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View Full Version : Dozer work per hour.........



tnturkey
05-10-2007, 04:29 PM
What do you charge per hour for Dozer work? We have a JD 550G and charge 55.00 per hour. Just wondering if we were to high to low or about right

surfer-joe
05-10-2007, 05:23 PM
For your location and the size machine you have, I'd say you are right on the money.

CM1995
05-10-2007, 07:09 PM
I think you are too cheap. I can get $90 per hour with operator for a D5G and nobody complains.

JBL
05-10-2007, 07:24 PM
I charge $80 an hour for my case 750K.

rino1494
05-10-2007, 08:29 PM
We get $75/hr for our Case 450 and 550.

DPete
05-10-2007, 09:29 PM
$150 for our D8K's need to go up $10, don't really do that much hour work, mostly contract. DP

RollOver Pete
05-10-2007, 11:58 PM
Amazing...
I often wonder how it is that I can stay so busy? :beatsme
Our Cat D8R is $230.00 hr.
As fuel prices continue to climb,
so does my hourly rate.
Why even turn a key if there is any doubt that you cant cover all expenses,
plus put some $ away?
On average, an operator is worth $55.00 hr.
That covers all taxes, wages, workmans comp and benefits.
What the operator actually gets paid is always a different story.
Owner operator or company operator, it should make no difference.
$55.00 hr is what we bill the customer.
More often than not, they have a problem with our prices.
At that point, I reach in my pocket, hand them $.50 and kindly suggest that they look in the Yellow Pages under "budget tractor renting and operating".
For every 1 operator/tractor that gets paid what he/it's worth, there will be 100's that will work for peanuts.
Sorry for ranting. Operating costs will always go up.
I dont care if you have new or used equipment, or use union or non union labor.
Operating costs always go up.
I just don't understand why some lack the confidence and ability to demand a higher rate?

:cool2

DPete
05-11-2007, 08:45 AM
Rollover, that's pretty good coin for a D8 , if the area will bear it more power to you. Could'nt get that here. :) DP

Dirt Dogg
05-11-2007, 10:20 PM
Your way to cheap you could easily get 75 or 80. Just because you are using a smaller tractor doesn't mean it is not worth as much
When you are doing work that is matched for that tractor its worth every penny.

$1000 minimum
D6R @ 125
750 B @ 110
200LC @ 115
570A @ 100
4WD & 18 yrd pan @ 140

JBL
05-12-2007, 01:46 PM
Dirt Dogg, you seem pretty cheap on the 18 yard pan. We charge $200 an hour for our 627A.

Dirt Dogg
05-12-2007, 02:40 PM
I know its worth more, but when I'm working for farmers and they see a 4wd hooked to it, they automaticaly want to get theirs out of the shed to save money.

tnturkey
05-12-2007, 03:27 PM
We rank number 21 in Americas poorest counties :( I wish I could get 75 an hour it would help on the up keep and repairs. But people around here can't really afford to pay a lot of money for dozer work :(

Deas Plant
05-12-2007, 06:58 PM
Hi, Folks.
Just to add an 'upside down' aspect to this thread, the company I was working for 2 years ago here in DownUnder was then charging $125.00 Australian per hour for its Cat D5B dozer with rippers and its 2 Cat 953 track loaders with 4-in-1 buckets and rippers. The conversion rate then was around the US$0.75 to A$1.00 mark.

Happy debating.

Dozer575
05-13-2007, 04:34 AM
I've been an operator many times. I would like some good pointers for going it on your own. I want to get a large dozer and rent it and me. Any good ideas for finding work?

tnturkey
05-13-2007, 08:59 AM
Put a ad in the paper and do a good job when you do get a job. Word of mouth and repeat customers will seal the deal. If you are not in a heavily populated area, you may want to get a backhoe, dump truck and trailer. That way you could dig basements and install septic tanks. Installing a septic tank takes about 2 days and we get around 2000.00 If someone is building a house and after you have leveled the site, you can get the backhoe to work and then use your truck to haul away the top soil or fill dirt. You can also use the dump truck to pull your equipment for job site to job site.

itsgottobegreen
05-13-2007, 10:40 PM
$55 an hour is about what were are getting for manual labor. $75-95 an hour is what we get for skid loaders depending on attachment.

topdigger
02-21-2010, 10:14 PM
I have a Case 850G and we charge $125.00 for the first hour and $85.00 per hr after that, i think its close to the same size as your JD.

andoman
02-22-2010, 06:00 PM
I'm running two D3K's at $85 / hour

2stickbill
02-22-2010, 08:58 PM
Put a ad in the paper and do a good job when you do get a job. Word of mouth and repeat customers will seal the deal. If you are not in a heavily populated area, you may want to get a backhoe, dump truck and trailer. That way you could dig basements and install septic tanks. Installing a septic tank takes about 2 days and we get around 2000.00 If someone is building a house and after you have leveled the site, you can get the backhoe to work and then use your truck to haul away the top soil or fill dirt. You can also use the dump truck to pull your equipment for job site to job site.

Man for $2,000 you would have to work nite and day here to keep from getting behind.I think here in my county the lowest is about $3,000.And the one with a sprinkler system starts at about $6,000

Colorado Digger
02-22-2010, 09:44 PM
man, i have a case 850 h and i am embarassed to say what i get for it. i guess wee are still getting decent money up here.

John White
02-24-2010, 10:35 AM
Does my Tonka toy count. I get about $40 a hour with my little Mitsubishi BD2Most times I will give them a complete job price and will come out to $70 or $80 meter time. I only do small jobs that larger operators willl not fool with.

FurakawaMatt
02-24-2010, 03:03 PM
I used to charge $40/hr for my Furukawa back 7 years ago which is only a little bigger dozer than the BD2. Most jobs, meter time is not a good way to bill since there is a lot of time spent getting off the machine to do things like pipe setting, chainsawing, waiting for Gravel. You also have to consider the cost of moving the equipment to the job site. I always preferred by the hour with a minimum amount of 2 hours charge added for moving. Some jobs are better to be bid as a total cost though you have to be careful of chore creep. Customers will always seek to maximize what they get from you.

