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New but prepared, Question on estimating time

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by mrwolf, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. mrwolf

    mrwolf Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    Well. This is my first post. I have been reading and searching. The newbie thread was great. I am maybe bumping a few of those questions but am pretty prepared (you can laugh here) :)

    I have a truck (1/2 ton 4x4), plow light commercial 7.5, and insurance lined up. Got a great deal on a good running rig and a light commercial plow. I am going to be doing 5 lightly used warehouse lots for a good aquantance. they average about 500x500ft. I will not ask the stupid question of what to charge. So, approximatly how long can expect these lots to take with 2-4, 4-6 or 6+ inches of snow? It seems from reading that I can expect about 30-40 minutes for 2-4 inches? And it seems around here guys charge 60-100 per hour?

    Also, If you get an event that takes a few hours to get to 6 inches do you start right at 2" or wait till it stops (if you can). Thanks, and I will keep reading!!!

    Z
     
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it will take you HOURS upon HOURS to plow a 500x500 lot with a 7.5' plow.

    Whoever told you it would take 30-40 minutes has never plowed before and you shouldn't listen to them.
     
  3. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    Rule of thumb that people use is 1 acre/hour. Those lots are close to 6 acres unless you have a typo in there. Now if they are wide open and easy and you have a wing plow you can cut that down but 30 minutes is a dream.
     
  4. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    If you posted correctly you are considering doing approximately twenty eight acres of pavement.

    With a 1/2 ton truck and 7.5 foot light commercial blade and the lot is empty (nice straight pushes with no obstructions) maybe 30 hours if you call in a SS to help. No way you can push 500 foot runs with that truck. If you do after about three or four passes you will have so much snow piled you won't be able to move it.
     
  5. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,699

    I'm thinking he meant 500x50.


    If not Mr. Wolf will have a rude awakening. :nod:
     
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992


    That is a more manageable 2.88 acres.
     
  7. Rich Graz

    Rich Graz Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    an acre an hour, based on how many inches ?
     
  8. mrwolf

    mrwolf Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    gents. I appreciate the input. I honestly dont know what i was thinking when i posted that. I think i meant to put 50x100. In any case, the lots vary but are generally about the size of a gas station lot including the pump area etc. That is what i was looking at when i figured 40 minutes or so. Sound about right? The really nice thing is all but one of the lots does not see much traffic at all. Insurance and an insured helper secured. Contract to be signed this week. I will keep reading. Thanks for the blunt answers. Keep em coming! Z
     
  9. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Big difference, remember to factor in your travel time when considering cost estimates.
     
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    And time of day or night and if the snow is heavy or lite.
     
  11. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    So the lot sizes are around 5000 sq ft which can easily be done with your setup. Your estimate of 30-40 minutes is really high for a 2-4" snowfall though. In fact I'd say that it's double as long as it should take (assuming that the lots don't have a difficult layout).
     
  12. mrwolf

    mrwolf Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    Great info guys, I tacked on 30% for 4-6" and 75% at 6-10, double at 10-14"/ I am feeling pretty good about it for a first contract. Thanks guys!!
    Z
     
  13. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    I have seen on here many times where people price in increments. If I left 10-14" of snow to be pushed I would be fired. Most of my contracts wouldn't but up with 6-10. Our schools rarely have over 6" and that is because we're not allowed in during the day. We never seem to get snowfalls that will dump that fast and maybe you do.
     
  14. mrwolf

    mrwolf Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone. Yourcomments really encouraged me to do lots more reading and asking of questions. I have upgraded my truck (got a great deal on an older but great condition F250) and now have two contracts (plenty for my first year). The contracts are relativly low demand and should allow me a great chance to practice giving excellent service without lots of pressure. I did lots of reading on here that helped me estimate time etc. I was able to put together two bids that were slightly lower price than the companies that were providing good service but were not the cheapest by any means. i think working by myself (with a good friend for back up with his own sigle contract) will make it a good first year. i have likewise agreed to back him up.

    I am getting ready to order my spare plow parts (Boss RT# 7.5' super duty) and put together a list of what to have in the truck. I also need to go pick up my first pallet of salt. Stay tuned! I am sure this will be interesting!

    Thanks again!
    Z
     
  15. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Think ice melter

    Glad to see you mention ice melter in the last post. Remember, you will make more money on the back side of the truck than the front. Make sure to set up accounts that allow you that opportunity. Plow only accounts slow your profits!

    If you want help bidding jobs, calculating time and material and looking for contract templates, route sheets, etc. check out www.profitsareus.com. We offer a snow and ice management bidding package that will help you.

    Good luck this year.