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Bidding by the hour

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by jasondwade, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. jasondwade

    jasondwade Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    I am new to the snow plowing this season. I have been bidding on jobs by the hour and was wondering if these rates sound ok.

    snow plowing: $75 hr
    shoveling: $40 hr
    salt usage: $30 per 100 lbs
    calcium chloride usage: $40 per 100 lbs.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    You can bid what ever you want. But if no one is contracting with you ,you know your rates are to high.
  3. T&M SnowMan

    T&M SnowMan Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    well you havent said if you have a pickup with an 8ft or a dump with a 9ft, or if its parking lots or driveways...theres no info to base an answer off of..lol...but if you are doing driveways I would have a rate depending upon the snowfall total at end of storm example (2-5" storm would be $30 per driveway at end of storm, maybe 6-9" would be $45 at end of storm per driveway) so forth and so on...for parking lots I would go by the hour as you will be there until the storm is over, so you will likely get plenty of hours plowing in...up in MA its usually about $50-$60 for 8ft plow, $75+ for 9ft plows...roughly, cause I know everyone from here is gonna dispute this, but it all depends on the area you are in...Hopkinton area isnt exactly strapped for cash..lol..so it might be a little different other places...good luck this winter
  4. jasondwade

    jasondwade Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    It's an 8ft plow on a 2500hd silverado. Parking lots mainly. It doesn't snow alot down here though. Might get 3-4 inches on a real good day. I'm buying bagged salt for about $6 a bag, so don't know if these rates are normal.
  5. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    If you are ok with plowing 15? times 8 hours each time and making 9000 to pay a driver or yourself, advertising, fuel your vehicle, pay for wear and tear on your truck, pay for insurance, taxes, etc. I guess $75/hour is plenty, personally my bed is a hell of a lot nicer than that. Heck, after 5 years, without paying any of that above stuff, you could buy yourself a new truck.
  6. jasondwade

    jasondwade Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Just wanting to make sure it's not too much or not enough. I've got a few accounts, but been turned down some too. Mostly from them already having somebody though.
  7. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    my two cents is that your rates are in the range of normal, it is hard for me to say because i live nowhere near you, however, my rates are fairly close to yours, and i have been in this game quite a while. are you charging a monthly retainer? I would, that way if you get a month with fewer or no snowfalls, you still have income, i have no problem charging it, and most people expect to pay something for you to be on standby for them.
  8. jasondwade

    jasondwade Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    No. no retainer. I'm new to this so trying to learn the secrets to it. I've been told $75 hr or so is pretty normal, but I'm gonna use bagged salt and it seems like I won't be making much money, when I should probably be making more off salt, right or wrong?
  9. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    hard to say, unfortunately we don't use salt where i am, it isn't allowed in the province, so we use sand, but also contracts tend to be much more stringent about making sure you get down to blacktop
  10. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    your low on your cacl... general rule is x3 with the cost of the product..... cacl up here is going for $17 per 50#s...... if your # are close to this you should be charging around $100 per 100 #s... same with your salt you could go alittle higher... shoveling and plowing look decent but it really is a localized question..... for instance I plow for no less then $125 per hour..... I'm high for my area but I don't care... If they don't want to pay it, they can go somewhere else
  11. TPC Services

    TPC Services Senior Member
    Messages: 875

    Depends on what he is pricing are you pricing your hourly work to property management companies, if it is your too high, most of the contractors getting that kind of work are lowballing it and then tacking on hours and total amount of materials they use. It is ramped where I am at, if it’s what a property owner is wanting I would try to change their mind and say hey look if you’re going this by the hour you are opening yourself up to having a contractor come in and do that. I would try to sell them on a per push event and then on a day time storm tell them the max amount of hrs it would take you to do the drive lanes and sdwks since it will not be a complete push and clear, that way they know what it's really going to take to get the job done. In this economy everyone is strapped for cash and are trying to budgets lock in what they may have to pay out for the entire season , I would think but not around here! ( Now I know I will get beat up on this but it’s just my two cents)
    Also your bag Price is way low
  12. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    It would depend on what he is paying for material, but my guess would be no better than joe shmoe considering the way the question is stated.........I give an hourly & price per bag amount when that is requested (I prefer per push by the inch & salting per trip price)..I've never been a big fan of pricing per bag including spreading, seems as though it limits you to much....I have places that take half a bag & 5 minutes....do you think I charge 5 minutes & half a bag?? I didn't think so. These places are per trip.

    Agreed, there is alot of that going on here 2......I bid against one of the larger snow contractors around here on a small - medium sized lot about a month ago.....His price per ton w/spreading for bulk salt was $130/ton!!!!! This same scumbag was caught last year cutting his salt with sand..thats a no no around here, most want straight salt here......how do these idiots stay in biz!??!!!??!:realmad:

    I also agree about pricing per push, dont limit yourself to hourly rates. I am not saying that I dont have accounts that are done by the hour, in fact I have accounts that fall into about every type of pricing style other than seasonal(which I wish would sell around here, cause I like the concept)......But hourly is the least desirable to me as a contractor...as a sub its a different story.
  13. jasondwade

    jasondwade Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    How do I figure per push prices? Is it so much per acre? Let's say with no more than 3 inches, cause that's usually about the most we will get around here. What's a good rule of thumb?
  14. Mdwstsnow512

    Mdwstsnow512 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    i know your using bags, but 600 a ton for salt is a little steep i think.
    even though your using bags you have to compare to others that are using bulk.
    i can spread bulk for 25% of that every day of the week, less actually.

  15. Mdwstsnow512

    Mdwstsnow512 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    the per push

    estimate your time needed multiply by the rate.