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View Full Version : What to charge?


Wing 97
04-13-2006, 08:25 PM
I'm trying to come up with a reasonable rate to charge for operator and 331 excavator to start out. Obvisously I'm new to the buisness and will eventually charge by the job once I have a better grasp on what I can accomplish in a certain amount of time. I know when we start to talk numbers it gets a little personal but any suggestions would help. BTW I purchased the machine as stated in previuos threads to slowly get out of the property maintenance buisness so I would appreciate comments like "you bought an excavator before you knew how much it would make" kept to a minimum. Thanks for any suggestions.

Scag48
04-13-2006, 09:07 PM
We charge $85 an hour for our 303CR but we're the only ones with this size of machine, aside from having someone go rent. I wouldn't go any lower than $75 an hour for a machine of that size, you shouldn't have any problems drumming up business at that hourly rate.

ksss
04-13-2006, 09:20 PM
We $75.00 an hour on 12K machine. I wish I could get more but thats all my market will bear. I matched the rate backhoes are here and that the market I am in.

Wing 97
04-13-2006, 09:32 PM
Thanks for the reply guys. Right now I have a small stump removal job a a 30x30 garage foundation to be dug. Not so concerned about stump removal but should I base the fee for 8 hr day for a foundation that size? Sould be fairly easy digging.

ksss
04-13-2006, 09:52 PM
A 30X30X36" deep about 4' across in good ground conditions takes me about an hour and half. I charge 4 dollars a foot for footings which includes back fill. On smaller jobs like this I may add to that to cover expenses in coming back to do the backfill depending on proximity to me or other jobs I have in the area. Again this is me. This is the problem with an hourly rate. You would be in a bind to explain why you billed the customer for an 8 hour day on a couple hour dig. You certianly need a min. to cover transport costs, I prefer bidding when possible or by the linear foot ect. Less problems that way. However given your situation its hard to bid when you don't know what your machine and you can do so for a while it will be hard to get a handle on this process.

Mini man
04-13-2006, 10:14 PM
You guys charging 75 and 85 per hour...wow...I get 65 per hour Canadian for my 303.5 CAT...I suck!
:canadaflag: :cool2:

Wing 97
04-13-2006, 10:25 PM
I guess just like everthing else in life it will be a learning process. I figure I will have to take a few chances in estimating in order to get time in the seat. But I guess there is a price to pay to get experience.

minimax
04-13-2006, 11:33 PM
I'm getting $70 hr for a 35c deere with a 2 hr min. in a 15 mi radius.A old timer is getting $95 hr for 121-3.

gammon landscaping
04-13-2006, 11:40 PM
well dad charges 60/hr for his 580sl and 100/hr for his 312. i think that if i was testing the market you should find out what backhoes in you area are charging and go 10-15 bucks cheaper for the first year. first it will help drum up buesness, and it will give you plenty of time to learn you capabilitys. after the first year look at you rates and adjust to the price you need. and then you will be able to bid better

Gravel Rat
04-14-2006, 01:20 AM
The rates for 11,000-12,000lb mini excavators is 70-75 dollars per hour CND a smaller mini like the 331 I can see around 60-65 dollars.

vntgrcr
04-14-2006, 05:01 AM
First off, to compare an excavator to a backhoe is not apples to apples. A backhoe is so much more ineffecient than an excavator. You will be able to work so much faster with the 331. I charge 105/hr for my Kubota 161/ 95/hr to contractors. 312's get about 125/hr around here. Just try to figure out how long the job will take, get a fair hourly, 4hr minimum and a equip. move charge of around 75 for a machine that size. I started out with a 331 2 years ago, loved that machine, and it was able to do a lot of work quickly. Have fun, be patient and it will happen!

Electra_Glide
04-14-2006, 01:22 PM
First off, to compare an excavator to a backhoe is not apples to apples. A backhoe is so much more ineffecient than an excavator.

Agreed...around here, some of the established "backhone companies" charge $60-$65/hr for full-size backhoes. Based on that rate, I charge $75/hr for a mini-ex. I market my service as being able to do the jobs the bigger guys won't or can't.


Joe

Gravel Rat
04-14-2006, 01:45 PM
The mini excavators have pretty much replaced rubber tired backhoes here aswell. The 11-12,000lb minis can dig and backfill trenches where a rubber tired hoe can't go. Also with septic systems a mini does a cleaner job because you can get in-between the runs your not colaspsing your trenches.

With the price of diesel fuel climbing higher you have to charge more for fuel costs. Say your machine went on jobsite with a full tank and you burn't half a tank charge for full tank.

murray83
04-14-2006, 03:13 PM
but with fuel costs....the backhoe is 1 machine vs. with the mini which needs the trailer and truck to tow it around now yer paying for 2 peices of equipment vs. just the 1 where u can drive it alone to the jobsite.

extra insurance,maintaince costs for all 3 (mini,trailer,truck),extra fuel for the truck,charging that extra $50 for the drop off fee. and all that for $75? or less?...we get $60/hr for a hoe if we're lucky...a good friend's 331 gets $55/hr you do the math,btw....that mini can't dig basements and do average utility service in under one day where the backhoe can and costs about the same per hour.

a mini has its place as does the backhoe you will never see the backhoe replaced its an industry standard

nac
04-14-2006, 04:44 PM
First off, to compare an excavator to a backhoe is not apples to apples. A backhoe is so much more ineffecient than an excavator. You will be able to work so much faster with the 331. I charge 105/hr for my Kubota 161/ 95/hr to contractors. 312's get about 125/hr around here. Just try to figure out how long the job will take, get a fair hourly, 4hr minimum and a equip. move charge of around 75 for a machine that size. I started out with a 331 2 years ago, loved that machine, and it was able to do a lot of work quickly. Have fun, be patient and it will happen!

