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Anyone contract with Lowes?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DaySpring Services, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    Has anyone contracted with Lowes? I have one potentially eyed up for next season. I want to contact the store manager to find out more. I just want to make sure they're not a pain to deal with, especially if they're in with USM.
     
  2. RTEnt

    RTEnt Member
    Messages: 42

    We don't have a contract with Lowes, but I do know that they are contracted individually here in Rochester. I think that once you look a little more into it you may be dissapointed with the numbers. I had some insight into the one near me 3 or 4 years ago and when all was said and done I made way more money chasing driveways with pickups than I could parking a machine in the Lowes lot. Just some food for thought.
     
  3. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    Right now it's nothing more than a thought in my head. I'd have to get some solid numbers to pursue it. I dont work for free or next to nothing like the lowballers.
     
  4. nms0219

    nms0219 Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    Here they are USM. For what they pay and what they want you to do you can make more at mcdonalds.
     
  5. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    Plowing or running the fryer:laughing:
     
  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,967

    What you'll notice about those bigger accounts.....

    Alot of time every other plow guy is thinking the same thing you are, "wow, it sure would be nice to have a big account like that".

    What that does is drive the numbers down, because everyone works to get an "inside track" to the management to find out what they're paying, then beat that price.

    Oh, I can do that for $5 / hour less, look at all the plowing there is to do.

    But then the following year, another new guy comes in, with an inside track to the numbers that are now $5 less than the year before and says, "oh, I can do that for $4 / hour less, look at all the plowing there is to do".

    Now the next year the second guy gets the store to sign a 2 year contract, but only if he holds his price steady. In the meantime, the store gets a new manager, who's got a bro-in-law that plows, that tells him, "hey, you get beat this price, you can have this account", which he figures sure, I only have to plow the one account each storm to make $2,000.

    After 5 years, the account is being done 20-30% cheaper than the first year it was done, and no one is making any money.
     
  7. SteveR

    SteveR Senior Member
    Messages: 252



    Well put..
     
  8. nms0219

    nms0219 Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    running the fryer. What was said above very true. Their is alot of expense doing large commercial work, Big insurance money, Big risk of slip and fall, Big equipment payments, Big labor cost, Big salt cost, Wait forever to get paid. fun aint it??
     
  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Besides most of them are in plazas around here so you may have to call the leasing agent to see who is in charge of maintenance.
     
  10. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    Our new store is alone and the guy the takes care of it does a halfa$$ job, more than likely its because it's a lowballer. I figured it may be worth a shot. Maybe I can offer my services for next season. It may be a little more expensive but better service.
     
  11. SteveR

    SteveR Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    I would go for it too. I think any of us would tell you that, just don't do it for free. If a man is doing a good job he should be paid a fair price for it.
     
  12. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,039

    :laughing::laughing::laughing:

    Thats the funnyest thing ive heard in a while!!!
    Everyone talks about plowing these big accounts. I dont want to plow any big accounts!!! I just like to salt them payup
     
  13. 1daniel1

    1daniel1 Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    Careful my local friend. Being in hard lake effect land like you are with that account you could be a busy man. That may be good or bad though depending on how you work the wording of the contract. I have heard from a friend they are par for the course in terms of popular national retail stores not wanting any snow, slush, ice, or residual salt on the lot at any time. Like July in Janurary. I stick with my two Kmart lots and my three low- end strip malls. Slightly less money but significanlty less expectation. Similar to the stores themself. Good Luck.
     
  14. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,967

    I mow the local school district, as well as 2 towns' parks systems.

    I do them on the cheap because I can get cheap help, my dad and my wife.

    I also believe in giving back to the community, so if I can keep SOME of the costs down, and keep more teachers in the schools and police on the roads, then good for the community.

    I'm not doing these accounts to go broke, I'm just not charging as much as the high end commercial properties.

    Now with that said, our local school district went out for bid on the snowplowing last year.

    We were at 22 equipment hours, for a seasonal price of $33,000 for the season, on roughly 18 snowfalls / year.

    You all can do the math and see what I was trying to get per equipment hour.

    The contractor that got the job was at $16,000 for the entire year. I was at the meeting when they opened the bids and his exact quote was "Well, at least I have my house payment and truck payment covered for the season". Does anyone see the errors in that statement?

    Take my equipment hours and snowfalls per season and figure out what his exact rate is.

    So far we've plowed about 10 times this year with another 2 months in the season.

    They've already tore out a garage door and the parking lots have lost about 25% of the parking spaces.

    We had a complete proposal, with a blueprint of our operation and the ability to have the whole district completely cleaned in 3 hours.

    I have a set of 3 banks that I get $10,000 for the season, 1 truck, 4 hours each snowfall total.

    Find a smaller business that will pay more for the service.

    The large box stores are living on 2% margin. How do you think they keep things at 2% margins?? By paying MORE for service?
     
  15. nms0219

    nms0219 Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    Ha i bid a school district last year for mowing. Wow is all i can say. They had ten bids 9 were in the 50-60k range 1 was 19k. Guy said the same thing house and truck are paid for. You should see the mess he made of the place. He was mowing 7 days a week with an old 52" lesco walk behind with a home made sit down sulky. It would take him 2 weeks to mow everything once. the grass would be 6" to 8" tall by the time he would mow it. For the trimming he used round up.
     
  16. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,752

    Wow, the guy coulda bid $49k and still got it. Now this spring, someone will bid $15k. So much for that being a decent paying account.
     
  17. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    I tell you, People or businesses are really stupid when It comes to this low bidder crap. You get what you pay for. My favorite one is underbidding a job then all of the sudden having overages. "Oh well this wasn't planned or oh this came up"
     
  18. nms0219

    nms0219 Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    amazing ain't it? oh as a side note to the lowes lots, most of the buildings are leased. They are owned either by Benderson Development or DDR ( developers diversified reality).
     
  19. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    What doesn't Benderson own around here?:dizzy:
     
  20. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    What they don't own Ciminalli (?) owns.