traveling for parts
I was thinking about travel times and such for picking up repair parts. What is the farthest you normally travel to pick up parts? What's the farthest you have traveled for parts? Do you charge a different rate for travel?
There is a big contractor 30 miles from the shop that will swap parts with us. No markup, just bring a new one back. We have done this a few times over the years.
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In an emergency if the customer says fix it, doesn't really matter how far you go for parts and the customer pays the same labor rate. Remember, the customer is paying for your knowledge and expertice. You don't charge different rates based on the difficulty of the job, do you? If it's not an emergency, my shop will locate the part and our driver will drop it off to the tech, and the customer won't be billed extra travel.
Furthest I've ever traveled was about 75 miles one way to a different state. Walk in freezer went down on a Friday and our local distributors didn't have the replacement pump.
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Figuring I have about 20 distrubutors within 10 miles of me not far. Welcome to NO.
Furthest, 2 and 1/2 hours each way... Normally travel 1/2 hour.
Most of my supply houses are located 45 min to an hour away.
I'll send my runner to pick them up when I can, or make the trip myself.
However; I do a pretty good job of keeping stock to avoid this.
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There is usually a supply house less than 1/2 hour from where I'm working in central CT. If I'm travelling to pick up THEIR part, it shows up on THEIR bill.
Furthest was 2 1/2 hours one way across state line to pickup a air handler to keep a homeowner happy. Was the supply houses mistake. But normally about 30 minutes tops.
The furthest we will usually be from a wholesaler is about a three hour round trip.
If the local wholesaler doesn't have the part and we need it right away (usually a compressor), we've driven to another state to pick it up. 5-6 hours round trip is the norm for that.
As said previously if the customer thinks it's worth it to pay your drive time do it. Most times thry will decide it will wait then you can order catch more open calls and schedule your return with everything you need and be able to spend the time you need to in-order to complete the job without being rushed. Another bonus is you can sometimes actually put the job off until your in that area again and save drive time.