Greg
02-24-2010, 08:09 PM
tnturkey,

At that price you are loosing your backside. You can't run that machine for less just because you are in the 21st worst off county in the country. fuel is pretty much the same all over, parts are the same, and so it goes. What are you going to do when the machine wears out or breakes down?

Arabhacks
02-25-2010, 04:36 PM
Hello.

I have an old Mack CH with a dump body (tandem) and a trailer as well as an old Case 580 Super D backhoe and a New Holland skid steer.
I can charge by the hour, but NEVER less than $130, or cost plus.
I steer away from farm or ranch work, not only does this not pay as much, but one must also figure on travel time and distance.
If I bill out 4 hours of work, 1/2 day, I can figure on that being it for the day, and I am the operator/driver.
I work for a few plumbers who will get together and provide me with a full days work at a time, they take care of the billing and insurance for me.
I started this as a way to pay for school years ago and have always worked only weekends and holidays or nights, exactly what a plumber wants.
And remember, it it is cheaper by far to run a backhoe than a tracked tractor in the long run.
I can road that backhoe if need be and close enough, but a dozer can not even cross the road.

Mike Mc
02-26-2010, 12:19 AM
I have an old cable dozer D82U and a D47U. I only do side jobs with them but really have no idea what my cost per hour is. What do you guys figure your cost per hour is? With and without operator?

John White
02-26-2010, 09:37 AM
Seems to me that a few years ago a "cat" fellow told me that is you buy a new dozer, charge $50 a hour. That over the life of the dozers, fuel, parts to keep it running, laying back money to buy another one when it is worn out, that you make NOTHING. I am not knowledgable enough to dispute his word or not. I do know that keeping a dozer up, is not cheap. Eventually they all need repairs or replaced.

Hardcountry
02-27-2010, 05:27 AM
G'Day all, just wondering what hourly rate i can expect to get for a D6H here in Australia.
Also there does'nt seem to be much of a price difference between Cs Ds and earlier Hs can anyone elaborate.
Thanks

swampdog
02-27-2010, 03:33 PM
All it takes to ruin the business for everyone else in the area is for one company to work too cheaply.

At one time, I lived in an area where the owner of the oldest, most established excavating and hauling company would work for next to nothing. Lots of times, they wouldn't even bother sending a bill or collecting for the work they did. They lived hand to mouth, and much of what they made went for keeping their old equipment running, but they stayed in business. If anyone else charged a fair price, they didn't get much work. That's one way to limit the competition, but it's bad for everyone.

Greg
02-27-2010, 10:38 PM
Been a lot of that going on around here too. Lost a job to a guy last year that took it for $1.00 per cubic yard. Just plain nuts.

STAFFORD
02-28-2010, 12:48 AM
:eek:How do you folks make any money, I get $100 an hour on my JD 650, What do you guys get on a 200 series excavator?

Reuben
02-28-2010, 09:27 PM
:eek:How do you folks make any money, I get $100 an hour on my JD 650, What do you guys get on a 200 series excavator?

we charge $150 with an operator for a JD 200D and $90-95 for a JD 550 H lt

Transitchest
03-01-2010, 12:22 AM
I purchased a 2006 Case 650K Lt and want to put it to work, It has 1600 hours on it and works great, have need of knowing how to charge for the machine and me operating it. Have purchased truck and trailer to take it to job sites.

topdigger
03-01-2010, 12:37 AM
Welcome Transitchest , I have Case 850G and charge $125 for first hour then $85 after that. On most job i like to just bid per job and try to get $850 to $1000 per day depending on the type of work and job specs. You for sure need to charge extra for the hauling to the jobsite, that's why my first hour is higher. Good luck

Transitchest
03-01-2010, 12:42 AM
For your hourly pricing do you have a minamum of 2 or 4 hours per job?

mockman
03-01-2010, 10:08 AM
Amazing...
I often wonder how it is that I can stay so busy? :beatsme
Our Cat D8R is $230.00 hr.
As fuel prices continue to climb,
so does my hourly rate.
Why even turn a key if there is any doubt that you cant cover all expenses,
plus put some $ away?
On average, an operator is worth $55.00 hr.
That covers all taxes, wages, workmans comp and benefits.
What the operator actually gets paid is always a different story.
Owner operator or company operator, it should make no difference.
$55.00 hr is what we bill the customer.
More often than not, they have a problem with our prices.
At that point, I reach in my pocket, hand them $.50 and kindly suggest that they look in the Yellow Pages under "budget tractor renting and operating".
For every 1 operator/tractor that gets paid what he/it's worth, there will be 100's that will work for peanuts.
Sorry for ranting. Operating costs will always go up.
I dont care if you have new or used equipment, or use union or non union labor.
Operating costs always go up.
I just don't understand why some lack the confidence and ability to demand a higher rate?

:cool2

wow, 55.00 per hour for a dozer operator, best I ever got was 16.00 and I am as good as they come, 30 years worth, dad taught me, he ran them with armour in korea, nothing but slits to look out of. I was getting $100.00 for my D6D, seemed a bargain to me, most would cry, beat you up on price, so I sold it and decided the hell with the dirt business, been no money in Omaha for 10 years, they seem to want to see who has the best bankruptcy lawyer. The banks and everyone keep refinancing these same idiots and the prices never go up, one company 27 million chapter seven and people still think they are best dirt movers around

JASON M
03-01-2010, 09:23 PM
Certain truth, Mockman...... same down here. You ought to see this Const Co. working in front of my home. As a matter of fact, I'll send a digital picture tomorrow. They've been broke several times; I guess "one more time" won't hurt.

