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Old 04-25-2013, 08:08 AM   #556
acesandeights
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Originally Posted by Cerberus83 View Post
Been reading/following this thread and I think there is some interesting info here. However, I do have to say I completely disagree with the above logic (as a consumer) and I find it to be a total bs. No wonder most people hate "stealerships."

Ducati techs charge $45/hr for labor. Fine. If the work required takes 2hrs to complete, then I would expect to pay $90 (+ tax). Fine. However, you CANNOT expect me to pay you $90 if it took you 1:15! If you, as the owner, do think that this is fair, I would LOVE to work for you and would fully expect you to pay me for the full 8hr day, even though, I only have worked 6hrs (I mean, I got my shit done on time and bs'ed with the reception ladies up front).
It's false advertising. They don't really charge $45/hr for labor. They charge $45 x the published labor schedule. It's really a fixed charge per job, not really for labor. Most of the techs I know get paid 12 - 16 hours a day because they are getting paid based on billable hours, not their actual labor. They don't get all of the labor rate though, so it's not $45/hour for the 12 - 16 hours that they get paid. The crappy part though is most shops I know charge extra if the job takes longer than the published time, so they double-dip in a sense. They'll charge the 2 hour published rate if it only takes an hour, but they'll charge the extra hour if that 2 hour job takes 3 hours. The consumer is really in a losing situation if you want to pay what it takes to do the job, or the per hour labor rate would be much higher.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:09 AM   #557
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Originally Posted by Cerberus83 View Post
Been reading/following this thread and I think there is some interesting info here. However, I do have to say I completely disagree with the above logic (as a consumer) and I find it to be a total bs. No wonder most people hate "stealerships."

Ducati techs charge $45/hr for labor. Fine. If the work required takes 2hrs to complete, then I would expect to pay $90 (+ tax). Fine. However, you CANNOT expect me to pay you $90 if it took you 1:15! If you, as the owner, do think that this is fair, I would LOVE to work for you and would fully expect you to pay me for the full 8hr day, even though, I only have worked 6hrs (I mean, I got my shit done on time and bs'ed with the reception ladies up front).
The "book" time allows techs to be rewarded/compensated for experience & efficiency.

If you're a kickass tech with 20 years of experience, you're more valuable than a kid just out of trade school. But if you both bill the same amount of money per hour, then how is an employer able to compensate you properly for your workload and experience?

Here's another example:

I start out in the lawn care business. I mow your lawn with a push mower. I charge you $20/hr and it takes me 2 hours. You happily pay me $40.
I get more accounts, and upgrade my equipment to a professional machine with an 80" mowing deck. (a $15K machine)
Now I can bang out your lawn in 30 minutes.
Isn't it still worth $40?
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:10 AM   #558
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Originally Posted by Yossarian™ View Post
...

Most "book" times are pretty low for any given job. A tech needs to have some experience to keep up, and it's more often than not that the tech takes more time than the book time for work.
...
This I don't see often. Most techs I know can bill 12 hours in an 8 hour day, some closer to 16 hours.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:12 AM   #559
Cerberus83
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Originally Posted by Yossarian™ View Post
Sounds like you are not up to speed on how dealership labor costs work.

Typically, a job is in "the book" at a certain number of hours. Let's say a timing belt change, and assume that it specs 2.5 hours.

You pay 2.5 * (labor rate) for labor on that job. If you get a super experienced tech who can do the job in 1.5 hours, or if you get a newer tech who takes 3.5 hours to do the work, you still pay for only 2.5 hours of labor. That way, the customer knows up front what the costs will be and does not get dinged if the job takes longer than the book specifies.

Most "book" times are pretty low for any given job. A tech needs to have some experience to keep up, and it's more often than not that the tech takes more time than the book time for work.

I don't mind at all paying more hourly labor for a job than it takes; that typically means that I got an experienced tech, who knows what (s)he's doing, and the job got done right. Plus, my work got done faster than specified. Why should I complain if it took less time?
I understand how it works. What I am saying is that is bs. It would make more sense (to me) if the rates were flat (i.e., $100 timing belt change vs. "the book says 2.5hrs"). Also, I'm not so sure about paying the same amount if it took them 3.5hrs and the job says 2.5hrs b/c there is almost some sort of excuse involved as to why it "took the tech so long so we have to charge you." Funny how the prices and labor involved changes if the insurance work is involved...

