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Businesses that are open 24/7/365...plowed continuously

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Camden, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    I'm sitting here reading through a packet of information I received from a petroleum company that has two gas stations in town. Honestly I've read Bibles that contain less pages but that's beside the point. I want these accounts to be the last two I take on for the year so I want to get it right.

    My question is this: I know what I'd bid if I had to plow the accounts just one time per storm but they are stating that they need to be plowed continuously throughout the entire event (after every 2" of accumulation actually). Do I charge a slightly lower price because I'm going to be there so often? If so, how much less...10%, 20%?? Any input is appreciated.
  2. Snowpower

    Snowpower Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    I'd say no. Charge a flat per push rate. It's the same amount of work each time, so it's the same price each time.
  3. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i'm with Snowplower on this one.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    That's right each plow stands on it's own. You could offer a seasonal contract based on total number of plows you did on average the last 2 years.This way no guessing if it should be plowed or not or how much to charge each time.
  5. cod8825

    cod8825 Member
    Messages: 91


    I hope this helps we bid on a Wal-Mart Distribution center it was 30 acres of parking lots. We met with the guy and he was the exact same way in the way of continous plowing. He told us we would need five trucks and a bobcat to haul all the snow off and to be honest if we had enough accumulation we would. We offered a two options a seasonal contract that covered up to 18" normal accumulation for kansas city MO or six snow events. After that each inch was 1500 dollars

    Are second option was 1500 dollars per inch and 1700 dollars per salt application and that covered us being there for the entire time.

    Just a side note we did not get the contract and the manager said that he wanted to give it to us but regional was concerned because they had used the same contractor for four years. :dizzy:
  6. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    We do some nursing homes which are the same way, each service is a new service, charge them the same each time. Dont forget you may beable to salt in between plows also :)
  7. mrbrickman

    mrbrickman Senior Member
    from montana
    Messages: 138

    i do two restraunts what want to be plowed at every inch, i wanted to give a per push price of 150 each time including salt, figuring ill be there maybe 20 minutes per each inch of accumulation...theyre small places, ended up he will pay me by the hour, at 250 an hour which will works out to be the same in the end, and i got him to sign a contract where he will take care of salting and that i am not responsible for any accidents as a result of him failing to call me for service, takes the headache of someone falling because hes salting it now. these 24/7 things are a pain in the butt so keep hustling, i had a 24hr cvs like that, contract stated evey two inches but ended up doing it at every inch by the managers asking, heck instead of getting 225 a push every 2 inches i was getting it every inch...have you ever been outside a place you take care of when theyres people walking across a lot in 1.5 inch deep snow and ice? its nerve racking knowing your ass is on the line if theyres a slip and fall aint it haha

    i would keep the per push the same as everyone stated, or take your price for a 6 inch storm and divide it by 3 so you get a per 2 inch price, then id add a good bit for travel time etc, and i bet youll come out close to the same all in all at storms end figure youre burning 3 times the amount of fuel you normally would on one push

    good luck out there
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2007
  8. PPMan

    PPMan Member
    from Va.
    Messages: 48

    If they want it continously and you can have someone on site the whole time I'd just go hourly with a minimum and a clause that they will pay while waiting for accumulation on site too.
  9. CNY Plow

    CNY Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 145

    Walk Away Form This One

    write your contract as usual and present it. add 30% to what you would normally charge (just for the agrevation you're going to get)
    this sounds like they want someone on site throughout the storm.
    what they need is their own equipment and operator.
  10. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    24/7 places are a pain
    always full of people and cars, it's slow work, you're always looking for someone, etc
    Dont' underbid it, it's going to take longer than you think, it will never be empty.
  11. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    Dont forget about the fill caps, you hit one your know it,

    One of two things happen:

    1. You bounce your head, and your chew cup goes flying
    2. The cap flys across the lot.

    If you do enought of them you can get pretty good about not moving them
  12. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    I already plow one gas station that isn't open 24/7...well aware of the tank caps. I've learned that if I backdrag across that area it doesn't cause too much damage. Let me tell ya, I learned the hard way :realmad:
  13. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    You are going to have to lay out your route so you repeatedly pass though the same area. in some storms you could have to plow every hour to hour and half. You might find yourself running back there half way though another job. Travel time alone could kill you. Why would you discount for a job requiring more time and expense? Special attention in expensive. Charging the same price is a discount when it requires extra work.

    24 hour lots are miserable at best, take twice as long @ sq ft, you face increased risk of collision because of all the moving traffic. Someone's always in your way. They'll rush to get there:angry: Then give you the evil eye because you almost nailed them, after they dart in front of you and stop.:realmad: You are plowing in an obstacle course that changes constantly while you are pushing it.

    Heavy salt could be an option, however if they have in-floor dynos (like service stations that do emission testing in PA) they may not want salt or sand, screws with the equipment.

    If you don't have the equipment to devote one truck to handling just these two lots for at least part of a storm, be careful they could cause you trouble. If you have the equipment maybe you could offer them a devoted truck at an hourly rate?

    JMO (I no longer consider any job with an ATM, anything open 24 hours, or a Bar)
  14. midwestsnowguy

    midwestsnowguy Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 36

    everything we do are 24/7, even apartments. i have apartments the we have billed 4 times in one day for plowing. we give a per push for the requested trigger. every time we get that trigger there is a truck or loader or something on that lot to charge for the push. most contractors where i am have gotten away from most of their hourly plowing. we just have found ways to do it faster and more places per round, than just to have a truck sit on one place bored out of his mind.

    i guess what im saying is set your per trip price. knowing that during busy times there are parts of the lot that will be skipped due to cars there. and then i would charge 1/2 a trip to clean up in the middle of the night if the snow stops or just plan a couple extra minutes during one plowing to clean up a couple extra spots that were takin before.
  15. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    My highest paying contracts (not grossing) are with a Corporate Petroleum company. They pay top dollar and get premium service.
    They pay each time we are there and the per push price is on a sliding scale. Base price is xx.00 and charged at no less then 50% for cleanup, and up to 1.5 X base price. There is never any more 3-4 in the lot and that is rare. Usually pushing a couple inches at the most.
    They pay the same pricing schedule for walks/pumps.
    Salt is the same pricing schedule, and walks are charged at a flat rate for de-icer.
    We pre-treated lots and walks before every fore-casted event last season. Most events had service at least 2 times per event, and day time storms could see 4 plus full service tickets payup
    I did throw a couple bones there way last season by doing a couple cleanups N/C, but of course they paid for full salt and de-icer for walks when they got the 4 minute freebie :D
    Do top notch service, and get paid accordingly.