Help Bidding

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Dsmits1984, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Dsmits1984

    Dsmits1984 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hello folks. I've run my own company as a one man operation for years doing landscaping, and lawn maintenance. I've always plowed FOR other people, and done residentials for myself. I've recently gotten more involved with a few commercial properties, and I'd like to solely bid these for myself, and start accepting more commercial accounts.

    My questions are these, and please don't be a smartass about it, since I've never bid commercial lots for plowing...

    1) If a place wants a seasonal bid, which I understand can be both a benefit and a downfall depending on the you start in say, November, and go through March? Maybe expect 20 storms a winter, and then add a few more in for that case scenario? This is all new to me....

    2) If there is very minimal shoveling, except infront of a few garage doors, and a few doorways + the do you factor that in?

    3) I do not have my own sander on my truck....which is something I'd like in the next season or exactly do I add in salting or sanding? I mean, the one I'm having a bit of a problem figuring out, only has 6 condos in the entire I could literally use two 5 gallon buckets per storm most likely....and maybe a little extra if it spits overnight or something to that extent.

    I guess in the scheme of it, I have never had experience submitting a bid for commercial plots as far as snow removal goes....and yes, I do have insurance by the way, so I know I need to factor that in somehow pricewise..

    Any help is appreciated!

    -Thanks, Danny.
  2. cjames808

    cjames808 Senior Member
    from SE WI
    Messages: 575

    1) When considering events or storms for seasonal really calculate what’s involved and how long it will take. Just because X storms doesn’t mean you’ll go there a matching number of times. Add in cleanup and staking and any other variables.

    2) Minimal shoveling- no. Figure this by the 1or1/2 hour minimum. Your not going to shovel 100’ at several places quickly in repeated storms. Are you stopping the plow to shovel?
    Shoveling more than 2-3”? Probably snow blowing. Deeper storms? Maybe have a separate shoveler or blower guy(s) and maybe jump in after plowing and salting. Keep your people happy and open.

    3) Come on get a tailgate at the least. It’s going to save time and keep you moving. What did you do with the plowing monies earned?
  3. OP

    Dsmits1984 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I could get a tailgate spreader I suppose. I have some money saved, I was just going to go full swing and get a real spreader, but I suppose you're right, for a smaller start up season, I guess the tailgate spreader idea isn't bad at all.

    Any brand you suggest?

    Also, during the lawn care season, I charge $35/HR for labor intensive work such as weeding, spreading mulch, it reasonable to factor in that same cost for the shoveling..? and yes, you are right, bigger storms, it wouldn't be "just a little".

    I appreciate the responses so far CJames.
  4. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,169

    when you work for someone else, is that 20 storms resi?....commercial can be a 24/7 depending on customer, i would think 60 events anywhere in north east would be more realistic
    FredG likes this.
  5. MKM Matty

    MKM Matty Junior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 7

    1) 20 storms is a safe bet to go with.. I usually do seasonal pricing based off 20 events which can be snow/ ice and then I add in another 10 events of just salting/ re freezing/ rain and so on..

    2) shoveling sucks..... Add that in your price, and charge more like $45- 50 hr for that.

    3) There is a ton of liability in snow plowing and not having a sander is at best risky. Find a price from somebody else and add in budget or buy one to start. In order to make money you have to spend money first.

    4) Good luck! In your area there is a ton of snow in the valleys!!!