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how to charge

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by jgagnier, Oct 17, 2002.

  1. jgagnier

    jgagnier Junior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 9

    I recently started a small part-time backhoe business. I am wondering how to go about charging customers. Should I charge them hours only when the machine is running or charge for my time on the job? I am asking because i am charging for just machine run time but I sometimes get some people that waste time by calling around for fill, or for instance cutting trees before i can proceed. Also what do you charge for hauling? say, like a load of crushed stone, buy it at the quarry for $125 what would you charge for delivery? Thanks for any help from anyone!
  2. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    Well this how i and others charge.

    1. You can charge by the hour with a 4 hour min. But your time really starts from when you leave your house or where ever you park it.
    2. You can charge for the whole job some times better off if you know where you will be digging good ground to get in and out so you don't loose any money.

    As far as dirt or gravel,stone etc. you can charge them for what ever it cost you or add proffit but you charge by the hour for your truck unless you price the whole job out.
  3. landman

    landman Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 185

    When we run a machine we rent it for a minimum of a 1/2 day rental. We have a JD410 and get $550.00 per day (constitues 8 hrs on the job) we get $400.00 for a 1/2 day. 4 hrs. When it come to snow removal we have a totally diffrent rate. We charge in snow $125.00 per hour (minimum 3 hrs) portal to portal. Let's say we leave the yard at 8 am and get to the job at 8:45 unload and then run the machine for 3 hours then load up and drive back to the yard and get back at 12:30. we would charge for 4 1/2 hours. hope this helps.
  4. jgagnier

    jgagnier Junior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for the fast reply! Let me explain a little more in detail. I only have the machine and a single axle dump, no trailer yet. so, i can only do close-by jobs. My problem is right now, I have a guy wanting me to some work about 8 miles away. I will have to drive the machine there and back. I am thinking of charging a total of one hour for delivery and return. Do you think this is crazy of me? but then if i do that, what do i charge the guy just 2 miles down the road for a one hour job. I am looking for a sytem that i can use that will be fair for everybody. any ideas? Thanks.
  5. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    Well really it's like i said before I charge for a 4 hour min so if it take me and 1/2 an hour to get there and half to cum back that would leave 3 hours left on the the 4 hour min ,and the next guy that might need me for just 2 hours would still get the 4 hour min .You got to realize that your there to make money and even if they say i can rent it for cheaper, i would say you sure can they have a min rental for the machine pluse transport pluse you would have to run it.that if you got that kind of response from someone.And for snow landman is right charge more and still have a min for your machine.Your six wheel dump charge by the hour if it is needed .So you go to give a price to someone and you tell them you will rent your equipment by the hout with an operatore your machine say is $75 your six wheeler is $55 weather it is working or just sitting there.The fact is if they want your truck there it's not earning money elswhere so don't feel bad if it's not beeing worked every min it's on the site.
  6. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Around here it's pretty standard to charge an hour to move to and form a job, more if it's a long ways. As for driving 8 miles that's a little less than half hour at normal road speed for something in the 410/580 class, so an hour move would be pretty fair. Nobody charging several hour minimums here that I know of, but not less than 1 hour either.

    Then charge for time on the job, NOT hourmeter time. Look at it this way, if you show up and sit around all day because of a clusterflop you could have been working all that time. you need to charge for the time you're tied up, not the time you're running.

    Materials, usually 20% or more markup and then your hourly rate (at least) for the trucking.
  7. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Around here, a 4 hr minimum is almost standard. Let's face it, by the time you get to the job, complete the job, and get to the next job, you've lost half a day, regardless of the size of the original job.

    We also charge for time on the job, not hour meter as well. Unless you're bidding a job, then price is set regardless of time.

    It's not uncommon for a contractor to charge a moving fee. Your bills still roll in at the end of the month and the only way to pay them is through hours billed.
  8. a palustris

    a palustris Member
    Messages: 74

    This is just what I have paid over the past year, and rates I have been quoted. However...

    My sub:
    Full size backhoe with operator and light trucking with a 10 wheeler for (1) 8 hr day is $800 - $1000.

    Full size backhoe for (1) 8 hr day: $600 - $700 per day w/ operator

    Triaxle dump truck if it sits on the job and does NOTHING: $400 - $500 per day
    If it works doing hauling: $600 per day.
  9. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    well a 580 size machine should be getting at least $65 with operator a triaxel about the same.
  10. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    I agree with Alan...

    Those dern CLUSTERFLOPS have a tendency to happen occassionally...

    No sense in you losing money due to someoneelses's clusterflop!

