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On Farm Service Labor Rate

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Son of Butch

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I realize corn dryer repair is a very specialized field, repairmen are few and far between. But shocked at the bill.
Service call $3 mile (120 miles)
Labor rate $245 hour
plus parts

He had the parts in stock, diagnosed and installed the parts and had the dryer back up and running in 2 hours.
But the bill... wow! Harvest weather has not cooperated this fall and drying corn has been expensive this year.

What is the highest hourly labor rate or shop rate you've had to pay?
 

Brute 23

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Son of Butch":1cnd48ac said:
I realize corn dryer repair is a very specialized field, repairmen are few and far between. But shocked at the bill.
Service call $3 mile (120 miles)
Labor rate $245 hour
plus parts

He had the parts in stock, diagnosed and installed the parts and had the dryer back up and running in 2 hours.
But the bill... wow! Harvest weather has not cooperated this fall and drying corn has been expensive this year.

What is the highest hourly labor rate or shop rate you've had to pay?

That sounds really fair to me. I know know when you look at it by the hour it looks like a lot but if they know what they are doing its worth every penny IMO. Now, if you get a some one who farts around and tries 3 parts before it gets right its frustrating.
 

Aaron

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Competent people are worth every penny.

Go hire someone who says they can do a great job, completely fubar it and still sends you a hefty bill for 'their time and expertise'.
 

talltimber

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What if they weren't on-farm. You could empty your dryer, pull it 120 miles, or haul it, drop it off, make the same trip again whenever it was done, then you are back going again. How long/how much would that take?
 

HDRider

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Brute 23":39x913ig said:
Son of Butch":39x913ig said:
I realize corn dryer repair is a very specialized field, repairmen are few and far between. But shocked at the bill.
Service call $3 mile (120 miles)
Labor rate $245 hour
plus parts

He had the parts in stock, diagnosed and installed the parts and had the dryer back up and running in 2 hours.
But the bill... wow! Harvest weather has not cooperated this fall and drying corn has been expensive this year.

What is the highest hourly labor rate or shop rate you've had to pay?

That sounds really fair to me. I know know when you look at it by the hour it looks like a lot but if they know what they are doing its worth every penny IMO. Now, if you get a some one who farts around and tries 3 parts before it gets right its frustrating.
This is more often the case.
 

Texasmark

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120 miles (each way) plus time to do the work plus trip back home plus stocking inventory. If a senior citizen as may be the case, for that a motel room for the night might be a necessity, considering he may not have been so fortunate as to fix it in 2 hours.

As farmers/ranchers you know about being broken down in a field far from your homestead. You know what it means to have the concern of what to fix, can it be fixed, do I have the right parts, do I have access to the right parts......on and on.

The guy drives 120 miles, his time, his equipment, his fuel, who knows what's at the end of the road. What happens if he forget something or brought the wrong parts, or can't fix the equipment?

Seems to me a lot of stress there plus the dwindling availability of someone to fix your problems.

I'd look at it as "what was it worth to me to have the equipment working?" If you feel justified in spending what you did to have your dryer running and saving your crop, what difference does it make what the guy charged............and oh my gosh "made some money in the process"?
 

plumber_greg

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Son of Butch":gmspcdn7 said:
I realize corn dryer repair is a very specialized field, repairmen are few and far between. But shocked at the bill.
Service call $3 mile (120 miles)
Labor rate $245 hour
plus parts

He had the parts in stock, diagnosed and installed the parts and had the dryer back up and running in 2 hours.
But the bill... wow! Harvest weather has not cooperated this fall and drying corn has been expensive this year.

What is the highest hourly labor rate or shop rate you've had to pay?
Please tell us, what do YOU think the service call and labor rate should have been!??
You surely must have some idea what is fair to you. gs
 

plumber_greg

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Aaron":1v1k9p3s said:
Competent people are worth every penny.

