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  #21  
Old November 28th, 2013, 08:16 PM
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Extremely proficient or cuts corners.
Paging Ronnie for input
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  #22  
Old November 28th, 2013, 11:46 PM
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The only one that seems high is the pitman/tie rods. Maybe it includes an alignment that is being billed at a fixed cost (aligning a defender is stupid simple.) The rest seem ballpark close for the shop rate for the work. Maybe a smidge high on hours, but not out of line.
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  #23  
Old November 29th, 2013, 06:46 AM
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So I just did all the rod ends on a Defender picked at random. 4 hrs form parking lot to parking lot. And I am not at all slow and have the right equipment. Including that which is required to remove the drop arm which even so equipped can be a beotch, and in this case was.
included;
picking the slip
pulling car into shop and getting on lift
diagnose
pull parts form inventory and order replacements
do the work properly including cleaning parts and assembly with appropriate anti seize, using new lock nuts on the rod clamps etc.
clean up, shop (the mess from this job only) and myself
test drive
write the bill
discuss with owner

Never mind all the other overhead costs that are "hidden"

So as per usual, the D90 source shop time / cost matrix is basically not at all realistic.
Anyone quoting job costs from an internet forum doesn't last long in my shop lol, but then again my shop is still here and I sure have seen a bunch come and go (both customers and shops).
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  #24  
Old November 29th, 2013, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junkyddog11 View Post
So I just did all the rod ends on a Defender picked at random. 4 hrs form parking lot to parking lot. And I am not at all slow and have the right equipment. Including that which is required to remove the drop arm which even so equipped can be a beotch, and in this case was.
included;
picking the slip
pulling car into shop and getting on lift
diagnose
pull parts form inventory and order replacements
do the work properly including cleaning parts and assembly with appropriate anti seize, using new lock nuts on the rod clamps etc.
clean up, shop (the mess from this job only) and myself
test drive
write the bill
discuss with owner

Never mind all the other overhead costs that are "hidden"

So as per usual, the D90 source shop time / cost matrix is basically not at all realistic.
Anyone quoting job costs from an internet forum doesn't last long in my shop lol, but then again my shop is still here and I sure have seen a bunch come and go (both customers and shops).
Thanks Matt, I appreciate your point of view. If you do a job like that, which of the following do you generally do:

1) Charge the customer the time it took you,
2) Charge the customer the book rate, or
3) Charge the customer the book rate as a minimum even if takes you less time, and charge more if it takes you longer?

As a customer, I'm fine with 1 or 2 as long as it's consistent. I'm not OK with 3. I would assume a shop would be doing #1 on an older vehicle where job times are less predictable.

I also assume that if you were doing the complete list here that you wouldn't be pulling it in and out, putting it up on the hoist, and test driving for each individual issue. So there's some economy to be gained back there. Plus in this case, the shop has already been paid for the diagnosis, as far as I know.

What do you mean by "Anyone quoting job costs from an internet forum doesn't last long in my shop"? Is it unreasonable for me to do some due diligence on a shop none of us on this end has ever used before? For example, a while ago I found a shop near where I live that claimed to be Land Rover experts. They had lots of Rovers parked out front, as well as Jags & Rolls Royces all over the place. The more I talked to the guy though, the worse my feeling got. I had him look after one job for me and then never went back. A shop can find a niche with a group of people willing to spend money with them, but that alone doesn't mean they're any good.

Note that I'm NOT saying this particular shop in this thread is bad. I've never even been there. It's just that there were enough question marks that it seemed wise to do a bit of asking around.
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  #25  
Old November 29th, 2013, 10:36 AM
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Many shops and dealerships go by the flat rate manual and mechanics make their living by doing the job faster and moving on to the next job. Ie getting as many billable hours in as possible every week and maximize your income.
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  #26  
Old November 29th, 2013, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Google "defender labor operation times pdf" and lookup the book times ...
Here: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/f...+Operation.pdf
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  #27  
Old November 29th, 2013, 11:23 AM
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Those labor operation times are so called "warranty times" and is what Land Rover would pay the dealership to do the work on a clean, low mileage, rust free truck. It does not include diagnosis, testing, or road testing after the work (there are separate labor ops for those).

Those labor times are also widely regarded as a complete joke by every LR mechanic and even in a dealership environment are quoted at book time + 50% for customer pay jobs.

Land Rover has the dealerships by the proverbial balls with what it pays for warranty labor times and is very generous in giving themselves their own discount.
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  #28  
Old November 29th, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
Many shops and dealerships go by the flat rate manual and mechanics make their living by doing the job faster and moving on to the next job. Ie getting as many billable hours in as possible every week and maximize your income.
Unfortunately, 2x.

I had a perplexing experience that supports this.

