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Bidding per hour or difficulty?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by socallawndude, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. socallawndude

    socallawndude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    Just curious where everyone stands on this. For example: if it takes you one hour to dig x feet of trench (assuming it's done by hand), or one hour to replace x sprinkler heads, do you charge the same labor rate? In other words is an hour an hour regardless what's done when concerning estimating, assuming there are no consumables?
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,259

    Time and Material, baby. T + M = fairness plus profits.
  3. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690


    "60 percent of the time, it works every time..."
  4. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,982

    In most cases I have a minimum service call.

    Replacing an 1800 pop up is $25.

    It could take me 10 minutes to drive there and 5 minutes to fix.

    at a rate of $40 that'd be $10 of time, the part only costs me $2.50
    So thatd be $12.50
    But the minimum is $25.
    Emergency service calls (I need it right now) are billed at a $45 minimum (because I have to drop what Im already doing or planning to do)

    Now If I go to a job that has 20 1800 pop ups to replace.
    $25 x 20 is $500.

    BUT lets say T and M it would take $50 in parts and 3 hours.
    Id charge $160 (mark up on parts etc) instead of $500.

    So with minimums, it changes things a little.
  5. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,613

    For an 1800 I get
    $65 service call
    $11.79 1800
    $4.79 nozzle

    pgp its $65 service call
    $29.95 pgp
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    I use a base rate on a sliding up scale depending on the skill set required to do the job.
  7. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,930

    Recently changed to $75 for service call, covering 1st hour including travel time, plus materials - 25/spray, 45/rotor, 35/solenoid if I don't have to track 'em. 65 per hour after 1st hour. Per man, cuz sometimes it takes two.
    521 time is 95 per hour.

    TP, I think you're under-billing yourself, with gas at 4/gallon, insurance, etc.
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    That's just wrong, man. For the spray head and nozzle, That's almost 400% of LIST price. And none of us here on this forum pay anywhere close to list price.

    Did you used to sell Jewelry or something???

    How do you sleep at night?

    Whatever. I am not trying to piss you off I am sure it's costly to do business in NH. It just seems a little outrageous and unfair to me. But to each his own, I guess. I just couldn't consciously charge 8x what I am paying for something and still feel that I am being honest.
  9. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Been charging $36-40 + labor for PGP's with anyone I've worked for. Been that way for a long time now. $6 for a 4" spray and $2 for the nozzle plus labor is fair market in my book as well. Those parts don't magically appear on your truck. You charge for having what you need when you get there. I can sell it for MSRP IF they want to pay me for the time to drive to the store and go shopping, round trip from their site. $40 for the first 1/2 hour and $40/hour after that unless I was doing wire work. I upped the wire troubleshooting to $65/hour before I stopped doing residential service. If your charging for using the 521, then I think your a bandit. If your charging because you KNOW how to troubleshoot wires and locate valves, then I think you should be compensated for said knowledge. Plumbers were getting $90/hour with a two hour minimum in the KC metro area a few years ago. An irrigator should be able to get half that without anyone crying in their adult beverage.
  10. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    I charge $65 hourly + parts for any work. One hour minimum. No major tools. Guaranteed for the rest of the season. Might go up to $75-80 next year.

    40 hours a week at $50 per hour for EVERY hour, no vacation time only equates to $104,000 annually. My lower back is worth more then that.

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