Go hire someone who says they can do a great job, completely fubar it and still sends you a hefty bill for 'their time and expertise'.
I have recently retired. Just last week a man called in trouble. He had paid a young plumber 5k to get water to his house. Ran him off finally, still no water.
I went out to look, it was a mess. Long story, but basically he was trying to pull water 800' with a shallow well pump. Tried to develop a spring, messed that up without the correct equipment.
Told the guy I would fix, but if he didn't want to spend in the 12k range it wasn't worth it.
I have spent 6 days working on it, hope to finish today.
What is my time worth, knowing he's gonna' spend close to 20 grand for a job that should have taken seven or eight? I'm retired, should it be cheaper? Evidently, I am the expert, should I charge extra?
If he had gotten a high school student to work on it, he could have done it really cheap, they don't charge much. You get what you pay for.
gs
 

True Grit Farms

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The $245.00 hourly rate seems awful high to me, or is that a for a 2 hour minimum labor rate? I'd have no problem with having to pay someone $3 a mile for travel time.
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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When he's working out of his service truck, his shop sits idle but is still a liability. When he's working in his shop, his service truck sits idle but is still a liability. If you didn't know his rates, and thought it took him all day, would you have been upset about the bill? I've had customers get a little upset when they watch us work. $35 to hang a gate seems reasonable......Until they watch me hang one in 5 minutes. They don't want to take into account the thousands of times I've done it, or the grand worth of tools it takes to do it right and fast. It's not about how long it takes me. It's about how long it would take them. $7 per post to just drive posts sounds reasonable to most, but there is no way anyone would hire me for $500/hour even though it's the same price. A pro is worth what he charges. The price seems fair to me.
 
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Son of Butch

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I appreciated that he fully itemized his bill. Stunned at $245 hour rate.
Later made me chuckle how he must have arrived at $245 ($250 too much $200 hour not enough?)
What did I expect... $150 hr plus service call mileage like my combine mechanic...over $200 hr is what
made me squeal and post. IF asked, I'd definitely recommend him, but would also warn he's not cheap.

If I wanted cheaper rate could have called attorney $175 hour, but know results would have been different.
OR as Rodney Dangerfield said "Met a woman that said she'd do anything for $200... told her to paint my house."

Seems like a lot of you are cashing the check not writing it... especially with 2.85 corn.
BUT my question was how high labor or shop rate in your area before it makes you squeal?
 

ddd75

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i won't take my equipment into the JD dealer b/c they charge 105/hr. in ky they only charged 75.

my little motto is.. "if they can do it.. so can I"
 

callmefence

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No matter how skilled you are and how much your phone rings it's bad business to gouge someone. Even when you can. It leaves a bad taste in their mouth that doesn't go away. It makes them very picky and will eventually overshadow the good work you did, and wear on the reputation you worked so hard to build. There is nothing better than having customers that trust you. And vice versa.

Of course you don't wanna be the cheapest guy around either.
 

jltrent

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I think those rates are unfair (to high for even skill labor) I always try to go by what my dad always said "live and let live" You want have many billionaires like that though.
 

OleScout

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Had to have a large pecan tree removed from my yard. Tree guy priced the job at $1000. Told him to do it.
He arrived the next morning at 7:00am. Tree and his outfit loaded and gone at 8:20am. I could be upset that he made $1000 in 1.33 hours but I'm not. He brought a bob truck, track bobcat with grapple, two guys with chainsaws and himself. He was done before I could have gotten my old saw running. Much easier for me to earn $1000 somewhere else than cutup and load that tree when I don't have the right equipment.
 
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Son of Butch

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Pricing a job and charging labor by the hour are 2 different things.
On farm corn dryer and combine repair during harvest are both emergency skill situations, so expected similar rates.
Got hit with both on the same day.

My home owner insurance just got jacked with 55% increase!... no claims ever... So I'm shopping quotes.
I learned my policy pays up to $750 per tree for removal.

By the way $1,000 divided by 4 man hours (1.33 x 3 men) = $250 hour and look at all the equipment he had to bring
all WITHOUT mileage charge!
 

OleScout

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I wasn't whacking your situation and agree that your charge seemed high. My point was that many people feel they are over charged when a guy can come in and finish a job quickly. Tree man said he runs into folks that will try to haggle on price after the job is done because the job didn't take as long as they thought it should.
 

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