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Square footage

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Wiggins, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. Wiggins

    Wiggins Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Hello everyone, My name is Keith Wiggins. I'm new to this site, and I started my business in May of 2004 once returning from Iraq. My question is that I am getting into commercial accounts and just bought a sweet plow for my truck. Now I charge anywhere from 20-30 dollars for res. drives but was struggling on how to bid commercial lots. Does anyone charge by square footage or judgement of man hours?? if by hours how long does it take to plow commercial lots thats lets say 10,000 sq ft....? any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Most commercial pricing is by time for each piece of equipment used. As an average, it will take one hour to plow one acre (43,560 sq ft) of pavement that has no obstacles, barricades etc with no to minimal backdragging using an 8' straight blade and an experienced driver.
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

  4. plowinginma

    plowinginma Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 326

    I am sorry but I respectfully disagree with Mick ... In the past most commercial plowing was done by the hour .Some of your larger commercial properties still would rather be charged by the hour .More than likely those properties have a way to check your hours against what you bill ..
    Now in this ever changing industry most of your properties ask for one of three ways
    "per push" , "by the inch,or brackets " or seasonal ..

    and as far as an acre per hour ... Mick is assuming that you are plowing only 2 inches or so on the ground .. (fine and dandy in a perfect world) .. Obviously it takes longer to plow the same area with more snow .. and anyone that says they have only ever pushed 2 inches at a time.. have not been plowing long .. I also disagree with the obstacles.. Islands can actually help with time spent on plowing a parking lot .. of course depending on if you are using them as relief or as an obstacle .. most property managers don't care about quality .. and quality cost more money .. and time ..(not to say that some don't ..I will only do quality work)

    assuming you were to get $100 per hour for your truck you would charge $25 for a parking lot????? I am rather surprised he gave this advise to be quite honest .. don't forget insurance and all the other overhead that goes into plowing .. and I know Mick always points this out ... he normally has great advice for the new guys ..
    As far as pricing per foot.. I have done this for many many years ... It does work for me and makes my systems all integrated .. (billing ,supplies ,equipment, etc)
    The one other thing about pricing everyone charges different .. and lots go too low and lots are very high .. somewhere in the middle you will never run out of work ..
    Good Luck
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    No problem on the disagreement. That's what's great about a site like this. Yes, that is in a perfect world. I made a lot of conditions (depth wasn't one - just an oversight) that won't likely be in the real world. But I did say an average - which really doesn't apply to anything in particular. No, I wouldn't go with $25 for a commercial lot even if the time worked out like that - I generally apply a minimum. But he just asked how long ... I've said over and over that I'm not a fan of sq ft pricing, but that's just me.

    As for per hour pricing, I don't use that as a basis with the customer, but I do use time as a factor for my own calculations. (Does that make sense?)
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2006
  6. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Welcome to the site Keith and thanks for serving.
  7. plowinginma

    plowinginma Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 326

    absolutely Makes perfect sense .. Time spent and acreage plowed go hand and hand with providing the equipment that is needed ..
    So actually in a back wards way you do price by the foot ..(or size) you just don't break it down that way .. But I respect your comments and knowledge that come with many years in this industry...
  8. Adair350

    Adair350 Member
    Messages: 34

    Ditto! Welcome and Thanks!!!:waving: