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Thread: Labor Units / Estimating Software

  1. #1
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    Labor Units / Estimating Software

    Just can't understand why EBM, Estimation, Accu-Bid, etc. use one standard labor unit for installing #12 THHN ( for Example)(4.0/M).
    It doesn't matter if your pulling 3 #12's or 6 #12, the labor rate per foot remains the same.
    I realize that these rates probably reflect only 50% of the actual pull, the other %'ages in Layout, material handling, Etc.
    Even given that, I know it the labor unit per foot should decline for each additional #12 pulled in to the raceway, just like parallel raceways are labor discounted.
    I'm getting close to taking the extrodinary time to create my own assemblies that reflect a lower Labor rate for additional conductors pulled in a raceway. It will be a very time consuming task.

    That's why I'm consulting this forum for alternates prior to taking the 2-3 weeks to edit my data base.

    Thanx in advance

    Unbridled

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unbridled View Post
    Just can't understand why EBM, Estimation, Accu-Bid, etc. use one standard labor unit for installing #12 THHN ( for Example)(4.0/M).
    It doesn't matter if your pulling 3 #12's or 6 #12, the labor rate per foot remains the same.
    I realize that these rates probably reflect only 50% of the actual pull, the other %'ages in Layout, material handling, Etc.
    Even given that, I know it the labor unit per foot should decline for each additional #12 pulled in to the raceway, just like parallel raceways are labor discounted.
    I'm getting close to taking the extrodinary time to create my own assemblies that reflect a lower Labor rate for additional conductors pulled in a raceway. It will be a very time consuming task.

    That's why I'm consulting this forum for alternates prior to taking the 2-3 weeks to edit my data base.

    Thanx in advance

    Unbridled
    You could if you wished, but then perhaps next you should worry about it taking 2.5 hours per 100 to run 1/2" EMT. I mean It takes almost no time to run the EMT, You need to change that to layout, then labor every bend and offset. Add a strap for each bend, figure out how much time it takes to use a plasitc anchor in concrete instead of a screw in anchor in sheetrock, then calculate how many screw in anchors you are using and anticipate how may times your guy is going to hit a stud and need just a screw. Then find out he cost of a bang on Caddy, because he may need to use three of those.

    Are you beginning to see my point? For me, I have found that conduit almost always takes more time than it says in EBM. But I don't adjust it because the overall time on the job works out. Trenching usually takes longer, but I rarely take the time allotted to backfill and compact because full compaction usually isn't on me. If I run across a job that is heavy in one particular item I usually use my instinct to adjust it.


    I know what I don't know, and I know where to go to find it!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strathead View Post
    You could if you wished, but then perhaps next you should worry about it taking 2.5 hours per 100 to run 1/2" EMT. I mean It takes almost no time to run the EMT, You need to change that to layout, then labor every bend and offset. Add a strap for each bend, figure out how much time it takes to use a plasitc anchor in concrete instead of a screw in anchor in sheetrock, then calculate how many screw in anchors you are using and anticipate how may times your guy is going to hit a stud and need just a screw. Then find out he cost of a bang on Caddy, because he may need to use three of those.

    Are you beginning to see my point? For me, I have found that conduit almost always takes more time than it says in EBM. But I don't adjust it because the overall time on the job works out. Trenching usually takes longer, but I rarely take the time allotted to backfill and compact because full compaction usually isn't on me. If I run across a job that is heavy in one particular item I usually use my instinct to adjust it.
    Understood. EBM, as far as conduit runs, can be adjusted accordingly in take off mode. Or do as I have and created new assemblies for different installations. You must concure that labor installing EMT in an office Bldg with-in walls, requires more time than running home runs of the same size, '
    Conductors, however, with pulls such as #12 THHN, have no adjustment weather your pulling 1 #12 or 7 #12's it's the same rate (4.5 / M), at least in the take off mode. It would require building several different assemblies. It's just a tedious task.
    I personally, would rather build in some non-productive time in the estimate than have that time automatically assessed in the software's labor unit.
    For me, getting as close to my job cost in an estimate is imperative
    I don't know why we still call them Estimates. When we bid a project with our Estimates, it's cast in stone upon contract.
    Fortunately, I've done some pretty accurate job costing over the years and have a good idea on my crews labor unit capabilities for most electrical installations, however, for me to do a time study on pulling certain quantities of wire would be ludicrous.
    These software programs apparently use an average for many of their labor units. It is my opinion, that these units should be tailored around your workers production capabilities (perhaps you have some excellent conduit benders for example).
    In short, these estimating programs can cost upwards of $7K, they should have different labor units for condutors at the take-off module, rather than editing or creating your own assembly.

