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Seasonal Snow Contracts

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bigplowguy, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. bigplowguy

    bigplowguy Junior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 20

    I am not to familiar with putting together seasonal contracts we normally do our contracts per push but I have a client that would like to do seasonal contracts for 47 inches of snow how do you guys usually figure out what you are going to charge for these. Thanks in advance for your knowledge.
  2. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    Your per push rate x how ever many pushes a season you will be doing for the customer.
  3. bigplowguy

    bigplowguy Junior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 20

    yeah but you never know how your 47 inches of snow will come are you going to get it in 4 12" snowfalls or 23 2"snowfalls. do you try to say we get a couple of 6" 1 12" and then 8 2-4" snowfalls and figure it that way or what are your thoughts on that i am just trying to keep in in the ball park of where i need to be to pick up these contracts.
  4. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    Could get 2x that amount ~ ya never know.

    Welcome to our world...............

    I'm going to assume your name is a misnomer.
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Try and take what you charged them last year add a little to it then divide it by 5 monthly payments.
  6. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    I'm willing to bet if you use the SEARCH feature you will will find many different formulas people have used to figure this out.

    How long have you been doing this?
  7. bigplowguy

    bigplowguy Junior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 20

    I been doing it for 6 years but never had seasonal contracts before.

    And I don’t like to search I just ask questions to get to the bottom of something plus I like to see how intelligent you sound before I take advice from you to many people on here that think they know what they are doing but do not have a clue.

    We do a lot of big accounts but with the snows that we have been getting the last few clients are scared that snow removal money isn’t going to be there and they want solid numbers that they can budget on so no I have to learn how to give them the right price. Just wish there was an easy way to come up with that price
  8. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    There is no easy way, its all about the averages, figure too many you over bid, figure not enough you're screwing yourself out of money. Look at how many pushes, salts, walks you've done over the last 6 years, hopefully you have record of that.
  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I get over a 100 inches a year but I base my seasonal accounts on 25 plows .To me I don't care how many inches fall per storm just how many times I go out each season.
  10. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Nice attitude big guy. We like that.

    If you've been plowing these accounts for six years, you should know how many events you will typically get, and what a fair price is off the top of your head. I agree with Grandview. X events. 2 inches or 12. You need to give a price that is mostly based on your "average" winter, and a little margin. Since you have six years of historical data, that's the easy part. Next figure out how much you're willing to gamble. If your average is 10 events, I would be looking for pricing equiv to 11-13 events. It helps if last year was big, because people likely remember what they spent last year. If they are willing to give you a multiyear deal, you can trim that number down a bit.
  11. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Agreed. See if you can at least a 3 year deal with a % up each year.. Old saying is 1 for me 1 for you and 1 we break even.
  12. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    I'm not from Chicago..but for the windy city....48"seems light.
    I have several self storage "PITA's" most here would call them...the manager has tried several different ways to put out to bid; for me it's money in the bank regardless. Look at your previous years with averages in mind.
  13. ptllandscapeIL

    ptllandscapeIL Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    Ive been getting alot of bids requesting seasonal contracts,its a hard call I look back 7 years and average how many snowfalls we have had in the 1-3', 3.1-6" ect and just find an aver and charge it that way so i think our average is 15 so say with walks and plowing its 1,065 per push 15,675/5 monthly payments =$3,135 per month

    PS I will not included any salting in seasonals! thats a per event deal per ton and per bag for walks

    ALSO i have a snow cap that anything over 40" is monthly PLUS time and material normal chicago winter is 36"
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  14. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600


    Yup ... I love trying to figure out pricing for seasonal. The client is just throwing the request out to everyone with NO clue what to expect from this approach. I suspect they believe that "AH HA ... I will get a fixed price and somehow screw the plower, next year pick up a new plower!"

    In Chicagoland it use to be a seasonal at the 30-40" level. The last two years blew that out the door and properties took a bath in cost over runs OR the plower ate the cost. Now they want all-you-can-eat but, can not stomach the price for such. Duh.

    When you calculate you've got to think it in bands, how many bands will you average then look at it for number of on site efforts to support your bands, add it up and divide by 5 monthly installments. I always price salt separately - there just is no way to not over charge and screw yourself if you build salt in.

    On the flip .... if a client "buys" the seasonal package to keep costs locked in guess who complains first when there is no snow and they are still paying????
  15. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    As everyone stated, use your records and actually search historical weather data to establish how many times you go out on average, but bid a a couple of events higher. If you include ANY salt, put a cap in writing and track it carefully... best to keep it out of the bid to keep your first price impression in line with others.
  16. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    I always include salt in the price of a seasonal contract. I use a # of saltings that I feel comfortable that we may hit in an unusually snowy year. There should be no difference between salting, and plowing, I agree that salt is something you have to purchase, but at the same time you also have to spend the money on someone to drive the truck, fuel, wear and tear, etc. I personally just like to keep it as simple to understand what our bid is, and how much they are paying. Thats why they are looking for a seasonal price, to LOCK in at a price, not have variable costs, and if you end up screwing them over and charging a boatload more that what you quoted the seasonal at what reason do they have to even do it in the first place
  17. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,463


    Very nice way to ask for continued help. :realmad:

    Heck with that attitude, don't help this guy out anymore.

    Me neither, but you're wrong.

    I still say stop helping until he apologizes, why help someone that's being a *****?
  18. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    I'm further north..........48'' isnt that light, you must be like a lot of people and only remember the last two years. before that plenty of low #s 32, 48, 32, 30, 36, 59, 38