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Its long, annoying & redundant. but need help on pricing.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Palmeron18, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Palmeron18

    Palmeron18 Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    I tried to make this as detailed as possible so it would show i did my own work and thinking and research before posting. I'm stuck at this point. Plowing & Sanding ANNUAL COST MONTHLY PROJECTED COST EACH SEASON BASED ON EXPECTED LIFESPAN OR COST DURING SEASON

    TRUCK INS $1,417.00 $118.08 $472.32 COST BASED ON 4 MONTH SNOW SEASON
    BUSINESS INSURANCE $1,151.00 $95.91 $383.64 COST BASED ON 4 MONTH SNOW SEASON
    STROBES/ BEACONS & SWITCH PANELS $512.12 $102.42 COST BASED ON EXPECTED 5 YR EXPECTED LIFESPAN- LIMIT OF WEHLEN WARRANTY
    9' BOSS BLOW $5,270.63 $1,054.12 COST BASED ON 5 YR LIFESPAN BEFORE MAJOR COMPONENT FAILURE IN EXCESS OF $1000.
    FULL SET OF WINTER TIRES $1,393.13 $428.00 COST BASED ON 5 YR LIFESPAN INCLUDING $150 REMOVAL/ INSTALL ONLY FOR WINTER SEASONS.




    THE BELOW CATEGORY'S ARE COSTS THAT WILL BE FIGURED INTO EACH ACCOUNTS COST VERSUS THOSE ABOVE THAT ARE CALCULATED FROM AN ANNUAL VIEWPOINT.

    2007 ISUZU NQR $47,000.00 $3.70 COST IS BASED ON 125K MI LIFESPAN DIVIDED BY TOTAL COST TIMES 10MI AVG TRIP EA ACCOUNT.
    TRUCK FUEL $10.00 COST IS BASED ON EXPECTED FUEL USAGE FOR A 10K # DUMPTRUCK
    LOSS OF LABOR $15.00 MINIMUM EARNING TO BREAK EVEN AFTER ALL EXPENSES ARE MET. THIS IS LOST JOB HOURS.


    SO, IN CONCLUSION. FOR EACH ACCOUNT, WHETHER IT BE A DRIVEWAY, COMMERCIAL, PER PUSH OR WHATEVER. I WOULD SEEMINGLY HAVE TO EARN $28.70 HR MINIMUM FOR LABOR, FUEL & TRUCK COST
    REIMBURSEMENT. THEN BASED ON A REMAINING $ 2378.48 ANNUAL EXPENSE REMAINING, HAVE TO DETERMINE THE BEST WAY TO FACTOR THAT INTO SETTING UP COSTS FOR PER PUSH RESIDENTIAL,
    PER PUSH COMMERCIAL, HOURLY & BEING NEW IM GOING TO OVERLOOK SEASONAL FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS.

    OK, HERE ARE SOME OF MY ASSUMPTIONS SO FAR. I AM ALL ABOUT ACCURACY AND FAIRNESS, SO IF I MEASURE EACH DRIVEWAY OR LOT I CAN DETERMINE ITS S.F. WHICH CAN ALLOW ME TO NOT ONLY
    CALCULATE MY SALT/ SAND USAGE BUT ALSO MAKE IT SO WHEN I BID A DRIVEWAY OR LOT I CAN USE A GRAPH TO DETERMINE THE PRICE SO IT IS EXACT AND NOT GUESSTIMATED. FOR INSTANCE A 8' BY 20'
    DRIVEWAY WOULD BE 160 S.F. A DOUBLE DRIVEWAY THAT IS 16' BY 20' WOULD BE 320 ETC. IF SHOWN ON A GRAPH WITH THE LEFT HAND COLUMN BEING F.S. FROM 0 TO SAY 10000 IN 50S.F. INCREMENTS
    AND THE BOTTOM SCALE WOULD MARK SNOW HEIGHTS FROM 0 -3", 3-6" ETC UP TO 12" . FROM THERE THE GRAPH GETS BLOCKED OUT AND WHEREVER IT FALLS THAT’S WHAT THE PRE-DETERMINED PRICE IS.

