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Commercial Lot Bidding Help?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Repo, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. Repo

    Repo Junior Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3


    I need some help with bidding a potential commercial customer. My question is how much to charge for a parking lot that is over 23,000 sq. ft.? 19000 of it is a flat, completely paved parking area, with plenty room to push snow to three sides. The balance is the shipping and receiving area, which really poses no difficulties in plowing. This is my first year professionally plowing, and I'm having difficulties coming up with a reasonable amount to charge? Salting will be provided upon the customer's request. But that charge will be seperate. The location is about one mile from my home as well. Please any and all replies to this matter will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all the great info on this forum! Happy plowing!

    1990 Chevy 3500 4X4 454
    Crysteel 10ft. Dump Body
    Boss 9'2" Poly-V Plow
  2. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Give us a list of ALL your expenses that would be incurred with this lot. From equipment costs to phone calls. Then provide an estimate of how much time you think it would take with one truck say 7.5-8' blade to plow the lot at 3". Add your expenses up. You need to estimate the total amount of snow storms you would receive this year. Then estimate how many "pushes" will be required for this season. Then add in your desired profit (note this would be before taxes).

    As an example, say your total expenses for the year are 5k and you are paying the larger equipment off over a few years. Now, you estimate 10 pushes per month over three months. That's 30 pushes for the season. Therefore, right off the bat you need to charge 300 a visit just to break even (assuming you get the desired snow storms and estimated correctly). Now, assume the lot takes you 2 hours to do and you want to clear 65/hr. So you need to add 130 to the bill. Therefore, the total per push would be $430, not including salting. I would charge a service fee for salting plus whatever markup you desire on your material. Another way to look at it is take the total for the year. Assuming 5k expenses, 30 total visits, that means a seasonal contract, were the customer doesn't have to worry about plowing at all would be ~8.9k.

    Not the best example but should give you an idea since it is difficult to judge buy the lot is x square feet.

    Just my 34 cents.
  3. Repo

    Repo Junior Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the quick reply DJL. All of my equipment is paid for. Phone calls would be local. My insurance costs went up to $310.00 more for the snowplowing insurance that was added to my contractor insurance policy of 1 million liability and I now have full coverage on my truck at about $200.00 more with a 1 million dollar liability. I don't use the whole policy cost for the winter work cause I also have a contracting/lawn care service and use the truck all year round. With a Boss 9'2" Poly V-Plow and 3" of snowfall, I would say that it should not take more than an hour to complete this job. If it does I better get into another line of work. hehehe. Snow storms here would be the unknown factor, but I would say so far this winter I might plow it 6-8 times till March. Salting charges are extra and I let the customer know this ahead of time. I have other accounts, all are residential and I plow a small borough. Just interested if you guys have a formula or basic pricing system you use for doing a job by the square footage? I'm leaning to charge $125.00 to $150.00, just to clear the lot.

    Hope this helps ya help me. Thanks again.
  4. sounds like your in the ball park, just remember to add extra for deeper snow for example $125.00 for 1"-5", $160 for 5"-9", $210 for 9" and above. make sure to use your own ways of figuring it, the more snow you have the less room you have to place it. also be sure to charge for salt if you do it. i know a local rookie i talked to that had got a bid for a lot about the same size, he got it because he quoted $50 for salting it. he only can use a tailgate spreader and has to use bagged. it'll cost him about $75 to buy the salt, so just in that hes loosing money. so like it was stated before, start with your expenditures and go from there. goodluck!!!!!!!
  5. landcare pa

    landcare pa Member
    Messages: 98

    what kind of lot is it are ther people there all day and night?
  6. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Seems like you are ahead of the game if the plow is paid for. However, IMO, you should still charge an equipment fee. In other words, say you plan on replacing the equipment in 5 years. Well if the cost now is 5k, then you need to get back 100 per season. Again, just my opinion.

    I shy away from the cost per square footage. As a simple example. Two lots that are identical in size shape and islands and are 100 sq.ft. Okay, I'm going to say 100 for the lot. so that equates to $1/ sq.ft. Well, what if that second parking lot has two manhole covers down the center of the lot. Now you have to slow down and slightly raise the plow everytime you pass this spot. And, being in the center, that is alot.

    I feel it is better to estimate the total time it would take. You can then factor in items like islands, lack of a place to stack snow, storm drain locations, manhole covers, etc.