1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Low-Ballers

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ATWE, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. ATWE

    ATWE Junior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 23

    Just wondering how many of you are experiencing problems with low-ballers this year. We lost a decent amount of large commercial accounts this year to guys bidding out these jobs at about half our rate. They're taking on jobs and charging amounts that barely cover the cost of purchasing the salt let alone plowing and spreading that salt. One example: One of our larger jobs we had we ran 3 front-end loaders with 24' pushers on that would take approximately 30 manhours for an average snowfall. The company that out-bid us this year is going to be doing it with two 3/4ton trucks and 8' blades. I laughed my ass off when I heard this. Technically, it's going to be impossible for that work. Even with a 1/4" storm, after 10 minutes they're going to have rows that those little trucks aren't going to be able to move. It's my hope that after the first snowfall, these guys screw up so royally that these property managers will come crying back to us. Anybody else experiencing these problems?
     
  2. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=69815

    This link is to a lowballer thread on the first or second page of the commercial forum you posted on.

    Yes, we are all seeing this issue in a big way this year.

    Does the manager of the property you referenced know that the other company only has two trucks? If that was the case I would have asked why they would risk their job on this decision!
     
  3. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,245

    I have been undercut on a few lots this year. people doing lots for the same price I do driveways that take me five minutes to do. it is ridiculous. we will se after a few snowfalls If they get done correctly and on time. your situation seems pretty extreme. how can they go from 3 loaders with pushers to 2 trucks with straight blades. I get asked to do large lots and I know as a professional what I can handle and have no problem telling the property manager I can't service them correctly. they always say thanks and tell me if I have the ability in the future they would like me to bid the property. by the sounds of it you will have the job back after the first storm good lucky....
     
  4. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    I don't think we have Hillbilly's in Canada tymusic I raised my prices this year and I'm almost booked up.
     
  5. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    Well maybe your prices were too low to begin with. If you don't think we have people around here willing to work for nothing you are sadly mistaken.
     
  6. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    I feel your pain but ever think you were charging to much?
     
  7. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    I am just glad to have my accounts back and getting new ones w/o even bidding. Sure nice to live in a small town. No contracts either. Just a phone call or a handshake.
     
  8. vlc27

    vlc27 Junior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 12

    Seeing the same thing! I guess a lot of people just want to pay the bills for the winter. We lost a big one and received zero out of six other bids. Sorry but with the cost of material, payroll and truck wear and tear I can't do it for some of these lower prices. What comes around goes around. It's not about quality any more, it's about the bottom line. It's a shame!
    We actually had a site complain about there last winters contractor and wanted someone else. They took other bids (us included) and we saw his numbers and the association rehired him because he was so cheap. Sometimes it seems like it doesn't pay to do a good job but Just do it.
     
  9. RLTimbs

    RLTimbs Member
    Messages: 94

    It's bound to happen.

    They don't know yet.. but these low-ballers are in over there heads.

    Hopefully the managers will be calling you back.. haha
     
  10. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281


    Oh, I still have the $99 plow guy that puts signs all over my area. After last years amount of snow I'm not dealing with as many people complaining and looking for a low ball price.
     
  11. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    sounds like the same old crap.......when they do come back get a good look at their face when you tell them the "new" price. lol
     
  12. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609


    wish i could find a $99 plow guy i would have him plow my drive for the season.
     
  13. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Next time I'm out I will take a picture of the $99 guy's signs...I've tried for years to get the city to take them down but he just keeps putting them up.
     
  14. 18lmslcsr

    18lmslcsr Senior Member
    from WI.
    Messages: 113

    I dont understand! Is this feelow saying he is able to charge $99 bones for entire snow season? Or is it just the event to event price? Because if it is the whole season, u should hire is arse to do all your accounts for you and go to Hawii for the winter....Jeeeeezzzzz!

    C.
     
  15. vlc27

    vlc27 Junior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 12

    We just had a bid go out along with four other companies. An account we had last winter. Everyone was all in the same ballpark except for the one highly educated "contractor" for bid $50.00 per push on a private road that is around $275 per push minimum. If I won the Mega Millions maybe then I would work for free!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy the Holidays
     
  16. RODHALL

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    what did i say in the other thread...... Oh i remember....


    I work for myself, i have a little money into my junk. sad thing is one big storm and i can make as much as i paid for the junk i am plowing with.......

    so if that makes me a low baller because i don't have to add in cost of truck payments so be it.
     
  17. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,137

    If they come crawling back to you, it will be name your price at that point.
    I have a guy that plows for me, he has been plowing for 30 years and guys here are doing drives for the same price now as when he started.:eek:
     
  18. Grampa Plow

    Grampa Plow Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 274

    Tex and Lux have it right...if he tries to do with that equipment what you did with yours, the property manager will be calling you after the 2nd or 3rd snow fall. "Name your price" at that point! The nice thing about that is he probably won't step on his dxxK next year!
     
  19. vlc27

    vlc27 Junior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 12

    It has nothing to do with truck payments. It's bad business sense and your under cutting your own profits. If you think like that you may as well work someone else!
     
  20. itssnowtime

    itssnowtime Member
    Messages: 59

    I agree vlc27!! It is bad business but not only for these clowns who do it for beer money but for the industry as a whole. It ruins the reputation and forces the legitimate companies with proper equipment and who pay the liabilty insurance,WSIB and taxes the way we should to try and compete to try and pay our bills. I would rather let a truck sit idle than to do it for cost, it's not worth it!. I'm tired of being undercut by these rednecks that crawl out of the woods in the winter with these beat up heaps and no ethics. This industry needs good people to raise the bar on service which will in turn raise the money we should be getting for being on call 24/7 for 5 months.