Customary charges for on site mechanical work

Hi Friends,

I've just paid an invoice for mechanical work (generator) and have a couple of questions.

1 - Is it normal to charge the full labor rate ($89) for travel time?

2 - Is it normal to pass shipping charges for ordered parts on to the client ($31)

Thanks.

 

Trendsetter

Super Anarchist
1,855
0
Cape Cod
Yes and yes

I propose this question to you. Who should pay for the techs travel time? Same goes for the shipping? Should they just raise there hourly rate to cover the shipping? Or maybe they should just up the parts price and not tell you about the shipping. Same goes for travel time maybe they shouldn't break that out separate and just tell you it's going to be X amount.

Or maybe you should just get the entire price up front and agreed to so this is a non issue

 
Thanks for the input. It's the first time I've had someone come out and work on my boat. I had the following in mind when I created the post....

When I travel (across the country) for billable work, I do not charge travel time - nor in my industry (IT) is it customary to do so. In other industries, it's typical to bill travel time at a reduced rate not at the full rate. I was also billed for mileage.

And as for shipping of parts, I don't pay for parts shipped to my local auto mechanic - they just show up and I'm billed for the parts. Of course there's cost there, but it's built in.

 
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Thanks for the input. It's the first time I've had someone come out and work on my boat. I had the following in mind when I created the post....

When I travel (across the country) for billable work, I do not charge travel time - nor in my industry (IT) is it customary to do so. In other industries, it's typical to bill travel time at a reduced rate not at the full rate. I was also billed for mileage.

And as for shipping of parts, I don't pay for parts shipped to my local auto mechanic - they just show up and I'm billed for the parts. Of course there's cost there, but it's built in.
As far as the automechanic is concerned... National Autopart (or something similar) has a distribution account with that mechanic and the mechanic doesn't get charged "shipping" as it were, they just get chanrged the "cost" for the part that includes shipping, and their agreement with the parts supplier is that they will then mark the part up to the "LIST" price, which is supposed to be the same everywhere.

If you told your mechanic to go find you a better deal for that part on ebay for instance (not likely to happen at a garage) they would invoice you for the shipping either separately, or included in the price of the parts. The travel time seems like a polict that could vary between mechanics, but i wouldn't count on being able to negotiate on it.

-J

 

Heriberto

Super Anarchist
Yes and yes.

Who doesn't somehow build in a charge for travel time or shipping? That's ridiculous. You drive an hour in traffic for 15 minutes of billable work?

You're new to this boat owning thing I guess. It's. Not IT.

 

WunHungLo

Super Anarchist
5,896
4
PNW
The rate: that's not an reasonable rate for your neck of the woods.

Billing for travel time: You have called someone out to work and spend time away from other potential paying work and you would like that to be a freebie? That's a tough position to take against people in an industry that has low margins, and an uncertain flow of work, for customers that are spending less on their boats? And you want to do what? question paying for a call out? Don;t you pay more for pizza delivery than when you picking it up?

Shipping: It is always included somewhere in the cost of goods sold. Any business that doesn't pass that along is not going to survive. The cost of shipping has increased significantly due to energy costs and you want the seller to carry that cost for you too?

You're in IT.? Do much work with unit costing apps?

 
Yes and yes.

Who doesn't somehow build in a charge for travel time or shipping? That's ridiculous. You drive an hour in traffic for 15 minutes of billable work?

You're new to this boat owning thing I guess. It's. Not IT.
Negative - plenty of boat ownership experience. As stated in the post - it's the first time I've needed someone to come onsite and help me. But thanks for the kind words everyone. Nice to know the tender embrace of SA is still thriving.

 

warbird

Super Anarchist
16,592
1,338
lake michigan
Keel, I'm really good at digging graves. I make em 6'8 long, 3'6" wide and 8' deep every time.Each takes me 1/2 hour and I do 20 a day in my town. You want me to give up 6 graves $ to drive 1 1/2 hour to and from your cemetary to dig your grave and then only pay 1 graves $ value?

Put another way. I employ a mechanic. I pay him $40 an hour because he's pretty good(bad?) I send him on customer jobs and bil $80/ hour and the $40 / hour difference pays his insurance, some profit and my overhead: office, shop, stock, tools, blow and hookers, supplies and IRS. I can't stop paying him when he's driving to a job I sent him( he probably didn't arrive in a Prius, 1 1/2 ton dually with tools and supplies and 8mpg..)

When you look at this way you won't feel like you are being taken. Prices high? Maybe.(edit-- don't know what the price should be>)

 
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bammiller

Super Anarchist
1,111
16
Travel time is a 2 way street - you ask someone to meet you at a given place and at a given time, that's on your dime, if you give them the opportunity to schedule multiple jobs in that area, then they are less likely to charge you for it.

