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Another rule of thumb, just to help get you oriented. A bigger company may be charging 2.5-3X what the hourly operator wage is.
 

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My estimate wasn’t too far off from that. $820 for 8 hours. I feel like my way of breaking it down isn’t right. Or how much of that goes where.
Renting equipment us a big cost disadvantage, but it can get you going on jobs that there isn't much competition.

I always encourage people just starting out to look at pricing as if they're hiring operators, have an office staff, pay all the insurances, etc, and show at least 10% profit on the quote. You get to work all that out now so you know how to price to have room to grow and money to cover when something goes wrong.

You may still quote to just cover your wages if you have to, but that can put you under in 1 bad year.
 

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Highwayman
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You have a lot of problems with your breakdown, and I’ll try to explain it.

$40/hour. Is that what goes in your pocket, or is that what you charge the customer for yourself? Because there’s a HUGE difference.

And $40/hour at least in my area, is a good way to go broke. I’d have to pay an operator 40, which means my cost with labor burden would be 60. And that would leave me with nothing, so I might as well stay home and drink.

Where are you getting a skid steer for 125/day? They are $400 here.

Why would it take you 2 days to blade that small area out? I’d probably do it in an hour or two.

But I don’t work for free. I own my own skid steer, but it doesn’t go out for free either. I’m gonna charge load time, travel time, unload time, reload time, fueling time, etc.

If I had 2 hours of actual grading work to be done, and it was 1/2 hour or so from my shop, I’d probably end up charging about 4 hours.

At $165/hour, that would come out to $660. But it would only take me 1/2 day.

Like I tell folk, hourly rate is only half the story. I’ll get it done quick, with no collateral damage, and no mess. And I won’t be in your space for 2 days for a 2 hour job.

I just had a turbo and head gasket done on my skid steer. Cost me $8000. It was down for 3 weeks. Welcome to owning equipment.

And lastly, for the love of all that’s holy, please stop calling your wages “profit”.

YOUR WAGES ARE NOT YOUR PROFIT. YOUR PROFIT IS NOT YOUR WAGES.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
You have a lot of problems with your breakdown, and I’ll try to explain it.

$40/hour. Is that what goes in your pocket, or is that what you charge the customer for yourself? Because there’s a HUGE difference.

And $40/hour at least in my area, is a good way to go broke. I’d have to pay an operator 40, which means my cost with labor burden would be 60. And that would leave me with nothing, so I might as well stay home and drink.

Where are you getting a skid steer for 125/day? They are $400 here.

Why would it take you 2 days to blade that small area out? I’d probably do it in an hour or two.

But I don’t work for free. I own my own skid steer, but it doesn’t go out for free either. I’m gonna charge load time, travel time, unload time, reload time, fueling time, etc.

If I had 2 hours of actual grading work to be done, and it was 1/2 hour or so from my shop, I’d probably end up charging about 4 hours.

At $165/hour, that would come out to $660. But it would only take me 1/2 day.

Like I tell folk, hourly rate is only half the story. I’ll get it done quick, with no collateral damage, and no mess. And I won’t be in your space for 2 days for a 2 hour job.

I just had a turbo and head gasket done on my skid steer. Cost me $8000. It was down for 3 weeks. Welcome to owning equipment.

And lastly, for the love of all that’s holy, please stop calling your wages “profit”.

YOUR WAGES ARE NOT YOUR PROFIT. YOUR PROFIT IS NOT YOUR WAGES.
These are the types of thing I’m trying to figure out thanks
 

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I work for a fairly large excavation company but I want to start my own. I have the opportunity right now to do my first side job. It’s pretty simple, she just needs the final grade done on the yard to get ready for sod. It’s a .25 acre lot but only half needs work. It doesn’t need dirt brought in or taken out. Just smoothed & shaped which I’m more than capable of. What would you charge for this including machine rental, fuel, transportation.. the whole deal? I was thinking $600-$1000
We charge about $75/hr. for skid steer with operator. Should take you no more than 5 hours to do that final grade depending on your experience so $375 to $400 range.
 
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