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Correct me if im wrong, but.........

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by VEGGIEPLOW, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. VEGGIEPLOW

    VEGGIEPLOW Member
    Messages: 69

    that title got you guys here, now please be easy on me... i charge a local subdivision $60 per hour and $20 per bag of salt that goes through my spreader.. my average time is normally around 90 mins and my bag count is around 20 - 25 bags... my hourly rate seems a little low compared to some that ive seen, BUT it seems that my bag cost is good....
    WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK?
    now, im driving a vehicle that cost me ZERO in fuel so this helps tremendously(runs on VEGGIE OIL).... the whole subdivision is about 4 miles long with gradual hills except for one son of a b**ch!!!! it is STEEP!!!
    thanks alot.
     
  2. Seaway25

    Seaway25 Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    How many miles have you been on the oil conversion? I'd like to try that sometime.
     
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

  4. VEGGIEPLOW

    VEGGIEPLOW Member
    Messages: 69

    over 20,000 miles and running strong... on the veggie oil system.....no problems at all... im getting my bags of salt for around $6-7....
     
  5. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I think $90 to plow 4 miles is way too low. But I think $500 to spread a half ton of salt is WAY too high. (I presume you are using 50# bags). The total price is probably OK. The fact you get fuel for "free" has nothing to do with what you charge.
     
  6. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,245

    $20 per bag is standard since you are getting them for $6 to $7. I would bump up your hourly to what the industry standard is in your area.good luck
     
  7. BMWSTUD25

    BMWSTUD25 Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    question........does getting fuel for "free" really have nothing to do with what you charge? Isn't what we charge based on operating costs and overhead? If one goes down you can now charge less making yourself more competitive while still earning the same profit?????? not looking to hijack a thread but rather confirm what I've always thought. I'm interested in your take 2COR517
     
  8. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I guess I look at that a given service is worth a certain amount of money. The cheaper I can do it for, the more I make. If I get to the point that I can expand my volume with no cost increase, and I'm missing work, then I can drop my price. Here's another way to look at it. Let's say the going rate for a driveway is $25. Everyone is using trucks that are 8-12 years old. I decide I want a new Duramax. Obviously my operating costs have increased. Do you think Customers are going to pay me $30 or $35 because I have a shiny new truck?

    As for "free" fuel. Was the conversion kit free? Is there additional maintenance associated with running vegi oil? Does he just drive up to a pump somewhere and put 20 gallons in? Something tells me there is back work, filtering the oil, etc.

    BTW, I think it's a great idea. Get's rid of the oil, saves diesel. Don't need a team of overeducated environmentalists to figure that one out.
     
  9. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Fuel cost is insignificant compared to the cost of equipment, increased wear associated with plowing, insurance, payroll and other related costs.
     
  10. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    basher is right... maybe 5-6%.

    I would like to hear more about your whole veggie operation. I have read a lot and some studys show very premature engine wear... but I am still fascinated by the tax avoidance aspect.
     
  11. VEGGIEPLOW

    VEGGIEPLOW Member
    Messages: 69

    wow.... alot of great posts with great perspective and insight.... around here the prices that i charge are competitive to the other plow owners... i just recently found this site and was looking into the charges of others... i am kinda upset to see what i could be getting in other locations, but i feel that if i would raise my rates to the "industry standard" i may price myself out of a job..... i have a full time job as a mailman (letter carrier) for the postal service, this is somthing i started after a divorce due to the mass amounts of free time i have now....

    the veggie oil kit has been a money saver since day one!!! sure, the kit initaly cost $1400 new, but that was money was saved during the first full year of ownership... this truck was my 4th diesel/veggie converted vehicle... my friend and i have done everything from a mercedes turbo diesel, volkswagon tdi, 93 cummins dulley and then my truck.... if you research this subject you will find tons of info...WE HAVE NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH RUNNING VEGGIE OIL.!!! the gathering and filtering can take place in about 4hrs... 30 mins to harvest the dirty oil and 30 mins to filter about 50 gallons... the 3 hrs in between is waiting for the oil to heat to 125 degrees... ITS SO EASY A CAVEMAN COULD DO IT!!!!!
     
  12. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    How much processed oil do you keep on hand? How are you handling the stuff?
     
  13. BMWSTUD25

    BMWSTUD25 Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    First let me say I think the veggie oil thing is a great idea. Probably not for me but I know of a few people that do it in my area and they seem to really like. And as anyone with more than 2 brain cells knows nothing in life is "free" there is always a cost somewhere to someone lol.
    Now as far as the concept of going out and buying a new truck goes, while I agree you cant charge more cuz you have a shiny truck it is a lot like whats going on in another thread. choices like that effect our opperating costs. Now if that $25 is all your going to get out of a driveway and your making good money before the new truck but now due to the new overhead costs you now need $35 per driveway just to break even you have 2 decisions. either charge less and lose money causing the business to close or charge more and stay in business right? Agree?
     
  14. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I knew I had just been through this :dizzy: LOL
    Agree
     
  15. VEGGIEPLOW

    VEGGIEPLOW Member
    Messages: 69

    right now i have a little over 900 gallons... i have two 300 gallon tanks and 6 or 7 55 gallon drums... is there a way to post pictures in a reply without using or going through a URL?
     
  16. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Yes. In the window I'm typing in, a couple over from the big A, there is a paperclip. Click that to upload pics from your PC. Then click it again to insert them.
     
  17. VEGGIEPLOW

    VEGGIEPLOW Member
    Messages: 69

    EBAY PICS 073 (Small).jpg
    this is "THE FRENCH FRY TRUCK"... the local kids call it that!!

    EBAY PICS 073 (Small).jpg
     
  18. VEGGIEPLOW

    VEGGIEPLOW Member
    Messages: 69

    EBAY PICS 106 (Small).jpg
    the reworking of the plumbing and the polak vavle.. (valve for switching from front tank to back tank)

    EBAY PICS 106 (Small).jpg
     
  19. VEGGIEPLOW

    VEGGIEPLOW Member
    Messages: 69

    EBAY PICS 091 (Small).jpg
    top pic of the racor fsf 1000 heated filter.... it filters the veggie oil to 2 microns..

    EBAY PICS 091 (Small).jpg
     
  20. VEGGIEPLOW

    VEGGIEPLOW Member
    Messages: 69

    EBAY PICS 092 (Small).jpg
    bottom pic.... notice the different colors... the color on the bottom is a mixture of water and fats removed from the oil.. this is drained once every 2 - 3 months...

    EBAY PICS 092 (Small).jpg