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Contract with City or stay independent?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by pohouse, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    Currently I run an ex-DOT dump truck with a 10' plow. I do some hotel parking lots and streets for an HOA. I try and get $100 an hour, but in my area prices are all over the board. Anymore it's difficult to get accounts because the market is saturated by numerous contractors which also drive the price down. :realmad:

    I have an opportunity to bid a city contract which would provide me a designated district (streets) to plow. Pros: More paid time behind the wheel. One year contract. Cons: Working for the city. Give up current accounts or sub them out. Increased insurance cost.

    The city requires a dump truck GVWR of 27,500 and a minimum 10' plow, with a moldboard weight of 1700 lb. There are not alot of contractors who can meet the requirements and this keeps the price higher.

    TWO Questions: Do you think I should contract with city or stay independent? Based on equipment involved, what would you bid per hour? Contractor pays for all maintenance, fuel and operator. I'm thinking $125. Thanks.
  2. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

  3. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Well, there's certainly an appeal to the city work. No more paperwork, billing, annoying calls from customers. The downside I see is if (some of) your private stuff is seasonal contract. If it doesn't snow, I'm pretty sure the city isn't going to pay.

    I don't think the $125 is unreasonable, maybe even a little low. Do yourself a huge favor and go to city hall and get copies of last year's bids. That will give you a starting point. And check with your insurance agent to make sure it's feasible.
  4. T-MAN

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

    If you work for the city will you get called out for every event with a dedicated route ? Many villages/ citys use subs for higher snow totals, and handle the gravy pushes in house. Make sure you know what the protocol will be, or it could cost you.
    What about salt or sand ?
    Also what is there pay record ? Find out what sort of payment schedule you will be on as well. It seems gov. work is paying slower and slower, so if you dont have deep pockets, or care to wait 90 days or more, the HOA might still be the way to go.
  5. Skid Mark

    Skid Mark Member
    from ny
    Messages: 81

    you could make good money plowing for the city. the only thing is the roads here the roads are in bad shape so the plow trucks get destroyed. but on the other hand you make good money do they provide salt/sand?