topdigger
03-01-2010, 09:28 PM
For your hourly pricing do you have a minamum of 2 or 4 hours per job?
No not if it's close to home if 15 miles or more I try to allow for more travel . Say at least 2 to 3 hours but most of the times the job is at least that if they are needing that size equipment :)

Reuben
03-02-2010, 12:00 PM
wow, 55.00 per hour for a dozer operator, best I ever got was 16.00 and I am as good as they come, 30 years worth, dad taught me, he ran them with armour in korea, nothing but slits to look out of. I was getting $100.00 for my D6D, seemed a bargain to me, most would cry, beat you up on price, so I sold it and decided the hell with the dirt business, been no money in Omaha for 10 years, they seem to want to see who has the best bankruptcy lawyer. The banks and everyone keep refinancing these same idiots and the prices never go up, one company 27 million chapter seven and people still think they are best dirt movers around

Our operators get billed out at $55(least amount we can charge and pay comp.insurance,etc, and still turn a profit)...They dont get paid that much of course. they get what ever RATE is for that particular job and if its not a RATE job they get paid in the low 20's. Maybe they may start work at $16 an hour but if they are good it will go up quick.

TxD5Garrow
04-06-2010, 08:54 PM
What would be average hourly rate for a CAT D5G XL here in the north Texas area?

daxlw
04-07-2010, 11:36 AM
What would be the average rate for an old CAT D6 hydrolic in SW Iowa?

EGS
04-07-2010, 12:10 PM
What would be the average rate for an old CAT D6 hydrolic in SW Iowa?

As much as you can get.:)

FurakawaMatt
04-07-2010, 12:21 PM
What would be average hourly rate for a CAT D5G XL here in the north Texas area? The problem of trying to get an average rate for a particular area is knowing what your competition is charging and what you need to profit by offering your services. It is possible in a given area to not be able to pay for selling your dozers time if the competition can undercut your costs to beneath profitability.

So when setting rates you need to pay for the Operator, Transportation of equipment, Routine maintenance (and possible major repair), and eventual replacement of your equipment. That is why average rate for a area can be a killer. Those who get more work or have amortized equipment or save by having expertise in maintenance/repair can set a lower rate. Not to mention those that desperate for work or unable to make good business decisions.

Even if you are offering the dozing as a side line however, you should attempt to get enough per hour. This helps everyone in the business.

TxD5Garrow
04-07-2010, 03:42 PM
So is the hourly rate only cover the operator? I guess you have to add transportation, fuel and maintenance into that too but where? I'm somewhat lost on how to make bids too, how do you go about making a proper bid? On a house pad or maybe fence clearing.

swampman
04-07-2010, 05:50 PM
My dozer uses about +/-10 gal of fuel per hour, and at $2.50/gal that comes to $25/hr. I operate it as a sideline, so I get $25/hr. Give my dad (owner) $25/hr for maintenance. That's how I come to $75/hr. I'm sure there is a more technical way to calculate amortization, depreciation, etc., but that's the easy way. And, I'm all about doing things the easy way..........

Oh yea, 4 hour minimum to cover transportation. Or tack on $400 for hauling over 30 miles.

ontrac
04-07-2010, 09:32 PM
I will throw my 2 cents at this, First a dollar per hp works pretty good. But I take my cost of operation plus a profit. I have basic costs, I break down to the hour. Fuel for dozer and truck, tags for truck, tires and repairs for truck, insurance, dozer maintenace, then a repair fund for the stuff that breaks and normal wear, Plus a sinking fund for equipment replacement, Profit is figured by my investment, a return on my money invested, I pay my operator me or otherwise. I get a 100 per hr if fuel does not get over 3 bucks a gallon. it costs me 75 per hr to operate it and I do all my own repairs and keep my overall operation cost low. If I cut my rate I short change myself down the line and if I do that I just as soon sell it all now before it wears out and I am broke too.

TXGeoSolarPro
04-08-2010, 06:07 PM
What would be average hourly rate for a CAT D5G XL here in the north Texas area?

FWIW, we operate a JD450H for geo site prep/cleanup and budget $90/hr. In the beginning (1985) I used to figure operating costs and my time. When it came time for major maint/catastrophic failures, it really hurt. Figure your total costs including a reserve for tracks, engine OH and routine maintenance, your operator time including the tax burden and then make sure you ADD some profit.

daman
04-08-2010, 07:18 PM
Rollover, that's pretty good coin for a D8 , if the area will bear it more power to you. Could'nt get that here. :) DP
I agree he'd be packing in his business around here charging that kind of money.

to the op your right around perfect..

JASON M
04-08-2010, 08:48 PM
What I do is simply use rental rates from any national vendor; you can use any dealership's #'s, then add petroleums. Believe me, they've already done the math and it works............ or they wouldn't be as large as they are. But I only use those rates for dozers in average working conditions.

Then there are the conditions. If the dozer is expected to do stumping and clearing, the price just went up 100% the rental rate to account for more arduous "wear & tear" and panel damage.

If the dozer is working in granular sand, price goes up 50% above std rental rate to account for undercarriage wear.

For example, I'd command $100/ hr for a D8 dozer working in average conditons (clay materials on flat ground) I'd bill $150/ hr for a D8 working in sand. And I'd try to get $160/ hr for a D8 working in clearing.

I find these costs to be real.

JASON M
04-08-2010, 08:51 PM
Typo............ I meant $200/hr for a D8 working in heavy clearing. (BTW, I'd double the rental rate on a hyd excavator in clearing also...... just real tough on everything)

geach plant uk
04-25-2010, 11:29 AM
2 years ago was getting 350 per 8 hr day for cat 943 now lucky to get 250 all gone wrong . dg

Dirtdozer
04-25-2010, 05:36 PM
Man told me there is no since being tired and hungry. You can stay at home and just be hungry

FreedomMan
04-25-2010, 10:33 PM
Charging only $55 per hour is sticking it to the rest of us. Your nuts and you're charging half of what you're worth.

