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Just Starting Out

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Snowgirl, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Snowgirl

    Snowgirl Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 3

    starting out

    We have been approached with an offer to take on the snow removal for an adult living complex. The contract would be for the driveways and some walks of each individual condo unit. each unit is composed of either single car or double car drives, as the site is still under construction the first year will be only 21 units final number is 53 units.We are a small company, and currently have no heavy equiptment, and would be using shovels and 1 snowblower. As we have never taken on a contract of this type, we would appreciate any advice regarding pricing,what to watch out for (potential pitfalls and snags), and maybe any of your stories or advice. I should mention that we are from northern alberta(edmonton,alberta). We really have no clue with regard to how this type of contracting works, so any advice from you pros would be a big help! purplebou
    thanks in advance...:waving:
    Snowgirl
     
  2. Snowgirl

    Snowgirl Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 3

    hi all,
    We have been approached with an offer to take on the snow removal for an adult living complex. The contract would be for the driveways and some walks of each individual condo unit. each unit is composed of either single car or double car drives, as the site is still under construction the first year will be only 21 units final number is 53 units.We are a small company, and currently have no heavy equiptment, and would be using shovels and 1 snowblower. As we have never taken on a contract of this type, we would appreciate any advice regarding pricing,what to watch out for (potential pitfalls and snags), and maybe any of your stories or advice. I should mention that we are from northern alberta(edmonton,alberta). We really have no clue with regard to how this type of contracting works, so any advice from you pros would be a big help! purplebou
    thanks in advance...:waving:
    Snowgirl
     
  3. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,105

    Welcome

    Welcome to the site :waving: :waving: :waving: Lots of people can help you with info and advice on how to work in this field. If you are going to take this on then you need to start out small and work your way up this prop sounds like a good place to start but it will be a lot of work by hand the blower will help but you might need some type of equipment to move some of the snow around. Do you have anything that might be able to help with this ? Man power is great but it does wear down after a few hours and some equipment does help. What type of equipment do you have? How did you get find out about this prop? lets just start off with a few questions and work from there ....:salute:
     
  4. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Well the first thing I would do is make sure you have the account then buy a plow truck. I don't know your average now fall but there is no way you are going to be able to keep up with shovels and a blower. And I'll be perfectly honest why would they contact you if you don't have any equipment? If you advertised for snow removal then you need to be able to provide a service in a timley mannor and with shoveling you would be there for hours and hours unless you had 10 guys doing it then after you pay out labor costs whats the point, you probably only made pennies after everything is said and done. I could see if you had a few larger blowers but if you have to buy some more blowers at $2000.00 each then you might as well buy a used plow truck in good condition. Just my thoughts hope this helps someway.payup
     
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,999

    The other thing you COULD do, is sub out the plowing of the driveways if you don't want to get into a truck right now.

    I know personally I HATE shoveling / blowing.

    You could get together with someone that you "trust" and go in on the account with you. You do all the sidewalks / garage aprons and they plow the drives / road.

    As far as doing it all yourself, you're really going to need a truck, or skidsteer / tractor of some sort.

    Even if each driveway took you 20 minutes that's 5 hours of straight HARD shoveling.

    Unless you're going to have 20 people help you shovel each time, dedicating 1 person / drive, you're really going to need some equipment.

    UNLESS......... you did hire 20-30 guys for $20 each to shovel for 10-15 minutes, they'd be making like $80 / hour, or even 10-15 guys, they should still be able to cover it.

    If you do it this way, it's going to cost you $600 in labor each time it snows, which you're most likely not going to get that for a price.

    I'd really like to see everyone show up with that 7' snowstorm though :dizzy:

    SOOOOO.......... start looking for a truck or 2, so you have a backup, before you get into something that's just going to drive you nuts anyways.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2005
  6. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,868

    I think your going to want more than just 1 snow blower and a few shovels, its going to take you a while...not worth your time. Just my thinking.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2005
  7. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Yeah you cant possibly do a job that size with 1 blower and a handfull of shovels. Why would you even attempt a job this size without a truck or two?
     
  8. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    Lets estimate 20-40 minutes per drive. This equals 7-14 manhours to clear with snowblowers. 1 blower 7-14 hours. Big difference in time from 7 to 14. 3 blowers 2 1/3 to 4 2/3 hours. If they are okay with this timeframe go for it. If the drives are what I have pictured as straight and standard retirement community drives, I would bid $30-35 each with a truck. This puts you between $630 and $735. This is if there is one flat price per snow. Employee manhours of 14 at $15/hour is $210. Seems okay if they are okay with the timeframe to clear the snow. Figure fuel, repairs, and equipment costs into the equation.
     
  9. Snowgirl

    Snowgirl Junior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 3

    Thank you

    Thank you all for your advice!! There are some other things I need to find out such as when to do the driveways? Every time it snow's or every 2in's of snow. What happens when it snow's for two days in a row, will I need to be out there 24/7. There is a lot to this snow removle business then I expected !
    so if any of you have any more advice to give that would be wonderful.:help: :help:
    Thanks again
    snowgirl
    :angel:
     
  10. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Hello Snowgirl and welcome to plowsite.:waving:
    I used to do a few apt. buildings and condos. My trigger was 2 inches but I usually only plowed once of it was a light storm. If it was a heavy one, I usually plowed twice. Once at my trigger and once again for cleanup.
     
  11. kingriver

    kingriver Senior Member
    from alaska
    Messages: 217

    I would have to ask how many people you have on your shoveling crew. If less that 10 I would be careful, and what were the terms per push or in your case per shovel. Are you bidding per snowfall, or per season ? Maybe if you bid per season (where theirs a chance of shorting yourself of funds) this is where you charge a set amount for the season (example)$ 3500.00 for 2005/06 season you could get up enough cash to purchase a used plowtruck, let me know
    :cool: :cool: