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Hi all, I was just wondering if you could give me some advice???... I'm fencing a 100 acre farm but not all the fences need doing and its just patching up! the farmer wants to pay me by hour but I've never done fencing by hourly rate its always per day, so my question is could you please advise me on what you guys would charge per hour for patching up!! would really appreciate your advice on this many thanks Jake.

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Definitely really that idea charge by hour we all know how small repair seem to throw up a whole load of unforeseen glitches and problems.

The are many factors, distance to job, are you including consumables, materials etc, hourly rates vary in different parts of the country.

I've always found repair to be a pig of a job, you never seem to get them just looking right, no matter how much time you spend,

Don't charge too little,

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As much as you can get!  The problem I have with working by the hour is the limit you put on yourself.  We do some clearing and tear out work by the hour, but only because I can send someone else to do it while I build fence.  I know what my labor is going to cost, so the profit is easy to figure.  We charge $45/hour for manual labor, and $100/hour for equipment with an operator........and that's not enough in my opinion.  If I am the one to tear out the old fence and clear trees and brush, I usually bid the job instead of working by the hour.  Same goes for repair jobs.  If you have any equipment that will be sitting idle while you do the work, don't forget to take that into account. 

 

A couple things that my Dad preaches.........

 

You can go fishing and break even.  Get in a poker game if you are dying to lose your money.  There is no sense in working to lose it.

 

Who else is going to do it?  I assume, by the way you guys talk, laziness is a chronic problem with the majority of your population just like it is here.  In my opinion, it should pay more if you work harder and smarter than the rest.   We worked 12 hours yesterday and 10 today in 90 degree sunshine on a creosote post and board fence.  I had good help for the weekend, and I paid them $35/hour.  They deserved it, because they both work smarter, harder, and faster than any of my other help, and they NEVER complain.  Who else is going to do it? Nobody else, that's who.

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I totally agree the amount of time ive spent on 2 fields patching is ridiculous!! there stock proof now but its demoralising, would of been a better job all together if it was ripped out and started again! the wire has seen its day, you cant even pull it hand tight without it breaking but anyway...... the farmer is supplying materials but im there patching all day on my own only travelling 2 mile up the road so would you say £12-£14 per hour whats your opinion please be honest :P

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Repair is the most unsatisying fence work. It takes hours yet seems to achieve little.

Assuming your work is of high standard and work rate pretty good. The farmer is using your services because, he's either hopeless at it. knows it will take him forever or too busy. I've heard some get £12 an hr sat on a tractor. That's £104 for 8hrs. For easy work though not everyone is tractor friendly!

I'd just divide your day rate by 8hrs and add 20-30% assuming you have vehicle/trailer and the tools yourself. You can always knock a bit off at the end of the job if you feel it's expensive.

 

 

 

Might be an idea to Work systematically as well.

 

Maybe go round the lot or a section. Unstaple rotten posts, count up how many. Follow knocking in new then staple up. Then repair wire tension, breaks etc. This is assuming a lot needs doing.

 

As often said with proper kit it's not much difference to up and replace with new.

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It sounds like you are working for wages.  It will be hard to grow your business and buy bigger/better/newer equipment unless you account for it now.........BUT it's also hard to grow your business without customers.  Don't forget to raise your prices when you get to working 90 hours a week at that rate! 

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Repair is the most unsatisying fence work. It takes hours yet seems to achieve little.

Assuming your work is of high standard and work rate pretty good. The farmer is using your services because, he's either hopeless at it. knows it will take him forever or too busy. I've heard some get £12 an hr sat on a tractor. That's £104 for 8hrs. For easy work though not everyone is tractor friendly!

I'd just divide your day rate by 8hrs and add 20-30% assuming you have vehicle/trailer and the tools yourself. You can always knock a bit off at the end of the job if you feel it's expensive.

 

 

 

Might be an idea to Work systematically as well.

 

Maybe go round the lot or a section. Unstaple rotten posts, count up how many. Follow knocking in new then staple up. Then repair wire tension, breaks etc. This is assuming a lot needs doing.

 

As often said with proper kit it's not much difference to up and replace with new.

Well said Goaty.  Nothing worse than a remodel.

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I totally agree with you all!! I said about completely redoing the 2 fields in question... the time ive been there 'patching' I could of done the 2 fields in new but of coarse they don't see it like that! £120 a day equals £15 a hour plus 20% for tools truck trailer= £18 a hour... seem fair for a farm that's on top of a hill covered in rock that's broke the point off the bar 1st hole....

