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raising the price

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by WELDER, Dec 5, 2004.


    WELDER Member
    Messages: 50

    i was wondering if anyone raised there prices per push due to the cost of fuel. i cant remember what it was last year.but i dont think it was close to $2......i was thinking of raising it $5 a drive
  2. echovalley

    echovalley Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 456

    We wanted to raise our prices at least 15%.price of salt is up 25% fuel is up 30%.Well when it came time to sign our contracts we were told we had to drop our price 65% or lose all our contracts . :gunsfiring: because of the LOW BALLERS.Well i had no choice mouths to feed bills to pay.hope we get lots of snow.
  3. intlco

    intlco Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    The same sh*t happed out here too. These LOW BALLERS acutally drove down prices this year, and then when the first snow hit, they didn't even go out and plow until noon the next day, and the guy who signed Wal-mart has still not plowed it, the sun melted it.
    The mgrs now only want to pay the Low ballers rate. So I told him he can hand sholvel his lot. The Walmart employees took some MTD snow blowers they were selling and started them up and started blowing out their loading docks. And started hand sholving the front driveway. IT WAS FUNNY! How stupid and cheap of a company mgr.
  4. maintenanceman

    maintenanceman Member
    Messages: 32

    Had the same problem last year. So now all our trucks run on propane just to save on the cost of fuel. Haven't noticed a difference in performance but I am paying the same amount for fuel as i did four years ago.

    WELDER Member
    Messages: 50

    im kinda havin the same problem. id quote a driveway and be told im way too high. there is guys willin to do it for $20 bucks.i cant understand this. you gotta plow 5 just to make 100. and then if something breaks you havent even made enough to fix it.
  6. hay mant man how much to you pay for propane and what kind of power do you get
  7. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Raised my price this year by about 20% for new customers and am still turning them down.
    It has been a lowsey year here for the last 4 years so most of the cheep plowers have quit. There is no money if there is no snow.
  8. haligan125

    haligan125 Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 64

    You guys think Low Ballers are bad and all, but you all want to raise your plow price 15% for a gas price increase. Now the way I see it (it was explained to me, but now i agree) gas has gone up what? like 50 cents over last year tops? and say you get like 10 miles to the gallon maybe less depending on how you plow. now here in Maine i don't even have a driveway over 20 bucks so i think you guys are all nuts, but I digress, back to my Point. How long does it take for you to do a driveway? 15 minutes average? Maybe even a high average for residential. Now say you charge 20 dollars for that and want to raise your price 5 dollars to 25 this year, that would be 25% You can do 4 drives in a hour and make $20 more by raising your price. Now in that hour did you use 10 gallons of gas (assuming that the price a gallon is $1.999? I sure hope not unless you are plowing with a peter-built. so really you shouldn't have to raise prices, not that much anyway, now i know that doesn't include salt and sand and other stuff, but come on guys you think low ballers are bad, but you all want to price gouge with the excuse of higher gas prices. the way I see it, you may lost a tiny amount this year paying out in gas, but you are not paying out $5 a driveway worth. This should stir some commotion,
  9. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    The cost of fuel is what we all see. What we don't see on a every day is the cost of insurance, (up over 200% sence 911) steel, (up over 100% this year)
    To replace my $27000 (when new) truck is over $40K. My property tax in my town has gone up over $3000 last year. Now I am not complaning or trying to justify why I have increased my prices just pointing out that everything is going up. I don't want to have to work all my life. and kind of like having a little cash in my pocket in case I find a new toy I want.
  10. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 324

    I'm with Dwan, everything goes up why shouldn't plowing??? Don't tell your customers it's due to gas prices however. Will you drop them if gas prices go back down??
  11. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    This lowballer thing is getting crazy. I'm facing this with my Ag Chem job right now. It's an ugly cycle. They lowball, they fail, then the job or product is back in your lap because you provide a quality product or service. Same with snow removal. They don't show up so the customer calls the guy that is available. These people don't understand that they are paying my rates because I am doing business 24-7. Not when I have time, or get off work from my other job. I pick up most of my accounts with those early suprise snow storms in the end of August, or the day after Thanksgiving, when brand X is out of town with his family and has no one to cover for him. It snows, his clientel call me, and I plow their snow.
    My rates are nothing compared to what some of you guys charge, but are as high as it gets out here. If fuel keeps going up yes I will take a 10% increase.
    I guess to sum it up the customer is not only paying for a service but also for someone who is willing to be reliable 24-7. That is worth alot in its self in my opinion
  12. Tscape

    Tscape Senior Member
    Messages: 831

    Echovalley, congrats, you are now a lowballer too. You have to understand that you are going to lose some accounts, but through marketing you have to work to generate other accounts. So now you basically have the customer setting the price. Stupid. If you can't walk away, you have: 1. no guts 2. No confidence in your own ability to land accounts. 3. a client who has a heavy hand in your contract. Customers like that are basically hostile to your ability to run a profitable business.

    Also, like has been said, prices of everything are on the rise. Therefore prices of your services must rise to cover that and maintain profit margins. If they don't, you will eventually fail. Simple. So when you are out of business and your equipment is being liquidated, I will offer you 40% of what you are asking for it. Hey, you gotta feed your family, right?
  13. haligan125

    haligan125 Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 64

    How is it, I charge 15 dollars a driveway and still make money? I;m not a lowballer though cause if i charged 50 i would be plowing mine and mine only
  14. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    How do you make money @ $15 a driveway? Because the conditions are right for you. Here @ $15 a drivway and say I have 40 drivways to do that is $600 a plow event. We have had pn the average 8 plow events a year for the last 4 years. so 8 times $600 gives me $4800 income for the year. No plowing is all I do in the winter. and I have 1/2 million worth of investment in my plow business. That $4800 here would not even suport my family for the 6 months of winter let alone the business. Now if I had 50 events and had 1 truck and another job to help with the income then yes I could make a profit @ $15 a driveway. Mainly because my other job would be the primary income and the plow income would not be needed. so anything it made would be profit. except for the the truck payment, insurance, fuel, repairs,and maintance for the time it is used to plow.
    Ah now comes the clincher What do I tell my customer that I plowed before 7:am and the city/state came buy and left a burm @ 8:30. and I just smoked a transmition on the way to my other job. Sorry

    I to could plow for say that $15 a driveway but I would also have to through in another $20 for reliability to cover the aditional backup, me beenthere within 30 minutes of a call if needed, money put away to replace the equipment. My insurance, (which by the way is pushing $6000 a year) and payment so I do not have to have another job. Because plowing alone will not make a living for my family.

    As for you Montana boys I understand why your pricing is as low as it is. You have farmers there that are use to working there a$$ off and not making a profit, it always has been that way and always will be. They already have a pickup and a blade to do there own drives. and may have a spreader to use on the farm. so they have little overhead and like the long hard hours invalved. 99% of them do there own maintance and repairs which saves a lot. Farmers insurance covers anything so they think. and they all put there own food on the table from hunting, farming & bartering.

    one could go on and on and on with this.
  15. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    At 15.00 a drive you are not running a business and even covering your costs let alone make a profit. You are however, getting 15.00 toward your fun in the snow. If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it probably is a duck.
  16. WELDER

    WELDER Member
    Messages: 50

    dunno bout the rest of you but i got in this to make money.to me 15 to 20 bucks isnt money.ill stick to my game,and let the lowballers fight it out. ill do 20 drives and go home and crack a frosty cold one while the low ballers are doin 300 to make what i did....... :drinkup:
  17. jsydow

    jsydow Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I raised them!

    I raised my hourly rate from $70 to $75. If they are lawn customer I give them a $5 hr break this keeps the account year round and keeps my customers loyal to me! I raised my residential $5 per push + salt. I was going to charge $1 a pound on the salt, but having a hard time convincing myself of doing it! I just told my customers that all my expenses keep rising, and that we have tried absorb those cost, but with the quality of service we provide that we can't absorb all of those cost! The lowballers are all over here they go and buy junk equipment and make people wait until it's convienent to them. I have lost some accounts to these moron's, but I tell people you get what you pay for & they know what their service is worth! The customers that I have are very loyal because I go that extra mile for them when these low ballers won't! Plus most of them aren't carrying commercial insurance!!
  18. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    Some guys just don't think to factor in ALL their costs associated with doing business. Fuel, trucks, plows, insurance, taxes, equipment maint., statements, office supplies, shop supplies, etc. I do this part time but I STILL have to account for these costs if I want to turn a real profit and build this business into a full time venture. Sure some part timers can go out and feel they are making money because they don't factor in the repairs, maint., supplies, etc. I'm not saying that's right or wrong, but to really know if you are making a true profit or just makings pocket money you need to know all your costs.

    As far as lowballers, some areas are just flat out cheap, this area is one of them. It sucks. I have a couple accounts that I should be making $15-20 more per push but due to Billie Bob and his old 6" lifted truck and an old scrap metal plow I won't get it this year. Hope to next year, but we'll have to see.

  19. rgjlawn

    rgjlawn Member
    Messages: 65


  20. JPMAKO

    JPMAKO Senior Member
    Messages: 660


    I would not shovel a sidewalk for $15.00 Some of you guys are crazy.
    With the cost of living increasing every day, and the cost of running a legitimate business even higher, I won't drop my plow for less than $30.00 for a small residential driveway! Just my 2 cents. I would not be making enough money at $25.00 to feel like I am making a profit. I am higher than a lot of guys around my area and the way I look at it I have had about 60 steady clients for about 8 years now. Some even longer. So who ever calls and wants an estimate is getting a high one. If they don't like it they can go somewhere else. I provide a Professional, Reliable service and I get my price or I walk... :waving: