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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading through the bidding section for a number of days now, seems everybody needs help bidding certain lots and the same answers pop up every time.
I have additional questions for the veterans out there.

-Bidding using the tier system, does a lot get plowed once or is it that once a certain amount of snow has fallen the lot is plowed whether it is still snowing or not and then it gets plowed again once that amount of snow has fallen again? Example, I plow my local veterinarian at 5am with 3 inches of snow on the ground, finish the rest of my route and then plow them again at 1:30 with another 2 inches of snow. or do I just wait until noon and plow the entire 5 inches?

-Estimating expenses and splitting them up over the year. All the guys asking questions about bidding lots get the advice to find their expenses over the year and add in what they want to make and divide it by the hour that they expect to plow and bid accordingly. This is all well and good for the guys that are established but for me I haven't started sending bids out and trying to find lots because I am unsure about how much to ask for because I don't know how many lots I will end up with and therefore don't know what to divide my operating expenses by.

I apologize if this is confusing. I'm just trying to wrap my head around it all.
Also if anybody is up in the Cobourg to Kingston Ontario area and know what sort of hourly rates are reasonable so I can figure how many jobs/hours I need to work to price myself in the acceptable range I would appreciate that.
 

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-Bidding using the tier system, does a lot get plowed once or is it that once a certain amount of snow has fallen the lot is plowed whether it is still snowing or not and then it gets plowed again once that amount of snow has fallen again? Example, I plow my local veterinarian at 5am with 3 inches of snow on the ground, finish the rest of my route and then plow them again at 1:30 with another 2 inches of snow. or do I just wait until noon and plow the entire 5 inches?
We start the route once 2" or so is on the ground. If we were to get 5" each place would be plowed twice
 

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-Estimating expenses and splitting them up over the year. All the guys asking questions about bidding lots get the advice to find their expenses over the year and add in what they want to make and divide it by the hour that they expect to plow and bid accordingly. This is all well and good for the guys that are established but for me I haven't started sending bids out and trying to find lots because I am unsure about how much to ask for because I don't know how many lots I will end up with and therefore don't know what to divide my operating expenses by.
If you have no idea how to get to your overhead number, I would recommend that you sub contract for someone for a season to allow you to see where your numbers need to be to operate your equipment. From there, you can get to a number by finding all your other numbers.
 

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You'll have more useful advice when everyone gets home later tonight.

8' straight blade does aboot an acre an hour. Plus time for obstacles, plus parked cars, plus detail clean up etc.

Pick ups go anywhere from $85-125/hr in my neck. Although I bid much higher than this as we don't bid hourly, but every 2''.

Try to get some rough numbers
Insurance
Truck Payment
Rent
Plow Payment
Any other expenses
Add in your hourly pay
KANNADEN taxes-probably 50% eh.

I prefer to plow every 2'' like above: if 5'' we'd plow twice and probably salt twice and maybe come back to clean up if necessary= 4-5 charges on one storm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm working with my insurance agent now to get a good quote that will cover the snow plowing.
I've decided to heed the advice and subcontract. Once I get my quote I can decide what to ask for or what to accept.
I will still have 10-15 residential properties to cover as well, this shouldn't be an issue if I'm working as a sub will it? They always get done once the snow has finished falling anyway.

Last question for now, when you plow every 2" or so is it billed per snow event or per push? If it snow 10" but over the course of 2 days is that only a single event or do you bill it as 5 separate pushes at the 2" rate? Likewise if it snows 6" in 2 hours you bill it as one push but at the 6" rate?
 

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'm working with my insurance agent now to get a good quote that will cover the snow plowing.
I've decided to heed the advice and subcontract. Once I get my quote I can decide what to ask for or what to accept.
I will still have 10-15 residential properties to cover as well, this shouldn't be an issue if I'm working as a sub will it? They always get done once the snow has finished falling anyway.
You should need and have the same insurance if your the prime or if your a sub in most cases. Maybe you will not need as big of a blanket, but it will be similar.

As for the having your own accounts... as long as your customers understand that you will not be there till your done with what you need to do for the person that you are sub contacting for, you should be fine.

The bad part about snow is there is no way to control the time or amount when it falls. When I used to plow commercially, I always seemed to acquire a few drives back in my town every year. People who contacted me and I told them, "you will not get done till we get back from the commercials. If that does not work for you, contact one of the other companies that stays local and does only drives." They always said it would work just fine for them... yeah... ok. :rolleyes:

Seemed one time every year we would get one of those slow moving storms that start a 2am on a Tuesday and don't stop snowing till 2am on Wednesday. Every time one of those would happen, people call you pissed and want to know why you have not serviced their property. Pretty simple, I have not left my commercials yet. o_O

Started telling people to drive by my house or shop. If those are not plowed... don't even call me.
 

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I'm working with my insurance agent now to get a good quote that will cover the snow plowing.
I've decided to heed the advice and subcontract. Once I get my quote I can decide what to ask for or what to accept.
I will still have 10-15 residential properties to cover as well, this shouldn't be an issue if I'm working as a sub will it? They always get done once the snow has finished falling anyway.

Last question for now, when you plow every 2" or so is it billed per snow event or per push? If it snow 10" but over the course of 2 days is that only a single event or do you bill it as 5 separate pushes at the 2" rate? Likewise if it snows 6" in 2 hours you bill it as one push but at the 6" rate?
I know this is late, but didn't see the billing ? Get answered. I charge by total snow fall. This rate is more than mulipules of the lower (2-4") rates. For example one of my customers pays $724 for 1-5" and $1605 for 5.1-12". Anything over 12" is an additional $321 per inch. If we get 6" of snow and I bill $1,605 regardless how many pushes I do it in. You Canucks use liters and the metric system right? If so, do you bid in mm? I've always wondered.
 
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