I was out of town when one of my wife's business vans was up for state inspection and emissions. She doesn't like going to shops, so after some research to find a turnkey solution, took it to Curry's Auto based on their great reviews. The van failed emissions (2001 Chevy E3500) with no CEL firing. The shop's recommendation was to replace parts until reaching the state's 2-year exemption threshold amount. The proposal was to first change the plugs then retest. Then change the plug wires then retest. If it failed after both services were completed, the $750 threshold was met and the state would provide a 2-year exemption. I forgot the labor hours quoted, but it was something like 2+ hours for plugs and 2 hours for plug wires plus parts >$750. My response was when changing the plugs, do the wires at the same time, as you are already 3/4 the way complete with the wires. They said it would make NO difference in the amount charged. There was zero economies of scale. Worse, they simply followed the plug and play approach to a tee. Charge book rate to change the plugs, charge book rate to change the wires, etc., with what appeared to be zero diagnostics or thought other than maximizing the labor component to just exceed the state's threshold. Without options and a worried wife, I said to proceed, but KEEP THE PARTS. Of course the van still failed, they made their money, and how convenient, they dumped the parts.

I hope Curry's Automotive is reading.

http://www.currysauto.com/

http://www.deq.state.va.us/Programs/...formation.aspx
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  #29  
Old November 29th, 2013, 12:17 PM
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In all fairness there is not necessarily a lot of overlap labor between replacing plugs and plug wires, aside from simply unplugging the wire from the plug.
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  #30  
Old November 29th, 2013, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by transientmechanic View Post
Those labor operation times are so called "warranty times" and is what Land Rover would pay the dealership to do the work on a clean, low mileage, rust free truck. It does not include diagnosis, testing, or road testing after the work (there are separate labor ops for those).

Those labor times are also widely regarded as a complete joke by every LR mechanic and even in a dealership environment are quoted at book time + 50% for customer pay jobs.

Land Rover has the dealerships by the proverbial balls with what it pays for warranty labor times and is very generous in giving themselves their own discount.
More like they pay nearer to what it would actually take without the generous markup they add to customer times.

If you are suggesting dealers typically add 50% to the book time and their employees are incentivised to complete in well under the book time to get paid more. You've basically confirmed my gouging theory.
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  #31  
Old November 29th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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From first hand experience as a LR tech, warranty pay times may be about 70% of actual job time. Sometimes it is grossly less than that (Last I knew book time to re-seal the bed plate on a 4.4 was about 18 hours, real job time is close to 30).

This disparity has to equal out somewhere. It's not gouging, its just the way the business is. This is the same for every dealership, every brand, everywhere in the US.
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  #32  
Old November 30th, 2013, 05:15 AM
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Id love to respond to this and have tried twice. Site keeps logging me off and loosing the response. Not the first time. Very frustrating and I don't have the time. Im sure its something on my end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aclarke View Post
Thanks Matt, I appreciate your point of view. If you do a job like that, which of the following do you generally do:

1) Charge the customer the time it took you,
2) Charge the customer the book rate, or
3) Charge the customer the book rate as a minimum even if takes you less time, and charge more if it takes you longer?

As a customer, I'm fine with 1 or 2 as long as it's consistent. I'm not OK with 3. I would assume a shop would be doing #1 on an older vehicle where job times are less predictable.

I also assume that if you were doing the complete list here that you wouldn't be pulling it in and out, putting it up on the hoist, and test driving for each individual issue. So there's some economy to be gained back there. Plus in this case, the shop has already been paid for the diagnosis, as far as I know.

What do you mean by "Anyone quoting job costs from an internet forum doesn't last long in my shop"? Is it unreasonable for me to do some due diligence on a shop none of us on this end has ever used before? For example, a while ago I found a shop near where I live that claimed to be Land Rover experts. They had lots of Rovers parked out front, as well as Jags & Rolls Royces all over the place. The more I talked to the guy though, the worse my feeling got. I had him look after one job for me and then never went back. A shop can find a niche with a group of people willing to spend money with them, but that alone doesn't mean they're any good.

Note that I'm NOT saying this particular shop in this thread is bad. I've never even been there. It's just that there were enough question marks that it seemed wise to do a bit of asking around.
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  #33  
Old November 30th, 2013, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by junkyddog11 View Post
Id love to respond to this and have tried twice. Site keeps logging me off and loosing the response. Not the first time. Very frustrating and I don't have the time. Im sure its something on my end.
I often write my response in another application then copy/paste here. Thanks for trying, anyway.
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  #34  
Old November 30th, 2013, 08:40 PM
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We see work lists like that all the time at Robison Service. And I agree with Matt re the actual times. One poster suggested looking up the times in the old Land Rover labor guide. That guide was meant to establish factory warranty reimbursement rates on new vehicles. The actual time need to fix what is now a 15 year old and possibly muddy or rusty or modified truck is often very different.

