Vehicle maintenances costs

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C.J.

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Just went and bought 3 new wiper blades for the wife’s car. $68! And that was with dude cuttin me a break and knockin $10 off each of the front wipers otherwise just the front two woulda been over $70. That’s crazy especially cus I’m in Phoenix, where you don’t ever need your wipers but you gotta replace them cus the sun just destroys them.

Kinda blew me away cus wiper blades for my van have always been cheap. $8.99 each for the cheap ones for forever and a day. I just checked to be sure and they’re still $8.99.

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C.J.

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Oh.....

Well then that is a crazy price!

But now that I think about it I paid around 24 bucks each for the fancy ones for my ford van... I'll try those 9.00 ones next time.

They work just fine. I used to replace the wipers a couple times a year on my van. Once before the winter rain starts and once after the wipers froze to my windshield and I accidentally flip the switch. That’ll toast a pair of blades real quick. Maybe if I was lucky I could get a year out of a pair of wipers. For $8.99 I wasn’t sweating how often I had to replace them.
 

C.J.

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I spoke too soon about never getting caught in the rain. Rain-X is the shit. I use the Rain-X bug juice for my wipers and it works like a charm.

 

C.J.

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Nope. I’ve had a couple vehicles that Rain-X didn’t work the best on. Works great on vans and trucks cus the windshield is more vertical? so the rain drops blow off. A real aerodynamic car doesn’t have the same effect so I don’t even bother putting it on my cars cus you gotta use the wipers anyway.
 

Incognito

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I was surprised to find the latest IRS per mile rate for travel expenses in $0.625 a mile. I can tell you in Southern California ALL IN driving a full size work truck with a 395 horsepower engine that's a losing proposition.

In fact as a Working Fool I don't believe I've ever been fairly compensated for travel----------as an hourly union worker. One thing that's consistent.........union/non union, employee/Independant Contractor, East Coast/West Coast......the working man is better off finding work close to home. You're generally NOT going to be adequtely reimbursed for your costs. JUST your costs, forget about the drive time.

If you're the exception, please let me cut of that argument. I'm generalizing across millions of workers and decades/lifetimes of employment-------the exception is always in fact what PROVES the rule.
 

Floorist

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I got screwed because some of the stores I worked for were a long way from home. You know you can't claim travel to the store, only from the store to the job. Did all my own business taxes for 40 years.
 

C.J.

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I got screwed because some of the stores I worked for were a long way from home. You know you can't claim travel to the store, only from the store to the job. Did all my own business taxes for 40 years.

Maybe your state is different but I write off every single mile on my van cus from the moment I leave my door till the moment I return home I’m driving my vehicle for work purposes. I don’t do my own taxes but my tax lady said I can write em off so I do.
 

C.J.

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You guys are right in that you don’t make money on travel. Trip charges and write offs just lessen the sting. You have to make that money up on the job itself. This is where knowing your vehicle costs can help you appropriately price your jobs or you can decide to just pass on the job altogether if it’s a loser.
 

JPfloor

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Yes and yes. If I was busy enough with local work I would bid out of town jobs high. If I didn’t get the job that was fine. When times were tight I’d travel for free just to get the work.

Are you guys incorporated? And your vehicle registered to the corporation? I know laws vary from state to state but every aspect of your truck or trucks including mileage and depreciation should be 100% deductible.
 

MAjwoody

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I am on the clock when traveling. I am not producing a floor when driving but if I am driving to your project, I'm giving you my time and that costs. My old boss was pretty good about that. I guess it made up for not having to buy a fleet of rigs.
 

Darren Ramey

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If I was busy enough with local work I would bid out of town jobs high.
That's where I'nm at right now. Yesterday a decorator asked me for a price to go to the beach about 4 hours away and do a stair runner. I quoted her $1200. She just got back and said the carpet is on the way. Little does she know I was ready for a beach trip anyway.
 

MAjwoody

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The decorator probably sold the project as, "I found the perfect guy for the job. He is not the cheapest, but he is the most qualified installer within a 4-hour radius if you want this done right by XXX date." That staircase might have been a sore spot for the client for the last decade and you are going to make that go away. As trades people we sometimes fail to realize the value of what we do. Its another job for us but sometimes it means the world to our customers.
I just paid a grand to have my truck detailed and a couple scratches removed. That was double what I could have paid but the guy has a rep of being one of the best in the business, was available to do it while I was on vacation (short notice) and communicated every step of the way. I could have saved 500 bucks by waiting and getting it done when I got back but I needed it done yesterday and knew I would be slammed when I came home. People buy for pain or pleasure and this time I was fixing both. I could have burned a day's work trying to save a buck but at this time of the year, it makes more sense to write a check and guard my time.
 

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