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Residential hourly rate

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by TacticalMustard, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. TacticalMustard

    TacticalMustard Junior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 4

    I was offered either $25/hr, or $20/hr +fuel to do a few hours of plowing each storm this winter. I have limited experience plowing. Mostly friends/family/neighbor's driveways and a small parking lot the past few years with their pickups/snow blowers/quads and I've got a strong back and a snow blower.

    This year I picked up a plow for my truck and wanted to make that investment back this winter. I was always told $30 minimum, and try to average $120 an hour on my own, and that seems to be the going rate.

    Now that I have a plow I have picked up a few driveways already, and have a landscaper friend offer me $25/hr to do his extra driveways. Probably 15 or so small ones he doesn't have time for, he thinks a few hours worth. He wants me to have someone with me to clear off the walkways/sidewalks/steps while I plow. After some talking I got him to cover my fuel, but then he'd only pay $20 per hour +fuel. I asked if a price per driveway would work, and asked for $15 a driveway (based on the fact I know he charges at least $30). The response was that he wouldn't make any profit at that point. I'd love to help him out, but it just doesn't seem worth my time and resources at $20/hr and having to pay somone $10 to help me.

    I'm using my work truck, my insurance, my fuel (depending on the deal), my snow blower. His offers just seems way too low regardless of experience when you are having that person use their own machine. As a general contractor I rarely, almost never average that low of a rate. I couldn't run my business and pay bills if I did.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  2. pooleo8

    pooleo8 Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    the problem here is **** rolls down hill. Your buddy is skimming off the top, then paying you chump change. Tell him what the truck makes, I make. $50/hr
  3. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    No way. I get $100 an hour down here, but only a handful of us plow. Up north everybody has a plow.I'd look for a minimum of $50 an hour.
  4. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,179

    I wouldn't even get off the couch for $20/hour.
  5. 4wydnr

    4wydnr Senior Member
    from N. IL
    Messages: 151

    Why don't you find a few drives for yourself?
  6. blee1ash

    blee1ash Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    $20 per hour? Maybee to use HIS equipment. $20/hr for me, my truck, and my plow - I don't think so.
  7. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    I agree with everyone else, this is someone who is trying to take advantage of you. If you are unsure, phone around a couple of the competitors to him, see what they say, I am willing to bet some of them even offer you jobs.
  8. Rich Graz

    Rich Graz Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    I pay over 20/hr for an employee to run my own equipment but different area different rates but to me that sounds very low. My guys have families where they need to put food on the the table and cover there bills. To them this isn't side money it's there only money, just my 2 cents. By the way I don't do residential so that maybe a factor
  9. Chris112lee

    Chris112lee Member
    Messages: 64

    If you do accept it, make sure you take at least 10 hours Thumbs Up
  10. kevlars

    kevlars Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    He's NUTS! I pay a sub $75 an hour. His truck, plow, fuel and insurance. He helps me with both commercial and residential.

  11. TacticalMustard

    TacticalMustard Junior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 4

    Up to 10 right now, got 7 over the past 2 days. Last winter I had told all my new clients and repeat clients I was going to do my best to get a plow this year. I am a GC that is steering in the direction of a complete property service business.

    Since getting this plow, out of about 2 dozen people, 8 want me to do their driveway and just asked for a price. The rest either had a good plow service already or have family members do it. Which is completely understandable. I am not a low baller so I wasn't going to try and steal anyone's work, although I really do need the income this winter so it makes it hard to not underbid someone else. Living in an old house with oil heat leads to at least $600 a month from December-Feb to keep this place at 60F, so I really need the money, either for oil or heavier blankets when I turn it down to 50.

    I had decided on per storm because that is what most plow services around here charge. If its a blizzard or over a foot then It will be 1.5x my quoted price, so its not really per storm, its more of per storm per inch, with the exception of a 4 clients which are on call for police/fire/hospital so I just charged them a few extra $$ for me to come on-call, or every 4".

    All of these are on back/side roads with zero traffic, and within 5 miles of my shop. Only a couple have occasional through traffic, but its on very lightly traveled back roads. They are almost all straight shots, with like 15-20 feet of walkways/sidewalks my snow blower is perfect for, and only a couple have more than 1 step to the front door. I think I'll be out for maybe 4 hours on a normal storm. That should net me $100/hr +/- $20 unless every storm requires a couple trips to the same place. It would be nice to get 3-4x this many. I hope my 6.5' plow and snowblower are enough.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  12. Tubby's Snow Plowing

    Tubby's Snow Plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    Residentials, IMO, should be either per push or monthly/seasonal. If you're running hourly, say $20/hr and it takes you 7 minutes to clear it, that's only $2.92!