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How much do you guys charge to replace sign bulbs that require a bucket truck?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by WhatsYourSign?, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. WhatsYourSign?

    WhatsYourSign? Member

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    We recently purchased a bucket truck and now have an opportunity to service signs that require bulbs to be replaced but I'm not sure what to charge.

    How much are you or others in your market charging for this kind of work?

    I'd appreciate any insights! Thank you in advance.
     
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  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    What do you think would do it for you ??

    Figure in the cost of the truck, the man in the bucket, the lamps being used, all the insurances, maintenance, distance for the truck, whatever other work might be needed while you have the cabinet open and most of all..... how much do you wanna make on top of all that ??

    Are you replacing or retrofitting ?? Most places are using the LED sticks and wiring in new power sources. Can you do that ?? Can you test and make sure it's the lamps and not a driver or ballast ?? Can you do it if the electric is off due to a sensor or timer ?? Can you hook it up to your truck for extra power.

    We just had one a week ago, where the power was turned off, so we hadda hook up and power the sign with our generator. That happens quite a bit.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    It's always at least ten times more than the customer was thinking. Kind of like "you just hit print and the computer does all the work", they think "it's just a couple of light bulbs".
     
  4. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Average can be anywhere from $125-225/hr. Double or triple your material costs.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. Decal Dennis

    Decal Dennis New Member

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    Depends on the truck you have. We charge $195.00 per hour for a 2 man crew out in a 70' bucket/crane plus parts. $145 per hour if it's just one crew member
     
  6. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    About the same as tex, 125 for one man, seldomly bring two men to do service but some big faces require it. 2.5 on materials. I hate it when it's an open faced letter and the customer has all the bulbs though. Even worse is when they could do it with a ladder, and they just watch us do it with a ladder, then complain about the cost. Man, go get your own ladder if you're just gonna complain.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Richard2717

    Richard2717 Member

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    $85/ hour with one man for the 42' truck in our area Anything bigger and it is $140/hr and more
     
  8. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    We charge $95/hr, generally a bulb change is 1 hour.
     
  9. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Customers often get irritated by those rates. That's because they don't think it costs us anything to drive out to their businesses to swap out a lamp or ballast. We pay out the wazoo for worker's comp insurance premiums along with all kinds of other stuff. So we track the amount time a crew member is up in the air versus standing on the ground or driving the truck due to the different rates for those job activities.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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    It takes us an hour just to load the truck and get out on the road.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    You should keep your truck stocked.
     
  12. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    One guy to hold the bulb and one guy to spin the truck in a tight circle - so at least $150 an hour.
     
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  13. Rick Tennyson

    Rick Tennyson Member

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    You guys need to charge a minimum PERIOD!!! We always give an estimate to relamp/ballast before we ever leave the shop. They can say yes or I will do it myself.
    You have the chance to sell them a LED upgrade. Explain most manufacturers pay for a full 5 year (parts & labor) warranty to justify the pricing.
    We have 7 trucks, run 20 hours a day, 6 days a week. Don’t let the electricians take these jobs away from us. Good luck guys!!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Wait, what manufacturer pays for labor on a warranty?
     
  15. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    I would also like to know!
     
  16. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Oh I see the implication here. "Sorry sir, if you recall our conversation XX months ago, I said most manufacturers..."
    Sorry, couldn't help myself. In all honesty I'd switch up products if I could find one that did this, but at the same time I don't see anybody cutting that check nearly as fast as shipping replacement parts.
     
  17. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Rick! My man. How do I forward a beer to ya? Also I wonder if their previous warranty had this, as this one starts with products purchased after 1.1.20.
    We use a ton of principal stuff around here. Can't help but notice how they have a much longer warranted period than Handey...
     
  18. DAVID MARSHALL

    DAVID MARSHALL New Member

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    Port Macquarie Australia
    We are the only local signage company that owns an EWP. Our rates reflect the usual cost of hiring one because that's what our competitors will have to do. Half day minimum, just like the hire companies. Our WHS laws mean that there always need to be at least two staff where an EWP is in use. Without going into the specific numbers because it will be different where your business is, we charge at least half a day hire for the cherry picker plus normal hourly rates for each staff member, door to door.
     
  19. signbrad

    signbrad Member

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    That's how you do it.

    Be wary of using someone else's rate. Your expenses, overhead and profit are uniquely yours. An accountant's advice is worth the money.

    Brad in Kansas City
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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