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Fine Tuning Your Fuel and Oil Costs

By SharpeSoft Staff |

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One of the ways SharpeSoft Estimator helps you to define your costs with pinpoint accuracy is by allowing you to customize your fuel and oil rates according to different equipment areas. As an example, you might have a standard bidding rate, a DOT rate, or a Rental rate.  In this way, you can apply different fuel and oil prices for all of your equipment by area, thus giving you total flexibility when factoring those costs in your estimates.

Let’s say you are a California company and you are bidding a job in Nevada. Since fuel and oil prices are different in each state, you would probably not use your company default bidding rates, but rather have a special equipment area for when you bid jobs in Nevada.

Similarly, when doing excavation work, you might want to use a “rock rate” that accounts for the higher fuel and oil costs associated with using heavy excavating equipment. 

Equipment Areas

Customizing your fuel and oil costs begins by creating your different equipment areas in the Defaults menu > Equipment Defaults > Equipment Areas window. Your equipment areas can be based on any criteria you wish – geographical area, type of work, agency type, etc.  Equipment areas are used to set your equipment usage rates and benefit and burden costs as well.

Setting up your company fuel/oil defaults

Once you have set up your equipment areas, you will go to the Defaults menu > Equipment Defaults > Fuel/Oil Default Costs by Equipment Area window where all of the equipment areas you created will be displayed in a table that includes columns for fuel/oil code and description, unit cost, unit of measure and vendor.

From there, you will go to the Actions menu or the toolbar and click Edit Defaults. In the window that opens, you will list all of the different types of fuel and oil that your company uses, along with their unit costs, unit of measure and preferred vendor. The Last Cost Change column tells you the date of the most recent price update for each fuel and oil type.

When finished, you will be returned to the Fuel/Oil Default Costs by Equipment Area window, where all of the fuel and oil types you just entered will be listed beneath each of the equipment areas that you previously created, along with their default unit costs, units of measure and vendors.

Now you can customize the unit costs for each fuel/oil type under each of your different equipment areas, so that each area reflects the exact pricing you wish.

You can automatically apply your updated fuel oil costs throughout your equipment table by clicking the Actions menu selection, Update Equipment Table Fuel/Oil Costs.

If you have updated price information but want to reset everything back to your company defaults, simply use the Actions menu selection, Reset Area Fuel/Oil Costs to Company Defaults

Applying Rates to Your Estimate

Once you have set up your fuel/oil costs by area, when you set up an estimate for a new job, you can choose the equipment area you wish to use as the overall job default by going to Job menu > Job Information & Settings > Job Default Equipment Areas and selecting the area you want. Then, when you insert a piece of equipment into your estimate, Estimator will use the fuel and oil rates from the equipment area you selected to calculate your costs for that piece of equipment.  

You also have the option to set multiple equipment areas as your job defaults. In that case, when you insert equipment into your estimate, Estimator will ask you which default equipment area you want to use for that particular piece of equipment.

As stated above, Equipment Areas are also used to set the usage rates for all of the equipment in your fleet, as well as their particular burden costs. The fuel and oil prices you set for each area are figured into the overall usage cost for your equipment, and are reflected in your estimate.

To learn more about Equipment Areas and determining your equipment usage costs, check our your on screen Help manual, or give us a call.