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In depth estimating

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by jbone, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    Ive done a lot of reading about bidding/estimating on here and ive gotten a lot of helpful info., yet theres still something missing. I understand tht things like acreage, obstacles, height of snow, per-push, per-inch, etc have to be taken into acount of the price. But when you get down to the little things like cost of employees, fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs do you really sit down and figure out how many man hours will be required and how much you pay your employees? How much fuel your truck uses an hour and how long it will take to do each account? How much insurance will cost and estimate enough to do repairs and spread those costs into each account? Do you do this for each account as acurate as possible and of course make some room for profit, or do you just ballpark it? Im just curious as to how far in depth some of you go into doing your bidding/estimating. It seems to take a long time, and yet people want you to put a bid in at the last minute. Thanks!
     
  2. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    once you figure out what those numbers are you will be able to make much more profitable bids. Also once you figure out what your per unit (either hour, acre, ton of salt) costs are you can re-use those numbers until a parameter changes.

    Eventually you will learn how to view a lot and know what it will take you to clear it and you wont have to do as much calculating.

    Another major factor to consider that many people fail to mention, no matter what your costs are you still have to consider market value for the property. If you are able to come in and clear a lot for $50 but the market rate is $65 you will want to charge closer to the $65 especially if you know you will get the job.

    Base your bids off the market rate and use your calculated costs to make a minimum for yourself.
     
  3. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134


    Yes it takes a while to do it the first time but it is worth it. After you do it the first time keep it on paper and when you need to refigure for next year it will be that muck easier.

    All of that should be factored into you cost per hour on your equipment. Then just take that cost per hour and apply it to the amount of time that you will need to spend on the account plus any multiplier factot that you may use. One of the things that you are not factoring in that should be factored in is clean-up time for the truck and equipment after the storm. That is still time that is spent that should be accounted for in your pricing.
     
  4. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    thanks for the advice. I guess the only way to learn is to do it.