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Pricing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by WoodBrothersLC, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. WoodBrothersLC

    WoodBrothersLC Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I have tried to do a search on how people price snow plowing but can't seem to find any info...how do you know what to charge? Any help would be nice as we are pretty new at this...Thanks in advance
     
  2. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I try to charge by the hour here. It makes it easier except when it comes to bidding jobs. Usually I just tell people an approox time and equate that into dollars. It leaves me a little out as far as if the job takes longer than I fugured. We charge $60.00 / hour for a plow pickup here in Montana. I also charge $40.00 / hour for ATV work. It seems that is about all that we can get here. After last winter and the increase in fuel, I am going to try an increase per hour or a "fuel surcharge", I don't know which yet. When it comes to sanding, I charge for the material plus the pickup time ($1.00 / minute) to apply it.
     
  3. Mick

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

    (I started this at 11:00 and got interrupted to take care of a crisis and didn't get back till after 1:00 to finish it. Rather than edit the first line, I left it as I thought it appropriate with apologies to MAKNDUST)

    The reason you haven’t gotten a reply to your post so far is likely because pricing is so regional and can be very complicated although it seems simple and straightforward:

    There are three main strategies to pricing - Per Push, Per Inch and Seasonal. All those are based on the “fourth” stategy - Per Hour.

    Per Push - I will charge you $xx each time I clear the snow from a given area.

    Per Inch - I will charge you based on the total number of inches that gets cleared from a particular area.

    Per Season - I will charge you $xx for pushing any amount of snow that falls during a particular time period (ie: Nov 1st to Apr 1st).

    Hourly - I will charge you $xx per hour for the period of time I spend plowing snow from a particular area.


    The most common strategy is a combination of Per Push and Per Inch. In this you will have a “trigger” or depth at which you begin plowing. Say your customer wants a 3” trigger. He is saying he can drive on anything under 3”. So, you wake up and find 3.5” in your driveway. Do you plow? What if the customer disputes that there was over 3”? Now with this strategy, you will most likely structure price increments - ie” with a 3” trigger, you would charge, say

    $30 - for 3” to 6”
    $45 - over 6” to 9”
    $60 - over 9” to 12”

    To cover your behind and to account for those perhaps rare instances of more than 12” snowfall, you could do something like “over 12” - $60, plus $1 an inch over 12”.

    Per inch - This is generally only used for accounts requiring a very high degree is service, such as where absolutely no accumulation is tolerated and involve anti-icing by using chemicals to melt falling snow. An airport might be an example. Here, you would rely on a third-party weather service to determine snowfall.

    Seasonal - Here you indicate a price (say $1,000) to provide service for the season. With this, you will want to have a contract that is very specific as to what services, when they will commence and what will entail added charges. Example - you determine the average snowfall for your area to be 50” per season and with a 3” trigger, you expect to have seven “events” per year. What happens if it snows 80” one season and requires ten pushes? What if you get seven 2” snowfalls back-to-back? For a Seasonal account, the best strategy is have a three- (or more) year contract. This way, you take advantage of the “law of averages”.

    Hourly - You will charge so much per hour for each piece of equipment used and different amounts for different sized equipment. This may include plow, pusher, dump truck, sander, loader etc.

    How much to charge in each of the above situations is determined by local custom. It’s been tried here on Plow Site before and the variance between areas was pretty surprising.

    I mostly use a variation of the Per Push / Per Inch and offer a price for plowing anything up to 12”.

    I hope this helps a little.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2005