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How to do seasonal contracts or price lots per push

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by jvm81, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. jvm81

    jvm81 Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 381

    I need to step up the snow removal game. I am losing out to one guy with a cat loader and a 14ft pusher. Everything that gets bid he smokes us on price because the businesses tell me he says so much per push and he is cheaper than your hourly rate. I use truck and plow and a skid with blower or kage system pusher. Now I know running our pushe we cut time down a lot. Therefore I charge accordingly. But this guy just does everything. I don't want the huge lots but some smaller retail, gas station ect is a perfect fit for us. My largest takes us about an hour in a half with skid and 9ft Kage pusher. Other commercial accounts range from 20 minutes on up. Any insight?
     
  2. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,851

    is he doing a good job? Sounds like he has the equipment,if so you might have to look at competing with his prices by lowering your costs somehow so you can have more competitive pricing, but still make your profit.
     
  3. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,851

    If you can offer better services & or quality then him, make sure you point that out to your potential customers.
     
  4. jvm81

    jvm81 Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 381

    Service for him, he just sits. Never gets out of the machine. Myself, we shovel the walks or use blower, we shovel around gas pumps, we do the entire lot for clearing all snow. He just pushes and then goes on. Sme of these account my sidewalk crews finish after or before him, other competition crews may do other accounts for walks. Same with sanding. He'll just show up and spread sand then bill. If people say I didn't hire you, he says that's fine, no charge just thought I was passing by and would do the lot. He gets paid more than not. How do I know exactly cuz he did our church out of the blue one day when I take care of it.
     
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sounds like he's giving a per push price or seasonal,If your trying to do hourly on small lots you won't win.
     
  6. jvm81

    jvm81 Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 381

    Yes he is doing per push pricing. Heck I can estimate but now that we have a 9ft Kage pusher, I need to step up game for next year and need some advice on how per push stuff works.
     
  7. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,659

    So this guy just shows up at a random lot with his loader, plows and them sends a bill to an account he doesn't even have??? I'd be at this guys shop giving him what for for plowing my account. If I were the customer I'd tell him thanks for the free plow and you're bill looks great in my round file. What a ******
     
  8. GVL LLC

    GVL LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    The way i understand it is that the guy is plowing lots that are his to plow but then he goes around to random places and applies salt and then says "no charge" but he sometimes gets paid by some businesses that arent his lots to be salting
     
  9. jvm81

    jvm81 Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 381

    Yes he'll plow his own lots but he runs around silly sanding everything insight. He recently did my dad's office (he works at an elevator in the grain department) they have there own sander for the grain scale, front office area etc. He came through twice sanding/salting. Yes he sent a bill. I havent heard if they are paying yet. Yes this guy thinks just cuz he has a cat loader and pusher everything is his and don't dare touch his stuff. I have the trucks and plows and skid with pusher, I can do snow, maybe not compete with a cat loader and14ft pusher but I need insight on how to price "per push" snow events.
     
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Time to call the cops.
     
  11. bosman

    bosman Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    1: We can tell you how to price by the push, but it won't matter if it's higher than his price......right. Sounds to me like you need to find out what he is charging and under bid it if you want the job.

    2: If he was plowing my lots, like Grandview said, call the cops.

    3: Go rent a bigger, faster loader, show up before him and do your lots, then his. If you can't beat them, join them.
     
  12. ponyboy

    ponyboy Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    Sounds fishy to me
    If that is the case go where he salted and slip and fall he would be responsible
     
  13. bosman

    bosman Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    Damn, that should've my #4, good thinking. :nod:
     
  14. jvm81

    jvm81 Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 381

    That's funny about the slip and fall issue. Kinda like when we do small dirt work with skid. I can grade just as well as him. He'll stop by and tell me that's his work. Basically he is something else to deal with.
     
  15. bosman

    bosman Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    I've got a guy that shows up before me and plows about half of two lots, then leaves. I'd call the cops, but his brother is the towns police chief. It doesn't bother me though, I charge a flat rate for the lots, I make the same whether half is done or not. He doesn't charge anything.
     
  16. jvm81

    jvm81 Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 381

    Well it happened again today. Sand/salt for us as we had 1/4 inch of ice. He started at midnight. I started at 3. Reason I know cuz I talked to him........... Well 6:30 phone rings at home, wakes wife, kids up. My church calls. Wondering why in the world I sanded the entire parking lot when A. they didn't call yet, B. they have no activites going on today ( I have a calander of events for the church). My wife calls me and tells me this. I said nope, didn't do it but interesting I'll check it out. Yup, looked like a gravel parking lot. So I head out to his shop. Alittle chit chat. I told him I understand you want the entire town but hello already.......... He goes on to tell me well I didn't see you there yet so I thought................ liability, liability, liability is all he said and uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh ........... I left. Then my dad calls, sure enough he did there entire grain facility in the middle of the night (security system) he laid sand on gravel lot along with the cemented areas. Dad was like we called him the last time and told we weren't paying but here they go again.

    Also he added a cat 928 with 400 hours and a few years old to his fleet. (his helper told me that this morning while I waited for him) what is a machine like that cost? To me it looked brand new but they said it came off of a cat rental yard.
     
  17. Meezer

    Meezer Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 291

    If the guys brother is the police chief, then talk to him about reining in his brother. If he doesn't do anything, file a complaint with the county sheriff & DA.
     
  18. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 784

    If the talking doesn't work, start popping tires, there is no reason for a d-bag like that to just rome around, doing what they want, praying on the guilt of honest, hard working people. Send him a message saying you are done playing his game, stay off my lots!
     
  19. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    Maybe start by having the places he drops sand at that didn't want it send him a bill to clean the mess up in the spring.

    Have the police issue him a no tresspass to keep him off the property.

    Sorta sounds like a Mayberry size town.
     
  20. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    How to do per push? What do you think you'd charge to clear a lot on an average snowfall? Not 10", not 2", but your average snowfall over the season - that's what you charge. Some East coasters seem like they have a blizzard clause that I'm starting to understand but for us we just get snow from 1-10" and base it off that - the occasional dumping just gets sucked up and more than likely we push it more than once anyways.

    That per push bracket pricing $xx.xx for 2-4" and xx.xx for 4-6" just seems a big hassle, opens you up to disputes and such, I'd stay away from that pricing.

    I don't think you can ever win with hourly rates - too many dishonest people out there overbilling, no reason to get bigger or more efficent equipment......