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Thread: Top 5 Machines by Billable Hour

  1. #1
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    Top 5 Machines by Billable Hour

    Went through my billable hours last year by machine code and thought I would share the results.

    1) Ironworker - Almost every job I did had labor associated with this machine. By far my best money maker.
    2) Cold saw - Close second to the ironworker, I cut lots of square tube with this saw, blades last a long time and like the ironworker consumables are not even a thought.
    3) Welder- You would think this would have been the winner but it was almost a dead even with grinders/belt sander.
    4) Grinders/belt sander- I don't separate grinders, belts sanders, or die grinders, they all get coded under finish work and the consumables charged as such. Next to the cnc plasma the largest consumable cost section.
    5) CNC Plasma table - It sure seemed I made more money with this than what actually is showing, it also had the largest working cost. I can't live without this machine but was pretty far down the list and margins not as lucrative I as I would like.

    Honorable mention - Band Saw, all I can say is it's slow but does a good job when needed. Had the fewest hours of any machine code I have, my torch actually had more but hate that thing!

    I was not sure how others kept track of this, I would be interested to hear other examples.
    ESAB Rebels 215 and 235, ESAB HELIARC 281i, ESAB ET 301i, Hypertherm 85 and 45XP, Thermal Arc 185, TD 60i, HTP PRO PULSE 300

  2. #2
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    Re: Top 5 Machines by Billable Hour

    I appreciate at that you shared this. Is good to hear guys well established doing almost a cost analysis without naming names you might say. I would like one day to have a truck pretty well set (probably not with an Ironworker) but this gives ideas on what really needs to be better quality and will return more. Not going down your road, but I sure like to remember what I see when I ride along you know. I figured your bandsaw would be pulling more weight, but with the plasma tables getting popular people seem to be getting more stuff in plate and making more than they used to.


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  3. #3
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    Re: Top 5 Machines by Billable Hour

    I'm not sure billable hours equals value. If that was the case, then my machining stuff would be the best because I spend hours upon hours standing in front of them. However, they account for a small fraction of the money I have made.

    I can see the bandsaw and cnc plasma being low on your list for billable hours, and at the same time very profitable. They are extremely efficient at what they do.

    Do you want to make money? Or make more hours of work?

    Just throwing those thoughts out there to ponder. Not trying to be critical.
    My name's not Jim....

  4. #4
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    Re: Top 5 Machines by Billable Hour

    What about the machine that goes bing?

  5. #5
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    Re: Top 5 Machines by Billable Hour

    Good information! I wish I tracked my equipment better than that.
    I don't think you should read to much into the data though. Boostinjdm brought up some good points... I guess it all comes down to how you are charging your customers. If you are bidding jobs, than being able to stack cut in the band saw would be better than cutting pcs individually on a chop saw or cold saw.
    And like you eluded, each process has its cost of operation, that throws another wrench in the system when trying to compare.

    Either way. I think its good info to track, if anything it shows you your strengths and weaknesses, or where you need to invest
    - Christian M.
    C3 Welding & Fabrication
    - CNC Plasma Cutting
    -Mobile Welding
    -Custom welding and fab
    www.c3welding.com

  6. #6
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    Re: Top 5 Machines by Billable Hour

    Very cool to hear about your success and how it balances out with the toolage. I'm getting ready to retire soon and hoping my shop will be a part time money maker... now where is that ironworker I need to be looking for? Interesting thoughts on cutting table. Folks down my way (S.C.) make boat loads of money on custom T-Tops, seating rigs and trailers for offshore and inshore center console money pits.

  7. #7
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    Re: Top 5 Machines by Billable Hour

    Quote Originally Posted by rlitman View Post
    What about the machine that goes bing?
    you're not qualified!

    The machine that goes ping!
    Dynasty 200 DX TIGRunner package with Coolmate 1.

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