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Complete Service

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by r_d337, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. r_d337

    r_d337 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I have been reading threads on this site for some time and it seems that hardly any body offers complete service. Every single one of my residential accounts we clear the snow from the walks, driveway, and steps (the owner doesn't have to do anything). We charge a flat monthly rate and usually have about 10 events per month (Alberta). As far as commercial we only do sidewalks and let other companys do the parking lots. I find this is more profitable because everyone wants to do parking lots but know one wants to do sidewalks. Give me some feed back, is any one else operating this way?
  2. dirtmandan2

    dirtmandan2 Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    I have gotten a handful of comm. work because the plow guy didnt want to get out of his warm truck to shovel for 20 minutes... res. we will do it all, price goes up if shoveling, but the customers get what they want/pay for...
  3. cleansweep007

    cleansweep007 Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    We do both for our commercial and residential accounts. Shoveling and plowing are offered together or seperate by us. Some accounts we have just are plowing and some are shoveling. We mainly use snow blowers or blades attached to John deere mowers. They work great and save our backs ! Usually we charge a extra 10-15 minimum for sidewalks.
  4. Woodland

    Woodland Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    I too, offer anything the customers want. It takes more time to get out of the truck and shovel/snowblow the walks or steps so a lot of guys don't want to. We charge extra and when quoting a new account I always offer. Many don't take it since they figure they can do it themselves, but some do.
  5. Woodland

    Woodland Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Also, I find that the customers don't decline the shoveling based on price per se, since most times they simply decline after I ask if they would like the shoveling done before any prices are discussed.
  6. M&M

    M&M Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    2 questions for you guys that do residential. Say the driveway is $40, it takes just as long to shovel the walks as plow the drive so theoretically their price should be double, $80. Based on time only. What percentage of the driveway price do you guys charge for the walks? And if you salt, what percentage of the driveway price do you charge for salt. I don't salt and I'm thinking of offering that.
  7. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    I agree with M & M, I look at the time it takes to do a walk that may bring me $ 15.00 extra dollars on job and takes 20 mins ( just for the sidewalk ), or I can go do another lot that's $ 45.00, takes just 15 min. and I never get out of the truck.

    Now yes, some one has to be doing walks, but it's not going to be me unless it's at a property where the parking lots are getting done as well.
  8. Woodland

    Woodland Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    I price my residential accounts based on the amount of time I spend on site and it all gets charged at the same rate. Generally speaking, the walks are not a big time killer.

    Lets say you charge $120/ hour to plow - thats $2/ minute. It takes me 20 minutes to plow, that $40, then an extra 10 minutes to get the blower out and clean the walks & steps, throw a little salt down so I add an extra $20 to the account. It seems like a chunk of change when you see it broken out like that but...

    "Yes, sir/ma'am, I stopped by your house today to look over what would be needed to keep you cleaned out this winter. I was able to get a feel for where we can push snow and how much time we will need to set aside to meet your needs. So, we would charge $60 per visit to plow out the driveway, as well as clear all of your walkways and steps to the house. That includes a small path to the oil fill and the electric meter to keep everyone happy. Also, while it isn't included in that price, we are more than happy to stop by after a storm to keep your eaves raked off to prevent ice build up...."
  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    Correct, I get $125 per hour to do sidewalks, so why not?

    Here's how I bid, and I don't understand guys that don't.

    If I have a bank parking lot, along with sidewalks, and it's going to take me 1 hour to shovel and plow the lot, it's $125.

    If it breaks down to 40 minutes of shoveling, and 20 minutes plowing, it's $125. If it's 55 minutes of plowing and one 10'x10' concrete slab that has to be shoveled off, it's $125.

    Now, I ONLY do the sidewalks when the final plowing is done. I do NOT do sidewalk work during business hours, unless one of two things. It's snowing 2" per hour, then I'll clear a path to the door, or widen whatever the customer has already kept clean, or if I've got time, I'll clear off a section of sidewalk.

    However, during a storm, all of my customers are required to keep whatever amount of sidewalk clean they want, I'll clear it all off when I do a curb to curb.

    In MN, where I'm at, we average about 15 events per season, and I do 80% of my bids on a flat fee. I bid at 18 events per season, so I just price out a flat fee at 3 events per month (on average remember) for 6 months, November through April.

    My price on a bank that would take an hour to plow and/or shovel would be $375 per month, or $2250 for the season, salt extra, drifting extra, slush cleanup extra. That's how I'm getting $125 per hour to shovel.

    See how at first the $125 / hour figure looks way high? But by the end, if you tell a commercial lot that the total for the season will be just over $2,000 and they have $1M+ in revenues, that's pocket change. Yet I'm getting $125 / hour to shovel, plow whatever, and find many MANY guys that are willing to sub at $75 per hour.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  10. M&M

    M&M Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    I don't offer to clear walks, but if a customer wants them done, I will. The reason I don't is because I can get another driveway and make more $$ in the same time I would spend on the walks. Example: Let's say I have a driveway that I charge $35. If the driveway takes 10 minutes and the walks take 10 minutes then I should charge another $35 for the walks for a total of $70. I honestly can't propose this to a customer with a straight face because they will hang up the phone and go to the next guy. I would only be able to charge $15 tops for essentially $35 worth of work. Did that make sense? BTW it's me and my dog on my plowing "crew."
  11. LTL

    LTL Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    We do whatever makes the most money. If its shoveling dog poo, fine. if its plowing and cindering a parking lot, great.
  12. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    All I do is residential. Out of the 20 I do, I shovel for 3. All 3 are small, unless we get storms like we had last year, then those 3 seem like shoveling a football field by January. The only reason I do those 3 is because they are occupied for the X-Mas New Year period, and for our caretaking end of the business. Guess I shovel about 15-20 per storm on average, and that is 15-20 min too much.
  13. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I dont do sidewalks... It's not because I'm lazy or make more plowing, Ive had back surgery, and shoulder surgery. so I aint doing it.
  14. r_d337

    r_d337 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I think I am in a bit of a different situation then most of you. On average we get about maybe 10 snow events per MONTH. Most of the time it isn't much snow, a couple inches per fall, tops. Everybody that does snow removal does everything, my customers would drop me in a second if I told them I was only going to do their driveway and they would have to figure out how to do the rest. Doing all the sidewalks, driveway and steps, with 2 guys we can usually do a house in 10 min. I charge a flat fee of about $200/month (for most). So with two guys thats about $100 / hr.
  15. dunlaps lawncare

    dunlaps lawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 111

    we do all for are residential this well be are first year doing commercial and where only doing sidewalks
  16. BlackIrish

    BlackIrish Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    I hate shoveling. :realmad:
    I feel we don't get paid enough to do it. Here I'm fighting to get $85/month for 5 months with a 250cm/100" cap, 15-20 servicable events usually, last yr? 436cm/14.5'
    Fierce competition dictates pricing and services offered. If I won't shovel the other guy will. We use seperate shovel crews w/blowers to deal with it so that the operators can stay in their equipment. Also very hard finding guys wanting to work outside at -30c at 3am , being inside the cab of anything is way more comfortable.
    Did I mention I hate shoveling :realmad:
  17. dirtmandan2

    dirtmandan2 Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    I have a guy that works for me, does all of the shoveling, blowing before we get to the lots. If were running behind on time due to not being able to get out till late, then everybody gets to help with the shoveling.