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Pricing residental driveways

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by CrazyPlower, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. CrazyPlower

    CrazyPlower Member
    from CT
    Messages: 67

    I have been doing residentials for a while now. I am pickin up new ones this year and i am debating on how much to charge. I have some that have 3 cars in the driveway that only need a few passes. Anyone have a few prices that i can throw at them. Also i have a few that can fit 2 cars in the driveway how much should i charge. Thanks Crazy
     
  2. imdawrlus

    imdawrlus Member
    Messages: 71

    i'd like to know about pricing too but i'm too afraid to ask.......all there going to do is say "do a search".......then you do a search and you find a million other posts just like this that say "do a search"........if you'd ask me how to price a lawn i could tell u in two seconds.....but drivways, i'm just gonna talk to someone i know..........
     
  3. go plow

    go plow Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    i dont want to be rude, but if you say that you have been plowing for a while, you should know what to charge??? and as far as , the diff between mowing and plowing, there is none, you figure out how long it will take you, then figure out how much it will cost you, and then figure out the profit you would like to make, boom there's your price...............price is diff, in all areas.... people on this site are great, but remember , a $25 driveway in my area maybe a $40 driveway in yours!!!!! hope it answers you!!!!
     
  4. JElmWin

    JElmWin Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    Simply put, you're going to charge as much as your local market will bear. In a perfect world that is. There are so many variables.
    Some people are cheap and will go with whoever is least. They may dump you even after doing a great job. Some people just want you there consistently and will pay whatever you charge.
    If you're in a suburban area then there'll probably be lots of competition from others. Kids with shovels, snowblowers, quads, people doing it for beer money etc.
    I would pick a minimum number and never go below it. Say $30 for a driveway. If the driveway is a straight shot with no obstacles and you can do it in 5 mins then $30 is good. If there are always cars in driveway and you have to wait or if there's a turn around, or hidden obstacles then charge more. Make sure you price on a sliding scale: more snow = more $$$.
    I wouldn't volunteer to do "a little shoveling" for "$5 extra". What looks like a little stoop now may become a 3'-4' nightmare in a windstorm. Plus everytime you get out of your truck that's $$ being lost. It may take you 7 mins. to do drive and another 5 to do walk. If you price $40 per drive and bid 20 times and only get one call back then you know you're high.
    There's no formula here. You just have to give it time and experience will guide you.
    JUST LIKE THE REST OF US!!!pumpkin:
     
  5. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    It's up to you.

    This is what i have done in the past say a driveway is 60' long and two cars wide (approimately 20' wide) that in my book calls for three drops of the blade @ $15.00 per drop thats $45.00 for that driveway. Now this should only take around ten min. fifteen tops with clean up, thats $180.00 per hour if you can set it up that way, however you have to go with the pricing in your area good luck. Tell me how you price lawns in your area. sorry if there is any miss spelled words but i can't find the spell check.
     
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Using that pricing stategy, what would you charge for a 3/4 mile long private road (about 12' wide)? It's hilly and winding, but only takes about 10-15 minutes in each direction. You would only drop the blade twice - once each way.
     
  7. CrazyPlower

    CrazyPlower Member
    from CT
    Messages: 67

    Thanks guys I dont plow with a truck just yet. I am plowing with a atv lol it makes it easier to get in tight places.
     
  8. imdawrlus

    imdawrlus Member
    Messages: 71

    since i've never plowed before i cant really tell how long something is going to take.....does anyone have a graph or chart or SOMETHING that i can look at to get a good idea?? even a good article or something......
     
  9. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    Hey Mick are you sure it's 3/4 long and do you think it would only take 10 to 15 min. each side, and is this a residental driveway, or are their more homes on this road. either way if it's a roadway than i would charge by the increments of 1"-3" 4"-7" and so on if more than 12" fall it's by the hour @ $125.00 per hour per truck, you have to use your own pricing in your area. Sometimes you'll make out like a bandit and sometimes you'll lose your butt, anyway these are all lessons learned good luck.
     
  10. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Yes. I had done the road I had in mind for several years. These are private residential roads (called Fire Roads) and may have any number houses on each (some even just one). 1/2 to 3/4 mile is pretty common. One road where I have a single house is over two miles long with other roads branching off from it. And, yes, I do that 3/4 mile one in about 10 minutes round trip with a 3" or so snowfall. That's only about 5mph average speed. I agree with the pricing strategy that you laid out here. My point was that the "per blade drop" wouldn't work. Actually, I'd never heard of it. Are you charging each time you back up to the beginning of the driveway? What about if you need to make some short pushes to clear an area? Would you do the same for a commercial lot?
     
  11. NEAL

    NEAL Member
    Messages: 98

    CrazyPlower,

    Only you will be able to determine how much to charge. I know it's not the answer you are looking for but it's ultimately the correct one. Since you say you don't plow with a truck yet (just an ATV) I assume you are relatively new to the snow industry and are trying to feel out what is going on. I was in your shoes 12 years ago with plowing and 5 years ago with lawn care. This site is a great place to see what "everybody else" does and will prove to be helpful to you, but a lot of things need to be learned by experience.

    I will try to give you some guidence on the pricing thing. The first thing you have to consider is your costs. You need to get an idea of how much it costs you to run your machine for say one hour. Take into acount gas, oil, wearable parts, insurance costs,etc. Do some math and try to break it down to a dollar amount that it costs you to run that machine per hour. Next thing is to determine what you want to make per hour. Obviously you want to make maximum money per hour but at some point you will be too high for people to hire you. Maybe some others on this site that live in your region can speed the learning curve and let you know their average dollars per hour for you to use as a guideline. In my area for example I shoot for $100.00 per hour for plowing but this will differ from region to region. The last step is to guess how long it will take you to plow the job. Until you plow enough to know by looking or keep production rates noted you can only guess how long a job will take. Keep a log book of driveway size and how long it took to plow for the future to help with pricing. If you keep a log book you can go back and see how close you were to estimating the time and adjust as necessary.

    I hope this helps somewhat. The two best things you can do is exceptional service and communication with your customer. If you quote someone a price and they say no ask them why they did not choose you. Doing this is a great way to guage what you are doing right or wrong. Good luck!
     
  12. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    Mick, say that the driveway would take three passes to clear at $15.00 a pass again we are talking a 60' by 20' driveway and that price includes my clean up (short pushes and ect. to make it look good). Now you say you use an atv you can't clear as much snow as quickly as somebody with truck and plow so that price would not work for atv removal. Where is the spell check?
     
  13. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Ok. Just trying to figure out the method you're using. Really sounds like it would work out the same as what I do, just going about it differently. Sounds like you're figuring the distance from point A to point B, then multiplying a standard "per foot" amount, then multiplied by the result of the driveway width divided by the width of the plow (ie: # of passes to cover the width). Using a factor of $1 per foot and your first example of 60' x 20' driveway - then you'd have 60'($1) = $60. Then 20'/7.5' (plow width) = 2.67 (rounded up to 3 passes). Then $60(3) = $180 which would be what you charge to clear this area. There would be no further charge for minor cleanup.
    Pretty good system for the right type of areas. All you'd need to do is have your "per foot" charge set and decide if a particular area would suit that method.

    Not sure what you're referring to on the last post about the atv. It reads like you are saying that I'm saying I use an atv. I have never used an atv. I've never even ridden on one.
     
  14. sir spaniourd

    sir spaniourd Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    IMDAWRLUS, I sent you an IM.