Billable Labor for '79 F250

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  #1  
Old 01-29-10, 02:26 PM
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Billable Labor for '79 F250

Looking for the billable time to swap a front axle on a '79 Ford F250 4X4.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-29-10, 02:58 PM
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I would probably say time and materials. The truck is 30 years old. No telling what is going to be seized up under there.
 
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Old 01-29-10, 03:01 PM
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Just time please.

I just need time. My labor guide doesn't have that old of vehicle. Most of the materials are coming from another truck. It's been picked over pretty good but it has what I need.
 
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Old 01-29-10, 04:59 PM
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I removed an old rear truck axle once. There was one nut which would not come off period. So I had to cut off the U bolt. Then spent a whole day trying to find new U bolts the right size. No one had that particular size.

As I recall I spent two days just removing the old axle and trying to find the parts.
 
  #5  
Old 01-29-10, 05:20 PM
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Is the replacement axle going to have usable wheel ends on it? If it does the time would be a lot less due to not having to mess with king pins. If you don't have to mess with the king pins I would say 3-4 hours and that is everything comes with no issues. Like Bill said, it could end up taking all day. If you have to swap the knuckles and do king pins figure 1-1.5 hours per wheel.
 
  #6  
Old 01-31-10, 12:34 AM
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My book says 7.1 on 4x4 and 5.4 on 2wd had to go to an older book so maybe you could shave that time some with modern tools. I've done early 80's Fords in 4 and a half to 5 including alinement but I cut and replace U bolts for insurance reasons and have a local spring shop the can make new ones in about 20 min.
Good Luck
 
  #7  
Old 01-31-10, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill190 View Post
I removed an old rear truck axle once. There was one nut which would not come off period. So I had to cut off the U bolt. Then spent a whole day trying to find new U bolts the right size. No one had that particular size.

As I recall I spent two days just removing the old axle and trying to find the parts.
How would a shop handle such a scenario, then, for billing? Time and materials? Or is it especially wise then for the customer to pin down the mechanic on what he will charge based on what the labor book says? And then the mechanic has to eat it once in awhile, so that customers are not billed for charges way beyond what is normal and expected? Like $hundreds above normal, or something?
 
  #8  
Old 01-31-10, 11:28 AM
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I only do electrical work for other people and what I do is charge them by the hour. But this is for businesses typically, they need something fixed, and no one else can find the problem. So they are willing to pay for experience. They need it fixed.

I figure if I am not at home sitting on my couch eating chips, I am working.

So far as other things, many times there is a basic charge to find out what the problem is. A diagnostic fee. You are covered for your time to diagnose the problem. Then you can call the customer, give them an estimate, and they decide what they want to do. If they decide not to proceed, no problem.

Sometimes it is: This HAS to be replaced to get it working. And you SHOULD also replace this and that. Then the customer decides what to do.

Or you can give an estimate and tell the customer it is just an estimate. Then if you later run into trouble, call and tell them it will cost more.

Or you could give an estimate and stick to it. Even though you are losing money. The idea here is you will make it up on other business from the customer or they will give you a good reference. Many times it works out that these customers will complain and scream bloody murder about the cost. You want to ring their neck because you have gone far out of your way to help them.

Also you get the customer who "insists" on doing something the wrong way. With duct tape and WD-40 or whatever. And you know this will not be safe or that the repair will not last. So the thing to do is "walk" and refuse to do the work. Do it right or not at all I say!

Basically so far as business goes, anything goes. Everything is open to any sort of agreement you want to make with the customer. Just be sure to make this clear in advance. If there might be additional charges, tell them in advance or eat it. If they expect something to be done for a certain cost, do it for that amount. Be a man of your word!
 
  #9  
Old 01-31-10, 08:03 PM
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Like Bill said I charge billable hrs only so useing this as an example I'd bid 7.1 hrs labor @ 80 per hr if it takes me 6 hrs you still have that 7.1 hr figure if it takes 12 hrs you still only pay the 7.1 hrs. This is labor only. As for parts involved I'll get an estimate together for all parts required for the job if some are not ness. due to the old ones still being servicable that will come off the estimate if I discover other things that need repair I call before proceeding if that was part of the proceedure to remove and replace the problem part you will get no additional labor charge.This works for both me and my customers as I tell them this upfront before starting the repair.
The book time usually is pretty much in line with the time it actually takes to perform the job sometimes it is way under. Some places don't use book time for this reason. I do to be fair to the customer and my shop sometimes I come out ahead others I eat.When it comes to diag time I charge a flat 80 this can be a killer on electrical problems if I get half a day tied up in finding it its still 80 generaly I waive diag time if you have us do the repair if you DIY then that fee applies. Hope that helps explain how some shops operate.
 
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