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How to charge for loading salt

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by bighornjd, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    I'm working on a bid for plowing for a local municipality. They want one hourly rate for plowing. Spec requires one truck with plow and spreader to include driver. They supply and store salt. The catch is the contractor has to provide a way to load the salt on their truck. So basically I have to have a loader on site and the driver has to get out of the truck and load himself. This is supposed to be included in the hourly truck rate. I was thinking of adding the hourly rate for the loader minus the cost of the operator (since the truck driver would be the operator, and the truck would still be on the clock while being loaded). Where i am torn is, the loader will be sitting idle most of the time, however as long as it is sitting there it can't be working anywhere else either. How do you guys charge for loaders or skids on-site that only get used to load salt? I want to submit a competitive price but not screw myself... There is a 4 hour minimum payout each time you are called if that matters. Thanks.
  2. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    thats a tough bid. charge what you would pay for a seasonal rental of a skid? how many loads of salt per event? you could tow a skid then drop at another site? Load it before an event? can you buy salt for your other lots from them and save some money then load all your salt there? lots of ways to look at it
  3. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,246

    I think you have it right on principal but perhaps you could come down on your loader pricing because of the little amount of fuel that it will be using throughout the storm.

    If I read it correctly, you will only be loading one truck?
  4. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    Correct, I will have one single axle dump plowing and spreading. The municipality has a salt shed in town where they store salt that they buy themselves (apparently they piggyback off the state bid since they are a municipality and get it cheaper than a contractor could likely buy it for) . I have to provide a way to load it. I can load this truck with my skid so I would take it and park it at the salt shed before a storm. It will be sitting there parked most of the time and only used to load the one truck, and the truck driver would be the operator when loading.

    I am thinking of adding in half the cost to operate the skid minus the operator to the hourly rate. I think that will give a fair value to having it sitting there not able to work anywhere else even though it probably won't see near that many actual hours on the meter. Unless there is something you all think I am missing in my thinking? Thanks for the help so far.
  5. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,246

    That idea sounds fair to me. Kind of a "six of one, half dozen of the other" situation.
  6. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    I think it's a cost of doing business.
    You'd have to load the truck anyway
    and the truck rate doesn't stop in the middle of a storm when you're loading right? (the truck is still on the clock so to say)

    the guy hops out of the truck fires up the skid (the city doesn't have a loader? seems bizzare), loads your truck, parks the loader and jumps back in the truck.

    the truck is still on the clock.
  7. leigh

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

    Can you share cost with other contractors working for the town ? Is everyone going to bring their own loader?
  8. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    We're talking a VERY small town... Only one contractor and only one truck required. Hence the reason they don't have a loader either. They used to have a really old POS truck and backhoe of their own, but they were both in sad shape. The duct tape and chewing gum couldn't hold them together any more. They looked into replacing them and found out what it would cost for new equipment and quickly decided it would be better to just contract it out and sell off what they had.

    I agree the loader for salt is a cost of doing business, especially if it were at my yard and loading trucks that were going out to multiple accounts. Or if I was supplying the salt, I would just mark up the salt to cover loading costs. But since i am doing neither and the loader will be loading only this one truck for this one contract, i need to figure how to cover the cost of having the loader onsite, since that is an expense that will have to be included in the hourly rate for the truck...

    Thanks for the input so far. I think I've settled on a rate I'm comfortable with but I still have a little time to sleep on it awhile in case I change my mind.
  9. leigh

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

    Ok, now i understand. Guess when people get mad at their driveway aprons getting plowed
    over after they clear them they'll know who to come after:nod:
  10. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    Haha, yeah I guess. Oh well - I ain't skeered...wesport:gunsfiring:

  11. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,697

    I don't know the weather in your area....change the numbers in this example to match your averages.

    You must deliver and pick up the machine, right? = $400.00

    Let's say you're good with $90.00 per hour for your skid.

    If you were to experience 15 push events, and worked 6 hours each time. = 90 hours ~ If you were to experience 35 salting events, and worked 3 hours each time, = 105 hours.

    You are estimating you will have the opportunity to work 195 hours....round up to 200.

    To recoup your delivery and pick up charge ~ add an extra $2.00 for each hour worked.

    Let's say you will load your truck 3 times during each event. If you spend more than 7.5 minutes each time to do this, you may be goofing off. This will equal 22.5 minutes of skid time used on each event. 22.5 minutes x 50 (total events) = 1,125 minutes, or 18.75 hours for the year.

    18.75 x $90.00 (per hour) = $1,687.50 to get paid for. Divide this by the total numbers of hours you will work, and you will need to add $8.44 to each hour. Add the $2.00 per hour to recoup the delivery and pick up charge and you will come to $10.44 per hour.

    Round up to $10.50 ~ add this to your hourly truck rate and you'll be good.
  12. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,468

    Holy Sh!t, TCLA how many cups of coffee have you had!:D

    My guess is they won't pay you any extra, it's just part of doing the plowing. If I were you I would hide the cost of the loader in your bid, and it better be minimal. Someone will bid it with no cost for leaving a loader on site.
  13. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,246

    Wow TCLA, your early morning math is a lot better than mine. Good job!
  14. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,697


    After further review I see I overlooked this. I shortchanged you 35 hours. :eek:

    Won't change the calc for the loader value though....:whistling:

    Sounds like a small town. He could be the only player. Even so, don't shortchange yourself. Remind them it is well worth it for them to pay this amount, as opposed to buying and maintaining their own loader.

    You missed my mistake. :p
  15. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,697


    Umm.......yes it will.

    Subtract $1.56 from the $10.50. Revised rate is now $8.94.....

    Just add 9 bucks to you truck rate, ok?:eek:

    I'm going to cut my grass now.................
  16. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    Well thanks for the help, lol. I think I've nailed down a price. It is indeed a small town. They didn't get any bids last time and revised the specs (not by much) and put it out again, so yes, there is a good chance I will be the only player or have little competition. I think I came up with a fair price but can still make money. If I get it i think i will have a nice little gig going, if not i can rest assured that I'm not out there working for free as a lowballer. Thanks again - wish me luck!