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Another I need help thread...

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by modedicebox, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. modedicebox

    modedicebox Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Hi Guys,
    We are a small landscape maintenance company and now have the equipment and opportunities to begin a snow plow crew. I have a few questions in regarding bidding lots over an acre. How do you get to your numbers? Is there a formula that would include(plowing) sq ft x so many minutes=price (salting)bags x sq ft x minutes=price? I hope this makes sense. Thank you
  2. Mick

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

    Yes, it makes sense but, no, there's not. Each site has to be evaluated on the circumstances (depth of snow/ice, temperature etc) at the time.
  3. modedicebox

    modedicebox Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I got ya. Thanks for the reply Mick.
  4. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Plus you have to base prices on what the customer wants. Bare pavement.....wet pavement or just get the snow off and salt just as needed.
  5. PLCI

    PLCI Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 31

    I wish it were that easy! While I agree w/ Mick that “Each site has to be evaluated on the circumstances (depth of snow/ice, temperature etc)” You can still start to create a accurate base estimating system.

    1. We group our properties by type (Office, Retail, Residential Condo, Medical, Etc.)
    Then Each type gets broken down into 3 difficulty classes. This will help get
    you into the ball park when bidding new work

    2. We measure all pavement to be cleared and sidewalks (You can use these #s
    for estimating deicing material quantities)

    3. We also track the amount of time it takes by task (plowing, skidsteer, shoveling
    etc.) this gives us production rates for the type and class of property.

    4. Gather as much historical data as you can, track how many plowing events
    you have per season, how many salting events. (check w/ your local Dept. of
    Climatology). We track the storms by size, by year and look at the avg. (It
    helps when you have 10+ years of records)
    Year 0” – 1” 1” – 3” 3” – 6” 6” – 9” 9 – 12 12 + Total Events
    03 - 04 4 6 5 3 2 2 22
    04 - 05 2 8 2 4 1 2 19
    Avg 3 7 3.5 3.5 1.5 2 20.5

    5. Know your costs! We track gross profit after each storm, we set a % target for each account and if it falls below it, we know we have a problem (is it our estimating, our systems?)

    It is a lot of work but it will pay off in the long run. Snow produces the highest margins in our company.

    6. Consider joining SIMA (Snow and Ice Management Association) It’s a great
    organization of professionals! Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions

  6. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Nice post. What's the average % of net profit you try to make off of each account?

    (That's a good looking website too, looks like you've got quite an operation)
  7. modedicebox

    modedicebox Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Wow! Great info. Thank you much for taking the time and giving some great advice. I will look into SIMA.
  8. PLCI

    PLCI Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 31

    Our gross target is 65% with the hope of 15% net. If our gross goes up so does our net and vise versa. BUT the 65% works with our costs! I will say a properly managed site can see 80% - 90% gross...
  9. B-Sharp

    B-Sharp Junior Member
    from Oh
    Messages: 1

    we plow at 2 In I take the Lot Sq Ft / what you can plow Per min ( On average A truck can plow 600Qs ft a min) times you truck rate

    38000 lot size tuck rate $100.00

    3800/600=63.33 Min

    63.3*1.66= $105.00
  10. modedicebox

    modedicebox Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Thanks for the help guys!
  11. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    and you have to remember that every area has different standard rates