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don't beat it to death

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by spittincobra01, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I have spent many hours browsing through past threads, and most answers are vague, and I don't want to beat this topic to death as I know it has been asked many times. I do not want to get anyone in trouble for answering straight forward, but I kind of need to know. I have only been plowing residential for the past 1/2 winter, but I got an opportunity to pick up an easy com. lot. It is at a gas station right around the corner from my house in Manchester NH. I figure it will take 20 mins to plow 3-6", and maybe 40 mins to plow 6-12 (taking 2 trips out). I gave a rough price of 50 and 80. am I cutting myself short? thanks for your advice
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2005
  2. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    I have spent many hours browsing through past threads, and most answers are vague, and I don't want to beat this topic to death as I know it has been asked many times. I also do not want to get anyone in trouble for answering straight forward, but I kind of need to know. I have only been plowing residential for the past 1/2 winter, but I got an opportunity to pick up an easy com. lot. It is at a gas station right around the corner from my house in Manchester NH. I figure it will take 20 mins to plow 3-6", and maybe 40 mins to plow 6-12 (taking 2 trips out). I gave a rough price of 50 and 80. am I cutting myself short? thanks for your advice
     
  3. Frozen001

    Frozen001 Senior Member
    from Rome NY
    Messages: 908

    Pricing is very area dependent, and also depends on the person doing the plowing... some guys say you need to earn XXX dollars per hour or it is not worth it. The way I look at it is take you expenses(fuel, repairs, insurance, etc...) away from your total intake from plowing... i.e. profit. If that is good enough for you to be happy then go for it. I might get flamed for this, but just my $0.02 worth....
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2005
  4. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    Triggers to high.

    So your trigger is three inches what about 1'-2' of snow that packs down to form ice when driven on, your prices are alright however i would have a 1' trigger and under 1' throw down some salt if you can talk them into it.
     
  5. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    gas stations suck. Tons of traffic. Gotta keep a sharp eye on the lids were they fill the tanks. duno what the going rate is to plow around your area? They want things opened up durring the day ect or just doing it when its all done, are they 24 hour. depending you may not have to worry about traffic.
     
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    And my answer is - If you're happy with that, go for it. You seem to have an idea of what it'll take and how long it'll take. Don't worry about what "everybody else" would do.
     
  7. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    "Strait Forward" I think you are too low:eek:
    I also think twenty minutes for a gas station is fast, may take a little longer.
     
  8. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,487

    Do you have enough insurance to cover new exposer IE, plowing commercially?
     
  9. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L Senior Member
    Messages: 178

    I would say allow 30 mins for a small gas station with traffic. If theirs no traffic at 3am great, youll be in and out in 20. Otherwise assume its 2pm and theirs plenty of traffic. Whats your hourly rate/expense. I would aim more towards $80. I always include one way travel to the lot as part of my time. So if it takes me 10 mins to get their, 30 to do the job, I charge 40 mins or 2/3rds my hourly rate.

    Dont sell yourself short, 50 is too low. Make it worth your while, and make sure you get a good look at where everything is now before the snow hits. Often times gas stations have concrete pades that sit an inch or so higher than the assphault. Also note where your fill caps are, and anything else that cause a problem. Draw a picture, or better yet, shoot some photos. Place some markers if necessary. Gas stations are notorious for having things stick above the ground.
     
  10. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    thank you all for your input! I will consider all of it and will be putting in my bid Friday. I'll let you know what I decide to do.
     
  11. echovalley

    echovalley Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 456

    My family has owned gas stations my hole life and they are a pain in the a$$.If you don't keep up with it from the first flakes you will have hardpack and no owner wants more sand salt then they have to because it tracks into the store and makes a mess.My 5 cents would be to offer a per push price.If it is around the corner from everything else you do,tell them $45 per push[each time you plow the lot off]a 5-7 inch storm would be plowed off 4 or 5 times
     
  12. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    I agree with Ratlover, and I also agree that you should have a 1" trigger..
     
  13. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,977

    I also agree that your 20 minutes sounds rather fast.

    Problem is, when you're plowing, you can't just wing it over to the side, you've always got to get the snow from between the pumps.

    I've done 4 different gas stations in the last 10 years. I know it's not alot, but my experience is, that unless you've got a V plow or the new(er) Blizzard, that when you're plowing between the pumps and the building, depending on which way the wind blows, you're going to have a pile of snow down the middle, which will take multiple passes to get all the way through, due to snow trickling off the edge.

    Plus, usually you end up having to push this, and other piles of snow into a certain area, thus plowing certain areas multiple times in the same push.

    Personally, I'd say you're looking more at an hour. Just because the lot is small, you've got alot of obstacles right smack dab in the middle of it.
     
  14. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    What about the customers!

    Gas stations are 24/7 so they have cars in the lot all time. This is a problem.
    You have to wait for the lot to be open to plow. So you could spend your 20 minutes just waiting for some guy to move his car in the middle of the lot.
     
  15. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    thanks guys! I will avoid gas stations all to gether, but I really appreciate your input and experiences. Actually I told the guy at the station today that he would be better off getting someone that will plow and salt/sand together. As I was leaving the station I got a phone call from someone I plowed for last year and he wants me back allong with 4 of his neighbors! cha-ching. Last year I charged $25.00 first push, 15 for the second and third for a 70 foot long, one car wide drive that opens up to a 2 car wide end with the garage off to the side. should I go up some this year or keep it the same?