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Please critique my pricing structure....

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Kentuckydiesel, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    I am going to put flyers in paper boxes so I want to have this pricing right the first time. I am in Kentucky where we get a few plowable events a year(have had two so far that were saltable for comercial, not any good for residential), many melt off within a day or two, often ice will form if drives aren't plowed though. We usually get one 10"+ snow a year, the rest are a few inches.

    I will be using a old '79 Dodge with an old meyer 7.5' plow I just installed (with a new, well built engine, MSD ignition, new brakes, newer radiator, rebuilt manual tranny, new clutch, etc, etc so I don't worry about breakdowns too much aside from possible plow hose issues). I also have a friend who may help me with his Honda Foreman w/plow for a fee. I will not be shoveling walkways and I do not have any salting/sanding equipment yet. Trigger will be 2" unless otherwised spesified by homeowner.

    Small Drives
    2"-6" $35
    6.1"-10" $45
    12.1-14" $55

    Medium Drives
    2"-6" $50
    6.1"-10" $65
    12.1-14" $80

    Large Drives
    2"-6" $75
    6.1"-10" $100
    12.1-14" $125

    over 14", 5% of the base price will be added per inch over 14" price (I can't remember a snow over 14")

    Farms-$75 per hour, $110 per hour if 4 wheeler is used (I'll give him $40 per hour, does that sound right?)

    Please tell me if these prices are okay and if anyone has any further suggestions, please give them to me. This will be my first season plowing for myself, previous plowing expierience has only been on my family's farm and clearing my grandfather's big factory lots and loading dock lot when I was working for him.

    Thanks, Phillip
  2. WMHLC

    WMHLC Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    Does this cover all your expenses plus some for profit. Some people need to charge $125hr and others need to charge $50hr. Charge what you market can handle. Just make sure you are making enough to make it worth it. Remember you are running a 24/7 business for 4 months.
  3. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    My only expenses are in insurance, repair of equipment, and fuel.

    I just want to make sure those prices are proper. -phillip
  4. dj&sonplowing

    dj&sonplowing Member
    Messages: 47

    you still have to replace that truck some day,? their getting cheaper, but havet seen any free ones yet?
  5. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    While I am very sick of working on vehicles, and wouldn't mind if I never turned a wrench again, but I'm a pretty good mechanic. I can keep this truck going forever if I want to.

    Are you guys saying my prices are too low? If so, I don't have a problem raising them. I think my "by the push" prices will come out to $100-125/hour or so. I just figured I could give farms a break as I'll get more work all in one area (don't have to drive between jobs). -Phillip
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2006
  6. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Seems reasonable to me. I realize as we don't get much snow here either that your truck is most likely making you money doing something else the rest of the year. If in the snowbelt and the truck's main source of work was from snow, then maybe you would need to figure in more to replace or keep up the truck. These seem reasonable and pricing is in line with our local market, but I have no idea what your local market will bear.
  7. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    Actually the truck has been parked with very little driving for about four years with the exception of the rare occasion when something is wrong with my everyday truck. I finally decided to either sell it or make it work for me, that's when I put a plow on it. I figure I can make as much in a year of running it with a plow as I can by selling the old thing. It was my first truck, bought it when I was 16, so I have sort of an attachment to it anyway. I've probably got $300-$400 in the plow and $100 in the truck to make it nice to drive again (I had to rebuild the steering box).

  8. fleet

    fleet Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    looks good to me but what... do you wait for 14inches>>>>? I would have plowed two or three times?...we get about 100-200 inches a year here in Rochester NY but this has been our lightest year ever.... two runs so far....contracts only... per trip or season
  9. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    looks like you have a good plan. with thoes prices you should be able to clear $200 an hour considering that you do no walks. we usually charge $25-$30 for drives. most our drives take 4-7 minutes and are usually 4-5 minutes apart drive time. we can usually bang out 6 an hour easly. since you get such little snow i would just charge a flat rate as it only takes a few extra minutes if you have 2" vs. 7" on a drive. now if your talking a five acre lot that's where the time adds up.
  10. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    Fleet, I figure for the price I'm charging at 12-14 I can plow a couple times, still make money, and not have ripped my customers.

    Jay, I'm planning on doing mostly longer country driveways which will likely be slower going in heavier stuff, especially because the snow will bury all the stuff people lay beside their driveways (railroad ties, gardens, etc, etc). That's one reason for the price increase, the other being that at 6", more people will want drives done so with demand going up, seems that price should also. Most of the landscaping guys have plows, but there aren't enough of them to go around. When it snows, plowers are in high demand. -Phillip
  11. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    Do y'all agree? -Phillip
  12. me1223

    me1223 Member
    Messages: 70

    you say it takes 4-7minutes to do a drive, how big are these drives like 20'X40'?
  13. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    yeah, 16'-20' x 30'-40' sounds about right. standard 2 car garage 30'-40' off of the street. that's with a f 550 if i'm using the skid loader (2 speed) the day after the storm, i can do a drive in 2-4 minutes, with a 7.5' bucket. tryone out sometime you'll be suprised.
    kentucky diesel..... i would say you are right since you are doing longer drives in the country. paln on getting stuck in a ditch once or twice.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2006
  14. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    That's one thing I don't have to plan on. :cool:

  15. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    I know there is money in it, but I'm going to plan on staying away from those little-tiny driveways like that. I just don't like working in tight spots like that, especially since they are usually the brand new houses where people have the wood strips in the driveway and all sorts of extra landscaping to worry about.

  16. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    nice truck i'd say that'll do the job.
  17. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    Yea, it's not too bad. It was my first truck, bought it when I got my learners permit and worked on it until i got my licence. I've kept it around ever since. Just can't bring myself to sell it. I finally decided to put it to work so now it's a plow truck.:cool:

  18. kyle volz

    kyle volz Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 33


    You and I are trying to make it in the same market. In our market, get out of the driveway business and get into the commercial business. Less trigger amount and the need for salting and deicing is greater and more profitable. We started out in the driveway market too, but it did not take long to see that the real profit dollars are in the commercial market. Feel free to give me a call if you like at 499-7841 in Louisville. I will try to help you get started.

    BTW - These guys are telling you right as well. Even though you are a wrench man yourself, the truck, plow, and the 24/7 nature of this business is worth more than you are charging.
  19. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    Kyle, nice to see another Ky. guy here. I'd like to talk to you about all this. I'm about to leave, but I'll try and call later. I do have a question though. I've heard that a person shouldn't get commercial accounts if they just have one plow truck. I just have one plow truck, and don't even have a salter yet. What do you think about this? Should I still try and do commercial? Thanks, phillip
  20. z_scapes

    z_scapes Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    This thread is 3 years old but I thought I'd see if these guys are still around??? I'm in Ky and just starting aplow business. I'm trying to find a supplier for pot. chloride in bulk or bag?