1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

ATV per hour???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by griffithtlc, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. griffithtlc

    griffithtlc Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    How much do you guys charge for an ATV and Truck per hour. We are planning on our truck being @100/hour, and the ATV at 60/hr. This includes a person running the truck, and a person running the ATV. We are looking at an appartment complex with 40 units. there are 48 parking spaces, it is arranged in a square with a driveway going around the perimiter. Most of the snow has to be back dragged out of the parking spots, and pushed to the east or south end. The ATV will be plowing as long as the truck is, because there are no roads inside the square, it is all sidewalks. Do you guys think this is about right? The job should take around 4 hrs for 6" or less.
  2. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Let's assume you would charge $45-$50 per hour for hand work. If an ATV would out produce a man with snowblower 2-1 (easily done), one could charge $90-$100 per hour. I don't know what a truck gets in your market, but when it comes to sidewalks, if you are not shooting for that kind of hourly, you won't recover the cost of your machine for a long time; which, in turn, means you will not turn a profit with the machine for a long time!

    Why pay $6-$7K for a machine and then make only slightly more per hour than you could with a snow blower?

    For argument's sake, lets assume your area has about 12 plowable storms per season. If you work that machine for four hours each storm at $100 per hour, that is $400 gross per storm. So, for the season you would gross $4800 with the machine. In two seasons, you would theoretically earn $9600 worth of revenue from the machine. If the machine cost you $7000, you will just barely start to earn a small profit at the very end of your second season when you take into account your wages, fuel, maintenance, insurance, etc. associated with the machine.

    At $60 per hour, you may not turn a profit until your fourth season with that machine...assuming you have four seasons in a row of "normal snowfalls" for your market. I guess it all depends on how long you want to pay out expenses before recovering your overhead??? Good luck, and don't be afraid to ask for what the machine is worth.

  3. EZSnow

    EZSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    BUT- what if the machine isn't primarily a snow-removal tool? Alright, call it lowballing, but if all you can get is $30 an hour, and you already have the machine, $30 an hour is better than $0 an hour in your garage. Granted, you have to get compensated for wear and tear, maint., hauling the stupid thing around, and the cost of the plow, but that's still not all that much. I dunno- I sub my truck at $50/hr and feel I'm getting a decent shake. I can't even think of offering up my wheeler for $100 per hour- he'd laugh me right out the door!!

    I was trying to do a comparison of what the wheeler can do compared to a truck, but I guess that isn't fair, either. The truck can't go places that a wheeler can (sidewalks, bike paths, some banks and other drive-thrus)

    You ever go for a ride on a snowblower?:D
  4. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    If you have decided your ATV is not worth $100 an hour, you are absolutely correct! To paraphrase John Allin, "If you think you can, or that you can't....you are right!" Mine is worth $100 per hour. I charge that rate and would not consider charging any less. Personally, I don't ever assume that something is paid for just because I don't have a bank note on it, but everyone sees things through different eyes, I guess.

    It is easy to come up with every reason under the sun why the machine is not worth that much, but there are those of us out there getting that much and more! I can tell you that when I was advised to charge that kind of money (by one of the best in the business), my attitude was the same, "nobody will pay that kind of money." Well guess what, I have met and befriended the "nobodies"....they are all my customers!

    The difference is that when it comes time for me to buy a brand new ATV, it won't have to be paid for out of MY pocket but rather from the profits created by the machine itself. Therefore, my personal financial state will have little to no impact as to whether or not that machine is replaced.

    Funny thing is, eventhough I can get $100+ per hour from my machine, it is still rideable during the off season. Maybe yours is set up differently than mine? Besides, I'd have to sit on my snowblower and have someone push me 'cause the wheels are not driven. :D

    I charge everything I do with the ATV on a per push price. If cornered, however, I would stick to my guns on the hourly price and let the work pass if they were not willing to pay for the costs associated with the service. Of course, that is because I already have about $500 worth of work (not including salting, of course.) for the machine during any given storm. I'm nobody special....you can do the same thing if you are not afraid to ask for the money.

    *Sidenote- If my pricing is satisfactory to Mr. Allin and Snow Management Group, who is to say it is not satisfactory for your customers as well? He does not give a rip what I make hourly, he cares about quality and final cost for service. The method I use and the completion times are not of his concern.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2003
  5. EZSnow

    EZSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    well stated, jobby- I don't have plow equipment for my Sportsman yet, but I also hadn't yet considered it as a serious snow removal tool. I have been trying to figure out what to charge- this is a good exercise for me. I guessit has to be priced against the alternative. I don't shovel. At least I try not to. So I'm not real good at looking at a walk and saying "that'll take "X" minutes for three guys to clear". Given my truck experience, I can fairly easily figure out how many passes it would take with an ATV. I'd figure 2/3 of the blade, how many passes, how long- wham-o, you got a time.

    Say a given walk (bike path) takes 2 shovelers @ 10 per hour 1 hour to clear- We've spent $20 to clear the walk with shovelers.

    Lets say I can get the same stretch done in two passes- 7
    minutes max. Let's give 5 min to account for loading and unloading, so 12 min total.

    Fancy that- that works out to about a hundred bucks an hour.
    Can one ATV really do as much work as 10 shovelers in the same amount of time?

    Now if one train leaves cleveland traveling 65mph...
  6. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    If one train leaves Cleveland traveling at 65 MPH... :D

    Let us say we have a sidewalk that is 4' wide and 300 foot long, for a total of 1200 square foot. We can do a short run like that in no time. Maybe 5 minutes to plow, 5 minutes of loading/unloading and 10 minutes (average in snow, traffic) travel to the next site. That is a total of 20 minutes, or 1/3 of an hour. Do you think $33.33 (rounded up to $35) would be a fair price for that service? If you can do three (times twenty minutes) such sites within an hour as we do, you are looking at $105 per hour gross.

    I hate to put us on the level of a local paperboy....but here I go anyway. :eek:

    When one considers some kid with a shovel gets $10-$20 to hand shovel a little sidewalk in front of Granny Jones' residence, I'd argue the commercial customer is getting a good deal at $35 for more than twice that square footage. Especially when you consider the difference in cost between dad's shovel and a new ATV with plow.

    The numbers I use are just theoretical numbers, but as you stated, "this is good exercise." No matter what aspect of the business, if you don't play with the numbers a bit, you don't have an opportunity to make the numbers work for you. I'm glad, although my logic may sound far-fetched, you still have an open mind...you are the one that will benefit from that!

    Also, after using your Sportsman for sidewalks for just one season, I am P-O-S-I-T-I-V-E you will agree that the corrosion from salt and minor wear and tear are certainly worth $100 per hour. ;)
  7. EZSnow

    EZSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    The funny part about all the numbers I used- they were just estimations, guesses and hypotheticals, too... then they added up to the number you suggested. Still sounds high, though. But if I can get it, I wouldn't even think about NOT putting a plow on my ATV this winter... it's on there! We'll see.

    Sorry to hijack your thread, griff- you can have it back now!!:D
  8. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    Plowing with ATV

    I have been plowing and salting with atvs for 8 years. I have worn out 3 over that period of time. They are were I got my start doing residential drives. After 4 years of making good money $40.00 - $65.00 per drive per push I moved up to a F350 with a 7.5 Western. Now I plow 16 comercial lots (3 apartment complexes) and 22 residential drives on contract every year with 1 F250 and 1 Arctic Cat ATV. For me the atv has been a cost effective tool as long as you can keep someone on it. To the point of your question I get about $60.00 per hour on average for the comecial accounts (sidewalks, teller windows, Taco Bell Drive Thru) Most of my accounts are on a per push/2 inch snow base. I uderstand this was a lot of information about me, I felt it nescarry to prove my pricing amount
  9. Craftybigdog

    Craftybigdog Senior Member
    Messages: 238

    Yeah I have a Grizzly 600 with a 60in state plow blade and when it comes to driveways and cutting out cultsacks I can run circles around a truck I believe you should charge the upper end its worth it and if you have a sportsman 700 put a big one on there. They make 72in now!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. HLS Wholesale

    HLS Wholesale Senior Member
    Messages: 111

    If a man leaves Cleveland at 65 mph....he's not going fast enough.

    I had a job last year with an ATV and I was charging $100/hr...

    I'd much rather quote by the job, though. Not too many people have ATV's around here and I can blow them away with efficiency.