A FORESTRY contractor can expect to pay upwards of £54,000 in essential costs just to get their business off the ground. 

Equipment, vehicles, fuels and oils are among the unavoidable outgoings faced by small business owners in the sector, even before employee salaries are taken into account. 

The definite figure has been revealed for the first time following a special investigation by two members of the Forestry Contracting Association (FCA). 

The report – detailed in full here – also told of the expenses faced by hand cutters, with equipment alone likely to incur a £4,000 spend. The figures have been called "striking" by industry insiders. 

SPECIAL REPORT: What is the true cost of work for forestry contractors?

Writing in April's Forestry Journal, Nick Adams and Owen Konig said: "A few weeks ago we heard a passing comment about making cutters more professional, repeated to us from a FISA steering group meeting, the implication of which was that all cutters (and by extension anyone working on the tools) are not professional enough. Frankly, that boiled our blood.

"We don’t need to go into all the reasons why that’s utter rubbish here, but it did get us thinking. What does it take to be professional in the eyes of those that make these things up? Qualifications? Experience? What about the kit you’re using? And the costs incurred to do your job?

"We decided to investigate these costs further." 

You can read the full special investigation for FREE here