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could use a little advice after reading a previous thread

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by buckwheat_la, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    so was just reading the LOWES for $17900 thread, and wonder if i have made a mistake doing a quote (this is my first big commercial account) we are quoting a superstore, dimmensions of which are 670 ft x 550ft, i have a cat loader and a skidsteer that i am going to be using, and i am planning on 25 visits this year, i asked for a retainer equal to one event cost per month (just in case we don't get snow that month) i looked at posts on here and determined that with boths pieces of equipment i should be through there in about 2.5 - 3 hrs, in a heavy snow fall, so i figured about $600 dollars per event including sanding, but after reading about the Lowes, i think i have quoted this to low (do you like the pun :laughing: ) anyways advice please, i don't want to lowbal, but i figured i am getting my hourly rates on equipment, and a little extra on top, am i missing something
  2. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    I don't know your market but here you'd be off by at least 400 bucks on a 1-3 inch storm, not including sand. We don't sand at all and I never see anyone doing it here at all. We'd be about 1,000 per app on salt but again I don't know your area..............
  3. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    we aren't suppose to use salt in alberta/canada, but i am getting the impression that i am off a bit on our price too, which is good, today i meet with that contact, to discuss the contract, so i still have time to adjust things
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    How big is the Cat, and what are you putting on for a push box? You've got 9 acres or so to do. You should be able to get that done with 4-6 hours of machine time, depending on equipment. You're only getting a hundred bucks an hour for those machines, which seems low to me. And at that price you're basically sanding for free, and providing materials. Do you have a plow on your sanding truck?
  5. McGaw

    McGaw Senior Member
    Messages: 221

    You seem to be off by a little bit. Is the economy still booming out there?
  6. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    X's 2.

    If you can do it in 2.5 hrs on a heavy snow fall then the $600 seems alright (for a wheel loader & a SS)....but where's the $ for sanding?
  7. DellDoug

    DellDoug Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    Well by the sounds of things you are quite low IMHO. First you have no money in the deal for the sidewalks (if they are included) Secondly you have no material or transportation costs for the spreading of the sand (truck). Lastly you seem to be low on what your machinery is worth to sit on a customers lot at their exclusive disposal. And the hourly rate is very low. What is the cost of ownership of the machinery? Maintence costs? deprerciation? and carrying cost for summer? Plus labour costs, insurance and administration? I am not sure what your number should be but a quick evaluation is in order. IMHO. Good luck and if you want to get specific pm me.

    Remember guys we all in this to "MAKE MONEY". If we don't we may as well stay home and make snowmen!!
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2009
  8. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    so i think i do have my measurements off, thinking of allowing 4 hours with skid and loader, this is just over 8 acres, nice and open, so i am going to adjust my bid, before i submit it, and look at about $750, allowing $600 for equipment time and $100/sanding (figuring on $100/trip with cost of sand included) anyone have a opinion on this.
  9. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I would think those machines would worth $150 an hour or so.
  10. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    You are WAY low on your sanding, Buckwheat. Around here, people charge $150-180 per ton, and many add a truck charge on top of that...
  11. silvercity

    silvercity Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    I just don't understand????????????????????????????? How can you plow a lot with 2 machine for $100 an HR???????????????????? Do you factor in the time sent to and from the site? Or Equipment fuel and repair?????????Or if it doesn't snow for 2 weeks you have all that iron sitting there making no money!!!!!!!!!! Soooooooooo big deal you have a event and in 6hrs you make $600 what about the other 34hrs that week?????????? so really you made a average of $15 per hr before fuel,insurance,repairs,food,coffee I just don't understand.
  12. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    hi, i was allowing for $150 a hour for the loader and skidsteer, and one sanding for $100 dollars, first off, i would like to say we are pretty competitive around here, secondly, just about everything is done on hour rates. I may be being naive on this price which is why i posted here, we consistently get 2-3 snowfalls a month that well need plowing, and keep in mind this isn't my only contract, i have numerous contracts, this is how i worked this out.

    retainer fees = monthly costs, insurance etc, for running costs
    hourly charges = operartor, 20% for maintenance, cost of equipment (monthly financing)x2 (half profit margin) on a average month
    Sanding = i really don't get the costs on this one, sand runs me $17/yard, keep it at my shop which is 10 min away, so loading and spreading, a yard or more of sand should be ease under a hour.

    i have changed my price scale a bit due to chatting to DellDoug, who had some great advice, now a average snow fall/plow should cost something around $900-1000/time, also i would like to point out that i usually pick up a project for my guys to do when it isn't snowing just to keep them busy, we fill sand bags for convience stores, we will probably do a couple small renovations (for clients at a reduced price on the understanding that when it is snowing we wont be there) so my guys standby wages stay reasonably low, also i have it set up so that when it snows my guys plan on working a 10-14 hour day (they were given the option, do you work 8 hour day and i hire more guys, or do you work a 10-14 hour day and make more money) they took option 2. AND this is my first big parking lot, never priced one before, so i guess we see how it goes, worst thing, i don't make much money at it and i learn for next year. And thank you everyone for your replies and opinions
  13. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Still think you are low but you are the onlu one that knows your operating costs and the amount of money you want to make.
    Good Luck this year.
  14. DellDoug

    DellDoug Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    Thanks for the plug :) I tried to help. I hope you winter goes well.