# Equipment Costing Calculator

Equipment Costing: What You Don’t Track Can Hurt You

Logging companies invest literally millions of dollars in processors, skidders, and other types of equipment to run their operations.  From an economic standpoint, making an investment in such capital equipment only makes sense if the revenue generated by the equipment exceeds the cost.  All too often, loggers face the specter of bankruptcy as a consequence of failing to measure their costs correctly.  Just ask Ritchie Brothers.

Calculating your equipment cost is not only important for measuring your profitability.  It is also important because many mills spend a great deal of time estimating equipment costs in order to set logging rates.  Specifically, they estimate the costs per productive machine hour that a contractor should be able to achieve for each machine involved in harvesting a cut block.  They then convert the hourly cost to a cost per ton (or cord or MBF), based on an estimated production per hour ratio.  For example, if the hourly cost of a buncher is calculated as \$150.00, and it produces at a rate of 75 Tons/Hr, the cost per ton is calculated at \$2.00/ton.  This rate-setting exercise theoretically ensures that the contractor earns enough to cover his equipment costs and earn a decent return on his investment.

The question, of course, is how to arrive at this hourly cost figure, and what exactly it should include.  There is no set formula for calculating the cost of a piece of equipment, but an accounting cost “build-up” approach is fairly common.  Under such an approach, one identifies all the relevant expenses on an annual basis and then spreads them over productive hours in order to arrive at an appropriate hourly cost.  This paper explores the types of costs typically included in such a build up and identifies some of the key issues involved in measuring the costs.

The following equipment cost caclulator allows you to build up to the hourly cost of operating your equipment.  The resulting costs are expressed both on an hourly basis and on a per ton basis.  In order to make the calculator work, just fill in the yellow input fields and the page will automatically recalculate.

 Equipment Cost Worksheet Please Fill Out the Following Fields in Yellow The Form Will Automatically Recalculate I. Production Assumptions Loads per Week: (input) Average Tons/Load: (input) Number of Work Weeks (Planned): (input) Annual Tons Produced: (calc) II. Hourly Cost Assumptions Annual Available Hours: (input) Utilization Percentage (e.g. 80.00): (input) Annual Production Hours 1/: (calc) Expected Life (in Production Hours): (input) Expected Life (in Years): (calc) Purchase Price Information: Equipment Purchase Cost (excl. Tires) 2/: (input) Additional Costs (In Cost Basis): (input) Total Cost Basis: (calc) Salvage Value (Enter Percentage) 3/: (input) (calc) Average Annual Equipment Value 4/: (calc) Required Rate of Return on Total Capital: (input) Fuel Consumption (In Gallons per Hour): (input) Fuel Price (per Gallon) (input) Oil/Lube Cost (as Percent of Fuel Cost) 5/: (input) Insurance Cost (as Percent of Equipment Value) (input) Operator Cost Base Wage (per Hour) (input) Load Factor (percentage of Wage) 6/: (input) III. Annual Ownership Costs (calc) Depreciation: Annual (calc) /Hr (calc) Insurance: Annual (calc) /Hr (calc) Return on Capital 7/: Annual (calc) /Hr (calc) Annual Ownership Cost: Annual (calc) /Hr (calc) Ownership Cost/Ton: /Ton (calc) IV. Operating Costs Operator Cost: Annual Hours Worked: Straight Time: (input) Overtime:  (input) Total:  (calc) Multiplied by Wage Rate: (calc) Overtime:  (calc) Labor Cost: (calc) Overtime:  (calc) Annual Labor Cost: (calc) Add Employee Load: (calc) = Total Annual Labor Cost: (calc) Labor Cost Per Production Hour: /Hr (calc) Labor Cost/Ton: /Ton (calc) Fuel Cost Per Prod Hour: /Hr (calc) Oil/Lube Cost Per Prod Hour: /Hr (calc) Fuel & Lube Cost/Ton: /Ton (calc) Regular Maintenance 8/: (input) /Hr (calc) Tires (If Applicable): (input) /Hr (calc) Repairs (Provision): (input) /Hr (calc) Total R&M Cost Per Prod Hour: /Hr (calc) Other Costs: (input) /Hr (calc) Total Operating Cost Per Prod Hour: /Hr (calc) Total Operating Cost per Ton: /Ton (calc) V. Summary Ownership Cost Per Prod Hour: /Hr (calc) Operating Cost Per Prod Hour: /Hr (calc) Total Equipment Cost Per Prod Hour: /Hr (calc) Total Equipment Cost per Ton: /Ton (calc)

Notes:

1/   In this worksheet, we focus on production hours, meaning the costs are expressed in cost per production hour.  To the extent that the machine is idle, any costs associated with it being idle are spread across the productive hours.  The obvious implication of this is that you need to earn a higher rate to cover your costs on machines that are not heavily utilized.

2/   We recommend that you exclude the cost of tires.  Tires are better treated as an operating expense and should not be included in the cost basis.  The cost of tires is entered below in Sectio IV.

3/   Salvage Value is defined as the price that the equipment can be sold for at the time of its disposal.  Used equipment rates vary widely throughout the world.  Many factors affect the future resale or trade-in value, such as the hours worked or the condition of the machine, the type of jobs and operating conditions under which it worked, and the physical condition of the machine.  Often times up to 40 to 50 percent of the value of the machine will be lost in the first quarter of the machine's life and up to 70 to 75 percent of the value will be lost by the time the machine reaches its half-life.  The salvage value percentage is often estimated as 10 to 20 percent of the initial purchase price.

4/ Annual Average Equipment Value is the average value of the equipment over its lifetime.  This value is calculated as: ((P - S)/2) + S, where P is the total purchase cost of the equipment and S is the salvage value.  This formula assumes that economic depreciation is straight-line -- a simplfying assumption that allows us to level out the machine cost over each year of its life.

Just how much of an effect does our straight line assumption have on the overall equipment costing estimate? Suppose we take a machine that costs \$100,000, lasts 5 years, and has a salvage value of \$25,000.  The straight line method will yield an annual cost of \$15,000, with a present value of \$56,862 (at a 10 percent discount rate).  If we use the tax rule of 30 percent declining balance depreciation, the present value over five years is \$67,173 -- a difference of 18 percent.  Though using the straight line method is simpler, we must recognize that it tends to introduce a downward bias in the cost of the machine.

Having noted this difference, it is important to recognize that maintenance expenses actually behave in an offsetting manner to the pattern of economic depreciation.  Maintenance expenses tend to be smaller at first and then grow over a machine’s life.  So, if you choose to use the straight-line approach for depreciation because it is easier, you should also use an ‘average’ level for maintenance and operating expenses (where the average reflects an expectation of expenses over the life of the equipment), and not just the current year.  For example, if you use the current year expenses for a new machine, this amount will understate the average expenses over the life of the machine unit.  The point here is that if you level out depreciation over the life of the machine, you should also level out the maintenance expenses as well.

5/    A common rule of thumb is that lubricants and grease cost 5 to 10 percent of the cost of fuel.  The rate shouild be higher when operating in heavy dust, deep mud, or water.  For machines with complex and high pressure hydraulic systems such as forwarders, processors, and harvesters, where the consumption of hydraulic fluids is highr, the rate should also be bumped up.