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Residential Plowing by Season or by the Push?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Jays Green Daze, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. Jays Green Daze

    Jays Green Daze Member
    from MI
    Messages: 51

    Okay so last year I charged by the push average $25 for a normal 2 car driveway/walk. This year I was thinking that I would charge $250 for 12 plows which is like giving the homeowner 2 free for paying upfront. I was thinking of doing it this way because I need the money to invest in a new spreader and blower. Has anyone ran into any problems doing it like this?
  2. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I find seasonals to be the best for residential.

    Is 12 plows your average for your area base on several years? If so, giving them 2 plows for the benifit of getting your money up front is fine.

    Seasonal only have 2 issues:
    1 - If it snows more than normal, the contractor can loose money.
    2 - If it snows less than normal, the customer pays too much per push.
  3. EPS

    EPS Member
    Messages: 66

    All I do is seasonal. We average 25 - 28 events thanks to lake effect !
  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    I can't grasp loosing money on a seasonal contract.
    A double car 50' long driveway here is $400/year. I would say we have 20 plows. That's $20/plow. Your biggest expenses are you truck and insurance. No matter how many times it snows those don't change. If you have 50 contracts and can do 7/hour you are going to be out 7 hours. Truck burns $10/hour, $70/trip. If it snows 25 times you are out your time and $350 more for fuel, even add a few bucks for wear and tear. If it snows 15 times you saved some time and $350 in fuel. So your gross is $20,000 less $1400 for fuel on 20 plows.

    Using the same #'s for per plow.
    15 plowsX50 housesX$20=$15,000
    20 plowsX50housesX$20=$20,000
    25 plowsX50 housesX$20=$25,000

    For me as a customer or contractor I would prefer to pay $400/year.

    Using any of those #'s it is impossible to LOOSE money. You may not make as much but you can't loose.
  5. Jays Green Daze

    Jays Green Daze Member
    from MI
    Messages: 51

    Quad....do you know of a website that gives details of each storm....in other words, is there a weather site that tracks the # of storms with the inch total for a given year?
  6. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Jays, I don't know of any site that has a list. You can get with the local weather station and sometimes they will send you the info. My numbers for seasonals are based on doing it for so many years.
  7. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    noaa ..............
  8. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    And to think I just use to pull up to a driveway and use my thumb to figure out a price.

    What will the future hold now for estimating driveways?:D
  10. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    I wish I could get $400 heck even $300 would be nice but the fact is no one here wants seasonal they all want per push and even getting $25 out of these people is like pulling teeth,and this is no small town either its population is just over 68,000 people not counting the burbs.

    The reality is not every plower has the choice to get seasonal
  11. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    I think our cost of living might be a little higher here. It slowed down a bit but houses are still expensive. I'm not saying it is cheap there. I was there last summer. Biggest thing I noticed is you get some property with your house. We can almost touch our neighbours. You also have a much nicer pace of life. Here it is a race 24/7.
  12. TwoBrosLawn

    TwoBrosLawn Member
    from 53223
    Messages: 89

    WOW, im in Milwaukee, WI and im getting 30-35 per driveway and extra 5.00 for the side walk going to the front door, and i get out of the truck and shovel in front of the garage door. what i do is if they wanna pay up front i charge 27x12 rather than 30 per time.