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Thread: Contractor hourly rate

  1. #41
    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    The world is regulated by standards. We use standard in our life every day; from your cell phone to the water in your tap to the electricity in your home. Road signs, engines, accounting, printing, packaging, food, just about anything that you can think of. (Think ISO, SABS, ICASA, IEEE etc).
    The air you put into your tires is measured. The fuel you put into your car has to conform to certified specifications. A doctor has to use a calibrated syringe to inject the right volume of medication. All instruments of weight or measurement have to be calibrated to ensure that the correct standards are being followed.

    If you use non-calibrated instruments, you may have the incorrect tire pressure or your car may not perform due to the incorrect fuel. Or you may die because the doctor injected the wrong dose! So many things can go wrong if we do not follow the rules.

    Why then would you use an unqualified guy to do work that can have very damaging consequences to your family or business?
    I have learnt to pay what is due as the consequences for not following the rules are always more expensive!
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurock View Post

    Why then would you use an unqualified guy to do work that can have very damaging consequences to your family or business?
    I have learnt to pay what is due as the consequences for not following the rules are always more expensive!
    We say this and people do use Registered qualified tradesmen ...and then we have a power dip in the factory where i was working yesterday (twice...2 x approx 1-2 second dips) and it blows the crap out of the entire electrical installation...that 2 second dip caused enough damage to the electronic components that most of the damage was visible...all the CNC machines had to be restarted...the occupation sensors all went on the blink...thank goodness i had installed a pure sine wave inverter which is used to support the important electronics...like the server PCs...telephone system...all the computers...which brings me to the use of registered contractors.

    A couple of weeks ago there was a 12 ft wire fence...from floor to top electric fence installed by a well know company which advertises anti climb ...anti cut fencing ...well the interesting part is the 1.5 million rand installation installed around the complex ...proved to be a bit of a waste...they climbed the fence jumped over and entered the factory in the early evening...(also note the gates have 24 hr security) now they have had to raise the electric fence another 6 rungs at a huge cost...but anyway this is not about the money wasted on the fencing.

    The security lighting also proved to be a bit of a flop...dark spots everywhere...so the complex managing agent (wont mention their name as i dont have anything good to say about them either) send one of their many preferred suppliers (i have had to deal with 3 of their preferred suppliers all i am gona say is ...WOW not good) they decide to add flood lights on the side of the building and connect it to our factory...the fact the "electrician" spent the entire time sitting in his vehicle on the laptop isn't the issue as maybe his team might have had the correct qualification to carry out the work...i didnt check...we have this dip and i notice all the reception lights are on...i switch all the light switches off...the reception lights...down lights and a few other lights stay on...so i go switch off the lighting circuit breakers...wait a couple seconds and reset...so what is the problem...it seems the electrical contractor has somehow bypassed all the lights some how to get his day/night switch for the flood light to work do i call these people back or do i just fix the problem myself.

    while i am on a roll here...

    first preferred supplier...the electrical contractor which did the COC ...one f the many problem i have found...he installed 150 mm long screws into the DB where the wiring looms go ...right through the loom ...it blew a 800 breaker in the sub station...ther ewer emany other issues a story for another day.

    The second...was given the task of checking that my installation was done correctly...he couldnt find anything wrong...but i did point out numerous issues which were not repaired when the previous "inspector" issued the COC...he indicated that he would attend to them...still waiting...when asked why he didnt bring any equipment to carry out the tests and inspection...i was told he just wanted to get a feel of who was responsible for the installation and decide...either he was just too lazy to do the inspection or just wanted to bill the managing agent for his chat with me.

    now the third ...a simple job like connecting a day night switch to the building electrics...cant even get that right.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    We say this and people do use Registered qualified tradesmen ...and then we have a power dip in the factory where i was working yesterday (twice...2 x approx 1-2 second dips) and it blows the crap out of the entire electrical installation...that 2 second dip caused enough damage to the electronic components that most of the damage was visible...all the CNC machines had to be restarted...the occupation sensors all went on the blink...thank goodness i had installed a pure sine wave inverter which is used to support the important electronics...like the server PCs...telephone system...all the computers...which brings me to the use of registered contractors.

