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Commercial Account help appreciated.

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by kefala, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. kefala

    kefala Member
    Messages: 47

    Hey guys,

    I'm new to plowsite in terms of posting, but have been lurking, reading, learning. I have a 2009 Ford F-250 with a Western V. My insurance is 185 per month CDN. I am bidding on a large 4 acre property, with no buildings on it gravel base and the customer wants a higher trigger point. This site in located in Toronto, Ontario. My initial assumption is that I can expect to visit his site roughly 15 times per season. Salting is not needed as their will be minimal foot traffic and as I said the gravel base. Any help or words of advice would be greatly appreciated. Really looking for what to charge and roughly how long you think it would take me to plow that location. If you need any additional info just let me know.

    Thanks in advance.

    John
     
  2. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Gravel base with a pick up and plow? I think you need to consider how much you can afford on down time with the damage to your truck and plow unless you get lucky and all the gravel is frozen. If it is graded in October or November then I might consider using a P/U to plow it but 9 times out of 10 it is not worth the hassle. The higher trigger may be a bonus if it becomes compacted snow on the gravel but my initial assumption is that the customer mainly needs a standby type contract. What is the lot used for? Trailer storage or transfer? Most of my experience is that these gravel lots of 2+ acres are for temp parking or storage.
    The main problem is that whenever the call is made for one trailer or bus or whatever, is that you basically need to do the whole thing. If the trigger isn't met then it gets mild and you are called to plow, I'm sure slush is heavier than snow and when it gets mixed with gravel.....well you need a loader or something more substantial than a truck. I don't know. I'm just feeding advice from my own experience in my area.
     
  3. kefala

    kefala Member
    Messages: 47

    Thanks for the response. Trailer storage. Was thinking that I may need a loader of some sort as well. But didn't want to invest that kind of money yet. I don't want to kill my truck. We are in the process of working out the details but I would be the one to lay the gravel base as well. What about not lowering the blade all the way to avoid picking up gravel? That was something I was thinking might work but not sure if that sort of thing can be done properly. Was also thinking of acquiring a skid steer, do you think that would be able to handle the work? This might just be the right reason to finally make that purchase. What do you think?

    Thanks again.

    John
     
  4. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    As for what to charge in a dollar amount you will not find that here. How long it will take you to plow is variable. I would estimate 2 1/2 to 4 hrs. for a 4 acre lot. To begin with I would put my base rate at my summer hourly rate and multiply that by 20-80% depending on work availability and payment terms. That is approximately the ongoing variability of bidding a contract situation. That is huge! If you find yourself getting work too easy then you are too cheap. It may upset some of us but we know that whomever wins the contract is likely on the highway to success or gonna regret the abundance of work and lack of income.

    This site is really the finest site to find as solid an answer you can find when you are looking for answers. I will admit that I will BS with the best of them but we do not give away answers to the standard questions. There are many variables for every member in different locations. We all are of different start up conditions. Some start from inheritance, some from desperation, some from boredom,curiosity,need, and then there are the ones that just do it. Generally I pick what I can use today and try to remember what I will need to know for tomorrow.
     
  5. kefala

    kefala Member
    Messages: 47

    I didn't think I would find a dollar amount here, although I was hoping for a ballpark, but no worries your advice has been much more valuable. I don't want to be too cheap. I read about that all the time and don't want to be one of those fly by night guys, I want to make an honest go of this. Winters tend to be my slow months and some of my clients have been asking for this type of service. And given that this is the type of vehicle I need for work I figured that I would like make the most of it. I am willing to work. I am looking to expand my business and this is one area that I really want to take it in. I am just taking baby steps. I have found so much great info on here, it really has been great. And quite honestly I am not bidding on this against anyone else, the contract is mine if I want it, I am just trying to find a price that is fair for him and fair for me. I sure as hell don't want to lose my shirt or flog him. Thanks for all your advice. Its guys like you that make this place great. Hope we can talk again soon.