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1/2" trigger... how much more?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by lumps, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. lumps

    lumps Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    So last year, my trigger was 2" at my commercials. I'm going to be bidding on a place that wants a 1/2" trigger for plowing. Not only that, but they want a seasonal contract.

    I know what I would charge for this place on my standard 2" trigger, and per push. I could work that out to a seasonal as well. The problem is I'm not sure how much of an increase the low trigger would add. I'll be out there more often per storm, as well as being out on more storms. I was thinking about 2-2.5x my normal rate, since I'll already be out there one or two times to plow it before my other trigger would've even been hit. Does this make sense, or does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!
  2. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Is there any salting done?

    Is it included?

    2.5x seems excessive
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  3. lumps

    lumps Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    They want salting as well, but I'm pricing it separately. That part I have figured out.

    So what increase would you suggest for going from a 2" to 1/2"?
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Interesting question. First thing I would ask is this - Do you really not plow at 1 3/4 inches? For example - my schools have a two inch trigger, but I basically plow if it's even pushing an inch. If I let 1 3/4 build up, my phone would not stop ringing. Plus I would have the worst looking lots in town, and spend triple on salt/sand because of the hardpack that would build up. Less than in inch and it's salt and/or sand. As far as plowing more per storm, I don't think you will. Unless the presumption is that you will not let more than a half inch build up, and I can't believe that's realistic. And how many storms do you typically get that are less than 2 inches anyway? Doesn't Buffalo measure snow in feet, not inches......?

    You said they want a separate bid for salt. Is that per treatment? They may be trying to put the burden on you to plow light storms, when salt is the more realistic and cost effective way to go.

    I would rather give them a price for the season, for everything. Plowing, salt, sand, shoveling, whatever the job is. You can manage the job the way you like, and deem most effective for the storm situation. Sometimes snow removal can be separate, let them decide when to do it.

    How big is this place, and what kind of business? Is this a big increase in volume for you, and do you have the equipment/crew?

    Anyway - you could probably get a mild increase for the difference in trigger, but I would be very clear of their expectations, and do they think there will never be more than a half inch of snow in the lot. If they do, maybe you could work a deal with your local penitentiary. :gunsfiring: And buy some brooms.
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Usually anything under an inch is salt only. I do a bank and they are kind of like that too. You do make more trips but it's to only one place. So I would bump up the amount of salt trips. And bid the plowing like you normally do.
  6. lumps

    lumps Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    They want salt included in the bid. Basically, they want a zero tolerance, all inclusive seasonal price. And the lot is about 2 acres, plus they want sidewalks done as well.
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Has this place always had a half inch trigger? They may want it but do they know appox.how much more it will cost?
  8. lumps

    lumps Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    Yeah, they've always been basically zero-tolerance. They want the lot pretty much completely clear at all times.

    I've just never had a ZT account before, and I'm not sure how much extra time, etc. it'll take up.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,362

    I have an account like that but it's zero on the sidewalks and no more than 1" accumulation in the lot. It's kinda nice I just have a guy babysit that lot, but I have 3 others on the same block so he just is constantly running between all 4 of them. As for how much longer will it take, it will all depend on your location.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  10. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    It sounds to me like what you need to do is figure out your average events per season, as well as your average snowfall depth per season.

    I would not be surprised if you had to go to that lot at least 2 to 2.5 times more often than with a 2" trigger. Keep in mind that yes as said you can usually melt down less than an inch, but from 1 -2" you are going to be plowing. And it sounds like you are expected to replow every inch or so? Man you could be there all day in a big storm.

    I would do a search for "zero tolerance pricing" and see what you can find. I don't have any 0 tolerance customers so I guess I'm out of my leauge.
  11. badabing1512

    badabing1512 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    here are some numbers for you if they will help at all... Average number of days with 1 inch of snow-74, with 6 inches-26, with 12 inches 9. good luck.
  12. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Must be nice. 07-08 I did businesses 23 times. And that was alot!
  13. ford6.9

    ford6.9 Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    I didn't read all the posts but something to keep in mind is with a .5" trigger over 2" trigger you'll be moving much faster. May not sound like much but your time will drastically be cut allowing you to to spend less time there, if you bid knowing your hourly rate that may help.
  14. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    2 acres plan on the site using up 1 truck the whole season. our zt's do. you just don't stop plowing from the time snow starts till the time it stops. but you can lower your $/hr a little because your overhead per hr will be a little less do to the increased # hrs the truck will see. sometimes the lot may be plowed 10 times in a snowfall.
  15. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    I don't understand a ZT account that sets triggers. It is your job to get it black. If you have bid an all in contract then it is your choice to plow 1/2" or salt. I have many accounts like this. Unless the conditions are right we plow everything close to 1" and over. Your biggest expense will be on the long snow storms. You may have to plow 3 times and then a clean up. Last year we had places that we would plow twice during the day and then a final plow over night. Our schools we would just plow them once overnight.

    On a normal year at most we would plow twice as many times on a ZT account.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009