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Old 09-03-2017, 02:19 AM   #1
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Default What to do with small pcs of Conduit

Hello Everyone,
So I was on a kick to improve the efficiency of my company.

After we did small projects there where usually small stubs, offsets, kick etcs in EMT an Rigid Conduit... The guys would just toss it all in the garbage...
Things are a lot different when you're and Employee vs the one paying for all the material and labor... lmao

I came up with this solution for me, and I'm wondering how the rest of you deal with this.

I got these plastic 55 gallon drumbs, that we cut the tops off... Labeled each one 1/2" -2" and at the end of each small project when the vans returned to get cleaned out and set up for the next project the odd ball lengths where dropped into each barrel... So if on the next job, we need say an 18" - 3/4" Rigid conduit,,, Odds are there was one in the barrel... They guys could grab and we could charge the customer for a full stick.... and with the savings, buy tools or uniforms, boots etc for the guys....

Wha cha all think? Or how do you guys deal with this little stuff?
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Old 09-03-2017, 02:25 AM   #2
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Personally I send anything shorter then the barrel to the scrap dumpster otherwise you end up with tons of little chunks.
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Old 09-03-2017, 02:57 AM   #3
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Garbage, scrap pile.
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:03 AM   #4
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Anything under a meter ( 39 inches ) do go to scrap pile.,, I would not bother keep a bunch of it due it will pile up very fast especially after you do alot of conduit work. you will see why quick.,

Very large conduits I may keep it something like 1.5 inch conduit or larger I may keep if plan to use it pretty quick otherwise same as above.

Oh yuh .,, scrap conduit go by tonnage not by pound if I recall it correct.( or kilograms for metric folks )
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Old 09-03-2017, 03:39 AM   #5
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Default Everyone realizes we are throwing away money?


1/4" tapcon cost .42 cents
Whole stick of 3/4" = $13.32

OCD kicks in... lmao,,,, if we had to guess how many feet we throw out a year what would that be? Can we use 4' out the barrel and bill the customer for 10' stick...

Add the savings in a jar and at the end of the year divide the savings up for new tools and bonuses
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:32 AM   #6
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Anything less than a half a stick of 1" and less, ain't worth saving. You're just going end up with barrels full of bones that nobody will use, and it piles up fast.
If you're going to bill your customers for a full stick, cut what you need off a full stick, and throw the rest away.
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Old 09-03-2017, 05:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 847Videos View Post

1/4" tapcon cost .42 cents
Whole stick of 3/4" = $13.32

OCD kicks in... lmao,,,, if we had to guess how many feet we throw out a year what would that be? Can we use 4' out the barrel and bill the customer for 10' stick...

Add the savings in a jar and at the end of the year divide the savings up for new tools and bonuses
Maybe so but read the answer below of other comment .,,

Quote:
Originally Posted by joebanana View Post
Anything less than a half a stick of 1" and less, ain't worth saving. You're just going end up with barrels full of bones that nobody will use, and it piles up fast.
If you're going to bill your customers for a full stick, cut what you need off a full stick, and throw the rest away.

That part I do agree and to OP you should be aware if you going to use those plastic barrels for short peices IMO some way you can save money on that but alot of the time it will eat up time to find some oddball length some case I just justify the cost of full stick and cut to the length quick. instead of running to the service van or truck and go thru the barrel to find the correct short length you want.

so I did try that before but not really worth the time and money with it.
so the barrels is for my scrap metal barrels. I get alot more money on scrap copper than the scrap conduits for weightwise.,,
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:28 AM   #8
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I have a bit of a packrat problem but I limit it to a bucketful or two of scraps, short conduits and strut. There might be a little wood in there too, depends what's been going on. You just have to be careful you're not spending a dollar saving a dime.

The short bits of pipe are good for sleeves and trapeze and general jury rig purposes. Short pieces of strut are endlessly useful. I don't travel with a supply of conduit at all times so it's good to have this on hand for incidentals.

How are you charging a customer for a full stick if you're using a scrap? If you're billing T&M that doesn't sit right with me. If you're flat rating it's fine. How you estimate isn't your customer's problem. You're not really "charging" them for the full stick, you're figuring a full stick in your estimating to arrive at your flat price. If you do it out of inventory, including scrap, that's fine.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:16 AM   #9
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Point being he might charge the customer $3.50 per foot, pay $1.30 per foot and doesn't much matter about the length.
Like you, I wouldn't hit them with the whole 10' unless the project was being supplied by the bundle. That's where the booty from the scrap comes from.

For us. Job close out is doing all of the returns and then throwing out everything else. Nothing frosts your balls like seeing a bucket of malleable thread less fittings or Myers hubs, LBs and crap that wont match up on the next job.
If you have the space, save a few things but, I've worked for shops that have had the same bucket of 18" pieces of explosion proof greenfield for 25 years.
Just send it all back and let the supply house give you what they can for it.

I'm in the business of installing stuff, not warehousing it.

With all of that said, it ok to have a guy stay busy making nipples once in a while if you can afford it.
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:37 AM   #10
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I always charge the customer for 10' because it was 10' until it was cut for the specific job. If it's under 4' it will sit in my truck or shop for months until it's thrown away or forgotten.

If it's a bigger job I try to be more exact because the customer is already paying you a lot to do the bigger job.

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Old 09-03-2017, 08:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipbayless View Post
I always charge the customer for 10' because it was 10' until it was cut for the specific job. If it's under 4' it will sit in my truck or shop for months until it's thrown away or forgotten.

If it's a bigger job I try to be more exact because the customer is already paying you a lot to do the bigger job.

