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Apartment Complex Bid HELP

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Burkartsplow, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,245

    I Have been plowing snow for 5 years with my old landscape Company in Cleveland Ohio. I am on my own now and I need a little help bidding this APT. Complex. We get an average of 55 inches of snow here. The Property manager wants me to submit a bid with with a per push and seasonal contract.This is the first year they had someone outside do there plowing and there is only one other company bidding the complex. Requirements: I have to ONLY plow the roadways, parking lots and parking spaces. The total area of the lots and roads are 149,000 sq. ft. They want it done before people leave for work, so cars will be in the way. it clears out pretty good after the morning. here are the dimensions of the complex. Take these dimensions and mulitple them by two as one side is a carbon copy of the other. 900' X 45' strip with garages on one side and parking spaces on the other: Back lot at end which is 88' X 162' :Middle lot that is 82' X 58' : Front entrance is a U that is 353' X 42' : and a round about that is 146' X 25' and a little road off that which is 88' X 221' which connects to the long strip. There is also not alot of places to put the snow. I am using a 3/4 ton silverado HD with a 7 1/2 plow. I think it would take me 2 and haf to 3 hoursThey have maintenance guys that snowthrow the walks and salt them also. I also have to salt the roads and lots. The trigger height is 2 inches. That is what I have to do. Question 1: What should I charge them for a per push and should I raise the per push price if the snow reaches a certain height? Q2: IF I give them a seasonal estimate how many per pushes do you think I should use to help figure that out? Q3: They have salt there for me to use, What should I charge them to use my equipment to spread their salt on the roads and lots? Q4: They also want me to give them a price if I have to use my salt. My old boss charged $20 per 80 lb bag of salt and it went over well.Sorry so Many questions, but just trying to get the hang of this bidding thing. So good answers to my 4 questions would be great. Thanks Burkartsplow .xysport
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2007
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Rather than sq ft, it would be more helpful to know how long and wide the roads are (one or two lane); the rough dimensions of the lots and it there are plenty of places to push snow; rough idea of entrances and obstacles; if there are cars to work around, etc,

    On salt, personally I'd never agree to spread salt they provide. When you provide the salt, for bulk you will usually base it on so many times your cost. I charged twice my cost, others charge 3x. For bagged, I'd suggest 3x your cost.

    Yes, you want to base your plowing rate to increase incrementally with the depth of the snow. There are many ways to break it down, but with a 2" trigger, I'd suggest 2" to 5"; over 5" to 8"; over 8" to 12" and then that rate plus so much per inch over 12" (referred to as a "blizzard clause"). Then charge based on the total snowfall per storm. You may push several times during a snowfall; but add up all the depths and charge accordingly. There may be a weather service near you that keeps records you could subscribe to, also. This is a good reference if the management challenges your charges.

    Others here might have more help relative to your location. Realize I'm based in Maine - we get more snow up here than some.
     
  3. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,245


    Thanks, I put the dimensions up for any to look at and the truck i am using. The complex is also lost as they have always done it themselves so it is hard. I think i will go with the increasing rate for plowing with the increased depth. thanks
     
  4. Jbowe

    Jbowe Senior Member
    Messages: 167

    Apt, complexes

    This probably won;t help you much but I use to have the contract to plow one of the largest complexes in Anchorage. It took me about three hrs to do. I made a good hit money wise but to be per5fectly honest it wasn;t worth the time nor the liability. The comp[lex had a lot of old cars that were not movable and each person had a guest space. Most of which were full. Even during a storm the managers failed to notify people when I would be there so they would move cars and I ended up haveing to back drag between old wrecks and over the course of the winter the lot other then the roadway got pretty bad. Not my fault, just because no one would move a car and management was pretty lax. Also I would have people wioth old unrunning cars claim that we hit thier car then try to claim again our insurance. It was not fun at all. I never had to pay a claim but thats besides the point. Its just wasn't worth the hassel and when it came time to renew the contract I opted out. There is to much out there that is just as lucrative without the possible liability
     
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Jbowe brings up some good points. I had an apartment complex for a couple years and ran into crap like that. Never got sued, but like him, it just wasn't worth the hassles. Then it got slow paying, so I knew it was time to go.