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Help with pricing

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by RM&M, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. RM&M

    RM&M Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 39

    HI IM NEW TO COMMERCIAL PLOWING AND I HAVE TO BID ON A COUPLE OF OFFICE BUILDINGS THIS YEAR AND I HAVE AN IDEA OF HOW LONG THEY WILL TAKE ME BUT IM NOT SURE WHAT I SHOULD BE GETTING PER HOUR FOR MY TRUCK. I HAVE AN 01 HALF TON DODGE WITH A 7.5 FISHER MINUTE MOUNT. AND IM THINKING ABOUT GETTING A TAILGATE SALTER BUT THATS A WHOLE OTHER THREAD. BUT ANYWAYS I KNOW THE ONE LOT WILL TAKE ME LIKE MAYBE 40 MINUTES WITH A GOOD SNOW STORM AND THE OTHER WOULD TAKE ME PROBABLY CLOSER TO 2 HOURS IF I DO WELL BUT IM NOT SURE WHAT I SHOULD BE GETTING PER HOUR FOR MY TRUCK TO CALULATE MY BIDS. I HAVE INSURANCE AND FUEL AND MAINTENANCE COSTS. I KNOW I COULD GET 35 TO 45 AND HOUR SUBBING OUT FOR OTHER PEOPLE BUT I WANNA TRY IT ON MY OWN IF POSSIBLE. SO ANY IDEAS ON WHAT THE HOURLY RATE IS PER HOUR IN THE ERIE PA AREA? ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED. IM NOT A LOWBALLER OR TRYING TO $#^& ANY OTHER GUYS I AM ONLY TRYING TO BID ON 2 OR 3 OFFICE BUILDINGS THAT I FIGURE WILL KEEP ME MORE THAN BUSY DURING GOOD STORMS SO ANY HELP WOULD BE AWESOME.....THANKS FOR LOOKING:dizzy:
     
  2. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Bidding Help

    This package is what you are looking for. You will no longer be guessing at the price of a job for your company.

    Snow & Ice Management Bidding Package Includes:
    #1 Snow & Ice Management Manual – this is a comprehensive manual covering all aspects of snow & ice management for both residential and commercial accounts. Also includes application rates for many different deicing materials.

    #2 Snow & Ice Management CD with over 20 templates for contracts, route sheets, hours of operation sheets, Who’s first, proposal formats, don’t take the risk template for clients, sample invoices, sample marketing forms and much more. All these templates are in Microsoft Word format and are completely customizable to your business.

    #3 Snow & Ice Management Quick Estimator CD – calculates per push, per event, hourly or season contracts. Also calculates material application rates for both granular and liquid applications for any deicing material that you may be using. This CD also calculates time and material for application of material, and hand labor as well. This CD runs in Microsoft Excel and is not software. You simply fill in the blanks and you have your estimate.

    Add our "Know why you charge what you charge" CD to this package and you will have the ability to know and understand your break-even point for your company based on your overhead and expenses.

    Go to www.profitsareus.com or call us at 800-845-0499 to order. Feel free to call us with any questions you might have as well. Being a full-service lawn & landscaping business myself since 1979, I know what a contractor is looking for; something simple, accurate and professional. This package is it. Call and mention this post and receive free priority shipping.
     
  3. badabing1512

    badabing1512 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    My eyes hurt
     
  4. RM&M

    RM&M Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 39

    well i sure am sorry if that is because of my long post. my eyes hurt as well from reading all the post on here looking for information on snowplowing.
     
  5. RM&M

    RM&M Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 39

    well ive waited all day and no responses. cmon guys chime in.................?
     
  6. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Don't type in all caps. Noone likes that. Also, noone is going to tell you how much to charge. You have a small truck and small plow. Try to get at least $80 an hour.
     
  7. RM&M

    RM&M Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 39

    Well sorry about that I didnt know that haha. maybe thats why nobody has responded. Im not asking what to charge for the lots either im just trying to get an idea of what the average half ton with a 7.5 foot fisher is worth by the hour. Like i said before i know i can get anywhere from 35 to 45 an hour subbing but I could use the money i could make by myself more. I think 80 sounds a little high dont it? if places are paying thier subs 35 an hour they cant be charging over twice that rate can they? Im not trying to lowball either like i said i have a couple of small places im looking to do and im in ERIE PA just would like to know what i should be expecting per hour for my services. im not out trying to steal peoples work. im a one man crew with one truck just trying to get through winter with three kids but i would prefer not to be out there making a complete a%# out of my self while trying to make some money. any help would be awesome.
     
  8. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    No one will pay you 80$ pr hour with that, you'll need some years of plowing expirence and a bigger plow before you get that. Before you go asking what we think you should get pr hour, why don't you factor in some stuff (you'll need to know math for this) you'll wanna factor in all your bussiness expenses and a determined percentage for each. Then throw in some overhead and you've got the basis of what you need to charge pr hour. But if you work for someone your first year (I think you should) their goig to determine a price for you and it's probably going to be under 45$. Get a salter and you'll increase your chances of getting more money. Ok i have homework to do so peace out!

    Oh join sima!!!
    And snow care for troops.
     
