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Help with a bid...please

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by chtucker, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    One time only (maybe more if the people want to use their house for Christmas or something)

    1/4 mile of road, by customers estimate, NOT FLAT NOT STRAIGHT. 18"-24" of snow on the road that has been there for 2 weeks. Probably going to need to chain up. 20 miles of travel each way. No rush, just before Thanksgiving. I was thinking 200-300? I shoot for 75-100 an hour.


    Remote site I am pretty sure I am going to have a friend follow me out there to pull me back if I get stuck (superduty on 37s :D )

    What do you all think?

    Howard
     
  2. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Have there been any freeze/thaw cycles in the last two weeks? Unless the sun hasn't been shining for two weeks I would guess the anwer is, "Yes, several." I've never plowed snow that has undergone those conditions. If the road has been driven on at all, it would probably be more hassle than it is worth, either.

    Everybody is different. I would not do it. I don't like one time jobs. On the off chance that you tear anything up doing this one, you won't like them either.

    If you want an easy out, I'd just tell them that a larger truck or heavy equipment would be needed to plow that after further consideration on your part.

    If you spent the same amount of time going door to door (introducing yourself and soliciting more work) as what it will take to mess around with that job, putting on chains, driving 20 miles each way and bringing a friend I would guess that you would be further ahead than you would trying to make a square peg fit a round hole for a one-timer.

    Good luck with your decision.

    John
     
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Howard, I have done these - private road, been driven on after prior snowfalls, now too much snow to drive on so the call you. First advise - don't. Unless you know these people, they probably know that no one else will plow them out and you're the new guy.

    If you do it - several things to watch for. Make sure you know where the sides of the road are at all times. Like you said, it's not straight. It's easy to run off the road and damage your undercarriage. May be hidden protrusions on the side of the road or even IN the road. If there have been freeze/thaw cycles, you will be tripping the blade constantly and pushing big, heavy chunks. If it's been driven on, you likely are not going to be able to scrape to the road and will need to keep raising the blade.

    "It's not flat" - will it be drifted in the low spots?

    Yes, I'd have your friend go with you. You'll need to charge accordingly ( two drivers and trucks).

    Perhaps figure what it would have cost to plow the road if you'd done it all along, then double it (that's not gouging in my opinion - that's covering potential costs of the job). They're likely just trying to save money - don't let them. Show them they'd be ahead with seasonal price and you'll have access for them whenever they want.

    Think about it - why did they call you from 20 miles away?

    I have one of these. The people live in Conneticut and pay me a set amount for the season. When I push and how much is up to me. They only care that it's done when they get here. My only contact with them when they send me a check. I never know when or even if they ever come up here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2002
  4. speedracer241

    speedracer241 Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I agree with you guys.

    I'm thinking a caterpillar or at least a good sized end loader. All the snow there has surely compressed and hardened a good bit, making it pretty tuff on a truck and plow.

    What ever you decide to do take it slow and cautious.

    Be careful,
    Mark K
     
  5. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    Went out there. It is not so bad. Except for the directions they gave me. It is 20 miles away because it is remote summer/vacation house. It is pretty light weight snow, and I was able to drive the complete road. No drifting, and it is pretty narrow, maybe only 12' wide. Some parts have even melted completely out. Called the caretaker guy and said $350, he said stop by for a check when I was done. I will go out in the afternoon and do it. I figure on about 1hr to 1.5hrs.

    The way the guy was talking I thought I was going to need a d11 cat. Said that I would do this drive normally for $175 every 6", and he said no problem. This is the first winter that the house is complete and they would like to keep the drive open all winter.

    I was panicked after talking to the guy. The other reason he called me is because I am the only plow company that has an ad in the paper. Everyone else is just a Smoe with a plow. There are no other "professional" companies around.

    All of my work has been because of the previous plow guys or because of business contacts that I have.

    I am busy as I want/need to be, but sometimes it is nice to get a gravy job like this when it hasn't snowed in two weeks.


    Howard
     
  6. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    SnoJob67 posted:

    That's because you're used to having accounts that you service all the time. From my point of view in my year-round line of work--that of an excavating contractor--all jobs *should* be one time jobs. If I need to go dig up something a second time, it's because I've screwed up. Granted, there are different risks involved in plowing than in digging ditches. You need to manage the risks based on the nature of the job. If you're being fairly compensated for the time you're putting in and you're confident that you've managed the risks, I think it's foolish to pass up the opportunity to make the money.
     
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Glad you went and checked it out. Sure sounds a lot different than I had imagined from your first post. If you can manage to work in a long distance account into your route - maybe get a couple more in between?