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Seasonal Contract Help

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by J.R. Services, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. J.R. Services

    J.R. Services Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    I'm working on my first seasonal contract and could use some help. Its a 2.75-3 acre supermarket lot. All the snow has to go to the back of lot. Going to use a John Deere 6420 with a 10-12' pusher and a plow truck or two. The average season around here is 21" but this year we had 69". How much snow should I estimate on.
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    How many times did you go this year compared to the last few years? It's not so much how much snow fel but how many times you go out in a season.
     
  3. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    JR, what he said ^^^^^^

    I plowed 5 different times this season. I would contract them at 4 plow and salt visits and then state that any remaining visits will be billed out for the month the service was rendered. You can base it off of this year and just explain to them the details. Another thing that would concern me is the fact that you can't ever estimate how much snow will fall so billing them a set amount could cost you if we get hammered like this year. Unless you get a good premium for removal. I tell all my customers that the price will always be different when basing it off of accumulation. If 6" of snow falls and I can do a given driveway in 30 minutes, I know for a fact it's going to take way longer if 2ft falls so I charge accordingly. They all know I'm going to be fair and not gouge them on the price.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  4. MIDTOWNPC

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,452

    Figure out how long it would take you lets say on a basic plow of 2 to 4 inches?

    Tractor ____(hours) x _$____ per hour = A
    Truck ____ (hours) x _$____ per hour = B

    How many times to plow _____ = C

    (A + B) x C = your seasonal price for plowing... now if you wanted to even work more averages into it... do that for the last 3 years and take the average of the 3 totals

    Then Im not sure if its going to include the salt but figure out how many salts and add that to your total. So much per app x so many events.
     
  5. MIDTOWNPC

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,452

    Thats total times your plowed... so if you had to go there to plow 2 times in 1 day
    thats 2 times. Remember you need to factor in there that at some times you will just be opening things up not doing full plows cause you cant.

    Getting the salt into the contract can be the risky part
     
  6. J.R. Services

    J.R. Services Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    Greg, I definitely like your idea I just wasn't sure if most places accept caps on seasonal snow removal. Becuase this year I plowed 8 times for 69" but next year it might be 6 times for 25". So i guess i'd like to know if i should estimate for a average season, or how much i should estimate above an average season as a saftey net. I'm going check tomorrow to see if a capped season is acceptable.
     
  7. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    JR if they won't accept a cap, average it for the past 3 years, and tell them you need a 3 to 5 year contract so it will be fair to both parties. You might get dumped on again next year, but the folowing years might be back to normal, so it all balances out. Plus a 3 to 5 year contract is just like money in the bank.
     
  8. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    With the recent weather you guys have seen, it would be russian roulette to assemble a seasonal contract without a cap. I would normally say 125% of average, but with what happened this year, that will be thrown off a bit.

    :D
     
  9. Theshoemaker

    Theshoemaker Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    How would one go about putting a cap on a contarct??? If say you estimate 25 visits per season, do you put that in contract then bill for every event over 25??? I'm kinda curious to know how people accept this in a contract. I was always thinking/ taught that if you est. 25 visits and there was 30 visits that you ate the 5, just like if it only snowed 10 you would make out on the 15. Kinda like the lottery..........
     
  10. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Total snowfall, as measured at the nearest NOAA reporting site (cite which one)..
     
  11. Brad3403

    Brad3403 Senior Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 392

    I agree. Thats the way I work seasonals.
     
  12. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    Even in seasonals you should consider it, for the extreme situations...
     
  13. Brad3403

    Brad3403 Senior Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 392

    Then it should work the other way too! If it is an extremely low precipitation season, the customer should get a reduction in the contract.
     
  14. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    This is why I have no cap on my seasonals. Just as you don't want to charge if you go over you don't charge and don't give refunds if your under.In most cases it's easier to eat a plow or two then because you'll spend more time and money trying to find new customers.