LT-x7
04-26-2010, 02:10 PM
Man told me there is no since being tired and hungry. You can stay at home and just be hungry

Thats it!
You can stay home and lose money.....

Skideoder
04-26-2010, 11:42 PM
Charging only $55 per hour is sticking it to the rest of us. Your nuts and you're charging half of what you're worth.

Look at the date of his post, its from 2007.

Mike Mc
04-27-2010, 10:39 AM
When times are slow you have to work cheap to keep your employees semi busy. If I didn't work cheap then all my hands would quit. When thing picked back up I would be in a worse predicament not having a capable hand to catch the job :beatsme

rooster
04-28-2010, 09:35 PM
I am operating a dresser TD 8 for $50.00 per hour. On some jobs I can get $75.00 to cover employee costs.

ngv1515
05-02-2010, 03:09 PM
how much you think i should charge per hour on a D6H around Maryland or Virginia?

Madmark73
05-04-2010, 06:05 AM
Around $150 per hr for a D6R

vjdoz
05-05-2010, 05:20 PM
Here in central nebr JD 750 size gets $125/hr.

ahren's dozer
06-29-2010, 11:06 PM
Hello there! I've been reading everyone's comments on the hourly rates for certain equipment. I own a bulldozer business since 1996 and have the same problem with operators charging too cheap in our area. They charge by the acreage and not by the hour. That would not be too bad if they charge a reasonable rate per acre, but most of them charge between $100 to $200 an acre making it tough for us to compete with. Conservation would only pay $200 an acre no matter the landscape. One problem I notice in my area is that the government runs these guys making them buy newer dozers every time they accept a job. Seems like they like to see us stay in debt for the rest of our life. I have received phone calls just like you all requesting my hourly rates and they throw fits saying they could get someone cheaper. I just kindly say you better go get them and thank you for calling Ahren's Dozer Service. It makes them mad, but heck they had the guts to say that to us. I charge $100 an hour for my D6D dozer which I thought was reasonable. I place bids on jobs and charge depending on what the customer wants done. I always tell my customer up front what they will be expecting in their bill, and usually they don't like my price and cry about it. They try to lowball me, but I cannot work for free. I am the same as you all and know that I need to provide for my family as well as maintain my business expenses. We have a dozer operator who charges $75 an hour for a D6 MXL in our area which affects the rest of us. He is definitely working for peanuts. I worked with one man who charged fairly low in his dozer business and learned he is out of the business after running it for 20 years. He literally does not have anything left from his dozer business. I wished all of us dozer operators would charge the same rate and be on the same page. We could all earn a decent living without breaking ourselves. I'm glad to hear from you all who have the same feelings as myself. Hopefully we can all work together to help improve this.

FurakawaMatt
06-30-2010, 07:58 AM
The $100/hr you can get Ahrens is really too low to offset the cost. I realize that you have to get by with the competition forcing low prices. I imagine you do better from bid jobs. As I mentioned in my earlier post a person needs to charge enough to cover costs plus wages (owner/operators tend to cut this part out to compete better) and there should be adequate money to repair and replace. Even though I do not run anymore as a business I still charge those neighbors/ friends that I do occasional jobs close to the same as if I was.

Good luck with the Dozing business. :)

AU.CASE
06-30-2010, 08:24 AM
We could all earn a decent living without breaking ourselves. I'm glad to hear from you all who have the same feelings as myself. Hopefully we can all work together to help improve this.

Hi all,

This is a big problem, where we get screwed over by undercut$.

I don't do a lot of contract and have just finished a small one with my Dozer for a neighbour in very steep going on blue sandstone, I know last time I charged a premium for the scars on my tracks he brought in a cheaper operator from town, that's ok, but when I look at the last job and I walked back to my workshop, virtually all the income went in a major fluid change that was due and fuel - not really worth it.

We have been farmers [ranchers] since 1880 here on the same land more or less and my Dad was in the Engineers in Asia for 3 years in WWII, he bought into the property with his wages and now I own it with my wife, we do all the work and sell 60 tonnes of pure produce a year.

Pity it hasn't paid a wage since I left school in 1975, we just do it for habit and the amenity of a beautiful place, don't know for how much longer as prices go up and commodities fall, dozing its the same - race to the bottom. :(

This photo was a fence-line, yep we are still breaking into new country here in Eastern Oz, doesn't require any environmental applications to complete.

Bumpus
06-30-2010, 09:26 AM
.
One thing that I have always had a hard time understanding is how other people ( in business ) think everyone else should charge the same price as everyone else for the same kind of work. :confused: :beatsme

If I have an older dozer that is paid for, ( and have been in business for many years with satisfied customers for years, and make the money that I am satisfied with ) why should I care if another person buys a brand new dozer, of the same size, and has to charge another $20.00 - $25.00 sometimes even more on the hour to meat his large monthly payments when I don't have any. And his profit is the same as mine or he can't get jobs because he is higher than I am ?

People do not go into business for other people, and just because a person does a real good job running a peace of equipment does not mean that person knows how to run a successful business.

Maybe ( he or she ) has to many ( personal and business costs ) to meet like house payments, car, pickup, fishing boat, camping trailer, New Truck and Lowboy to haul the Big New Bulldozer.

Most of the time the areas people work in have more people in the equipment business than there jobs to be done, so in order to stay in business they have to bid jobs lower or charge lower prices per hour to be competitive against the guy who works cheaper.

Why should the little guy raise his prices to support or compete with the efforts of the higher priced guys with more overhead and bills than they do ?
That would be like committing suicide. :Pointhead

People do not go into business to help there competition in business to be successful ! ! !
.

FurakawaMatt
06-30-2010, 09:46 AM
I see your point Bumpus that the older dozer that is paid for can be run for less than a brand new leased one. And so long as it can be maintained and replaced for the amount of money you are charging to operate it then you can indeed under bid the competition. That is business.

However if you are living off the equity in that machine with nothing being put aside for repair/replacement eventually you will run out. The amount you charge is your own affair. However if you undercut other business folks by doing charity work (work that does not cover the true costs) you have to expect them to be unhappy about it. Now if you are profitable paying yourself a decent amount to cover Health care, retirement and taxes than you are just a good businessman. If not, you are making it difficult for others to get by with a reasonable standard of livelihood.

ILLICEMAN
06-30-2010, 09:46 AM
Nice to see a lot opinions out there.Keep in mind you are not out there for your health,you out there to make money and stay in businness.Compitition will keep you in line and hopfullly making a reserve for future bills.
Please don,t say I can,t charge enough.If you can,t get out while your machine is worth something and work for someone.

ahren's dozer
06-30-2010, 02:00 PM
I agree $100 an hour is a little low and you are right I try to get my money's worth by bidding on a job.

My dozer is paid for and when I look for another one, I always try to find one at a reasonable price. Many operators in my areas bought newer dozers at an outrageous price. The guy who charges $75 an hour for his D6MXL currently bought a D6NXL and D6R nearly brand new charges less than everyone just to get the jobs to pay for the high payments. Then when he pays it off, he goes and buys another one because of necessary repairs and starts all over again. I try to charge enough for the wear and tear on the equipment as well as making enough money to maintain basic necessities at home and in the business. Most of my stuff are paid for and I still charge people the same because I want to keep my equipment as long as it allows me to by mainteance. Many people mistreat their equipment and do not respect them. The equipments keep me from digging by hand and save my back. We may not all be on the same price range, but should be close enough proportionally.

thebaz
06-30-2010, 08:51 PM
I see your point Bumpus that the older dozer that is paid for can be run for less than a brand new leased one. And so long as it can be maintained and replaced for the amount of money you are charging to operate it then you can indeed under bid the competition. That is business.

However if you are living off the equity in that machine with nothing being put aside for repair/replacement eventually you will run out. The amount you charge is your own affair. However if you undercut other business folks by doing charity work (work that does not cover the true costs) you have to expect them to be unhappy about it. Now if you are profitable paying yourself a decent amount to cover Health care, retirement and taxes than you are just a good businessman. If not, you are making it difficult for others to get by with a reasonable standard of livelihood.

There have been some very good points made here and I think FurakawaMatt, has brought a very balanced view to the thread.
I have been through some hard times in the 25+ years I have been in business, and I know that sometimes you have to make some choices in desperate times that you would not otherwise make, I do however think that it is important to try and stick to the ideal of charging what you are worth.
I know that to some degree the market will dictate what you can charge but at the end of the day it is your business and you have to decide whether or not it is worth working for the "Market price". While I understand the ability to charge less and be more competitive when you no longer have the overhead of paying off a new machine, why should you be making the same (low) profit margin as someone who has the luxury of running a new machine, has less maintenance and will probably have a machine that is not fit for work when they upgrade at the end of the lease or whatever. You should benefit in some way for looking after your machine and running a good business. There are always clients who will tell you you are too expensive no matter how cheap you are, and it is usually the ones who's lifestyle is much more affluent than yours who complain the most. I always think, if I am charging too much, then why aren't I rich!
Baz

Kingston
07-02-2010, 02:10 AM
Up here D4 $90 and that's still too cheap. The bottoms go fast on all this hard sand.

pinesd3400
07-06-2010, 04:50 AM
Td 15 $70.00

Seafarer12
07-06-2010, 09:37 PM
In my area a 550 goes for about 55 and a D8 goes for about 80 to 100 depending on the age of the machine. We have some real old ones running around.

nextdoor
07-09-2010, 07:41 AM
In the west of oz, rates go up and down with the mining industry, especially larger gear. 10 years ago I dry hired a D9L for 100$ ph and in a year it was 200. At present I think it is about 250 to 300 dry, that is no operator, fuel, oil ect. I havent done any contract work for a long time (3 years) but I charged about 225$ (D9L) per hour and they supplied the fuel, didnt think it was too bad until I finished and popped a tranny!!! In the end came out sqare with a new box. I guess Im in a lucky position that mainly I use the machine on my own property and dont have to work it off farm but if the deal is good then I might be tempted.

watglen
07-09-2010, 08:08 AM
I was quoted 3000/week rental on a 6T. I supply oils/fuel/operator. I thought that was a good price.

Another fellow quoted 3800 for a kom d37ex (89 hp, 18000#) monthly. Again, pretty reasonable.

da'yoop
08-05-2010, 11:11 AM
Anybody want to beat this dead horse some more???

How many folks here buy their gas/fuel at the cheapest place around? Would you drive across town to save 15 cents a gallon on gas? Does anybody here shop around for prices on cell phone plans, cable tv, or satellite dish service?

I looked in the phone book today and found about 15 companies that do excavation. That's not counting the no-name guys that have a dozer or backhoe for hire. Then I looked up HVAC contractors. There are only 2 companies that do commercial refrigeration around here. They charge twice as much per hour as the excavators and don't have anywhere near the overhead. It's all about supply and demand. Too many contractors in an area will drive the prices down.

We all want to pay as little as possible for the stuff we want, and that includes our customers.

ehcatguy
08-26-2010, 03:54 PM
Unfortunately the economy has taken its toll in some areas like ours. Here in the northeast some are giving the equipment away for the cost of the fuel. Forget about the cost of facilities, money or maintenance. What until the economy get's better and you try and raise your prices to repair all of that worn out equipment.

