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Help pricing parking lot..

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by 07PSDCREW, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    Hello all, I'm looking for ideas on how to price this lot. Im already in and was told i can do it as his father is now too old to be doing it. I don't want to rip the guy off but I also don't want to do it for free. I do mostly sub work and really don't know the best method to go about billing fairly. I have plowed this lot twice during Nemo and it took roughly 1- 1.5 hrs each time with a straight blade and 15" of snow. The snow goes where the big red dots are and some can go where the little dots are. Pretty much straight in the access road and then a bunch of trips back n forth to the piles in each direction. There's no salting or shoveling and 2" or less he dosent want service. I know MY costs involved in the project but was hoping for some advice as far as structure, or best method to bill. I was thinking of going in increments but also torn into going with a flat rate charge based on snow depth like 12" or less is xxxx$..... Idk. Ideas please?? Plowing equipment is a F350 diesel and 8'6" XV.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Per push with a trigger set by the customer. Looks like I would want $120 to $130 a push if it were mine up here. More if I had to push around cars....carrying the snow sucketh, but ya do what ya have to. Maybe a set of wings?
     
  3. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    Thanks for the ideas.. Removeable wings are on the list. Just picked up the new plow a few days ago. :) Also, there won't be many cars in the lot if any at all. ( If its an overnight snow) The place opens at noon and closes at 8 or 9 pm On one side people park on either side of the lot and I can go straight down the middle but in that upper portion they makeshift some side by side parking rows when the place gets busy. It wouldn't be feasible to try to plow in that condition other than to open it up a bit.

    So when you say per push with a trigger... That means with say a 4" trigger I'd plow and then plow again at the next 4"?? And charge 220$ (going by your price) What if say I made a 4" trigger but didn't visit till 8-10" fell ? (being closed overnite no hurry) you would still charge twice for one visit? Thanks in advance.
     
  4. BossPlowMaster

    BossPlowMaster Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    id bill for the amount of time it take you. i have no set price because im not from around there and i dont know what you need to get per hour to stay on top of the game. around here we start at 2" trigger and get from $60-75 per hour for a truck. (no clue what the going price is around there) assuming that this is a business you would plow every time the 2" trigger was hit. so if you had a total storm amount you would take [# of times plowed @ 2" trigger] x [ price based off of hours]

    ****Example;
    Total snow fall amount (only known after the storm) = 6".... you would have to plow 3 times @ 2" trigger. If it takes you 2 hours per 2" trigger @ $65/hr ($130 per time) 2"x 3 visits of 2hrs per visit = $390.... best way as far as billing goes> is to bill after every storm that way there is no piling up of bills for a total month (Less of a shock to the customer)
     
  5. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    Thanks Boss. Well explained. I know what I need to charge... Just didn't want to scare the guy by coming too many times. We've been known to have 20+ inches fall in one storm.
     
  6. BossPlowMaster

    BossPlowMaster Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    Remember you can always bid it a little high and be on the safe side and end up surprising the customer with a lower bill than expected... but it is bad business to surprise them with an over time bill and unexpected costs. If you have any other questions just PM me. I dont have alot of experience in this field as I am only 17 but then again I started my own landscaping company at age 10 and it is now worth $100k and I have some really good experience and wisdom to share :nod:
     
  7. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    Good to know... Thanks Bossplow..
     
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Seasonal price billed over 4-5 payments,this way they aren't surprised by a big bill one month and a small one the next.
     
  9. chachi1984

    chachi1984 Senior Member
    Messages: 405

  10. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Triggers usually only count when the business is open...otherwise, as a general rule, most guys doing "per push" will just let it accumulate and do it once, maybe 2 times if it's a larger storm. More for those once a year monsters. Just so as not to risk getting stuck.
    This policy gives customers a sense of value, so they don't choke so bad at the other stuff.
    And when I say per push with a trigger, if I come push 3 times, I charge 3 times.
    But, things vary with location. If your customer is used to seasonal, or per event, then do it the way they like.
     
  11. 07PSDCREW

    07PSDCREW Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    That's one of the things I have going for me....he's never paid anyone to plow before. He opened a business in 2004 and his father was doing the plowing free. (His father financed the purchase of the building too). But due to health reasons and old age (81) he can't do it anymore. I'm thinking I'm just going to go with an hourly rate but just wanted to see the type of structures everyone else uses for determining a fair billing method.
     
  12. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Hourly rate is fine if all you are doing is his lot, and only for beer money..otherwise you are selling yourself short...because you can average $150+ per hour doing $35 driveways if they are within 1/2 mile of each other....and I somehow doubt this fellow will want to pay that sort of hourly wage. Per push or by the inch gives you what you are worth.
    JMO.
     
  13. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 638

    How do you figure? If he gets (for example) $100 per hour and it takes one hour or does per push at $100?

    We do seasonal and hourly and hourly can work out just as well as per push if you price your equipment right.

    On the second part, if you can plow four $35 driveways in 15 minutes a piece (not including travel) then :salute:
     
  14. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    People hear "$100 an hour" and get sticker shock. So most guys will just lower the hourly price until the customer agrees, or they just price themselves low right out of the gate thinking that $45-$60 per hour is good money.
    We all know the average American thinks 6 of one is less than half a dozen of the same thing. So I feel we have better luck with a set price per push...the customer sees it as a job done for "x" rather than "$100 an hour"..even though they add up the same..
    And like I said, if you have any luck at all, you can set up a series of driveways that are near each other..I figure 10 minutes is a good number for the average $35 driveway..otherwise, it would be a $40 or $45 driveway, right? So $150 an hour isn't unreasonable if the accounts are close by.

    And $150 is better than $100, right?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  15. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If your under an hour you should just be quoting per plow pricing.
     
  16. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,853

    agreed, I think the only place for hourly rates in this industry is on jobs that are several acres &/or take several hrs.
     
  17. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 638

    Agree 100%, residential hourly would never work, most commercial lots (other than gas/convenience stores) take an hour or more in my area. So it could be billed hourly if that was what the customer wanted.

    To say people working hourly are working for "beer money" is ignorant IMHO.........
     
  18. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Who said that?
     
  19. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I work for beer money,I just happen to have a lot left over after I buy it!
     
  20. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 638

    I might have to steal that for my sig :drinkup: