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Charging for chipping

I'm looking to buy a small chipper and not really sure how to monetise it. How much should I be charging customers for its use. I currently charge £10 per builders bag for disposal and am looking to save time and effort by chipping instead 

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  • We run a Forst TR6 for tree work with the cost being part of the job. 

    Using a small chipper for minor / domestic jobs did not make sense for us far quicker to bulk bag the waste . The issue with general non woody waste is it does not chip/shred effectively and has to be mixed with woody waste to go through the machine, we ran an Eliet Major which is probably the best available to deal with this type of waste but with this and other small chippers being gravity fed it was a slow job and you still have the cost of disposal albeit at less volume. If you can leave the waste on site it does make a bit more sense but you still have to factor in the time cost of chipping which will always be slower than rough cutting to put in a bulk bag. You can't really charge extra for chipping as waste disposal is part of the job and reducing disposal volume is to your advantage not the customer so whatever method you choose the cost should be part of the job. We sold the Eliet as it wasn't cost effective.

    So to summarise chipping will not save time or effort that you want, it's an extra time consuming job along with the costs of buying and running a chipper.

  • PRO

    I totally agree with Peter, unless you need the volume down it's a slow.process with a gravity fed chipper.

    And if removed from site you have to make sure if chipped.onto bags that you don't over fill them as chipped waste is heavy.

  • PRO

    A few people want stuff chipped. I used to just charge them an hourly rate, making clear that they had 2 options, we hire in a proper chipper (£100 or so a day) or use my small one, they always chose the later which meant it was very profitable, but mind numbingly boring work

    • PRO

      As previous posts above , tried chipping on site as a solution to removing the waste but too slow and you are handling the the brash more times than just putting in a dumpy bag and taking it to the recycling centre .

      Problem though if you have a small vehicle and can't get all the dumpy bags in one trip and have to make return trips , chipping on site seems like the solution it did not work out for me .

      However one customer allowed us to install the chipper at his property and paid two of us day rate to chip all the waste on dedicated visits .

      Customer moved away and I gave the chipper away , The gardener who took it brought it back as it was not working out too slow and bulky to store .

      New owners of the property like the chipper and find it useful and happy to pay for chipping on a day rate .

      It's Handy chipper with a Briggs and Stratton engine it won't take leaves or soft garden waste but okay with branches and hedge cutting brash but noisy in use , slow but efficient  and produces excellent mulch, I was glad to get rid of it and now it's back and I absolutely hate chipping days  

  • If I've a largish job... try and avoid those these days.........I just fill the trailer... then use the chainsaw in several direction and it reduces to about a third in a couple of minutes.... then keep doingthis till its at the top. Down to the tip to get shot of it all.  Seems the  quickest way for me.   Tried a chipper ages ago and it really wasn't worth the hassle. 

    • Same here Graham,


      Iv tried all the options and things by far the fastest method.. tip it up at the recycle centre and off you go.. If a machine existed that blitzed  anything  and everything and could fit through a front and back door, then we would all have one...The lumag Hc 10 is about the closest I have used that tempted me into buying a shredder but it's just not fast enough...

  • PRO

    I charge £25-£35 per bulk bag of waste. I then run it through my Forest Master FM6DD at the end of the day and compact roughly 4-6 bags into 1. I then take the single (sometimes 2 or 3) bag to my local waste processor which charge £9.00+VAT per bulk bag. It works out extremely profitable and saves me making multiple trips to the tip as I operate out of a VW Caddy so I can't carry much waste in one go. 

    I've tried both options, knowing I can carry 3-4 bags of un-chipped waste or 8+ of chipped waste condensed into 2 makes much more sense. In total I can charge £200+ for waste, spend 1-2 hours chipping and 1 hour transporting, meaning my chipper was paid for within a few trips.

    • Well done for getting so much per bag. I charge a fiver per bag if I have too. I'd rather not take it at all, most rubbish is put into customers Wheely bins. I had a chipper years ago, thought I'd make millions from it, 🤣 sold it as it was far to slow like others above have said.

  • PRO

    In short it depends on your set up and how much you local disposal centre charge....

    I have had several small chippers/shredders and a PTO powered one that fitted on the back of a 25hp compact tractor. If its primarily straight woody waste then they can work well but I'm not sure you will actaully make any money from it when blade wear and fuel costs are taken into account.

    Even with the big machine, hydro self feed, with anti jam etc it wouldn't have coped with todays job (gnarly knobbly beech hedge reduction). Far easier to cart to the tip site and charge £150 a 10x5 high side trailer load for the priveledge.  Customer more than happy.

  • PRO

    I've found the little forest master to be a god send for this work. It's 40kg so is permanently on the van as it takes so little space. On a commercial job I filled 8 cubes worth of pallet box's with chippings which they forklifted into their on site skips. If it wasnt chipped there would have been 32 cubes at least which they simply couldn't dispose of in one go due to volume and finding a forklift driver who wasn't busy was like finding hens teeth

    I often leave the chippings on site as a mulch or take them away knowing that I can get a lot closer to 1000kg in the van which is a lot more difficult with brash that hasn't been chipped. It pays for it self if you can get rid in one load rather than two or three, twice the waste charges plus time and fuel transporting to the green waste site. If you have a small van I would say it would be even more useful 

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