Anyone not use a 521 or Progressive Pulser

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by AceSprinkleRx, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. AceSprinkleRx

    AceSprinkleRx LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 95

    Might be picking up a nice small truck to use as a service truck tonight. If we decide it's the one we want I'll start running some small classifieds for a couple of months to begin picking up some of the smaller service/repair work.

    But I'm concerned since I haven't layed out the cash for a 521 or a Pulser to track wires/valves and easily find any wire faults if need be. The Derrybeery guide to troubleshooting controllers and wiring makes a side comment about locators, but discusses how to dig and test with a multimeter to narrow down the problem areas (Lot of work there digging, testing and filling holes back up).

    My goals are to take income earned and invest it back into the biz by adding these units at a later time when I've put enough cash into the biz to do so. Is this going to be a huge problem right off the bat for me? Or would it for you? Does anyone get by without them right now?

    If I do decide to invest in them sooner than I planned to, do you make additional charges for using them on the job? I see no reason not to make them pay for themselves on the job ticket.

    With a couple of OJT calls for friends under my belt, not much experience I know but I need to start somewhere, my goals are to charge a $30 curb fee with 1/2hr on site included. Then $30/hr afterwards in 15min. increments, plus parts, materials, etc.

    If you do bust out the locators on a job site, do you make an additional charge for their use? Or do you consider it to be "part of the job" and a time saving feature for yourself? I wouldn't charge a "shovel w/operator rate" but then again I'm not going to dig out a valve or box with my hands either, right? But of course if you use a backhoe you charge for it's hourly rate.

    So, what's everyone here do?
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,385

    I used to charge a hundred bucks to break out 'the magic box' - but since they've become more common, I rarely charge for finding valves, especially when I know there's a whopping big repair bill I'm going to be writing up.

    If someone just wanted me to find them a valve, the surcharge would still apply.
  3. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    If you are going to get serious about doing repairs, get a 521 at the least. You can live without the Pulser.

    And as WetBoots said, there is a charge every time the locator comes out of the truck. Going rates in our part of the world are $45.00/day if you are using it for more than a couple of hours. If I'm looking for a particular valve, it's $22.50. This covers what the rental from a supply house would be, and it's billed as a seperate line item. Hourly rate is $65.00/hr; 1 hr minimum, and any over is billed in 1/2 hr increments. Helper rates are $25.00/hr

    If they balk at the labor rates, have them call a plumber to fix the leak and see what they get charged.
  4. AceSprinkleRx

    AceSprinkleRx LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 95

    Rack it. Sounds like people have tried to nickel and dime you before.

    Thanks for the advice.
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    You should be able to rent a 521 from your local supply house. I bought a 528 instead of a 521, and while it works great, I regret the savings. I charge $40 for the first half hour for regular repair work and $40/hour in quarter hours after that. If I have to get the locator out, it is $60/hour w/ a one hour min. Unless it's a "special" customer, that means $100 min. even if I get in and out in less than an hour and a half. The service call goes on the ticket and the one hour locator, even if I get luck and am in and out in 30 min. And, yeah, if the complain, tell them to call someone else. At $30 an hour, you are already cutting them slack for your learning curve. A locator SAVES the customer so much in time and yard damage that if they want to be like that, leave it to someone who has time to do it wrong. And charge'em double when they call you back to fix it the second time.
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I don't post too much here in irrigation. But I am licensed. I have recently sold out to my employee and retired. I have a bunch of Landscape equipment for sale. I have new Irrigation parts of all kinds, but everyone knows are not worth much when in a pile

    I have a 521 for sale
  7. AceSprinkleRx

    AceSprinkleRx LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 95

    You have mail.

  8. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    buy a 521...i have made alot of money with mine.

  9. therainman

    therainman LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Messages: 196

    Yup ,
    Buy one. Sold mine to a fellow lawnsiter. Now that I am maybe getting back into the biz wish I still had it.

  10. AssuredServicesCo

    AssuredServicesCo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

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