    Charge your travel and by the actual time on the JOB. The hourmeter is only for maintenance schedule issues in my book.:D

    The moral of this story is.... SHOW ME DA>>>payup payup payup
  11. jgagnier

    jgagnier Junior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 9

    ok, thanks ALOT everyone! Like I said I am just starting out and never have done this sort of thing before. I WAS using the hour meter on the machine to charge the customers. What would you guys do in this case;
    The guy wants me to build a road through a swamp(basically) to be able to get some hardwood timber out. He has gotten some other guy to haul in fill for him. I dont really know why because he now has to pay 2 guys now, (him to haul the fill and me to sit around and wait for the fill to arrive). I just delivered the machine today. What should I do if he screws around for a couple of days getting the fill? Or, what if the guy can only hauls a one or two loads of fill a day. I guess what I am trying to say is , what do i charge if I run out for an hour each day. It just seams to be a hassle to me, or is that just buisness?
  12. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    jgagnier, I can't help with charging but just a word of caution. Make sure you're not working in a designated wetland. I don't know the laws in NY but in Maine, the repercussions are substantial. The rules for logging roads over streams and through wetland areas are very specific.
  13. a palustris

    a palustris Member
    Messages: 74

    I would second what Mick has told you. In NY if the customer does not have wetlands permits and ANY work is done within the protected area... ALL parties are handed their heads on stacks of legal papers. Before you do anything further, get in writing that the customer is responsible for all permits. That will help you a bit when the cops come by and ask you what you are doing. I have heard in the past that you can be ordered to replace the trees that are cut in order to make access to the area.
  14. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I know of an older woman (a friend's grandmother) who had been filling in a wet area of her property with wood chips for 40 years. She had a dispute with a neighbor, the neighbor called DEC, she has been forced to return the property to its original condition according to topographical maps of the past. $$$$$

    Demand to see permits personally before you do any work!
  15. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Let the gentleman know that if you are on site with your equipment, he is being charged whether or not your equipment is in use.

    I'd further inform him that if you show up in the morning and work for two hours (or two minutes, for that matter!) and find out the other contractor can't bring fill, or whatever the case is, the customer gets charged for four hours. If that doesn't work for the customer, neither would I!

    If you had a 9-5 er and they were disorganized and could not keep you busy, you would not stand around all day for free, would you?

    I pay my subs four hour minimums. Nobody asked me to do that, but it is a sensible thing to do. In turn, my customers are charged four hour minimums if they want hourly pricing. I find that to be reasonable and my customers do, too.

    As others have said, you need to charge for the transport time, threshold to threshold. It's not anybody's "fault" that they are located X miles away and another customer is closer. However, the customer that is farther away has to pay. It may not be "fair" to him, but somebody has to pay for it and it sure cannot be you!:nono:
  16. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    Well first i agree with Mick,second i would have every thing down in some form of contract.Just because your machine is there does not mean that he will pay for you to let it sit.I would of not brought the machine in untill the fill was there or tell him that I will be charging 8 hour days weather it works or not if he need the machine there to push fill as it comes in.But wetland areas i would think any where should not be filled in (per state codes) on keeping with natural habitaes .Here in ma,NHline they want to widen I93 and are running into wet land problems so beware ,as the contractor filling you might be held responsable and might have to remove at a cost to yourself.SO I would check before you push any fill.
  17. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I have to agree with what the others have said about the wetlands. Be careful of what you're getting involved in....

    As far as....

    Imagine for a moment that you get to the point that you have a job that will require a second machine, and want to rent a backhoe, and hire an operator.

    How far do you think you're going to have to look to find one that's willing to go "off the clock" while waiting to have material delivered, or have their paycheck reflect only the hours that go on the machine's hour meter? How many guys are you going to find that will be willing to get out of bed to work for two hours today, and three tomorrow, and maybe none the next day?

    Think also, of what a rental house charges for a machine. You pay for the time it's off their premesis, whether you ever turn the engine on or not.

    Treat yourself like a valuable employee and bill your customer enough to pay that "employee" part an equitable wage. Over and above that, treat yourself as an equipment "rental company", and charge the customer for the time they have your equipment.

    That having been said, I have to admit that I absolutely can't stand guys who stand around, hands in pockets, watching other guys work, because they're "the excavator". If I'm sending a bill for my time on site, I want to feel like I've earned my pay, even if it means I'm doing grunt work right next to the least skilled laborer. (Although, as I get older that matter of principle is becoming easier and easier to ignore...) ;)
  18. plowed

    plowed Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    With regards to the wetlands issue, be careful. Here in CT, you must be registered with the DEP in order to do any permitted wetlands work. This includes pond dredging, etc.

    Any contractor who is working on such a project and is not registered with the DEP will lose everything.

  19. jgagnier

    jgagnier Junior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 9

    I know what you guys are saying on how to charge but you have to understand that I am not available for 8 hrs during the week because I only work my machine on the side of my full time job. True, if I was relying on this business to make a living I would have to charge the way you are talking about.
  20. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    so your best way to profit in my opinion would be to just set a price for the whole job.So figure out how long you will be there ,4 hr's-20hr's and go from there so if you get $65 an hour.So $65 an hour say times 20 hours is $1,300 so now you say what if i go over what i quoted,well that would be disscused with the owner who is hirng the fill delivery out if your still waiting on him then make him aware off it your price is ment to be there a certain amount of time.