View Full Version : Consumables, truck charges, etc.

27-07-2003, 12:07 AM
We are currently looking at charging for costs that we used to just assume were built into our charges. Things such as:

Torch charge
Disposal charge
Trip or truck charge

Any thoughts?

27-07-2003, 10:31 AM
Damn right Dan.:)

We used to be the same but as the Kyoto Protocol is kicking in i.e. no more R22 kit, lots of different gasses, waste management etc etc we found that where a recovery bottle was free and you used to get a credit for the returned gas, we are now charged for these items, so we pass these charges on to the customer.

NRS charge 25 for a recovery bottle (to cover cleaning) and then charge an incineration charge per kilo of fridge gas that is destroyed. As we nearly always mix (to use the Prof's word - concoction):D the recovered refrigerant within large 56kg cylinders before we send it back this can add up to a hefty amount. Since 9/11 insurance costs have more or less doubled and we just can't keep absorbing these charges. Let the customer pay - he's the one that wants the job done.

27-07-2003, 05:54 PM
[ Let the customer pay - he's the one that wants the job done. [/B][/QUOTE]

Yes, to a limit, what happens when the Goose dies..........?

27-07-2003, 06:45 PM
Yes, to a limit, what happens when the Goose dies..........?

My concerns, exactly, Aiyub. Seems like a work-around for not raising our rates. But I see it a lot these days, so we are seriously considering it.

shaun spencer
20-09-2003, 12:51 AM
dan, the company i work for only does supermarkets, we hav a truck charge, torch charge , vac pump charge etc
with labour rates too low, gotta get it somewhere

20-09-2003, 02:22 AM
I understand, Shaun, quite a coincidence that we also major in supermarkets. I understand trucklines attaching a fuel surcharge to their bill, but it is based in reality and is defensible.

But I am concerned with the arbrtrary use of charges that are already supposed to be built into overhead costs or tool costs.

Maybe if the charges bore some relationship to a cost, I would be more comfortable with it. The way we are applying them bothers me. $10.00 torch charge, for example.

How far does one go with that? $.25 crescent wrench charge?

I suppose if it is the way to make your customer happy and your business profitable, it's the way to go, but I don't feel good with it. There is nothing I can hold in my hands to justify charging for the time I spent repairing a leak with a tool I am expected to have, that I have costed into my overhead, and charge extra for.

Consumables, on the other hand... call them what you wish, the wire nuts and wire and spade connectors, etc, I think are quite justifiable to charge for. But only reasonable charges. $3.00 for a normal repair of start components, for example, is reasonable and justifiable.

More than likely, these charges are good ideas. My concern is that we are applying them inappropriately, such as having a flat rate truck charge for customers 2 miles away or 100 miles away. Same goes for the torch charge... I repair a self-contained liquid line leak, or I repair a condenser header that takes all day.

I am mixing up ethics and staying in business and what the market will bear all together. Thanks for the responses Aiyb and Shaun. I am still puzzling over it.

23-09-2003, 01:23 AM
I use a truck charge of $25.00 on every call. If the job takes two visits, or if there are two invoices because two units were serviced, there is still only a single charge. At the end of the year when I have looked at actual costs to keep a truck on the road, it almost covers it. I have few customers more than 30 minutes away, but when I have had to go farther, or cross the Golden Gate Bridge with its $5.00 toll, I charge more.

I occasionally get a complaint about it but I always respond that I will be happy to leave it off the bill any time they bring the equipment to my shop for service!

I have an "expendables" charge of $5-$10 depending on the size of the repair which can be higher for installation jobs. I always list: "silver braze alloy, nitrogen, acetylene, vacuum oil" and I have never had a complaint.

My first recovery unit cost me about $1600.00 in 1994 so I added a $25.00 recovery fee then which I have never reduced, and intend to raise as soon as I figure out what it actually costs me now that disposal is so expensive. Since my work is light commercial, it takes a while to fill a vessel and I don't mix refrigerants. I keep a "clean poly" and a "clean non-poly" evacuated vessels on my truck. Clean refrigerant gets filtered twice and returned to the system. Dirty jobs mean getting a vessel from the shop for the specific refrigerant to be recovered, but that's usually on the way to the supply house for the compressor.