Equipment rentals - transparent or not?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by queen of spades, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. queen of spades

    queen of spades LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    When putting together estimates is it better to list the rental equipment you plan on using, or build it all into one hourly rate without "itemizing"?
  2. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    I always itemize it. Some people may worry that the client will see you don't already own this equipment, and it will make you look less professional. But hopefully the client isn't hiring you based on the equipment you own, rather your knowledge and experience.

    For example, I don't own a bobcat, so when I need one I rent. I always include this as a separate charge, and let the client know that this is a rental, so our scheduling of their job will be based on when the rental is available.

    Be honest up front, it will go a long way.
  3. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    I dont list it as a line item cause it has cost me some work in the past. One estimate comes to mind for a large job several years ago. We where $500 more than the other guy ( 22K job ) and listed a track loader as a line item cause they didnt want to destroy their lawn. They felt that the other company wasnt charging them for the equipment cause they owned it. Fact was that I was just $500 more. I now own a skid loader and although it wouldnt have worked for this job, I do charge for the use of the machine. How else can you afford to keep the machine running. If I was on the other end of the deal my concern wouldnt be that cost of the machine as much as whether you have enough experience to run it. Maybe you do, but harder to defend if you dont use it enough to own it.
  4. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Why would you list it in any form?

    Big design build project 100k.
    Use of skid steer on project 4.5k

    I don't get it?
  5. ARGOS

    ARGOS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    I agree with listing rental fees. It is up front and you don't get the "oh, you don't own that piece of equipment?" I have a lot of equipment, but always find the need to rent. Sometimes to replace equipment we own while being serviced.

    But I put use of my equipment into overhead when bidding job...which I lump labor, overhead, and profit together as one number.
  6. queen of spades

    queen of spades LawnSite Member
    Messages: 219

    I see a lot of crawlers on the side of the road with so & so's rentals on the sides. So I know it's a common thing for contractors to do. Out of all these options I like the idea of billing for " use of compact track loader ". It's a piece of equipment and whether I or someone else owns it, it costs money to run. And they are paying me to operate, where they would take forever to learn how to drive it down the driveway.
  7. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    I never list rentals.
    People tend too over detail there bills or there contracts.

    I only list machine time if that is what I was asked for.For example " How much for a days worth of work with your skid steer"?
    Sometimes I list rentals if I am working for a contractor as a common courtesy.

    The customer is paying you(not a machine) for the job.
    Werther you own the equipment or Rent it there are still expenses related with either.
  8. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,245

    I use to break every little thing down on estimates and invoices but it seemed to confuse people and then I wouldn't get the job. Now I just put material cost and labor cost or just a lump sum type bid and I am actually having less trouble with people. I wouldn't mention anything about renting, it isn't that you are trying to pull anything. The funny thing is in some cases it may be cheaper to rent a piece of equipment than owning it.

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