June 24, 2018, 12:32:54 AM

Author Topic: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?  (Read 5454 times)

Offline belfert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6023
$170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« on: August 18, 2013, 09:04:06 AM »
I talked to the local Detroit dealer about doing some work on my Series 60.  I knew they aren't cheap and expected they might charge as much as $129 an hour.  I asked the hourly rate and the guy said about $170 an hour after shop fees and everything else.  I nearly fainted after hearing that number!  This is a local branch of the same company that did the overhaul on Technomadia's engine.

How can a trucking company survive paying those kinds of rates to fix an engine?  No wonder the big trucking companies buy or lease new trucks and dump them at 400,000 to 500,000 miles.  Now, there are many shops that charge less that can fix Series 60 engines, but certain things require a Detroit dealer.  Luckily, the work I would like done is only 1 hour labor.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN

Offline bobofthenorth

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2427
    • R.J.(Bob) Evans
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 09:49:49 AM »
A high hourly rate doesn't have to translate directly to an "expensive" job.  I'm not justifying anyone charging any particular rate to pull wrenches but sometimes paying for a genuine pro is the best choice we can make.  I'd want some guarantee that it wasn't an open ended billing ticket though.  I recently was quoted $300 per hour for a diving job.  I told them I'd pay their rate even though it was considerably higher than what I had expected but I also told them that I expected that it wouldn't take longer than 1/2 an hour and it didn't. 
R.J.(Bob) Evans
Used to be 1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
Currently busless (and not looking)
My website
Our weblog
What's behind you doesn't matter - Enzo Ferrari

Offline wg4t50

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 913
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 04:51:38 PM »
Locally, Cummins Field Service is $125.00/hour and mileage is $2.55/mile and between misc and shop fees, computer fees, book keeper fees, it does get costly.
I am taking notes so I can keep my fees within reason.  ;D
MCI7 20+ Yrs
Foretravel w/ISM500
WG4T CW for ever.
Central Virginia

Offline Sam 4106

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 679
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 05:28:45 PM »
What are you having done that only a Detroit Diesel dealer can do? If whatever it is can only be done by a DD dealer, you have no choice but to pay their price. If it is something that can be done by a competent shop, Curt at central truck would be my choice. 763-434-4260

Good luck, Sam
1976 MCI-8TA with 8V92 DDEC II and Allison HT740

Offline belfert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6023
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 06:16:05 PM »
I was asking about having the DDEC reprogrammed with a different program and only a Detroit dealer can do that.  I talked to Ken Arnold here about it, but he couldn't help me.  I'm still not sure I want to spend the money yet.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN

Offline Hard Headed Ken

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 373
  • 1988 Prevost Angola Conversion Repowered With 14L Series 60 & Eaton Ultrashift
    • Link to my engine swap
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 06:39:01 PM »
Brian,
 Do a little research to see what it would cost to add an EGT gauge to your bus. I don't know how much fuel I can add without causing your EGT to get too high. I have some experience with 12.7s and 14s but I don't know what I can get away with on an 11.1

Ken
« Last Edit: August 19, 2013, 04:27:33 AM by Hard Headed Ken »
Link to my engine swap slide show

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxAFFBcoTQI

Offline technomadia

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 590
  • Zephyr - 1961 GM PD-4106-446
    • Technomadia
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 09:28:31 PM »
 I asked the hourly rate and the guy said about $170 an hour after shop fees and everything else.  I nearly fainted after hearing that number!  This is a local branch of the same company that did the overhaul on Technomadia's engine.

How can a trucking company survive paying those kinds of rates to fix an engine?  

Wow.  

Just for reference....  the posted wall rate for our Interstate branch in Billings was $128/hr for their 'Coach Rate'. They also have a much lower 'fleet rate' for their commercial customers (which is what they extended to us... without us even asking for a discount).  AND, they capped our labor charges to the estimate they originally gave us, despite how much of an overrun in labor there was (*whew*).  

We could not be happier with the service AND price we got from Interstate PowerSystems in Billings.... and the friends-for-life we made as they let us apprentice under their skilled mechanics. Our experience there was beyond amazing and outstanding.

Obviously... the hourly cost of a 1 hr job versus a major overhaul, will have some differential... but that's. Well.  Wow.


- Cherie
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 09:37:44 PM by technomadia »
Cherie and Chris / Bus tour: www.technomadia.com/zephyr
Full-time 'Technomads' since 2006 (technology enabled nomads)

Offline TomC

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8642
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 09:47:13 PM »
Most every Freightliner and Western Star dealer are also certified Detroit Diesel shops. Here in expensive Los Angeles, we charge $120/hr. Good Luck, TomC
Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.

Offline belfert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6023
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2013, 04:48:36 AM »
Wow.  

Just for reference....  the posted wall rate for our Interstate branch in Billings was $128/hr for their 'Coach Rate'. They also have a much lower 'fleet rate' for their commercial customers (which is what they extended to us... without us even asking for a discount).  AND, they capped our labor charges to the estimate they originally gave us, despite how much of an overrun in labor there was (*whew*).  

We could not be happier with the service AND price we got from Interstate PowerSystems in Billings.... and the friends-for-life we made as they let us apprentice under their skilled mechanics. Our experience there was beyond amazing and outstanding.

It could very well be the difference in cost of living between Billings and Minneapolis.  The person on the phone didn't give me the posted rate, but rather the rate after shop fees and other add-ons.  I haven't been to Interstate for service in some years, but they added a flat 10% for shop supplies the last time.

I called again and the shop rate is $139 per hour and about $170 an hour after shop supplies and such.  That may include tax too.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN

Offline belfert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6023
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2013, 04:52:11 AM »
The local Freightliner dealer is owned by the same company as the local Detroit dealer.  Their rate was $129 an hour before fees last year and may have gone up since then.  Their prices are just about as high.  I was driving by the Freightliner dealer a week or so ago and stopped to ask about getting my DDEC reprogrammed.  They didn't seem all that confident about doing it so I decided if I do it I would go to the Detroit dealer instead.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN

Offline pete36330

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 88
  • my mc9 ,,gonna finish it one day ,,
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2013, 05:53:34 AM »
Yea,,I'll bet that they weren't real busy and could get on it right away...run don't walk away..

Offline luvrbus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19427
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2013, 05:24:31 PM »
Sometimes $170.00 per hr may be a lot cheaper than the $125.00 rate it didn't sound all that bad to me I paid a flat rate almost 3 times that amount for a reprogramming from a non DD dealer,bite the bullet you won't regret it  
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 09:43:41 AM by luvrbus »
Life is short drink the good wine first

Offline HighTechRedneck

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2962
  • BCM Webmaster
    • Bus Conversion Magazine
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2013, 09:17:28 AM »
Wow!  This all makes me even more glad to be close to the Choo Choo Garage.  Their rate is $55/hour and no added fees.  They don't have the equipment to reprogram DDEC's though.  But Joel is really good with the 2-strokes and knows his way around the 4-strokes.

Offline belfert

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6023
Re: $170 an hour to work on a Series 60 - What?
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2013, 10:25:54 AM »
There are plenty of places that can do work on a Series 60 for far less than the Detroit dealer.  A Detroit dealer is the only one who can do a "official" upgrade of the programming in a DDEC.  There are some rogue copies of the code out there.  The rogue programming may provide better mileage and power, but they typically require installing and monitoring an EGT gauge.  I have up to five other drivers on a trip and they are unlikely to be as vigilant as I would be on watching the EGT gauge and backing off if necessary.
Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN