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Have to ask...pricing?

Discussion in 'Sweeper Forum' started by SCSIndust, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Ok, before everyone jumps on my back, I have done some figuring, and have come up with what I think is a good price, so I can make ok money. Here is my story, I have picked up a used truckmount vac, and I am looking to expand my business, because I am tired of dealing with lawn care. From what I figured, I need to be charging $38 an hour ( I am in the DC / Baltimore area). How does this sound? Especially for a truckmounted vac? I don't know what the going rate is, but I would like to at least be close. Any other thoughts would be appreciated about the biz in general.
     
  2. sun&snow

    sun&snow Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 17

    Good Luck... at those prices you will be out of business in less than one year. Possibly 6 months. The maint and fuel cost will eat you alive. Not to mention all the other things likek insurance, overhead, dump fees etc. You need to be 95 - 125 an hour.
     
  3. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    That's why I am asking. Of course there aren't any dump fees, cause it goes right into the clients dumpster. Remember, I'm only using a removable vac in the back of my truck, and I only plan on doing small strip malls, at least to start. I heard that these units normally bring in around half of a full sweeper mounted on a chassis truck. I thought $38 seemed low, and that is why I said 'making ok money'. Nothing impressive. But, hey, I'm here to learn.
     
  4. avalancheplow

    avalancheplow Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Everything I have heard and read 38 seem right. Around here its like $45-55 an hour for a tymco truck and more if its a mechinal broom type vehicle.
     
  5. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Do you just want to survive, or do you want to make a good living?
    @ $38/hr how long would it take you to make enough profit to live on pay all your overhead and put enough away to buy a new truck mounted unit.
    If you were to get hurt and had to hire help @ $15/hr with withholdings add another $10/hr could you still make enough to make it worth your time?
    Something to think about, I like to be higher then someone else so if something happens to me or my equipment I can have them do it as a sub and still make a little money.
    $38/hr may work for you but in our area that is a wage only with no equipment. I believe if you looked it up a union operator in your area would cost that.
    Check the competition in your area and see what the market will bear.
    I am not saying you can't make it on $38/hr. just doesn't seem to be much room for profit, brake down, replacement of equipment, maintenance, help, and other overhead that is not income producing but needed for the business.
    here our prices are a bit higher but still not the highest in the nation. for your unit it would bring in about $100/hr. if you could find the work.
     
  6. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    It's just hard to call up a company and be like "hey, how much do you guys charge an hour?". It is also harder to ask the same question on an open forum, because of the differing locations. But bottom line, yea, I'm too low. If I did have to hire someone, that would be it for me. But I got the jist of it. Maybe I'll call a company that is at least 30 miles away, and see what they say...
     
  7. sun&snow

    sun&snow Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 17

    It matters not what kind of equipment you have! You are there to do a specefic job. Now a guy with a dedicated truck I.E. tymco 210 will get the job done much faster than you will but I can assure you he is charging by the job. It may take you a little longer than him but the client doesn't care how you get it done as long as you get it done.
     
  8. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    True most of us charge by the job, but you still have to know hat your costs are and an affective rate by the hour so you can bid a job.
    If someone calls you and asks your price you already have your foot in the door and it is time to act. Ask them ware the lot is? Set up an appointment to go over the lot with them and see what it realy needs and what they realy expect of the sweeper. sell your equipment and you to them.
    If you are new to the business tell them you are not overbooked like the others in the area and have time to give his lot special atention. your equipment is in great shape and gets severised everday to avoide brakedowns. You are avalable 24/7 for emergency callout. etc.
    When bidding by the job you Establish your price with older slower equipment then as you get newer faster equipment you can do the same job in less time and make more per hour without raising your price plus you have more time to add other jobs.

    There are others that would do it different and this is not to say there way is wrong but it has worked great for me.
     
  9. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    To be honest, I haven't talked to anyone yet. You guys were my first :blush2: , so to speak. I just did a bit of reading. In snow and lawn there is no differenciation in price based on equipment, but all my reading made me believe otherwise for sweeping. Scwahrze says you can call local dealers and they will help you get started and help you with pricing, but that seems weird to me. I am hoping to only do lawn care for my sweeping and plowing clients, as I am so tired of dealing the stiff competition. Besides, I am such a night owl, and love working at night. Hence my love for plowing. I starting a new business where I offer lawn, snow, sweeping, seal coating, and power washing; a whole outside property maintanence company, and I was hoping sweeping could be my main source of income. My 'mentor' told me that janitorial is one of the best sources of income. He should know, he makes 6 figures, and does very well for the time he spends working. Last question for ya; out of curiosity, how many of your clients do you blow sidewalks, how many do you change the outside trach can liners, and how many do you just sweep/vaccuum? I'm trying to get an idea for the norm of service. Thanks so much! I am so happy there is finally a forum for this! :D
     
  10. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    We do hand labor on all of them unless asked not to. We also charge for all our services. We do not do any trashcans as we do not have access to there dumpster. There labor for a box boy is a lot less then ours @ $50/hr.
    You might include striping in that outside maintance. I found it is much easer and cheeper to get into then sealcoating and less labor intencive. 1 man can do it.
     
  11. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I forgot to put striping in my post, too. As for right now, I have a guy that I am going to sub it out to until I get myself together. He is really antsy for me to get into striping and sealcoating as he doesn't want anymore business, but I'm not ready to start that until later into the year. He showed me how to sealcoat, and it is very easy and actually cheap to get into if you are smart about it. Anyway, what is a box boy? And what do you include in your 'manual labor'?
     
  12. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Oh...what did you mean by "we charge for all our services"? Why wouldn't you?
     
  13. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Just that we charge for anything we do unlike some others.

    Box boy is a store labor that carrys out the bags and does other light labor around the store. There employee not mine, uasualy paid minimum wage. it is cheeper for a store to use there labor instead on mine.
     
  14. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    As far as hand labor goes, how far do you go to clean off the property? Would you go pick up a cup that was in the middle of the grass, even if it was, say, 10 feet of the lot? normally, that is the job of the landscaper, to police the grounds (lawn). There seems to be a fine line here.
     
  15. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    As long as the truck is running the labor is working and will pickup anything that is within sight. If no labor is at the site then the truck driver will pickup anything that is out of place within reason.
     
  16. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Thanks a million! I really appreciate all your answers to my questions. I try to do as much research before I ask, but there will always be questions only a seasoned veteran can answer.
     
  17. Green's

    Green's Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Insurance

    Dwan-
    im also looking into the sweeping business. Im purchasing a new schwarze a4000. It suits my area and needs(both parking lot sweeping and road sweeping).

    My question for you:
    Can you refer me an insurance company f plus whats the average yearly insurance rate for coverage on a sweeper?

    How to you remove the product from spring clean up(rock salt/sand)? Will a refuse company remove the waste from spring clean up for me?

    Thanks
     
  18. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    As far as an insurance co. to deal with? If I were you I would contact a local agent to write your insurance that way you can always get answers from the same guy.
    The insurance on my portion of the sweeping business is rolled into everything else I do and for the 2 million dollar lib. policy I carry it runs close to 5K a year. so as you cab=n see it would be imposable for me to brake out just the sweeping portion of the business.
    I am not sure I understand your question on how I remove my spring cleaning material. But this is the way I handle material. first I sweep it up with a mechanical sweeper then deposit it in a pile in our co. yard. I then pick out the rapers, bottles, litter, etc which is easy to get and put it in a garbage can then I use the sand, P-rock and dirt for fill when needed. as far as a refuse co. accepting the material I would have no idea for your area. You could check with your local city streets dept. and see what they do with there sweepings.

    smiley plow driver.gif
     
  19. Green's

    Green's Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Dwan...thanks for the info. It took a while but I found the insurance coverage through a local agent.
     
  20. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I have a buddy with an old Elgin Pelican. He gets $85 / hour for cleaning truck stops, grocery stores, and other retail lots.