I agree with RollOver Pete. You need to draw the line. Every business needs a profit to stay for the long haul.

da'yoop
08-26-2010, 05:11 PM
you're right ehcatguy...but not everyone needs to charge the same amount to make a profit, and the amount of profit isn't always the same.
Some guys are happy with 20-30 thousand a year profit.....some want 50, 60 or more.

buckfever
08-26-2010, 06:09 PM
while this resesion has been tough:( this has also weeded out the hacks:) now when the work comes flooding back those that had a good reputation and good busness practis will come back lean mean and ready to through some dirt.:D

BarnStarFarm
08-26-2010, 08:49 PM
while this resesion has been tough:( this has also weeded out the hacks:) now when the work comes flooding back those that had a good reputation and good busness practis will come back lean mean and ready to through some dirt.:D



My Nana had a saying, "your mouth to God's ear..." Sure hope you've got some crystal ball in you!

ehcatguy
08-27-2010, 09:24 AM
I understand that not every contractors prices, overhead or profit margins are the same and can very substantially. I've seen the high side of 25% for overhead alone. Ours typically is 4%-6%. The issue I have is that the guys I know, who's overhead is on the higher side and renting and bidding equipment prices in the basement. An example of that is where one local firm recently bid on a project where the bid included equipment unit pricing.

Some of the prices on his bid were as follows.

Caterpillar 320BL 22.25 p/hr
Volvo 330BLC 26.75 p/hr
Caterpillar D-6N 31.00 p/hr

They were the lowest and weren't alone. Like us they are a union shop and the labor prices were no better.

ehcatguy
08-27-2010, 09:39 AM
I think some of the hacks have probable been weeded out. But for the most part I don't think they have and I believe some have thrived.

We have had several clients tell us that our prices can't compare to that of the other contractor. Then you go by a project and you see all the beat up equipment and the illegals working you wonder how we ever get back on track. GO OBAMA

BarnStar Farm - We have a 28" ESCO Bucket. If your interested email me at ehcatguy@gmail.com

da'yoop
08-27-2010, 10:03 AM
I understand that not every contractors prices, overhead or profit margins are the same and can very substantially. I've seen the high side of 25% for overhead alone. Ours typically is 4%-6%. The issue I have is that the guys I know, who's overhead is on the higher side and renting and bidding equipment prices in the basement. An example of that is where one local firm recently bid on a project where the bid included equipment unit pricing.

Some of the prices on his bid were as follows.

Caterpillar 320BL 22.25 p/hr
Volvo 330BLC 26.75 p/hr
Caterpillar D-6N 31.00 p/hr

They were the lowest and weren't alone. Like us they are a union shop and the labor prices were no better.

Wow.......
Sometimes a business will take jobs at a loss (if they can afford it) just to run off the competition.......sucks, no matter how you look at it!!!

Mike Mc
08-27-2010, 10:49 AM
Fortunately I got all my oilfield equipment paid off in the boom but now I'm working cheap to keep my employees around. With my specialized gravel packing and casing tong service it's tough to find a reliable hard working hands. So working cheap keeps them on the pay roll so when it picks up I can handle the work load.

I tell them as long as your not tearing up the equipment I can survive working cheap. But throw in a few big careless repair bills and something will have to give. So far no big repair bills.

thebaz
08-27-2010, 07:03 PM
I think that working cheap to keep enough cash flow to maintain your good work staff during tough times is understandable, and as a owner operator fortunately it is something that I haven't had to consider.
The unfortunate thing about competition is that it is not always healthy and sometimes competitive businesses who don't really know their bottom line, ruin it for everyone else. The customer doesn't care that the company with all the shiny new equipment will be broke after they finish his job, he just wants the lowest price. In contracting where you price to get a job done, and there are many ways of doing that job, sometimes the guy that has the cheapest price may still be able to make a huge profit by doing the job in a more efficient way than his competitors. That is smart business. The business that decides to hire their gear at a cheaper hourly rate than his colleagues, is generally losing money, while at the same time making it hard for others in the industry to maintain a reasonable profit margin.
My brother worked for a company that had a niche market and was a very good business. A new company started up in the same field who were prepared to run at a loss for ten years to wipe out the company my brother worked for. You can't compete with that on price without going broke in the process.
I would rather go broke through lack of work, than lack of profit.
Baz

cat980
08-27-2010, 07:41 PM
i charge 150 an hour for a d4c and 100 for my case 580e backhoe and when i have to move my equipment i charge 50 and hour to move it but will cut them a break if its close to my yard and if they dont like my prices to bad my equipment is paid off for so if it sits it doesnt matter they dont owe me anything

ontrac
08-28-2010, 06:29 PM
I know times are tuff and more so for some that are not good at controlling costs to maximize profits but there is a guy advertizing dozer work with a D6 for $40. per hour. I know he is either and idiot or running on credit and fixin to flush it when it catchs up with him. I do not know what kind of fuel burn a D6 has but some indications are alot more than my dozers. There is no way he is working at even cost. I just let these guys burn on out, I am here for the long haul and my costs are fixed at my best price. I was able to pay for my equipment so the banks not on my heels looking for a payment. I know one that he is in so deep the bank does not want to come get his so he is just getting deeper while they "work with him". He is just running it out with no repairs. Now the dozer is used up and unable to fetch anything close to current market value. Also guys tend to overcharge when in need.

thebaz
08-28-2010, 07:18 PM
These guys who drop their hourly rate to the ridiculous not only hurt themselves but give the clients an unrealistic expectation of what you can run a machine for. If the going rate for a machine is say $120 and someone is operating for $40, the buying public just figure you are getting a bonus $80 in your pocket for nothing if you are charging the correct rate. I also hate it when people contact you and only want to know your hourly rate as they usually compare apples to bananas.
Baz

cummins05
08-28-2010, 08:13 PM
Right now im in the process of buying some more equipment and going to work.

I guess we are lucky that the clients that have contacted me about work are willing to pay the rates that I asked for witch are fair but they did say that on the grader they could have a guy with a bigger one then im buying come in for 38 an hour cheaper

So rate cutting is happening up here too the only thing that swayed them my way is that his is a G model and mine is going to be a brand new GP

DanRooks
08-31-2010, 02:44 PM
Let me say this as nice as I can. The price someone else charges does not matter! What matters is knowing for sure, what that machine costs you to own and operate! Only then can you set a fair price for your machine. If someone thinks that your price should be below your cost....maybe he should get his Dozer service somewhere else.

