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Your opinion on my pricing.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by grassman222, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. grassman222

    grassman222 Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Ok , i know this topic has been talked about ALOT, but im in a tight spot and i would like to know what everyones opinon is of my pricing and what they think i should do in this situation cause im scratching my head in confusion and its driving me crazy.:dizzy:. I have a commercial lot that takes me approx. 3 hours to plow in a 2-3 inch storm , approx. 1-2 hrs to clear all the sidewalks and around the building. My contract also states that i wont be plowing or shoveling till 2" of snow is down. The owner looked over the contract and the prices and signed the contract .Now i don't salt,sand anything ,i just plow the lot and shovel the walks like i said. I thought since he was a new customer i was cutting him a good deal. I charge $145 per hour, per truck and i was including shoveling in that price. I thought that was an awesome deal! (stupid on my part). We had 2" the other day i gave the guy the bill and he had a check to me the next day . Now yesterday he calls me hollering that the bill was way to high, it was about $500 with tax and time . He said a guy he had (probably 10 years ago) charged $275 1"-6" , $350 6"-12" , over 12 it was $100 per hour and if a machine had to be brought that would be extra. sorry this is so long let me know if im missing any info and let me know what u think.
     
  2. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,918

    It would be really nice if you would use the enter key on your keyboard, as my 40+ year old eyes have a difficult time deciphering your block of letters, and I know I'm not alone with this..

    Thanks !

    $500 doesn't seem excessive to me at all to plow a commercial lot. Although, what takes you 3 hours might take another guy here, with more experience ,2 hours to do because of either his skill level or his equipment

    How many trucks are you using to plow the lot ?
    How big is the lot ? IOW, square footage ?
    Access to the lot ?
    Place to put the snow ?
    Lineal foot for the shoveling? and width ?
    Barriers or other protrusions in the way, or is it a big rectangle ?

    Distance to the job, as I charge a little more if I have to travel > 1/2 hour.

    i'm sure there are more details that need to be exposed in your quest to see if you're charging right or not.

    EDIT:

    You got 2" of snow yesterday ????? Really ???? The roads here didn't even get a coating
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  3. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,659

    Tell him ten years ago you could buy gas for $1.50/gallon and minimum wage was less than $6. It's called inflation. It happens. How about walking onto his store and throw a fit over whatever it is he is charging and tell him ten years ago you could buy for half as much. I honestly don't know what people expect these days. For an entire crew of guys on site clearing snow I think that it depends on how many shovelers you have. You said you only have one truck on site, unless I read it wrong. Is there any equipment on the job like a backhoe or a loader?
     
  4. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    He signed your contract. Stick to it. If you really wanted to be nice, you could go the route of peteo1 stated. If he trys to get out of the contract, sue his a$$ for breach. Thats what contracts are for ( for both partys to understand what the other party is expected to do)

    Good luck!
     
  5. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,918

    Cash the check

    In the state of NJ it's ILLEGAL to stop payment on a check for services rendered. It's called check fraud.
     
  6. grassman222

    grassman222 Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Ok , i know this topic has been talked about ALOT, but im in a tight spot and i would like to know what everyones opinon is of my pricing and what they think i should do in this situation cause im scratching my head in confusion and its driving me crazy.:dizzy:.

    I have a commercial lot that takes me approx. 3 hours to plow in a 2-3 inch storm , approx. 1-2 hrs to clear all the sidewalks and around the building. My contract also states that i wont be plowing or shoveling till 2" of snow is down.

    The owner looked over the contract and the prices and signed the contract .Now i don't salt,sand anything ,i just plow the lot and shovel the walks like i said. I thought since he was a new customer i was cutting him a good deal. I charge $145 per hour, per truck and i was including shoveling in that price. I thought that was an awesome deal! (stupid on my part).

    We had 2" on Sat.Jan. 21st , i gave the guy the bill and he had a check to me the next Monday Jan.23rd . Now yesterday (Feburary 11th) he calls me hollering that the bill was way to high, it was about $500 with tax and time . He said a guy he had (probably 10 years ago) charged $275 1"-6" , $350 6"-12" , over 12 it was $100 per hour and if a machine had to be brought that would be extra.

    The total sidewalk length is approx. - 100ft.

