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Thouhgts on this request

Discussion in 'Sweeper Forum' started by SCSIndust, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    A large property I plow for asked me about sweeping their lot. I said I would get a price to them shortly. This will be my first year sweeping, as I was planning on starting this new service for my customers, I just wasn't expecting them to call me...anyway, they generate very little trash, but they asked to bid on sweeping 5 days a week! I was going to approach them about it, and suggest once a week, which is still to frequently, but they called me first. So, should I bid it and milk it, or should I bid it a little higher and less frequently.
    I know this sounds like an obvious answer, but I am afraid they may see the light and want to change the contract. On the other hand, as long as the lot is always clean, maybe they will happily pay. What do you guys think?
    Lastly, can someone PM me either a sample contract or the parts concerning doing the job? I know everyone asks for contracts, but I'm unclear on how to word it properly. I can write contracts pertaining to billing, liability, etc, just not on how the sweeping is done. Thanks for your help!
     
  2. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    More frequently sounds like they really just want to keep it up. Maybe it doesnt appear to have much trash because it has been swept so frequently? Is this a new facility? Why are they changing if it is not? If they have never been swept before and want to start now then maybe it really is pretty clean and would not need 5/week. I don't know what to tell you without a little more input. If they want it 5 sweeps/week then you just won't spend as much time there per trip as you would say 2 sweeps/week. Find out what their expectations are. Do you keep the lawn clean? Empty trashcans? I would expect to use a blower around any entrances at a minimum and possibly around the whole building. Are there parking blocks up close to the building? If so, then they will need the cigarette butts blown out from around them. What about fences on the property? They really collect trash. Just a few things to think about. You can PM me a phone number to reach you at if you want. I will do what I can to help. Not a real seasoned veteran at this yet, but learning quickly and willing to help. I might have some ideas that will help you get started as I am starting my second year now. Already 2 trucks and hoping to add a third by the end of this year. Good luck!
     
  3. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    It is a new building. They are basing 5x a week off of their other properties. There is curb blocks, no trash cans, no fences. Just a handful of islands. The lady said we could start off less than 5x, which I might start with 3x a week. Maybe when the place settles down into a groove, ther will be more trash. For snow, they wanted top notch service, I mean top notch. The operations manager said they get marked heavily for having any debris in the lot when coporate does inspections. Thanks for the thoughts about the curb block, though.
     
  4. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    They want it 5 times a week, bid it for 5 times a week. make room for adjustments if they want to change it at a later date. Dont try to bid it exact. leave your self some room to do the best job possible. That is if you think it is going to take you 2 hours to do the job each time then add enough so if you should have to spend 3 hours once a week you still make money. Your job is to make there management team look good to corporate. They already have it in there budget to sweep 5 times a week so don't try to change it.
     
  5. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I know you can't help me sight unseen, but I hate to come of left field with some oddball bid. I'm already having a hard enough time trying to figure out my time their. It is about 5-6 acres, mostly open, with islands at the end of the rows, curb blocks (~30), no trash cans. I am shooting for $75/hour. Right now it is me with a backpack blower, and brooms. Within a week, I'll have a truck mounted vaccuum. I'm figuring $50 a sweep, 5 days a week. It seems low to me, but I hate to overbid, but I hate to be over worked, too. Such dilemmas....
     
  6. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 617

    Seems low to me. Is this a retail place? 24hr operations? Are there burger joints in the close vicinity? Things to think about. You could spend 20 minutes walking around there with a blower and it feels like 5-10 minutes. At $75/hour you are not out of line depending on equipment. A big schwartz unit or other similar will run you $60-70k so at $250 per week, fuel, payroll, dumping, repairs,etc., you don't leave much room for profit. Let's not forget insurance and drive time, or flat tires and other such problems. I think you are low. Just my opinion. $50 per sweep leaves you 40 minutes to clear 5-6 acres. This doesn't include fueling time, maintenance, checking tires/oil/air filters and other pre-check items. Also doesn't include drive time to and from the job. If the place is 5 minutes from you then you will burn 30-40 minutes: 1. Pre-check 2. Dump 3. Drivetime to and from. That means you have 5-10 minutes to sweep before you burn up your $50 per night. Twice that price doesn't seem out of line to me at all. Hope this helps.
     
  7. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    If I had a 60K unit, you bet I'd have more than one property. I have/ getting a used slide in truck vac. Not paying much, but I want to be inline with current pricing. This place generates so little trash, and that was my original dilemma. There are no fast food places within 1/2 mile. It is a 24 hour a day gym, to give you perspective.
     
  8. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Hickslawns has the right approach. $2K a month is not unreasonable for that size lot. without the hand work. First cleanup with a power Vacuum should take twice as long as it does to plow. after that between 1/2 and 1 hour per visit with no labor. charge for at least 1 hour minimum it takes that long to warm up the equipment, do an inspection and fuel.

    Dwan
     
  9. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Twice as long as plowing for first cleanup!?!?! The storm we got Feb 12, was about 18", and we got 20 plow truck hours, and 13 bobcat hours!
     
  10. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    OK about twice as long as it should take with a 3" to 4" snow fall. Now remember this would be for the first cleaning of the year. We use p-rock/sand for ice control here and for a lot that size 4 to 5 acres we can get 10 to 15 yards of material off it. I would not expect a vacuum machine to clean it that fast alone but with the help of a mechanical broom it can be done. I have seen ware it was bad enough to take 12 hours for the first cleaning then less then 1 hour a day to keep it clean. There are a lot of variables in this business. It is not something that one can learn over the net but learn by experience for the most parts.
     
  11. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Point taken. Once I get the general direction, I can usually run with an idea. I appreciate you guys' comments and help. At least I have something as a basis. My other question in my post was about contracts. Did anybody want to offer any advice or samples for me to work off of? Like I said above, I'm not looking to copy someone's, just get some wording about doing the work itself.