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  • #16
    Re: Cost per hour for a truck

    we are a small outfit that does spend a little to much time at the supply house at times. I dont do the travel time to the job on my billing but going from one job to the next in my town takes less than ten minutes. But if I have to leave the job to get materials I am still on the clock to the customer . Because there is no way you can carry every possible plumbing item on your truck that you may need at the job. Even though you can usually have what you need if you Know what the customer wants in advance. Then comes the while you are here can you change this faucet. Sure I can . What faucet do you want . Lets see if they have that model in stock . Ok they have it I will be right back. You have to charge for this travel time cause now you are a paid shopper getting the customer what they want. Its a lot different being a 3 man operation than a large shop that has hired gophers. Either way if this question is pertaining to what to charge for the cost of a vehicle doing service work I have no idea. As long as we can make a living with our hourly rate and servce call being what it is I am happy. But you do have to factor in the cost of being a licensed plumber into both of these otherwise you are just a handyman
    Last edited by ridgidpipe; 06-30-2008, 05:26 PM. Reason: I am a terrible typist

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    • #17
      Re: Cost per hour for a truck

      In the industrial sector, we charge 20 bucks hourly, 80 daily for a service vehicle. Shop vehicle/delivery truck is 18 hourly, 72 daily. A pickup is 15 an hour, 60 daily. You really make money on a nice long maintenance contract where the vehicles stay on site. I am doing some plumbing at a nuke right now. The supply house driver got there at 9:30 in the morning. The security procedure to get a vehicle in was just changed, and the guards were playing war games so the gates were short staffed. He didn't get into the PA (protected area)till 3:30 p.m. Cha-ching! I am leaving my van in the parking lot, and still charging for it, because even though it is not inside the PA, it is not available to any other jobs.

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      • #18
        Re: Cost per hour for a truck

        Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
        Sounds like you guys need to loosen up a little and live life and enjoy what you do
        I mean, if all you do is worry about how much money you lost because you had to go to the supply house then your spending to much time worrying about money. I figure, I`ll make what I make and I`ll enjoy the day and BSing at the supply house is good PR work as I get allot of jobs from the other plumbers
        When I was young I worried about how much I could make in a day but not anymore as I now see allot of friends dieing off that never got to enjoy the day.
        Maybe that`s why I`m so happy all the time
        Great attitude, All Clear

        As long as one is making a decent living and is able to play hard and work hard, I have to agree with you.
        YourHomeContractor.com - The Trusted Online Community For Homeowners and Contractors.

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        • #19
          Re: Cost per hour for a truck

          Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
          Sounds like you guys need to loosen up a little and live life and enjoy what you do
          I mean, if all you do is worry about how much money you lost because you had to go to the supply house then your spending to much time worrying about money. I figure, I`ll make what I make and I`ll enjoy the day and BSing at the supply house is good PR work as I get allot of jobs from the other plumbers
          When I was young I worried about how much I could make in a day but not anymore as I now see allot of friends dieing off that never got to enjoy the day.
          Maybe that`s why I`m so happy all the time
          I'm not sure you do the thousands of drain cleanings a year you've posted about yet still have time to hang out at the supply house. As a one man shop non productive hours are fine and at your discretion. However, I had very few applicants if any who applied because they only want to work part time. My job as the owner was to optimize man-hours. When the customer called for service we needed to be able to get to the job or recommend someone else. The simple math tells you to only own enough trucks and equipment (plus some wiggle room) to handle your customer load. Then you hire the crew to fill the trucks. If you have one guy who only does 20-25 hours per week of the 40-hours you scheduled for him you are losing 15-20 hours of income on that truck. When your cost of sales is based on all the trucks working full time you have the same overhead on that truck sitting in the yard as you do the trucks earning money.

          Mark
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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          • #20
            Re: Cost per hour for a truck

            I figure 1490 billable hours a year. Roughly 3.5 non billable hours a day which include computer time (invoicing, estimating, scheduling), cell phone calls during the day, material pickup, travel time, etc. Basically it's all the time that I'm "at work" but not on a particular job. I multiply those non-billable hours by my breakeven point (which is probably more than most plumbers charge with profit!) and divide it into my billable hours.

            So, I only charge for time on the job because the lost time (generally) is already figured into my hourly rate. I also do not charge a service call or minimum charge.

            Of course, I do have those days when it seems all I do is drive around all day and don't get anything accomplished.
            "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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            • #21
              Re: Cost per hour for a truck

              Slim Did You Get The Water Line Under The Drive Repaired???



              J.C.

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              • #22
                Re: Cost per hour for a truck

                Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                Slim Did You Get The Water Line Under The Drive Repaired???



                J.C.
                I've got a hole big enough to bury myself-while in my van-and I think I will!
                Updates later.
                "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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                • #23
                  Re: Cost per hour for a truck

                  Originally posted by Service Guy View Post
                  In the plumbing service business 4-5 hours/day billable is normal. (unless you charge T&M and charge for drive time between calls)
                  When I started running service, I asked guys in service trucks in other types of outfits about this. I was told 4 1/2 to 5 billable hours a day was what I had to do to be profitable for my employer. I kept track for several years and found I averaged 6 to 6 1/2, and that was how I knew I was on solid footing with my boss. In the place I work now, it's not run quite so organized, and I'm sometimes lucky to get 5. I work hard at it and when the normal guy doing dispatch is gone I get much more done.

