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how many bids are to many?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by windrowsnow, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. windrowsnow

    windrowsnow Senior Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 168

    whats up fellow plowers. im just curious what some of your opinions on how much is to much bidding? used to have all the local bob evans here locally, lost them to brickman turned to sub contracting for a larger firm and im sick of slow payment and all the bull **** so ive been bidding my ass off. so far around 60 sites ranging from twenty min lots to ten acre sites...........i have six trucks and two loaders.
     
  2. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,315

    With the equipment and descrpition of the lots you listed if you got all 60 you'd should still have more time to sell. Every year I send out bids for work that's about 60-75% over what I can actually do. You'll never get a 100% capture rate. If you do find yourself with too much you can sub it out or if you don't want to deal with subs throw the work to another contractor/buddy, someday they may return the favor.
     
  3. windrowsnow

    windrowsnow Senior Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 168

    thats what i was thinking, i have a buddy with about 15 trucks and he always told me he would take what i dont want or need help with. i have about six current lots of my own, ranging from an acre all the way up to six acres plus we did around 40 places for this bigger company last year from banks all the way to an eleven acre site. im so sick of these bigger guys screwing the smaller guy
     
  4. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,315

    When I started out I had some of my own and subbed myself out, over time I picked up more of my own and did less sub work. Also over the years I've established a great network of contractors/buddy's and we toss each other work when needed.
    You have a lot of equipment to keep busy, I understand not wanting to undersell yourself to a national (I've never had to) but it'll take time to build your route, you just need to keep building and it'll come.
     
  5. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    If you are pricing your work right, add more trucks if more work comes in than expected, or just put a stipulation on like "proposal is valid for thirty days" and turn the work down if need be...but if you're pricing right, the need to add trucks and or other equipment should be a welcome challenge. My goal every year is to add at least two trucks, I send out tons of quotes.
     
  6. JemPlowing

    JemPlowing Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    throw all the bids out there you can first come first serve i have been bidding like crazy waiting for the phone to ring now can always hire subs if needed
     
  7. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I try not go over 10 lots per plow rigs I was over last year why Im adding a skid steer to handle 4 small lots 8 drives and one big complex in one section of my town
    Try to keep a 8-10 hr route with less then 6'' of snow
     
  8. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,315

    I shooting for the same amount of hrs, this way when there is a big event you have a chance for somw down time and aren't a slave to the storm.
     
  9. andersman02

    andersman02 Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    8-10hr route seem crazy high, Our customers would have a fit if they had to wait 10 hours for a single push. We push for 6 hrs
     
  10. windrowsnow

    windrowsnow Senior Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 168

    I figure ten lots per truck as well depending on size. get everything plowed before business hours unless its an all day event then every four hours we service drive lanes etc. I just need to make sure I wasn't crazy with bidding so much
     
  11. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Well that is what takes to fully clean everything.
    Morning snow takes longer to clean everything traffic is bad and I make more money on morning snow a lot of repeat visits
    Now if the snow ends at 10pm, We push all nite 80% of the time everybody is cleaned/salted by 6 am and I'm going home. So all depends the time it ends. That I have a lot of open lots we don't fully clean till closing time
    I run one tractor 11ft plow
    3 trucks with 9' + plows
    This year will be a Skid steer


    My list has of now is 34 still waiting few bids and If I don't get no more I'll be happy still. Last year I was at 45 and that was a 10 hr route


    Your 6 hours how many plows are you running
     
  12. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,315

    The original question of how many bids to send out has been answered pretty well. Now it’s evolved into how many account get signed and that is a difficult one to answer since we all have different situations. Variables such as historical weather patterns/accumulations, type of accounts, varying triggers and geographic length of route all come into play. I’m sure all of us have oversold along with undersold somewhere along the way. It’ll take a couple of seasons to find the right balance and mix of work. Until you find that lean towards the conservative side, last thing you want to do is oversell and get a bad reputation.