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contract plowing

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by DGplowing, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. DGplowing

    DGplowing Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I have a commercial customer that would like to pay one price for the hole winter. He no longer wants to pay per plow. I've never done this before and I'm aware that it could be financial suicide. Does anyone else have any experience with this? For reference the site is an Applebees and I do all there mowing and irrigation and the number I give them would be spread out over the year. Any info would help.
  2. Just be sure if you give him a seasonal price that you cap the amount of service, ie up to x inchs or x plows per year included then a per plow price after that
  3. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    And they should pay for snow service during the winter months not over a 12 month period
  4. dforbes

    dforbes Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Don't reallly do this but if I did it would have to be a multi year contract so 1 bad year wouldn't kill me. Also pay in full up front.
  5. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    agreed dont spread out over 12 months. Spread it out over 5 or 6 months (November through March or April)

    Talk to the customer and ask him if he would like you to cap the service and the amount of salt off at a certain price, or if he wants "unlimited service" meaning no matter how much it snows or you have to salt its that price.

    If he wants a cap, look on the national weather service and determine the average amount of snowfall over the past 5-10 years, the more years you have it determined the better. So if you figure figure the average is 75" of snow, I would make the bid for like 85" of snow. You also really need to look back into the weather records and see what kind of salting goes on. If you figure that on 85" of snow you have 15 plowing events, that automatically means you have 15 salting events. Then determine how many salt onlys you had. Say that was another 15 events. 1 Acre site, means your going to put down say 800lbs per acre, multiplied by 30 events is 24000lbs of salt. I would go up to 32000lbs of salt in you bid to play it safe if your at $.18/lb applied on salt that $5760.00.

    Now if you figure that your average snow fall push occurs when you have 3" on the ground that means in an 85" season you will have 28 pushes. 1 Acre site, with 3 inches say with travel times and "safe" time 2 hours. If your hourly rate is $60/hour thats $120/push x28 pushes $3360 in plowing.

    For your walks say you have 5k of sidewalks, your average push amount should be lower, probably like 2" since your doing them more frequently usually. So will say thats 42 pushes per year. 5k of walks with 2 inches probably 1.25 hours to be safe, say your getting 40/hour for them, thats $50/push for a total of 2100 per season. Then salt, its 2 bags for those walks (100 lbs) by 30 events is, 3700lbs (play it safe) at $.45/lb is $1665 for the season.

    Total is $12885 over 5 months $2577 per month. You just need to figure out your averages. Now if he wanted unlimited. I would probably adjust those numbers to be in the 100-110 inch range, just to play it safe. If you use a capped contract be sure to inlcude a seperate pricing break down for it. Include the bid per push for the walks and the lot and the salt pricing.

    Those numbers are all just random figures.
  6. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    2 hours is a little off for the plowing, probably shold be more like 1.5 hours with travel time, but that gives you a little padding in the bid
  7. KEC Maintaince

    KEC Maintaince Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 265

    to add to bristols also take into account the increase of salt prices plus equipment failure ,hoses pumps salters oil and gas price increase.
    if nothing breaks its a good year but gas will increase
    also is he going to be a dedicated account a friend of mine does hotels and its tough to get away from them to do other accounts as they have foot traffic at all hours of the day.
  8. DGplowing

    DGplowing Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I forgot to mention that the site has a 2 inch trigger. anything under 2inch they shovel there own sidewalks. Applebees new owners is adamant that they want to pay one flat rate over the year once again this is not the way I do business but I would like to keep the account.
  9. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Then just give him an unlimited number of pushes. If your pushing every 2" on that lot, and you average 85" of snow thats 43 pushes per year. Go up to 50 pushes per year just to be safe.

    Some more questions, are you salting this lot too? What occurs at snowfalls under 2" are you just salting? No service under 2" unless requested or how is it working? Whats the size of the lot? Im basing this off a 1 acre account becasue most restarants are right around 1 acre. Give us a little more detail. What kind of equipment are you running.
  10. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,261

    Sorry to bust your chops bristol, but I'm reading that they don't want him unless 2" or more of snow has fallen. I don't think he's going to get 50 plowings. While I understand your math, he'd price himself out of that account in a heart beat.
    This is Min.
    DG, can you give us more details so we aren't all offering different info that doesn't help.
    Amount of snow in your area? How big of lot? Hours of operation?
  11. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    i completely agree with that, those where just numbers i was pulling out of a hat. I know nothing about the mn snow season as far as averages or anything like that, just wild guesses, which is why i also asked those questions. He also should know the average amount of snow hes pushing. With the snow fall totals weve had the past few years i think we are averaging 3" per push. Since we get about 45" annually thats about 15 pushes per year.

    as far as the 2" trigger, im only reading that under 2" they shovel their own walks, thats why I asked if it was just salt under 2" or what. In order to help you like both me and blower man said, need some more information about your company, equipment capabilities, lot size, etc. The more information the better.
  12. DGplowing

    DGplowing Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    more info

    It's a small lot. I plow and shovel the sidewalks in 1 an 30 min. As far as how many 2inch push we get. We avg 19 per season if you include this year to date. It's been as low as 8 !! the sand issue is a big one because I do sub that out. I told the mngr. that it would have to be charged at a per spread item and he agreed with that. I'm looking at doing $2500 for the season with a 20 push limit and $125 after that.
  13. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    So do you salt anything under 2" or does it go without service? If not, what happens when you get a 3" storm blow through a day after you got 1" and didn't plow. Do you now have to plow the lot and be responsible for burning it down to clean pavement after it got packed down for a day? I always have a problem with lots that have say a 2" trigger but require salting. To me if you require salt services you are a zero tolerance lot, meaning we get a dusting, I salt. We get 2" I plow, then salt. Basically I'm responsible for keeping it clean, period.
  14. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    yup i agree. our triggers are at 1". If your putting a cap on the service, i would put the cap based on the inches of snow, rather than the pushes of snow. So if your averaging 40" of snow per year, id cap it at 48" of snow per year and then after that charge him per push. Does that price include your sidewalk salt too, or are they doing the sidewalks all together by themselves?

    What occurs below 2" any service or no.
  15. KEC Maintaince

    KEC Maintaince Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 265

    it would be easier to control the costs if you did both the salting and plowing. this way you dont get stuck in the middle of who should of did what.1 in to 2 in dustings you could drop some salt and be out of there in no time. you could charge him by the ton or by the bag
    plus this way you will also have additional income from the salting also.
    i dont know how you are set up or the owner wants some one elso to do it .
    its just a thought thats all.
  16. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Ya you would be able to give a fixed cost then if you did the lot salting your self. You can buy a snowex 750 for like 1000$ and have probably enough to do a lot that size with a tg spreader.
  17. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    If you have been doing this property for the last few years also take into consideration what your average gross income is off this property and that will help you also come up with a seasonal price. But make sure you tack on a little extra money for the just in case we get slammed this winter so you dont lose your pants fund. Good luck and let us know what happens,