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Bidding on job for next year

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Brant'sLawnCare, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I am going to be submitting a bid for a fairly large property for next winter. There is a total of 3 acres to plow. One lot is big and wide open with 2 acres of area. The other lot is 1 acre, but isn't as easy. It won't be very hard though. So on a 1-3" storm, I think I can plow it in around 3 hrs. So my bid would be around $300, give or take a little. I could drop down to $240 per push and do ok, but I want to allow extra time for "unplanned" things. Now my question is, how much longer does it take to plow the same place when there is 4-6" on the ground? Or 7-9" I want to give them pricing like this. So I figure with 4-6" on the ground it could take me 4-5 total hours to plow. Am I right? So my bid for this amount should be around $400-450 or so.

    I think I would be using almost a ton of salt (1500-2000lbs) per application. Is that a pretty safe assumption? This would be just for the parking lots.

    Also, this place has about 2400ft of sidewalks that can be done with a 4 wheeler, or something similar, and about 2-300 more feet of sidewalk that need to be done with a Toro 2450 and a little shoveling. I think I will give them the same triggers for the sidewalks. So a 1-3" storm would probably be worth around $150. Is this right, or am I low? That would be almost $0.06 per foot. That may seem a little low, but I don't think we would be there for much more than a half hour with the 4 wheeler. Now for 4-6" it's gonna take probably twice as long, but I don't think I could charge twice as much. I don't think the market could bare that around here.

    I appreciate all insight. I have my costs figured out. I can make a profit off of a guy in a truck for $80/hr, so that's not my question. My question is on the added time for bigger storms, the sidewalks and the salt amount.


  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    sigh. I was going to be bidding on some jobs in West Bend, but with prices like that I might as well save the effort.
  3. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I've been underbid at these prices. I'm just going by the market here.
  4. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    Nobody has anything to add?
  5. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Plan on 2500 pounds of salt. Plowing 3 acres I would charge $400. If you "think" you can plow it in 3 hours I would plan on, and bid it at 4 hours. I would also find out for sure if they want those walks salted or not, that could be an "oops" that could get you.

    They way to get around your whole problem about greater snow accumulations is to not let it get that high. All my accounts that are closed over night I only plow once before they open. But I put a 6 inch limit on that. Here is what I mean:
    Snow during business hours gets plowed every 2 inches.
    Snow after they close is plowed once before they open the next morning UP TO A LIMIT OF 6". (If there is 6" on the ground at 2:00am and its still snowing they will get plowed at 2:00AM, and then again before they open.)

    Customers don't want to pay for excessive plowing, but they want their lots in good shape. I tell them we waive the 2" trigger overnight so on a 4" snow they only get plowed once. Whats the point in plowing and charging them twice if they are closed? They LOVE this approach. Then I tell them up to a max of 6", because if we let 8, 10, 12 inches pile up its going to take so much more time, and be so hard on the equipment its not worth it. They are usually totally understanding and really like the fact that you are looking to keep their costs low, but recognize you also have to CYA.

    We don't get enough 10-12 inch storms around here to really worry about it too much. Once or twice in a normal winter is probably average. I wouldn't sweat it too much.

    $400 bucks to plow the lot, 2500 pounds of salt, 2 inch daytime trigger, 6" night time max trigger, and around $200 for the sidewalks without salt.
  6. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    Thanks for the help. I appreciate it.