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How much to charge?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by chavez1414, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. chavez1414

    chavez1414 Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 3

    Hey guys, I've been reviewing this forum for several years and I really appreciate the wealth of information provided by the users. I am needing some help with updating a job bid because I am getting a lot of variances with prices.

    I currently have this contract and have considered charging more this year. The job is for an approximate 450 residential HOA. Referring to the map, you can see it is quite large with the lots being between .20-.25 acres. The roads are highlighted. There are 2 roundabouts and 15 very time consuming cul-de-sacs. The roadways are about average width for a newer neighborhood, as it takes about 4 passes to get the snow to the curb. A major problem is the lack of space to push snow in the tight fitted, cookie cutter neighborhood, especially those circles. Last year, I actually pushed all of this alone on two occasions. It took me just under 5 hours and I logged 34 miles of forward driving.

    In my area of Indiana, we only push this about 4 times a year and we average about 20-25 inches. The contract has a 2" trigger and the rate multiplies based on depth, though there is normally not enough accumulation.

    With the little bit of snow we get, purchasing larger equipment is not really justified for this area. With that, I push with a 8.5 V-Plow. You realize now, why it takes 5 hours, but using anything larger doesn't cut it in those tight cul-de-sacs.

    It is a long post, but everyone always wants more information. I hope I covered everything. I'll wait until I get a few responses before I reveal what I charged last year.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    Well, you know what your overhead is and how much your charging. Tell yah right now if i were you i would have a loader with an adjustable blade "8' with 4' adjustable wings good for up to 16'. You would be hard pressed to beat a good loader/operator in this kind of route with a truck.

    I dont know what your charging but from the looks of the size and the mileage you are stating you have to be charging at least $7500 a push, that is if you doing every driveway. I am estimating by 450 driveways at $15 each and $500 for the roads if your wondering where i get my number from.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  3. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    subscribed got me curious.
  4. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,395

    7500....where does he say he plows the driveways....
  5. abbe

    abbe Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 719

    No way is he doing the driveways if it only took him 5 hours. that would be a minute a driveway never mind roads. Your starting number is around the $1000-1200 range? It took you 5 hours with a v personally, but if you had a sub or employee there it would take nearly twice as long with a straight blade I'm sure.
  6. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Im guessing $3400 $100 per mile
  7. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 689

    I'm going to hazard Your starting around $1,500.00 to $2,000.00.

    Now me, I would start out around $2,000.00 with the stipulation plowing would be just like the state and town does.

    All snow just gets cleared to the curb, homeowners responsible for clearing their driveways.

    Then you don't have to worry about plowing in driveways.
    And I bet your plowing time would be cut down to at least 3 1/2 hours.

    If they wouldn't accept that and I had to not plow in driveways, price starting would $4,000.00

    I'm going to add this, those prices are rough estimates, it could be more or it could be less, all depends on the pita factor.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  8. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,968

    I'm going to guess in the other direction 750$ per push.
  9. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 689

    Would you push it for that price?

    If you would let's talk, I will find the contracts double the price and you do the plowing and I will do the paperwork, we both make money. :drinkup:

    BTW, I'm kidding. Way to busy to do that.
    Besides I'm not a national, just a wee little fish in a big pond. :laughing:
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  10. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,968

    Me personally? no way. But with people on here plowing for 35$ an hour I figured I would bet against the crowd! :drinkup:
  11. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    If you have a V blade that you can add wings to that will cut down on the plowing time without buying larger equipment. Put one on the leading edge and leave the other off.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  12. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 689

    That is one reason I don't do residential. too many guys throwing plows on their trucks doing them for $20 to $25 a pop regardless of the amount of snow.

    I even run into that in commericial. I bid on a place last year, didn't get it and asked what the winning bid was.
    the flat price the guy bid even for a one man show after factoring in insurance, gas, matierals and time would have been $35 an hour.
    He could have subbed out and made $50 to $60 an hour.
    Of course that was before Nemo, with Nemo I bet he ended up making around $20 an hour.

    So the question on everyones mind is, What is chavez1414 getting for plowing this??

    Come on chavez don't keep us in the dark.
  13. Buswell Forest

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

    6 hours x $150 = $900 a push. $600 for salt/sand.
  14. chavez1414

    chavez1414 Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for all the responses!

    For a little clarification, I do not do the driveways. Also, as one guessed, I'm just pushing to the curb, even if it blocks the end of drive just like the city/county does. For the past two years, I charged $1,200 a push for 2-4". It doubles for 4-8" and triples for 8-12". We typically don't get that much snow, but we did have that small blizzard the day after Christmas last year and received 11.5". I know that is laughable for some of you guys in the NE, but that day took about 8 hours. Mainly because I pushed for 3 hours and gave up until it stopped snowing. So $3,600 for 8 hours was real nice at the end of that day!

    Locally, guys have told me $200/hour, so that makes me a little high. Others say $2,000/push since it takes so much time on a single job. For this reason, most wouldn't even consider it. These guys would rather do a bunch of smaller/quicker jobs then put a crew on a large area for several hours. Regardless, everyone seems to be shocked that it is 34 miles of forward driving, but I've checked it twice. That is a lot of time with the plow continuously on the ground!

    So as usual, you guys are right in the general area for pricing. My plan was to go somewhere between $1500-$2000 this year. I've already informed the HOA to expect an increase this year and they are okay with it. Keeping a customer satisfied is an almost guaranteed repeat account.
  15. chavez1414

    chavez1414 Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 3

    Another factor I did not mention was the on street parking. It is not too much of a problem on the primary roads, but a real PITA in those limited space cul-de-sacs. But this year I have a buddy with a Wrangler with a small straight blade to help with those. Subs here typically average $55/hr with their own equipment, so it is worth the added expense. I'm hoping this too will greatly reduce my time.
  16. firelwn82

    firelwn82 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,861

    Typically I charge $7-$10/ foot of the plow. So you have an 8.5' v-plow so I would be charging $85/ hr as a sub contractor.. Me being the owner paying insurance, liability and fuel I don't do anything for less than $100/ hour.. I run across people who are charging $65/hr... Forget that.. I was asked to bid on a mobile home park to plow all of the road ways and parking areas.. Would take about 6 hours and they wanted atleast two trucks on it. My trucks have 810 blizzards on them.. So I bid the property for $650 per 4" push with 1.5 inch trigger.. 4-6 another 650 etc.. A company came in and is doing it with 3 trucks, 2 with 8.5' v-plows and one with a 7.5 straight.. It takes them 7-8 hours and they push it for $400.. O and fyi it looks terrible when they leave... It makes zero sense to me why companies pay pennies less and get ****** services and still keep them.. I don't lower my prices for anyone.. I'm here to make a profit not float by... :dizzy: