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2005 trucks, 1983 prices

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DaveOhio, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. DaveOhio

    DaveOhio Member
    Messages: 68

    It's a common gripe here on the boards. Whatever you calls them (we call them gypsies) some pepole have no idea snowplowing is worth.

    Driveways for $10 and lots for $20. Salt for ten bucks an 80# bag (hey I only paid $4) spread.

    The main post office downtown signed a contract for less than 50% of last year's rate. Their snow contractor send out subs for $35 per hour. Think about it.


    Happy New Year, y'all.

  2. John from OH

    John from OH Member
    Messages: 35

    I hear you. I lost a small parking lot, about 8 spaces, 100' x25' of drive that made a 90 corner at the back of the building. The drive had to be plowed from the east, the from the north to pile the snow out of the way. 3500 sqft of sidewalk, plus salting. Its going for $35 this year. The walks are all chopped up, took about 35-45 minutes to shovel, 50 lbs of Calcuim on the walks, 100 lbs. of salt on the lot. I'm glad to see from the service last week that they are getting their money's worth.

    Bottom line, the snow plow industry is maturing, clients are on a tight budget, and most are going to go with the lowest price and worry about liability later.

    I know what is cost per hour to put one of my trucks on a lot. I can hire a sub at $45 an hour and be money ahead. When all is said and done, its business, hire and manage the subs, and put the difference in your pocket.
    I keep the best paying and most demanding clients for my crews, sub out the lower dollar work.
  3. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    2005 trucks at 1983 prices

    We have the same thing here. Area management wannabees come in and bid 40% lower than closest bidder, hire unknowing subs to operate there rigs at a loss. The unknowing subcontractors are unexperienced and can not meet the agreement. This past snow of 12 inches with freezing rain between separated the men from the boys here in NE Ohio.

    I was told the company that bid on a post office had 55 of 60 docks shut down during the snow storm over the Christmas holidays. This area management does not work. This past storm proved this.

    I hope the the wannabees and disciples of the area management gods have there money hidden 2 corporations deep. If they do not someone is going to get some money for non performance. What is the cost of shutting down a company because you could not do the job?

    Dave and I am not Dave from Ohio either..
  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,192

    We had the same storm here. One of my best salting contracts got lost because they needed someone to plow and salt. They guy who did the plowing before told the main man I could not do both. Without even talking to me he gave the contract to someone else. Even though I have 11 trucks and could easily do the job. Sometimes they want to change to keep you on your toes. When we talked in Oct. and he knew I was pissed off, he said don't be to mad, I might need you one day. Well he has already phoned to see if I could take it over and I said NO. I will loose some easy money but he now has a lesson that needs to be learned, and I need to stick to my word that I would not bail him out.
  5. snooker

    snooker Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 77

    Around here there’s a lot of Firemen that put a 7’ plow on the family crew-cab and charge less than half the going rate. Capitalism can almost be defined by people willing to do the same work for less. But the other side of the coin is that any businessman should charge as much as the market will bear. Too many people "feel" that’s wrong, which is the heart of the problem.

    I see this as a legitimate gripe. Unfortunately, there are many that don’t. Price is dictated by supply and demand. But there are just too many people that can come up with the cash for a plow. Of course there’s a whole heck of a lot more to it than that to make a real service business. Never the less, the bean-counter mentality has taken over and too many uninformed managers are making decisions on face value. That’s likely to continue with the wild influx of cut-rate foreign labor. At least with websites like this, Gypsies have a place to get the information that can bring them up to speed.
  6. 85F150

    85F150 Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    the businesses will learn when they get sued with a slip and fall, or some other dumb suit like a rearend in the lot, then they come after the plowman and he has no way to afford it since there is no way they can charge such a low rate and afford insurance. Or when the plowman have to pay for reapirs and they are only making enough money to put gas in.

    Sooner or later,but the market will lean back out and the prices will come back up
  7. somm

    somm Senior Member
    Messages: 200

    have some fun with it. get their business name, then turn them in for not having a business license.
  8. cumminswithplow

    cumminswithplow Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    So am I being taken by the bigger fish? I am one of those subs. For the past six years I have worked for a const company. During the winter I was in charge of the snow removal. We had 3 trucks. 2 skid loaders and a side walk crew. This year I left that company and went into business for myself. I am a local framing contractor. But when it snows I still love to do some snow removal. So I teamed up with a contact that I had from my past. And he is contracting me. We have mostly large lots. Grocery stores ect. But we do have a handful of banks and resteraunts. He is paying me $65 plus expenses. And by expenses I mean fuel and anything that breaks while Im plowing on my equipment and then at the end of the season he is footing the bill for a tranny service. So do you think I am one of the lowballers? Should I go get my own work? Can I make more?
  9. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,192

    I feel you are in a good position. You don't have to chase the work, you don't have to have the extra equipment when something breaks and pretty much you can sleep every night until the phone rings. If a snowfall gets missed you are not on the hook. There are a lot of hours that go into this business that people do not see. Meeting people, trying to get work, advertising, research and of course the pricing game. I think you are getting paid well for a sub.
  10. cumminswithplow

    cumminswithplow Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    For this year with starting another company. I didn't feel that I would have time to chase the work. However, for next year I would like to go after my own contracts. I have a pretty good idea on pricing. Since I did that in my previous position. Just didn't think I would have time for it this year. I have a good reputation so far. And this year I have had to deny some work. Most of those who have called have told me tolet them know when I want my own and the contracts are mine. But, you get what you pay for. I remove snow. All of it. Not just a push here or there to say I showed up. So I hope that $65/hr is good enough for a sub. Now I just need a couple hundred hours of snow. :help:
  11. IndySnowPlow

    IndySnowPlow Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 214

    DaveOhio...& others. I dont know how big of snow plowing operation you have, but I dont even bat an eye at most of the "pricing" comments on here. The majority of them are just small operations doing the little parking lots and residential driveways. They can do/charge what they want, I dont even consider them ( driveways ) unless Im bidding on a whole community where I will have atleast (2) trucks in there doing the work. As for commercial properties, most if not all of these 1truck operations could not handle multiple commercial properties or even subdivisions. As you can see, there are ALOT of Q's..How do I bid this type of property ? ) The few medium / multi-truck operations on this site just skip over those and go on about our business. We are not the largest operation in our area...However, since the last 12" snowfall here, we have received alot of phone calls asking if we can "fit them in" due to their current contractor could NOT handle the situation. Yep, Indy has not seen a 12" snowfall in over 15yrs and this last one seperated "The MEN from the BOYS"....So, dont get to excited when you see a post stating LOW-LOW prices.....they can have all those little lots and driveways scattered all over a 50 mile radius. Happy New Year :drinkup: