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Bidding a sub division..

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bastalker, Apr 17, 2003.

  1. bastalker

    bastalker Junior Member
    from Ct.
    Messages: 23

    I got a call this morning from a lady who is pres. of the committee for this residential area consisting of 35-40, million dollar homes, that sit on an average of 5 acres.

    It has basically 2 winding roads through it approximately 2 miles worth. She wanted bids on lawn mowing open areas, and the snow plowing. I am all set with the mowing estimate, but I am fairly new to the plowing biz.

    These roads have been labeled private, and the town goes nowhere near it. I have to bid for plowing and sanding all the roads and tucking in the corners, and be on call in case a school bus happens to get stuck.:rolleyes:

    The break down is 1-3" plowing of snow and sanding problem areas, turns, and bus stops.

    3.5-6" same

    6.5-9" same

    9-12" same

    12 and above Charged per push, not per event charge accordingly

    Sanding to be done if plowing is not necessary, but area is slippery. At my discretion, or on call basis..

    The roads are standard 2 lane roads that would need 4 passes to clean it up. I figure 8-10 miles of driving per push.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,223

    you should talk to Pelican he does private roads and uses a snowfighter on a ford 550 for that.
     
  3. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I think you should bid it high, because your competition will bid it high, and the clientele will be nit-picky, whiny, I-have-more-money-than-you-and-don't-you-forget-it type customers. Aggravation should be as much of a factor in bidding as the price of gas.......

    (Or maybe I just being cynical tonight...) :rolleyes:
     
  4. Mick

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

    One word of caution - Never hook up to a school bus, push it or anything else. If you've done your job, how would it possibly get stuck? Are you charging for being on call? - I'm confused with that part. If you're providing that level of service, the roads should have been plowed and salted just before the bus shows up. And if it's snowing that bad that you can't keep up with it, school is likely closed.

    I'd say if they've have established these conditions and stipulated the "on call" requirements, you need to make it a seasonal charge and it needs to be high considering that you will have one person (yourself) tied up continuously when you could be out plowing other accounts. If you have come up with these ranges, I'd suggest adjusting so that you don't have "gaps" - ie:
    1" - 3"
    over 3" to 6"
    over 6" to 9" and so on.

    Not sure what you mean by "same" and "12 and above Charged per push, not per event charge accordingly". For example, I charge:

    3" to 6" $40
    over 6" to 9" $60
    over 9" to 12" $80
    over 12" $80 plus $2 an inch over 12"

    I would charge for the amount of snow that fell for each event, whether I plowed several times during the snowfall (plowing with the storm) or just waited till it stopped. Just depends on type of snow etc. In your case, I'd plow pretty often - they appear to want it kept free of any snow/ice at all times. They should know that that level of service costs more.

    I also wouldn't scrimp with the sand, salt or whatever you use. You might be in a good position to bid "per application", but I think for the first season, I'd recommend "per ton or yard" until you get a feel for what's going to be used.
     
  5. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I have 2 types of accounts, hourly and per push. I still haven't been able to sell seasonal accounts here. The per push is at my discretion, to keep the roads accessible and not tear up my equipment.

    From what you describe, $500 per push would not be unreasonable in my area. I would be careful though, try to get a feeling for the type of people you're working for. You may have to factor in a PITA allowance.

    I'm not understanding the "on call" deal either, I think I'd do that by the hour. I don't run a towing service though. It's funny, school buses here won't travel on private roads.
     
  6. bastalker

    bastalker Junior Member
    from Ct.
    Messages: 23

    Hey Pelican! Thats sounds pretty reasonable. I do need to find out if they want all the individual drives tucked in. If they do, how much extra would you charge? There are 6 inter sections, or corners I would have to tuck in. The hot sand here is $20 a yard. I think 2-3 yards of sand would be sufficient. Also you mentiond $500 per push. Is that no matter how much snow? Say $500 per push 1-6" $750 per push 6-12"?

    Also I have the ability to get 40 % of the drives and walks in this area...

    Last year I had around 35 accounts, mostly residential. A few commercial. I would pull in about $1300.00 a storm. Bidding this would mean I would have to run 2 trucks. One truck designated for this one area. Which means I would have to buy a second truck. I need a dump now anyway, but really cant see buying a new one at this time. A nice used one setup would be nice. Would say a 3500 0r 4500 dually dump with spreader work for the roads in this area?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2003
  7. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I did all the plowing in mine with my F-350 SRW and the Blizzard. Toward the end of the season, it really needed a wing truck in there to buck back the windrows, but the owner didn't order it.

    The truck you have in mind should handle things if you stay with the storms, but make sure you make a provision in your bid for pushing back the snow banks if needed.

    I didn't included the drives in my pricing, but did service a number of homeowners individually. The rest of them got the snow at the end of their drives like any other road.

    Per push means just that. I wouldn't let accumulation go above 6" before I pushed it off. Up to 6" would be $500, 7 to 12" $1000, 13 t0 18" 1500, etc.
     
  8. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    You said 35 - 40 drives? And you can get 40% of them? OK, let's say you get 50%. That still leaves 20 driveways that the homeowners, or some plow jockey will clear, and keep putting snow in the street, making your job A LOT harder. You should really consider doing your best to get ALL the drives, that way you can control the whole situation, or, add some type of clause about residents depositing snow in the road. Doing the roads, you will face what township trucks face when homeowners and plow jockeys make a mess of a freshly plowed street. PLUS, if you only do 1/2 of the drives, you will be welcoming your competition onto the site.

    Just my $0.02

    ~Chuck
     
  9. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    "Per push" is each plowing. When a 1-3, over 3-6, over 6-9, over 9-12, over 12 type of schedule is set up, it generally means a total price for the total storm accumulation, regardless of how many pushes it takes. So in a 7" storm using Mick's example you'd get $60.00 whether you pushed 2 or 3 times. With the per push pricing you would have a price for each push. Let's say Mick had put $30.00 for the 1-3 in his example. You'd either get $60.00 for 2 pushes, or if you pushed it 3 times you'd charge $90.00. Hopefully that explains the 2 different types of pricing being discussed.

    You will porbably not let it go to 6" per push, especially since they told you right from the start that they do have school buses using the road & they don't want them stuck. You would probably want a 2-4 inch trigger, and push it every time the trigger has accumulated again in a bigger storm. Definitely try to get all of the drives. Make them a "deal". Normal price is $100.00\drive, but if you all sign with me the price will be $75.00\drive, or something similar. And make sure you include the other clauses mentioned in this thread. Good luck.
     
  10. long0

    long0 Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    I have a similiar subdivision with similar clients. I set up my pricing and trigger structure as follows

    1" - 6" = $x

    A new billing cycle starts after every 6". If I push 5" and in the next 2 hours, and additional 2" accumulates, I come back and charge them full price for the additional 2". If I am not able to get to the site, and 9" accumulates, they get charged for the first 6" plus full price for the additional 3".

    Just another option to consider

    Andy
     
  11. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Just remember that Pelican, Mick, and LongO live in higher snowfall areas than your area, so a 6" trigger is acceptable & common in those areas. In my area (and I would suspect most of CT, based on conversations with people from there, and posts here) a lower trigger threshold is expected. So you may want to talk to local contractors to see what is the norm in your area, along with verifying with the customer what their expectations are.
     
  12. bastalker

    bastalker Junior Member
    from Ct.
    Messages: 23

    I really appreciate the responses...Lets me get a better grasp on things!

    Getting all the drives wont happen because 50% of the people in here want to do there own and not have to pay to get it done. Others already have someone in there, and are satisfied. I might be able to get a few of those since I am there already, and the commitee will probably mention this. The others have just moved in and are looking, or will do it themselves.

