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Need some advice on a church

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by fireboy6413, Jan 29, 2012.

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  1. fireboy6413

    fireboy6413 Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    Ok so I signed a contract with a local church back in November, they flagged me down while I was in my local mower shop. Ok so we agreed on everything per hour salt and calcium per tons and per pounds used. Their contract clearly states all above. So we finally got some snow on the 21st, now mind you this was our first time plowing these locations, I had 5 hours plow time, 2 in the am to open up and 3 in the pm for the cleanup, I got 7 hours of snow blower time and 1 shoveler, snow blower wasn't used the entire time but I bill it out being on site, since it was used here and their, probably a good solid 6 hours on the machine. Contract states i have to plow all lots, shovel all walks including the municipal walks, calcium to all walk within the church rock salt to all the municipal walks, and salt lots as needed. Lot B is and old burger king with curbs in the center of the lot and a drive thru real pita, lot c their are no trees in the lot anymore, its wide open un leveled grave and crap. real pita to plow its a make shift parking lot done real cheap.Ok so I bill them out for around 1900.00, took some hours off since their new, salted the lots twice we had a previous ice storm, so in all reality this storm was only about 1700. So I get an text from the guy who flagged me down, hes a board member saying the check will be ready tomorrow afternoon. I say great let me know ill come pick it up, meaning today. So this morning I get an email from him saying, " I cant believe your price, it seemed I made a wrong choice and a wrong decision. the board will make their decision. i don't have anything to say any longer on that issue". So I didn't reply to that message, I texted him about an hour ago asking when the check will be available and didn't get a response. I bid this location at a little over 20K for the season and I know someone else came in at 18K for the season. I just need some reassurance here, my prices are reasonable I think and fair, I did knock off a few hours for them, Im starting to think they want freebies. Sorry for the long post. Oh when I was their plowing the pastor stopped me to say what a great job we are doing, mind you I only met with the board I didn't know they had a maintenance dept. we wound up doing things we didnt have to do, so we also wasted a good amount of shoveling time
    The snow fall accumulations were a total of 8"

    fench.jpg
     
  2. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    Seems to me you are new to this commercial work
    IMO you have bad business practices
    1) 2hrs to plow and 3 to clean up ???
    2) You state you "knocked off a few hrs cause they're new (took some hours off since their new)"
    3) You also state "their" contract .I assume you hurried in without your clauses.
    4) Dont mess with Jesus Christ , he always wins
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  3. fireboy6413

    fireboy6413 Senior Member
    Messages: 396


    Nope not new to this, contract clearly states all clauses, I went in to open the lots up before services, it clearly states in the contract if we do not receive a call from them stating services are canceled then we will presume they will be open, so we opened up the lots and did the walks in the church area and salted, good thing cause people started coming in, so then we came back at the end of the storm their was another 4" on the ground so we plowed all the lots and walks again and cleaned up, when we left walks wand lots were to bare ground. I always give a discount to first time cumbersome, I just deduct a hour or two in the bill nest time if I continue to be the nice guy ill use a percentage instead.
     
  4. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    you, and I quote "Their" contract states .
    Listen , Im not here to belittle you , but your post is the only gauge I have to go by .
    Looks like you signed a previously written contract , and didnt read it .
    You have to "coddle" contracts these days to get paid. Thats just the economy .
    They have more ammo than you . There are 5 guys behind you , salivating.
    Go back to THE HEAD NUT to discuss you responsibilities and "coddle" , before you find yourself working for free or waiting for a court hearing .
    Beleive me , it's alot less stress and $$$ out of your pocket .
     
  5. AuroraMSP

    AuroraMSP Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    Just from my observations, and the price your competition gave for the season, I'd been expecting a bill just for that event of around $1100.

    Again, I wasn't there and there is way to many varying circumstances to try and answer your question from what you have given but that is my educated guess.
     
  6. fireboy6413

    fireboy6413 Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    I completely agree with you, my real question here is, I haven't billed snow removal per hour yet, most of all my accounts are on the per push or per every three, then I have some seasonal s, do people look more in to detail at hourly rates these days, I and a very close freind of mine feel these people just wanted a freebie, I mean 1900 for everything weve done is not real bad
     
  7. fireboy6413

    fireboy6413 Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    My competitors price, didint include salt, and I don't believe included the walks, sorry if I forgot to put that in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  8. fireboy6413

    fireboy6413 Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    the only reason shy I give a little discount on the first storm and continue to give, is cause ive gotten a lot of referrals from it, I mean alot, I only do it once a year and that's it. in this economy giving back a little wont brake my bank nor kill me, in matter affect its really helped me grow my business
     
  9. NICHOLS LANDSCA

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,310

    I must be missing something here, those lots are not big I'd guess you should be able to plow those in 2 hours. Location makes a HUGE difference in price but 5 hours of plowing 7 hours of shoveling and max 2 ton of salt if it was put down way heavy. $1900 is close to DOUBLE what it would be here:confused: What are your hourly rates and price per ton of salt? You must have been close hourly from the last guy, you must be taking too long? To come up with $1900 you'd have to be close to $200/hr for a truck, $50/hr for a shoveler, and around $300/ton for salt?
     
  10. fireboy6413

    fireboy6413 Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    here is a pic better outling all the walks that need to be cleared and salted.

    fench.jpg
     
  11. AuroraMSP

    AuroraMSP Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    I don't offer per hour. Way too much can go wrong. You can have a customer sit and watch you and complain that your guys don't know what your doing. They can say your truck was stopped for 15 minutes, etc... Not to mention it's hard to make money hourly. 1 man shows bid hourly and bid way to cheap. You can't compete if your a business.

    I only give per plow or seasonal. Get in, get the job done quickly and get to the next job. Everyone is happy if you do a good job and you can make more money.

    Large accounts on hourly will put you under the microscope when you send in your bill every time.
     
  12. AuroraMSP

    AuroraMSP Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    I agree Nichols. You could never get that kind of money around here. I was being generous at $1100 because of the 8" of snow and the shoveling of the walks twice.

    AllPro, break down your invoice for us.
     
  13. fireboy6413

    fireboy6413 Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    1/2 ton 8ft blade 95 per hour, blower 65 per hour shoveler 45 per hour, 200 per app of salt, mind you i salted a previous ice storm 1 bag of calcium and 1 salt app, so this storm is at 1700, actually 1650 since its the previous ice storm we salted the walks,
     
  14. AuroraMSP

    AuroraMSP Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    1/2 ton with 8ft blade - $95 per hour? Really? Enough said.
     
  15. NICHOLS LANDSCA

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,310

    Even using your numbers you are too expensive. Truck 5hrs = $475, 7hrs with a blower =$455 and 3 saltings =$600, and 1 bag of calcium $20? Would be $1550. Edit I just reread your post, you charged a total of 14hrs to do the walks?? What were they using a flat dirt shovel and one of those battery powered snow brooms???? I thought you were WAY high at 7hrs but 14?:laughing:
     
  16. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    too cheap you mean
     
  17. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,261

    I would love to help and offer advice, but are you sure about this?
    And a 1/2 ton? what are you using to salt with?

    To give advice: I've got a large church with multiple lots, big enough to have a wheel loader staged there. (then it moves onto other sites close by) They expect it bare before Services, and even then my bill wouldn't even be close to what you are charging.
     
  18. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    I thought $95/hr per truck was cheap. It seems to me the blower sitting on site racking up a bill probably didn't help. I wouldn't charge it to be on site, it's in my truck...it can't make me money somewhere else if I'm here. As far as discounts go...I've done it. I did it last week, Enough to still make money but enough to look good to the customer. I was plowing a day spa and the owner of a day care down the street walked up. I knock a percentage off the bill, show it on the invoice as a "new customer discount" and use it in hopes to land it for the season. I don't bid hourly for all the reasons everyone else said. Too much room for the owner to tell you where you could improve. And if I'm doing the walks and decide I want a drink or stop and stretch, I'm gonna do it because I'm on my time, not the property owner's. $1900 seems high to me, but upstate we've always assumed you folks downstate do everything for much more, LOL. I personally don't get involved with churches. Because the money belongs to the entire parish, all the church goers know how much you charge. The board will never admit their mistakes and all anyone will know is how you "gouged" the church. Same thing happened in my town with the local rescue squad...they wanted zero tollerance and per push. That's what the contractor gave them. They were not prepared to pay what that was worth, and it was the contractor's fault for charging too much. Good luck, but it sounds to me like the best thing for you is if you lose this one. That many hours doing walks hurts my back thinking about it.
     
  19. NICHOLS LANDSCA

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,310

    No his bill was more then his numbers come out to.
     
  20. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    gotcha , i read half the paragraph and could'nt buy any more
     
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