Field Crew Billing
It depends on the two man robot crew. In my late twenties, I and another fella, similar in age, worked with an Allegro DC running Carlson SurvCE with a 1100 series Leica Robot. We were both active and in great shape, slightly competitive, and able communicate to one another easily with our own system of hand and radio signals. With a robot, we were more than twice as fast working together versus either one of us working solo. I don't expect field hands to run around like a fool like I did and still do sometimes. The hardest part of creating a tiered system for different combinations of crew and equipment is thinking of what to call the divisions.
The spread between 1-person and 2-person rates is dependent upon the quality of the persons. If the 2nd person is little more than a gopher for the 1st, the spread will be low. So I recommend a formulaic approach. Wages * multiplier plus a charge for equipment. A typical multiplier is 3.0. So if total hourly wages on crew come to $50/hr - perhaps $35 for the top guy and $15 for the gopher - that's $150 for the 2-person and $105 for the 1-person.
As for equipment charges, you might expect your equipment payback time on a robot to be 1 year. In that year your robot might be billable for 75% of 40 hrs per work. ie/Roughly 1500 hours in a year. For a $30,000 robot that's $20/hr.
So adding up we might have $125/hr for a 1-person crew rate and $170/hr for a 2-person. You should substitute your own numbers into this and see what you come up with.
As I say the local market is hot. The multipliers being used right now are probably well over 3.0. Back in 2010 the multipliers were well below that.
We follow this basic approach (our multiplier is north of the example) - instead of hourly charges for equipment we have a daily rate of $120 for each of the following pieces of equipment: digital level, GPS antenna, robotic total station. We have a higher rate for scanning total stations and other specialized equipment. We don't charge for controllers or the other $40k of equipment that we have in a crew rig. Simple pricing for equipment use makes it easier for us to track and clients to understand - we rarely have any jobs that are less than one day.
Our clients have never voiced any objections to these rates (although one did negotiate a slightly lower day rate on the equipment for a larger job - we felt their request was reasonable given the number of continuous days of use).
Invoices show individual hours (they don't see crew hours), labor rates, equipment charges, and other expenses.
I charge between $120 to $150. I don't itemize anything(customers think they're getting gouged). KISS. I forgot to mention $75/hr. for office work.