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Contracts that require a loader, but not on site?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,872

    A lot of the smaller places were bidding on require supplying cost for a loader/operator in case of a high snow accumulating storm. Now none of these places would warrant and machines sitting there in NJ. One storage facility though noted that they had problems back 3 yrs ago when we got 19" there, they had about a 9ft drift about 250' long between two of their storage buildings for public access. What i was worried about, is that even with some winds, a 1' snowfall would pack 3-4' easy between a couple of these places which would almost require a loader to remove, since we'd never get the truck through even 2' there for 300ft before we could stop pushing.

    Anyone else ever deal with storage centers? Id worry about caving in the cheap doors if the pile starts riding along them as your making way through the first pass.

    Even with a loader brought onsite for say one removal, we'd have to back out with each scoop and dump to the side, so that another smaller machine or truck could then push it ALL the way to the other side or into a corner.

    It just seemed to me like an "easy" place with 6" storms or less could turn into a monster freking mess of a contract with any higher accumulations. Now its based on per inch, so if were pushing 3' drifts through half the place, thats what im billing or i'll be generous and split it half "actual" and half what the storm dumped, say only 12".

    Only other way would be to push more times, but with winds and a fast storm, we'd never be able to get there even if we wanted to, which isnt required on the contract, only to clear by 7am and during the day time to keep accumulation less than 6" but can plow after 2" or more.

    Being that we still dont "own" a loader/skid or tractor, bidding on many of these "smaller" contracts worries me that we could run into this problem if i didnt buy a larger machine soon, and honestly we dont need the machine for any other reason "NOW" until a lot of snow dumps and it drifts into some of these places very high. Renting something is out of the question because it would sit at my garage the whole time and when we do need a larger machine sometime next year, i'd rather pay a monthly payment of $500-700 a month and own the machine with 0% deals through John Deere than rent stuff we'd be returning in end of March 09.
  2. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,030

    There has to be enough room to make a pass down the centre with a V blade, without pushing more snow on the doors and once you get the first pass made your off. You can easily cut through 12 " of snow in the V,
  3. Woodland

    Woodland Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    It has been my experience that commercial sites that require you to price a loader per hour are looking for a price upfront so they don't get gouged if the service is required. They don't necessary expect you to own that equipment, but want to know what you will charge if it is needed. A few years back, I did an elderly housing complex for a fixed price over the season. On two occasions, we had to have a loader come to the site to move piles around. The mgmt. co. was charged extra for this, and it was billed at the rate we specified on the contract.

    As for plowing the storage facility...:cry: they are a pain in the butt! I have one that we plow with a straight blade and a snowblower, and I can tell you from experience, those doors will push in with very little effort! I can give you our method for plowing the lots if you want, but it isn't necessarily the best way.
  4. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,692

    Sometimes on that kind of layout they'll be times you just cant run it all the way down. You'll need to start by cutting that 300' in half, or even thirds on your extreme accumulations and drifting. Just need to price it accordingly. You don't really need a loader for those sites............unless you just happen to have one handy. And if you do, well then that loader really isn't too busy.

    If you don't have a V-blade to begin with, you will run into trouble.
  5. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    i would team up with an excavator that has a loader

    even if you just charge what he charges at least you will have a go to
  6. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Blow it into something.
  7. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    been there done that....and under most circustances wouldnt ever again...

    heres a few tips to think about....

    make sure in your contract, and that the manager knows that you dont do with in 3 feet of the door... make sure you tell him that.. i had one guy wanted me to snow blow around all the buildings

    2. ** make sure you tell the manager/owner, that you are not responsible for the "garage door ropes" or any damaged caused as a result of them hanging out side the door... i had a few get snagged, could have taken out the entire door, i got lucky

    3. Take picturs before/after.... noramlly storage places are not know for their building maintenace.... or for the tenants taking care of it... i had this guy try to blame some one hit a garage door, and damage it.... there was red paint, so he tring to pin it on me... till i pointed out that the cutting edge would have hit the door,not the blade... and we used rubber at the time

    4. unless you can push it all the way to each end.. on every pass... you might as well double your time.... i had to plow half the aisles forward...into a main drive lane, then push it to the side.... you rewally need a Vee blade, i wouldnt do it any other way, rear plows help too

    5. turns are way tight... one truck hit a pole... i almost slide into one myself while stacking. I would strongly recommend putting on your blade, and driving the lot, before you bid on it... you might be surprised at the turns

    as for the loader- did they asked you if you own a loader? or have access to one? if they said access - then as long as you have 3-4 rental stores, plus a few GOOD friends that you could count on... = then id say you DO have access... its all in the wording
  8. Chris Buesching

    Chris Buesching Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    What loader do u pay only $500 dollars a month for?
  9. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,872

    lol. I was referring to buying a JD 4720 cab tractor with a high volume 84" bucket up front, about a yard volume, and theyre a little over 40k or more depending on what you get with it, plus a downpayment/deposit and financing the rest for a 60mo term can possibly get it into the 500s range. But yeah, lots of larger scale JD loaders around here are 3-5k monthly, ouch.

    Thanks for your comments guys. I know they dont expect us to get INTO the door crevises, but we will be bidding running a snow thrower along the walls to get it into the middle so theres not a ton of snow left over.

