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

What gauge do you guys use to bill on the amount of snow

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Craftybigdog, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Craftybigdog

    Craftybigdog Senior Member
    Messages: 238

    I was curious do you use the local weather channel or do you use a ruler on the job how do you bill your customers, on the amount of snow you remove?
  2. Mick

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

    Billing is based on the depth of the snow. I use a ruler. Measurement is based on depth in front of my house when I leave to plow. Never had anyone question my measurement. If anyone does, I would suggest they find anyother contractor.
  3. sno-mover

    sno-mover Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    If you plow in different areas or elevations It would be best to measure each job.
  4. Mick

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

    Agreed. Mine are within a ten mile radius of my house. Basically the same elevation. So it works for me.
  5. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    I charge my customers based on the snowfall depth at my yard. Since they are all within a few miles radius, the snowfall depth is just about the same.

    However I am curious to see what is your price increment based on snowfall depth. Because right now I am working on making new pricing structure and just want to see how it compare to others.
  6. BWinkel

    BWinkel Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    I usually measure the amount on my back deck. If we have blowing and drifting, I will go by the amounts by the local news station. They usually give the amounts for my area. I usually have a set price up to 12" and go double over 12"or 24 hrs., so I don't worry too much about the measurements on smaller storms. Sometimes I wish I could price by water content - 6" slush can be worse than 12" powder.
  7. cnypropertysvcs

    cnypropertysvcs Member
    Messages: 54

    Even though my route is similar with everything being within 10 miles of home I bill per job site. I have the "unfortunate" or fortunate experience of living in the snow belt and two customers only a mile apart can have as much as 6" difference in the amount of snow dropped thanks to the good old lake effect snow machine. It is also not uncommon for it to be 5-10 degrees colder at my place than down in town, 2miles away. This is also the reason why my accounts are set up on a per push basis with a 1-3" trigger depending on the customer. This way I can bill for each time I plow, not by the amount plowed. I have a really good working relationship with all my accounts, but I also still plan on carrying my digital camera with me and taking snap shots each time I go in as a back up.

    Gotta love Oswego County- we regularly beat Buffalo for the amount of snow fall we get each year, and I'm not even in the Tug Hill Plateau area!!!

    Just my $.02

    Can't wait for SNOW!!!!!!!

  8. Mick

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

    wxmn6, are you referring to me? If so, I structure it (with a 3" trigger) like:

    3" to 6" - $xx (ie: $20)
    over 6" to 9" - $xx times 1 1/2 (ie: $30)
    over 9" to 12" - $xx times 2 (ie: $40)
    over 12" - $xx times 2 plus $yy per inch over 12"
    ie: for 16" and yy = $1 - $40 + $4 ($1 times 4" over 12")
    for a total of $44.
  9. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Mick, not just you but other people as well too. But I knew that you would chime along. ;) Your pricing structure is somewhat pretty similar to mine. However I am just curious about something. Suppose you get 9" of snow, you will charge your customers 1.5x, but do you usually plow once or twice in 9" storm? The reason I am asking is because I am facing the same problem I have with my pricing structure. 9" seems to be alot of snow to plow at once, but do you usually do that? I think I could plow once in most 9" storm, it probably will put some more stress on truck and equipment, plus extra time to plow and cleaup the heavy snowfall. Or I could plow twice, but if I plow twice, I would want to charge twice for two vistits. So this is the best pricing structure that I could come up and I think I feel comfortable with it, and still be fair to my customers.

    3” through 6” $1x
    Over 6” through 8” $1.5x
    Over 8” through 12” $2x
  10. Got Snow

    Got Snow Senior Member
    Messages: 104

    here's mine:

    0”-3” of snow= no service
    3”-7” of snow= 1 visit at base charge
    8”-12” of snow= 1 visit at 1 ½ times base charge
    12”-16” of snow=1 visit at 2 times base charge
    6”-16” of snow= 2 visits at 2 times base charge
    16”-24”of snow=2 visits at 3 times base charge
    16”-24”of snow=3 visits at 3 times base charge

    i've included the visits in mine. this allows some flexability for both you and the customer. IMO
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2003
  11. greenquestlawn

    greenquestlawn Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    I measure at each location when its lake effect, when its a storm the totalls are pretty much the same throughout. I have seen the lake effect vary 8" or more in a matter of a mile or two.
  12. Mick

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

    How many times I push is at my discretion and is based on the type of snow (wet/heavy or light). For 9" I'd bill 1 1/2 regardless of how many. Like anything else, it averages out in the end.

    But really, I'd say do whatever you're comfortable with.
  13. BWinkel

    BWinkel Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Timing and duration of the storm influences how many times I will plow. I like to have everyone knocked out so they can go to work. Then I go back and clean them up when they are gone. Weekend storms are the worst as I find myself waiting for people to move cars.
  14. kipcom

    kipcom Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 455

    We use a combination of the National weather service & our own measurments. We have never been challenged so to speak about the amount = cost$$ to the customer. We also do alot of "flat rate" per push for the customer. This helps the customer budget based on passed charges rather than >guessing< what might happen to the winter snow plowing budget. Yes, we still have some customers that prefer to be billed hourly.
  15. Little Jay

    Little Jay Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    We try and do 1/2 seasonal 1/2 per time.
    We too work in a snowbelt area where one half of the routes can be dry and the other half burried.
    I drive into the lot, hop out and throw down a fingure:first knuckle is an inch, second is two, third is deep enough so one of the other trucks is getting a launched snowball.
    Its very scientific. No one has ever challenged the knuckle system in 12 years!

    WOOFSPLOW Member
    Messages: 76

    I had to base my commercial jobs on local weather service snow fall amounts for given area. Around here you could have 2" in one spot (typically closer to the ocean) and 8" 30 miles north. And some storms are just the opposite! :rolleyes:
  17. DanG

    DanG Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    I run into the same thing here with the variable snowfall amounts. I can have nothing at my house and a couple of miles away they can have 5".

    Mine goes like this:

    snofalls under 3"- as requested (& it's an additional charge even for seasonals)
    over 3" -7" plow once & charge base rate
    over 7" -14" plow twice & charge 1 1/3 of base rate
    over 14"- 21" plow 2-3 times & charge 1 2/3 of base rate

    over 21" it's 2x base and any other costs such as loader & skid steer etc.. to move / remove banks & piles.

    If there are multiple trips during the storms they are just to make the driveways passable and the final time is to finish the job completely when the storm has ended.

    example of above

    3-7 ($30)
    7-14 ($40)
    21+ ($60) and removal costs which are given in the contract if it is needed to be done ( at my discretion)

  18. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    ours goes
    1"-4.99" $100
    5"- 8.99" $135
    9"-11.99" $170
    12"+ $125 an hour minimum 2 hours

    WOOFSPLOW Member
    Messages: 76

    Big Nate, I don't understand your $$. 0-4.99" = $100. Is this your base rate for all your sites? Is this commercial or residential? I wish I could get $100 for 2" of snow on a 50' driveway. :confused:
  20. windmill

    windmill Senior Member
    Messages: 224

    I don't CARE what Big Nate charges I want to see his ruler. :) I've never seen one that has 4.99". Obviously not a Walmart product. Fess up Big Nate where did you get it! I'd also like to see him measure it, imagine if you will . . . Big Nate on his stomach in the snow, side of the face pressed lightly in the snow, carefully peering at the ruler is it 4.99" or an even 5", hmmmmm.
    :) Just kidding Big Nate, I'm starting to imagine things I need to get out and plow something.