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I was having a arguement with my bro in law about how people bill travel time. In the UK we used to bill one way at normal hourly rate so it would basicly be half rate there and half rate back. How do you guys bill this? He says i shouldnt bill that at all or bill my time in picking up materials and supplys! :blink:
 

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Depends on the job, but for a simple t&m service call, I charge a "service call fee" which is more than twice my hourly rate, but it includes the first hour of labor. Additional labor is billed in 15 minute (completed) increments.

For parts runs, if I am marking up the materials, I dont bill to go get them. If I am charging the customer what I am paying, I charge my hourly rate for the travel times both ways. (Jobsite to supply house and back to jobsite)

As far as travel time after the job-like back home, I never charge for that.
 

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Carpe Diem
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For estimates, contract signing or material pick up, I base it off of mileage. None of these charges are actually itemized for the customer. I have a set "fee" that includes the above plus (some) design, phone calls, etc. This fee is determined on a per-job basis.

Not included in said fee is my basic charge for overall travel. It's usually $100 on a 3-5 day job. If I get into a 2+ week job, it's $200. Basically that translates to a full tank of fuel ($100) for me. Seeing as I can get almost 700 miles to a tank, this also pays for my time sitting in my truck too.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Billing for travel time is valid for service work, whether you cover it with a minimum charge or itemize it. For a bidded and contracted job, it would be calculated in as part of the overall overhead, and certainly not itemized to the customer.
 

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I no longer do material or supply runs. Too much wear and tear on the vehicle and can't justify my hourly rate sitting in a vehicle. I pay a hot shot service that is far less than I could charge. I am surprised plumbers and electricians etc... don't do the same. Book a hotshot for the morning running around delivering all your parts and a way you go. I spent lot's of up front time building a relationship with suppliers so they know the deal. I also charge a transportation fee to and from the site due to the nature of my location. Just to be specific here, transportation is a cost that takes into account the replacement value of my vehicle. This would be part of overhead.
 

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Service & Repairs
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Service call is a fixed rate with 1 hour labor built in to the price. Most service calls I can accomplish in 1 hour, including diagnosing the problem. The repair is a separate price and that price may or may not wipe out the service call fee. This is what's been working for me so far.

Trips to the supply house don't get directly billed to the customer. That's why we mark up materials and to cover any warranty on the labor and/ or material.
 

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Our last three jobs, ranging from 2 weeks to 2 months, were all T&M. We bill travel time one way at our hourly rate. If the job is only 30 min. away, we don't charge it at all.

Got one coming up, the travel is 2 1/2 hrs one way! It will be charged. Makes for a long day though.

This is of course agreed to by the customer before hand. One customer balked at this, and we simply told him if he wouldn't pay it we would not do the job.

If the job is contract price, we work it into the overhead.
 
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