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Charge for the 10' piece and have a line item for trash hauling.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:28 AM   #12
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Junk them.. No one will ever go looking for a short piece. If they are at your shop, then someone to drive to location, back to the shop and back to site blew any saving and I'd guess pissed off a customer if they saw you come out with a 3' piece of conduit..
Charge by the 10' stick.. Guess that's why all wholesalers, HD's, Lowes, etc all sell by 10' length..
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joebanana View Post
Anything less than a half a stick of 1" and less, ain't worth saving. You're just going end up with barrels full of bones that nobody will use, and it piles up fast.
If you're going to bill your customers for a full stick, cut what you need off a full stick, and throw the rest away.
You are missing his point.

If he uses half a stick and bills for a full stick his profit is $x = material cost.

If he holds on to the other half a stick and bills it out as a full stick his profit is $x but there is no material cost.

I've been in shops that are on opposite sides of the issue.

Doing control and service work I always kept two buckets in the truck of short pieces of EMT and used them all the time, but I never let them get out of control.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:44 AM   #14
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The sorting, organizing, warehousing, transporting, inventorying, and then retrieval of something like this could often times cost more in wasted labor than you save in material costs.

A full stick of 3/4" EMT costs $4 and there should be a few on every truck. This should be replenished when the truck is at the shop or supply house for other material (no special trip). This EMT is cheap.

If you have a guy who costs you $1/minute in labor burden spend a few minutes going back into the shop to look for a piece of pipe the right size, you just threw money away.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:44 AM   #15
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You are missing his point.

If he uses half a stick and bills for a full stick his profit is $x = material cost.

If he holds on to the other half a stick and bills it out as a full stick his profit is $x but there is no material cost.

I've been in shops that are on opposite sides of the issue.

Doing control and service work I always kept two buckets in the truck of short pieces of EMT and used them all the time, but I never let them get out of control.
Half a stick to keep on hand sure, for a few.. The OP used an 18" length in their example.. That can become a waste of time..

One superintendent I worked with shipped 2 - 3'x3'x3' boxes of strut of various sizes from his last job 2 provinces away to our new job with the same expectation - if you need a short piece of strut to look there first. First thing we did was load it with the forklift and junk it. Too much of a waste of time to dig through it looking for a 12" piece..
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:47 AM   #16
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I pretty much keep everything. I unload it into a large pile of scrap in the shop, and when it gets to be in my way, I call a buddy who sorts scrap on the side.

He'll throw me a case or two of a good IPA, when he comes and picks it up.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:48 AM   #17
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splatz View Post
How are you charging a customer for a full stick if you're using a scrap? If you're billing T&M that doesn't sit right with me.

Because the supply houses and stores only sell you 10ft sticks.
3/4" Rigid Conduit cost $13.21, if you only need a 3ft pcs to 90 out of the ground into a LB Mogul, Home Depot wont sell you 3ft of conduit...

Do this over 1000 times and that $13.21 ends up being $1,300
We are all in business to make money, Throwing out conduit ends up costing "US", I understand the stupid crazy bent, I'll never use again pcs... Toss those,,, But like you said, unistrut... YOU... or they charge YOU for full sticks... I mean if the barrels get overwhelmed with pcs then yea its time to start tossing out, because it cost more to store...

My business was more service and small installations...
I would never flat a house as the profit margins vs time spent there weren't there for me.
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:58 PM   #19
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These barrels stay outdoor at the shop.

Hauling them in the vehicle just adds more weight and fuel cost to us.

Service work, you really cant anticipate what you need, unless you've seen the job and "project managed" all the details of whats needed.

Small Installations:
In my opinion you have to carefully look at everything that's needed in order to plan out your materials list. We use a database and can select each item for each installation with 98% accuracy the tradesman will have everything needed for the project. Now if we know your doing an underground horizontal run and need to come out of the ground X amount of inches on each end, (Before hand at the shop) The person picking and organizing the materials for the project just takes a walk over there and eye balls for a couple of pcs... Cuts, threads and pre bends them.
This is more apprentice work or pre planning so the day of the installation its not all this rush rush rush, lets loose money... Or Drive around like a maniac looking for missing pcs... Pre Planning,,, Like the military so the day of... BAM you're in and out and back at the shop with burgers on the grill...


These pcs, all from scrap... Customer paid for 4 sticks... We used from scrap pile.. Saving, bought burgers for everyone that day. Costco, case of burgers, buns, drinks... Small time... But like Dave Ramsey says, if you cannot manage small stuff how do you manage big stuff.
Alot different when your the employee just throwing stuff out vs the guy paying for the material being thrown out and the labor etc... lmao

Just thinking of ways to make everything work, add quality and less stress on our side and still deliver quality stuff to the customers but actually feed ourselves in the process...
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Old 09-03-2017, 02:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 847Videos View Post
Because the supply houses and stores only sell you 10ft sticks.
3/4" Rigid Conduit cost $13.21, if you only need a 3ft pcs to 90 out of the ground into a LB Mogul, Home Depot wont sell you 3ft of conduit...

Do this over 1000 times and that $13.21 ends up being $1,300
We are all in business to make money, Throwing out conduit ends up costing "US", I understand the stupid crazy bent, I'll never use again pcs... Toss those,,, But like you said, unistrut... YOU... or they charge YOU for full sticks... I mean if the barrels get overwhelmed with pcs then yea its time to start tossing out, because it cost more to store...

My business was more service and small installations...
I would never flat a house as the profit margins vs time spent there weren't there for me.
None of this makes sense.


If you pay $13 a stick for conduit, and charge $5000 a stick, and only use 3' of it, what do you care how much you scrap?

You don't lose money by scraping ends.


If you feel bad about the other 7', give it to the customer and let them do what they want with it.
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