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How to bid this????

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by froglawn, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. froglawn

    froglawn Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 3

    I am submitting my first ever snow plow & salting bid.:bluebounc

    I am bidding an apartment complex with a 1/2 mile stretch of road (it's just a simple loop around the complex). They want the plowing bid in 2" increments. Also they want a bid on salting. How much to charge for plowing and salt? Also, how much to salt to use?

    Thanks guys...need help ASAP if possible!!!!:help:
  2. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    First off welcome. Second, go to the top of the page and click on the search button. You will find everything you need there.

    Good luck, Bossman
  3. plowboss

    plowboss Member
    Messages: 48

    first measure the area. our experience is that (and it varies with conditions) about 1 ton of salt per aprox. 100,000 sq ft. also, with about 2" of snow you should be able to plow off at least 50,000 sq. ft. per hour with a standard 7.5 or 8 ft straight blade. these are aproximates and there are alot of variables. but a road that is continuious with very little jigs and jags should go faster than an irregular shaped area. hope this helps..
  4. froglawn

    froglawn Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 3

    yes it does help.... Thanks! The area of the road is 1 acre. How much to charge??????
  5. froglawn

    froglawn Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 3

    I know if varies by the contractor and you have to figure out your OWN profit margin...however, i would still like to be competitive....does anyone have some #'s?
  6. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    You will be competitive if you bid it with YOUR hourly rate in mind. The only competitive numbers you will see will be after the bids are turned in and the customer (maybe) contacts you with their prices. Regin, overhead, profit margin, etc can change a bid by a huge amount.

    If this is your first bid, go higher than you think because I'm sure you missed something. If you get it, it will be better. If you don't, use it as a learning experience for the next one.

    Good Luck.
  7. cornellshapiro

    cornellshapiro Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    why doesn't anyone just answer the question? I came on here for advice on billing, and basically the same question froglawn has asked.......I never see a concrete response! What good is a forum? I'll will answer you froglawn.......charge $240 for the plowing only.....no snow removal and charge an extra$185 for the salting. That is about an hour and a half of your time and it would easily cover your insurance and salt. Right or wrong that is a decent bid
  8. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    Why doesn't anyone answer the question? It's too broad of a question.

    You said $240 to plow 1/2 a mile road. He said they wanted it in 2" increments, is that for 2" or 2'?

    How wide is the road? I know a couple of the apartments I do the the roads are not as wide as a city street. Ok I see it is only 1 acre.

    How do you know what kind of equipment he is running? I assume (like you did) he is using a truck with a blade, but what if he is using a quad and a 4' blade, or a skid with a pusher?

    Is he using bagged salt (more expensive, and time consuming) or bulk? What does he even pay for salt?

    How close is his next account, what is the trigger, how do you know what his insurance costs are.

    Mabey in your area you can get that kind of money, but if I turned in a bid for $240 for less than 10 minutes of work I would be laughed at.

    You said it will take him an hour and a half. For what??? to plow and salt 1/2 mile of roadway. It seems like you don't know what you are talking about either.

    It seems that he has never done this before (and I am not bashing this guy) but he needs to get out and do his homework. Figure out his costs, what he needs to charge to turn a profit, ect. If he doesn't do that chances are his business will never get off the ground. If he turnes in a bid without knowing the priceing structure for his area he will either be too high and not land any work, or too low and loose money and go under.

  9. plowboss

    plowboss Member
    Messages: 48

    well said Bossman92.. without knowing the answers to many questions, anyone who would throw out a number to this fellow, i think would be misleading him. there is a vast difference is pricing in the different markets. also, as you mentioned, there are way too many unanswered questions for any of us to give an accurate number. instead of a number, how about a method.. figure out how much $ you need for whatever the equipment is you will be using, (truck and plow, skid and box, backhoe and box) simply multiply that # by how long you think it will take based on sq. footage and aprox production rates i mentioned preveiously. then do the same with salting, determine how much you will need each time and how much that application will cost YOU. once you know these #'s you can add whatever it is you want to make in profit and know you won't get burned, will you get job? IDK, you should know your market better than me.
  10. cornellshapiro

    cornellshapiro Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    again, with the vagueness..... it is not too broad a question. You can assume the roadway is approx 20' in width...... i have been landscaping apt complexes for 20 years and that is just about average. Besides, I am sure if there were crazy circumstances, he would have mentioned that. If he didn't mention odd or unusual circumstances, it's his own problem. Our job is to give some advice and answer his question. Of course you need to assume he is using a truck w/blade!

    As far as the trigger, he said every two inch increments, so obviously, the price I gave is for 2" . As far as bigger storms, I give a discount for each extra increment. For instance , if there were a 20" storm, I wouldn't charge $240 times ten. There would be a discount for the extra nine increments.

    As far as the timing, who said ten minutes worth of work? This should take one hour and a half, under normal circumstances, which he has implied.

    As far as salt costs, I don't know what he using, however, it is only a half-acre, so whether it is bags or a load, it can only cost 100, tops.

