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hourly bobcat

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by karl klein, Sep 13, 2002.

  1. karl klein

    karl klein Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    i was wondering what is a average hourly rate for a 763 bobcat.
  2. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    I don't know what you would need to make for a Bobcat. If you bought it new and I bought a $10,000 unit used, our costs would vary tremendously.

    That is my "disclaimer" if you will. If I had a Bobcat and it was the type of unit I am describing, I would try to charge as much as the customer was willing to pay. Honestly, that is a perfect machine to charge out hourly because it is not that efficient. You sure would not want to use that without a big snow blade (at least!) or pusher box on per push accounts.

    I would see if they were willing to pay $75 an hour. My impression is that there are lots of guys out there charging between $50 and $60 an hour, but that does not mean YOU have to.

    Personally, I'd not spend $30,000 on a new machine and charge it out at $50 an hour, but to each his own. If you charge $50 an hour, the machines activities are not earning enough to buy a new machine when it needs to be replaced.

    Maybe a price of $50-$60 an hour could be profitable? Some contractors charge in hourly increments where partial hours are charged as a full hour. For example, if it takes 1 hour and 17 minutes to service an account, the customer is charged for 2 hours of service.

    Others charge for a minimum number of hours. If you tell a customer that you have a three hour minimum, knowing it will take about 2 hours to service his lot, you can charge $150 for service and $50 for an hour (with no minimum) for your service at an adjacent lot that does not require trailering the machine. Suddenly, you are earning just shy of $70 per hour when all is said and done.

    These don't have to be used as "tricks" on the customer. Many customers are quite willing to agree to just about anything when they think they are getting such a good deal at $XX per hour. These are just a couple of tricks to overcoming the low pricing strategies of your competition while not cutting your own throat! Honestly, using one or both of the above strategies is the ONLY way I would bother to send a skid steer out without a pusher box given the low hourly rates they fetch.

    Sorry to write a book, but I hope I have been of some assistance.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2002
  3. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I think it's more to the point to say that your monthly payments would vary tremendously. There's still some life left in a $10,000 machine, but in relative terms, the later hours in a machine's life cost a lot more per hour in maintenance dollars. (Not to mention the work you're missing while doing that "unscheduled" type of maintenance.)

    If you have enough work to make the monthly payments, put enough aside for maintenance, and have some profit left over to put food on the table, you're in business. How good of a business is still an open question.

    That's the ideal rate alright. I think Karl was probably looking more for the answer to the question,"How much have you guys found your customers are willing to pay per hour? I neither want to leave money on the table nor get a reputatiuon as being overly expensive."

    And from what I've read here about rates for various pieces of equipment, Karl, you're not going to get a definitve answer because so much is relative to your particular part of the country. Between $50 and $75 per hour certainly sounds like it's in the right ballpark, but that's a difference of $200 in an eight hour day.
    If you put a pusher on your machine you're giving the customer better efficiency, so they should expect to pay more.

    The tricks Snojob refers to will certainly bring up your average revenue per hour on the hour meter, but your cheaper competitors are probably already using the same tricks. I'd sooner charge the higher rate and work efficiently enough to gain the reputation as someone who gives the customer every nickel's worth of what they're paying for--which means you might have to work harder for less cash until that reputation's been established.
  4. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    "That is a difference of $200 per eight hour day."

    I have found that much variance in pricing within my own market. The only way to truly know what others charge hourly in your market is to call and ask. I would not be surprised to have that much variation in pricing in many urban markets. Maybe my market is an exception, but I think there is a lot more price variation in most markets than the average contractor believes.

    To me, that sends the message that my work is worth the value I place on it, within reason.

    "The later hours in a machine's life cost a lot more per hour in maintenance dollars."

    Very true, but $15,000-$20,000 (the difference in buying a new machine and used, paying cash) can sure buy a whole lot of maintentance.

    "(Not to mention the work you're missing while doing that "unscheduled" type of maintenance.)"

    If you have the amount of business to justify a $25,000+ machine, you would not be likely to buy a $10,000 used machine.

    "I think it's more to the point to say that your monthly payments would vary tremendously."

    Yes, I thoroughly agree. I would be most likely pay cash for my machine and others may be paying interest on borrowed money which could easily put the final cost of JUST the machine at $40,000 including interest. So that would make for quite a variance as you said.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2002

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    In this area the most you could bill that out for is 55-60 per hour since that size machine is very common. However as has been suggested if you get even a small plow (7-7.5) your rates can go up considerably especially if your client requires a machine like that (they are popular around here at malls and loading docks). I have had contractors sub them to us for as little as 40 per hour without a plow.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2002
  6. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    I'll take a dozen, send them down here! Around here, they go from about $100 on up with a plow or pusher.

    Is that $40 WITH an operator? For the most part here, good operators almost always get "prevailing wages", which are between $35 - $50 an hour.

  7. karl klein

    karl klein Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    thanks guys!

    i was looking to use it during big storms to clean up piles and get piles moved.
    i will be paying someone buy the hour to use there machine.
  8. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Although the Bobcat may be available and convenient, it might not be the right tool for relocating snow. If you are using it for small lots, it may be sufficient. However, it could be quite time consuming to use for relocating or stacking piles from large lots.

    If you owned the machine yourself, that would be one thing. Then, I'd say utilize it and make it pay for itself year round by using it in the winter. However, if I was you, I would try to find someone to subcontract a backhoe or loader.

    If you factor in what your sub is going to want to make hourly for a Bobcat, you won't make anything (or VERY little). If you could get a backhoe with operator for $50 or $60 per hour (not as difficult to do as you may think) you could charge $75 or more per hour and at least make money from what work the sub does.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    Chuck I wish that was a common rate but its not unfortunately. That’s the CHEAPEST you can get one for, but the going rate is still 50-60 per hour for that machine and yes that is with an operator. The larger skid steers vary anywhere from 65-100 again depending on many factors, size, operator, no operator and lastly just how much does the sub want the work? Skids with plows are not common in these parts and they do command considerably more per hour. To keep these figures in perspective, in this area an 8' plow subs for 50-65 per hour.
  10. Temco

    Temco Member
    Messages: 66

    I did snow removal for a major property owner here last winter and got $50/hour for a 773 Bobcat with an operator to clear shipping docks and moving piles. People I talked to around here said that was pretty cheap and should easily be getting $65/hour. I also inquired with the highway dept. who said they don't use them that much but when they do (to clear banks off sidewalks for new snow) they pay $90/hour.................pretty big differences in prices around here I guess.
  11. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    It all comes down to how much your client will pay for the service and if you can get away with chargeing more.
  12. guido

    guido PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 261

    From what I've seen

    For Snow Removal work.........

    I've seen from $35 - $125 WITH an Operator. If it was me, and I was providing an operator...I would definetly be aiming at the $80 to $125 range.
  13. litle green guy

    litle green guy Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    we get around 125.00 around here