ATLR just lost a customer

mcgaskins

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This is the reality we face throughout the service industry. This isn't just inflation, its the result of our unquenchable desire for perpetual economic growth.

The worst part of all this is the actual techs aren't getting payed all that much more despite the extreme inflation on labor rates...

Very well said!
 

Curly

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This tracks.

I also have a recent experience with ATLR that wound up costing me an extra 8 days without my rig, and without the requested repair being performed at Adler. Also not impressed with them, but that's a different story
 

Jcbmx

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Check thetoyshopdenver.com


I got some struts with lift coils assembled there back in my Nissan days...only shop around who would do it. They quoted me a price, said it'd take about an hour. When I went to get them it was cheaper than expected. When I went back and collected the struts I asked about the price difference and he simply replied "it didn't take the whole hour to do" If I didn't do my own work they'd be the only place I'd go!
 

damon

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Found out from the actual paper quote, the actual labor rate is $200/hour. Also, each individual task is 1hr min. So replacing the drive belt is 1 hour, and drain and fill on the radiator is 1 hr. While both of those combined might take a skilled person 30 minutes total, it’s $400 in labor for 2 hours.
 

DaveInDenver

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Found out from the actual paper quote, the actual labor rate is $200/hour. Also, each individual task is 1hr min. So replacing the drive belt is 1 hour, and drain and fill on the radiator is 1 hr. While both of those combined might take a skilled person 30 minutes total, it’s $400 in labor for 2 hours.
How does this compare to other shops?

The hourly rate seems high but 1 hour minimum doesn't seem odd.

I can only use my experience to judge that and the time it takes to take fractions of an hour usually end up costing you more than it's worth. So you kind of have to weigh if it's bringing enough value to customers to justify the effort.

If you slice it too fine you have to add 10 minutes each time for someone to call in the part order or keep stock, to jockey vehicles in and out, do the paperwork and call customers, for some shop kid to empty the waste tanks each night and all of it. Most of that is inclusive with the overhead, though what you can include as billable vs G&A may vary to the accountant.

It might just be easier to tack on some standard pad. Maybe 50% over actual on every job is excessive but adding 30 minutes to every job for misc might not be. I dunno, just saying that might justify a 1 hour minimum anyway.

I'd also think one thing lost is all this automated quoting is the ability for someone to know where to add an overhead and where you could combine tasks once. The software should be able to say that you only have to get a porter (or someone) to get the truck once so no need to tack that on with each thing you do. But a person doing it would immediately recognize a ridiculous quote.

But as long as people keep paying why shouldn't the shops charge it? It's unethical but if supply was sufficient that people could shop around the demand would drive the market down. But people would rather spend their Saturdays not changing oil so things are what they are. When a shop gets noticed for being priced way under they get swamped and way over booked so you have to wait a month to get an alignment.
 
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Notyourmomslx450

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Flat rate is flat rate.
I'm sure the mechanic can do it in about 30 min, but they will still charge for the full hour.
That's how most shops have always worked.
 

nuclearlemon

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Found out from the actual paper quote, the actual labor rate is $200/hour.
holy crap! that's an insane amount for an independent facility.

the reason shops charge minimum was mentioned above...they have to factor in time the tech is being assigned the job, time for the tech to go get vehicle, time to order parts, time to fix vehicle, time to put vehicle back in lot and to write up a story, plus the time for the foreman/service writer to do their thing.

smaller shops don't have as much of this administrative time as large dealerships. they also don't have to cover the fees involved in dealerships, which is a big part of why i.r.f. (independent repair facilities) are usually much cheaper. atlr is charging (possibly more than) dealership rates.
 

damon

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Let’s take the hourly labor rates, billng of time, all that aside.

Who the hell has the nerve to try and charge a customers $250 for $80 worth of spark plugs? Parts, just the parts. That was the first number I saw, and from that point I was uninterested in seeing the rest of the quote.
 

SteveH

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When I stopped by a couple months ago, Redline's labor rate is $199/hr and Justin told me they had 54 sets of keys on hand (meaning active or pending customer jobs). Just the way it is, I guess.
 

Crash

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Sounds like there is a big opportunity for those that want to start up a shop here and charge $100/hour. If enough people knew of your work quality, you'd probably be inundated.
One of the reasons Gonzalo Villalpando is so popular with Rising Sun members for body work and paint. He’s reasonable and good at what he does. He has closed his former shop at 49th and Pearl and will be working at a new location near 48th and Pearl. His last job at the old shop is a full repaint of Ross Miller’s 80. It’s the seventh job he’s done for Cruiserheads in the last few years.
 

