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First commercial bid

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by whitegoldrider, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    I'm one of 3 submitting a bid so wanted to be as competitive as possible and get some input from you guys. It's not a big site but it's a start. It's a blacktop parking lot with 9 spots. Measurements are about 50' x 80' that I can cover with my ATV plow set up and another 70' x 3' walkway that I have to shovel. Also will be laying salt. It's a pretty symmetrical rectangular lot where I can push banks to either side of the short sides of the lot. One long side backs into the building and the other backs into a semi-busy street. What do you guys think for both a per push as well a seasonal rate?? The owner is only asking for a per push bid but figured if I submit a seasonal one too, it will give the owner something else to think about. Season may go as late as April this year. Thanks guys. New to the forum but I've been lurking for a while and have learned a ton so I respect all your input.

    Thanks again,
  2. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    I forgot to add, this site is quite a ways away from my route. At this point though, I don't mind traveling to the site if it means expanding my book of business to include commercial (and another geographical area).
  3. myzx6

    myzx6 Member
    Messages: 90

    I think the big question is, why is somewhere looking for a new contractor in the end of January. Did they have a bad previous guy or did he drop them cause they don't pay???
  4. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    The owner just acquired the property. It was in real estate escrow since Sept and just closed a three weeks ago. He was clearing it with his 36" snowblower but we've had a lot of windy days and the snowblower was no match.
  5. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    You're going to be plowing it with an ATV?.... good luck.
  6. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    You betcha! :D
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  7. Meezer

    Meezer Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 300

    I would recommend charging per push. How long do you think it would take you to do all that?
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  8. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Sounds like$100 per visit and 25 for the walk per visit
    But I have a truck and you have ATV. So not sure be a profit for you with ATV
  9. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    I'm thinking it will take me no more than hour with shoveling and salting once I actually get there. It's probably a good 30 minutes from my route.

    I could be profitable at $100 per push :)
  10. snopushin ford

    snopushin ford Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 194

    If I only had a ATV there is no way I would try to do anything commercial. What happens if the atv breaks and by the time you fix it there is a foot of heavy snow on the lot, or big drifts?? Do you have access to a truck? How do you move the ATV around?
  11. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    I plow it with my ATV.

    Yes, that's how I get my ATV around.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  12. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    You do have Commercial Insurance

    Say if I was you I stick to driveways if all I had was a ATV I wouldnt even think about plowing lots

    Save your $$ on driveways and Buy you a plow for the truck then jump on lots
  13. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    Not yet, remember, this is my first (potentially) commercial gig but I have gotten a couple quotes and waiting on return calls from others.

    I will agree that I might be over my head here but we all had to start somewhere, right? I felt the same way when I started taking residential gigs but still pushing snow 4 seasons later.

    I didn't go out looking for this commercial gig. This was a referral from one of my residential gigs and I'm seeing how far I can get with it. For now, this commercial gig will just be a see how it goes deal. It's kinda like the chicken/egg question. Buy truck to get commercial gigs or see if commercial is my thing then buy a truck. I think I'm in the company of those that would go with the former but money ain't cheap!
  14. CowboysLC_DE

    CowboysLC_DE Senior Member
    Messages: 177

    Don't put in a bid with an atv. But if that's what you really want to do then you better double so the drive is worth it. In the time it takes you to drive to and from the job most plow guys would have made $100.

    Also, how are you going to stay on top of the snow if your wasting a couple hours every storm to drive there? Something to think about.

  15. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    No sweat off my back. Ya, let those other guys make their $100. I'm still getting $100 that I never got before.

    It's 30 minutes one way so 1 hour not 2 but 1 hour to do the job and that could be 2 hours including travel time. But this is a problem? I have a 3-3.5 hour route now and can keep up fine. Are you talking about clean ups or returns? My residential clients won't pay me twice for coming out the same day for the same storm so I don't do it and they don't ask. Good way to think about it for the commercial bid though…thanks.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  16. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    Just wondering what kinda machine you guys think I plow with? I'm not using a riding lawn mower jerry-rigged with a 24" blade using a stick to raise/lower the blade. I have 400cc suzuki eiger workhorse 4x4 with a state plow and added downforce with flaps and operated with a winch. I even have the push bar extension which allows me to push the tops of snow banks making it possible to actually move banks back. And for those who think it's "only a 400cc", I will buy new snow tires for better traction before I spend a dime to add more horsepower to my machine. Maybe by "whipping mine out" it will end the "don't submit a commercial bid using JUST an ATV" comments? or not….
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  17. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I have 2001 500 HO sportsman with 58'' plow and can put my rear trip blade on and I still wouldnt do it unless Im behind and my sidewalk crew needs something to do but that was one time last year and was lot half size then one you wanting bid on
    truck takes 15mins to plow it took ATV 1 hr plow it at 6'' of snow.

    So price it right if going use a ATV on it
  18. Fannin76

    Fannin76 Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    I know this will be your first "commercial" property, but if you plow anything for money you need business insurance.I wouldn't attempt it with an ATV I would just try to pick up 3-5 more drives and make the same money with out the drive. sell the ATV and buy a plow truck off Craig's list
  19. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 722

    So do you offer snow stacking :laughing:

    It's still an ATV, new tires, push bar or whatever else you add it is still JUST an ATV.

    This is what's wrong with commercial pricing. It costs money to plow snow, the guy with INSURANCE and the proper equipment bids X and you come along and say "well that's $100 more than I had" :dizzy:

    What if it costs you $120 to service the property?

    To your original question $175 per push, walks and salt included or $3,650 for the season.
  20. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    Shoot, if I had a truck or two and a sidewalk crew, I wouldn't do it with an ATV either Thumbs Up but you got 'er done right? Not saying I'll do it as fast as a truck but will get done at the end of the day. So if all you had was an ATV, been doing residential for 4 years and someone calls you on a referral to see if you would do their lot that is 30 minutes away from your route and gets you thinking about maybe venturing out to a bigger operation, would you bid on it or at least ask around to see if you could make money on it? That's what I'm trying to find out here. I'm getting no's and some heck-no's and couple suggestions on how to price it. Thanks guys. It's all going into consideration. Keep them coming, please.