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Average System Start-up Bill?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by evergreenco, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. evergreenco

    evergreenco LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 11

    How many starts are you scheduling a day for your service guys and how much are most being billed for?
    My problem has been that my service guy will fix a backflow start a system and be out in an hour. We bill $75.00 / hour = 15 Min. Travel plus 45 Min Curb Time. So a lot of starts are only billed at $75.00 I am making nothing at this price!! I want to schedule 5 startups a day with an hour and a half billed for each start. That's 7.5 hours billed each 8 hour day.

    I know he can easily spend this time because most systems are a mess!

    On repair calls he is only fixing the major problems and not tweaking the system like I want him to.

    With diesel prices the way they are I need to bill more per call!

    Any Advise?????
  2. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    My service call = first 30min on site. For that I charge $40. I charge $40 per hour after that. For a spring turn on or start up, I charge $75 and include the backflow test. If the backflow fails and I have the parts on hand I charge $60 labor included to rebuild a failed 1"DC. A 1" RP is double that. I don't usually do a backflow repair at turn on. I will turn the system on and test everything, then check the backflow (amazing how much just running a system test through the device before testing improves the pass rate) If the device fails, I turn the water back off and wait for authorization to repair. I wait for authorization for most major repairs unless I have prior approval. Turn ons per day (and I brag we touch every head) with a helper along....20.

    That probably doesn't help your situation but that's my math.
    I also charge $75 in the fall for winterization, BUT I will take $100 paid in advance for the "seaason" that means On, test, and winterized.

    I average less than one hour per customer per year for seasonal packages. I think $100 is fair for that hour since they pay in advance or at turn on and I don't have to bill/collect the money.
  3. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,631

    We charge a flat fee for a start up . Any repairs are by the hour , plus parts. So basically a bill reads , 1 turn on sprinkler $ xx.xx , repair charge of $ xx.xx , and parts $ xx.xx . If you treat a turn on and a repair as an hourly charge , you are giving 1 service away for free. I changed to this approach 5 years ago , billables increased greatly
  4. evergreenco

    evergreenco LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 11

    So a customer who asks for a start up and nothing else gets billed a flat rate no matter how long the tech is there getting it right???
    I employ your same thinking on winterizations. If a customer has a repair I charge for repair time plus a flat $75.00 to blow out the system. I just wish my technician would spend more time making sure all heads are adjusted, installed at the right height, straight, and working with a clean nozzle.

    A $75.00 service fee

    -$30.00 Labor (1.5HRS x $18 + Workers Comp & General Liability)
    -$5.00 Gas
    -$5.00 Insurance and Vehicle Expense
    -$10.00 Overhead (Advertising, Phone,Rent,Office Personnel, Etc.)

    Then I wait 30,60 days to get paid, if at all, and pay uncle sam 30% and I clear $17.50.
  5. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Spring start-up 77.50 plus time and material for anything broken. Backflow test $75. You might be selling yourself short by charging 75 for the start-up and backflow test together, but that might be average for your market. We try to start-up 10+ a day. I tell my service techs if they don't average 700 a day then we can't afford to pay them the money they want. I always tell them to ask the homeowner before they leave "are you happy with everything, is there anything else you would like for us to do" and if they f up and have to go back for anything its on their own time.
  6. kipcom

    kipcom LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 352

    $69 (luv that number) + $30 service call fee + any materials.
  7. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,631

  8. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 698

    My subcontractor bills me $35.00 per customer and I bill the customer $50.00.
  9. br549oicu8

    br549oicu8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,230

    $10 per zone to winterize with a $40 minimum.
    Startup is $35 for the first 4 zones, $10 per after that.
    Repair is a totally separate billing per time and materials.
  10. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    $45 for start up. Repairs are $45 per hour/min one hour plus materials.

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