  9. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    It doesn't matter what I get for a 1/2 ton truck with a 7 1/2 foot plow. The only thing that matters is if you can make a profit at what your charging for your equipment. You need to know your costs per hour to operate your truck. If you know that, then your 10 steps ahead of anyone that doesn't know. Get a rough idea of how much fuel per hour you use, figure out how long you should expect your truck to last before replacing it, same with your plow. You have to know what your overhead is for billing, phones, shop, and so on. Don't forget to add your labor rates, your commercial insurance, workers comp, taxes, the list goes on and on. All that get added up divided and then you throw a reasonable profit on it and bam your magical number appears and then you can start bidding. Figure out how long it will take for each lot, add in some time for busy lots, and then multiply that by your hourly rate, and place the bid. Every company here has different cost, depending if they already own the truck and equipment, or if they are paying off loans for the same, the number of employees, and so on. So you see it doesn't matter what the guy next door is charging, it only matters what your costs are, and if you can be competive at those rates.
     
  10. DaytonBioLawns

    DaytonBioLawns Banned
    from 45458
    Messages: 347

    You could make more money doing it by yourself. What is your experience? are you a sub and have you sub'd? How long have you been plowing? Is your rig reliable and efficient? that kinda stuff. Should you really be on your own...is it healthy for the area's business'?
     
  11. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    taxes? What the heck are those things??? :confused:
     
  12. RM&M

    RM&M Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 39

    well i appreciate the input. This will be my second year plowing. last year i had like 10 to 15 residential drives for my self. i have been doing lawn care for three years now on the side i was a full time welder for a big company so i only did it on the side. but i have been laid off since april of this year and I am going to need the income this winter so i bought a 2 million dollar GL policy for landscape and snowplowing. the whole reason i got into plowing last year was i had a guy i went to school with who runs a pretty successful excavating company tell me if i got a plow he would give me 45 an hour to sub. so 2500 dollars later i had a 7.5 foot fisher on my truck and when the snow finally fell i think i plowed a total of 10 drives for him all winter............yet i watched him drive by my house every morning to go plow.......alot. so needless to say thank god i had a few of my own drives to do from my lawn customers. as far as what you guys say about overhead costs and all i dont have very many. I have my GL policy and truck insurance. and im a sole operator so i have no payroll or workers comp needed. and taxes..........well ill deal with that when the time comes.....we all have to but i dont like to think about it. so anyways my overhead costs are minimal i just am trying to skate by this winter and make enough to pay the bills and make a lil extra for my pocket untill summer comes again. maybe ill get bigger into snowplowing one day and have a fleet of trucks and guys but for now im just worried about me and my familys appetites ya know. so what im trying to get figured out here is what i should be charging so i dont way underbid and ^%$# people off and i dont wanna way overbid and look like an idiot. i said before i know sub rates is 35 to 45 an hour so being a owner operator i shout be able to bid jobs at what?..............50 to 65 an hour? the company im bidding for told me that ya know some guys might already have 15 places out here so they can be way cheaper because they are right there already. i on the other hand am bidding on 4 or 5 lots they have but i have to drive 30 miles or so to get there then they are all within a few mile vicinity. and i think between all of them and drive time i might be looking at 5 hours total per trip and 5 hours subbing would put me at like 175 dollars at 35 an hour so im at a toss up as to wether i would be better subbing and getting the hours or doing it myself and getting more money. then i have the whole other issue of salting and i dont even know if anyone could help me with that. i am gonna get a tailgate salter if i get these commercial bids and i can get a pallet of salt for 200 bucks thats 2400 lbs or 30 80lb bags. but i have no idea how much salt you actually use while salting or how guys price it and how far does salt go? sorry to write so long but these short posts dont explain anything and guys always do what everyone has done to me.....ask more questions....lol so i dont know my head is spinning over all this. i want to make some money but i think i have no idea what im doing here as far as pricing. i know how to plow but i dont know how to price...lol i better just go to mickey ds for the winter.lol
     
  13. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Less than $45 an hour? There is no point in plowing for that. Might as well stay home. You are better off making no money than losing money.

    $50 to $65 an hour is pretty low. You are going to need to work slow for those prices.
     
  14. DaytonBioLawns

    DaytonBioLawns Banned
    from 45458
    Messages: 347

    In reality it wouldn't be a bad decision going to a retail job for seasonal. typically you get paid a lil more than those minimum guys...and the nice thing is it steady pay and other work experience...being self employed doesn't do much for you until your business is recognized. I have had 2 or 3 jobs all the time since I was a freshman in high school. I'm not trying to disillusion you from plowing, but there isn't quick money here like everyone thinks. Only get into this business if you are under steady employment/sub work from a big company or plan on making it big in the long run. Competition is up and demand is down. It is killing the snow removal/landscape business. This happens every once in a while...until only the big ones are left. Your experience level is questionable from a contractor/employer's point of view. Now having a retail job and making an arrangement for major events can still make you some money. It never hurts to apply places and see what you can make work. If your family depends on you, depend on someone looking to support families...not on someone in a "screw you" industry like this one.
     
  15. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,754

    You just have to bid your price. Whether it is cheaper than the competitor or not. If you can do it for X amount and make money, than that's ok. It's not your fault if somebody has twice as much overhead as you. Good luck.
     
  16. RM&M

    RM&M Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 39

    wow thats awesome i appreciate all the input. i have been stewing over these properties all night and i think i can up with some numbers. i think im gonaa go with 50 an hour for my truck whitch is about 15 more per hour than i would get subbing and im taking a stab at how long it will take me to plow these couple lots and im taking my price i got for salt at 7bucks per 80lb bag and gonna double it for app and take a good stab at how many i think i will use on each property and add it all together and submit whatever i come up with. if i get them hooray for me and if not its not to late to try and get other ones.
    and if all else fails i already talked to a company that can get me in between 35 and 40 per hour with plenty of hours available (when it snows). so if i have to go that route i will. but like i said before if i can get enough to keep me busy and make 15 to 20 more per hour then hooray for me cause subbing out and then taking out my fuel costs and my GL ins. i might as well go be a door greeter for 10 bucks an hour.....haha. but all in all thanks for your input and if anyone wants to chime in still i have about 10 hours before i submit my bids haha so any more intel on the subject would be great. the way i have broke it down so far is 50 an hour for my truck and the job i think will take me between two and three hours so i averaged it at 2.5 and 8 bags of 80lb salt at 15 per bag ( they are about 7 bucks a piece so i doubled it and added a buck for app) better to be safe and then about a half an hour to shovel walks and salt walks for 35 bucks. so the total i come up with is $285 per time full meal deal. to me that seems it might be a lil high but like i said its a 35 mile drive there and another 35 back so its gotta be worth it. if any one wants to look at the property to see if im outta my mind the google maps is 42.10317,-80.13859 just copy and paste i think this is a fair price but i could be wrong cause maybe the bigger companies can do it for half. so if any one does look at this let me know what you think 2.5 hours to plow sound right? and im not sure the lot dimensions and im not sure how far salt actually goes but im thinking 8 80lb bags so 640lbs of salt total out of a tailgate spreader.........am i somewhere close or am i way high or way low on the salt thing? if you can tell by the over head view on how much salt you guys think you would use on a lot this size chime in.......thanks in advance
     
  17. DaytonBioLawns

    DaytonBioLawns Banned
    from 45458
    Messages: 347

    Sounds like your getting it worked out a little bit. and ya I'm up doing bids/research still too...One thing I'd like to point out though. How long does that 35 Mile trip take you? Now do that in the worst winter conditions under full load It can be done but it's a stretch.
     
  18. RM&M

    RM&M Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 39

    well it takes me about 30 minutes now so with snow and white outs probably close to an hour but me being the eager beaver that i am and was last year hoping for the snow to fall i will probably be sitting in the lot before it even starts when the weather girl says its gonna heck ill already be driving..........LMAO....but anyways the thing is im bidding on 4 total one im bidding about 100 bucks thats fifty for plowing and 50 for salting. then the bigger one im having trouble on is about 30 seconds down the road and after that there is two small apartment building (not much bigger than a res. house....single lane driveway in the city to the back and maybe 5 parking spots out back......15 minutes a piece max.) and those two are on the way back home about 5 miles away from the last big one. and then the whole reason im so gung ho on bidding these is because in a good lake erie snow by the time i get done with the last one i could be heading back to thie first one all over again. and im under the assumption thats where the money is is the ones that say 2 inches PLOW IT. compared to people at res. houses calling you only when thier cars are buried or stuck halfway up the driveway with 12 inches of snow. so i assumed having the bigger ones that want it plowed anything after 2 inches could keep me pretty dang busy....am i right?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  19. DaytonBioLawns

    DaytonBioLawns Banned
    from 45458
    Messages: 347

    Ya you're right about frequency and staying on contract. Once you get commercial contracts you have them if you deliver. Home owners change their mind and waste a lot of time and can be a PITA. Just remember with travel and bad conditions and the amount of snow you experience that it is easy to get behind. The further you are behind the less money you make, and if some idiot in his 2wd car going to the movies or what ever could wreck and mess up your only route (psssshhhh thats never happened to me:dizzy:) (he was an idiot:gunsfiring: and all duuuurrrr can you pull me and the other 5 cars out before the police get here :nono:)
     
  20. RM&M

    RM&M Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 39

    haha well ill hope for the best and hope that dont happen to me. but the other problem im having is there is a spot for hauling or stacking of snow per time. and i have no idea on that one. i have a 5 ton dump and i can get a skid steer for about 200 bucks a day so i would have to charge at least 350 to cover my dump and rental and then i would have to find somewhere to take the snow and i have no idea about that or what they charge(if they do) per load and then i need to make some profit so im thinking that i would have to charge like 500 bucks for the little lot and like 750 for the bigger one or else im just out there hauling snow to cover costs and that make sense right?.......but i dont know if these prices are way high compared to the big boys who own thier own skidd steers or if im fairly guesses on that one. plus this bid sheet i have only gives the option of per time to do either and obviously if i just have to stack it heck i can do it for half of the haul away price but they only have one spot for both so im not sure what to put on that one