    Just an opinion..
    Unbridled

  4. #4
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    I never worried about those factors on branch wiring. Branch is not like feeders in that feeders have an exact route, or distance, and won't vary that much unless you miss the up/downs, or available building chases. But at least the feeders are fairly representative of how they will be installed in the field.
    Not so with branch conduit/wire systems. You don't know exactly how the field journeyman will lay out their branch runs will be , until after the job is awarded.
    There are usually coordination meetings with other trades, BIM meetings, coordination drawings, etc before we have a layout set in stone.
    We usually re-takeoff the branch once these drawings are done for buyout. Sometimes it's a savings and sometimes it isn't.
    My job as an estimator is to get the all the branch home runs and conduit/wire dollars and labor "covered".
    Branch wiring only makes up about 10% of the entire electrical job in dollars, on a typical commercial job (I know, there's a lot of variables in that statement).
    Wire pulling labor, both feeder and branch, is the easiest of all labor codes to beat. Mainly because all of the layout and head scratching is done.
    It's not worth the time to micro estimate branch wire pulling imo.
    Point being, I don't fret over such labor factors on pulling the branch because the effect on the bottom line is minimal.

  5. #5
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    ConEst does factor in the number of conductors and also has deducts for footages over 100'

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdslotz View Post
    I never worried about those factors on branch wiring. Branch is not like feeders in that feeders have an exact route, or distance, and won't vary that much unless you miss the up/downs, or available building chases. But at least the feeders are fairly representative of how they will be installed in the field.
    Not so with branch conduit/wire systems. You don't know exactly how the field journeyman will lay out their branch runs will be , until after the job is awarded.
    There are usually coordination meetings with other trades, BIM meetings, coordination drawings, etc before we have a layout set in stone.
    We usually re-takeoff the branch once these drawings are done for buyout. Sometimes it's a savings and sometimes it isn't.
    My job as an estimator is to get the all the branch home runs and conduit/wire dollars and labor "covered".
    Branch wiring only makes up about 10% of the entire electrical job in dollars, on a typical commercial job (I know, there's a lot of variables in that statement).
    Wire pulling labor, both feeder and branch, is the easiest of all labor codes to beat. Mainly because all of the layout and head scratching is done.
    It's not worth the time to micro estimate branch wire pulling imo.
    Point being, I don't fret over such labor factors on pulling the branch because the effect on the bottom line is minimal.
    CD, I like the idea of an additional take-off after an award. Now the extra time is justified. Besides, I assume most of us develop some type of budget on a project. Re- evaluating a take-off is probably a good way to start the budget process.

    Thanx

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unbridled View Post
    CD, I like the idea of an additional take-off after an award. Now the extra time is justified. Besides, I assume most of us develop some type of budget on a project. Re- evaluating a take-off is probably a good way to start the budget process.

    Thanx
    I did this on every job. Granted these are jobs that are $100K to $1 million size jobs.
    Once awarded a job, we have pre-construction meetings. Usually several meetings with project mgr, job foreman, estimator and field superintendent. We flush out all of the problems, omissions, etc.
    We let the job foreman take the plans home and do layout on branch and feeders, and then possibly do a re-takeoff.
    Sure makes purchasing and managing labor easy and less risky.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdslotz View Post
    I did this on every job. Granted these are jobs that are $100K to $1 million size jobs.
    Once awarded a job, we have pre-construction meetings. Usually several meetings with project mgr, job foreman, estimator and field superintendent. We flush out all of the problems, omissions, etc.
    We let the job foreman take the plans home and do layout on branch and feeders, and then possibly do a re-takeoff.
    Sure makes purchasing and managing labor easy and less risky.
    When I as a foreman, I just did this naturally. How can I run a job and order material unless I have figured out what I need. I didn't know it was a takeoff. The company I worked for was small and with the exception of gear and fixtures billing and change order prices pretty much everything was on me.

    Later on, our company (a different one) got busy estimating and I said I could give it a try. I guess I had already learned to do an estimate, as we won the job and made money. Now I try to get my field guys to do a takeoff, often times it is like pulling teeth.


    I know what I don't know, and I know where to go to find it!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unbridled View Post
    Just can't understand why EBM, Estimation, Accu-Bid, etc. use one standard labor unit for installing #12 THHN ( for Example)(4.0/M).
    It doesn't matter if your pulling 3 #12's or 6 #12, the labor rate per foot remains the same.
    I realize that these rates probably reflect only 50% of the actual pull, the other %'ages in Layout, material handling, Etc.
    Even given that, I know it the labor unit per foot should decline for each additional #12 pulled in to the raceway, just like parallel raceways are labor discounted.
    I'm getting close to taking the extrodinary time to create my own assemblies that reflect a lower Labor rate for additional conductors pulled in a raceway. It will be a very time consuming task.

    That's why I'm consulting this forum for alternates prior to taking the 2-3 weeks to edit my data base.

    Thanx in advance

    Unbridled
    Accubid has a labor factor tab which you can factor items up/down based on several factors.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstrlucky74 View Post
    Accubid has a labor factor tab which you can factor items up/down based on several factors.

    I think all of the top programs can edit/factor "on the fly" in the audit trail.
    The question here was about micro-estimating on branch conductors

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