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Bid for next year? Need help.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by GesnerLawn, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. GesnerLawn

    GesnerLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    I just got a call for a bid for a private road and 2 driveways for next year. It seems that the customer was happy until they got their bill for our recent blizzard, so now they're shopping around for next year.

    My problem is that I feel it's a little early to be bidding on next season. My insurance renews in May, so I don't know what my new premium will be, I have no idea what gas prices will be, and I'm not sure how many other contracts I'll have and whether I'll have a plow on my 2003 Chevy. Besides, it's not the kind of job I usually do...I do mostly smaller residential drives and one industrial parking lot.

    How do you guys handle this?

    Also, any thoughts on what to charge for a 1/8 mile private road? The pavement is in great shape and fairly level...should be an easy push. It's fairly wide, about the width of a double wide driveway. I'd probably end up making two passes each direction to get it cleared.

    They want a 3 inch trigger on the road and 6 inch on the two driveways. The drives are pretty standard and would normally be $30 each for me for a 3 to 6 inch push. This job is a short detour off my route and I'd like to land it, but don't want to be leaving any cash on the table.

    Almost forgot, no sanding/salting requested (I can't do it anyway without subbing).

    I was thinking of $85 for the road per push (3 to 6 inches) and $40 for each driveway (6 to inch).

    Your thoughts?


  2. GesnerLawn

    GesnerLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 127

  3. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I'd be a little wary of bidding now, insurance is bound to go up a lot, and with all that is happening in Iraq who knows how much gas will be. Just take these factors into account with your bid. 6" seems like a high trigger amount. I'd be a little worried that if you have a bunch of smaller snowfalls that once you reach the 6" trigger it may be really icy. The last thing is the fact that the customer was happy with the past contractor...until they got the bill for a recent blizzard. Who is to say they won't do the same thing to you after a blizzard. It sound like they want service, but don't want to pay much for it.

    Just my 2 cents.
  4. GesnerLawn

    GesnerLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    Grshppr - That's pretty much what I was thinking. BTW, the 6 inch is only for the 2 driveways which they shovel if under 6 inches. Not too worried about that.

    They've had the current guy for several years but don't like him now that "he got "big and made them sign a contract." I'll bet they complanined about the price and he directed them to the their contract.

    I'm defintedly a bit leary of this one, but the location is right (1/4 mile detour off my normal route) and it's paved...lots of long gravel drives around here that I refuse to do.

    Any comments on the pricing I listed guys? I think I tend to be too low.
  5. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    i don't start bidding till september.most people around me ask for a bid the day of the storm which is totaly nuts.won't do it.i would wait till mid summer before making out bids for snow plowing
  6. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    Those prices sound OK to me. The road would probably only take 15 minutes max. I've got a similar contract, a private lane about 2 blocks, one pass in, one pass out, and I charge $70 per plow. It takes me about 15 minutes including drive time to get there. Sanding is extra if required.
  7. Darryl

    As for your price, sounds like a good price for my area, but each is different.

    This is what would make me worry

    I would make sure you had a contract with everyone, period. It protects you and everyone is on the same page if you have a dispute.

    I will tell you a story about guy with big bucks, always had wallet open, did not want to sign contract, always wanted to call me at 6" to plow, when we got 12" on top of 5" day before and 4" overnight, he calls. I plowed his almost 2' with drifts. I always had charged him $25. even at 7". I told him his price today was $75, he was floored. I explained why and it was in my contract that he didn't want to sign,
    3-5" $25.,
    6-9" $35.,
    9-12 $50.,
    12" or more $75. min.

    He got someone else that has made a mess and I see a lot of grass dug up. Hope he don't call me to fix in spring.

    Now he is telling everyone in the local coffee shop I charged him $75. every time I plowed and Bla, Bla, Bla.

    Get them to sign, only looking for trouble if you don't!