Why do you charge by hour?

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by WiseOutdoor, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. WiseOutdoor

    WiseOutdoor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I got out of foundation repair to resurrect a ten year old sleeping skill I used to do....operate skid steer and excavators. I can't for the life of me figure out why guys go by the hour...seems too ball and chain to me. I charge by job I don't want no one scolding me if I wanna go have lunch with my wife. Some of the hourly rates are stupid. People are trying to undercut eachother. I run the following
    2016 ram 3500
    2017 New Holland 232
    2016 60hp tractor
    2016 cat 303.5 excavator
    All you guys with horrible equipment and ran down trucks need to have a little self confidence...Idk
    DuallyVette and sehitchman like this.
  2. Okhydro

    Okhydro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Hourly is the most fair to everyone. Plus i don't want to go drive and look at every job i can say its $150 and hr with a 4 hr min. I can't afford to drive 3 hrs one way to look at that job.

    Why do you think the quoting is the only way??
  3. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,118

    Why bid by the job ? Simple , skill and efficency . Why have good equipment and attachments and the experience to run it and give your time away . By the hour is "safe" for the contractor but not necessarily " fair " to the customer . An inexperienced operator can take way too much time
    DuallyVette and RDALawns like this.
  4. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 5,726

    At some level you are operating by the hour.
    Mr Stripe, whammer33024 and RDALawns like this.
  5. Okhydro

    Okhydro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Exactly you're guessing it will take you 6 hrs if it takes 6.5 or 7 you just lost money.

    So if you bid a job at an hr do you charge 4hrs? or do you just charge for an hr only??
  6. RDALawns

    RDALawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Texas
    Messages: 1,640

    Any dirt work mulch driveways house pads and bushogging is per hour. No exceptions and with a 2 hour minimum. Im not moving equipment for 30 mins worth of work.
    Love the Green Biz and sjessen like this.
  7. ghe

    ghe Banned
    Messages: 121

    "you just lost money." LOL
  8. Dawson

    Dawson LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,289

    I need to make a certain amount per hour that I work, it's how I ensure I'm not under charging (or overcharging for that matter). However, that doesn't mean I tell my customer what I'm charging per hour....it means I I figure out about how long I think the job will take me, multiply that by what I need to make per hour to make it profitable (add in any materials costs) and then I tell the customer what the job will cost.... If I get done a little quicker than I thought I would I do a little better or vice versa, if I underestimated how long the job takes me to do then I don't do quite as well but that's just part of the deal, after awhile you get to know about how long each job will take you.

    Granted, I'm in the lawn care business but I think that applies to pretty much any kind of business. As someone else mentioned ,at some point you need to know how much you need to make per hour to be profitable regardless of how you end up billing the customer.
    hort101 likes this.

    JLSLLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,195

    If someone's complains about me taking a lunch break, or unexpected failure I wouldn't work for you.

    Hourly isn't bad if you can move efficiently, and correctly. I don't tell ppl my hourly.
    RDALawns likes this.
  10. ghe

    ghe Banned
    Messages: 121

    All this will come with experience, and you will undercharge multiple times and whine about it, but eventually you'll have the brain power to just know, and accept that you are just a man that should be grateful you aren't doing the same amount of work for $10 working for someone else who is laughing at you dude.

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