Help from the "Big Guys"

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SlimJim Z71, Dec 6, 2000.

  1. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    This is for all of you who do the big commercial lots. I eventually plan on getting more trucks, and taking on some big accounts. How do you guys charge for a place like say a Best Buy or something... or a hospital? We get about 35-40" of snow per year here. Do you go with a monthly contract, or a per plow? Thanks!

  2. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    Seasonal contract price. Salt extra.

    And we tag 1 pick-up and 1 loader w/snowpusher per site. (Big sites may have 2 teams)
  3. let it snow

    let it snow Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Well dont know if this will help but i do alot of walgreens stores and i have contracts with them from 11-01-00 to 3-31-01 and some stores will give a cash pay out thats nice :eek:) and some stores i just send the bill in and it takes 30 days to get paid on but but i go by how hard the lot is and where the snow has to go some stores go from 125.00 to 250.00 per push 2-4 inches
  4. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I would get a seasonal contract on a big one,preffeably a 2 yr at the minimum.You'll be better off with a loader/pusher than any more trucks.Get jobs back to back so you can drive the loader to the next jobsite.
  5. SLC1

    SLC1 Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    On our large sites we have one Loader with pusher and a one ton dump with plow and sander on site, depending upon how many walks we will also have shoveler crews on site. I would never go with anything other than seasonal contracts for a large site and if you have to make any investment in equipement for the site then make sure that it is a multi-year contract we run most of our large sites for at least 3 years and some as long as 5 years. Just MY Two cents
  6. GeoffD

    GeoffD Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Seasonal Contract.

    Another thing if you are going to get a big lot, and use a snow pusher one of the fast methods of clearing a lot. I would ask the company for a 1-3 year contract. You are going to shell out a lot more cash up fron then opperating with a truck or two. You will need to buy a pusher, lease or buy a loader, higher insurance ( I would want a higher liablity coverage for a large lot compared to what you are doing now), the list goes on and on.

    Another reason why I would want a 1-3 contract on your first big lot, because you are just getting started. If you don't get the lot next year, and can't find another one to take it's place, you have a pusher with no where to go. This way with a 3 year contract you get a good profit off that pusher, and by then you have hopefully gained a foothold in the big lot market.

    Equipment wise.

    The loader w/pusher
    1 ton truck with plow and sander. Just remember if you have something like an F 550 you can use a bigger sander.

  7. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    I was in the same position your're in right now two months ago, property magagemet co we deal with asked us to bid some plazas, max a pickup could do, one was two big I didn't even bid it. My contact(maintance guy)that was contact person said they were "all inclusive contract"meaning shoveling walks, plowing lots ice control on both. I was confused because their was also a price per ton for salt? After I submited the bid I found out salt was not to be include in price, I was told I was the higest by far(1 property by $ 10,000), They went with the lowest bidder, the guy is a crook, I know I bought a truck from him. I figure he's lowballing the plowing & adding extra salt that's never used or salting constantly. Now I know.
    Sucks they were two year contracts, the way contact was talking they wern't even up for bid, I already had them. O'well I know now learning from experience, each contract is different.
  8. HandyHaver

    HandyHaver Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    I did the same thing earlier this year. I wasn't sure how to bid commercial and ended up 21/2 times higher than the winning bidder. It's always easier to come down ( if you get the chance) than it is to increase your bid. This all worked out for the best and hope to bid it next year. I will be prepared this time...................
  9. John Allin

    John Allin Addict
    Messages: 1,327


    Eventually, it catch's up with the crooks. Always does. Stay honest. It's easier to look in the mirror that way.

    Don't lie, and you never have to remember what you said.

    Stay on this forum and associate with honest, hardworking, intelligent plowers. We like you that way, even if the crooks do get some of the work at times.
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    John, this guy is the largest plowing contractor around, I see his pushers all over, drove by his shop yesterday, on way to pick up my fianece from work, his salt bin looks like it holds maybe 50 yard at most,I didn't get a good look. I pulled the contracts again they want lots in " clear lot" condition, maybe just salt to the max, plow only when nesscessary?plowing priced seasonally, salt per ton. Do it honestly, but salt whenever needed or questionable & presalt also?
  11. John Allin

    John Allin Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    What I meant was... quote it honestly.
    One thing about very large contractors..... they sometimes know their margins to a 'T' and can quote numbers that seem low, but they know their productivity numbers very well. I'm not at all justifying what may have taken place in your market with this fellow... but if they are using snow pushers, their productivity may be quite high with an experienced operator.

    Now... that doesn't justfy 'baiting and switching' on the part of the contractor (if that is the case), nor does it justify padding the salt quantities. It's just one thought.

    I've been there too. Even in our market. We have one contractor locally that is quoting hourly rates that are below what he is paying his subs. One of his "main men" goes into local bars and brags that the guy he is working for is adding "ghosts" to the billing to make money. It sucks, and burns my butt to know it's happening and also knowing that we cannot get a foot in the door with the property manager.

    Sometimes you just gotta live with the poop that gets dumped on ya.....
  12. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 702

    There are certain people who have taken work from me in the past and I just smile at the customer and say " well keep us in mind if you ever need or services again" because I know that they will be back or at least I will get another shot at it. I find that for most guys snow is a hassle and not a hobby so they either tire of it or they don't perform like they should or alot of times they try to get way above a "good profit margin" and the customer gets stung. Then they start talking and before long your competition is working harder than you are to get business.