    TO CALCULATE THE PRICE IN EACH BLOCK ON THE GRAPH I WOULD TAKE THE $28.70HR I HAVE TO EARN. DEDUCT IT FROM $ 90 HR WHICH WOULD SEEM ABOUT RIGHT TO ME FOR MY AREA.
    (PLOWS FOR THE TOWN GET AROUND $80 AN HR AND MY FRIEND WITH A BACKHOE GETS THE SAME). THIS GIVES ME THIS LEFT ME WITH $61.30 HR TO PAY FOR THE $2378.48.
    THIS GIVES ME 38.8 HRS I WOULD HAVE TO WORK TO BREAK EVEN FROM PLOWING. EVERYTHING OVER WOULD BE CASH MONEY.

    HOWEVER, THIS ONLY TELLS ME WHAT TO CHARGE FROM A STRAIGHTFORWARD HOURLY PERSPECTIVE. WHAT ABOUT PER PUSH?

    HOW CAN I PUT $ QUOTES IN EACH BLOCK OF THE GRAPH BASED ON S.F. AND SNOW DEPTH WHEN I CANT CALCULATE HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE BY S.F. IT DOES NOT WORK OUT CORRECTLY WHEN I APPLY MATH
    TO IT. IF I ESTIMATE I DRIVE 5PH WHEN PLOWING A DRIVEWAY OR LOT. THAT IS 5 MPH X 5280 FT PER MILE. WHICH IS 26,400. DIVIDED BY 60 MINUTES IS 440 FPM. TIMES WIDTH OF PLOW, IN MY CASE 9'
    THIS GIVES YOU 3,960 S.F. OF SURFACE AREA PLOWED. THAT WOULD BE A IF A 9' DRIVE TO MAKE IT EASY, A 440' LONG DRIVEWAY IN 1 MIN. SO LETS SAY IT TOOK 3 PASSES, A STRAIGHT SHOT, THEN A
    WHATS THAT CALLED? WINDROWING, TO THE LEFT AND RIGHT TO REALLY PUSH IT BACK. MATH STILL SAYS ITS ONLY 3MINUTES. AND THAT’S AT 5PH. SEEMS SLOW TO ME. SO BY MY PREVIOUS CALCULATION
    OF PRICING AT $ 90 PER HOUR THAT PER PUSH COST SHOULD HAVE BEEN $4.50. ADD IN A TEN MINUTE DRIVE AND THAT BRINGS IT TO A WHOPPING $19.50. I HAVENT GOTTEN INTO SNOW DEPTH BUT
    AT THIS POINT IM SO CONFUSED AND TIRED I DON’T CARE. SOMEBODY JUST LAY IT OUT FOR ME. PLEASE!!!
     
  2. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I stopped reading at "Isuzu". LOL
     
  3. Palmeron18

    Palmeron18 Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Funny, I know, not an ideal plow truck. But unfortunately after getting paid 3 cents an hour for nearly a decade to drive million dollar machines I wasnt able to pony up for the Osh Kosh. Come on now guys, lots of posts on pricing when they leave it vague, lots of answers for undeveloped questions, papapaleazzzeee tell me where im going wrong and how to finish this pricing before its too late.
     
  4. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    OK, OK, I have some comments. It's good to think it through and crunch the numbers. I'm assuming the truck is the cabover dually type able to handle the Boss 9'. That would also explain the $1393 in tires.
    First the numbers. One way to reduce initial investment cost is to look for a used plow. Might be able to find one for $3K and save $2K. Your figures about 10mi round trip per account does not seem efficient. If you do a driveway then drive 5 miles to do another driveway, etc you will spend more time driving then plowing. Find accounts close together if possible. Driving 5 miles in heavy snow/ice will take more time than you think. I didn't see any figures for salt/sand purchase, or a spreader. Also there may be additional cost upgrading the front suspension on the truck A 9' plow is heavy.

    Don't plan on doing detail work with a 9' plow. For an 'in town' residential driveway, it's way too big of plow.

    You can create a graph for salt/sand pricing, based on square Ft. However the 'per push' method contains too many variables to put into a graph. This is where experience, both behind the wheel and bidding jobs will help you. As a beginner, look at the area and determine in your mind how long it would take you to plow, then apply your hourly rate or more. 30% to 50% increments based on accumulation is normal. While you can chart your cost and profit margins, it's what the customer is willing to pay that really counts. Could be more than you need or less.
    If you've never plowed before, I would recommend you sub for the first year. This will give you experience in determining how long it will take to travel between jobs and actual plowing times.

    A start up rarely makes money the first year. All the money goes to paying off equipment. Year 2 and 3 is where the profits can be realized.

    Hey, hope this helps.
     
