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

Bank contracts

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by PAPlow, Jul 5, 2001.

  1. PAPlow

    PAPlow Member
    Messages: 36

    Got offered to bid on total snow/ice removal for a bank in my area. What's a ggod way to bid this out? Per push or by the hour?
     
  2. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    While all bidding reduces down to the # of hours x what you want to make per hr, actually doing the work per hr will net you very little money. What we do is take the amount of time needed and mutiply x 150.00 an hour, then we add in any material and hand work that needs to be done, and then a 25% fudge factor. That will give us an idea of what the per push price will be. Now that 150.00 an hour is what works in my market, you will have to adjust accordingly for your area.
    Then we will propose a seasonal price based on the average snowfall and or average # of services that will be needed per season, and present the customer with that.
    Dino
     
  3. PAPlow

    PAPlow Member
    Messages: 36

    Since bidding on contracts is all new to me. Do you recommend that I go and view every bank branch to see the layout? There are many. Also I will probably be subcontracting out plowers. Does that pricing formula you gave take this into consideration?
     
  4. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Yes you will need to veiw each site unless they are all very similar, and the you can use a few a s a template. However traffic flow in an area can make the time plowing 2-3x as long even if the layout is the same.
    And yes that type of pricing structure will support subs. Most subs will be in the 30-50.00 per hr range, you supply the materials, since you are at least 3-5x in the pricing structure outlined, you should still see a good mark up.
    Dino
     
  5. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    I agree with Dino, except for one thing. If you're going to be plowing several branches, go look at ALL of them. Even if the general layout is the same, there may be raised manhole covers, different landscaping, etc., and you also need to know where to put the snow for each site. If some of the lots are a little torn up, and will be more abusive to your truck, you may want to factor that into your pricing as well.

    -Tim
     
  6. PAPlow

    PAPlow Member
    Messages: 36

    Dino & Tim,

    Thanks for your help...I will admit I am a little nervous about this whole thing. The company has sent me a a 20 page document outlining all there requirements for thier branches. I am more familer with larger commercial lots than I am these smaller bank lots that usually have more obstacles. Such as cars, sidewalks, drivethru and people.
     
  7. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Well, best advice I can give for being nervous is to give yourself a few extra hours the first few times, and use Magic-O as your deicer. I havn't used it yet, but I'm switching over to it this year. All the guys in here swear by it, and it'll probably save you a great deal of time in the tight spots and by the drive-thru as well.

    Good luck!

    -Tim
     
  8. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Read the spec's carefully.... if it's the contract I'm thinking it is, it is 'per push' or 'per occurance' only.
     
  9. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    "What we do is take the amount of time needed and mutiply x 150.00 an hour, then we add in any material and hand work that needs to be done, and then a 25% fudge factor. "

    LOL! Apparently advice like this is to ensure that nobody beats you out of that bank contract, lol, lol...

    Think about it. How are you going to get a competitive bid by marking it up 25% from what you figured was a fair money-making price???

    Lol.
     
  10. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Bill it was a general responce to a general question. And when things are said and done, if you lose a contract over 37.50, then you dont want it anyway. Also when fiqureing seasonal contracts, that extra 25% may mean the difference between break even and a profit.
    And the bottom line is that it does work for me, and I get the contracts, so if it works for me, who are you to say otherwise.
    Dino
     
  11. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I mark up my bids too,If I have to operate cheaper,than I'd rather not do it.Banks can be tough to bid properly too,since no matter how good you are at estimating,you wont know how long it'll take until you actually are doing it,long after the contracts are signed.With the fudge factor,you still make some money even if you were off a bit.I have taken over accounts that were too cheap in pricing ,and the next year,I adjust it to what it should be,and havent lost one yet.If I did,thats OK,Id rather loose it than lose money every storm on that job.
     
  12. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    "that extra 25% may mean the difference between break even and a profit. "

    25% is a huge margin for error. If you dont really care whether or not you want a contract, but are willing to settle for just the "gravy" jobs then a 25% fudge factor is acceptable, but IMO one should have a better handle on expenses incurred and estimated time to do a job so that such a huge "wriggle room" number shouldnt be necessary.

    Especially on a hypothetical $150 per push bid, where the difference between plowing that lot and watching the lot be plowed from the diner next door may be $10 per push.

    I dont have a problem with a figure to add to a bid to ensure profitability (or increase it), just with the size of the amount suggested here. Hey but each is own.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2001
  13. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    Dont let the 20 pages scare you. I got nervous when I read the contract to the banks I plow(over a 1/4" thick). It went on and on about how to adress employess, name tags, etc etc etc enough garbage to make your head spin. Have your lawyer go over it and if it's in order just sign it. Follow their specs and do a good job they'll never bother you. I'd be more worried about getting paid, The bank I plowed for paid about 2 months after they recieved the bill. All in all it was easy money, it just came late. I never needed any name tags or adressed any bank employees. These lots are 8-12'000 sf with long sidewalks a couple cars and a couple islands, one pickup and driver one guy on a snowblower a salter and 30 minuites later it's done and looks real nice. when the last check comes in may you've already forgot about snow and it's was like a bonus to me.
    Casey
     
  14. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    You just hit the nail on the head Bill, I do only want the gravy. Why bust my butt to break even, or lose money. My reputation in my market is such that I can do that and will do that. So while others are bidding on that 10.00, I will bid on the properties that want service over price, and make the extra 25% and take it to the bank.
    Dino
     
  15. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    I'm gonna have to agree with Dino. Taking that driveway that's barely wide enough for the truck, and only pays $10 vs. taking the driveway that is exactly as wide as the plow, is a straight push back, and pays $40 is a little more logical. In fact, I have several driveways that fit description #1 that are getting dropped this year. I'm aiming for more commercial accounts so I can put my spreader to better use.

    -Tim
     
  16. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    If you are going to do a bank I suggest you drive every lot. Make a drawing of each of the lots and figure out where you are going to start your first cut depending on snow load. Then decide where you can stack snow, and how will you stack it when the piles are high. Figure on a cost for a front end loader, 'cuz when the winter is about half way through you will need to bring in the old allis chalmbers to really make some piles.

    It is very important to look at the physical layouts, and see if that big momma f-450 you always wanted an excuse to buy will fit through the drive - through lanes with those beeyoooteeefull heated mirrors sticking out like Dumbo's ears. Ha, you might have to get the ultimate plow machine for this, a 1960's era CJ 5 Jeep with Monarch belt driven pump and with cross bar re-enforced chains on all four wheels. Then you can do the sidewalks and drive right up to the front door and drop and drag the snow away. From your description of the walkways, drive in lines etc, you will need small equipment, not just the big stuff that everybody wishes they had. Agility is important when doing those little branch offices.
     
  17. Rob

    Rob PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 306

    I generally only do residential work so I can't really help you out with how to price it, but just reading through the responses you've gotten thus far I saw a basic per hour type calculation to meet your profit margin which makes sense to me. In a later post, Tommy10plows mentions the possibility a front end loader to push the piles back, I would think you would need to include some pricing for that as well. Maybe your market doesn't get that much snow, you'd have to be the judge on that.

    Good luck with your bid,