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Getting people cleared out by a certain time

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Erik1981, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    This is my first year doing snow removal and I have bee starting to get requests for bids, estimates, etc...
    One question that I have is, how do you guys deal with all the people that want to be out by a certain time?
    Also, do you guys charge more for larger snowfall amounts? If so, how much more and what are the snowfall depths you use for increments of charging more? I hear that 4 inches is kind of the rule, but I am not sure, that does not seem like enough snow to justify charging more?
     
  2. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 983

    I schedule them in an order sufficient for getting them all done by the time they need. I don't take on more than I can handle. I charge a "per storm" price, so regardless of how much snow, whether it's 4" or 40", it's the same price. Only you can decide how to price your work. It typically depends on how others do it in your area.
     
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Stagger your contracts,Don't go signing up everyone with the same start time.
     
  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    The bottom line is that is pretty much impossible. You never know when it is going to start snowing so there is no guaranty you will have their location done by a set time unless you have 1 hour of work.
     
  5. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    Exactly, what I was thinking. So do you give them a window of time? Example: "we will have your driveway/sidewalks cleared within a 12 hour period following a weather event"

    Does that make sense?
     
  6. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    That makes perfect sense. Keep the time period to something you can keep. 12 seems long to me. My trucks are lucky to have a 6 hour run which is lots on a continuous snowfall.

    If you are just starting out you can promise the moon, as you get more work it will get harder.
     
  7. MahonLawnCare

    MahonLawnCare Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 851

    Never ever ever ever guarantee a certain time you'll have everything completed by...it's suicide. Guarantee it'll be completed when snowfall reaches 1'' or 2'' etc. That was one of the first things I learned. When you have a snowfall that starts at 5 a.m. and it's an inch an hour and you have 20 clients wanted cleared by 630 am, you'll default and open yourself up to legal problems.
     
  8. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    Don't take on more than you can handle. Underpromise, overdeliver. Route the customers that have to be cleared to scope by a certain time in before the one's that don't require it. This is part of the juggling act of pre-season sales with early season operations.
     
  9. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    Not if you have a 2" trigger.
     
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Listen to the weathermen,they'll tell you exactly when it will start snowing and when it will end.
     
  11. Erik1981

    Erik1981 Member
    from MN
    Messages: 55

    What about charging more for more snow, it seems like around here people charge extra for more than 4". But how much more? Since I am blowing would 6" make more sense?
     
  12. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I have a base price like $$ up to 4'' then every 2'' over 4'' is $$$

    I run 3 trucks 1 tractor and this year my new skid steer
    I had to many last year for 4 plows I was up to 14 lots per plow most my lots takes 30min then some would take 1 hr running all 4 plows So I'm hoping adding the Skid Steer will help on the small lots and my biggest complex which is the biggest in town

    A safe place for me to be at is 10 lots per plow
     
  13. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,987

    It all comes down to time. Only you know what you need to make per hour to cover all your costs. How much longer does it take to blow 6" compared to 2"? It's just like any service, time = $$. This is a very strange industry to be in! I couldn't imagine going on some of the other forums and asking how much to charge to do a 100 ton remediation of a leaking oil tank or I just bought some tools and whats the sq ft cost to build a house! Seems like the regular rules of business don't apply! Good luck!