What do you charge for running a skid steer?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Cat_246B, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. bighornjd

    bighornjd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    That's kind of how I got started. Did all the little BS jobs that none of the bigger contractors wanted to mess with. I've always kind of been a jack-of-all-trades, so anything that came along that I thought was even barely within my abilities, I jumped on it. Don't be afraid to do something just because you've never done it before. There is a first time for everything, although sometimes the first time ain't easy and you learn the hard way. Do every job as if it were your own, to the best of your ability. Take pride in your work and always strive to please the customer as much as possible, although you can't please everybody 100% all the time, so don't be afraid to stand up for yourself either. Do good work at a fair price ( i said fair - not necesaarily cheap, cover your expenses and turn a profit every job, it s a business not a charity) and the work will come to you. I started out doing part-time work on the side for a year and a half while working a full-time job. Don't think you can jump in and earn a living on your own right off the bat. Work with as little capital as necessary - don't go borrowing thousands of dollars to start. I started with one truck that I paid cash for half of and borrowed the other half from my grandmother. Paid her back in six months and have paid cash for everything since except my skid steer which is financed. I rented a machine until the cost outweighed purchasing. It ain't easy, especially with this government and economy, but it can be done if you have the ambition and work ethic. Referrals are by far the best advertising, so always try to do the best job possible. In 4 years of being in business I have never put an ad in the paper and my number isn't even in the phone book. Good luck!
  2. Cat_246B

    Cat_246B LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    Thanks bighornjd. When spring comes i'm going to start trying to get jobs form people and it will give me time to save money during the winter. I know it will be along hard road. I might have something lined up for spring already:clapping:. Maybe after that I will get more business.....hopefully. I was wondering if $225 a day is a good rental price for a mini ex and $175 for a skid. And its $50 for another attachment. Thanks:)
  3. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    Pricing sounds about right depending on size of the skid or mini ex. There are two kinds of rental companies, the ones greared towards homeowner DIY'ers and the the ones geared toward renting to contractors. The ones geared towards contractors usually have the better rates because they will usually give contractors a discount over retail renters. They usually also give discounts for extaneded use. For example most the companies around here, if you rent for 4 days it is cheaper to rent for the full week (7 days), if you need to rent for 3 weeks then it is usually cheaper to rent for the full month (30 days) it works good if you have a job where you know you'll need the machine 4 days, then you get it for the extra 3 at no addition cost, you can take an extra day on the site if needed or use the extra three days to schedule another job.

    One thing I will worn you about with renting and comparing prices is to check on their full day rental policy. i rented from one place and picked up at 7am, turns out after i picked it up I found out their dayly rental means it must be returned by 5pm and not 24 hours. Another company I rented from did 24 hours for full day rentals but they checked the hour meeter and if you put more than 8hrs on the machine then you were charged an additonal day.
  4. Cat_246B

    Cat_246B LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    The skid is a Komatsu SK1020 and the Mini ex. is a PC 35-2. They are rentals form our local lumber yard. Thanks about the day rental warning, ill have to check on that. With those prices what do you think I should charge to make sum kind of profit, or make enough money to rent it again for another day:confused:. Thanks.:)
  5. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    Poking my nose in with no experience. There are some rules of thumb for this sort of thing. One rule of thumb: Charge 1% of the purchase cost per day. Rental agencies use this rule a lot. Tends to break down if there are expensive consumables.

    A better way is to compute the TCO. This is hard to do if you haven't owned the device before, as there are all kinds of gotchas.

    Base price
    Price to finance
    Price of insurence.
    Price of maintenance
    Trailer to move it around. (May be shared with other purposes, but it if is you are spending a lot more time loading and unloading it at your shop)
    Wear and tear on the vehicle that pulls that trailer. (Again may have such a vehicle.
    Place to keep it. (They last longer if kept out of the weather.)

    Now it gets trickier:
    Training for operator. Good training can reduce wear on the machine.
    Extra pay for operator. You may pay someone $3/extra per hour as a bobcat operator, but you will likely have to pay him that even when he's not operating.
    How many hours can you use it? Hard to estimate until you have one.
    How much of your time is spent getting jobs for it?
    Is there something more profitable you could have spent this money on? (Lost opportunity cost.)
    Is this the camel that makes the whole thing break down because you cannot be in enough places at once?

    Around here the weekly rate is 4-5 times the daily rate. The monthly rate is 3 times the weekly rate. Get a bunch of jobs lined up. Rent one for a week. Get a bigger bunch of jobs, rent one for a month. Rent different ones each time, Different people have different tastes in controls.

    Find out if you like the dealer. I don't like my local Deere dealer. Every time I go in there I end up feeling like an ignorant newbie. Probably true, I am. But there are ways to answer newbie questions without making the newbie feel like a total dweeb. So I drive 20 km futher to the Case dealer.
  6. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,245

    That's all you have to know when it comes to skids... :drinkup: :waving: ;)

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