Pipe Pulling

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by SamIV, Feb 7, 2003.

  1. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    The company who does my long bores at $5.00 a foot and $5.00 per sidewalk for me has offerd to pull pipe for me. As I still work by myself, this would help me on install time. They have not given me a price yet and are offering to do the first small residential for free just too see how long this will take them. They have a Vermeer machine that has the attachment but don't use it regularly.

    The type of soil I have here is hard clay. What would be a fair price to pay for this service. Both of us are trying to see if this will be profitable.

    I know you say I should not be doing this solo. This will change in the future

  2. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    I'd probably want $560/day, $300 a half day min for the machine and operator here. You need to pay what a backhoe or small dozer rents for.

    You gotta figure your renting the mans truck, trailer, puller and operator and he needs overhead and profit dollars on top.

    No extra charge for bores or anything then. If the operator is skilled and uses a shovel with you to open for bores and utility crossings or you do that the day before a lot of pipe can be pulled and bores done in a half day. Planning ahead is the key. Knowing how the machine manuevers and space required etc helps planning.
  3. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    300 for a half day 560 for a full day?

    How about a fair rate, like by how many feet you pull?
  4. Rotor-Man

    Rotor-Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    I charge $60 a hour for sandy soil pulls, and $90 a hour for clay pulls, plus delivery charge. There is no way I would pull pipe by the foot, way to many variables, especially when dealing with clay and hardpan soil conditions.
  5. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    What we sell is time. Feet are meaningless. Conditions that affect installation time and efficiency are numerous. Would you want to get paid by the foot for installs and only have one or 2 rates to work from?

    It is simple and fair to do a daily rate and the heck with minute details.

    You are from the retail world, aren't you? If so, you have to banish those notions that retailing and contracting are similar. If your not, my statement is still true.

    In our world the product/material is used to put our people to work so we can sell time. Everything in contracting is time driven. Units of material are used to calculate time required.
  6. dougaustreim

    dougaustreim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 488


    You are exactly right. In the world of contracting and service time or labor is everything. Thats why most of the profit percentages and overhead recovery etc has to be based on time. Equipment pay back as well has to be based on time.

    Labor is your biggest risk. We could go further with this. With material, while it is important to shop for the best price, time has to be a factor there as well. Ordering the material and having it on hand when you need it is often more important than shaving a few pennies. Effeciency of your operation is the most critical. The cost of soda stops and refueling time etc etc etc are all highly important and have to be monitored closely.

    You only have the 8 or 10 hours a day to sell. You have to get paid at a profit for as much of that as possible. Just counting the number of trees in a yard can make a huge difference in the time it takes to plow the pipe, yet doesn't change the total number of feet much at all.

    Austreim Landscaping
  7. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    Great posts, Harold and Doug!
    Ever notice that even with iron, its the length of time you use it (whether it's a rental car or rental trencher) that drives the price you pay? Distance is secondary.
  8. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    Thanks for all the replies guys. Time is very important to me and I'm trying to figure a profitable way to decrease my install time.
    Keep the responses coming. As I have said before, all your comments are very helpful to me as well as others.

  9. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    You got me Harold, its the 25 + years at retail that keeps giving me away with you guys... everything i sell ends in 99cent increments.LOL I will still keep shooting from the hip here and hope to miss my foot occaisionally.
  10. PR0 TURF

    PR0 TURF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    Are any of you pulling pipe for other installers in your area? Or pulling pipe for any homeowners who're gonna do the rest themselves? If so...what're you charging????

    There are guys in the area who are pulling pipe for other installers and charge roughly $150/job. We just bought a new 255SX and I was planning on asking around to see if anyone needed any pulling done until i heard these awfully low rates. You can't even rent a puller for that much...at least $225 to rent one and pull it yourself.

    Just trying to see what the rates are to get pipe pulled in your area...thanks

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