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As much as you can get!  The problem I have with working by the hour is the limit you put on yourself.  We do some clearing and tear out work by the hour, but only because I can send someone else to do it while I build fence.  I know what my labor is going to cost, so the profit is easy to figure.  We charge $45/hour for manual labor, and $100/hour for equipment with an operator........and that's not enough in my opinion.  If I am the one to tear out the old fence and clear trees and brush, I usually bid the job instead of working by the hour.  Same goes for repair jobs.  If you have any equipment that will be sitting idle while you do the work, don't forget to take that into account. 

 

A couple things that my Dad preaches.........

 

You can go fishing and break even.  Get in a poker game if you are dying to lose your money.  There is no sense in working to lose it.

 

Who else is going to do it?  I assume, by the way you guys talk, laziness is a chronic problem with the majority of your population just like it is here.  In my opinion, it should pay more if you work harder and smarter than the rest.   We worked 12 hours yesterday and 10 today in 90 degree sunshine on a creosote post and board fence.  I had good help for the weekend, and I paid them $35/hour.  They deserved it, because they both work smarter, harder, and faster than any of my other help, and they NEVER complain.  Who else is going to do it? Nobody else, that's who.

All good stuff. How many metres or yards do you average an hr or day? I think some get it fencing but I've yet to achieve it. On Friday my wife and I started at 7.30 reducing a cherry tree in a garden by a 1/3 it was house roof top height, then trimmed a beech hedge. All finished on site for 9.50. We got drenched at the end. Charged £100 for the tree and £70 for the hedge, worked hard and fast& smart Then later about an hour, emptying trailer and maintaining tools cleaning them.

That's where the money is in domestic work, because people have no idea how to do it and are overwhelmed by it. If we could get an employee as good as my wife I'd be really happy. She works full time at the moment in another job.

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just hand tools and labour... cant get tractor and banger anywhere near the fence!! so its all by hand! on a good day maybe 60 yards as all the hedges are being sided up by me aswel! most of the hedges have grown through the wire so a lot of clearing work is being done before I can even start on the fences!

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The way id work it out is i can put up 200m a day, say at £2/m for arguements sake =£400/day (turnover for day) /8 hours =£50/hour. just because the machine cant be used and is standing doesn't mean it doesn't need paying for and insuring for that day, it just isn't costing in fuel.

The opportunity cost for that job working for anything less than £50/hour is losing me money as I could be earing that fencing somewhere else.

 

Don't take these figures as gospel but more the theory. But ask your self what else could you be earning doing normal fencing.

 

But if your using your own chainsaw for clearing work, id be £25/hr minimum, as its you that has to run, maintain and fuel the thing. Get qualifications to use it, protective clothing and cover your self for insurance I case of injuries. You wont get any favours working cheaply, just hard graft for little reward. 

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All good stuff. How many metres or yards do you average an hr or day? I think some get it fencing but I've yet to achieve it. On Friday my wife and I started at 7.30 reducing a cherry tree in a garden by a 1/3 it was house roof top height, then trimmed a beech hedge. All finished on site for 9.50. We got drenched at the end. Charged £100 for the tree and £70 for the hedge, worked hard and fast& smart Then later about an hour, emptying trailer and maintaining tools cleaning them.

That's where the money is in domestic work, because people have no idea how to do it and are overwhelmed by it. If we could get an employee as good as my wife I'd be really happy. She works full time at the moment in another job.

With a couple of guys to help, we can build about 1,200' or 365m of what we call Kentucky four plank per day.  Woven wire (netting) is about 2,500' or 760m per day.  That would be with equipment and material on site, and would be in good ground with good access and average length stretches.  I still dream of a call to build a mile long straight stretch of fence. lol   The older I get, the less I care to build that much two days in a row.

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Have to say I'd forgotten to take into account the usual mandatory factors in fence repairs,

 

Any broken posts have been hard stapled, making it hard to remove s the staples,

 

Any old wire has to be half buried, especially if it's any kind if net,

 

The broken post I mentioned have the broken off at ground level, and usually the remaining section in in the only bit of ground you can get a post in so has to be removed with great difficulty and with use of several.swear words,

 

The section to be repaired is usually under trees, requiring branches, to be cut and they often have rogue pieces of wire or staples in the exact spot where the saw cut is.

 

It is often around watering hole, meaning wire is easier to remove from.ground but is covered in mud and other delights.

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Jake,

I think there is some good advice above from everyone, the only thing I can add is only you will really know your costs and expenses. You will know how much a day you need to earn to cover your costs. You will have insurance, and running trucks and fuel, use of tools that all wear and of course how much you need to cover your living expenses. Once you have worked that out, then work out how many hours you want to work a week, ( not how many you actually do work) and that should give you a decent figures where you cover your costs, as said above add some on for renewing and upgrading etc and not standing still. Hopefully you will get a figure the customer is willing to,pay.

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