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PER PUSH or PER HOUR???????????

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by WheelerandSon, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. WheelerandSon

    WheelerandSon Member
    Messages: 75

    Hey all!!!!!!!!!!

    I am in the Davenport, Iowa area. I am trying to pick up some new accounts this year, and I have been pricing by the hour as I normally do. I have never priced per push, but it seems like after last winter, alot of places are wanting per push pricing. I prefer per hour, but what does everybody else think?

    Ryan
     
  2. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    If you are in a snow belt, per push/per hour works good, if you do not have alot of plowable events then seasonal is the way to go.:drinkup:
     
  3. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    i prefer per push or seasonal that way you get paid for efficiency
     
  4. NICHOLS LANDSCA

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,310

    I prefer per push like cretebaby said, get in and get out. I have to ask though, you are looking for contracts now? It is the second week of November. I would think all you might be able to get would be driveways.
     
  5. WheelerandSon

    WheelerandSon Member
    Messages: 75

    I sent out 84 quotes in August and only heard back from four. Even tried to follow up. $55/ per hour for truck with plow, $30/ per hour for shovel/snow blower, and $15.00/ 50lb used for salting. I was told I was reasonable, but where are the phone calls????????
     
  6. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Always remember- some of your competitors entice customers with 2-3 year deals.
    Personally, I prefer year to year. How long have you been around? Did you follow up in September? How about a personal visit? persistance is key.JMO
     
  7. kah68

    kah68 Senior Member
    Messages: 237

    Per Push only, it's fair and you know where you stand. History will tell you what the minimum number of events will be so I base my insurance and maintainance budgets on the min number of events and price accordingly.
     
  8. WheelerandSon

    WheelerandSon Member
    Messages: 75

    well, if you really think about it, my hourly rate is kinda like a per push rate. I mean, I charge minimum one hour if the location only takes 15 minutes. If I am $55 per hour, and I show up two different times in a storm, then the bill is $110. Some guys get $55 per push. Same cost if they show up twice in each storm.

    However, I guess a customer can argue the only owe me $55 total for two visits that took 15 minutes each since they are still under an hour.
     
  9. Grampa Plow

    Grampa Plow Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 274

    If your trying to expand, per push or per hour is OK, whichever works. I like to talk to the places in person. If I'm trying to get new lots established, I will also talk with them about swaping 15 to 20% of my plow (not salt) billing in the form of a gift certificate. Many thimes people eat that right up if you explain to them that your spending your money with the folks that spend it with you. I also like to hand deliver my bills to all of my clients to make sure things are going OK. A little extra time and TLC goes a long way.
     
  10. WheelerandSon

    WheelerandSon Member
    Messages: 75

    I agree with you. I like doing things in person as well. My other issue for this year is that I am getting back into the snow plow gig this year on my own, so I have to re-establish myself. I was in it a few years ago for myself, but we had some dead winters, so I got out of it. I helped another guy out for the past couple of years, but I did not agree with how he did things logistically. He had accounts all over the place, and was way behind on paying his help. So, I decided to get back in the game. Just frustraiting getting accounts in which other guys have already established themselves. I put a little ad in the phone book hopeing to get the last minute planners.
     
  11. drumbo

    drumbo Member
    Messages: 44

    Sometimes a business might think you are too low and dismiss you as a non-player. By the time you get fuel, insurance, labor, etc added in, the costs are usually higher than $55/hour.

    Also, quoting salt by the pound instead of by the ton is a sign of a "smaller guy"...even if you handle it by the bag, bid by the ton. A 1/4 of a ton would be $XX.XX etc.

    I am one of the highest in my area (I bid per hour) and I have gotten nearly every contract I have been called on or sought out. I know the Lord is blessing me. ;)

    I am also one of the only people with access to salt for a good distance...I'm sure thankful for that.
     
  12. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    per push or seasonal is better for getting customers because it allows the customer to really compare actual cost that they pay not a hourly fee plus what ever you pad on top of the $55/hr........if you say you charge $55/hr the customer knows that you are going to add hours when they are not looking because at $55/hr you wont have any $$$$ left for new cutting edges and plow fluid at the end of the day.....
     
  13. btammo

    btammo Member
    Messages: 51

    So your reasoning says the customer that it takes only 15 minutes to plow, pays the same as the customer who takes an hour to clear?

    I dont like per hour charge to be honest. Opens the door for peoples criticizing. THey may think you should be able to do it faster, or you may have a guy that goes there the next time that takes longer than you do it...and so on. I like to give them a price per push and they know what it is going to be.
     
  14. Grampa Plow

    Grampa Plow Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 274

    I use this rule of them for the most part. Smaller lots = per push, big lots = per hour unless I have done them for awhile and I know how long it takes me. Beside, with the per push charge, with my new wide out, I should be able to clean them up faster, thus money money per push for me. If I cut down my time because of my equipment upgrade (which equals more expense for me) then the clients benefits...not me. I like the per plow charge best.
     
  15. carl b

    carl b PlowSite.com Addict
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,330

    this is true but make sure that you get more if you are pushing more snow like 1-3 $35 4-6 $50 7-9 $65
     
  16. Grampa Plow

    Grampa Plow Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 274

    I usualy quote them X amount up to 4 inches and more $$ for more snow.
     
  17. Advantage

    Advantage Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    Take into consideration lot traffic during specific times of day for Per Push Pricing. For instance you could be in trouble if you bid a lot on how long it would take to do at night with no one around vs. the time to plow during the day with traffic all around. I.E. I can do a McDonalds lot in 45min. at night which turns into over an hr. nightmare at breakfast time.
     
  18. drumbo

    drumbo Member
    Messages: 44

    No matter what you charge, it will divide out into some dollar/hour number....to those who charge per push or per season, do you have a specific per hour you would like to see averaged?

    I bid per hour and get decent money. I thought about bidding per job and just trying to become more efficient. But on some level, doesn't it just take the time it takes - regardless of the equipment you use? I know bigger equipment can go faster, therefore, can't you just charge more per hour and end up with the same money in less time with more expense into equipment?

    I want to learn...
     
  19. btammo

    btammo Member
    Messages: 51

    The only question/problem I have with this is this....do you get out of the truck and measure each parking lot before you plow. Some areas of the parking lot measure more than other areas? Wind blowing snow? If it is 3.25 inches is it worth $15 more? I just have heard nightmares of people trying that around me and they got shafted by alot of customers. Maybe because of trust, maybe because chance of discrepancies, i dont know........ I know alot of people do that other places. When I bid it straight up, it is what it is every time. My scheduling/route is really close to getting all trucks back to the parking lots every 2" (unless during a blizzard)so I dont worry about it. If it is overnight snow we start earlier. We do alot of banks, gas stations and 24 hour locations so we plow alot of hours. We get full shot each time.
     
  20. mkatrucking

    mkatrucking Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 28

    Wheeler, I'm also in Davenport and my company one of the bigger contractors here. 55/hr seems pretty low for this area. The others who have replied to you are probably right in stating that the accts. you are after may think you are too low. FYI I pay our subs $60/hr so I'm sure you can assume what we charge and people have no problem paying. We do all of our lots per push with the exception of one large stripmall which is hourly. Keep after it... I remember being in your shoes. Let me know if you need anything else.

    Mike