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Emergency help pricing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by notime, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. notime

    notime Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    We have a small business (40+ rural clients in upstate NY 1 1/2 hours from Albany) during the 2/14/07 storm we had some breakdowns that couldn't be fixed quickly. I called a young friend who is getting started to see if he could help. He said he could give me a couple hours. He has a newer 3/4 ton with a new 9 foot and a new sander. I rode with him to show him the route and I asked what he would be charging. He said he would figure it out and let me know. Yesterday I received a bill from him for 2 hours work at $125.00 per hour. This seems high to me and I would like some input, given my location, as to what an emergency sub contractor should be getting.
  2. oman1999

    oman1999 Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    emergency help

    The real questions here would be did he make you any money? At $125.00 an hour with his truck and the number of drives he did in the given amount of time did you break even, come out ahead or fall behind.

    I'd say, as an emergency contractor if you didn't lose any accounts and either broke even or didn't lose much money on that push.....pay him and be happy. Then hire him as an emergency subcontractor or as a sub and set a good price.

    I charge $95.00 per hour if I have to use my own rig as I am not working as a subcontractor. My job is to drive the trucks that the company owns, maintains, insures, etc. If my personal equipment needs to be used for some emergency or for whatever reason then I require a lot more money per hour because I don't plow personally and my equipment is usually needed for other uses.

    I'd say pay the man his money if he did the job correctly, etc and got you out of a tight spot. Then sit down and put a price in writing with some kind of agreement for the next time you need a truck in a pinch.
  3. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    so he plowed 40 + accounts for $250 so that comes out to be $6-7 per driveway.I hope your getting at least $40 per if not more if they are big drives. so figure gas and time and that does not seam bad to me your still makeing $$ on your accounts.

    Maybe if he was doing it on a regular basis and going longer shifts it might be a little acsesive most trucks like that would probably be getting around $50 and hour.
    I would hope that anyone in trouble would would help out and be reasonable because the shoe is always on the other foot and he might need you some day.
  4. notime

    notime Junior Member
    Messages: 12


    Let me correct this. He only helped for 2 hours. In that time we only did 8 of the forty. Yes he helped in an emergency and I didn't loose a client. He made more on the 8 drives then I would have. I guess I am the one who is off base.
  5. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Well, those of us with years experience doing this often make $125 an hour, so he might have been a little aggressive charging you that much just starting out. I'm in agreement, though, that last minute help probably should cost you that amount per hour. We know our routes and can get to all our accounts quickly & do a good job because we've seen them before snow, we've plowed them for years. This guy is going to have decreased productivity despite having you ride shotgun. Should his hourly rate suffer because your route was new to him? Probably not. I think the mistake made was not setting a price ahead of time. That's where you would have said a flat amount or hourly rate that was reasonable for you (and possibly negotiated with him). Live & learn, right?

  6. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    I would have to agree if he is a friend and charging 125.00 an hr just remember that when he brakes down and comes crawling to you for some help. I would have to agree with the other post pay him this time but remember that turn about is fair game.
  7. Turf Masters

    Turf Masters Member
    Messages: 93

    Of course there is going to be a price differance depending on the region you live.For my area in the Poconos Subs with a 3/4 ton PU get $65-75 per hr.1 ton mason dump around $85 per hr.Now please remember this is sub-contractor pricing.When I bid a commercial lot it is all based at $150 per hr and then I break it down into a per push price.For example,I have a lot I charge $300 per push with myself and one sub in.It takes approx 50 min to plow.The sub gets $65 and I bank $235.00.Now if for some reason all my trucks went down my subs would still only get there regular hourly rate.Of course I would give them a bonus on top of that for saving my ASS.But I don't think all 5 trucks will go on any given storm.In fact I have only had one truck(dodge) stop working during a snow event.All my trucks are rotated every 4-5 years and replaced with new plows also.It's good business to have up to date equipment.Just my 2 cents!!

  8. AndyTblc

    AndyTblc Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    Usually when it is an emergency you would always expect to pay a little more, because they probly weren't planning on doing any of that work, but when they get a call, then yah you can charge more.
  9. MarksLand

    MarksLand Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Not sure of pricing where you are but that seems fair to me. He helped you in a jam and you didn't lose clients due to his help. I would be happy breaking even or walking away with a small loss.
  10. Silentroo

    Silentroo Senior Member
    Messages: 147


    250 is a CHEAP education.

    I have been in similar situations, Some guys are fair and some see it as a gold mine.

    I never let a guy start work with out talking numbers. Even if I lose money sometimes I have to to cover an account. But I NEVER want to be suprised when I get a bill.

    EVERY time I break my rule I get a bill that will knock your socks off.