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Need some help from the experianced on breaking down residential pricing! ! !

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by rngr, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. rngr

    rngr Junior Member
    from Markham
    Messages: 14

    Hey everyone. I'm new to the site/Industry and have found a ton of useful info from everyone here but Im looking for a little more.
    I have an opprotunity to take on a a few residential contracts to get my feet wet. Thing is, I'm having trouble trying to find or figure out a break down for pricing on contracts for plowing and salting.
    Seems like the going rate around my area for plowing a double car driveway, is anywhere from $300 - $350 for a season. My question to you guys is, what's the best formula to use in order to reach a contract price for plowing a 1 car driveway and a 2 car driveway? Furthermore, how much extra should I charge for salt. Correct me if I'm wrong. Your out salting more so than ur plowing right? ( no salter, will do manually for the first season.) Any help any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,035

    You really should try to sub for the first season or two. You can use the accounts as a bargaining chip for negotiating your pay. You'll make more money and learn the right way of doing things. What do you have for equipment?
     
  3. rngr

    rngr Junior Member
    from Markham
    Messages: 14

    I just picked up a 1996 gmc sierra 1500 from a family friend with a 7.5 western plow.
    I was thinking about taking on the few contracts that i can get just to get the ball rolling and and then subbing myself out to fill the voids. What do ya think?
     
  4. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    i wouldn't turn down a contract if it comes to you, but the likelyhood that you are going to get a bunch of contracts is little to none, find a good company to sub from and take opportunities as they come.
     
  5. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,035

    Like I said, you'll make more $$ subbing. Not to mention the experince. With only a 7.5 you'll end up doing residential routes anyway. You'll need all the leverage you can muster to negotiate a good rate of pay with only a 7.5' plow, those few accounts could be it. Good luck & welcome to Plowsite!
     
  6. rngr

    rngr Junior Member
    from Markham
    Messages: 14

    I agree with both of you. great ideas.
    I guess my only concern with subbing is what company is going to wanna hire a guy with no experience and will they still pay a decent rate?
     
  7. rngr

    rngr Junior Member
    from Markham
    Messages: 14

    Cheers repo. appreciate the advice!
     
  8. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    treat subbing like a job interview, the more prepared you are when you contact a company for subbing, the more likely you well get a better rate, by the way, welcome to plowsite
     
  9. rngr

    rngr Junior Member
    from Markham
    Messages: 14

    thx buckwheat. Just for future reference. If I do decide to take on those contracts. do you have any advice in regards to my first post?
     
  10. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,035

    I wouldn't worry too much about finding someone to take you on. Subbing in this industry is like a revolving door in most circumstances. Once a sub knows what he or she is doing and is fully prepared to go it alone, they do, leaving opportunities for the next guy or gal.
     
  11. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,035

    Base it on how much your looking to make an hour, and how long each drive is going to take you. Keep in mind, there is alot of variables to consider for each drive, lot, or road. Region, room, obstacles, stacking point, proximity, terrain...to name a few. Have you thought about how you want to charge...Per Push, Per storm, seasonal?

    My bottom line is $35 for a small drive to give you an idea. But I am in a different region then you.
     
  12. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,035

    oops, forgot ice management.

    What are you going to use? Salt, salt/sand mix, or the dreaded straight sand, in either case, you need to account for your cost of product, how much your going to use, and some profit for laying it down. Again, pricing is dependent on your area. I wouldn't take on too big of a job without a sander or at the very least a push behind salter.
     
  13. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    Repo is giving you great advice, decide what you want to make, an hour, and work your costs from there
     
  14. rngr

    rngr Junior Member
    from Markham
    Messages: 14

    My bottom line is $35 for a small drive to give you an idea. But I am in a different region then you.[/QUOTE]

    I was thinking seasonal. What is the real difference between per storm and per push as well as advantages and disadvantages
     
  15. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    although if you are a young guy, the old shovel and pickup well work this year,
     
  16. rngr

    rngr Junior Member
    from Markham
    Messages: 14

    Gonna use salt. Have cash set aside (for equipment,breakdowns etc.) and willing to invest in whatever in takes to get it going!
    I figured if their just 1 or 2 car driveways, I could apply it by shovel/scoop without eating up too much more time just for this first season. So I guess I would be purchasing bags. Open for suggestions though.
     
  17. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,035

    I was thinking seasonal. What is the real difference between per storm and per push as well as advantages and disadvantages[/QUOTE]



    Seasonal: A fixed rate for the season based on the annual snow accumulation & snow events you receive. For example mine is 90" at 16 events. Your smallest drive on a minimal storm is $35 X 16 events = $560, then add a few for good measure...or not. Depending how bad you want the account, you can bid it at $560 - $625.

    Per storm: This is a flat rate per storm, or broken up into increments based on what you want to get i.e. 4"-6" = $35, 6"-8" $40 or $45, 8"-10" $45-$50 and so on. Depending on conditions dictates how much the increments go up per account.

    per push: This is based on how many times you plow (push) a drive. So say you plow a drive 2 times per event, it's whatever you want X 2, and so on. I only did this one year and charged $20 per push on my smallest drive. Granted that was well over 10 years ago, but it seems to be the average even now for small drives in my area.

    I personally have about 65% of contracts on seasonal, and the rest per storm. It works out great for me. I get a good amount of capital up front to pre buy, do routine maintenance, and in general keep my costs to a bare minimum for me and my customers while keeping the cash flowing through out the season. Plowing is more fun then work for me, but I treat it as a business that it is and expect to get more out of it then what I put into it...so far, so good.
     
  18. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Don't matter single or double same price. But go with the subbing,you may not even like plowing.
     
  19. rngr

    rngr Junior Member
    from Markham
    Messages: 14

    I think I'll be taking all your advice and go the subbing route for the first season and just pick up whatever I can through out the year.
    Repo thanks for the breakdown. I've been lookin for a something like that everywhere on this site before I posted the question but couldn't find it anywhere. Thanks everyone for the help.
     
  20. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,035

    No problem, good luck!