 10% expenses, although 25% is acceptable. I expect $300 per day income and as much as $75 in expenses is acceptable. Or a $225+ a day profit (on average).

I set "saw log" guidelines for the customer. 8-36 inches, 8-21 feet, clean, straight, stacked, limbs trimmed flush.

I don't have different rates for different stock or charge for repositioning, mileage, or dirty logs. I establish a minimum dayís work (2000 feet of lumber on the far away ones). I don't bring handling equipment.

Forum Responses
I am in New Hampshire and I charge $400 a day. I bring 10 or more blades and move the mill as many times as the customer wants. If I scan, anything found they either remove or pay me to. If they scan or no scan, I charge $25 for a broken blade. The daily charge is for ten hours in the summer and eight in winter. I stop about 20 minutes for lunch and to grease the rollers and track. The best value for the customer is for him/her and one or more people to help.

Working alone, I have cut up to 1500 board feet. On the worst day, 650 board feet, due to nails and dirty logs. The best day was 4200 feet of 2 by oak with three experienced, strong helpers, clean, large logs and no stickers or stacking involved.

Iím from Michigan. I stopped charging by the board foot because the logs often looked like they had been dragged through the mud and air-dropped at the site. I spent too much time moving and cleaning logs, and customers werenít too helpful.

I now charge $50 per hour, from the time I leave my home to the time I finish the job (less down time and lunch). I also charge $20 per blade if I hit something in the log, even if it is an older blade thatís been sharpened 3 or 4 times. And I charge more if they want a loader or the edger.

I mill 1000-3000 board feet per 8 hour day, depending on size and type.

I live in N. Florida and the guy here charges me as follows. If I bring the logs to him, $35 an hour whether I help or not, plus $25 per blown blade. If he comes to my site, $25 setup fee, plus $35 and hour for milling (whether I help or not) and $35 an hour for any tractor work involved. Same deal for the blown blades.

I charge 28 cents per board foot for everything but 1Ē, in which case the price is 31 cents. One dollar per mile, one way, plus more if lodging is necessary. $8 for a blade sharpening, $20 for a broken blade. $25 for each move, $65 per hour for skidding, bucking, etc. I give every customer a price list, so there are no hidden charges. No two milling jobs are the same, so I try to cover all considerations.

I charge $50 an hour for small logs, ugly logs or logs shorter than 8 feet. I charge 25 cents per board foot for logs 8 - 18 feet, 30 cents per board foot over 20 feet, 1/4 sawn, or under 1" thick. $10 for trashed blade.

I've been sawing for 6 years and charge $38 per hour. If customers help, they save money. If the customer doesn't care about quality, I work fast. Depending on the situation, I charge $12 - $20 if I hit something in the log.