  5. Palmeron18

    Palmeron18 Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Thank you for replying. Yes, its an 18k gvw cabover. for this size truck all the manufacturers seem to recommend a 10' municipal size plow but i felt that was way too big and heavy for my baby. This is my daily driver, i take this thing to the movies. Wife loves it! Not. The plow is already purchased and as of 5pm hopefully completed. I bought new because im a spoiled brat and its my first truck, wanted new. i also bought new because a local dealer i got my trailer from and does some a lot of fabrication work has to make a special frame for it as there are no kits for it specifically and i trust his work and his business without question. So, while i think you put it a little more nicely to not make me cry, i think what your saying is its good i know my expenses and costs, and have an idea but i need to get my feet wet and use best judgment on estimating per push jobs for factors like, time, obstacles, difficulty etc and just come up with a number and give it my best guess after factoring in any solid facts but not to the ridiculous extent of confusing myself like i have been. Luckily but sadly im 27, live my wife at her parents house and have a full time family owned job i can come and go as i please so money making isnt a concern, im more concerned with just breaking even after a couple years and not ripping anyone off and not low balling any guys that have experience and deserve to not be kicked in the *u&ts by some inexperienced newb. Do you think it would be best for me to plow for my town for my first year and maybe just me and my neighbors driveways until i know whats going on. Oh, sanding and salting i just needed to know how to properly figure and charge, it is my dad that does that, i drive for him sometimes, his truck not mine, i have hay delivery's in mine so i cant sand. I just wanted to make sure he is charging correctly cuz i dont think he has a clue since he never seems to break even. thank you again
     
  6. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644


    okay finding your costs are good, but don't over-engineer-it, round out your numbers, and you'll quickly find there are too many variables to account for. as mentioned already, it takes experience, with that you can drive up, look at the property and say "yeah thats about a 20$ drive, but its on a busy street so add $10 for the BS factor (aka, the time your waiting to back out you could have been at and done with someone elses)

    9' blades are a pain for resi's, heck 8' can be a pain, so you might want to consider getting a "v" blade, they allow you to get into tighter spots.

    also mentioned but a very good point is that what the market bears sometimes is much less than you want, remember you can never be paid too much for snow work, so if you can get $80 for a driveway but your "chart" says charge $50, take the $80 cause 5 other houses your only going to get $20 for, but if they are all on the same street it washes because you'll be gone in 7 minutes...

    your on the right track, just don't over think.
     
  7. Palmeron18

    Palmeron18 Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    More input, I love input. thank you. I did feel like i was over analyzing it. I have about 1 day to make the final decision on the actual plow, i paid for the 9' tripedge boss but im sure theyll allow me to upgrade to a "v". do you think that is a better choice for an all around plow to allow me to do resi but not limit me on commercial. it shouldnt matter since a v can be run straight reguardless anyway right? so its only more choices?
     
  8. zerolatency

    zerolatency Member
    Messages: 81

    holy crap, i think my brain just barfed.... information overload.

    I understand you want to try to figure exact pricing but there are way to many variables, what happens when the first house on the block calls you for a quote, you quote them $XX and sign a contract, then their neighbors call, do you charge them only the distance from the neighbors house, hence less travel miles, less fuel, less time? i don't think so...... like Grn Mtn said its all about what the market will bear, i would spend less time trying to figure out exact costs (because you'll never be exactly right) and more time figuring out what others are charging for similar jobs in your area, don't lowball, just find a way to prove to your customers that the service you are selling is superior to the next guy.

    As far as a plow goes, i would definately not be going 9' for residential. You could always go 8' and get a set of wings that way you can have more or less blade for whatever the job requires. I'm not much help on weither or not to steer you to a v-blade, i've only run one once and i was too tired to remember any of it anyway. Good Luck.
     
  9. BMWSTUD25

    BMWSTUD25 Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    you'll like a nice boss 9.2 V
     
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,857

    I stopped when I got to all caps.

    Makes me go cross-eyed. And my eyeglass Rx is strong enough already.
     
  11. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    my 3/4 ton ram I had the 8' fisher HD with prowings for 5 years. great plow, high moldboard very strong, could still fit through drive-thru. the wings were a absolute must for commercial lots big or small but needed snow pushed places other than a straight run.

    now I run a f350/550 2 yard salter with either a fisher 9' xblade or 9.2 v. --I HATE the plain straight blade, my 8 with wings runs circles around it, but the v is really sweet, v for stacking or cleaning up the spillage, straight and angled for high speed (15mph) or angled back for busting plow banks to open a path in deep snow.

    the only other great plow choice imo is the staight blades that extend out wings.