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Bidding by the inch??

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by MidcoastMainiac, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. MidcoastMainiac

    MidcoastMainiac Member
    Messages: 95

    For you guys that bid plowing by the inch (i.e $xx for 2"-4" $xx for 5"-8") What is the official ruler for measurement so that your cutomer and you are on the same page as to how much snow is on the ground? I could see alot of potential disputes with this type of pricing.

    Just asking for curiousity sake.
  2. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan Senior Member
    Messages: 727

    the dpw in the town
  3. MidcoastMainiac

    MidcoastMainiac Member
    Messages: 95

    One reason I ask, the town I live in last year, a couple of storms the snow depth varied from 8" down to 2" in about a mile and a half. Driveways in both ends of the 1.5 miles. Just how would this be ruled?
  4. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    From your driveway
  5. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    This is way I would never bid a job per inch. Our area is a bit different than many others with "lake effect snows", there could be an inch or two where they typically measure the amounts and 5-7 miles away they could get 3 times that much.
    Like you said too many customer's with tape measures that all read different.
  6. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Contracts should state you are using local weather reports,national weather reports, & on sight measurements to determine amounts charged. Make it clear with customers you do it like this for the very reasons you stated. I've never had any "major" issues with this....I like per inch pricing, it has worked very well for me.

    FWIW, We can have 2 inches of snow on 1 side of the river here....and 6 inches on the other side at times.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  7. ff610

    ff610 Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    I live on the Mississippi River and we see the same thing. I can see up to 2-6 inches in within 1 5 mile radius. That's why I stick to larger groups. 1-4", 4-6" and 7" and up. I make each driver log every specific location. The problem I have with local or national weather is they put 1 average number, or sometimes ie: 6-8. Bottom line for me is my customers learn to trust our professional decision. If they think we're trying to screw them, then either we don't have a solid working relationship, and/or their not worth working for.
  8. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    I totally agree with your last 2 sentences....but that can take time in this biz...at least more so than my other services.
  9. ff610

    ff610 Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    Yea agreed. Its something that takes time. One thing I've learned from 20 years plowing is that those that cause too many pains aren't worth the money.
  10. Mick

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

    I measure my driveway and use that for all. If there is obviously a big difference with some area, I'd stick a tape measure there. My customers trusted me. Either that or they could get up at 2:00AM and measure it themselves. Then find someone else to plow it.