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Mechanical rates and contracts

Mechanical rates and contracts

Mechanical rates and contracts

(OP)
I have 2 questions.

I've recently incorporated a company to do some product design and development consulting work and am on the verge of starting a small project with my first client.

I'm wondering a bit about liability since hearing about people suing McDonalds over spilled coffee. Is it common to set up some sort of contract or insurance to establish liability in the event of an accident, mishap, or malfunction?

I would also like to know if anyone is familiar with the going rates for Mechanical Engineers doing product design and development in northern California.

There is a great post detailing rates for Structural Engineers, but I'm not sure how much the rates across disciplines would vary.

I've referenced it below
thread731-186377: US charge out rates survey: US charge out rates survey



 

RE: Mechanical rates and contracts

As always, an unclear answer to a probing question.

Many design companies, me included, cover this in the proposals' terms and conditions clause or clauses limiting liability and discovery, both for items such as failure, injury, and IP infringement.  Depending on jurisdiction however there is controversy regarding terms and conditions in force, i.e. your proposal / contract vs. their purchase order.

Generally, design companies may carry errors and ommissions insurance.  Product liability is different as you aren't producing or selling goods.  In the case of an action against a company you did work for, they may name you as contributor.  This is where your contract terms and conditions limiting liability and discovery comes into play.

Generally, in all jurisdictions, deepest pockets principle is enacted.  You're a small, thousand+ $ enterprise, they're a million+ $ company.  There's little reward going after shallow pockets.  As a cavalier example, Mcdonald's was sued, not the designer of the coffee cup.

RE: Mechanical rates and contracts

I also limit liability in my proposals.  Whether it is enforcible I do not know.  If you have bought services from other design companies, take a look at their proposals.  I design and build machinery. I had purchased a lot of machinery over the years, so I had some examples of how other companies do it.

One other thing that I do, is have several design reviews so that the customer is involved in the process; I document who attended and what risks and challenges were discussed, and what "we" decided as a team.  Then I follow up with meeting notes and have the customer confirm what was agreed to.  With a paper trail, they can't claim that I delivered something different than what was agreed to.  There are no surprises when the machine arrives.

RE: Mechanical rates and contracts

Are you saying you don't have liability insurance?  If not I'd get some.

Regarding rates, I just got a quote for drawing checking in Northern California and it was $65/hr.  Another quote for the same type of thing but by an 'expert' in central California $75/hr.  Not quite the same but hope it helps.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: Mechanical rates and contracts

Kenat,

are those engineers rates? - seem low to me.

RE: Mechanical rates and contracts

As I qualified, they are for checking.  Doesn't strictly require a bachelors and being normally in exempt industry definitely doesn't require PE.

Several of the example resumes though do state that they have BS in engineering.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

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