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Bidding on a couple gas stations

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by woodchuck2, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    Been slowly picking up commercial lots in my Town here and leaving my residential route to my helper. This yr i have had the opportunity to pick up a couple gas stations from a competitor whom i have already taken two other customers from. The one i bid already and won but the second i am just starting on. My question is this other customer is asking me to shovel off the tank lids instead of just plowing over them. Apparently the plows edge is catching the lip of concrete/steel and this allows water intrusion. The current contractor does as he pleases and the lid mounts need repairing every yr. Who else on here does gas stations and do they shovel off the lids? I have no problem with it, i will just pad the bill otherwise. I also may try back dragging over them to see if they catch.
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    You just hit on the #1 reason why gas stations are no fun to plow. Another big problem you'll encounter is that people will pull in right behind you as you're plowing. It's almost like they think you're specifically plowing a road just for them, it's amazing.
    But yeah, tank lids are tough. They'll probably come off even if you backdrag over them. It's worth a shot though.
  3. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Do as they wish, and charge for it.
  4. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    woodchuck: I had one this past winter and I am not going back. Camden said it for me. If you are going for it, do as Buswell said. Good Luck!
  5. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    The single worst thing in the world to plow is a gas station. I think that says it all.

    Some will say they are great, but it's a very very very very small percentage of plowers the rest HATE gas stations.

    Tank lids, always cars, always climbing right up your but and stopping and on and on.

    And they are also usually all cheap cheap sob's.
  6. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

  7. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    I have gotten use to the traffic thing already. One of the current commercial lots i do is a bank on a hill with one inlet and outlet. Never fails that someone is trying to pull in as i try to back out to clean up the hill. I have spoken with both managers of these stores about pricing and the cost seemed to be the least of their worries. The current contractor only comes when he pleases if his equipment is running and then he refuses to salt. The one store mandates the pumps be cleared as well as the handi-cap spaces so if the contractor fails to show the employees "mostly if not all woman" have to shovel and salt by hand. I gave them a set price for each push with a 2" trigger as well as a cost of salt per push for mandated area's and a second cost for the whole lot for salt. The manager already goes to the bank i am contracted with and see's my work so she signed my contract with no issue. I am currently putting my proposal together for this second store and will just pad the cost of shoveling with each push. I dont see it taking more than 2-3 minutes to shovel such a small area with a 2" trigger. I was just curious if anyone else was requested to shovel the covers?
  8. Defcon 5

    Defcon 5 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,923

    If you can get a decent price for plowing it ...Than why not..

    Yes....Gas Stations can be a Pain in the rear but someone has to do them....Just don't underbid yourself...Whatever you think how long it will take you add 20 percent time to it for the Pain factor......

    I have seen many gas stations put construction cones on the caps if snow is in the forecast....Makes them easier to find when buried....Those caps are not Cheap and ruin one of them and any Profit is out the window....
  9. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    consider the hours they are open when you bid....could end up there 2 or 3 times a day
  10. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    Exactly why i have been picking up more commercial lots. I have always started my route by 4-4:30am. Both gas stations open at 5am, the bank i do requires me to plow any time there is snow so basically 24-7 at my discretion and the senior housing has to be done by 8am. I was doing a propane supplier but they closed the location i was clearing. I often found these commercial lots let me get pushes in for minimal snow amounts when i could not do any residential and of course their is always sanding/salting for slips, trips and falls. And of course going back with a 2" trigger keeps me busy through the storm. A good storm will get me at least 3 pushes and a salting. Best part of this whole commercial route is they are all within a 1.5 mile radius.Thumbs Up

    My plan is to keep my helper busy doing the residential route and i will be doing the commercial. I am surprised a lot of guys around here stay clear of the commercial lots yet when we only get 2" of snow they complain of no work. Yet i am out making a quick $5-$600 in a morning before heading to the job site. A friend of mine has around 120 drives with 3 trucks and 3 drivers and he is baffled by how i make almost as much as him with 2 trucks and 3 drivers doing only 38-40 drives. I just keep laughing and go to the bank, which i get paid to do too.
  11. CashinH&P

    CashinH&P Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    This past winter was my last year doing gas stations. They are nothing but a pain in the a**
  12. Winter Land Man

    Winter Land Man Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    I've always shoveled over them when I'm done. Some of the old stations, the lids still come off when you plow over them. It's not fun searching through snow banks for them!