    The thing i "like" about this place, is i can forsee TONS of ice accumulation each night it re-freezes, there must be a hundred downspouts onto the pavement and 20+ drains, there would be ice everywhere from what melts off the roofs so we'd be back there for a week after a big storm salting each morning lol

    I did think about the truck size.

    We could use a straight 7'6" blade on one of the F150s, but then not a V
    The F350 is longer and a 8'2" boss V i KNOW it would be tight, EVERYWHERE.

    Ive even considered just to send a couple of my other guys out with the 4x4 small tractor and 60" plow/spreader and a 32" snow thrower and let em go to town, that could surely handle the place and would free up that lot from taking up one of our plowing trucks so we can do other accounts.

    We've gotten a lot of oddball commercial stuff this year and now its been difficult to dedicate specific equipment and trucks to certain lots. We have another thats literally 4 buildings and all sidewalks, but parking spaces we're responsible for? 6 on each, two guys with a shovel and 32" blower can knock that out, no plow even needed. This is especially great because i can use our 2wd F150 for this stuff.
  10. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,872

    Well i just got a satellite measurement. Im not sure where i spout off 300', its closer to 6-700' feet from point to point in a couple.

    Here is a picture.

    What worries me is when one of these drifts comes along and burries one of those lanes, we'd be there forever with 3 guys, tractor and truck.

  11. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i would budget at least 6 hours, looks kinda close to the one i did.... granted 2 inches of snow , and you can do it in less than 2 hrs... but ours would always drift, and 6 inches good luck there

    theres not many areas for you to put snow, and your turns will get really tight, i would say at least 6 hours... and i prob, wouldnt even bit it unless you had a v-blade, and bobcat
  12. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    yeesh that is a bad place to plow, 2 v blades would be best there, or at least 1 v and a straight blade with wings. the v blade would be used to break the drifts and push everything to one of the main isles while the straight bade with wings would push down the main isles to push everything into a pile.
  13. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,736

    I think you may just have to plan that if it is windy and snowing hard, that you HAVE to keep a truck there, or at least send one over every couple hours if it is starting to drift.
  14. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,872

    Yeah im thinking that too. I've subbed another similar place last year, helping another company a couple times, but the lanes were 2-3x wider than these, so you could take a truck down easily and not worry about the piling up of snow in front of the plow.

    We've priced the quotation for this place closer to what i think it will take, time wise, but then the loader rate of $235hr with operator and a helper. Im assuming with one tractor even at the worse conditions, we could get the snow where we'd need to with that and the truck there or at the very least, my "little" 48" bucket tractor to help in all the smaller tight spots. The turns are not THAT tight, since the lot is wide in the corners, moreso than the picture insinuates but its not wide open either. At the top left corner, is a large double gate, with it open, we can push most of the big piles into that back corner into the retention basin pond, most times its dry so it wont be an issue of how much snow we can move back there.

    The drifts do worry me, especially knowing that wind plus 12" snow could totally BURY a couple of these rows 9' tall.

    Say we show up and have it priced for $1000 on average per push, which mostly it will be done prior to 7am or one time push, and theres a 4' drift or larger, we will still bill out the $1k removal cost plus our loader rate at $235 with a 2hr minimum. I could keep the loader there in the back, but we have NONE of our large bids or accounts come back yet so I dont know which we will be offered or not. Most likely, the tractor wont be able to stay here, so it would just have to be transported over. Problem is, if its snowing heavy and some of these places fill up with 4ft or more, we wouldnt be able to get the tractor there until its done at its primary location, or if it sits at our building, we'd have to stop plowing with one truck, go back and trailer it to this location to start.

    I highly DOUBT the contract for this pays nearly enough to justify keeping equipment on site anyway, such as a skid or loader of any size. Its not a "critical" business such as a retail store, pharm, offices etc but we understand they want to be open for business when people want access to their belongings.
  15. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,872

    Some guys have told me we need to "rent" or buy "big" loaders, dedicated loader machines not tractors. Anyone who has used loaders or tractors for commercial snow removal, can you tell me why a machine like this would be inefficient, not large enough, not powerful enough or not suit our needs? keep in mind, were not doing mall parking lots or anything THAT large. I also want something we can use for landscaping "3pt hitch" pto etc and that isnt MASSIVE on the trailer, this would already be pretty heavy on our F350 diesel to take around with loaded tires and counterweight on the back to snow sites.

    Not my machine, but the same exact thing, I have one spec'd out at the JD dealer with a 84" high volume/capacity bucket for snow too, its about a yard bucket. This thing could probably push a 8-10ft pusher im guessing in the future too right?
  16. Woodland

    Woodland Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    That lot will SUCK to plow. That long building that sits at an angle to all the rest will totally screw things up!.
  17. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,872

    Yeah your tellin me! Im not sure how we will attempt to manage this in an optimal amount of time. I was thinking plow that left "crooked" corner out, then the rest from bottom of the picture to top, then go back to the left side and push through the piles. Im thinking we'd need 2 trucks here or our little tractor helping or something.
  18. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,872

    Not my machine, but the same exact thing, I have one spec'd out at the JD dealer with a 84" high volume/capacity bucket for snow too, its about a yard bucket. This thing could probably push a 8-10ft pusher im guessing in the future too right?
  19. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,872

    now that i see how big that lot is next door, ill have to contact them to see if we can get that too lol.
  20. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,872

    ttt ttt ttt