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First big lot

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by The Viking, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. The Viking

    The Viking Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    So I got my first big lot this year, and dont know how much salt Im going to need.
    I looking at buying a tailgate salter. :confused: This and one other small lot will be the only lots needing salt.
    The sq footage of this site is about 100,000 total. 3 loading docks. My plan: Come in, clear the docks, and then do a couple clockwise circles around the building to clear the lanes on both sides then work outward on the three parking areas. I have a 7.5' Arctic steal straight blade on a GMC 2500HD. wesport No wings (yet) (any recommendations?)
    My questions are these: (1) How long should I expect this site to take, to plow?
    (2) How much salt should I expect to drop on a site this size?
    I hope to be signing the contract on Monday,They want a seasonal rate, I said OK , but it's plus salt. I bid it at $3000.00 plus the salt. Im charging the salt by weight but he wants an estimate of how much it will be per visit and I have NO idea!

    Any and all advise will be greatly appreciated, carefully considered, and completely forgotten when I visit my suppliers!

    ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 12 17.00.jpg
  2. onlythebest

    onlythebest Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    I don't do commercial lots but 3 grand seems pretty light to me for a lot that large is that really all there is in commercial places??
  3. The Viking

    The Viking Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Ya I'm afraid that I may have under bid, but I did the math: guessing 2hours per visit x $100 per hour x 15 visits = $3000. I usually estimate for 18-20 visits but we're half way through December with nothing really expected anytime soon. Plus it was already on my route...
    I hope Im not screwing myself....
  4. onlythebest

    onlythebest Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    You can plow 100k sqft in 2 hours with a 7'6" plow on a 3/4 ton? That seems impressive to me. See I plow resi driveways with a mini loader so what your saying seems incredible to me :p
  5. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Look at it this way You will learn
    I dont think you will clean it in 2 hrs Last time I owned and ran a 7.6 was in the 80s
    But if its a season contact Then pray for a season of 5 snow events then you'll come out ok

    straight salt I say 500 lbs and 100lbs be the max and that depends how fast you drive spreading it
  6. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    Approx 2000lbs of salt. Are you using bag or bulk. I hope you make up salting what you lost plowing. That is a crazy cheap price. I would rather do 7 driveways before I tackled that price for similar money.
  7. Cover Guy

    Cover Guy Senior Member
    Messages: 224

    I would say at least 1000 lbs of salt and its going to take at least 3 hrs I would defiantly get a set of the buyers wings on that plow you won't regret it
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    What you going to do when the snow blows off the roof and leaves drifts on the one side.
  9. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    I use 500-800 lbs salt per acre to guesstimate. So like cet said, a ton is a good place to start. Just explain to your customer that conditions are different with every storm and you may use more or less depending. I don't think $3k plus salt is a bad number, especially since its the end of December already. Next year give him a modest price increase and give good service to justify it. Good luck.
  10. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    As stated before, about 600 to 800 pounds per acre. You are looking at 2.5 acres, so 2000 pounds will be pretty close. With a 7.5 blade I am going to guess your alot cloase to 3 hours per plow, and with 2000 pounds of salt and a tailgate spreader your looking at an hour minimum to salt with alot of work involved in salting the place. I hope your going to charge close to 4 times your cost to spread salt just to come anywhere close to breaking even. Good Luck
  11. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,338

    where will the snow piles be??...
  12. mpriester

    mpriester Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    what about the salt only runs you have to try and figure in, you will be closer to 3 hours to plow it. i base my salt price at 20lb. per 1000sq.ft applied, temperature will help dictate amount needed. Don't forget about storm events where you may need to plow 3 times in the same day or event. These are only my thoughts and there are people on here with more experience but your price is low. Be Careful
  13. The Viking

    The Viking Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Panic, panic, panic :eek:
    Ok I I haven't signed yet, should I try to re-negotiate? Should I pass?
    At four hours minimum that puts me well past my 12 hour turn around time (to get all my customers done). I guess 14-15 hour turn around is acceptable...
    Maybe he will reconsider when I tell him its going to be $500.00+ per salting.
    Because I have been doing mostly smaller places, my salting was charged at 60 cent a Kg.
    That puts me at about $550.00 per ton. My cost is $110 per ton bulk.
    :gunsfiring:Am I shooting myself in the foot with this contract or am I blowing my brains out here? :dizzy:

    Anyone in Ontario wanna sell me a decent spreader?
  14. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    Have you considered what will happed if you have a break down? Your plowing price is way too low. whats your backup plan? have fun loading all those bags with a tailgate sander...it'll get old quick.... your right to panic but you will learn from this one...one way or the other....good luck!
  15. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,968

    I'd walk away.I've got lots that size and if i told you what i charge you would run away.And I'm not getting rich either.Grandview made a great point,the snow off the roof in some circumstances is going to make at least one side unplowable. I've got one job that drifts up to 4-5 feet! high. Have to bring in ss to clear.Sometimes when we have time we have a contest to see who can make it thruogh first without having to be pulled out.That being said ,only you know your costs and what you need to make.
  16. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    I feel you already gave the seasonal price and he is going to hold you to it. You can try to negotiate a better price for plowing and see what he says. I feel it is going to take you more then 2 hrs to plow that lot with a 7.6ft plow. And you said your turn around time is going to be 14-15 hrs. What are you going to do when the owner of that lot calls you up in the middle of your route and needs the lot cleaned up. You need to take that into consideration when giving a seasonal. Then after the storm you will have to do another cleanup that night before morning so everything looks perfect. So that is 3 trips in one day to the site. I feel your pricing for per ton of bulk salt applied of $550 is very high and not realistic. I think you need to really reevaluate if you want to take on this lot as it is could cost your mom in the end and also become a PITA. good luck
  17. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,106

    Let's say you sign it for $3000, and can double it with salt to $6000. For your ideal turnaround you can handle 5 more sites of likeness (using your calc.). $36 000. less expences, is that where you need to be?
    I think a 1 man op should triple this or consider sub work. JMO
  18. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 734

    A one man operation should be making 108,000 per season or if he doesnt make that he should be a sub contractor???
  19. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,106

    Less expenses....
  20. trustyrusty

    trustyrusty Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    Truthfully, I think you should walk (run). I live in southern Idaho where we get a fraction of the snow you guys in Ontario get and I have apartments where we make more than that in a season just on the sidewalks. And I haven't noticed a lot of extra cash laying around.