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First 15+ Acre Bid

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Big Daddy, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 32

    We have an opportunity to bid on our first large property. We REALLY want this bid.. It is a bit daunting. We have handled many commercial lots and our largest has been at the 5 acre level. We physically measured the entire thing for peace of mind and accuracy. We drove the property to inspect areas for snow stacking etc. They simply wish to pay a flat hourly rate no seasonal, no per push or any other method. They have required an hourly bid price and 3 trucks can handle the task. No removal service is needed as there is plenty of space to put snow. All hourly rates are on the honor system as well as salt application.

    We have 2 rigs of our own and 2 subs to work with. We have 5 trucks between us. We do have access for a skidsteer if needed.

    We are adequately insured, licensed etc...We have crunched the numbers and are feeling ok about it, but of course wish there was a magic recipe to give us the winning number...Are we in over our head or not? Thanks in advance for any input... of course constructive help would be wonderful! We value good feedback and appreciate your help.;)

    Wife of Big Daddy
  2. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    good luck with 15 acres and no loaders.

    they out push trucks when fitted with boxes, and there is always somewhere you need to stack snow.
  3. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I do agree that a loader is necessary on a lot of that size. I hope the trucks you are counting on are larger size trucks, and not just 1/2 or 3/4 ton pick-ups. The lenght of your pushes will be un godly hard on small trucks with any sizeable snowfall.
  4. fci

    fci Senior Member
    Messages: 122

    Do you know what equipment the contractor used last year? Did they do a good job with the equipment they had? Alot of property managers are up to date on snow removal and the equipment needed for their sites. They don't always go for the cheapest bid they want their sites cleared as fast and efficiently as possible. They may think that trucks only, will not be very efficient for a 15 acre lot. That being said I would include the skid loader with a push box and 1-2 backhoe's or loaders with push boxes if you don't know anyone that has equipment check with a rental co. or a construction co. they often have their loaders sitting until spring. And 2-3 Trucks Good luck
  5. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 32

    This is great feedback... I appreciate it.. truly!! The property manager indicated it was handled exclusively with 3 full-size trucks and plows last season. They did a "mediocre" job.. They said they did not use good common sense in pushing back the snow in areas where it was out of the way (Maybe why we would need a pusher perhaps???) . Honestly... there is multiple lots, multiple fire lanes (about 2 miles worth) and not a lot of areas where you are working on just one large parking lot. It is a huge complex/facility. However, there is a LOT of area to push snow back WAY out of the way... even with a substancial snowfall. We do not get many events that get more than 5-6" per event. More often than not, we average more 2-4" events. We also would be getting an hourly rate... Would this make sense to use larger equipment for being "quicker" than just having 3-4 trucks who will be basically allocated for this job?

    The trucks we use are 1 ton dually's with 9 foot blades... Diesel... But again, this is our first larger property of this magnitude. We really need to be fully cognizant of what we have to do to maintain it effectively.. We really want this job... It would be a great opportunity for us! Plus, it is very close to our home-base. Are we missing the mark and kidding ourselves?? :dizzy:
    Wife of Big Daddy
  6. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Well you kind of said it......3 full sized truck did a inadequate job.
  7. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 32

    So what I am hearing is that you guys think we are crazy??? We can not do this without a pusher... at least??? Not even with 5 full time dedicated 1 ton dually's with 9 foot commercial blades and a skidsteer ... plus a salter? I hate feeling a little deflated... but hey.. we gotta start somewhere.
    We will be looking into a pusher perhaps..to check availability and costs and go for that... with the equipment we have.
    Yes.. Brian, I did say that, but in my honest opinion, just because they did a sub-par job, does not necessarily mean due to lack of equipment, it could very well been they simply underbid it and lost money or they had 3 scabs who don't care... see it a lot ... They also were not effective in knowing how/where to push the snow.... which suggests poor training and lack of knowledge.. which could attribute to their poor performance as well..or again, perhaps lack of equipment. I am not ruling that out at all... just taking all of it in.. Thanks!!
    Wife of Big Daddy
  8. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    If you cant handle it I know someone that can with a pusher and a couple of trucks. If I get the job I can give you a finders fee for the property. It is an option.
  9. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 32