I know, I know... it is what it is. Oh, and just for the record, I have no problem paying for quality work.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:42 AM   #560
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Originally Posted by Cerberus83 View Post
I understand how it works. What I am saying is that is bs. It would make more sense (to me) if the rates were flat (i.e., $100 timing belt change vs. "the book says 2.5hrs").
It is a flat rate. A flat hourly rate, plus parts. Not too much difference except with the book you get that flat rate after the mechanic looks in his book/CD to see the average time to do the work. Then they tell you it will be X amount of dollars plus parts.
I see no difference in the way it's done verses the way you feel it should be done except you have given no clue as to how they would come up with that $100 flat rate.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:56 AM   #561
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I had a dealership try to charge me to replace my ignition, battery, and wiring harness, new set of keys for a burnt wiring harness on my DR650 for 1300 bucks. I said no thanks and replaced only the wiring harness myself in about 2 hours for 70 bucks, ignition and battery were both fine.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:16 AM   #562
Cerberus83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvpierce View Post
The "book" time allows techs to be rewarded/compensated for experience & efficiency.

If you're a kickass tech with 20 years of experience, you're more valuable than a kid just out of trade school. But if you both bill the same amount of money per hour, then how is an employer able to compensate you properly for your workload and experience?

Here's another example:

I start out in the lawn care business. I mow your lawn with a push mower. I charge you $20/hr and it takes me 2 hours. You happily pay me $40.
I get more accounts, and upgrade my equipment to a professional machine with an 80" mowing deck. (a $15K machine)
Now I can bang out your lawn in 30 minutes.
Isn't it still worth $40?
I see I managed to open a can of worms here... I suppose this is a good thing ;) Plus, I definitely do not mind constructive feedback (or a lil' bit of bashing) :)

I do see and understand where you're coming from. But in your example, I honestly don't see how can you charge me $40 if you say that your hourly rate is $20 and you do the work in 30min? If you told me, it's $40 to do the job, sure, here's $40. The fact that you have more sophisticated and better equipment that allows you to the work faster and "better" justifies the cost of $40, but it does not logically, mathematically or common sense-wise justify $40 if the cost is time-based. What I would expect to see is that the rates went up (you had to invest into better equipment) and as a result, the time to do the job decreased.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:26 AM   #563
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Originally Posted by Cerberus83 View Post
I see I managed to open a can of worms here... I suppose this is a good thing ;) Plus, I definitely do not mind constructive feedback (or a lil' bit of bashing) :)

I do see and understand where you're coming from. But in your example, I honestly don't see how can you charge me $40 if you say that your hourly rate is $20 and you do the work in 30min? If you told me, it's $40 to do the job, sure, here's $40. The fact that you have more sophisticated and better equipment that allows you to the work faster and "better" justifies the cost of $40, but it does not logically, mathematically or common sense-wise justify $40 if the cost is time-based. What I would expect to see is that the rates went up (you had to invest into better equipment) and as a result, the time to do the job decreased.
If he was to change his hourly rate tho he'd be charging $80/hr in that example and you'd probably turn him down because it's too expensive and you can find someone else who'll do it for $20/hr. Or he tells you the job would've taken 2 hours but he's got a fancy machine that lets him do 2 hours of work in less time. Therefore the amount of work hasn't changed but how fast he can do it has. It's still 2 hours worth of work.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:39 AM   #564
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Originally Posted by bwalsh View Post
It is a flat rate. A flat hourly rate, plus parts. Not too much difference except with the book you get that flat rate after the mechanic looks in his book/CD to see the average time to do the work. Then they tell you it will be X amount of dollars plus parts.
I see no difference in the way it's done verses the way you feel it should be done except you have given no clue as to how they would come up with that $100 flat rate.
That's my point -- it's the average time and not the actual time.

I had to replace the flywheel on my Hyundai. I called four Hyundai dealerships within 25-30mi radius. The cost to do the job was around $1,000. When I asked them what is that $1,000 composed of, I got 3 or 4 different responses
-Dealer1: 4hr labor, $600 in parts
-Dealer2: 6hr labor, $400 in parts
-Dealer3/4: mixture of labor and parts that was somewhat similar to each other

How is this possible? They all came up to virtually the same total amount, yet all had different "charges" and all were authorized Hyundai dealerships.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:45 AM   #565
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Originally Posted by Flyinace1 View Post
If he was to change his hourly rate tho he'd be charging $80/hr in that example and you'd probably turn him down because it's too expensive and you can find someone else who'll do it for $20/hr. Or he tells you the job would've taken 2 hours but he's got a fancy machine that lets him do 2 hours of work in less time. Therefore the amount of work hasn't changed but how fast he can do it has. It's still 2 hours worth of work.
He is charging per hour so he is ripping the customer off charging for 2 hours but only there for half, the right thing is charge 1 hour at a higher rate. I cut grass thru school and I charged 1 hour minimum and every half hour after that, sometimes it took longer and I'd eat that time.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:46 AM   #566
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He is charging per hour so he is ripping the customer off charging for 2 hours but only there for half, the right thing is charge 1 hour at a higher rate. I cut grass thru school and I charged 1 hour minimum and every half hour after that, sometimes it took longer and I'd eat that time.