You do not want to pay a client for the fun of working on his land or project!

(The following is similar to a post I made on another thread:)
If You Can Not Cost Your Machines, Then You Can Not Correctly Price your Machines.
or
The History of Dynamic (changing) Life Cycle Heavy Equipment Costing

Ten years ago in 2000, we began a study of how contractors were costing the Owning and Operating Cost of their heavy equipment. We evaluated many costing systems, some were home brew others were developed by others. When someone develops a system, it is often for their purposes, this means that it may not necessarily be for your purposes.


We looked at a wide variety of costing systems. A few of these were:

* The Caterpillar Method (over approx. 40 years)
* Many other manufacturers' systems
* Federal Agencies like The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
* State Agencies Like California DOT
* Published Costing Books
* Internet based costing Services
* Agricultural Machine costing programs
* Printed books back to the 1930's
* Aircraft costing studies

Without a doubt CAT had the best system. In fact they pioneered heavy equipment costing back in the early 1970's. Never-the-less, our study identified 35+ short comings in the CAT system. Considering the age of their system and the fact it was designed for an owner with a pencil, paper and a calculator, it was quite good in comparison.


The CAT engineers that designed the system did not have a powerful computer sitting on their desktop like you do today. (VisiCalc, the first computer spreadsheet program was released in 1979) The CAT O & O (Owning and Operating) Heavy Equipment Costing System has remained basically unchanged except of some minor cost updates though 2001. Much of what made the CAT system good was mysteriously deleted in 2001. The user was instructed to talk to their dealer about repair cost.


This in itself, is a great idea since they will supply you the parts and components. However, not all dealers have the info you need. I remember speaking one equipment dealer who could not even get fuel consumption data from the Original Equipment Manufacturer. If you have a mixed fleet, good luck. If you want to do your own repair and maintenance, good luck, as maintenance contracts can be purchased for low hours and low age machines (Although some dealers will take your fleet as is.)


I do not want you to think that CAT was entirely self-serving by the deletion of this repair cost data. In my opinion, this change had a lot to do with the fact that old system was a manual system and this made the repair cost data, very difficult to prove. In one market, repair costs were too high and in another too low. Dealers complained. To make matters worse, competitors would use these numbers against CAT! If I faced this same situation, I might have made the same decision that CAT did.


As you try to get machine costing data, you may have difficulty due to a manufacturer's secrecy. Keep in mind that some manufacturers may believe that it is not in their best interest spend the time and money to collect costing data you need. Some manufacturers and dealers may believe that if they told you the real cost of machinery of owning heavy equipment, may cost them sales and scare off potential customers. Some are fearful that it may expose them to competitors who do not calculate the same way they count. Fear is a great motivator.


Probably, the number one reason for the lack of costing data is the fact that very few machine owners demand it before purchasing.


Back to some history. We began to develop a heavy equipment costing system. Initially, we tried working with spreadsheets but quickly found that they would not do what was necessary. Yes, spreadsheets could cost part of a machine's cost but they just will not provide the whole picture. They just are not suited for the job.


Why do think people buy millions of Accounting software packages form QuickBooks etc.? If spreadsheets are not suited for good accounting, why would you think they are good for machine costing? We found out that spreadsheets just will not provide the needed power, speed, flexibility, variability, reporting and error elimination. Accurate Heavy Equipment Costing takes a sophisticated database with a simple to use, custom interface. This what we use in DecisiveCost.


I know a lot of people use spreadsheets. I do not criticize anyone for trying to cost with a spreadsheet. This is where companies often start but also quickly learn the weaknesses of spreadsheets. They are certainly better then pricing your equipment by matching a local rental house. (Your cost is your cost, a rental house may price based on their cost. Their cost has nothing to do with you.)


If I could categorize what made the original CAT system great, was the focus on what today we call Dynamic (changing) Life Cycle Owing and Operating Cost. Today almost every manufacture supports the concept that your heavy equipment cost changes as the type of work and conditions change. I don't want to focus too much on spreadsheets but as soon as you use one for costing, you loose the "Dynamic" part of costing. Costing one machine, for one work type and geology or strata is one thing. Costing a mixed group of machines, were work and geology changes....is entirely different thing.


We have a free basic costing system at www,DecisiveCost.com (http://www,DecisiveCost.com)

JDR62
09-06-2010, 12:07 PM
Last year I bought a D5H LGP for 34,000$ cash, Between 3 different contractors I was able to put 960 hrs. on it . The only overhead i have is a 4x4 pickup /w for fueling and to get to and from the job site, (which i already owned).

72,000 gross profit
11,448 fuel
2,250 ins.
2,650 parts

55,652 net


I only made $75.00 per hr. which included the contractor hauls the cat to their job site, Did i just get lucky that i had only minor break downs and could repair them myself
or did i miss something.

ontrac
09-06-2010, 01:04 PM
960 Hrs I would have changed the oil every 100 hrs, The undercarraige wore down so factor in a variable of maybe 50 percent and if you do it yourself with no pay that would be around 4500. Your truck and the 34000 investment should pay a return and wear and tear. Tires tags ect. Pay uncle Obama 26% so he can give it to someone that will not work, Cell phone costs, advertisment? Did you bill every hour on it? How much time in travel, job oversite ect. You did good with that many hours for my area for what you are operating. Did you depreciate your equipment? At 1000 hrs a year you might be interested in another one in five years.

FurakawaMatt
09-06-2010, 01:11 PM
Sounds like you are doing good. With no cost for transporting the dozer you can charge less than someone maintaining the truck/trailer would.

DanRooks
09-06-2010, 05:56 PM
JDR62 I hate to break the bad news to you but what your accounting records tell you is insufficient and in many ways wrong.

