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Re: [TowerTalk] HDBX-48 figures for 90 mph zone

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] HDBX-48 figures for 90 mph zone
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Wed, 07 Dec 2011 08:41:21 -0800
List-post: <">>
On 12/7/11 8:22 AM, Mike Cizek wrote:
> Bottom line.....the manufacturer wants $1400 (one thousand four hundred
> dollars) to provide the drawings.  I have already told the guy we need to
> look at other options; all of which were more expensive, until we figured in
> the cost of getting proper drawings from Shelby.

$1400 is a reasonable sum. It's a day or two of engineering time, which 
isn't a bad estimate to run the numbers with your local requirements and 
come up with a report.  Not that you couldn't find someone local to do 
it for less, but for the mfr, that seems reasonable.

Engineers get around $100k/yr, which, by the time you add benefits, 
office expenses, *insurance*, and all the other stuff, works out to 
about $100/hr... I'm guessing that $1400 is 16 hours or thereabouts.

Small jobs are surprisingly expensive, because of the "fixed costs" of 
any job (the time to make the copies, stamp them, and put them in an 
envelope, address it and mail it).  In a 3 month job, those paper 
shuffling and administrative times are small.  In a 1 day job, they 
could be 25% of the time.  Either that time is explicitly accounted for 
and billed, or it's part of the overhead (which would raise the hourly 

BLS shows average rate for Civil Engineers was about $85k/yr, 
nationwide.  $95k/yr in California (Lousiana is second highest at $93k.. 
probably because of oil/gas, which is a high paid segment)

If your local jurisdiction requires local engineering drawings, then you 
might do better by getting the raw information and giving it to a local 
engineer, who can do your calculations along with all the other stuff 
the locals will want.  It's that whole "fixed cost of a job" thing.

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