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Driveway Bidding, Snow & Salt

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by kangaroocuts, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. kangaroocuts

    kangaroocuts Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    We have always done snow removal for the DOT.

    This year we decided not to Plow, just hit Driveways.

    So with an upcoming storm, we are prepping for an influx of calls,

    so how do you all Bid for shoveling driveways, As well if the ask for salt to be put down.

    any help or insight would be great!
  2. jonniesmooth

    jonniesmooth Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    Ok, I'll take a stab at this.

    1)It's 2/3 of the way through January. You don't have any customers that have signed contracts for the season or otherwise agreed to use your service?
    2) you used to plow highways for the DOT, but you are going to be shoveling driveways instead?
    3) you must have advertised your service somehow, if you expect people to call? I know a lot of the country, scratch that, the Continent (hat tip to our Canadian friend's!), hasn't had any real significant snow yet. but nobody has called yet?

    Now that that is out of the way....
    You are going to be running all over h#ll and creation from one call to the other, with no order or planning at all, and then you will get back to the shop and think you're done you will get some more calls, and out you go again. To do some more drives that you already drove past when you were out the first time.

    And your going to be hoping to pick up a few of the neighbors while your there too.
    IDK what going rates are in your area for contracted work. But, You would have to charge 2-3X to cover your expenses and then you're going to have to take the time to explain how a contract works and why you are charging what you are, when you should just be working.

    I didn't ask what kind of equipment you had, because from what you said the highway eq. isn't going to be used on the driveways, you said shovels.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  3. kangaroocuts

    kangaroocuts Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    so, I should have expected some comments like that. to clarify some things.

    Here in Virginia, we usually get maybe 2-3 storms a year. Maybe a total of 20". We mostly Do more Ice treatments. I don't know of anyone that has snow contracts since snow isn't really a guarantee here. one year we didn't get anything.

    So why I chose not to do it with our DOT anymore. I had to get a new truck, and new plowing equipment. Since we only have 2 trucks, Tundra and Chevy 2500, we only run one. This past season I had the truck towed 3 times, in the shop 6 different times, have a slipping transmission, no working 4x4, Needed a new tire rod, Tires and elintment (just to pass our state inspection).

    Since my route last year was on a rough paved road. I hit a big manhole cover. It ripped off a hudge chunk of the cutting edge, and bent the weld mounts on them, so just to get the Plow to pass the DOT inspection, I would have to drop $800 plus tax to fit it. Then my Spreader motor locked up during a strom, and I didn't replace it last year. so theres another $1000

    So between fixing my truck, then Snow equipemt I was easly at 6-8 Grand just to Plow with DOT, just the trade the truck in for the new Landscape Season.

    5 Years of plowing with VDOT I average 5-10K a year. And my first year signed up, We didn't get anysnow. So in December, Trading in the truck that was paid off, getting new snow equipment for 9-10k, with no other Winter income, I decided it wasn't worth it.

    So that's why I am not plowing with VDOT this year.

    Now onto the Residential work. I always would get around 15-25 calls a storm to clear driveways, I always turned them down since I could still be working for anoth 2 days. Now that some channels are projecting 2-3 ft, and some saying atleast 12 inches. I am pretty sure I will get a couple calls to go clear some driveways.

    As far as equipment, I think a 4x4 Tundra will work driving around with two 30' wide snowblowers should do the trick.

    So theres my situation to clear things up.
    MsBrie2U likes this.
  4. kangaroocuts

    kangaroocuts Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I don't know how to edit that post, But I want also throw it in there that our plow truck, hubs locked on me driving 50mph on a highway and came to a screeching halt with no acceleration after that... after taking it to the shop, the mechanic just unlocked the hubs and told me to drive strait to CarMax, where they handed me a 9k Check two hours later.

    so that truck is long gone!
  5. jonniesmooth

    jonniesmooth Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    Well, I guess if you have a truck with 2 guys with blowers and snow isn't something people normally have to deal with there. I would be looking to get $125/hour, so a 30 min driveway would be $125. 2 guys for a hour total time. 'Cuz we aren't talking about 3-4" that will be gone in a day or two.
  6. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    I had no idea one would plow long sections of roadway with a standard pick up truck and plow. That just seems crazy to me. I know the county contracts around here for a few streets and subdivisions, but that's about it. Sorry its not helpful to your question, but that really baffles me.
  7. quad cities

    quad cities Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    hard to say pricing in your area, around here 30-40 average some people charging as low as 15 some as high as 55 per swipe no shoveling no salt. oh this is northwestern illinois