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Bidding info and no I do not want a price

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Dr Who, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637


    Not sure how to save the picture from the site, and the location is not yet built in the google maps. switch to aerial photo, then zoom in to see the lot and sidewalks. should be 2 separate office buildings with a "joined" parking lot and a ton of sidewalks.

    Ok, this building complex is managed by Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance, yes an insurance company.

    OK, I DO NOT WANT A PRICE! I have already quoted it and lost the bid...

    I just want to make sure that I estimated the time correctly on the plowing and sidewalks along with the guesstimated pounds of salt.I am still somewhat new to larger commercial lots.

    I guessed about 350 total pounds of salt (we do not get the really cold temps here, so we do not have to use as much salt as you all up north)
    Figured, 100# for all the sidewalks, 100# for the lot on the left side of the photo (smaller lot) and 150# for the right side lot (larger lot). Allowing for carry over if needed to other areas..
    Told them I would adjust the numbers after the first application or two if I over guessed the amount needed.
    My prices are.35 per# for rock salt, .50 per # for ice melt (there pick), both are applied pricing and its per 3x pricing std.

    Ok, I looked the lot over, walked the sidewalks etc. got a price in my head, went over it a few times then dropped it by 50 bucks just to get the contract. I priced it for 200.00 for the complete job less the salt/ice melt, This included the sidewalks and both lots.

    I figured that it would take about 1hr for the truck and 1hr for the sidewalks for 2 people or 2hr for 1 person, give or take anything that was not supposed to be there, like trailers, cars, UFO's etc.

    I explained to the client the way I plow, were I would put the snow and the benefits salt/ice melt. I even had a nice pile of snow that was pushed up on the sidewalk by some of the office doors to give him an idea of how not to plow snow, or were not to put snow.

    There was a lot of talk about liabilities and liability issues before I priced the lots, such as him only wanting me to plow part of the drives and only do part of the sidewalks, just leaving the rest.. I told him fine, but it would be written up in the contract, I would map out the site showing what I was to clear and what I was not to clear and this would be signed off on. I explained that I was not going to be liable for anyone falling on slick walks/drives if I was contracted to keep them clear, but it would be there liability as they wished that only parts were to be cleaned and I had this all in the contract clearing me of my responsibility of the uncleaned areas as provided on the prepared and signed map. (I do survey work in the summer, I am good at maps)
    (this is probably why I did not get the contract)..

    Anyway, the other bid that they had (and I assume they went with) was .65 per # for ?? (assume salt) no estimate on how much.
    105 per hour for the truck, 1 hour min.
    35 hr for hand work 1hr min. ( Did not say if it was per man per hour or not)

    So, if they could do it all in 1 hr, with one ground man, it would be 140 bucks less salt.

    do you think it could be done? now I know it can with a crappy job, I am talking about doing a good job on it?
    I figured 2.5 hours at least for 1 man, 1.5-2 hrs for 2 men (1 in truck, one on ground) and if you have 2 on the ground and 1 in the truck then maybe 1-1.5 hrs

    Like I said, I think I underbid the property at 200 (but I still would make money), but I was looking at the worst case and it took 2hrs to complete the job. I was going to go with 250, but I know that was way to high for this area, so I went with 200 for the complete job less salt.
    I think that was a fair price, a little low if anything, but still fair price for a good profecional job.
    whats your 2 cents?
  2. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Your looking at probably like .5-.6 acres of pavement there. None of the maps are updated with this building so cant get an measurement. I know though that average parking space is 160sqft and theres 100 spaces which gives you 16,000sqft which is like .35acres. Any ways with that much area, if the lot is completely empy it shouldnt take you any longer than 45 minutes to clear that away with a pickup truck. For lot salting its a hard guess with out knowing the exact measurements. If its .5 acres your good, but if its .6 acres your a little low, and that is going off of the rate of 600lbs per acre (lowest rate).

    For the walks your probably at like 45 minutes per building including the city walks infront. Now if your using a single stage blower those are the times. So thats about 1.5 hours worth of walks plus then easily 150lbs of ice melt maybe closer to 200lbs, again hard to know until the measurement maps are uploaded.

    Those are times i have using my production numbers. If I was doing it per push I would probably try to get like 1.5 hours worth of plowing time, in case of a during the day snow fall when your just clearing the lanes out, then later you can come back and clear parking stalls etc. Sidewalks id bid minimum of 2 hours.

    If it was in my area, id be getting $95/push 1-3.9 inches, $90 for the walks 1-3.9 inches, $85/application of salt, and $90/application of ice melt for that place. That would be done with 1 plow truck with salter, and then two sidewalk guys. Total of 2.25 hours worth of work at most.
  3. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Yeah, I do not know why the maps are not updated....

    I figured close in the plowing, I go a little slower then I should, but I hate to break something....
    I may have under guessed the time on the walks, I was looking at shovels, no snow blowers here. But then again the snows we get are 2" jobs, I think we had one 3" this year and it was 2 years ago we had a whooping 4" storm that was almost the end of the world...

    With your prices at 95/90= 185 I was right on line at 200.00
    $85 for salt? is that just applying it or is that with salt?

    Now, I think that the number pounds of salt are high, but then again we normally do not get really low temps to use that much. Most of the time you can get away with 150-200# of salt on half acre if you have already cleared it, that is unless its all ice. 100-150# I could see on the walks, I figured that I underestimated the walks on salt and time. But the guy that I had was pretty quick with a shovel, then there is me after I am done with the truck, I am a beast with a shovel. (broke 5 this winter, got to get me a snowplow shovel!)

    I have yet drove by when we have snow, not had the time nor the want, but Iwould like to see what kind of job they are getting :)
  4. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    The salt price is applied. Bagged or bulk. your $.35/pound applied just sounds high to me, but if i read it right, your using a push spreader to apply it? Most people around me are only getting $.18-.20/lb applied. I dont see a spreader listed in your equipment thing. The nice thing on the walks is really with a plow or with a blower your times will be roughly the same. Actually you might go down a little bit using a shovel. When I do walks, i use the 36" or 48" plow shovels and i can cover some serious ground with one in a lighter snow fall. I am not saying the lot will need 600lbs. Thats like the lowest recommended rate per acre. So if your talking about .6 acres you will need like 350-360 lbs of salt. So thats right in line with what you had.
  5. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    50# bags of salt are 5-8.00 each depending on were you buy them, the going rate is between 35 and 50 for salt applied here, so I have been told anyway.
    I think that I pay about 12c per pound for the bagged salt, but the other 2 places that you can buy it in bulk get 16-18c per pound. I can get it cheaper, but I have to drive to Cincinnati Ohio and buy a pallet at a time, I would have to unload by hand, and store the salt as I do not apply that much anyway. Most people don't want to pay for it at all, so I only buy 20 or so bags at a time, just in case.

    I would like to have a truck spreader, but money is the issue since I am not getting paid by a couple of my clients, but the other is I do not have much call for salt. Also I kinda hate to have something on the back of hte truck, I am sure that I would end up smashing through someone's garage door...

    My poor ol walk behind died, I borrowed a POS from the people I sub for, but it will not spread the rock salt, it just stops the thing up. So I end up doing what little I have to salt by hand, and it sucks!

    For some reason, I was thinking 600# for half acer, so I guess I was close like you say...

    I have to buy me a couple of the snowplow shovels, I may order one today, but it will probably sit till spring as we are almost done with winter. We usually don't get much more snow after the 2nd week of Feb. But if we do, its always a bad storm (for here anyway) but melts off in a day or so.