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Thread: Fair backhoe rates

  1. #1
    Senior Member Duke's Avatar
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    Fair backhoe rates

    Now that I've probably got my case 580M coming this week, I am going to start actively trying to make money with it on the side. I'm primarily using it to dig my own foundations, septic, r/w retention systems, driveways, etc.

    BUT, my plumber and others are asking me how much $$ for smaller foundations, trenches, digging up stumps, etc. Heck, I have a friend who has a giant piece of property he needs all kinds of work done (land clearing, stump removal, etc.) that could keep me busy for a while alone.

    I'm not a professional excavator, but what's a fair rate for my machine and a decent operator per hour or per day just digging with my machine?

    $100/hr? guess?

  2. #2
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    I would say depending on your area $65-$75 per hour

  3. #3
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    Rubber tired hoe rate is 80 dollars per hour around these parts thats 80 dollars CND so 74 dollars US.

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    I'm getting $50/hr Canadian most on average get $50-65/hr.

    $90+ an hour is more excavator rates

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cat420's Avatar
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    We figure about $95/hr for ours. Most people just want a bottom line number, but you still need to figure what the hourly rate will be. Estimating the time it will take you is the main thing that takes some figuring.

    Also part of your rate will be affected by your costs. For example, using the owning and operating cost calculator from www.constructionequipment.com I know that our 420D costs us $38 for every hour that clicks over on the meter. Your own costs will be affected by how much work the machine gets and other factors. Keeping your rate in line with the local area is important, but not if you can't cover costs.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Duke's Avatar
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    man, that seems cheap. Nobody around here lives in less than a $600,000 house. (except me haha) Most homes are in the $1,000,000 range, many higher.

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    Please!

    Please take no offense to this, but please listen. Side work is ok.........but you GOTTA get insurance if you do anything for anyone other than yourself. Not only does being insured protect you and your customer, it makes what you do fair to the guy that does it for a living.

    I hate unfair compitetion. (It's very difficult to compete with the part-timer that doesn't have the cost of insurance)
    Whatever it takes!

  8. #8
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    I'am pretty sure Duke is still in the house construction business so he must have insurance etc.

    The backhoe service in this area has pretty well died off most jobs are done with mini excavators 12,000-18,000 machines. Out of the all the contractors in this area alone 20 of them only 1 does backhoe work. Jobsites now are getting to the point is if the machine doesn't have tracks its not going to get around. All the good easy building lots are gone.

    To make a rubber tired hoe really earn its money is have a good operator on it. A good operator can make a backhoe do wonders.

  9. #9
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    Well one good way to figure a machine rate is to see what they rent that machine out in your area at the rental yard then see what local operators are getting an hour. I price mine out at $85 and it should probably be more.I guess you can have a higher price and have less jobs or be really inexpensive and do alot of jobs. I would rather do the first.Then you have to do plug in your hourly rate and do it my the job or just do the hourly rate but don't forget to add travel time and min work times like if you go to pull one stump well it will only take you a min but getting there and back could amount ot half day lost depending where you are in conjunction to your jobs.

    One other thing if you do charge high and are slow at the controls your customers might get upset with that hourly charge if your slow(not saying you are) but just another thought i had when doing hourly.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donlang View Post
    Please take no offense to this, but please listen. Side work is ok.........but you GOTTA get insurance if you do anything for anyone other than yourself. Not only does being insured protect you and your customer, it makes what you do fair to the guy that does it for a living.

    I hate unfair compitetion. (It's very difficult to compete with the part-timer that doesn't have the cost of insurance)
    Perhaps you don't know me, and that's understandable, but I'm not some fly by night kid. All my equipment is fully insured and I've been running a successful, insured, construction business for over 20 years. I've owned backhoes, tandem trucks, trailers, dumps, etc. for many years.

    The only reason I want to do a little side work is to offset the monthly payment on this pig. Just $500-$1,000 per month would be fine. Otherwise it might be too expensive to keep for my work only.

  11. #11
    Administrator digger242j's Avatar
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    It's just a question of semantics. I think the term "on the side" conjures up images of somebody that hasn't made the commitment to being a "business" that you obviously have.

    I used to do lots of work on weekends for a few friends that had other employers. To them, those were "side jobs", but I still had the same overhead that I did the other five days of the week. When you're in business, they're all just "jobs".

    Now, if you'd said something about "optimizing asset utilization in order to realize maximum return on capital investment", we'd all have known what you meant.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger242j View Post
    It's just a question of semantics. I think the term "on the side" conjures up images of somebody that hasn't made the commitment to being a "business" that you obviously have.

    I used to do lots of work on weekends for a few friends that had other employers. To them, those were "side jobs", but I still had the same overhead that I did the other five days of the week. When you're in business, they're all just "jobs".

    Now, if you'd said something about "optimizing asset utilization in order to realize maximum return on capital investment", we'd all have known what you meant.

    That's what I meant to say. I took no offense form the guy. I knew what he meant.

    When I said "on the side" what I mean is, I'm not an excavator by trade. I should have been more clear about that.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rino1494's Avatar
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    Where in PA are you located ?? A average new home here cost around $300,000. The going rate here is around $70/hr.

  14. #14
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    Where in PA do you live? I live near Quakertown and there was a new add in the Penny Power (small classifieds newspaper) for a new excavating business and they listed their rate in the paper for a tlb as $60/hr. To me, I think that is kinda low considering there are a lot of expensive homes because it is within commuting range to NY city.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Duke's Avatar
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    I live in SE PA between Philly & Wilmington, DE

    I think the add for a $60/hr TLB is most likely for a little Kubota or Deere 110, etc.. I see a lot of those ads.....kids & retirees buy a small machine and they're "in business". I could have charged $60/hr with the Kubota I used to have.

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