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Pics of lot trying to price

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by 4-Seasons, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. 4-Seasons

    4-Seasons Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 28

    New to plowing this year. Trying to figure out contracts and estimates and pricing. not sure to price by inch or hour or anything. If anyone can give some insite on these 3 parking lots it would really help. It is all one property. Needs to be plowed and salted, and side walks around building need to be shoveled and salted. Thank you.

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  2. hlntoiz

    hlntoiz Senior Member
    from NW, CT
    Messages: 588

    From the looks of it doesn't look like they care much for maintenance. be careful. Looks pretty easy though.
     
  3. 4-Seasons

    4-Seasons Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 28

    We are putting a bid in for that too. The company isnt in the building yet it has been vacant.
     
  4. hlntoiz

    hlntoiz Senior Member
    from NW, CT
    Messages: 588

    That is good. It looks pretty easy though. By the looks of it should take you 20 min or so depending on shoveling.
     
  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    if that takes you more than 20 minutes, you should find a new line of work.
    bid it at 20 minutes plus some shovel time.
     
  6. 4-Seasons

    4-Seasons Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 28

    We were thinking of bidding at per inch rate. Is this common? Not plowing unless 2in a price for 2-5in then a price for each inch after?
     
  7. hlntoiz

    hlntoiz Senior Member
    from NW, CT
    Messages: 588

    Kinda micro managing. I use a 3" scale. 1-2.9", 3-5.9", 6-8.9" etc. if you go inch to inch you will get into a pissing match with the customer on exactly how many inches it was.
     
  8. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I would stay away from inch pricing all together and bid it per time with a 2" trigger. If your area is anything like ours, there could be a 5" difference in snow just a few miles away.
     
  9. hlntoiz

    hlntoiz Senior Member
    from NW, CT
    Messages: 588

    He is in NJ and doesn't get the lake effect like you. Per inch works very nicely here in Southern NE areas
     
  10. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    That would be nice! Our air port is where they report the inch totals and it's funny a heck when your standing in 5-6" a few miles south and they report 2-3" on the news. That first lot looks like it would take about 3 minutes to do,lol like a lot of guys said for sure less than 1/2 hour for the whole place depending on sidewalks.
     
  11. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    We do 0-3.9, though we've kicked around the 0-1.9,2-3.9 thing for awhile, eveytime we look at it it comes back to making the large majority of our profit on salting and not wanting to split hairs on plowing. We do have some comtracts where our clients spec 0-2,2-4 they realizr the large majority of our storms are 2-4 or 4-6, making your spread too big will scare people, they figure why should they pay the same for 2 as they to for 4.
     
  12. hlntoiz

    hlntoiz Senior Member
    from NW, CT
    Messages: 588

    I never go by what the news says. living in the hills I have accounts that get snow and some that don't. on the same storm. Heck last year I had some that got 7" and some that got rain. So they get what I bill them. If your whole billing revolves around some weather guesser you might want to reconsider your source IMO
     
  13. 4-Seasons

    4-Seasons Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 28

    ok so just say our trigger start is 2inches and there is 2 inches on the ground we plow the 3 parking lots what should we charge? We just want to make some money and not get screwed. What would you charge? Do you wait till the snow has stopped? If we come back for drifting or town plowing in the driveway do we charge more?
     
  14. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    I'm thinking without seeing an aerial view, it might take around 30 minutes because the lots are not connected, you'll have to go back out on the street(maybe wrong, but I can't tell), they are tight but it looks like maybe 4 passes and push straight in. they will lose a couple of spots and need to be aware of it. I would charge $70 per trip 0-5.9" and $95 for 6"+. Price includes salting the sidewalk because it looks like you would only need 1-2 bags. Salting the lot would be different, how would you be doing it bulk or tailgate?

    charging for return trips because of town plow is up to you. in a commercial setting you don't get the buildup like in a resi neighborhood because they are salting and plowing non-stop. most times if I did charge it would be like $25.

    yes were a business to make money, but small companies have a hard time paying for snow services, so if you tell them "hey I was driving by and saw the town left you a present at the entrance so I hit it for you NO CHARGE." this goes a long way in customer retention. I never lost an account that I was making okay money on, the only one I did lose was one that I was making a killing on (I inherited it from another landscaper who got out of the business and kept his pricing) but then lost it to someone coming in at 1/2 what I was doing.
     
  15. FLC2004

    FLC2004 Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    I dont wanna sound negative but i know where the first and second place is and i wouldnt plow there. Its obvious they dont give a **** what the place looks like, and if they paid, someone would be in there at least cutting and maintaining it, vacant or not. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  16. 4-Seasons

    4-Seasons Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 28


    We would use tailgate spreader. i heard like $2.50 a pound is that acruate.?

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  17. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    you'll be using bags so I would charge per bag, charge them just a little bit more than they can buy it at home depot. if depot sells it for $4, then you charge $5.50 (after all you have to buy it in bulk to make sure you always have it on hand, and store it somewhere and transport it) but since you will be buying in bulk you will be paying $3 per bag so really your making $2.50 per bag, + your application fee.

    this way you can toss the empty bags in their dumpster, if they don't believe you used 7 bags just tell'em to look in the dumpster.

    obviously the numbers are not accurate, but just to give you an idea.

    all of this only applies to small operations and small lots 1 acre and under. you can't compete with someone using bulk, but how you explain it to the customer is that your only going to use what is necessary because your hands on.