THANK YOU!
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:04 AM   #567
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Originally Posted by Cerberus83 View Post
That's my point -- it's the average time and not the actual time.

I had to replace the flywheel on my Hyundai. I called four Hyundai dealerships within 25-30mi radius. The cost to do the job was around $1,000. When I asked them what is that $1,000 composed of, I got 3 or 4 different responses
-Dealer1: 4hr labor, $600 in parts
-Dealer2: 6hr labor, $400 in parts
-Dealer3/4: mixture of labor and parts that was somewhat similar to each other

How is this possible? They all came up to virtually the same total amount, yet all had different "charges" and all were authorized Hyundai dealerships.
because it's a *chuckle* Hyundai.

Look, BMW has a book-- now a computer program-- that tells the tech how many hours for a clutch install or a brake flush. They shouldn't be pulling numbers out of their arse.

I mention BMW because that's the only shop in which I've work done. When I asked him what it costs to replace pivot bearings, he told me a number then double checked it on the computer.

I think it's always been understood that the time per job was how work was billed, not time actually worked.

Keep in mind that doing a new clutch can be a mindfield of unknowns, and these techs are cradling their bollocks during the winter if they aren't off to baja riding. So I sincerely hope the best techs in whatever shop they work are able to bill more than 100% of their time.

And the skill with which they do their job-- not the time spent/dollars paid-- is what keeps me coming back for serious work or for work I just can't be arsed to do myself when I'm busy.

Think of all the horror stories about dealerships you can read here and other places. To have your machine repaired well, with care, for the quoted price seems to me something to be enjoyed.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:25 AM   #568
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Originally Posted by Cerberus83 View Post
That's my point -- it's the average time and not the actual time.
Some mechanics I've dealt with will charge the time it actually took, not what the book says. Seek out these mechanics if you are concerned about it...and no, I'm not talking about dealerships. I wouldn't take a bicycle tire to a dealership.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:59 AM   #569
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It shouldn't be based on hours at all, but it is and it's standard to refer to it that way. Really, it's a flat rate, they just say it's hourly because they multiply a labor rate by the published labor time, having nothing to do really with the amount of labor the individual tech will take.

It would be easier to explain if shops just told customers what it cost for the job, just like any product sold. A hamburger costs whatever it costs, say $.99. They don't tell you it's x-cents for buns, lettuce, tomato, individual condiments and the amount of time it takes the fry-cook to cook and assemble the burger. Really, it's a $.99 burger.

So, as an example, an alternator is $199/parts, and labor is $80 x 1.5 hours (total $319), regardless of whether it takes 45 minutes or 90 minutes. If the shop just said, it's $319 you'd be happy since that's what it costs. They could get you back on the road in an hour instead of keeping your car parked in the back lot while you wait two hours thinking they're still working on it. It's a stupid game, but it's the game we play.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:19 PM   #570
Cerberus83
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Originally Posted by acesandeights View Post
It shouldn't be based on hours at all, but it is and it's standard to refer to it that way. Really, it's a flat rate, they just say it's hourly because they multiply a labor rate by the published labor time, having nothing to do really with the amount of labor the individual tech will take.

It would be easier to explain if shops just told customers what it cost for the job, just like any product sold. A hamburger costs whatever it costs, say $.99. They don't tell you it's x-cents for buns, lettuce, tomato, individual condiments and the amount of time it takes the fry-cook to cook and assemble the burger. Really, it's a $.99 burger.

So, as an example, an alternator is $199/parts, and labor is $80 x 1.5 hours (total $319), regardless of whether it takes 45 minutes or 90 minutes. If the shop just said, it's $319 you'd be happy since that's what it costs. They could get you back on the road in an hour instead of keeping your car parked in the back lot while you wait two hours thinking they're still working on it. It's a stupid game, but it's the game we play.
+1 Agreed!

Thank you for explaining it in the way I wasn't able to lol
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