    If I charge $500 a push no matter how much snow there is, would this work for 2 miles of road? Just keep up with it every 3 inches or so...What do you think? Or should I do the 1-3 3-6 etc..
    1-6 6-12 etc...?

    I am bidding against 4 other companies, and would really like to get this acount. Knowing this would you stick to your guns at $500? Or is this just a real fair price? I know my mowing price is fair, but like I said I am new to the plow bidding...Thanx guys!!

    :D
     
  13. landman

    landman Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 185

    We do this for 2 subdivisions and first and foremost make sure your insurance carrier will cover you for plowing public roads. Although this is a private community they are still public roads that are privately maintained. Most insurance carriers will make you take additional coverage due to a higher risk factor of parked cars, slippery intersections, etc etc. Make sure that you have a completed operations clause in your policy that includes snow removal too. Also the best way for you to figure out the cost fot this is drive your truck up and down the streets at about 5 mph to simulate the plowing sppeed you would be traveling, then factor in the cleanup time of corners and intesections etc. and add 20% additional time factor to your final amount of time for plowing. Base your price on time, for example 1-3 inches would be 1 truck 10' plow at 3 hrs at 195.00 per hour then the next increment would be double that price next would be triple etc. Now you should figure the price of salt or sand then add that price to your plowing total but always leave the salt/sand price seperate and phrase it as "per application" also it would be wise to have an association member in the community to be a second set of eyes for you when your not there to look out for ice and refreeze condition. Our contract states that we are not responsible for refreeze after 6 hrs of the last salting/ sanding. salting and sanding is also done at our discretion or when the on site contact call us out. There is always a minimum call out charge of $75.00 plus labor or material if we are called out for a non emergency of no work needed call. I hope this helps you out, not all prices will be the same either cause if you bid this job with the basis of 1 pickup truck with a 7 1/2' blade then it is going to take you longer then it would with 2 trucks or bigger blades. We use International single alxes with 10' plows and hydrolic underbody spreaders so our truck are a bit more efficent so our price would be diffrent then yours.
     
  14. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    While searching for something else, I came across this plowing contract comparison. Three different ones. The last one is for just over a mile of roads. These are from Delaware.

    http://www.ccobh.com/snow_plowing_contracts.htm


    ~Chuck
     
  15. Mick

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

    Chuck, whose contract is that? At first it looked like the contractor sent it to the Homeowner Association. At the end, it looks like the Assoc is sending it to the contractor; in which case it seems like they're telling the contractor what they'll pay.
     
  16. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Mick,

    They are 3 different Civic Associations contract (general) details. I believe they are the existing contracts. They are on the site so that other civic associations can compare (generally) what the details of the contracts are, and costs involved IMO.

    It is not one long contract.

    ~Chuck
     
  17. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I'd like to see him out there measuring hundredths of an inch of snow!:confused:
     
  18. sidewing

    sidewing Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Bastalker:

    I would also suggest that Sidewing (www.sidewing.net) would help here.

    You can cut your passes from 4 to 2, so cut your time in half on the roads. But probably bid the same, so make more money from the contract.

    Reg
    Sidewing Snowplows
     
  19. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    I don't know what you have for equipment, but I do a number of 2 lane roads as part of my contract with the Municipality. I use a 2500 Dodge with an 8.5 EZ-V and a Sidewing, 1 pass each way will clear them easily. Also if you get a lot of snow you can bench the banks by raising the wing, and moving the snow over further, and if there are ditches, there's a lot less chance to drop a wheel off. This will happen at 4am in the biggest storm of the year! My insurance carrier didn't have a problem with doing roads.

    Bill
     
  20. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    Bastalker
    Just an after thought, but with a Sidewing on the truck 2 miles of 2 lane road would only take about a 1/2 hour at the most, and there will be no differerence in time if it's 1 inch or 10 inches.
    I would bid it on a per push basis, and the road would be plowed within 1 hour of the end of a storm for up to 4", and each 4-6" accumulation during a larger snow fall, and sanding would be per application

    Bill