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What do you charge to bring a skidsteer out to a job

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Emerscape, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    I am currently too small to afford to buy a skidsteer but I usually rent a machine and tack on about $100 to my customer. I was wondering for those who own a skid steer do you charge a flat rate to bring the machine out or do you figure by hour or what ?
  2. GrassFearsMe

    GrassFearsMe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    we own two skidsteers and charge roughly 700 day 400 half day. something stupid 300 for couple hours. anything less and the machine stays home.
  3. Dig Yard Dirt

    Dig Yard Dirt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Gosh!!! I'm not charging that much!!! Sorry, I charge $60 the first hour and $40-$70 after. Mainly I charge by the job, customers want an up front quote.

    I charge more if I'm breaking ground and digging, less if I'm back filling and spreading. No more than $320 for a 7-8 hour day.
  4. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    im like you dig yard dirt, i never quote an hourly rate. i useually charge a 150.00 (show up fee ) for skid steer this will useually get you 1 hour of work. the tractor gets 110.00 show up fee. most of my work im making 80 to 100 an hour on with the skidder and 50 to 65 with the tractor. course i have bid some jobs and had problems on them and only make 25 or 30 an hour (sometimes you win some sometimes you loose some..)
  5. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    since i cant afford to buy a skid steet yet.. i rent one for approx 175 a day nad charge it out at 275 a day... im not too unreasonable right? i havent had any jobs where i need it for more than one day but i dont think i would mark it up soo much for a second day since the machine would already be on the job site
  6. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    so your only making a 100 a day?
  7. Emerscape

    Emerscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    off the machine..yeah.. the rest i make off material and labor..
  8. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    this is what a older man who owns a very large construction outfit once told me. he owns 52 bobcat skidsteers as well as a slew of other equipment.(this is if you own the equipment) he said if you can get rental rates plus pay your operator you will do alright. around here a loader will rent for 250.00 a day and a good operator who works for you makes about 15 to 17 and hour ..
  9. greywynd

    greywynd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    Maybe the markets are different for you guys, but here's how I do it.
    $50 per hour(from time I leave my yard until I return), 4 hour minimum, I don't do quotes, because in my area there are too many areas where you can get into bedrock or large boulders that mini stuff can't handle, and you'd lose more often than you'd win.

    If I have to rent something, I still charge the same, if however I need to rent it for a special application, I pass the customer along the cost of the rental. For example, I had a customer this summer that insisted on being her own general contractor, and looking after her own subcontract work. I was hired to do the excavating for her 'pet project' (a new, larger patio area outside the basement walkout), and the excavating for the contractor hired to do work on the house, plus build a new deck. Her and her husband were going to rebuild the retaining walls themselves, and then she hired another landscaper to do the laying of the patio (I think she thought I would be too expensive, didn't even ask me for a quote, I would have quoted that for her, not nearly as many variables.)

    Anyway, the landscaper laying the patio has no equipment (does all his work by hand, even tamping), they contact me to come in and lay 3 stone steps that she wanted with the excavator. I calculated the weights, realized that it would be too heavy for my excavator and told them so. I had had a rental skid steer there early in the project that I used to remove all the excess fill, so they knew I could get one. They asked if I would bring in a ssl to place the steps, so, they ended up paying the rental, (about 275), took aobut 3 hours, I charged them for 4 (the minimum), and used the ssl at my place the rest of the day since I had a couple jobs here that it made easier.

    Because of the way she insisted on doing everything (a large PITA), she cost herself a lot of $$$. Often she'd only tell any of us what she wanted us to do that day. Spent one day doing a bunch of grading oin one area, to turn a round and be asked to dig two trenches through it the next day for electrical conduit. So I then had to turn around and regrade the whole thing after that was done. I had another day that I was asked to be there to backfill some of the contractors work beside the house, show up when asked first thing in the morning, to be informed that the building inspector hadn't even been called yet, that they were hoping he'd be out that afternoon. I billed her 2 hours that day, even though I turned around and left to go to another job. (Fortunately the job was only about 15 minutes away, driving was fairly minimal, and the other job was right in the area, and flexible for timing.)

    There are very few compact machines here available to the 'residential' market, and even less of them are being operated by experienced operators (which I consider myself to be, at least reasonably so). There have been a few guys get skid steers that last a season and seem to dissappear, very few seem to stick around long term. I think part of the fact is that because of the digging conditions, skid steers tend to be mostly for transport, the excavators do most of the digging.

    I do no advertising, it's all word of mouth, and most of my customers even give me extra $$$ when they pay the bill. I have enough work to keep me happy and busy for the operation that I have (I run solo, mostly because I haven't been able to find the right sort of person to have as an employee for my operation, and solo seems to be working the best for me anyway).
  10. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    I'm pretty much on the same page as Emerscape, kinda feeling the skid steer thing out. I'd like to do some skid steer work in addition to lawn service (solo operator). One problem though. . .I have no experience on a skid steer. . .but am a very fast learner and consider myself a natural at operating equipment. I'm not afraid of the investment (for a decent smaller used skid) if I know I can keep busy with the machine, but I just don't know where to start. Also, what would insurance cost me per year operating solo (rough figure is all I'm aksing for). Any input would be helpful, thanks.

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