Silly question I guess, But having and maintaining your test equipment (I'm not talking about an old beaten up multimeter). Some EC's carry quite a lot of Test gear, like a Megger, Fault Loop tester, some even an Oscilloscope and how about them Fluke Scopemeters. IMO you should be charging for thier use, even if it is just for the recharging of the batteries. It takes skill to use this stuff, we are a skilled trade, we have more skilled tools than plumbers. People pay for your expertise, not your time, that's why you are there, not to hold the carpet down.
For the little stuff, fluke 77 and 332..no...it's part of the hourly rate..
Now when I get into data trending with an analyzer...yes..the time is billable, and then there is a "Data Aquisition" charge to leave the equipment there to capture waveforms and such overnight. Even if it is not a overnighter, I still charge to have the equipment and hook it up for a couple hours...
I was asking questions before about a thermal camera(which I haven't found yet), and I was thinking about charging per picture. Do you guys who use these charge per pic, or do you do it like I do with the analyzers?
#158509 - 06/30/0612:04 PMRe: Are you charging for testing?
what about circuit tracers? I just paid $600 and change for a greenlee circuit tracer. Will work on hot or not circuits. Should that come out of my hrly rate. Coould take a while for that to pay for itself
#158511 - 06/30/0604:50 PMRe: Are you charging for testing?
That was my point exactly! The money for these "neat" tools has to come from somewhere. Anybody can go out and rent a bender. I dont own an electric bender, but it hasnt stopped me from getting the jobs where one is required!
#158514 - 06/30/0607:32 PMRe: Are you charging for testing?
Dnk, I've in the past, waited with a scope hooked up to a 400V supply(via an interface) waiting for an event to happen. (Around the time that is supposed to happen I mean). Sure a data-logger can only do so much, you have to be there for some aspects of the job. But this is what I mean, us folks can be there long after all the workers go home and are tucked up in bed, the test equipment you use or the lack thereof, can mean the difference between getting that result or not getting it. Data loggers can't do it all. What I am talking about is Complex Test Equipment, not your everyday multimeter.
#158516 - 07/06/0609:15 AMRe: Are you charging for testing?
Dink, while I admit that my rates are not the lowest in town, I never thought to specifically build in money for equipment purchases.
I rather look at equipment in term of it's ability to generate business. For example, If I have the right gear, I can "certify" my Cat-5E installs- which sets me apart form the guys who can only pull wire!
With equipment vailable, opportunities seem to jump out of the air. Get yourself a boom lift, and it's simply amazing how many light poles need your services- poles that never seemed to need work before! Now, you may not get paid any more than the next guy for changing that ballast, but you can do it a lot quicker- meaning you can do more of it, and you can give the customer better service.
Likewise, get a Bobcat, and you'll soon be making more ditches than you ever dreamed.
My experience has been that, even without special charges, equipment can pay for itself- by generating new business.