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Commercial Snow Plowing Pricing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by gman4ever15, May 7, 2007.

  1. gman4ever15

    gman4ever15 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Sorry guys, I may have originally posted this in the wrong forum.. This one seems more appropriate.

    My father and I own an excavating company in Central NY. We have never done snow removal on a commercial level for a full winter season (have done a few emergency jobs, thats about it). This coming winter we would like to get into commercial snow removal so we do not have to sit around all winter and get fat while waiting for the snow to melt in order to start work again.

    I read a few posts on pricing: determine how much it would take you to do the total job in hrs then multiply by rate (say $125 hr). However, seeing as I have not done any major commercial removal, how would I know how long it will take? We just recently purchased two 12' pushers for our backhoes and two 8' pushers for our skidsteers; hopefully I can place some fair bids on a few new businesses in our area.

    How much would a typical Lowe's parking lot be for a full season, unlimited plows? I think that would give me a starting point to compare other jobs to. Also, how about salt? How is that priced? We have 1,000,000 liability insurance on the business just in case some places require it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You in advance.

    2 Case 580 4x4 backhoes w/ 12' pushers
    1 Cat 277 tracked skidsteer w/ 8' pusher
    1 Bobcat wheeled skisteer w/ 8' pusher
    1 F350 Dually w/ 9' plow + salt spreader
  2. Winter Land Man

    Winter Land Man Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    I've heard of some big chains wanting 2,000,000 liability which is rediculous.
  3. jss304

    jss304 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Being new to plowing, you may want to charge on a per push basis. For example, 1-4" is x$, 4.1-8" is 150 percent of x$, 8-12 is 200 percent etc. In a dry or warmer season you wont make as much (since you do almost no work), but are not going to lose money as easily. Some businesses prefer a seasonal price, but many of the ones down here in PA seem to like the per push deal better. I usually base my estimated hours on a heavy, wet snow which is generally harder on the equipment and takes longer to clear than the lighter stuff. As far as your total hours, it's kind of hard to tell because a home depot parking lot can vary significantly from location to location. Remember to factor in drive time to and from the site. The local home depot takes about 2 hours with a skid steer and a truck(so 4 hours total), but it isn't the largest lot either.
  4. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    For your first yea out. Go sub for someone. You got a lot of big equipment. Which will make any sizeable snow contractor foam at the mouth. Get your feet wet for a season. Then go out on your own. So you don't loose your ass. Trust me.
  5. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    itsgottobegreen is right!!!! You have a GREAT equipment mix. However you will probably not be taken very seriously by anyone with a lot the size you need to make the money you want.
    Second many of us that use Subs spend a LOT of time working with subs to make sure they are doing it RIGHT. You can make 25% less this year and call it an education. However with the equipment I doubt you will. We have many contractors who started with us to learn and figured out it was not worth the extra they though they could make after bidding a few properties.

    One other though, I have seen MANY contractors go with the attitude of ' How hard can it be!' only to damage their reputation thier first year. (WE ALL MADE MISTAKES) Is it worth it.

    Most lowes are going to price it either per hour or per push. What I think you are asking is what would you get for that size lot. Most big box stand alones are going to be between 5 and 10 Acres.

    Your equipment can all produce different levels per hour. There is a learning curve on new properties for new plower, Yes your guys can move dirt. Snow is different. Not a lot different...

    Many guys make the mistake of planning for the 1-3 inch snow and get hammered on the big events.

    This year we had two 12+ events with in 8 days. I have picked up almost 100 acres from property managers who had guys who did GREAT on the first few storms 1-3 and could not keep up with the bigger storms. I have 'Taken' almost everything one of the other guy in town has (he does not know it yet) becase he screwed up on 2 out of 10 of his properties and they are tired of his song and dance....

    Talk to a number of dealers in you area to get an idea about the competition, who is looking, and talk to a couple. For the price of a lunch you can pick up all sorts of information about the business.

    Lastly 1 million doesn not go far these days. Most hospitals can spend that in a couple of Days....
  6. mgf250

    mgf250 Member
    Messages: 38

    Super large lots

    If all you want to do is keep yourself busy then I would stick with small strip malls and other low overhead jobs. Utilize your backhoe(s) for snow pile management! You can take advantage of all the newbies and lazy contractors that leave messy piles of snow all over the place! Each pile eliminates several parking spaces where patrons can park so anyone with a loader or backhoe is popular. You can also do the clearing when the sun is out a day or two after the storm.
  7. bigearl

    bigearl Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    I guess I would have to ask what part of CNY Because those of us who live here knows it depends on the lake effect bans off Lake Ontario On how much snow and how frequent. The more the blade is on the pavement the more $ you need to get. I heard that the new Lowe's In Oneida NY they got 85 but then again that is hear say. I hope that helps