In my area in know guys with 200-225 size machines who get 1000 a day (125/Hr) and there is no transportaion charge

Scag48
04-14-2006, 08:49 PM
I knew the excavation business was for me, we get $900 a day for a 312 around here. Screw college, I'm in the right business in the right place it sounds like! :dancing: :cool2: :usflag:

As far as the backhoe vs. mini argument, I like to view backhoes like I view our Harley rake. It might not get used every day, but when you need it, you HAVE to have it. Backhoes are slow, but they will move alot of dirt, AND will load a triaxle whereas some mini excavators will not. The thing of it is, to buy replace a backhoe you need a skid steer and excavator, costing an absolute minimum of $60K for a 12K pound mini and a reasonably sized skid. For about $40K you could have a backhoe, only have to insure one machine, only need to make one trip to transport one machine, and it can do it all. On the other hand, they are slow, and a mini/skid combo will own up on a backhoe any day.

Wing 97
04-14-2006, 10:25 PM
but with fuel costs....the backhoe is 1 machine vs. with the mini which needs the trailer and truck to tow it around now yer paying for 2 peices of equipment vs. just the 1 where u can drive it alone to the jobsite.

extra insurance,maintaince costs for all 3 (mini,trailer,truck),extra fuel for the truck,charging that extra $50 for the drop off fee. and all that for $75? or less?...we get $60/hr for a hoe if we're lucky...a good friend's 331 gets $55/hr you do the math,btw....that mini can't dig basements and do average utility service in under one day where the backhoe can and costs about the same per hour.

a mini has its place as does the backhoe you will never see the backhoe replaced its an industry standard


Am I missing something? Are you saying a backhoe is better than a mini-ex because you can drive it to the jobsite? Isn't that alot of extra wear and tare on the machine? Seems like you are limiting the area you can work in. Don't want to seem like a wise A$$ but if you can't afford to run a truck and trailer doesn't seem practical to to own a backhoe or a mini-ex.

Scag48
04-14-2006, 11:08 PM
Roading a backhoe is hard the on tires and with the cost of rubber being sky high, sounds like you'd be pissing alot of money down the drain. Just my thoughts.

ksss
04-15-2006, 02:05 AM
I am a big mini ex fan. However when it comes to digging utilities or any type of job that does not eliminate a backhoe by way of a confined area or ground disturbance, I have to compete against them. The time for me to take advantage of what a mini ex has to offer is on additions, concrete removal or any tight confined job. I always try to bid these type of jobs. However other than that, no one will pay more for a mini ex if they don't need that capability. Also a 331 will not out work backhoe in the open. I can run with smaller hoes 310G/580L but the bigger hoes are too much 410/590. I run a 12K machine. Backhoes are not going away. Mini exs are taking over some of the backhoe market but certainly it will never make a backhoe extinct. A backhoe is truely a jack of all trades master of none. However it can also be said that they are not incompetent in doing anything that they have been designed to do. If I were getting into excavation and u had the money to buy one good piece of equipment. What would it be? It would be a backhoe. Why? because it can do everything an excavator needs it to. Thats why most guys start with a 'hoe and grow thier company from there. If thats the market they want to be in.

RockSet N' Grade
04-15-2006, 05:15 AM
"What to charge" is the universal question. All these replys have some merit, it always seems to be a game of being flexible in the "market place". Happy homeowners for the most part dont know the difference between between a track hoe and back hoe, all they focus on is dollars per hour and what's the cost to me? So, you have to keep a pulse on the backhoe market and not outprice yourself with your track hoe. Contractors (hopefully) know the difference between machines and match machines with the job at hand.....In the beginning relationship with Contractors price per hour is the driving force. If a relationship is built with a Contractor, price per hour becomes just one component in the equation. The other key components become: performance and can you be there when I need you? Money is important to them, but repeat reliability and performance becomes more important.....It doesn't matter if they are getting it "cheaper" if the guy never shows up to do the job.....I just figure what my hard costs are, what the market place is charging, what I need to make, and set my rates accordingly to what I need. If the "other guy" is $5 an hour cheaper, go ahead use him...my rates are my rates....I provide performance and show up......
I know I have not answered the question directly as "what to charge"...others have given rates, I thought I would just add another slant to the equation.

Wing 97
04-15-2006, 09:35 PM
I based my decision to buy a mini-ex on the equipment I already own and how I could compliment it. Considering I only have a 3500 dump, s175 skid steer and a 10,000 pound trailer I figured with the addition of the mini-ex would allow me to expand my buisness to a different level. I not really trying to compete with a backhoe but trying to speacialize in jobs where my equipment would excel. Long term plan really doesn't include trying to become large costruction maybe just cut down on the amount of maintenance accounts to be committed too.

Gravel Rat
04-15-2006, 10:16 PM
You can't go wrong with a good mini if you can find the work for it go for it once your name gets around in your area and you are a good operator you should have enough work.

RockSet N' Grade
04-17-2006, 06:51 PM
Just couldn't resist this one. The advantage of the backhoe over the trackhoe is simple.....and beats the pants off a trackhoe!!!
With a backhoe, you can drive to the local store at the end of the day.....fill the washed out front bucket with multiple beverages and ice and be back at the job site by the time clean up is done with a very large cooler of very cold beer.....er, I mean, beverages......
Can't do that with a track ho!!!

Scag48
04-17-2006, 07:00 PM
Now theres an idea!

Wing 97
04-18-2006, 11:12 PM
For sale or partial trade for backhoe: One Bobcat Mini- Ex 331. Never thought about which could hold more Beverages. I've made other wrong choices.