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Old 10-04-2012, 01:50 PM
sgbotsford sgbotsford is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 107
Poking my nose in with no experience. There are some rules of thumb for this sort of thing. One rule of thumb: Charge 1% of the purchase cost per day. Rental agencies use this rule a lot. Tends to break down if there are expensive consumables.

A better way is to compute the TCO. This is hard to do if you haven't owned the device before, as there are all kinds of gotchas.

Base price
Price to finance
Price of insurence.
Price of maintenance
Trailer to move it around. (May be shared with other purposes, but it if is you are spending a lot more time loading and unloading it at your shop)
Wear and tear on the vehicle that pulls that trailer. (Again may have such a vehicle.
Place to keep it. (They last longer if kept out of the weather.)

Now it gets trickier:
Training for operator. Good training can reduce wear on the machine.
Extra pay for operator. You may pay someone $3/extra per hour as a bobcat operator, but you will likely have to pay him that even when he's not operating.
How many hours can you use it? Hard to estimate until you have one.
How much of your time is spent getting jobs for it?
Is there something more profitable you could have spent this money on? (Lost opportunity cost.)
Is this the camel that makes the whole thing break down because you cannot be in enough places at once?

Around here the weekly rate is 4-5 times the daily rate. The monthly rate is 3 times the weekly rate. Get a bunch of jobs lined up. Rent one for a week. Get a bigger bunch of jobs, rent one for a month. Rent different ones each time, Different people have different tastes in controls.

Find out if you like the dealer. I don't like my local Deere dealer. Every time I go in there I end up feeling like an ignorant newbie. Probably true, I am. But there are ways to answer newbie questions without making the newbie feel like a total dweeb. So I drive 20 km futher to the Case dealer.
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