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first year comm..maryland plowing prices

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by flxinxj, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. flxinxj

    flxinxj Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I have been plowing for 3 years for a friend and am looking to get my own comm.. contracts and was wandering what the going rats are. im looking to place bids on diff propertys but would like to keep prices at buy the hour for larger lots and buy the push for smaler lots with them being set buy the inch.. im also not to sure about how to charge for salt. My friend uses bulk but I cant store that so I will be using 50lb bags. Any help would be grat. I have a 7.5 western on 04 2500 ram and will be looking to buy another truck for a friend to drive and I may have 2 other friends with trucks to plow for me.
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Its easy money isn’t it…
    He1L, How much was the boss making off you?

    Sh1T why don’t you just ask the guy that you were plowing for what he charges.

    You can just pay your “friend” under the table a few bucks and pocket the rest…
    Damm easy money…….

    Some will tell you what their “rats" are some will not but this is how Johnny does it

    But wait.
    A BUSINESS plain???
    Who woud da thunk?

    Only you know how much money you need or want to make.
    You need to do some planning.
    Well like.

    Do I need to set up a business.
    Do I need to be licensed? What kind?
    Taxes.??? Doooouh
    Workman comp as your “friends” are now your employees
    Unemployment, S,S with holdings.
    What about Insurance, what type do I need and how much coverage, What is the cost?
    Cost of equipment
    Ie: trucks, plows salt, spreaders, shovel gas, oil, maintained. Etc etc

    Now you tell me how money rodents you need to charge or what are your “rats”?

    It has been said before that if you are asking what you are asking that you are not ready to go out on your own.

    You wouldn’t want someone to say that you plow for “beer money” now, would you?:drinkup:

    p.s. It’s raining outside…had some time to kill...:waving:
  3. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    my rates vary from $25-40 for drives. and parking lots vary from $50-300. I do a super 8 motel so that costs a lot because it is a big lot.
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Your "rats" are not as important as your profits are.;)
  5. flxinxj

    flxinxj Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    ok "Rates" I some peopel where charging $65-100 an hour per truck and paying $25hr if ur driving a company truck if your driveing your own truck then its like $65-75hr and for salting around $15.00 a bag. I have a business name with the state and I have insurance. I think I have most of this right just want to make sure before I bid something. and find out im rong
  6. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    You should be charging $135+ per truck just with the cost of fuel in maryland. 4 hour minium. With a fuel surcharge clause on top of that. Our subs are getting $90-100 this season (depending on how long they have been with us)
  7. flxinxj

    flxinxj Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I was getting riped, he was only paying me and my brother 65 with our own trucks for 3 seasons. When you bid smal lots do you just tack $135hr and fig out how long it wll take you to do that lot using that rate. 30min $65-70 a plow. does any one have to pay a sub with a skid loader, if so how much do they get and what do you charge for them. What about salt, what is every one charging for that. Thanks
  8. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    not to be a jerk but do you really think your ready to run your own commercial operation? for commercial youll need at least 1 million in general liability insurance, commercial auto, youll need an EIN from the IRS for taxes because you have employees... i started out thinking like you and realized that getting in the truck and pushing snow is the easy part, the business part is whats hard, youll need different contracts, route sheets for drivers, site data sheets to be done for each site etc. youll be better off starting out doing resi's solo and working your way up. one big mistake just starting out with no reputation can take many many years to get rid of if it doesnt put you under, word travels fast.
  9. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    The questions you are asking tell me you are not ready to get your own contracts.

    If you can't price on your own at all...maybe you should find someone honost to sub for until you learn the business more.

    The items listed on this thread are all valid other things you need to take care of which seems you have not thought of.

    We are in talks with white marsh mall, and could use help if we get it. let me know.
  10. flxinxj

    flxinxj Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks, I have 1mill Ins for grass cutting I would just have to add snow. I here what you are all saying and thanks.Salopez let me know about that cuz the guy I was working for had us at the clorox factory and with 3 trucks we where done in 4hr 2 trucks around 6hr so its not alot of money on my end.
  11. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    Salopez and Myself plow together. None of our subs worked less than 10 hours per piece of equipment per storm last season. During the icestorm 2 years ago. We had people running 3 days straight.

    I know what it feels like to be on the short end of the stick. We used to plow for brickman years ago and we got $65 an hour for 1 tons with spreaders.
  12. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    You don't always need to have a large storage area for bulk salt. I keep a couple of tons on hand in 35-50 gal trash cans w/tight lids. As long as the salt is dry when you buy it, and the lids fit tight, it'll stay good for a while. Just keep in mind that salt weighs approx 10# per gal, so a 5 gal pail will weigh 50#.

    You didn't mention if you had a spreader, or if you are going to be spreading it by hand. If you are spreading by hand, stay away from the larger lots, as you could potentially need to spread over a ton during a storm. That will be he!! on your back!

    Don't forget to get commercial insurance for both your company AND for your truck. The insurance on your truck will cover you if you hit someone or something while plowing, and the insurance on your company will cover you for the slip and fall accidents that always happen. If you are hiring people to help you, you must have workman's comp insurance. Guys get hurt, it's a fact of life, and if you do not have workman's comp, it can cost you big bucks covering their injuries out of pocket as well as the HUGE fines that the government can and will impose on you.

    Good luck!

  13. flxinxj

    flxinxj Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I will be talking to my insurance agent to make sure I am covered. I used a walk behind broadcast spreader last year for 2 small lots that I did. If I get larger or more lots I will get a receiver mounted spreader. I am just looking to try and make some more money and was thinking if I could start out with 4-5 small lots that I will make at least what I have been working for my friend and get the hang of the business before going for large properties. I was also hoping I could try and get some properties that would us me for snow and lawn service. ITSGOTTOBEGREEN If you really need some more trucks and you guys have a lot of work let me know, my brother also has a 05 f250 with a 7.5 western pro we are both working for our friend but don’t seem to be plowing a lot when there are storms. My email is Tripplawncare@yahoo.com and if so I can give you may cell.. Thanks
  14. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    What itsgottobegreen and I did was sub for a couple of years. then picked up a lot and still subbed. we moved slowly. there is allot to learn from moving from a sub to a general.

    I should know shortly how much work we have up by you and would be happy to let you know.

    I think a good option for you this year (if we don't have work up there) is to def. get some of your lawn customers to become snow customers too.

    There is not reason to not use the spreader you have until you need a bulk spreader. Personlly I hate using bagged salt for lots, but thats just me. we use about 6-10 pallets of bagged material per storm, luckily that is with 4 tractors, 6 atvs, and 6 push spreaders all for walkways. then we go though 50-60 tons of bulk with all of the ice storms we have been getting.
  15. flxinxj

    flxinxj Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks salopez. I figured I would have to start small befor I could go big. I think I know a good amount about this all just trying to make sure Im pricing right and what not. dont think I told you but Im 23 and still learning about alot in the biss.. Thanks
  16. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Please dont think i am trying to put you down or stop you. I am just trying to help you out.

    I think its great that you are starting at such a young age. I didnt have the coin to plow when I was 20! What I did have was a good work ethic and sound business plan that has been working well for me.

    good luck.
  17. WetChicken

    WetChicken Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    And bad news will travel faster than good news.

    Good luck!