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Old customer wants new serivces.

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Digger Dan, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Digger Dan

    Digger Dan Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Just found this site this a couple of weeks ago. It helped inform me of some brine spraying information.

    So anyway, here is my question.

    I have an old customer that has decided they want new services. It started snowing when their employees were coming to work. They had employees fall in parking lot so it got them thinking. Up to this point we plowed snow in parking area and drives. Their maintenance department took care of sidewalks and salting. We have been salting the parking area when they call.

    Now they want a price for taking care of everything. Sidewalks, ice management.

    Up to this point we haven't had any customers wanting these services so I am at a loss as to what to charge. I am looking at picking up a snow blower and extra guy to cover the extra work. We are able to serve all of our current customers in a timely manner right now, but if we have to spend extra time here that can be tricky. Anyway, I found a price through Means estimating book, but it seems way out of line. Looks like we will have around 5500 sf of sidewalk and hard to reach areas that we will need a snowblower for.

    What is a decent price to charge or at least estimate for them until we get a feel for the new service? We have skid loader and backhoe to help if we get a bunch of snow to move. So I am thinking pricing up to 4" and then 4-8".

    Thanks for your help
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If you have a good relationship with this company ask them a few questions first. Why is the maintenance man not doing the work anymore? Also find out if he will be doing any type of shoveling or salting in between your stops there. You don't want a he said ,she said deal going on. Meaning if you are totally in charge of it you don't want them working on it. So if someone falls after you left you would be responsible,but if you find out after you left he went out and re-shoveled and pushes the salt off and someone fell they might still try and blame you for it.
  3. Digger Dan

    Digger Dan Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the response. Yes I did start with the questions. I started with "this isn't a service we normally do." But their office management people decided that they wanted their people to stay inside and just have us take care of the whole outside. I believe it is so they can pass the buck onto us for any falls. I have talked to a distributor for the calcium chloride and he suggested, and I agree, to keep a log book noting time, weather, service provide... And he is helping us learn about when and how much to put on and also providing us with some to try out so we can get used to using it. However, I am stuck on pricing the sidewalk for snow removal. We have provided snow removal for this company for a number of years (30+) and I don't want to over charge just because of inexperience.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609


    Snow Blower Toro CCR 2000 20”

    Snow Depth Square Feet Cleared per hour

    2” 5,000 sq ft

    4” 3,000 sq ft

    6” 2,000 sq ft
  5. lilpusher

    lilpusher Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 139

    My advice would be to purchase an additional policy to cover slip and falls at that site. We do this and is only a couple hundred we of course add this to their contract but it adds an additional layer of protection since it is a new program for you.
  6. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    I think going with 2" increments would be better on pricing. Figure out what your hourly rate is and charge accordingly, Gotta figure a 1 hour minimum anytime you clear snow on this walk.As for salt charge x times the cost of a bag.
  7. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 638

    Figure on roughly 50.00 per man hour which includes shoveling or snowblowing. Use a mininum which helps cover vehicle and travel expense. Also I have found it is a good idea to pay your help well because walks can be the hardest part of any job to get timely and reliable help for. At least double the ice melt price which helps in the storage etc cost. Also charge the same rate to spread the ice melt. That eliminates the "you didnt shovel the walks and you are still charging us" nonsense. Dont do it cheap because you will regret it. Those little single stage blowers are not cheap to buy or maintain. Trust me, I have 10 of them and every snow creates a day of work on them.Also buy a good ice melt spreader, probably around 250.00.
  8. Digger Dan

    Digger Dan Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks to all for your great advice. This gives me a starting point to go from. At least now I have an idea of what a resonable price would be. Again, thank you.
  9. njsnowremoval

    njsnowremoval Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    Why go with a single stange verses a 2 stage. 2 stage will work with almost all conditions, doesnt clog as easy and is generally a more productive mechine. If you get a 26" 2 stage or a 18 inch 1 stage your clearing Approx 6 inches more give or take for overlapping to avoid spiliage.
  10. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 638

    Because a single stage can be easily transported and handled. A Toro 2450 can handle any snow up to 6-8 inches easily. Why wrestle around a 2 stage when for most snows the single will do the job. On big storms we haul two 2 stage blowers in a small trailer to tackle drifts etc.
  11. njsnowremoval

    njsnowremoval Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    True single stage is lighter however i have never had a single stage that will tackle even close to six inches. The snow we get ere in nj is generally heavy and the single stage jammed alot. The two stage works 9 out 0f 10 storms. plus if there is a driver and a laborer they can handle it easily.
  12. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 638

    Most of our snows besides in March can be handled easily by a Toro 2450.
  13. cj7plowing

    cj7plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 379

    on 2 of my bigger sites I start at 35 an hour per man for sidewalks. you already have the rest of the contract and at 35 an hour you can find some reliable people for 20 an hour. Ice control is seperate as you will use something that is palletized to control the ice.