Machine pricing question

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by BSME, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 829

    I have a Ditch Witch 255sx...

    my only pricing uncertaintly i have is usually when I have to bill for the use of the machine.

    for example... I often have to run the machine out somewhere to shoot a bore under the sidewalk because of a new sidewalk or something. I feel like I often under bill because the only real cost to me is one other guy working, 3 feet of poly, and a couple fittings. (I realize I need to bill for depreciation, wear and tear... etc.... but I really see no huge marginal cost in taking the machine out of the garge.... truck's using more gas to get it out there I guess so that's an extra $2.30). It never takes us more than an hour to pull up, dig it up, shoot the bore, hook it up, bury it back up and get out of there.

    long story short... how do you guys bill for it? What a rental company would charge you to rent it? I feel like homeowners wouldn't flinch at the bill when they see the loud machine out front with rods going under the sidewalk.... anyway... any advice would be appreciated.

    p.s. If I have the time (ie. during the middle of the summer) I'd prefer to take the machine out just so I can charge for it even if it's just a leak under the sidewalk where I could easily put 3/4'' through the 1'' pipe and rehook it up. (if there are only a couple heads on the other side of the sidewalk)
  2. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I'm still trying to justify/save the capital to acquire a working machine, but when I've worked for others, or when I tack on a repair while doing an install that requires the machine, I always figure a minimum. I derive that minimum on rental rates. If that seems to high, figure the minimum on the actual cost of REPLACING your machine. Depreciation, repair expenses, etc. are all great, but bill the machine you have like you were saving for a new one. Even a 255 is a significant inventory expense. Your minimum should account for the Machine, the trailer, your truck, and the TRAINED operator. I feel like I'm lowballing when I bid machine time at $60-$75 per hour with a two or three hour minimum.
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,877

    for an instance where you actually need the machine. (sidewalks need not apply)
  4. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    We charge 300 for the machine to show up at the house then what ever in labor and materials.

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