Charging For Tool Use ? - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Charging For Tool Use ?

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Old 03-13-2019, 06:31 PM   #1
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Charging For Tool Use ?

So does any one charge for the use of certain specialized tools, such ac a concrete saw or a demo hammer ?.

I charge for these tools, I know I can not do the job with out them but they cost a fortune to buy and maintain.

As a example if we run the demo hammer for a day I bill $75.00 for the tool.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: Charging For Tool Use ?


Anything special like recording metering, extra-tall ladders, IR testing, locating etc.


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Old 03-13-2019, 06:39 PM   #3
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Re: Charging For Tool Use ?

sort of...

most of the cost is in my overhead.

when i used the concrete saw i added the cost of a blade or 2 to the job.

demo hammer sometimes i added a new bit.

i get where you are going with this but sometimes i use one of these tools that i had not planned on.

i did add a charge when i brought a boom lift to the job, but many times that charge was offset by the labor savings of having the lift.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:05 PM   #4
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Re: Charging For Tool Use ?

Normally if I rent it gets added, If I own it not so much so because like Griz said the labor savings. Like my manlift it saves me a lot of time and has made me money, Might add some for fuel or transport though.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:05 PM   #5
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Re: Charging For Tool Use ?

If I rent equipment I itemize that cost in my estimate and invoice, if it is a piece of equipment I own then I just add it to my labor costs. Do others show the equipment cost of equipment they own ?
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:18 PM   #6
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Re: Charging For Tool Use ?

Anything that the average high- journeymen/ master doesn't carry daily in My trade:

I tend to charge ~50-60% of the daily rental for each day the tools/system is used...

Enclosures, used up components the usual 115 % plus the labor time mobilizing/ demobbing.

Diamond blades, cold metal blades, anything that cost $ both lowers my time charges...

My small (180.00$) SDS bosch "bull-Dog" ~8 Amps x 120 Vac Hammer-drill, box has about 400.00$ plus of drill bits and hammer chisels....

An complete insurance inventory every year, with digital pictures/Serial #s, can easily be used to update your tool list for taxes, and depreciation.

I try to put the year and month of when the item was but into use.
It helps my spot the sticky fingered, and the very careless tool busters that constantly need NEW TOOLS because they destroyed old ones through abuse...
But don't get to tight or the men will under use your tools do fear of punishment for wearing one out in service.

All tools will wear out, if they aren't, maybe you didn't need to own that one?

Some contractors can get a little silly buying hobby tools and materials under the guise of using them at work, the rental charges on high $ tools/machines would refute this type claim by the various tax men.

New Tech can't be free, for a surviving contractor, it should Lower end price and or improve the product....
But don't high light any business techniques that are the main stay of your advantage over the completion.

Let them chose from high tech fast or slow old school + more $

Next OSHA cycle, I could see a non-business friendly Party pretty much ban any use of ladders where a lift will fit in.......

I know a Tree cutter that use little walk behind skidsteers, (~35-40 K$ with attachments, that lets him keep on older workers, that add a skill/experience reserve to his crews and still allow the older men to produce...

Any Gas powered tool will need more yearly maintenance then an electric tool, usually gas/diesel tools have more capacity.

Don't forget to add for the new level of OSHA regs regarding any dust production involving any type of silica containing materials.

And finally You need storage space to keep all those tools used less then once a month....
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Last edited by Fouthgeneration; 03-13-2019 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:58 PM   #7
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Re: Charging For Tool Use ?

Sort of. Specialized tools I buy for one job I may expense or break up the expense over a couple jobs.

Mostly the tools are simply an expense of doing one particular type of job. When I bought my thermal imager years ago, there was a price for the first job, and from there it's $1 a picture with no analysis.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:27 PM   #8
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Re: Charging For Tool Use ?

Any blades, bits, other wearing consumables I billed separately.

Cost and maintenence of that tool was on my overhead.

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Old 03-14-2019, 05:44 PM   #9
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Re: Charging For Tool Use ?

Some how I got stuck on less then 2-4 thousand dollar items....

My telebooms (~90,000 US$ for a 34'/10 meter x 3 Ton machine)I charge out at their REPLACEMENT cost, otherwise inflation WILL eat your profits.

Plus fuel, oil, TIRES & flats, and of course the operators time....And added insurance + a fraction of my deductable

Tax wise, I think you're are stuck at actual price paid... call a pro accountant.

I charge the large capital items similar to Labor with added Mob & demob, mostly delivery, and special cost such as added insurance and required training = over and above traditional (OH +P) margins.
And finally an escrow fund for major repairs, and replacement parts, broken and wore, your dealer/renter should be able to give some good #s for your type of work.

Don't forget some items need special storage (costs), like wood OSHA plank that last several years longer if keep bone dry, off the ground, and dark when not on a scaffold.

Did you have to add on to the shop for tool storage?(the space the fork lift is in?) keep a dry Van semi trailer on site?

Ditto on the oversized generators and or Air Compressors to start the large motors on the company tools...Or the added annual maintenance expenses of combustion engines, Every stale gas tank is a yearly problem, IMO. Don't forget the gas and oil delivery costs.

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Last edited by Fouthgeneration; 03-14-2019 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:30 PM   #10
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Re: Charging For Tool Use ?

Yep, our T&M proposal terms read something like this:

Equipment and vehicles will be charged to the job at rates equal to or less than prevailing local rental rates. No charge for tools under $500 replacement value.

Small stuff is covered by overhead markups, and we typically price the bigger stuff 10-20% below what they can rent it elsewhere for, so they can't complain about our rates.

Make sure you charge for all of your consumables too; bits, blades, temporary protection materials, safety supplies, etc., etc.


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