You and the previous owners have consumed a portion of every thing that makes up a ($150,000.00?) new machine. Some things are consumed faster than other things. Much of the cost is incurred gradually over every hour it runs Think about the undercarriage for just one example. Is the undercarriage cost incurred with every hour or when it needs to be replaced? Your accountant may say: "When it happens." I say it is a job cost that needs to be charged to the job through your hourly machine cost. None of this is recorded in many accounting systems because it has not happened yet.

Some time ago I wrote a blog article titled Why Your Accountant May Be Putting You Out of Business (and Not Even Know it!

I hope it is ok to put this link here as I do not want my personal blog to be confused with advertising. See http://decisivecost.blogspot.com/2008/01/why-your-accountant-may-be-putting-you.html

All your accounting system revels is what you spent last year. Unfortunately, many costs are coming down the road. I know that it can be a little confusing but take a look at my link in a previous post, in this thread. It will help you. It is for a completely free and not some kind of trial, costing method. It will get you started in costing. (Please make sure you understand what this costing tool will do and not do. If you have any questions, Contact me by private message here at HEF.

Best wishes,
Dan

ontrac
09-06-2010, 10:18 PM
Dan, I am glad to see someone else understands that my costs are just that, my costs. I operate my equipment in a manner that I maximize my life limited parts. This is also why some charge different rates for clearing timber or working in adverse soils. They understand that wear and tear increase under these conditions and costs increase. Thanks for the link it is very good advise to all.

thebaz
09-07-2010, 07:51 AM
Last year I bought a D5H LGP for 34,000$ cash, Between 3 different contractors I was able to put 960 hrs. on it . The only overhead i have is a 4x4 pickup /w for fueling and to get to and from the job site, (which i already owned).

72,000 gross profit
11,448 fuel
2,250 ins.
2,650 parts

55,652 net


I only made $75.00 per hr. which included the contractor hauls the cat to their job site, Did i just get lucky that i had only minor break downs and could repair them myself
or did i miss something.

Yeah, about $34,000 for a start.
If you are talking about net profit then you have to factor all your costs involved with making your gross. That would drop your profit down to $21,652. Due to the nature of the earth moving business you have maintenance involving consumables, (undercarriage, GET, services, etc), that can be factored as an hourly cost as well as unexpected breakdowns and accidents that you also have to allow for. You could only claim a net profit of $52,652 if you didn't spend any other money than you have listed here, you put no wear and tear on your own vehicle, (unlikely), and you sold the dozer for $34,000 and called it quits.
Baz

DanRooks
09-07-2010, 08:54 AM
TheBaz brings up an interesting point. Accounting is sorta like a broken clock which is absolutely correct 2 x in a day! Only after the sale of a machine can you take the total amount paid out over a machine's ownership life and compute what that particular machine really cost you per hour.

Even then you might not want to use that number to base your price per hour on due to the fact that:

The cost for diesel fuel, service, parts, operator is very likely different now, than in the previous 5 (or whatever) years
Type of work application may be different (see CAT Performance Handbook)
Geology of work may be different (sand vs, clayey soils job)
You use the machine more or less annual hours than the machine you sold
The new machine is more or less dependable than the old machine
You might have sold the machine right before a major repair
The market value for used machines has changed
Your accounting system did not compute the "Cost of Money into your costs unless you financed 100%.


Nobody said this business was going to be easy. It just looks easy. If you send me a private message with your mail and e-mail information, I will send you a free copy of the CAT Performance Handbook costing section and some information on how to make all of this easier. No charge or obligation.
Dan

five
09-12-2010, 11:21 PM
I need a job!!!!

Aussie Leroy
09-20-2010, 02:52 AM
How much $/hr for a D8R or simalar in australia Wet rate,Leroy

DanRooks
09-20-2010, 09:14 AM
How much $/hr for a D8R or simalar in australia Wet rate,Leroy

Leroy, are you asking for the COST per hour of this machine or what guys are charging as a PRICE? Suppose you get several PRICES from people who:

Do not know their true cost per hour
Operate their machine in different Geological conditions
Who use their machine in a different Work application (See Here) (https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=1GOW48uwBfr5j3PIbgaCBHSd99SoD_TmwWp6dpLAFI QY&sort=name&layout=list&num=50)
Have Repair labor rates different than your cost
Have not adjusted for Cost of fuel changes for three years
Bought their machine new and it has less than 5,000 hours on it
Bought their machine at auction and it has 15,000 hours on it


Are you getting the idea that you need to know YOUR cost and that your cost may be as much as 200% different than another person's cost?

To start you on the costing journey there is a FREE costing tool on this web site. (Click Here) (http://www.decisivecost.com/)

caterpillarRy
09-27-2012, 07:33 PM
well as far as i can tell $100 per hour is fair for an old 3t d7 with hydraulics

caterpillarRy
09-27-2012, 07:49 PM
wow only $10 per hour to run an old 7u minus operator cost but for me thats not an issue

MattR
10-14-2012, 12:04 PM
This has been a good one.

I am with all of the fellows that are sick of people working for free. Most of the time they don't know yet what the true costs are. We have all taken a calculator all around the house, even to the john, doing "The Math" on how much one can make. It takes years to put all factors into the equasion. The hidden costs that WILL get you eventually. Trannys, finals, undercarrige, snapped booms, holes in blocks and on and on. After dealing with all of the factors for years, one finally realizes THESE MACHINES NEED TO MAKE MONEY. Not using just "Break Even" figures.

I liked the post " I can stay home and be hungry, instead of tired and hungry". All the cheapy undercutters out there have taken the fun and company survival out of it.

There are people here that will haul quad loads cheaper than we will hit the key, not because we are trying to retire from one load, IT JUST CAN'T BE DONE.

We all get sick of things sometimes, but never before have I thought of selling things and getting a job and leaving all the CHEAPYS to fight like 2 scorpions in a snuff can. Because of them.

Not trying to be rude to anybody, just telling the truth.

Finally to answer the man's original question, yes you should get a min of $75 for that size unit. More if conditions are extra crummy.

Thanks

I