At least that's how we try to do it.

BTW, I know my IT guy charges twice what I charge, on an hourly rate, usually with a minimum charge as well.

As for your auto parts guy not charging for shipping, wait until you have to order something that isn't stocked at the local distributor; Im sure the charges will be there.

Bam Miller

 

Heriberto

Super Anarchist
Yes and yes.

Who doesn't somehow build in a charge for travel time or shipping? That's ridiculous. You drive an hour in traffic for 15 minutes of billable work?

You're new to this boat owning thing I guess. It's. Not IT.
Negative - plenty of boat ownership experience. As stated in the post - it's the first time I've needed someone to come onsite and help me. But thanks for the kind words everyone. Nice to know the tender embrace of SA is still thriving.
Where?

What kind of response were you expecting?

 

Caca Cabeza

Super Anarchist
It is standard practice to ask a trained technician to forgo the money he could have made in his shop to drive to your boat. So, no you shouldn't be charged traded time.

Similarly, if the technician was too unseeing to know that he would need a certain part for your job, he should be required to absorb the cost of shipping. He can make the shipping cost up on his drive back to his shop.

 

Maine Sail

Anarchist
555
4
Similarly, if the technician was too unseeing to know that he would need a certain part for your job, he should be required to absorb the cost of shipping. He can make the shipping cost up on his drive back to his shop.
Really....? Here's a prime example that is currently on going. So my customer tells me his steering pedestal is "leaking". From where? He does not know...

There a MULTIPLE reasons and spots for a leak in a steering pedestal. Could be the pedestal guard feet, a hole drilled to run electronics wires, rain entering around the compass, the base of the pedestal is leaking, may not even be the pedestal and could just be an exit point for another leak etc. etc...

So I get to the boat and find this:

142180094.jpg


And that his stuffing box for the rudder has broken free from the hull:

142180096.jpg


And his radial drive is badly corroded and is the bearing mating surface:

142262532.jpg


But yeah, I should just happen to have on hand whn I show up to fix this "leak":

Edson sterring pedestal

Pedestal guard

Pedestal guard top plate

Shifter housing

Idler pulley set for an Ericson

Radial drive for an Ericson with a 2 7/8" OD rudder shaft

Chain & wire rope kit for the pedestal

So by your logic I guess I should drive an 18 wheeler, with the entire stock of Defender, Hamilton Marine, Port Supply, Sea Frost, Dometic, Balmar, Edson, Norcold, Thetford and other manufacturers with me so I don't charge the customer the $84.00 in shipping it cost to get those items to my shop......?????

And you would have had the "foresight" or ability to know what to show up with as opposed to the "unseeing", based on a leaking pedestal conversation, to show up with all that stock to fix his boat and not charge for shipping... yeah right...???

Always the folks who don't actually work on boats that like to make all the rules about how those of us that do should function and what we should stock and charge for. If you want to make the rules, and they make no logical sense, then you better learn to DIY... ;)

BTW Edson does not even have these parts in stock and ready to ship, and they are made/assembled to order.

 
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Cruisin Loser

Super Anarchist
$89/hr is not at all unreasonable for a house call. A skilled mechanic may be a little cheaper in downeast maine, a little higher the farther southwest you move. Southern New England has expensive labor.

Good for you on never needing help until now, especially on a boat big enough to have a genset.

Did he do a good job? If so, pay the bill promptly and cheerfully, so if you ever need him again he'll return your call.

 

bljones

Super Anarchist
1,431
0
CA
I don't mind being billed for travel time, as long as I'm not getting raped for it. IE, get to the boat, see that job is as described, need to go to shop to get tool, come back to boat, need to go to chandlery to get parts come back to boat, realize you forgot tool at shop, come back to boat..... I had a diesel mechanic bill me over 4 hours in labour as travel time with one hour on the boat for a compression test and injector R and R.

 

Gouvernail

Lottsa people don’t know I’m famous
37,988
5,535
Austin Texas
My overhead remains the same whether we work here or at a marina. Our talent remain the same whether we work here or at a marina. Our honesty remains tehe same whether we work here or at a marina.

There are challeneges related to every job.

We have had a full schedule for 30 consecutive years.

My prices are based upon that which I believe is fair compensation for myself and my employees.

As a rule, I am willing to work for any of my customers while charging the same rates necessary to take home equal compensation as he takes home for whatever he does for a living.

In 30 years, NOT ONE customer has agreed to pay me based upon a pricing schedule which would compensate me for my labor at exactly the same rate as he is compensated in his occupation ( or others in the occupation he used to earn money befor retiring or losing his job)

 

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