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2014 will be our first season plowing

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Erik1981, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    I own a lawn service company and last winter we did just snow blowing which went great and I have a good pricing structure for that but I know this numbers won't work for plowing...
    I will be having my foreman run the blowing crew and I will be plowing. I have a 2014 F250 and will be putting a Boss DXT V Plow on it. This will be a driveway only service, no shoveling. I am thinking I will have a minimum of $20 for residential driveways, to much or to little? What I have no clue about is what size driveway will start taking me longer to do, so I need to charge more?
    I also have a 350ft long driveway that is single wide most of the way but at the garage it widens out to about 3 1/2 cars. Could use some pricing advice or some help with how long this will take? There is lots of room to put snow.
    I know a bunch of you guys are going to say just do a search. I have and I have read a lot and learned a lot but I still have these questions.
    Thanks for any help you can provide.
     
  2. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    Anyone out there that can give a little advice?
     
  3. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    Who will shovel out in front of the garage door?
    I shovel as well makes them happy. I find the ones that don't want shoveling will complain that you do not get close to the garage. I do not do these anymore it all the way or no way.
    Min charge for small intown $45 .1-3 inches snow , these are really cash cows and easy on equipment. :) you could do 3-4 per hour. As for price I would rather find the one that will pay $45 and do one than do 2-3 for 15-20. Just saying.
    Large Country Drive $85 .1-3 inches snow
     
  4. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    Thanks for the reply. But as I said earlier this will be a driveway only service (no shoveling) we have a blowing service that does do shoveling in front of the garafe and up to the front door.
    I am wondering about just doing the plowing on driveways. Is there a calculator out there that helps estimate the time it will take according to square footage or by car length? For example our blowing service charges by the number of cars that fit in the driveway, like a 2 car long x 2 car wide driveway is $30 - $35 depending on the sidwalk and steps to the front door. Can i use this same calculation for plowing but obviously different numbers?
     
  5. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Why plow when you can blow?
     
  6. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    We have customers asking for both services and we have 2 trucks. Why wouldnt i want both trucks making money?
     
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Your calculator is experience.
     
  8. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    Why do you need a DXT to do driveways. I would just get a regular Boss V not even a VXT.

    A 2 wide 2 long would take 3-4 minutes. That 350' should be 10 minutes tops IMO.
     
  9. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    Thank you, this is the first advice that was applicable to what I was asking. Anyone else have info like this. Thanks
     
  10. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Because a tractor is far more efficent then a truck
     
  11. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    Agreed, i should have explained the blower service a bit more, our blower service uses two walk behind snowblowers for driveways and sidewalks, shovels for steps.
     
  12. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    that would depend on how close your route is. I have watched a lot of Neige's youtubes so I know how fast they are.
     
  13. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,887

    Why blow when you can plow?
     
  14. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    If all you are doing is driveways why a V?

    They can be nice for long drives with deep snow or drifts and maneuvering in tight spaces but they are not as efficient as a straight blade for back dragging (limited room for snow.) and they cost more money.

    If you do get a veer be sure to take the truck in loaded and ready to plow condition so the installer can adjust the wings so they remain in contact with the ground though the wing's entire motion.

    You could consider a back plow (with rear camera) for pure driveway work.

    Pricing varies depending on location, what is too expensive for Buffalo could be to cheap for New Jersey. Number of events, average snowfall, insurance costs, etc make a single nationwide pricing structure impossible.
     
  15. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    A good rule of thumb is seek to make $100 per hour as a bare minimum. $200 is better, but never less than $100. So figure out how many drives on your route can be done in 1 hour, including travel and gas stops and such. Divide, carry the 1, and Bob's yer uncle.
     
  16. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    I had figured around that. With mowing we are anywhere from $125-200/hr so I figured around the same for plowing. Last winter with blowing we were right around $125/hr, but that was 2 guys and two walk behind blowers and shoveling off front steps.
    Is there a good rule of thumb for figuri out how long a driveway takes to plow? Let's say its a 2 car x 3 car driveway so roughly 20'x60', how long should this take? Or a 20'x50'?
     
  17. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    "Let's say its a 2 car x 3 car driveway so roughly 20'x60', how long should this take? Or a 20'x50'?"

    2-3 minutes

    But you must also add in, how long did it take you to get there, Gas fill ups, Eating and so on.....................
     
  18. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Lots of variables. How much snow? Wet or fluffy? What surface? How far do you push it at the beginning so you have room in late February? Gotta wait for cars to move? How experienced are the drivers? How hard will they run?
    Will there be obstructions to avoid? Will there be hassles backing out into the street because of traffic or highway plows?

    These are questions only you can answer. So, look at a job, decide you need to make "X", then add 10 bucks. Better to not get a job than to do it for nothing. Only time I would go cheap is if it were 5 in a row. 5 drives done in 25 minutes @ $20 each is $240 per hour.
     
  19. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    What's your back up truck?
     
  20. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    My other truck is a 2010 Dodge Ram 1500, in the winter this is used for the blowing route. If for some reason something went wrong with my 2014 F250 with the plow. I have a guy that I subbed some plowing to last year that would be happy to run the route til I was back up and running.