1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Take a look at my numbers....

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Raymond S., Oct 8, 2010.

  1. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    Finished up some numbers for a group of medical buildings tonight. I know I am bidding against 2 very large outfits along with another smaller company like myself. They are all new family medical practices requiring plow w/ walks shoveled/ice melt, and salting. I would like to get them so I have put what I believe aggressive prices without going so far as to lowball. I'm afraid that I'll still get beat out by one of the larger two companies. I know you can't go by size but it will give you an idea anyway. Tell me what you think. All are 2" triggers

    Prop 1.
    60k sq. ft lot (few small islands, basically open)
    400 ft. x 5 ft. wide walks
    Plow w/ walks $175
    Salt $240

    Prop 2.
    43k sq. ft. lot (no islands, all open)
    200 ft. x 5ft. wide walks
    Plow w/ walks $125
    Salt $175

    Prop 3.
    22k sq. ft. lot (very cut up, tight corners, etc)
    250 ft. x 5ft. wide walks
    Plow w/ walks $125
    Salt $110

    Prop 4.
    15k sq. ft. lot (pretty much wide open except a few peninsulas)
    240 ft. x 5ft. wide walks
    Plow w/ walks $110
    Salt $75

    We will be using (2) 3/4 ton trucks 8' straight blades w/ wings and 800lb tailgate salter, bagged salt. If I get all 4 it will be enough in addition to my current properties to require me to sub some stuff, so I have to keep that in mind also.

    Thanks for your input.
  2. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,035

    jmo, prices for plowing seam right, not real agressive but "fair". Salting i believe your a little high to compete against the "big guys" It seams like the big boys will give away the plowing to get the salting. Your disadvantage is your paying $200 or more for a pallet of salt where as most guys will be paying in the low $60 per ton of bulk. This is were most guys will win over ya.

    PS 2" trigger isnt going to work either.what happens when you get 1.5", thats not going to melt away real quick
  3. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    2" trigger is their terms but I haven't been able to discuss with the manager yet, on vacation til the day the bids are due. Also my plowing does include walks shoveled and ice melt applied. Does this still seem "fair" rather than aggressive. I'm afraid if I go much less I will be losing money if I have to sub. Like you said though the big guys are going to just about give away the plow.
  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    I'm not sure what portion of the salting bill is ice melt for the walks but to salt all those lots the bulk salt cost would be less the $100. That is where most small guys have trouble competing against the bigger companies.
    Prop 4 is 1/4 the size of prop 1 but you want 63% of the plowing price and 46% of the salting price. Not having seen these sites there may be a reason for it.
    Why in the first 2 prop. is the salt bill higher then the plow but the last 2 prop. it is lower then the plow?
  5. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    Also if these places have to be cleared to pavement all the time then triggers mean nothing. If it's 1.5" and you need to get it clear you better plow it first.

    Ever thought of offering them a seasonal price?

    Another thought, when you salt right after plowing you will not use much salt at all but if you have freezing rain or 3/4" of snow you will have to salt pretty heavy.
  6. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    True Prop 4 is 1/4 the size but I can't very well do it for $45. I have a base price I have to start with and go from there. Prop 1 is basically wide open and I can fly, plenty of space to put snow, so I estimate it to go fairly quick. Problem with Prop 1 is the walks, there's alot. Also, ice melt is figured into the price of the plow along with shoveling per their request. (Plow,shovel,icemelt.....one price. Salt....another price)

    The reason the salt is higher in the first two rather than the last two is because of their size. at 20lbs / 1,000 you're looking at about 2,000# of salt in those two properties as opposed to 750 in the last two. I feel I'm low on the plow but it's looking like I'll have to go lower. My intent is somewhat to bait them with the plow in an effort to get the salt.

    I called last week to talk about seasonal which is when I found out about the manager not being back until Monday, which is when the bids are due. I am going to quote is as seasonal as well and just include it in the bid pack and let them do what they want with it.

    I know I won't use much salt right after plowing but don't I still have to figure it at the right application rate? I'd hate to quote it at say 10# only to find out we get freezing rain all winter and I'm spreading 20# and losing my butt.
    I appreciate the help. Still looking back over my numbers.
  7. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    My mistake was thinking the salt price was black top and sidewalks.
    You are right about having a minimum.
    I have 1 contract that is per time. For salting I figure out how much I would use if we plow and then how much to just salt and go somewhere in the middle. We plow on 1". Even if it is slightly under we still plow and that helps with the salting.
    This business is tough. There is no set formula and no way everyone is going to do stuff for the same price. If the large companies have dedicated salt trucks and these sites are on their route you won't really be able to beat their price and that's just business.
    Set your pricing where it is worth getting out of bed in the middle of the night and go to work. When you think about it we work all overtime hours and can't take a holiday in the winter. That has to be worth something.

    How much are you paying for bagged salt?
  8. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    My quoted price per skid (49 bags) was $4.25 at single skid purchases. If I got these accounts I'd probably pre buy 15 skids which was their next barrier for a price break to less than $4, not sure what "less than $4" is because at the time I wasn't envisioning needing 15 skids of salt.
  9. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    I'm guessing that's a 50lb bag.

    I have a question for you. If your plowing price includes clearing and ice melt for the sidewalks what do you do when you are only salting the parking lot. In other words if you are getting $240 to do the parking area when you are only salting who is looking after the walks that day?
  10. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    Another question I have for the manager who chose to be gone the week before bids were due. My provision will be to include ice melt charges to the walks when performing salt only no plow service. Don't have it in front of me currently but It works out to around $.30 per pound. I think I'm paying $7.25 for 50lb bags of Great White ice melt.
  11. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    Looks like the guy who is asking for the bids hasn't really considered everything involved. He might take the low bid only to find he gets hit with a ton of extra's.

    Too many people think plowing is so easy.
  12. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    Well here's what I submitted.

    1. 140 plow/180 salt 5280 seasonal
    2. 110 plow/125 salt 3820 seasonal
    3. 110 plow/105 salt 3420 seasonal
    4. 85 plow/ 65 salt 2320 seaonal

    I'll find out this week. May or may not get them but I'll sleep just fine if I get beat out. I've got some properties that pay alot more than what I bid on these for a lot less work. It will be interesting to find out the results. I'll keep you posted.
  13. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,748

    I think these prices look pretty decent.
  14. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,968

    Amazing how much pricing varies by region! Looking over numbers from a southern Ct. perspective,salting prices similiar , plowing pricing about 1/2 what I (try) to get.
    Cost of living/ doing business here brutal! Hope you get it and make money.
  15. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    Got purchase orders today for all 4 properties. They elected to go seasonal. These will be a nice addition to my per push properties. Thanks for the comments and critiques.
  16. clydebusa

    clydebusa Member
    Messages: 85

    Same here in Tulsa, of course we only get 2 to 4 storms a year. Lots of ice, but the salting about the same, snow push about 1/2 what I charge.
  17. MarksTLC

    MarksTLC Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Congrats. Enjoy.... Now all we need is some snow..:nod:
  18. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    Great to hear it all worked out for you.:drinkup:
  19. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,748

    Awesome! Wish I could land a job like that!
  20. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    Good for you!