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Bidding for snow removal PITA

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Clarkmac1985, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Clarkmac1985

    Clarkmac1985 Member
    Messages: 30

    I've been around biding for jobs my whole life and have done quite a few bids for lawn care but this bidding for snow removal is a complete pain in my a$$. The weather up here in NY on the lake shore is unpredictable at best. Average 22 days of measurable snow a year totaling 100"+ a year. I get doing a contract price for the year but most customers I've been approache'd by are wanting a monthly contract price. I've been biding them on an average of 5 events per month so it comes out to 5 months and 25 events. But still, in my mind it's a lot easier to do a per push price and bill monthly. Noone wants that. Good god this is a pita.
    On another note how many average residential's can one plow with 2 guys handle?
  2. areoseek

    areoseek Senior Member
    from Erie PA
    Messages: 114

    as a general rule, if you're contracting snow removal you want at least two trucks. This is a business of redundancies. Learned that lesson the hard way last year when I lost a tranny in the middle of a blizzard, had to find and pay subs at 3am. Don't let that happen to you.

    but to answer your question, I can probably hit 40 small houses in a 8 hour night by myself, half that if they're rural. really depends on how much snow you have and how good you are at plowing. don't get in over your head if you're not confident.
    cjames808 likes this.
  3. cjames808

    cjames808 Member
    Messages: 77

    Few years ago my dad had 30 driveways and a jeep. Average $30 and took 6-8 hours total. $900 and always stressin.

    Same year I did 8 small commercial gigs 15-45 mins each, some seasonal some per. $1500+ and then I usually did per push CASH at the end for the guys who broke down or didn't show. Paid my fuel and laborer.

    We now do ONLY do small/med commercial. And the jeep is our back up plow. We
    Like areo said, have a back up. If people and their businesses are counting on you, be prepared.

    As far as contracts, cost per push X 25/5months=payment. Tip: get 1st payment in Oct/Nov before it snows last before it is done snowing by March. We take 25% 1st payment then 15% per month for 5 payments.
    ktfbgb likes this.
  4. FredG

    FredG PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,379

    Some property owners want to know there snow budget for the winter months. As long as your getting your 25 events for the season it really don't matter much. You want to have a few seasonal, It's a long winter if something happens like last year at least you got some monies coming in. Is not your average around 180''?

    You don't need two guys with one plow unless you got some sidewalks. Might not be a bad idea to have your sidewalk guy in another truck. This way you won't hold each other up. You got to take into consideration how many commercial you got along with the amount of drives. You get over extended you will be miserable and could cause some trouble between you and your clients.