    A couple of weeks ago there was a 12 ft wire fence...from floor to top electric fence installed by a well know company which advertises anti climb ...anti cut fencing ...well the interesting part is the 1.5 million rand installation installed around the complex ...proved to be a bit of a waste...they climbed the fence jumped over and entered the factory in the early evening...(also note the gates have 24 hr security) now they have had to raise the electric fence another 6 rungs at a huge cost...but anyway this is not about the money wasted on the fencing.

    The security lighting also proved to be a bit of a flop...dark spots everywhere...so the complex managing agent (wont mention their name as i dont have anything good to say about them either) send one of their many preferred suppliers (i have had to deal with 3 of their preferred suppliers all i am gona say is ...WOW not good) they decide to add flood lights on the side of the building and connect it to our factory...the fact the "electrician" spent the entire time sitting in his vehicle on the laptop isn't the issue as maybe his team might have had the correct qualification to carry out the work...i didnt check...we have this dip and i notice all the reception lights are on...i switch all the light switches off...the reception lights...down lights and a few other lights stay on...so i go switch off the lighting circuit breakers...wait a couple seconds and reset...so what is the problem...it seems the electrical contractor has somehow bypassed all the lights some how to get his day/night switch for the flood light to work do i call these people back or do i just fix the problem myself.

    while i am on a roll here...

    first preferred supplier...the electrical contractor which did the COC ...one f the many problem i have found...he installed 150 mm long screws into the DB where the wiring looms go ...right through the loom ...it blew a 800 breaker in the sub station...ther ewer emany other issues a story for another day.

    The second...was given the task of checking that my installation was done correctly...he couldnt find anything wrong...but i did point out numerous issues which were not repaired when the previous "inspector" issued the COC...he indicated that he would attend to them...still waiting...when asked why he didnt bring any equipment to carry out the tests and inspection...i was told he just wanted to get a feel of who was responsible for the installation and decide...either he was just too lazy to do the inspection or just wanted to bill the managing agent for his chat with me.

    now the third ...a simple job like connecting a day night switch to the building electrics...cant even get that right.
    I FEEL YOUR PAIN - There are contractors out there who do not belong in the electrical profession at all.

    You installed an inverter with UPS capability I presume?

    Imagine having to work with contractors that are appointed because they comply with the BBBEE specifications out out by government departments?

    At the first briefing the established and older contractors can be easily identifiable by the vehicles they drive, the cloths they wear and the sensible phones they use.
    They the Versace wearing, Rolex sporting, Gucci shoed, Latest Disco driving crowd.
    They invariably have no clue as to what the industry is about, ask *payment* questions only (technical a bit beyond their skill levels) and carry on about the projects they are involved with.

    Now when BBBEE compliance is required, this is the crowd that get awarded the contracts - usually at about 45 to 75% more than the average quotes submitted.

    A visit to site after the project has commenced is usually shocking!!

    Anybody else in this game?

  4. #44
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    first out = put
    They - The

    I should not type when I get riled up by this topic ...

  5. #45
    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Borrowed from other group, but a must Read story!!!!!
    A customer asked me how much it cost to make a table....
    I answered him: R1500
    He said: So expensive for this job?
    I asked: How much do you think it would cost you?
    He answers me: R800 maximum... That's a pretty simple job right? !"
    - For R800 I invite you to do it yourself.
    - But.... I don't know how to.
    - For R800 I'll teach you how to. So besides saving you R700, you'll get the knowledge for the next time you want
    - It seemed right to him and he agreed.
    - But to get started: you need tools: A table saw, a planer, a top, dormants, etc...
    - But I don't have all these equipment and I can't buy all of these for one job.
    - Well then for another R250 more I'll rent my stuff to you so you can do it.
    - Okay, he says.
    - Okay! Tuesday I'm waiting for you to start doing this work
    - But I can't on Tuesday I only have time today.
    - I'm sorry, but I'm only available Tuesday to teach you and lend you my stuff. Other days are busy with other customers.
    - Okay! That means I'm going to have to sacrifice my Tuesday, give up my tasks.
    - I forgot. To do your job yourself, you also have to pay for the nonproductive factors.
    - That is? What is this?"
    - Bureaucratic, tax, vat, security, insurance, fuel etc.
    - Oh no!... But to accomplish these tasks, I'm going to spend more money and waste a lot of time!
    - Do you have them? You can do it to me before?"
    - Okay!
    - I'll make you all the material you need. Truck loading is done Monday evening or Tuesday morning you'll have to come by 6 loading the truck. Don't forget to be on time to avoid traffic jams and be on time
    - At 6??? Nope! Too early for me! I used to getting up later.
    ...
    - You know, I've been thinking. Y ' all better get the job done. I'd rather pay you the R1500. If I had to, it wouldn't be perfect and it would cost me a lot more.
    When you pay for a job, especially handcrafted, you pay not only for the material used, but also:
    - Knowledge
    - Experience
    - Study
    - Tools
    - Services
    - Time to go
    - punctuality
    - Accountability
    - Patents
    - Sacrifices
    - Safety and security
    - Payment of tax obligations
    No one can denigrate other people's work by judging prices.
    Only by knowing all the elements necessary for the production of a certain work can you estimate the actual cost.
    I did not write this dialogue, but am sharing it to support craftsmen and entrepreneurs.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