    Aaron, I sent you a PM... Thanks... I am exploring several options..
    Wife of Big Daddy
  10. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I understand and I'm not trying to rain on your parade. I just think your not going to be able to push back that amount of snow when it builds up. Like you said, "we want feed back".
  11. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 32

    Brian..Absolutely.. i appreciate your comments..I do get what you are saying.. I agree.. it is a very real possibility... So, I guess from your experience it requires the pusher...??? Even though it is a "per hour" job??? Just curious.. I apprecate this feedback.. so sorry if my comment came across negatively.
    Wife of Big Daddy
  12. gd8boltman

    gd8boltman Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    You may be able to do the work of the trucks

    by renting a loader of some type with a pusher and just use one of the pick-ups for a little clean up work. You could free those other trucks up for some additional work. Even though it's hourly you still will be expected to have some efficiency. Perhaps you could sell the client on the advantages of the loader over pickups and charge a little more.
  13. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Here is my reasoning, first off, I'm assuming you have more work lined up for your trucks, you don't want to put all your equipment in on one lot all night. A loader with a 12-14 push box is going to take the place of at least 2 trucks freeing them up to do other jobs. Plus, even around our sad hourly rate market a loader is worth at least two trucks so your not out and money so to speak. Just showing up with a loader of some type instills confidence in your customer's that your up to the challenge. Good luck.
  14. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    I'D VOTE LOADER TOO.........

    At the very least a 4x4 Backhoe. I did a 14 acre lot with 3 trucks and a backhoe. It wasn't the right way to do it, but it got done without complaints. Get a 12 ft box on a backhoe or even better grab a loader and a bigger box.

    Be careful renting equipment on a contract that's not seasonal, that rental could kill you if it's a light winter. Better to find a local excavator or someone else with a large enough machine and agree to a rate hourly. We have subs leave equipment on our sites, and when we plow they work. Bigger clients generally like to see a machine on their property, it's reassuring to them. Of course your sub can pull their machine if they have other workl for it but make sure they have it back BEFORE any event. Also be sure to include a non-compete for 3 years in your sub agreement, sometimes hard tio enforce but often if people sign, follow through on their word to not go after your work.
  15. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    OMG 3 trucks would do fine. (up until a blizzard, but everyone is screwed in a blizzard).

    3 trucks, 4 to 5 hours total, I don't see the issue.
    it's hourly so you can't overbid/underbid it so you won't get crushed.

    I simply don't see the problem.

    Back in the day (when it used to snow here in Denver, early 90's), I worked for a company that had 53 trucks (pickups, 1 single axle dump), did things all over metro denver. Up to 3' of snow in some storms in some areas (it's very inconsistent here in Denver) and everything got handled fine. From little lots to huge lots.

    Even now, few places here use loaders, only big huge malls and even then there are lots of trucks.

    You'll be fine.

    I would add wings though, wings make a big difference over a straight blade.
  16. CHCSnowman

    CHCSnowman Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 138

    I agree with LoneCowboy. We do some large lots with no loaders.
  17. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I agree....if this is your only account or 1 of a couple accounts you have and you don't need to pile the snow any higher than 5-6 feet.
  18. bskiball

    bskiball Member
    Messages: 64

    Don't forget all the wear you will put on your trucks doing lots that big. I bought a loader a few year ago partly to save my trucks from so much abuse. Long heavy pushes wear trucks out. Just something to think about.
  19. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    I would agree with getting a pusher if you can afford it / and be profitable. Not sure how many other accounts that you have and how using your current fleet will hinder your ability to complete your current accounts.
    You say that you have done other lots in the 5 acre range , so it sounds like you have some experience. Look back at you records for the last xx years you have been plowing and think about how the heavier snows impacted getting your accounts done. If the numbers aren't there and your abilty to service your current accounts won't be effected then use your current trucks and take the job. Not sure if I missed it but what about salt. You will possibly need alot of it, can you buy bulk and do you have a place to store it. Good luck
  20. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 32

    Guys.. this has been invaluable feedback. I appreciate it.. We are taking it all in... and going to try to go after this one. We really want this account...

    Your help and advice has been so beneficial... thank you! I appreciate it so much.

    Wife of Big Daddy
    (Wish us luck) .. God Bless!:)