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Commercial lot

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Ozone, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. Ozone

    Ozone Member
    Messages: 49

    Hey Guys,

    I got an e-mail from a friend asking me to snowplow a commercial lot this late in the season. First off, I've only been plowing for 3 Years now, and this year I been plowing for a guy until he screwed me over with money and hours he cheated me out of.
    The reason for this post is...I never went out on my own on commercial before and this lady friend of mine sent this e-mail...

    "Just talk to my maintenance man and one of the other landlords
    is still looking for someone to plow (snow)a commercial lot in
    Allentown. If you would be interested how much an hour
    would you charge and what would be you minimum you would
    charge. Like a one or two hours minimum or whatever. What ever
    you charge is fine with me. I will only pass this on to him.
    I do realize it would be about an hour traveling each way. (36-40 Miles...By the way, the guy in Allentown charge
    $ 600.00 an hour for snow plowing! I don't blame
    the landlord for looking for someone new."

    I copied and pasted this e-mail she sent to me...However, Allentown is atleast an hour away from me. Is there something wrong with that figure?? I mean $600.00 an hr...I almost wanted to fire my truck up and sit in that parking lot for $600.00 an hr..lol.
    Can someone here tell me the ball park figure for an hourly rate for a commercial lot? Someone tell me something...cause Im about to have a heart attack over this...
    Anyways, if someone here is from the Allentown,Pa area..I would be more then happy to get you in contaqct with this person...for a small finders fee of course...
  2. Ozone

    Ozone Member
    Messages: 49

    Had to move the post to here cause I posted it in the wrong section.
  3. JThompson

    JThompson Member
    from NYC
    Messages: 71

    I'll make the trip for $600 per hour!!!!!!!!! :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
  4. drafto

    drafto Member
    Messages: 63

    I would ask her if it was a typo before you get all excited, Allentown, I would say $60.00/hr is what I would pay a sub, and I would charge around $90.00/hr. Maybe the guy doing it was used to subbing and thought $60.00/hr is fine with him? But if it was not a typo, I would give them a smoken deal and do it for $500.00/hr.

  5. Dynatherapy

    Dynatherapy Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    Make CERTAIN of one thing when you get information like that.
    I pay a certain contractor approx $525.00 per hour for his services as well, IF you break down his bill to an hourly figure. What you may not know is that my contractor can clear my commercial lot in under 3 hours for 3"-6" fall and under 5 hours for 6"-12". He has a crew of 4-5 operators at the property at ONE TIME working to clear it. At LEAST 2 Dump trucks with 10' blades & gate spreaders (usually pushing the Main drives and parking runs) and 2 full sized Pickups with 8' blades pushing tighter areas and islands to the main runs for the dumpers to shove to the perimiter.

    On accumulations of 10" or more in ONE single storm I pay an hourly rate ($275.00) for a full size hinge middle loader with operator equipped with a push box AND bucket (kept on site to load salt from a salt bin to the trucks by the way) to push back piles and move piles to outer areas if and when needed.

    So if you add that into the mix, I actually pay closer to $800.00 per hour when it snows more than 10"!!!!!!

    Make CERTAIN you can handle the account no matter WHAT the storm or you will land yourself in court paying for lost business for not getting the lots cleared so stores could open, failure to provide services, etc!!!!! Multiply THAT by 15 stores and add a major Grocer that averages sales of $5,000.00 per square foot per year!!!!
  6. parrothead

    parrothead Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    personally, i never tell anyone what my hourly rate is. i look at the property and decide how long it is going to take me. some people freak out if you tell them 100 dollars per hour. especially when they are making 15 sitting at a desk. quick story, my competition has an 8 foot plow, told the local newspaper he would plow the lot for 100 dollars per hour. they called me for a bid. they told me what he said and they didnt think anyone was worth 100 dollars per hour! i said i would do it for 75 dollars and she said great! she signed the contract and was delighted. first snow storm i pull in with a 2.5 yd loader with a 14' pusher and do it in under six minutes. so my hourly rate for that lot would be 750 dollars per hour! thats why i never give an hourly quote, i would much rather do it per push and go from there. i cant work for 100 dollars per hour!
  7. IA snoman

    IA snoman Senior Member
    from Ia
    Messages: 153

    Hey Parrothead,

    I agree with you on your thinking. I have a couple of customers who want to pay by the hour, not pur push. I don't want to get to pushy because I still make good money and they are good accounts. However, What do you do if you have to do the lot twice? Charge double? The reason I ask is because I have had a couple of occurances where I had to plow during business hours, around cars in a parking lot. Then after they closed I had to do the whole thing again. If I didn't do the whole lot how would I charge for that? Full price or a percentage. I know you can do whatever you want, but I would like to know how operators that charge per push charge during these instances. Sorry so long.
  8. kipcom

    kipcom Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 455

    Estimate number of hours to clear snow.

