Cable and conductor estimating

mooreaaryan

Member
Location
Bakersfield CA
Occupation
Electrician
We just won a large project, bid package specifically excluded wire purchase and terminations because the owner believed they could do it cheaper with their manpower and supplier. Now they know they won’t have it done in time so we are getting that scope.
Any suggestions that would give a ballpark number for all terms and pulls. It’s will be an NTE contract
Approx-
30. 500kcmil terms
100- 1/0 through 4/0 term
76. #6-#10
300. 12-Single Pair terms

should 20min per term cover. If not what resources should I look at to get a number quickly?
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
We just won a large project, bid package specifically excluded wire purchase and terminations because the owner believed they could do it cheaper with their manpower and supplier. Now they know they won’t have it done in time so we are getting that scope.
Any suggestions that would give a ballpark number for all terms and pulls. It’s will be an NTE contract
Approx-
30. 500kcmil terms
100- 1/0 through 4/0 term
76. #6-#10
300. 12-Single Pair terms

should 20min per term cover. If not what resources should I look at to get a number quickly?
.44 per termination 500KCMIL
.22 1/0
.24 2/0
.26 3/0
.28 4/0
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
Is it aluminum 500s in wide open gear?
Or is it copper 500s and tight gear with lots of sharp edges to slice hands and wire?
Parallel runs?
Mechanical lugs or crimps?
Personally, I don't think that matters regarding the OP's question. Either they get paid to do it on T and M, or you use established labor units to do the work. What I gave is established labor units.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
With all due respect how does the difference between dealing with 500kcmil aluminum and copper not matter?
It does make a difference, but column 1 is also for new construction. An adder requires lost time supervising thinking handling etc. and this may sound militant, but in todays market where they often limit you to 10 % markup you need to get your money in other ways so what you can get you can get. So put in the above regardless of the wire type and let the Engineer tell you no. Deduct for aluminum is 10 to 15 % depending on wire size.
 

paulengr

Senior Member
I would never quote any job without an inspection unless it is new/greenfield/shop construction. There are just way too many gotchas. MLU helps but experience tells you how much to adjust those numbers. This is particularly true with 250+ MCM.

Even with 500 MCM what if it is old cable on a retrofit job? What if it is too short (often is) or you only have a short length to work with where bending it even just to put it in a terminal is very difficult, especially where wire bending space requirements violated?

On inspection you can often spot these problem areas and account for them in your estimate or even put them into contract terms that affect the scope of other crews. These surprises do not show up in estimating software.

If you have no experience bid T&M or don’t bid or sub it out. And if you haven’t seen it, that’s just as bad because there are too many unknowns. Bid budgetary or T&M. Bad estimates can eat you alive.
 

AKElectrician

Senior Member
It does make a difference, but column 1 is also for new construction. An adder requires lost time supervising thinking handling etc. and this may sound militant, but in todays market where they often limit you to 10 % markup you need to get your money in other ways so what you can get you can get. So put in the above regardless of the wire type and let the Engineer tell you no. Deduct for aluminum is 10 to 15 % depending on wire size.
Full disclosure I have very limited bidding experience, that said I have landed a thousand plus 350-750 kcmil terminations. Far more than I have any other sized wire other than #10 or 12 AWG.
Am I wrong to think terminating is taking the pulled and phased conductors and routing them to the correct terminal?
I ask because without a doubt in my mind landing 500s on a pad mount transformer is not the same as fighting 500s around angle supports, bussing, and factory wiring. I have had to remove factory wiring to route feeders more than once.
I also know landing conductors in a cable is a lot harder than landing cables in a conduit, can’t shove extra wire back into a cable like you can conduit, not to mention most MC-HL has compact conductors making them even harder to bend.
All of these items I see as extremely pertinent on new construction jobs.
Old gear gave more room, new gear is tight as nun on Easter Sunday.

Trying to learn not trying to be combative, but if I hear why’s it taking so long and if they though 26 mins a term was fast enough (.44x60 right?) I’m pulling the stop watch out and making room to be shown how I am doing it wrong.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
Full disclosure I have very limited bidding experience, that said I have landed a thousand plus 350-750 kcmil terminations. Far more than I have any other sized wire other than #10 or 12 AWG.
Am I wrong to think terminating is taking the pulled and phased conductors and routing them to the correct terminal?
I ask because without a doubt in my mind landing 500s on a pad mount transformer is not the same as fighting 500s around angle supports, bussing, and factory wiring. I have had to remove factory wiring to route feeders more than once.
I also know landing conductors in a cable is a lot harder than landing cables in a conduit, can’t shove extra wire back into a cable like you can conduit, not to mention most MC-HL has compact conductors making them even harder to bend.
All of these items I see as extremely pertinent on new construction jobs.
Old gear gave more room, new gear is tight as nun on Easter Sunday.

Trying to learn not trying to be combative, but if I hear why’s it taking so long and if they though 26 mins a term was fast enough (.44x60 right?) I’m pulling the stop watch out and making room to be shown how I am doing it wrong.
I have significant experience bidding and seeing the results of projects bid. The OP started out with “ a large project”. The law of averages says that the labor units I provided will work. In fact they should be about 20% fat because NECA is high.
It is really hard to trust that, I know, but you can’t get too wrapped up in details or you will never win a job. Jobs are won by what you miss is an old saying. In the OP case however we aren’t even talking about a bid, but a negotiation.
My bottom line advice on that is multiply my unit by 1.5 offer a labor rate equal to or above your top paid field person and negotiate down from there.
 
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