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$75 per plow?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by dakotasrock, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. dakotasrock

    dakotasrock Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 260

    Hey guys.
    Im fairly new to commercial plowing, but have some experiance. I was getting a bid together for a lot, and i was thinking of asking at least $100 per plow under 4 inches, and go on from there. They showed me a bill from last season, and the company only charged $75 a time, even with the 3 day, 1 foot of snow storms. Is that low, or is it just me? I figured the lot to be around 26000 square ft. Im also in the Minneapolis area. Attached is a pic of the lot & the demensions. Any input would be great.

    (the demensions are kinda hard to see, but they are 220' by 350')

    Attached Files:

    • ct.bmp
      File size:
      81.3 KB
  2. 03SuperCrew330

    03SuperCrew330 Member
    Messages: 72

    I don't know your area but around here thats just insane!!!!!

    I would think closer to $200 per push (3"-4") plus loader rental and off site disposal if needed!!!
  3. dakotasrock

    dakotasrock Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 260

    just to clairify, that large area in the middle is the building, not part of the lot.
  4. Mick

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

    Why are they showing you a bill from last year? And why were you interested in it? If that's what they think it's worth, they should call that company again. Maybe there's a reason they didn't. You charge what you think it's worth.
  5. UglyTruck

    UglyTruck Senior Member
    Messages: 210

    I gotta agree with closer to $200 per push.....and that not $200 per 4 day storm that dumps 2 feet....thats per time that you clear their lot for them so they can run their business uninterupted.

    dont gouge them, but cover your expenses...and make a profit. and for the sake of all the other plowjockies in your area..DONT LOWBALL...
  6. smitty3903

    smitty3903 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    There must be a problem with the 75 dollar service if they are asking you for a price. If they were happy and didn't feel like they could get better service then they would go with the old company. Do you have to plow out the parking spaces as well? what about sidewalks? these are other things that you need to think about. But i could see getting 200 or more to do that lot.
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,239

    Just going on what has been posted for numbers and industry average, 26K sq ft should take about a half hour with an 8' plow. Looks about right from what I can tell on that small of a pic. Assuming that is true, that comes out to $150\hour, pretty good price and rate IMO.

    I can safely say that if I tried to get $200\plow for that lot in my area, I would be staying in bed, hungry, getting the power shut off, trucks repoed, evicted from my house and looking for a job. And no need for a plow and truck.
  8. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    FWIW, I concour!!!
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,239

    Wow, we agree on something? :p ;)

    Next thing you know, you'll be buying white plows. :D
  10. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    This is getting scary! We agree on somthing.......

    Anyone else hear the music from "The Twilight Zone" playing in the background??

    We get around the same price for the same size lot, with no salt and with out doing the sidewalks.
  11. Yaz

    Yaz PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,061

    That lot would have to be empty with that 1/2 hour time. If there are cars in it and it snows you'll be making two trips on that same 4" push to get it cleaned up.. I would ask if cars be there 2 or 3 shifts?

    For the record you wouldn't have to worry about me taking that for 75 bucks.I would rather do 3 driveways and make more in just 15 minutes.

    At a min I would be $150.
  12. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I agree with that. Driveways are my primary reason for not trying to work for someone as a sub making $75/hr or a municipality doing the same. Commercial is the same way for me -- I'll charge a handsome rate per push, estimating high for a season & using the blizzard clause. $75 is a steal for that property, and you won't make any money.

  13. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    So, what do we have 30 parking spots and a 4 spot loading dock.

    Both straight pushes (all most) with places to put the snow at the sides and ends.
    the drivings lanes not that wide eather.

    He did not mention a storm/blizzard rate.
    If he needs to do the sidewalks or apply an ice melt or not.

    The only work is back dragging the loading dock. 25-30 min max.?????
    So, at that rate for a 1/2 hr would be $125 hr. :dizzy: Whats wrong with that?:confused:

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  14. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    Yes, but the flip side for me is I can push commercial at 2 inches, but find it hard to pick up residentials at that trigger in my area. Most residentials dont want plowed till 3-4 or more, so if I had all residentials, there would be many times when I would sit while commercial stuff would be plowed.
  15. dakotasrock

    dakotasrock Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 260

    thanks for all the help. I just needed a starting price. I have a formula once i get that. Then i can figure out storm stuff. I dont need to shovel or ice melt, i just backdrag the front walk. Im gonna go with something around $150 and go from there. If they dont like it, whatever. Theyll be calling when the other guy doesnt show.
  16. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,239

    OK, just so we don't get into the hourly rate argument again, how long would (for you guys that say $75 is not enough) it take to plow that lot? We all know that rates are different, so let's compare times instead.

    Resi's are OK as long as you know what you're getting into. On the flip side, you guys that will do 3 resi's to one commercial, have to deal with 3 separate people, 3 separate proposals\contracts, 3 separate invoices, whereas the commercial guys only have one. Not saying one is right and one is wrong, just a lot of different ways of looking at it.
  17. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Fast, you definitely have a point with the lower trigger, though most of my residentials are cleared at 2". Commercial contracts have seasonal benefits as well, I know -- contracted amount regardless of snowfall. I know this is a big downfall with residentials, as many might not go for the $250-300 for a season.

    Mark, I know you're right about the number of customers/bid/contracts, but beyond that the plowing of non-commercial properties can have significantly fewer headaches for a lot less time investment. I agree it's a tradeoff -- more people to deal with, but the reality is we can clear 5-10 driveways in an hour depending on the route. That's a pretty good cash camel right there. As I mentioned above, I like commercial contracts for a dependable income whether it snows or not, and I'll admit that I'll certainly be looking into more commercials as I put on another truck, but I also can't dismiss the huge value seen in residentials.

  18. JeepPlow18

    JeepPlow18 Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    The only thing that is some what reasonable to me is in MN you guys have much more snow then other parts of the U.S and it may snow twice as mant times there as compared to only a fraction of that here in Northern NJ. Thats why this guy charges $75, he thinks its guarenteed so why not push the price down. but i do not agree with him on that rediculous $75 a push. :dizzy:
  19. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147

    22000 Sq feet is 1/2 an Acre. You are telling me you generally plow at 400 an Acre!!!!!! Wow I am in the wrong town. I am In Minneapolis. 1/2 an Acre at 100 and you better be giving the best service EVER!!! I have a 1 Acre cut off unless it is a neighbor to another property I have. I have a GREAT rep in town and would struggle to get 200 for 1/2 an Acre. Most people would laugh at us. There are plenty of guys willing to do that lot at 50-75 I would not bid over 100. You will not get it... As a Neighbor I would probably price it between 50 and 75. It is a straight and EASY push with little to challenge. ANY one with a truck can make it look nice as long as they do not over book.
  20. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,239

    Nobody going to estimate their time on this one?

    I'm with SnoFarmer, 25-30 minutes on a normal 2-4" snowfall.