We charge actual time worked. When we get a rust free clean D90 the tie rods might be done in a couple hours. When we get one where the pitman arm hit a rock and the other three are corroded tight in place . . . it's most of the day. And the tie rod job may just lead into more work, like radius arm bushings or pan hard bushes.

So times (and bills) can vary tremendously from one truck to another for what seems like the same job, as judged by a two line description on an invoice.

That is why I encourage people to come to our shop and see what they are paying for. You can't judge a job like this on a vehicle of this age online. You have to see it, and even then, you cannot know what will happen when you go to do the work.
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  #35  
Old November 30th, 2013, 08:52 PM
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As a bit of followup on this, I've had some positive second-hand references on the shop in question. It sounds like they're legitimate. I also found out that for the initial check of the vehicle in question, they quoted a higher number up front, but the bill in the end was less. So, it seems like maybe the quotes were meant to be taken more as estimates. If this is the case, then it's possible this was mostly a misunderstanding, as we had the impression initially that the numbers were more "quote" than "estimate".
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  #36  
Old December 1st, 2013, 09:15 AM
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I have no idea how the shop in question works, but in our shop, there is no such thing as a fixed quote on most service, because we cannot know what complications will be revealed. It's the same in most restoration and specialty shops I know. Those of you who know us, know we (and other similar specialists, Matt included) are often shops of last resort for people who have exhausted all the easy service options in their local area before making the trek to us.

The risks of working on these vehicles to fixed price cuts both ways. When a shop gives a quote on a piece of work on an older truck, and are asked to stick to it, they may be forced to compromise quality if complications are encountered, and the owner and the shop's reputation will both suffer as a result.

When the owner states that "he cannot go above the quote" he is probably in over his head with the vehicle, and complications will be a source of stress for everyone. Yet they are inevitable. People who need to conduct their service to a budget for purposes of financial management or whatever should driver newer, mass produced vehicles that are supported by a dealer network accustomed to pricing service that way because the cars are new

15 years ago these trucks were pretty new and there was a thriving community driving them off road. Now - as values have risen - the pool of people who run off road is much smaller and the vehicles have become much more varied through age and modification. We see trucks that have been butchered and repaired incorrectly and vehicles that have been crashed and reconstructed. All that is new since the early days, and it all contributes to uncertainty in evaluating repairs.

My best advice is to talk to a shop owner or manager, and decide how you feel about them and the place. Check them out online, or with other Rover owners. Put your trust in the shop and give them a chance to do their best and then let them explain what they do/did and why. Most Land Rover shops are run by enthusiasts that are much more your friend than your adversary. If you have a budget limit, talk about it without drawing lines in the sand. At the same time, ask the shop what might go wrong, and how costs could be impacted.

I always tell people, "You don't ever want to ask the worst case scenario!" in the case of major repairs but I'm happy to say what most similar jobs cost and what complications [could] arise. I'm sure many other service managers feel the same.
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  #37  
Old December 1st, 2013, 09:56 AM
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I have no idea how the shop in question works, but in our shop, there is no such thing as a fixed quote on most service, because we cannot know what complications will be revealed. It's the same in most restoration and specialty shops I know. Those of you who know us, know we (and other similar specialists, Matt included) are often shops of last resort for people who have exhausted all the easy service options in their local area before making the trek to us...
^^What a great post.^^

Thank you Andrew Clarke for this thread and for stirring Matt Browne and John Robison to speak up.


I went to several Land Rover gatherings this Fall ,so lots of enthusiasts who tend to maintain their vehicles.

I was looking over your list Andrew.

In the last 2 months I swapped all the running gear(3rd members and axles, stub axles) from one Range Rover to another Range Rover.
So driveshafts had to come off, tie rods off, lots of disassembly/reassembly.
Pretty easy in my trucks case because things weren't corroded.
Lots of antiseize the last time around!
But I hate to think what it would've cost me to have it done at a shop.
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  #38  
Old December 4th, 2013, 05:28 AM
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John, well put and thanks for that.

I just got to remove a transmission that had been installed with the body off. The crossmenbers (300tdi +also had a three link) were bolted from the inside of the frame (installed prior to trans) leaving no way to get the bolts out when tranny in place.
Normally removing a transmission in a modified D90 will take about 4 hrs. This was well into twelve. The custom stainless exhaust that had corrosion welded itself together took 4 hrs to remove in itself. More than doubled the labor bill……..We laughed a couple of times thinking of what the outcome might have been if the truck had gone to a general repair shop or the dealer. At least we have seen one before lol.
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