    A x $ = $.00 at 2-4 inches / 4.1-6 inches / 6.1-8 inches etc.

    So if the property will take 12 hours to complete then 4 p/u trk. w/ 7.5 blades @ 3hrs. each.

    Example::: (A) 12 x ($)50.00 = $600.00

    Then add salt / sand and any other items to get the total cost. You have to break it down into simple terms for the customer, but dont shock :eek: them by showing the high numbers. Just give them the bottom line numbers and what they will get for that price.

    Also:::: Dont forget your Insurance !!!
  9. parrothead

    parrothead Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    ok ia snowman, its not actually black and white. if it starts snowing after everybody gets to work and people need to get in and out( fairly busy place) i would charge them to open it up and then charge them to come back. it will probably take more time to plow around the cars and be careful. however, if you have an account that is priced pretty good and they pay quick and have a good relationship with them sometimes i will do it for half if i just clear out the lanes. but when you buy equipment that speeds up your plowing time, it costs you more to do it quicker so you actually need more per hour and some customers dont understand that, that s why i would rather do it per push
  10. IA snoman

    IA snoman Senior Member
    from Ia
    Messages: 153

    Thanks Parrothead. I totally understand what you mean about being faster costs you money. I want to add some Prowings to my blade so I can pick up some more accounts. I have to watch what I pick up because I do most of my plowing from 12-6 am so I can be to work by 7. I do have another driver for my truck but last time he plowed he was hard on it so I try to limit him to emergency type situations. One of the customers I currently have would probably have a hard time understanding a price increase of $20 if I got the wings even though the bottom dollar would be unaffected. That would really cause problems because I want to raise prices if not next year, the year after that.
  11. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Ia snoman

    Why would you raise your rates just because you bought wings?:confused: I'm going to buy a V plow but I'm not raising my rates. I still get paid the same. Also, I have 3 accounts where I get paid by the hour. It doesn't matter how many times I have to go back and plow, I still get paid.payup
  12. Ozone

    Ozone Member
    Messages: 49

    Ok, I found out the scoop....The Commercial lot was an old school building turned into offices. She said the building took up 1/2 a city block and the parking lot was around the building. She said the guy who is plowing it charged $600.00 and it only took him an hour to do it. So, Im not sure what to make of this.
  13. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    Ok talk them into a flat rate for a full push, and go on an hourly rate for anything less then a full push....Rob
  14. petra

    petra Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Hey ozone,

    I live in Allentown. If I can help in anyway let me know. I myself, am not looking for anymore big accounts to tackle myself but may help out if needed. Let me know
  15. IA snoman

    IA snoman Senior Member
    from Ia
    Messages: 153

    The Boss,

    The reason I had asked about raising my rates if I got some prowings is my hours in the lot would decrease, costing me money. therefore I was wondering what anybody else would do. That or you could hedge on how many hours you put into the job, but I am not like that. Understand?
  16. badranman

    badranman Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    This has been hashed out before. A driveway is worth $xxx amount to be cleared. If you do this with a shovel or a loader, the rate is the same. If you can get in and get out faster then you can move on to your next account faster. Therefore you should be able to pick up a few more and do them in the same time frame as before. This is how you make the extra money.
  17. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    I look at it this way. Any improvements you make to your equipment should be reflected in your hourly rate. This would apply to whether you charge hourly or by the push. Here is the examples. If you added Pro Wings or a V plow and you were now 25% faster your rate should reflect that.

    If you plow a lot that you charge $300 a push and it took you 2 hours to do you would be making $150 per hour. After your equipment upgrade you now plow the same lot in 1 1/2 hours(25% less time) you charge the same but now make $200 per hour.

    Same logic applies. If you were charging by the hour, you were charging $150 per hour, you should now charge $200 per hour. A lot took you 1 hour to push($150), should now take you 45 minutes to push($150).

    What you have done has increased the amount of possible revenue by 25%. So, say you make $2000 during a storm working 12 hours. You should now by able to plow more accounts and make $2500 in the same 12 hours or make the same $2000 in 9 hours.

    Hope all that makes sense.
  18. badranman

    badranman Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Thanks JMR, that's what I was trying to say. :salute:
  19. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Well put guys.:nod:
    I couldn't agree more.:waving:
  20. Norman B

    Norman B Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I live about 15 minuts from allentown and already plow 6 locations in allentown I would be more than happy to talk to your friend. Finders fee no problem If you are interested email me at normanboell@hotmail.com