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Target stores want a bid, not sure if I can handle it?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Lasher66, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Lasher66

    Lasher66 Member
    Messages: 82

    I have the oppurtunity to bid some local Target Stores and was wondering what you guys think. Currently it is just me plowing with a 3/4 ton pickup and I have 2 other guys that that also have just pickup trucks that plow with me when I need them. I currently use snow ex 1075 tailgate spreaders with bagged salt. I am looking to grow and have some money to invest in more equipment, but I currently have lots that arent this big and wasnt sure if it was possible to get these size lots done with just pickup trucks. I did notice last year some snow companies doing big lots with pickups and had a guy in back of truck filling the tailgate spreader with salt as they were driving the lot. Just didnt want to get in over my head, but at the same time I want to grow. Thanks for the help.

  2. highlander316

    highlander316 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    how big are the lots?
  3. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Pass on it till you have the right equipment. (loaders,skidders,bigger salting units)
  4. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    unless your going to spend $20,000 on used loader or rent a backhoe and buy a larger salter, I would pass on it, unless know anyone that has this kind of equipment idle during the winter, construction companies you could rent it through for the winter cheap. If I was in your boat and could get at least one larger piece of equipment maybe with a pusher on it per large lot, then I would jump on it. Good luck and don't be afraid to explore all options.
  5. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,593

    Here's your chance to grow- make it happen. I wish I was presented with an opportunity like that. Good Luck:drinkup:
  6. suzuki0702

    suzuki0702 Senior Member
    Messages: 649

    i agree...but dont overbid it...dont underbid it...:dizzy:
  7. hairygary

    hairygary Senior Member
    Messages: 149

    I would say do it, but alot also depends on the size of this target and the amount of the bid.
    One of my friends serviced a target through a maintence company (dont remember which one), with only two trucks. He did use bulk salt though, and I would say it was on the smaller side size of a target lot, as its property was shared.

    I think it would be hard to make money with bagged salt on a lot that big, and be competitive at bidding.

    I think you will at least have to have a bobcat on standby for this lot, as one poster stated maybe you can find one to rent from a construction company. Everybody that has loader, thinks you need to have loader. Now if you need one or not depends on the snowfall totals in your area and the actual size of this target. Loaders have their place, but arent always needed. Put up some pics.
  8. Lasher66

    Lasher66 Member
    Messages: 82

    I will post some pics later tonight. The only problem with me is I dont have the property to store bulk salt. Both Targets are medium size lots and would probably be at least a pallet or two im thinking of bagged salt. Plus they want calcium chloride on all the sidewalks. Im not even sure where to start bidding something like this. Im thinking maybe I will try to get just one store my first year and see where that takes me. They want per push bid and a full season bid. Thanks for the help.
  9. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    Is it USM? They have all Target's here!

    Messages: 65

    we got a call from target last winter in the middle of winter; they wanted a quick price from us as they said the current guy was fighting in their parking lot and customers were coming into target and complaining that they were scared; maybe he was fighting with a plow truck driver that handled the parking lot next to it -- part of a srip mall. anyhow, we had a similar situation to you and knew that we couldnt handle it; not all storms will be done at 1am giving you 6-7 hrs to get your jobs done; it's the 2 inch an hour storm starting at 6a until 1pm on a monday morning that would hurt.

    Messages: 65

    how much bagged salt can your truck hold to take to target to spread? can you carry enough to do the whole lot at once? obviously you wont have time to go back to your shop to get more! and find out if it is USM as I have heard bad things about them!
  12. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Ahh, the catch 22. I can't grow if I don't buy more equipment, I can't buy more equipment if I don't grow.

    Do you have use for a skid steer off season? If no, then try to line up a lease/rental. Definitely bid only one lot this year. If you had a skid on site, you counld rent or buy a storage box to keep your salt in on the lot.
  13. RepoMan207

    RepoMan207 PlowSite Fanatic
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,031

    Not sure about your particular Target, but here there a zero tolerance customer. Bare pavement at all times, no excuses.

    If you have the resources to grow.....Do it. Good luck!
  14. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    You can do this. :nod:

    Strike an hourly deal with a guy and his loader, and with the three trucks it's very doable. The salting will be your challenge.......if you don't invest and upgrade to bulk you'd better find a stud to feed your toy salter with bagged product. Like 2COR said, get a storage container dropped on site to hold and protect your product so it's there.

    It'll make a man out of you if you can make it happen with that salter.

    Good luck to you!
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  15. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    do it!!!!!!!!
    Gotta bid 'em to get 'em.

    Put an ad in craigslist looking for a guy to sub a loader if you want and use that price in your bidding to help out your trucks.
    It could certainly be done with trucks. (maybe not as well, maybe more expensive, maybe takes longer)


    Bid it!!!!!!!!!!!
  16. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    Allow me to rephrase Lasher....you would be "da man" if you can service that site properly with that toy salter.

    No slam on your manhood intended sir.....just your salter.
  17. Pennings Garden

    Pennings Garden Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 242

    Is there a reason that they are shopping for a snow contactor this late in the season? Is there no competition in your area? Has no other company knock on their door yet? Or are they just trying to get a low bid to force the current contractor to lower his price? (Has happen to me twice this month:mad:) If they are looking for a low price, be careful and do your math, being "as small guy" you can loose your shirt on this.

    If I where you I would bid the per push price very high and the season price competitive, hoping they take the season price. This way you can commit to a rental or leasing company to take a machine for 5 months without take the risk on not being able to pay for it due to lack of snow...
  18. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    like he said dont lose your ass on this.
    bulk salt will save you but you will be shovelling it into spreader.
    Make sure you can make money.
    I have bid to low a few times getting over zealous and not made any money or lost.
    But if you can fit into schedule and get to it often in long storms then go for it. but a skid on these lots may be necessary.
  19. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    I'll have to disagree. I would never rent a loader for that length of time, and supply the operator on top of it.

    You're not looking very hard if you can't find a guy with a loader who wants to keep it busy for the winter on an hourly basis.
  20. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,885

    yeah, not that you couldnt do it... but we've done them before and theyre no joke.. First they usually dont pay well "for their size"

    second, ive used one of our trucks with the biggest boss tailgate spreader.. for the size "width" of the lots and amount of salt to put down its rediculous. You probably wont get much money after emptying between 1/2 and a full skid of bagged salt 25 bags minimum for a good sized lot with ice :/ Nothing like emptying 25 bags in the bed of the truck when its 15deg "or lower" out and windy in the mornings.

    You almost NEED a push box... even with 3 plow trucks it'll drive you nuts or just wont be profitable by then.

    Youd also need a least one GOOD 24+ inch commercial snow thrower, or two or more plus a guy to operate, a shoveler, walk behind calcium spreader etc.

    If you bid and get one, your in for a busy time... but probably can handle it. Problems come into play when theres a 24" storm.... you'd have to get a tractor or skid rental and maybe a 8-10' box onsite... which wouldnt be cheap in a pinch.

    I had the largest one we've done last season and i swore it wasnt cost efficient for us to take our tractor and 8' pushbox the distance out to the site... we handled it fine with 2 trucks, and two spreaders, two laborers with 32" blowers and two extras to help...