    Who cares where his next job is? Thats his problem, he is just asking us for a decent price for the job he laid out!
    He is ending up with the following $240 +$185=$425 for two inces plus salt.
    Subtract average gas pirices 15, insurance(2k for a season divided by a 90 days season, average=22 per day) salt 100 tops, truck and plow cost (75 hour) times one hour and one half=112

    Costs =15+22+100+112=249
    Company ended up with $176 profit That is a decent bid for this guy He didn't say he was starving, so this is a proper commercial bid, and at least I gave an answer.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009
  11. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,538

    Anyone who can shoot from the hip without seeing the property... Don't know what to say... :dizzy:

    By his description, we're talking 10-20 minutes worth of work, depending on skill level. I wouldn't get $240 for that here if I were the last plow guy in town... You appear to be a bit high on salt too... Every area is different, everyone's costs are different, that's why people dont give prices on the internet.

    Of course, the other reason people dont give prices on the internet, is that if I were your competitor, I'd print this thread, and use it against you to get the job... :waving:
  12. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    A proper answer for the OP would be something like this IMO.

    It will take ~30 minutes to plow, so charge your miniumum or a 1 hour minimum.

    You will need about 200# of salt per lane mile (that is what the DOT specs here, you may want to double that).

  13. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    An hour and a half??? That means it would take the average city worker 3 hours to plow and salt 1 mile of street.

    Trust me you are hurting this guy way more than you are helping him.

    I am not sure you even have a clue what you are talking about. You said $75 an hour for truck and plow, $75 x 1.5 = 112.50 where do you come up with $240?

    You said you came on here for questions about billing, and basically the same questions the origional poster asked. Have you ever done this type of work before?

    There is alot more to this than just spitting out numbers. :rolleyes:

  14. doo-man

    doo-man Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    I see where cornellshapiro is sorta comming from he is saying that if these were his Costs to operate=15+22+100+112=249 which is basically overhead for equipment, Ins, Etc. that if he bid the job for $425.00 he would have a overall profit of $176.00...

    I agree with you guys he needs to get out there and measure and know what costs he is going to have and bid accordingly from that and knowing what his overhead is.

    I know approx what my costs are for fuel,Ins,Truck, Etc. and bid knowing what I would like to make if at all possible and tryin not to screw the customer so I can service them for atleast a few years...

    Just my 2 pennies :)
  15. cornellshapiro

    cornellshapiro Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Wizardsr said it all in his last sentence..."i'd print this thead, etc......" that is why no one gives any prices! Why even answer froglawns question?

    on 8/27 plow boss said it takes an hour to plow 50,000 square feet.........that is just what froglawns road is (two lanes-1/2 mile =50,000 aprx)

    Also, wizardsr says"shoot from the hip without seeing the property"!......none of you have seen the property, so what, no-one answers the guys question? We take the information provided by froglawn, interpeeret it and answer using assumptions and historical evidence.

    After all this guys work, you all can't expect to make a measley 176 dollars?! The company needs to make a profit! You don't go out there and risk your equipment, spend all your time, etc, just to make your 75/ hour, do you?

    Also, maybe i was a little high on the salt, however, at least this guy has an idea now......using cretebabys numbers, froglawn would need 400 pounds of salt.....fine, I'm a bit high depending on where froglawn buys, however, like quadpower said in his last sentence on 8/27....it's better to be high the first time, and if you don't get it it's a learning experience.......you guy are out there just plowing for salary?

    Maybe it's just me, but I like to make money, not just put smiley faces on posts.
  16. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    Alright cornell, I will try to show you what I am talking about.

    He has a road that is 1/2 mile long (doesn't matter it's 50k or what ever) it's a road!

    1/2 mile of road is 2640' long

    so if he plows at 10 mph it will take him 3 mins to plow one lane

    multiply that by 2 because it's 2 lanes and now you have 6 minutes.

    Lets round it up to ten minutes. Well lets face it if your hourly rate is $75 you would never charge him $12 to ploe the road right. But on the same hand I am pretty sure you couldn't get away with charging this guy $240 either.

    Does that make sense?

    You are the only one who said anything about $75 an hour. I won't get out of bed for less than $125 an hour. You are quite a bit high on both your plowing and your salt prices(so high I am sure he wouldn't land any of the work). It won't kill this guy to spend an hour on here to learn what he needs to charge to make a profit. Nobody ever said he shouldn't make a profit, he has to if he wants to stay in business.

    This same exact senerio has played out on here hundreds of times in the last few years, that's why I told him in the second post to do a search.


  17. Dubliner

    Dubliner Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    I don't get out of bed for less than 150 an hour, i have several 1/2 mile lanes and they take approx. 10 minutes and I get 75 dollars each, only difference is I don't salt, I sand and for the same money as plowing, of course that's here with little competition, and I have been plowing more years than I care to remember. ussmileyflag
  18. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    So when he uses your $240 and gets laughed at for being soo high, he will then come back here and learn how to bid it right.

    I'm not saying that in your area you can't get that amount and maybe you need to make that much to cover your over head and profit. But to charge 1.5 hours to do something that will only take a MAX of .5 hours is crazy.

    Figure out your labor rate and multiply by a half hour.

    Good Luck
  19. Allens LawnCare

    Allens LawnCare Member
    Messages: 90

    So what was the bid, how'd it turn out....can't wait....it's like watching a soap opera
  20. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,468

    I'm guessing this so called 1/2 mile "road" isn't that cut and dried. If it's in the complex you probably can't just drive through and your done. There will be some relocating and carrying of snow to certain areas. Plus you have to figure time for travel and loading the salt.

    I think his bid will be a little high but not to far off. Cornellshapiro is right in one way though, he gave the guy an answer! I hate the "Do a search" answer, why even bother typing that. I do love these dam smilies though :D :nod: ussmileyflag