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Help on bidding, aerial included

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by PLM-1, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. PLM-1

    PLM-1 Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    I am bidding on this "village" for the lawn as well as the snow plowing.

    The picture doesn't show the area complete for some reason but it is. This is a new addition with 104 townhomes (52 buildings). Only 78 drives need to be plowed. All but a handful are 2 car wide by about two cars deep. There is also about a 10 feet piece of sidewalk off of each drive.

    I have a price in mind but haven't ever prices anything with this quantity.

    Give me all your input!

  2. G.M.Landscaping

    G.M.Landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    I'm curious what others will say. How many people on your crew? "Only 78 drives":eek:
    Looks like a nice account. I can't give you any help since I've never had anything that big.
  3. WMHLC

    WMHLC Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    what equipment do you have? Skid steer or trucks? Do you trucks have back blades. Figure out how long, and times that by your labor rate.
  4. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    1-2 trucks to plow salt
    1 Skid steer with snowblower
    2-3 guys with 8hp blowers

    Places like this are NEVER worth the hassle/money IMO

    $700/hr minimum

    All depends on lenth and depth of snow.
  5. mrplowdude

    mrplowdude Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    i would say that all you need is a tractor with a pull blade and a truck, one person doing walks.

    It won't be a lot of money though because people always bid low to get the job.
  6. PLM-1

    PLM-1 Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    2 Trucks: F250 7.5' 2500HD 8.5'
    Grasshopper with a blade for sidewalks

    I was figuring about $12 per drive including the sidewalk. I know it's going to be low. How low is the question...:cry:
  7. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    Why go low? There are much better contracts/properties out there.

    Let the companys that have to keep several trucks/equipment and a dozen employees busy in the winter handle these jobs.
  8. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

  9. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    2 guys in trucks ($200/hr each) = $400/hr
    1 guy in Skidsteer = $200/hr
    3 guys with blowers (say $33/hr each) = $100/hr


    For a total of $700/hr

    In and out in about 2-3 hrs. depending on storm.

    What part of my figures DON'T you understand?
  10. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    I understand all of them, just not sure how you arrived at these figures.

    How is a truck worth $200, but labor is worth $33 an hour ?
    Sounds pretty lopsided to me, your at both ends of pricing extremes. I know you guys in Jersey get more then anywhere else but $33.00 for labor ?
    What I stated was he is located in Missouri. I really doubt he can charge 200 an hour for a truck, I dont think 33 an hour for labor will be a problem anywhere though.
  11. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    Trucks cost $40,000
    Snowblowers cost $400

    I may be a little low on the snowblower guys' rate I guess. I was trying to get it to come out to an even dollar figure. :rolleyes:

    Shovelers (Mexican stick plows) routinely get $20-30/hr.

    But I'm right on target (if not a bit low) on what a CONTRACT holder charges per truck.

    Lets put it this way....if your NOT getting $200/hr per truck your not charging enough.

    Bottom line....there is much more money in other types of plowing to just pass up big headaches such as these townhouses. You don't have one person to please, you have 104 (or 78 if your lucky) people whining as to why they're not done first. Townhouse association contracts are for the birds. They NEVER go for enough money to make them worthwhile if there are NO problems and everything goes perfect.
  12. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

  13. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    I dont have laborers. So I have no PERSONAL experience other than what guys in my area are paying. Oh, I'm far from an expert in any area.

    What does that mean? Where did I ever say 200% profit margin?

    What do you feel my caliber is? For straight labor....$85/hr??? Thats a bit high don't you think?

    Throw in salting with a plowing, and I average double that and then some.

    This guy is in Joplin MO, not Erie PA. Where did you pull Erie PA from?
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2006
  14. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    You claim if you cannot get $200 per truck hour your not charging enough ?
    So I dropped Erie pa. for an example !!! These "CONTRACT" holders are lucky to see $50.00 an hour for pickups !!!
    I will state this again:
    NEW JERSEY guys get way more then anywhere else !!!
    Ask the Ohio gang contract holders if they see anything near 200 an hour. Ask the Illinois gang if they see any thing near 200 an hour. How about Michigan snowbelt boys ???
    On some occasions you might be lucky to come close to that number.
    Any fool who thinks they can just charge 200 an hour (because a guy in Jersey told him to) , bid at that rate and expect to get work is definitely in for a surprise in "most" areas. If you have any intentions of working you can only charge what the market will accept.
    I'm not trying to argue with you here, but
    How the frig can you tell a guy in Joplin to charge no less then 200 an HOUR !!!!
    You said 2 trucks, a skid loader and 3 laborers around 2-3 hours:
    $700 per hour. So $1400 or $2100 not much help for this guy is it.

    Laborer's: $33 an hour is cheap how the hell can you charge "TOP" dollar for a pickup, but give away labor. (If you have any business aptitude you know zero profit at that rate).
    The 200% was fictitious but I would bet not that far off for a pickup billed out at $200 an hour. I guarantee your cost is no where near that number. Lets just use 60 an hour "cost" for a pickup X 200% is 120.00 = 180.00 so still haven't hit 200 an hour !
    Labor "cost" $30 X 200% = $90.00 an hour. Simple math
    The salt should not be included in your "hourly plowing rate" unless you run only one truck, and never, ever use just a plow truck. Much easier to figure out plowing cost's and keep salt on it's own seperate line.

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2006
  15. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    And that's exactly the problem with all these posts asking "What should I charge?". Then getting upset when people say "It depends on local custom" or not getting any replies at all. I think it would be an idea if those who are regulars could come up with a way to address these questions, but at the same time let them know that what works in one area will not in another. Sometimes it would even depend on circumstances, like bigger, well-established companies with specialized equipment can command more than the guy with one truck - even for the same area to be plowed.

    What does everybody think about starting a separate thread addressing this issue?
  16. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    There you go dropping State names again. Who here, involved in THIS thread is from NEW JERSEY???
    Once again....Whats with the NEW JERSEY, now your bringing in OHIO???
    Oh, I totally agree. I just assumed that MO was a demographic that was similar to my area (Didn't get all that MUCH snow, hence the ability to charge a similar rate).
    REALLY??? Hate to see you try. :rolleyes:
    Actually, I think it's pretty good help. You said you'd charge $1600 a push. My price comes out very similar. And he is using a somewhat similar amount of equipment.
    CONTRACTORS in my area pay the following hourly rate for subs:
    Pickup w/plow = $70-$90
    Bigger Dump w/Salter = $100-$125
    Skidsteer = $100-$150 (depending on bucket/pusher,etc)
    Shovelers = $20-$30 (they're tough to get and tougher to keep)

    So, by me throwing out there a figure of $33 (mainly to make 3 guys equal $100) to walk behind YOUR snowblower, YES I was off a bit, but not much. You could probably get a few guys to be happy to make $20/hr using YOUR snowblower.
    There is ZERO investment in labor of this type. Trucks cost $40,000. Laborers don't drop trannys, laborers don't rust out. How much do shovelers get paid out in Chicagoland?
    How is it "easier"??? EVERY commercial job gets salt 100% of the time anyway. Why not figure it into what each truck nets?

    I don't mean to sound harsh, ( I started out trying to help PLM-1 out and steer him away from such jobs that he may not be ready to bid on. Showing him that these jobs require a LOT of attention and patience. That requires charging properly to make it worth while.) but you were the one coming in ranting and comparing it to Naples FL.

    Whats the next town and state going to be? :dizzy:
  17. PLM-1

    PLM-1 Senior Member
    Messages: 424

    Just to clear a few things up, this area I am bidding on is in Kansas City, KS.
  18. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    Oh....So it's not NJ, FL, OH, or PA??? :dizzy: :rolleyes: :eek:

  19. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    TLS, I guess in "YOUR" area (basically New Jersey) you get what you can from customers. How you arrive at these numbers are obviously just something you pull out of your hat.
    The idea of pricing is something that is discussed heavily here and is basically based on "cost" plus your mark up. When you say your laborers don't drop trannys your right, but insurance, taxes etc. are all overhead. Add up the figures plus your markup and you have your "true hourly cost". Markups usually dont very by the task or piece of equipment at hand.
    Just Because Moe's plowing charges 200 an hour does not mean Curly's plowing has the same overhead so they need to charge the same to turn a profit.
    In your previous posts you "Boldly" stated you must charge 200.00 an hour for a truck. I hope your business stays next door to Jersey with those prices as you will not have "any" work in most other parts of the country.
    I dont pull numbers from hats, as I know there are a few here who dont as well. The hourly rates we actually get and make money, and what we want to get can be had I guess if we move to Philly.
    Salt if figured for plowing rates is basically foolish if you have a dedicated salt truck right. Do all trucks salt ?? Well if you answered yes then that would be fine figuring salt in your hourly rates. If you answered no then things get messed up quick trying to add , or deduct salting.
    Sorry you got so confused on all my posts. :D

    PLM-1 sorry for getting side tracked here, my original post is what I would
    still recommend. Like Mick was stating you kind of need to find someone more local to help you with acceptable hourly rates for your region. $200 is very high for a plow truck unless you live in the Jersey area.

  20. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    :help: How many times do I have to tell you.....I don't live in Jersey. :realmad:

    But from what I hear, they make even more payup

    My issue with all this pricing talk is that trucks and plows basically cost the same (or very close) EVERYWHERE in the country. What I make while out plowing/salting is good money for a job that is tougher than ANY other on a truck. I would just stay home if I had to make your figures/hr with my equipment. :(