    The width of the sidewalk varies from 4' to 6'

    The job is 10 mins. from the shop

    The snow can be piled at each end of the lot.

    There are 2 entrances to the lot from the back and the front.

    I'm only using 1 truck with an 8.5' blade and a 8' back plow.

    There are 7 islands ,approx. 20ft long by 5ft wide.

    The lot has approx. 200 parking spaces. I didnt measure it so i have no idea how many sq.ft.
     
  7. grassman222

    grassman222 Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    some more info i hope this helps alittle more
     
  8. grassman222

    grassman222 Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Sorry I had to vent . I had to type it out fast before i forgot .:dizzy:
     
  9. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 639

    Why would you charge one hourly rate for plowing and shoveling? Does that mean you are getting 145.00 per hour when you are not plowing only shoveling. Why not charge one plowing rate and one hourly shoveling rate?
     
  10. grassman222

    grassman222 Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Just one truck which i drive and one shoveler is what i usually have.A machine is only brought in on a heavy snowfall.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  11. grassman222

    grassman222 Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Good point . I dont shovel unless i plow. The owner said that he wants to take care of any lite accumulation and the salting.Thats something to think about for new jobs or next year though . Thanks
     
  12. siteworkplus

    siteworkplus Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 514

    $145per hr seems fair to me for a laborer and truck. I charge about 10% more for a 24/7 zero tolerance commercial lot. Like Peto1 said 10 years ago I was getting $65 an hr for a backhoe and I was on the high side in my area. Maybe the last guy went under because he didn't know the true value of his services. I know in NJ as well in MA overhead is higher than in other regions just from reading all the different posts from everyone. Never apologize for you're pricing. Although be prepared for a one and done season with this guy.
     
  13. grassman222

    grassman222 Junior Member
    Messages: 29



    Yes i think he will go away after this season .

    I understand his point that he doesnt want to have a $2000 bill if we get a heavy snow but i dont know what he wants me to do .

    My insurances alone are high.
     
  14. siteworkplus

    siteworkplus Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 514

    AMEN to that brother

    We're not doing this type of thankless work because we need the practice.
     
  15. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,044

    I feel that hes getting a GREAT deal. 100ft walks, a 200 parking spot lot is sorta big, I do a lot that has MAYBE 30 spots for $80 per push (every 2-3", depeneds what they want that storm, they call for anything less than 3 but greater than 2) and sidewalks at it for free (It gives my little brother something to do, and he offered to do it free)

    So that storm would have been at least $533, at my current pricing (i just multiplied the rate for this one to that many spots, I wouldnt do it that way for real) But thats doing the walks for free.

    He got a fair deal.
     
  16. Bison

    Bison Member
    Messages: 59

    Anytime a customer starts quoting "past prices" you need to ask him Why did you call me? and Where is he these days?
    If the customer complains about his quality/ workmanship/tardyness/cornercutting or any other reason he got rid of him you then explain the old contractor was priced to low and had to cut corners on quality/ maintainance of equiptment/ whatever .
    If the customer says the contractor is no longer plowing or dropped him , explain it's probably because he was priced way to low and couldn't make any money to pay his bills.
    Your price is your price , don't second guess yourself.
     
  17. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,486

    How does it take you 1-2 hrs to do 100ft of sidewalk?
     
  18. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,918

    I just did a little strip mall lot, similar in design, but smaller than yours and with tax was just under $400 Total time I was there was 1 hour of plow time, while 1 laborer shoveled. Again, I was gone in 55 minutes or so, but I still got $365 plus tax. No huff, no puff and no complaints.

    I did have to go back the following day to salt, as the owner of the building couldn't get a hold of his "handyman" who was supposed to take care of it, which he never did, so I made a few extra $$ tossing calcium chloride down for them.


    I still say that your price was fair, and not excessive. You have to remember, and your dopey customer should realize that $500 to make a commercial lot safe for customers is actually a great deal, considering one slip and fall by some old lady going into the building, including one broken hip, and a couple dozen weeks of rehab, is much more expensive in front of a judge..
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  19. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    That's what I was going to say.That's like 15 minutes.

    You have a Google Earth of this place?
     
  20. MatthewG

    MatthewG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    Are you taxing plowing ??