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Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Jonathan Hollingsworth, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. Jonathan Hollingsworth

    Jonathan Hollingsworth LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Just currious about setting my rates. Track loader business ASV 60. How do you guy's charge by the hour or by the job ?
    I know you may charge different for every different attachments but give me some ideas if you don't mind. By the way I'm in Canada with only 6% tax.
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I'd check around locally.
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    When coming up with an hourly rate, factor in such things as fuel costs, machine depreciation, upkeep (could be substantial with that machine) and operator costs. Your skill level can be a mitigating factor. Contractors maybe critical of your abilities or lack there of. Homeowners usually will not be. I charge an hourly for the machine and more for each attachment. I starting to move toward a flat rate for the attachment. Example is hoe pac is 300 a day on top of the hourly rate for an excavator. Same with the Preparator. It is more fair and prevents me from having to track the time spent with a particular attachment. If your comfortable with your abilities and the job, bidding will usually be more profitable. It will also give the customer some piece of mind. I try to bid, but also work hourly if there are too many variables on a particular job. Like Scag said finding out what others charge will let you know what your market will bear. Remember just because some guy is charging xxx of dollars an hour don't assume that number will cover your expenses or meet your profit needs. Analyze if for yourself first then compare with the local market. Also when starting out, remember that the suspended machine can give you added ability but also added expense especially if they are not in a favorable application.
  4. Jonathan Hollingsworth

    Jonathan Hollingsworth LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Why so concered about the upkeep on this machine? Do you know somthing I don't? Haven't bought anything yet, my other option is a T190 right know. Your opinon would be appreciated thanks for the info.
  5. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    The topic of suspended verse nonsuspend tracked machines has been discussed at great length here a search will give hours of material. In short they may give added capability over a nonsuspended machine, the drawback is they can cost substantially more to run depending on your operating environment and your operating skill. These are my opinions and others may disaggree. Check out Iron Planet and look at the condition of some the CAT machines for sale there. Compare the purchase price of those machines against what they are bringing used and it is staggering to me. Machines with less than 1500 hours are bringing around 2/3's less than purchase price. Convert that into a depreciation cost per hour. There are many variables in these machines of course but you will get the idea.

    The decision to go with any track system should be well thought out. The decision should be based on the advantages that tracks can provide (IE more profit). If your operating in conditions that a wheeled machine will provide the same or nearly the same advantages then it will not likely be worth the additional investment. The purchase price on tracks is more, the upkeep is more and the resale seems to be lower than that of wheeled machines in general. So if your not making more money with them it does make sense to me to run them. An example locally is a large tree operation here which used to run large size skid steers switched to TL150's several years ago. They are now trading those in on 465's. That surprised me actually but they were not happy with upkeep according to the TK/CASE salesman. So your application is most likely one of the key factors in deciding which direction is best for you.

    My opinion of the T190 is low. I think Bobcat makes a better machine in the larger tracked units. The T250 is a much better running machine in my opinion. It comes down to your preference. Demo the machine, using as you would expect to if you bought it and see for yourself. Some guys are content with the machine. Good luck
  6. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    Hopefully the machine will pay for itself and make you a living.
    If it cannot do both than what good is it.

    A tracked machine will cost you a min of 3000 dollars every 800 too 1000 hours.
    We have a new Takeuchi dealer around the corner and I spent about 3 hours with a factory Takeuchi rep talking about among things maint cost.
    He told me point blank that they recomend sprockets with every track change.
    My salesman however gave me a different information.
    The sprockets are a round 700 bucks.
    That puts my machine at almost 4000 dollars every 1000 hours.

    Add oil changes ,filters unforseen repairs and you very well can see 10 to 15 dollars operating cost on a tracked machine.
    Add fuel ( another 3 too 7 an hour) and you can see the profit shrinking.

    So fo me too profit 60 dollars an hour I will need at least 80 and hour.

    As the hours increase the maint costs will go up.

    An ASV/Cat track overhaul can set you back more than 10,000 US dollars.
    This may be needed at 1000 hours.

    In my opinion if your buisness will be heavy grading based I would get a bigger tracked machine.
    For most everything else a wheeled machine is a better choice till you learn the buisness and can make a more educated decision.

    What works for me may not work for you.

    Good luck.
  7. vntgrcr

    vntgrcr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    Speaking from experience, if you go with the ASV, you will love the quality of the ride, the precision of the controls, and overall good machine. Now look 1+yrs down the road when the bogey wheels start to get chewed up, I think there are 8-10 per side at $250 each, then we get to the tracks, $2500 each, and it goes on. Major trade off's. Great machine if you are only using it in the soft stuff. I had a CAT257, loved it, tried to buy a new one, dealer screwed the deal so I went with a 190. It is "OK", that means not great. I hate the E/H controls, love the durability of the undercarriage tracks. Yes it could use more power, but so does my boat, my truck, my sports car, etc. My point is, no matter how much you have, you could always use more. Just demo and try to make an educated decision. Good luck.
  8. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 497

    Very well spoken.
  9. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I wouldn't buy a tracked machine starting out. Someone told you that you need to buy a tracked machine didn't they? Don't fall into the trap. Tracked machines will put you out of business unless you're making enough productivity to cover the costs or are working in a specialized operation that 100% requires the use of a tracked machine. Buy a wheeled machine if this is your first piece, you'll thank me later.

    Don't take this post the wrong way, I'm not trying to shut you down, but you're asking how much to charge for the operation of a machine. It's obvious to me that if you don't have these numbers at least somewhat polished and have completely overlooked the costs of a tracked machine and haven't really analyzed the scenario of the ownership of a tracked machine.
  10. Jonathan Hollingsworth

    Jonathan Hollingsworth LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    How about I'm currious to know how you guy's do it I've done the research I know what people around here charge I've Done Demos and for what I'm going to do with it I would'nt buy a wheeled machine. Thanks for your input but no thanks. Anyone around here, (there are not many) don't want to give up a whole lot of info.

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