1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Bobcat pile push back...how do you bill?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by NorthernProServ, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. NorthernProServ

    NorthernProServ PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,298

    For additional work like pushing back piles with your bobcat, how do you bill for this? Taking about commercial.

    1- Bill at an hourly rate

    2- factor it into your per push rate?

    3- factor it into your monthly rate?

    We use # 1. Some customers tend to have something to say when they hear what the hourly rate we are charging is, but they also know they do not have a choice. We have a 1 hour minimum with trip charge, then it goes to a flat hourly rate thereafter.

    We do not bill monthly for ANY commercial as there is just to mush risk, only per push.

    We have thought about combining/factoring our bobcat rate into our per push pricing for properties that this is a MUST for. Bad idea?
    Thought it would reduce the shock when they see XX.XX per hour.

  2. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 944

    Hourly with a 1 hour minimum would be the safest for both you and them. That way nobody gets screwed, only paying for what was done
  3. turfmasters

    turfmasters Member
    Messages: 96

    I have 2 Bobcats that we use to push back piles of snow during and after the storm. Each machine gets $125 per hr on top of the plowing cost. It is considered an extra.
  4. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Hourly, 2 hour minimum.
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If your good you will know how long it takes and quote a flat price.
  6. alldayrj

    alldayrj PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,108

    We go hourly. Not sure if there is a minimum but on the lots we do, its a non issue. If the management agrees to stack there is a TON of snow and we are normally there 8 plus hours. If we were doing smaller lots i would probably ask for a 4 hour minimum since thats how i do bobcat work in the dirt. But obviously every area is different, you could be 45 mins away or doing 4 stores on the same block.
  7. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    I charge $90 hour from when the I get the loader till I bring it back. 4 hour minimum.
  8. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    Hourly is the best way to go.
  9. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,782

    I use a backhoe 2 hr/min. Minimums will make you the best money on small-med sized sites. I've had sites that take 15 minutes pay me 2hr. Some say it's gouging but I really don't enjoy pushing back piles, and for the most part it is where you are apt to do the most damage...so make sure it pays well.
  10. siteworkplus

    siteworkplus Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 514

    hourly with a minimum depending on the customer

    But can we all agree that using a $40k to $70k skidsteer (dont get me going on backhoes & loaders) plus transportation deserves more than $100 per hr? We are our own worst enemies by driving the price down.

    How many people do you know that can do what we do (PROFESSIONALLY!)???
    How many lawyers & doctors do you know?
    Supply & demand?

    I'll sit on a lot with a half a million dollars worth of equipment and watch the plumber show up with a new van,tools,a torch, & sneakers, and command the same dollar.
    When are we going to value what we do?
    Sorry, I'm just tired of fighting against low-ballers and new guy's that have no clue what it takes to survive in this industry.
    I understand that each region is different, but aren't we all buying the same fuel & insurance?
    Can I get an AMEN?
  11. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Had a snow relocation job this week that they required 2 machines on site for.

    Show up and nothing's ready. Takes them 30 minutes to get organized. They pull a grand total of 9 trailers from the docks.

    We are done in an hour, so 1.5 hrs on site each machine. Each machine bills 4 hours minimum.
  12. J&L

    J&L Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 79

    You got one from Iowa!
  13. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    We bill by the hour plus travel with a minimum.

    If you factor in pushback to your push price, someone will come and way underbid you because they won't be including the Skid Loader and your customer will switch without realizing it's going to cost the same amount.
  14. rcn971

    rcn971 Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    Our machines are on site, so we will bill actual time working. I could see charging hourly from the time you leave your yard if you have to transport.....but to charge someone a (2) hour minimum charge and be there only 15 minutes seems like a bad business move to me.....IMO.
  15. siteworkplus

    siteworkplus Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 514

    I agree

    I think we were talking about a site that didn't include a machine and needed an extra service besides the usual.
    It isn't just the service time but all the "unbillable" hrs that need to be factored in.
    If you cant get at least a 2hr min than its hardly worth the risk & time
    Pushback is part of the plow operation on sites designated with loaders & skids
  16. rcn971

    rcn971 Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    If I had to bring out a machine, I would charge from the time I pulled out of my shop until the time I finished at their site. If I felt for a second, that I would not be able to make money using that formula, than I would give them an up front, all inclusive price for the job.

    All someone is going to remember if you bill them a minimum charge based on an hourly rate that isn't met, is that you charged them for a certain number of hours that you didn't actually work.....whether they agreed to it up front or not.
  17. siteworkplus

    siteworkplus Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 514

    When I started valuing my time, efforts,& expertise, and stopped giving away things for free, is when I started making money.

    Unfortunately, I may have been too late
  18. rcn971

    rcn971 Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    I used to find it hard to turn down work......but if you aren't going to make a nice profit working, I'd rather be home with my family.
  19. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    Some places have a minimum payment to their operators, so I don't see how you can't charge a minimum to your customers
  20. rcn971

    rcn971 Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    Some people get it........some never will.