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Biding Questions

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Eddie D, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Eddie D

    Eddie D Member
    Messages: 38

    I have gone over past posts on biding and received allot of info but I still have questions so I sorry if I am asking a question thats been asked before. The snow removal I do is for 2 places that have zero tolerance for snow accumulations which means we clear snow for them from when it starts until its finished. Basically getting paid hourly.

    My question is 2 part and related one is commercial and the other is residential.

    I understand trigger depths 1-3, 3-6, etc but for companies that are doing shopping centers, malls, and commercial properties. We all know snow doesnt start at Midnight and end at 3 am and we come in clear it just in time for them to open. Snow starts at any time, it stops and starts again etc,do you guys just start plowing from when it starts until its finished and use the trigger depths as a billing point?

    a scenerio would be if you bid on a large 24 hr shopping center that expects to be open through a storm and we get lets say 6" starting at 9AM that drags out for 7 hours do you send you guys after it stops? If not your only getting paid to clear 6" of snow from what you bid on as an empty lot and now you are dealing with annoying pedestians who do not see you when you have been behind them for 20 min and then they finally look back and make a face at you like you were going to run them over. They can make your job go 10 times longer. Unless I am missing something it seems most of they guys here bid as though the lot is fairly empty.

    Also on residential work how many trips will you make to a residence in a 9" storm and do you charge each time or do you keep it clear so its easier for you istead of trying to push 9" of dead snow on a drive with a hill or something.

    Hopefully my question is clear and not just me rambling on.
  2. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    I don't know much about commercial property like that, but I'm sure someone here will answer that. I do know that they would most likely plow and salt a few times. Leaving 6 inches of snow in a commercial parking lot is a law suit waiting to happen. You would probably clean the rows during the day and salt. Then when the snow stops, later at night go back and clean up the rest of the lot (parking spaces etc).

    As for residential. All my houses are contracted for the season. Usually about 245-275 dollars for the season in Western New York. It really depends on what time the snow falls. Obviously if it falls all night, you want to do them so people can get out for work even if it is still snowing. Then do them again later in the day before they get home from work. Generally pushing 9 inches of snow on a residential is a little much. I would do it about half way through, and then again when it stops.

    Hope that helps.
  3. Eddie D

    Eddie D Member
    Messages: 38

    Thanks for the reply. Do you chrge extra for extreme storms. I am not sure where you are in western NY but I have a place in Roscoe NY and I went up there last year and there was 4 ft of snow and ice from a storm few storms during that week. It took me a day and a half to move it out of the way plus I had to buy tire chainsand I broke the exhaust. At $275 for the year that week of snow would kill you and your equipment.
  4. Blazin

    Blazin Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    All mine are residential as well. I do it on a per storm basis. I do a 10" cut off, anything over 10"s is a new or second storm. In other words 11" measured at my house and one other spot along my route is billed as two storms. As far as a long time period I will go out and hit them at 2.5 to 4 inches just a pass or three. Then when the storm is over I go back and do a thorough job, still being one storm unless it breaks the 10" mark.
  5. Eddie D

    Eddie D Member
    Messages: 38

    Thanks blazin. If you add up the hours of drivetime, repairs, gas, etc. do you feel your making good enough money to make a few visits?

    The reason I ask the only residential I do is my house and (everyone on my block it seems) and a friend of mine who lives pretty far away from me contracts with his landscaper at $75 per push and I believe sometimes it twice a day which sound good to me.
  6. Blazin

    Blazin Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    It is different every storm, but I have in the past figured my time per hour. It has been as low as $30 per hr. on a big storm, and as high as $160 per hr. for light easy storms. I haven't figured it since I went to the 10" method of billing. As of now just plowing all of my driveways for one storm the total is about $900. I also charge the same for sand as I do for plow.
  7. duramaxblade

    duramaxblade Member
    Messages: 71

    I sit in a loader thats subcontracted, with a 12' pusher on the front. We take care of a shopping plaza that has a marshalls and a supermarket, and a bunch of other stores. If it's snowing all day, then the company I clear for will usually do the best they can to keep the runways clear, until most of the place clears out, usually arond 9pm. Then I come back and we bang the place out in 5 hours or so. Most places really just want you to make an appearance. Keep the runways clear and the handicap spots youre good.
  8. Jbowe

    Jbowe Senior Member
    Messages: 167


    What I do during a heavy snow is have one truck do the rounds several times during the storm. I have a truck that gets about 20mph with the plow on it so that is the one I send. We get everyone out in the morning then during the day I send out the other trucks to do a thorough cleaning. If its a heavy snow thats falling during the day I will just leave the one truck out to make sure people can get inand out. Its important to try and find out your clients times that they leave and return as well. I see no reason to clean out completely while its snowing. But make sure your clients know that this is how you operate so there is not misunderstandings. It works well for me and my clients like the way we do this. I don't know how it will work down there but it works here and also saves a great deal on gas and wear and tare.
  9. rbs299

    rbs299 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    What we do is simple. Our trigger is 1 inch. After we hit that all my trucks and subs are out. They dont come back in until everything has been done. Now- every time a truck stops at a site there is a charge. It might not be the whole amount but a smaller amount since a whole push is not done. We do this to keep the lanes open as well as liability to a minimum for us. They also do a partial salt in the lanes to keep a nice grim on the pavement. No while they are there they measure to see what the inches are so that I can bill for that. Later in the night when most or all the cars are gone we do a final full push and salt. In the end you might get 3 partial plows and 1 full plow with 2-3 salts. If you charge by the bag for salt it makes it much easier to charge, since your only doing the lanes for the few times you are there to keep them cleared. I have found that customers like this approach, and I feel like I am not taking advantage of them in anyway. its a WIN, WIN, in the end.
  10. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    for all commercial accounts. if we have a storm that drags out 7 hrs like you said with 6" of snow. with a 2 inch trigger depth. we will plow it every 2inches of accumulation. so it would get plowed 3 times. if it is $100 per push it would be a $300 bill.
  11. Eddie D

    Eddie D Member
    Messages: 38

    Thanks for the replies.

    Now on your flat rate seasonal accounts do you give the same level of service?

    I would understand giving a seasonal quote say based on 22" per year, 12 storm's per year. I would figure it would be say 6 hrs to clean up the property and multiply that time my hourly rate. That would give me the total for one clean up for that storm. Most guys it seems would then multiply that times 12 for a seasonal price.

    How would you figure a price based on having guys making runs all day plus a big push and clean up at the end of the storm??? Each storm is different how could you figure that out without an hourly rate worked into the contract.