DaveInDenver

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Let’s take the hourly labor rates, billng of time, all that aside.

Who the hell has the nerve to try and charge a customers $250 for $80 worth of spark plugs? Parts, just the parts. That was the first number I saw, and from that point I was uninterested in seeing the rest of the quote.
That's a valid point. I ranted a couple of months ago about the local dealer parts counter quoting significantly over Toyota list price.

It's like companies don't realize you can punch the part number and find dealers selling at way under list on Google or check Yelp for reviews.

So yeah, pretty bold putting a big markup on parts and charging high labor rates but they must not have any trouble keeping the pipe full.
 

nuclearlemon

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Sounds like there is a big opportunity for those that want to start up a shop here and charge $100/hour.

Heck, $130-150 with minimal markup and you'd be great

I lost the key to the tundra and in a panic went to the lock shop and paid $80 for an aftermarket key and programming. I didn't buy a fob because they wanted $160 for that.
OEm key is $20 and oem fob is $76. And 10 minutes of programming.
There used to be a dude in south Denver that did two keys and a fob, all programmed for me for $150. Wish I'd kept his info
 

AlpineAccess

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Let’s take the hourly labor rates, billng of time, all that aside.

Who the hell has the nerve to try and charge a customers $250 for $80 worth of spark plugs? Parts, just the parts. That was the first number I saw, and from that point I was uninterested in seeing the rest of the quote.
ATLR = Always The Low Rates
 

Burt88

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Sounds like there is a big opportunity for those that want to start up a shop here and charge $100/hour. If enough people knew of your work quality, you'd probably be inundated.
I wish that were true. Unfortunately in order to perform all the automotive tasks necessary it's requiring so much new tooling and tech that the rate would eventually creep right up with the market. The only way I keep my rate low is to focus on a very limited range of services using a narrow scope of tools. Suspension, gearing, and regular maintenance items. My $200 an hour guy up the road does full repair services. But people still are more inclined to go to a well known shop with a big name attached to it. Just the way it is.
 

Cruisertrash

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I don’t have a dog in this fight because I can only afford to do my own work, but the most surprising thing I’ve noticed about this conversation is how the shop in question is charging the 1hr minimum for each constituent piece of the job. That seems to be artificially elevating the total labor cost.

Let’s take a completely hypothetical situation … say for a particular job you need to remove the air intake, the radiator, the alternator, and alternator bracket to get at the actual part that needs replaced or repaired. Each piece might take 15-45 minutes. Total, maybe all that takes 1 hour 45 minutes hours. But billing each separate piece at the 1 hour minimum adds up to 4 hours.

I can see rounding up to the nearest whole hour, but charging the minimum on EVERY single bit of work seems to inflate the labor cost by almost double, maybe more. I understand that a software program might have to pull out each bit of the work in granular detail in order to be module and accommodate different jobs, but surely the software can be tailored differently.

Or … people are willing to pay, so if you’re the shop who cares?
 

DaveInDenver

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It's easily solved @Cruisertrash by just having an automatic 30 minute line item for misc tasks and quote all your jobs down to the half hour length. Even your easiest job, say the belt change, would hit the one hour minimum. As you add tasks the misc line only shows up once and the time is summed. Add another easy 30 minute job you get 1.5 hours, etc. You have to have a special once-added like for aftermarket skid plates that probably are more complex than the factory to remove. I'd probably just have two one-time options, stock or modified truck.
 

FZJ Dave

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I don't have a dog in this fight, but I have some perspective.

I looked into buying a shop a few years back from a buddy of mine (I didn't end up buying the shop for a variety of reasons). As we dove into the books and salaries of the mechanics it became apparent there is a real labor shortage of qualified, good mechanics. He was paying tech's $100k+ per year in salary (back in 2019 before the craziness of the last few years) with bonus on top of that, just to get guys to work. These weren't even great mechanics getting that wage!

The shortage of good mechanics is leading them to get paid more (very deserving in my book) but that also leads shops to charge more for shop rate. There are plenty of shops in Utah at $150 to $200 per hour shop rate. We need more youth to develop an interest in working with their hands and take up trades or the prices will continue to sky rocket. Every shop around me has more work than they can take on, which allows them to increase their rate to deter business, or at least make it worth their while to take on more work.

If you don't want to pay the high prices (or can't afford to in many cases), you have to learn to do the work yourself or shop around for a shop that has a lower rate.

As for parts and markup, all shops operate FOR PROFIT, otherwise they wouldn't be in business. Is charging $250 for $80 in parts wrong? Maybe. But if the market will pay it, they will charge it. If you don't like it, shop around or do it yourself.
 
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