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Good Opportunity??

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by raider, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. raider

    raider Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 10

    Got a call just this morning to bid on a nursing home/assisted living place. Open parking in front of about 60' x 200' with open clear area to push in two directions, so not to bad. One service lane probably 200' long with plenty of room to stack at the end. Here is the part that I see being the biggest part of job, about 1000' of sidewalk.

    They want me to spread their salt for an hourly rate. They have custodian that will spread it on sidewalks in between my snow removal visits. Would I be way off to just tell them I will charge them $1 per minute for all (pushing, walk behind snow blowing, a little shoveling, and putting salt down)

    I really want to land the mowing contract for this place this spring and want to get my foot in the door.

    Ford Expedition with 7.5 Meyer
    36" Walk Behind
    4 Wheeler with 48" Blade
  2. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    so you gonna be making 60$ an hour with snow removal at this lot....i made 85$ subbing myself out and i dont have half the expenses you do... how can you push and snowblow at the same time... you cant so then youll have to hire an employee.....if you pay him 15$ an hour now your left with 45$.... then you have to pay for gas....insurance.....any part failures...i think your way low...jmo

    oh and let me know if i misread something
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    That's sub-contractor pay. If you're carrying all the liability and providing a snowblower/shoveler for side walks, you should search the site for some pricing and contract/liability tips.

    The average Muni Road contractor was getting a little under $200 bucks am hour for fully equipped trucks in this area. Picks get variyng rates based on equipment, ability, and contractor. the guys working for the lower end of the scale are all pushing for large contracts and rarely pushing more then a inch of well salted slush, neither of those guys have any major liability, and they get paid when the storm is over.

    You want the mowing contract but it's not going to make you any money if you plow snow at a loss. Factor in the fact that if you plow cheap they will expect you to mow cheap.

    I think you need to re-calculate your costs. You can not price on what you think will get the job. You need to price based on what will make you money. Better not to do the work then paying to be allowed to do it.
  4. ford6.9

    ford6.9 Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    You should try to get $2.00 a min. Not sure how long you have been doing this but all it takes is a little oopss and $$ is out the window. Is your insurance covering any slip and falls? Just sit down and take a look at how much your truck costs; true cost here, insurance yearly with plowing insurance and then your slip and fall insurance which are different! little thing insurance companies try to trick you on, then see how much you pay your guys per hour, how much your plow cost, your salter, fuel and so on.

    Now lets be nice and say your truck plow salter and all will last 5 years PROBLEM FREE. (i dream too). and you get 10 plow events a season( i didn't look at where you are from but its easy math so lets roll with it)

    Plow-----$5,000------50 storms = $100. per storm for you plow
    Truck----$15,000-----50 storms =$300. per storm
    Salter--- $5,000.------50 Storms =$100. Per storm
    Auto & business insurance $4000----- $400. per storm ( this is yearly and lest just say all you do is plow with that truck

    Fuel----2. gph----(lets say you plow 20 hours.) $188 per storm.

    Labor to drive truck (even if its you, you wanna make money right?) $20 per hour-----------$400.

    Now the numbers i ran are just an idea of the costs but they are not that far off. They were run assuming you played for 20 hours. At your pay rate 20 hrs X $1 per min = $1200. NOT BAD FOR ONE DAYS WORK.

    Now lets get the grand total for your cost of doing business.......$1488.00!!!!

    You Just worked for 20 hours and paid them to do it!:realmad:

    Hope this helps, just take some time look over your numbers and find what makes you money and then you can bid. I would rather not work than work for free.
  5. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Wait a minute, he has about 15,000 sq ft. that can be done in under an hour easy. Give another hour for the 1000 feet of sidewalks. Thats 2 hours, so charge them a per push of say 200 + 150 for the sidewalks, that should be reasonable. If its their salt charge 100 to spread it each time. So 10 events will equal, 4500.00 $ If you had charged by the minute you would be charging around 2.5 hours for everything each time. 25 x 60 = 1500
    Never charge by the minute, it looks desperate. If this is all your doing, I don't know, its your call.
  6. raider

    raider Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 10

    First of all, thank you for all of your input, it really does help a ton.

    I think part of my pricing problem is living here in a smaller rural Iowa town, $60-$70 per hour is about the top going rate. The other thing is I use my trucks for mowing/landscape business, agricultural business, home snow removal of two long lanes, and now commercial snow removal. In my mind I should spread costs out over all businesses to find my actual operating cost. With so many variable, it will not be an exact science, but maybe closer than figuring for only commercial snow removal. Also, I will be doing most of the work by myself, my son helps some as needed. If everything goes right, I will have 3 apartment buildings, and this one nursing home, a few drives that I currently do. My estimated time will be about 4 1/2 hours pushing, another 4 1/2 blowing. All of these places are within 3 blocks of each other. (snow removal will be figured at 25% of truck and business expenses)

    Truck, 25% of truck $2000 50 storms $40
    plow, salter $4000 50 storms $80
    Insurance (25% of Insurance $800) 10 storms $80
    Gas $75
    TOTAL $270
    GROSS Income
    $540 @ $1 PER MIN
    $675 @ $1.25 PER MIN
    I am going to try to figure a per push/blow rate later and see how that stacks up.
    Thanks again everyone
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008
  7. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

  8. Nascar24

    Nascar24 Senior Member
    Messages: 645


    After being in business for twenty years, my advice is to look at the job as if you don't need it! If you don't, typically the emotions of wanting the job will cause you to offer a less than profitable outcome.

    Price it on actual time you will spend based on say a 4" storm ( this is for the labor, man + benefits), then add fuel costs, pro rate your insurance costs, wear and tear of equipment, and an additional % for catastrophic issue which may prevent you from completing the job ( bad Tranny, Motor Plow replacement),Also look at that as a cost inwhich you may have to incuur to pay a sub to maintain the account until your back in the game. All these factors should be considered and worked into your price.

    I know around here any one who has been doing it as a smaller operation typically bases prices on a 2-3" trigger and charges a minumum 4" increment up to 12" then prices are subject to change, due to additional expenses such as loader or hauling services, and a 20" storm will automatically kick in a much higher rate due to a substantial increase in labor and operating expenses. Ice control is a whole different matter, typically by the call based on the material and quanity of material dropped.
  9. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Great advice for any type of business. If I priced equipment at what I thought people would pay I'd be gone in a season.
  10. raider

    raider Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 10

    I went and measured everything today, re-walked everything. There is 31,000 sq. ft. of open parking and lane. No obsticals to plow around. There is 1,400 ft of side walk that is 42" wide. Again, no real problem areas, all pretty much open areas that should make job routine. As I mentioned earlier, they will provide the salt, I will spread for a set price. This job is mine as long as I am within a reasonable amount of bid. It is not an automatic go to low bid type of deal, like most of my other ones.
    Any last opinions on pricing would be appreciated.

    I am also trying to decide (if this works out), if I want to purchase a 4-wheeler with a blade. Now I must admit, I want this for personal reasons as well, but I could use it the rest of the year for spraying lawns and here on farm as well. Thoughts on 4-wheelers please. Another thought that I had would be to purchase a 45" blower to go on my new Cub Cadet 3200 tractor. Shaft driven to blower and would have good blowing power. This might come in handy on a few other jobs that I do where I could blow the whole lane easier than pushing. Just thoughts, and nothing will be decided until bids are decided anyway.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2008
  11. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    I'd get the ATV if i were you.....our sidewalk crews have them for a lot of places and it really cuts down on the time, then when the plows get taken off my boss loads them up and takes them to his cabin for the sping, summer, and fall.