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Any ideas what to charge??

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by cvjeticanin, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. cvjeticanin

    cvjeticanin Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I am new here on the forum and i appreciate all the great info that i've been reading!! It's my first year plowing for myself and i have a commercial lot to bid. I figured that i'd ask the pros what their thoughts were.

    Here is the breakdown:
    My truck: 2005 F-250..with Meyers Poly Plow....and 800lb. Buyers Salter spreader.
    I will be using 50lb. bags of Salt....probably cost me about $4-$5 a bag.

    Location: Cleveland Ohio...avg. snowfall is about 55inches.

    This lot is a retail location and needs to be salted heavily in the front and moderately in the back of the building. No sidewalks to clean.

    Here is what i have come up with so far: (Please correct me if i'm wrong)

    Lot Size:29,000 Sq ft.
    Estimated time: for plowing and salting 1hr.
    Gas used: probably less than 2 gallons
    Amount of Salt used on each application (when needed): 8 bags
    I estimated the annual contract to be for $3,500 w/salting....or $2,220 no salt???

    Does this sound reasonable or is it way out of line??

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated...the more the better!!

    Thanks again.:waving:
  2. cvjeticanin

    cvjeticanin Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Here is a pic of the lot i am talking about:


    i also drew in arrows showing where i plan to push the snow...the front lot has a retaining wall by the street that's why i'm pushing it all to the left on the front part.

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    I think you are low.
    Your arrows indicate you plan on pushing that back entrance out to the street and then stacking on the corners of the driveway. Bad choice. Always push drives in and to the back. Stacking it on the edges like that will only cause complaints that people can not see oncoming traffic when pulling out.
  4. cvjeticanin

    cvjeticanin Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I appreciate the feedback....since i'm too low, what price point do you believe i should be at?? Also, i totally agree with pushing the rest of the snow away from the street...good point! My main question is do you guys think that 8 50lb. bags of salt (i know it depends on the conditions but i'm looking for an average) will be enough to spread heavily on the front lot and do the main traffic sections on the back of the building including the back driveway enterance?? Thanks again and any other advice would be greatly appreciated...especially with any of my estimates: time, gas, etc...

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    I think you are safe to say 8 bags. If it is a clean plow and depending on the temps you could try 5 or 6 at a time going light on the entrance. In a heavy cold icy storm you may use 10 so that will balance itself out. The reason I say light at the entrance is because cars track in road salt from the street and most times that will cover up the light application.

    A lot like that I would bid probably @ 25 visits a season including salt. I don't know what the rates are in your area but try to find out the average visits you will be making and multiply your per visit cost by that.

    25 visits per would be my area and also my area would be @ least $125 per visit probably closer to $225 with the salt added. Your main salt usage will be near the sidewalk and entrance to the store itself, or should be.

    You also may be better off getting a small vibrator for your salter and buying in bulk if you can. Use 5 gal buckets to dump in spreader.That will save you a ton of cash in salt cost to you. Or go to Home Depot/Menards and ask if you could get a deal on 5 pallets of salt if purchased at one time.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  6. cvjeticanin

    cvjeticanin Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    The way i broke it down is:

    $3,500 divided by 27 pushes=$130per push.
    It shouldn't take me more than 1 hour to plow and salt the lot, maybe 1-2 gallons of gas...and it will cost me about 8x $4.50 for salt=$36.00.

    So after all expenses i am looking at $130-$36(salt)-$5.00(gas)= $89.00 for 1 hour of work. And if i don't salt which i wont be everytime i would be at $125/hour.
    I'm not including the insurance, wear and tear, payrolls,..etc.

    Doesn't sound too bad for me....but then again since this is my personal lot & i'm using my own truck and i'm not a registered plow company i can see why that would be low if i was running an actual business.

    So is it safe to say that a plow company would probably be charging $4,500 for this acount??

    Reaper- i respect your feedback and i know everywhere is different in pricing but i think $225 per visit x25=$5,625 for the season sounds way to high for our location (Parma, Ohio).

    I know everyone has different opinions but i would love to hear what some other people have to say about this example. I will also call a local company to quote me this year again to see what the local companies would charge.

    Plowing has always interested me and thats why i'm trying to play with some numbers before the season starts and see what happens this year. Hopefully i can get some extra accounts next year ( but by then i would be registered and a legit plowing business) and by then i will have some experience and i will see how good my predictions add up.

    Thanks again...and if anyone else wants to chime in please do...i'm looking to learn alot this season.

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011