                  We us trip charges instead of charging actual travel time (unless we're driving a considerable distance) and that covers the cost of the truck, insurance, fuel, down time, etc. If you threw in a 1/2 hour per trip on some days, billable hours would actually exceed paid time.
                  sigpic3:00, I mean 5:00, and work is done. Time to crack a cold one.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Cost per hour for a truck

                    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                    I'm not sure you do the thousands of drain cleanings a year you've posted about yet still have time to hang out at the supply house. As a one man shop non productive hours are fine and at your discretion. However, I had very few applicants if any who applied because they only want to work part time.
                    Mark
                    Mark
                    You caught me, I lied
                    I don't do that many sewers but for some reason I flat wore out a K-7500 in just 2 years...hummmmm

                    How many sewers does it take to ware out a 7500 in 2 years?
                    Lets see the feeder tube now has the cable sticking through it
                    I cant turn the nose cone anymore and it`s warn out to the feeder
                    I use up 100` cable till they are like a floppy rope

                    Yep I`m lucky if I only do 1 one sewer a day
                    I must have been dreaming when I did 17 C/O`s on Sunday at the food plant that I do once a month
                    http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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                    • #25
                      Re: Cost per hour for a truck

                      Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
                      Mark
                      You caught me, I lied
                      I don't do that many sewers but for some reason I flat wore out a K-7500 in just 2 years...hummmmm

                      How many sewers does it take to ware out a 7500 in 2 years?
                      Lets see the feeder tube now has the cable sticking through it
                      I cant turn the nose cone anymore and it`s warn out to the feeder
                      I use up 100` cable till they are like a floppy rope

                      Yep I`m lucky if I only do 1 one sewer a day
                      I must have been dreaming when I did 17 C/O`s on Sunday at the food plant that I do once a month
                      Holy $hit Steve, is it that time of the month already?
                      Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Cost per hour for a truck

                        Yep
                        Christmas in July
                        http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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                        • #27
                          Re: Cost per hour for a truck

                          Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
                          Sounds like you guys need to loosen up a little and live life and enjoy what you do
                          I mean, if all you do is worry about how much money you lost because you had to go to the supply house then your spending to much time worrying about money. I figure, I`ll make what I make and I`ll enjoy the day and BSing at the supply house is good PR work as I get allot of jobs from the other plumbers
                          When I was young I worried about how much I could make in a day but not anymore as I now see allot of friends dieing off that never got to enjoy the day.
                          Maybe that`s why I`m so happy all the time
                          Originally posted by All Clear Sewer View Post
                          Mark
                          You caught me, I lied
                          I don't do that many sewers but for some reason I flat wore out a K-7500 in just 2 years...hummmmm

                          How many sewers does it take to ware out a 7500 in 2 years?
                          Lets see the feeder tube now has the cable sticking through it
                          I cant turn the nose cone anymore and it`s warn out to the feeder
                          I use up 100` cable till they are like a floppy rope

                          Yep I`m lucky if I only do 1 one sewer a day
                          I must have been dreaming when I did 17 C/O`s on Sunday at the food plant that I do once a month
                          It appears you missed my point as I never questioned the number of drains you clean. What I am saying is doing the number of drains you do you obviously are as driven as much as some of the others (myself included). In addition, doing the number of drains you do I doubt you can afford the time to hang out at the supply house and BS very often.

                          Your business situation might be different than mine was but I would rather spend 10 hours per week on the lake rather than 10 hours per week in the supply house. If I called an order in by 3 PM it was at my shop at 7 AM the next morning (or the job site) and it did not cost a cent to have it delivered. With the hours I saved I could either work extra or head to the lake depending on what was going on.

                          Mark
                          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                          • #28
                            Re: Cost per hour for a truck

                            Yes Mark I missread your post, My Bad, I`m sorry. you can now me
                            http://www.all-clear-sewer.com/

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                            • #29
                              Re: Cost per hour for a truck

                              I hardly go to the supply house at all anymore. Only for toilets and water heaters that I am replacing in emergency situations. I have put shelves in my basement and stocked up extra parts from plumbmaster (catalog company.) Also, I got my extended 3500 van and loaded it to the gills with shelving and inventory. So I have cut down my trips to the supply house significantly which means less wasted time and gas. When I get low on something, I just e-mail my rep at plumbmaster and my parts get shipped to my door in a couple days.
                              I simply cut out the time-wasting, overcharging middleman supply house. (Ferguson in my case).
                              Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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                              • #30
                                Re: Cost per hour for a truck

                                I've cut out most of my supply house time as well. I order my oem delta parts from barnett and they are at my door the next day. I get alot of stuff from Wolverine Brass and when I do need stuff from in town I call ahead and make sure it will be ready for me when I arrive.

                                But, what my 'time-waster' is, if you want to call it that, is to meet with my plumber friends, one-man shops like myself mostly, and have lunch or just shoot the bull. It's therapy. It can't be all go,go,go. It's like the Ridgid Forum, except face to face. I may work on the computer all night doing invoicing or estimates etc, so if I take a few minutes during the day, or an hour, I'm not going to beat myself over the head. I used to. It hurt.
                                "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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