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Help bidding lot

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by RAMPAGE2010, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. RAMPAGE2010

    RAMPAGE2010 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Hey guys great site. I've been trying to pick up some commercial lots but hav'nt been having any success. Any help would be apreciated. The lot I am looking to bid on has 23,821 sq. ft. of parking. U shape parking lot, public side walk 184 feet, two 108 foot runs of walk front and back of building. My thoughts were $30 for all wakks and $70 to plow lot. This would be a per trip price. I was thinking a seasonal price of $3600. I am in milwauke WI. What do you guys think?
  2. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    I dont know your costs, but your walks price is cheaper than I would stop one of our trucks for.

    Are you including salt? extra?

    What's your trigger?

    7 day a week operation? 24 hour?

    Monday - Friday?

    1 shift 2? 3?

    How close are your other jobs?

    What equipment do you plan to use?
  3. RAMPAGE2010

    RAMPAGE2010 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    They wanted a 1" trigger. This site is'nt that close to my other jobs. Salt is not included. Would be using a pick up truck. I believe they are open 6 days a week 7-5.
  4. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    I bid a 77,000 sqft lot today at $78 up to 8" plus salt. He said I'm in the ball park. His guy last season charged $55 but he wasn't happy with the service. Go figure. I would only do walks by the hour plus icemelt, unless it was included in a seasonal contract. Rates in Milwauke could be very different from rat could be very different from rates in my town
  5. RAMPAGE2010

    RAMPAGE2010 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    With a lot at 24,000 sq ft being U- shaped how long do you think it would take at say 4" snow.
  6. spazfam

    spazfam Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Depends on equipment used, a truck with a 8ft plow should do about 40-44000.00 per hour depending on obstacles and efficiency.
  7. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

  8. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    I dont know your costs, but it sounds pretty high to me.

    If you arent doing walks under 1'' either, you should probably be more around $2500.00

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    That is about right per push for the lot.
    Way low on the walks.

    Probably about right on the seasonal price for all of it if you get 20-25 events per year.

    I can not believe some of the low prices others have mentioned.
  10. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    You guys are more than welcome to start plowing in my market and give prices that you believe you can get and let's see how much work you get. You can tell me your troubles as you are pouring my coffee. If you can get more in your area, good for you. By the way, the GM of this restaurant said the top bid was $80 per push.
  11. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. Senior Member
    Messages: 513

    No offense Wilnip. I was actually seriously asking if you were serious. Just out of curiosity how long does it take you to plow 80k sq ft? $80 is literally 1/2 of what that would go for around here. Out East it would probably go for 3x that...or more. Your market sucks.
  12. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    That's ok Raymond. You have to bid within your market. I sent a bunch of letters out to business saying " after a preliminary review of your property, it appears a plowing would be $x.xx. plus salt. call me to discuss your needs. After they asked for a meeting, I reviewed my quote and thought it may be a little low. But I now know I bid it correctly if the top bid was only $2 more. Its actually about an acre and a half. So about 1.5 hrs is what I'm bettin on. I did say after 8" it will be $117 per push. It's amazing how prices differ. I see guys paying subs $75- $100 an hour. A local big landscaper who has 34 plow trucks only charge his customers $69 an hour here.
  13. sectlandscaping

    sectlandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I second that it would be 5x's that in my area. I talked to another company thats slightly bigger then me about subbing for me and they wanted $135 a hour for a truck and $80 for a atv.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  14. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    $77 for that size lot is crazy in our area
  15. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    Btw, I got that contract today, eventhough the low bid was $55. :)
  16. R.G.PEEL

    R.G.PEEL 2000 Club Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 2,196

    Im sure you know your market well and are bidding accordingly. I personally would rather pour your coffee at that amount. Last I checked, the guy behind the counter at dunkin donuts has no overhead, insurance, lawsuits, breakdowns, etc...... and probably clears the same amount of money when all is said and done.

    I often liken it to truckers around here who provide triaxle dumptrucks really cheap. Thats all you can charge they say, I say do something else before working for free!
  17. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    My trigger is 3 inches and I go by time -(just commercial)
    Min. is 1 hour
    2-3" $125
    4-6" $175,
    7-9" $250,
    10-12" $325, $75 for every 3" up to 21" over that it is $100
    That is plowing only.
    For every half hour I add $50
    If they are signing a contract depending on size of lot or roads, I charge anywhere from $75 to $125 for magic salt.

    One time emergency plowing or sanding I add $75 dollars to the prices.

    That is the rough base rates where I am at and they change from town to town, they can go up or down by $25 to $50 dollars per push per hour.

    So you need to figure out what you need to make per hour whether it is $75to $125 to $150 and then stick with it.

    If you lowball then you well end up losing money.
  18. jimmyzlc

    jimmyzlc Member
    Messages: 74

    Wish I lived closer to real snow. It be nice to charge by the hour like that. I charge per job here. I charge $175 for something similar in size. Takes about an hour and a half plus I will follow up, no salt.
  19. ryde307

    ryde307 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,145

    I'm confused. If your trigger is 3" why have a 2-3" price? Maybe we use the term trigger different.
    Then you state you go by time but then why have rates broke down by inches?
    Then every half hour you add $50?
    Not trying to be rude, I'm just not following.
    Although I do agree with your statement of figure out what you need to make per hour.
  20. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    I bid my sites based on the hours it well take to plow and then put it into inches for the client, much easier charging by the inch then charging by the hour, and that way they know exactly what is being charged based on the amount of inches that fall.

    So if it takes 1 hour to plow I charge $125 and write it up as 2-3 inches $125 and every additional 3 inches is $50
    4-6 inches would be $175 because we would go there twice.
    Once at the 3 inch mark and then at storm end.
    Which roughly is 1 1/2 hours of plow time.

    For a just a one inch or dusting, I leave up to the client to decide if they want me to come and sand or set it up for me just going there to sand.

    2 inches is more tricky, but we general don't get that. It's either a light dusting to 1 inch or 3 inches or more for storms.

    The 3 inch trigger is what I tell all my clients that we start plowing at so they are not calling me when there is 1 1/2 to 2 inches on the ground wanting to know when we are coming -(usally this is just new clients, all my old clients know the routine and have no issues, they know we are going to be there and continue until storm end)

    So I look at the sites and figure out how many hours to plow it and then put that into inches for bidding and billing.

    It just makes it much more easy for billing than trying to figure out exact hours plus the fact you don't get different billing amounts when you have different snowfall types.
    You know that it takes different times to plow say, light fluffy snow than heavy wet snow.

    Hope that clears up the confusion.

    Have a good season.