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starting a tannery?

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by flesher, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. flesher

    flesher New Member

    a tannery capable of tanning about 30,000 deer a year,all new equipment,building and all.some of you old timers give me a ballpark guess on startup cost.
  2. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    Money really is the biggest issue here. The big problem will be finding experienced people to keep it running, to prevent you from pouring all that money down the drain.

  3. flesher

    flesher New Member

    roger that,if finding and training people was easy i would be a tenth as big as you by now.how about that ballpark,you would be real close im sure.
  4. First, you won't want to use new equipment, there are plenty of old ones out there. For instance, a new purple heartwood drum will cost $14,000 without the hardware. A used one can be had for $6,000 with motors and stand. Then each drum has to be wired and fitted with safety features to be OSHA compliant.
    If you only use paddles, a new stainless will run $12,500. If you go with a used fiberglass, $2,000.

    A new building about 75 x 125 will be $250,000 easy. Why so much? For a tannery, you have to pay local goverment waste fees, tap fees to get into their water and sewer, then the concrete pad has to be made to withstand the acids and formed to allow proper drainage on the floor. Also you will have grading fees, parking lot fees, handicap parking fees, setbacks, landscaping fees, etc... If you have a property already, you have to deal with zoning laws, or purchase in a zone for industrial use which usually runs around 40K-50K per acre.

    Ballpark to open a tannery capable of producing 125 deer a day for 5 days a week:$500,000.

    Don't forget for deer you will need to have an extractor to move them that fast, shaving machines, oiling tables, carts, freezers, drying racks, storage areas and crates. That is only if you do wet tans. For dry tanning there is a whole new list of equipment to have.

    Electric deposits, phone deposits, insurance for equipment and contents, worker's insurance, dumpster rental for fleshings, concrete pad for dumpster, I know I am leaving out a lot of little things that you never seem to plan on up front.

    You are fleshing 5,000 a year. Why do you want to jump to 30,000 for startup? Better to start small and grow slowly, adding as you go when you get the capital.
  5. David is making an excellent point but a few things he may have forgotten....say 40 thousand a year for chemicals, another 10k or more a year for saw dust, note not just any sawdust but pure 100% white maple so you wont stain the hides, and then you need to calculate workers comp....these people love tannery's as if the equiipment itself is deadly enough when they tour your facility with there nose covered and their eyes watering wait till they see your fleshers at work...they get dollar signs in their eyes and dream of an early retirement...plan on 20k a year for a small work force of 4. oh and after all of that is done and you have worked 70 hours a week and have over 40k of finished product sitting wating for payment before it can be sent out try to meet payroll each week and then look at the negative balance in your check book and try to figure out where your gona get your paychek from. some one tell me i am wrong i dare you lol

  6. Felpy

    Felpy New Member

    One thing no one has mentioned is there needs to be justification for building a facility with this kind of processing capacity. The "If you build it they will come" mentality is putting the cart before the horse. If you are not maximising you're processing capacity you're losing money and are going to have a hard time making it. You're better off starting small and growing as your customer base grows.
  7. flesher

    flesher New Member

    thanks guys i guess ive got it pretty good doing what im doing,its just tempting when you know the business is out there.i think ill kiss my carpel tunneled fingers,go run 25 more green skins on the machine and go home
  8. i have been out of tannery school for 1 1/2 years. The best thing to do is start small. If u plan on startiing that fast u wont make it...u have to have a few good trained shavers. someone with a few hundred hrs of shaving time under there belt to be good at it and fast at it......U are not making money if your shaver is not running.......good luck
  9. I always figure on talking straight to the horse. In this case give Bruce Rittle a call. He has set up many tanneries himself and can give you the straight poop on needed answeres and questions. You can reach him at 508-823-2358
  10. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    A few hundred hours? A few thousand hours, on the machine, MIGHT qualify as decent. When you are taking on work from other Taxidermists, you will not find them so forgiving for small holes, and false-cuts, when they are paying you to do it right.
    Setting up Tannery's? Does the person setting one up, bring a few experienced shavers with them, or give a useless crash course on shaving, that requires learning how to shave on someone else's skins? Oh Brother, I give up!
  11. I think you're exaggerating a bit. Does it really take someone almost a year working 40 hrs a week on the round knife to be decent?
  12. he isnt exaggerating. we would never let a new flesher learn on our customers product, doing so is asking for problems. we belive it would take close 1000 hours of fleshing experience before allowing them to begin on a customers skins.
  13. I'm surprised! Not trying to start something here but what is a new recruit training on 8 hrs a day 40 hrs a week for almost a year before he touches a skin that makes you money?
  14. I start with WT hides that are mine. If the new shaver does well with those, he gets to top flesh customer hides. I usually take in about 150-200 WT hides from processing plants in the fall. These are used as replacements later in the year. People are always needing replacements for lost hides in our hot Falls and early winter. That gives me a chance to get a new shaver used to the machine and usually yields good product to get my money back later. Of course, this is training that is completely supervised at every turn. Very intensive hands on training will give you a decent shaver in 2 months. They won't be shaving faces on capes yet, but they will know how the machine operates and what it can do to them if they are not focused.
  15. like david at lone star we also puirchse hides for replacement, but a new flesher starts out on hides that have slipped, we resalt them and set them asside, usually the customers dont want to pay for the shipping to return them, at that point we will keep them to be turned into buckskins, and for new fleshers to learn on, once they have done those for many months and can demonstrate proficency we let tem flesh the hides that we bought for replacements and sale, then after a year they will be allowed to graduate to customers skins. it costs alot of money to train a flesher for this industry but if you cut corners you will cut customers capes and thats even more expensive in the long run because it costs you customers.
  16. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    This post has become constipated.
  17. Jason O

    Jason O Active Member

  18. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    I cant do it, and im trying so hard to be nice!
  19. Tell everyone how you do it OS. Are ya'll still cutting the new guys off the clock at 6 months? Making them pay their dues by putting them on big heavy skins? Or has all that finally gone by the wayside?

    The union fleshers are still getting upwards of $25,000 a year to train an apprentice. The full apprenticeship lasts 2 years. Are you geting a check to train the new guys? If you aren't, you should be. Otherwise, you are just giving your talents away. Just another of the myriad of reasons to make a go on your own.

    If you train just one shaver to operate efficiently and that shaver can produce 300 to 400 K per year after the 2nd year, how much money have you made for your business? Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. I always had an idea that if I could train a person to do that, the fee for training them would be chicken scratch compared to the long run profits to be made by the business.

    Two years. One fully trained shaver. $25,000 per year to train.
  20. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    For what they are paying me, and with the added benefits, Ill spit out trainees, all year long. I think asking for more money, would be pushing greed to a new level. Ive got way more responsibility than I have had in the last 20 years, but I actually like it, and I am receiving just compensation. While we are on the subject, in my opinion, unions are nothing but organized crooks, and are the reason 1/2 our jobs, are moving to other countries.