  6. #46
    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Tradesmen deserve to be paid for a good job. The same applies to entertainment. Some people think that musicians have to perform for peanuts or even for free.
    Planning for a concert, a guy once asked me why it is so expensive to hire an artist if he performs for only 2 hours?

    Well, to perform for 2 hours, you have to be able to play your instrument well, sing and perform well and keep the audience captivated and satisfied.
    To be able to do that takes years of practice. (They say to be a master at any profession or task takes 10 years).
    Before a concert, you have to first choose your material, then rehearse for a week or even a month, depending on whether its new or old covers.
    You have to check your instruments and equipment and then transport it to the venue.
    Setting up and getting the acoustics right takes time. You have to check and set up electricity connections, lighting and tune your instruments.
    Often the venue is not well equipped and then you have to improvise so that the show can go on.

    For any profession there is behind the scenes work, training and preparation required.
    Or as a wise man once said, "I do not charge for hitting the the nail into the board. I charge for knowing where to position the nail".
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

  7. #47
    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    I get this often,

    I can get it cheaper at China Mall.
    So why are you here?
    Because the stuff fails and there is no after sales service, and no technical advise. They tell me to buy a new one. Can you fix this one?
    You know what, it will be cheaper to buy a new one from me, at least you have a warranty and after sales service if needed!

    I usually don't see them again, but the worst is that I still don't get the sales
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    I get this often,

    I can get it cheaper at China Mall.
    So why are you here?
    Because the stuff fails and there is no after sales service, and no technical advise. They tell me to buy a new one. Can you fix this one?
    You know what, it will be cheaper to buy a new one from me, at least you have a warranty and after sales service if needed!

    I usually don't see them again, but the worst is that I still don't get the sales
    Thats the problem ... people who do cheap work last just long enough to put the qualified person out of bussiness ... then all I hear all day is "there is no servce" ... workmanship is so bad ... what happened to skilled labour" the answer is simple it is your fault not the tradesman ... you put the skilled tradesman out of bussiness by always taking the cheapest quote.

    I did a job last week ... had to use blinkers and dark glasses so that I could just do what I was asked to do ... someone might say ... but you shouldnt have done the job if the rest of the installation was so illegal ... I am over worrying about illegal installtions ... I have bills to pay ... and right now I am doing whatever it takes to feed my family.

    besides that I am always seen as the "bad person" ... the one who always complains about the illegal stuff ... no more ... now the blinkers go on and dark glasses if it is that bad ... I put a note at the bottom of the invoice " please note your electricial installation requires urgent attention" what the customer does with the information I dont care ... the owner user is responsible for the electrical installation ... not me ... I will issue a COC for the work I did once a coc is issued for the rest of the installation ... done next job.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

  9. #49
    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    I usually don't see them again, but the worst is that I still don't get the sales
    Could it be that the problem is not your products but rather the psychology of the client (and of a large number of people) - They see their immediate problem and the cheapest solution to that problem in the present.

    How do you sell the notion that money will be saved in the long term by buying a more expensive product (This has actually been disproved with AA batteries - cheaper batteries actually perform better in terms of cost vs energy supplied according to ProjectFarm on YouTube)

    I am that client today - my compressor threw a hissyfit yesterday....It looks like it may have seized up (I will look later) - I would love to buy a super quiet 100L machine but it is out of my budget, I have to finish a project now...I need a cost effective solution today though I might buy the more expensive machine later...

    The eternal toss up between immediate reward and possible greater long term reward....
    “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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