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Lot Bid/Offer/Demand

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by CMU07, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. CMU07

    CMU07 Member
    Messages: 68

    I was offered the chance to plow a lot, that is 34775sq ft. I am told that if I do it for $75 a push it's mine. I believe a lot of this nature (nearly a perfect rectangle) will take me in the neighborhood of 45min to complete with a 7 1/2ft blade. There are nearly no obsticals and a wide open area at the back of the lot to pile snow. I know I can make a couple bucks with this number, but certainly not a killing.
    By my "rough" calculations this lot would need about 700-800 lbs of salt.
    So assuming that my calculations are correct (and I'm asking for verification/accuracy on all my numbers,) how do I sell $140-$160 of salt to them.
    Now I've researched this site a bit, but honestly as I'm posting this don't recall examples of salting bids being double plowing. And yes, I can figure some of you guys might not plow this sized lot for this little money. Is this a regular occurance, or is the $75 really that low?
    Ohh, and I guess I forgot to mention, they have always declined salting, I suppose this might be a reason why....

  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    $75 per push or per storm? Per push it's OK, per storm forget it. If you need to plow two or three times, are they going to pay you the $75 each time?

    Your salt price is over $400 a ton applied. I don't not what you're paying, but that's a pretty high margin. The only way you will sell them on salt is to cut the price way down. You might not get what it's fully worth, but if you can put an extra $50 in your pocket, nothing wrong with that. Once they get hooked, you can go for the increase next year.
  3. CMU07

    CMU07 Member
    Messages: 68

    Ohhh sorry I forgot this, makes life interesting, they want a 1in trigger, but don't want me plowing during business hours unless they notify me. I'm getting 75 per push also, not per storm.
  4. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,594

    $75 for 45 minutes of plowing with a 7.5' blade isn't bad. That equates to $100/hr which is totally acceptable by most people's standards so don't feel like you're not being paid well enough.
  5. CMU07

    CMU07 Member
    Messages: 68

    Not my feeling, and considering I'm new, my 45min mark was more of an educated guess than an estimate. I'm SURE the first couple plows there will be slower, but I feel that's reasonable there after. Am I far off at 45min (plowing with the storm, with previously listed equipment)?

    Thanks again
  6. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    How did you come up with your salting price?
  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I would take the plowing job for sure. 1" trigger makes your life easier. No big pushes. 45 minutes is probably a fairly safe estimate, once you get the hang of it. A set of wings will really speed you up.
  8. CMU07

    CMU07 Member
    Messages: 68

    Wings might be an idea for sure. I came up with the pricing from the general formula I found here. .20-.23/lb. If I'm using rock salt, that's quite a mark up on the $4 bag, but I wasn't sure what the mark up was. (Maybe this per lb price isn't for rock salt?!?( I know I can sell it for less and still make money, but you know... I'm not going to turn down the money if that's the "standard", haha. Anyhow, I have the feeling they will turn it down at .12-.16/lb too. "The maintenance guy shovels/salts the walks and salts the entrances." We'll have to see how greased the sales skills are at signing, I think they'll be lubed! hahaha
  9. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Some guys go with .20 a pound, you are correct. Others do $250 a ton. If you can't get them to agree to salt now, don't worry. Maybe they will notice another lot that looks much better adn ask you why. What kind of business is it?
  10. CMU07

    CMU07 Member
    Messages: 68

    A restaurant!
  11. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Just make sure everyone on the same page. A one inch trigger, don't plow during business hours, no salt, and restaurant, don't add up. If it starts snowing at 8 am, do they think they can go till midnight with no service? Make sure your contract is clearly worded not responsible for slip and fall.

    And definitely get some wings. If you get the job, you'll want to be on the lookout for a vee plow.

    Just one more thing to think about - Sounds like they are "frugal". That's fine. But it's your name on the job.
  12. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    Get some wings and make that 45 min drop to 30.
  13. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,868

    I have local fast food chains that do not want salt, only plowing. They supplied the contract which said "salt upon request by establishment only". I think that covers slip and falls in my favor just fine. This seems to be a standard practice in my area for fast food joints.

    35K with my numbers means 640lbs at $128.

    The not plowing during business hours is strange to me especially at a 1" trigger. $75 per push sounds good, I would go for it.
  14. BlackIrish

    BlackIrish Senior Member
    Messages: 888

    You better add an increasing dollar amount per push depending on actual depth as a result of accumulation due to no plow during day.
    You are quoting gravy work , 1 " trigger , but could end up with 4" of frozen hardpack at 9pm.
    Careful grasshopper.
  15. Grampa Plow

    Grampa Plow Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 274

    I was just going to say that same thing about them paying more after hours when it's 9 inches and it's been driven on! Word your contract carefully concerning the slips and falls. Also, make note of the time that they call you to have you salt, if they ever do. A couple of years ago I had someone fall on a lot that I plowed but didn't salt on a regular basis. My documentation of WHEN they called and when I salted the lot saved the day when the lawyer for the person who fell included me in the legal action. I could document that they didn't call me until AFTER he fell!
  16. CMU07

    CMU07 Member
    Messages: 68

    Another quick question you guys might be able to input on. With 1" trigger, them not wanting me to plow during the day, and them not wanting salt, how does a guy handle this example situation. It snows during the day, and packs down a couple of inches before they "let" me plow. Are there general time assumptions for hardpack?
    Also, I have a gut feeling billing multiple plows in a day might light a fire under them.
    I'm meeting with them for a second time tomorrow, hopefully will iron some of these issues out. I've been writing them down so I don't forget. You guys have been helpful thinking me through this.

    Much appreciated

    And if you have anything for this post, feel free!
  17. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    These are two very specific questions you need to ask them. Obviously you've caught on that none of us think this is the best way to handle this account.

    Really clarify billing push vs. storm too.
  18. CMU07

    CMU07 Member
    Messages: 68

    Well I didn't like it when I heard it either, but I suppose we'll wait and see.
  19. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    I think your salt price might be high because you are over-estimating the poundage needed. This is a big bag of worms. Many different conditions in regards to poundage required to effectively melt. The per push doesn't seem too bad. Lower than I would go now, but 10-15 years ago starting out would have been great. Still not bad if it were just me in one truck. I also agree with what some said about incremental pricing. Ex. 1-4" $75, 4.1-7" $112.50, 7-12" $150. Something along these lines. Good luck.
  20. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    absolutely get a set of prowings for $250-$300, not sure what they go for now but they are a MUST for doing lots. I used to plow a church lot that was 3/4 acre paved and 1/2 acre gravel, no salt. under 3" of snow I could plow the lot in 33 minutes ( only two handicap signs and all snow could go on 3 of the 4 edges...real easy plow, I was paid seasonal but it averaged out to $75 per push.

    Not salting caused the lot to build up with ice, but they didn't seem to care liability wise, but it would slow me down.

    +3" of snow would slow me down, and over 6" really sucked, doubled the plowing time.

    the wings saved me 20-30 minutes.