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HELP! Per push price increments PER PUSH GUYS ONLY

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by lee157, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. lee157

    lee157 Junior Member
    Messages: 23


    Been around the site a couple years now and mostly an observer but looking for some input now.

    I live in SW Indiana and we see little snow for the most part. I have been pushing for 14 years now but have the need for some input.

    A normal snow for us would be 2" to maybe 6" and most all of our contracts trigger @ 2". I have this part down and am comfortable with my pricing.

    A couple weeks ago December 22-23 we got the what some may call 100 yr snow,,,,,, 22.3 inches in about 30 hrs,,,,, this just don't happen around here.

    I think I got my butt kicked on my deep snow pricing,, I think my pricing is weak after the 6" mark.

    What I want to know is how you per push guys break your pricing on increments.

    Lets say I have a 3 1/2 " snow this is in my 2-4 bracket,,,,,, now lets say we have a 7" snow this is in my 6-8 bracket.

    Should the 7" snow be double (100%) the 3 1/2" snow or 80% 60% 50%?????

    This is where I need help, don't really need to know your private pricing just your method.

    I have looked through old posts but didn't quite find my answer, I thank you all for your time.

    Lee M Wirthwein
    L&M Excavating
  2. ZamboniHDB

    ZamboniHDB Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    When the snow finally reaches 12 inches, the pricing has doubled the first set of brackets (1 1/2 - 4 inches). When the snow exceeds 12 inches, I charge the 12 inch base pricing plus a surcharge for every inch exceeding 12.

    Just my .02¢
  3. IndySnowPlow

    IndySnowPlow Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 214

    Fellow Hoosier :) This is an easy one to answer for you...

    Use this type table, it has worked for us for yeeaarrrrrrrs...

    2-4" = $ (per push price)
    4.01-6.0" =$ ( add per push + 50% )
    6.01-8.0" =$ ( 4-6 price + 50% )
    8.01 + over 8" automatic goes to an hourly rate.
    Tractors / skidsteer etc. ALWAYS an hourly rate.

    Rarely do we get over the 8" mark, but when it does like on Dec. 23 -24 of this year.... Ya, it was GREAT. We hit our winter services goal for income on the 1st snow of the season thanks to the over 8" hourly rate.
  4. lee157

    lee157 Junior Member
    Messages: 23


    I posted this in 2 forums and so far I am equal (now anyway) to one answer I found searching and one reply I got on the other forum plus anothe local guy I called here in my area and he said he has two friends in the same business priced about the same.


    I am slightly lower than your #'s, given my past contracts and the difference with the new ones for next year there is a big difference so I'm not sure how much I want to push the issue (no pun intended) most of my work is through one developer.

    I may stick with what I got now and up it the again next season (06-07)

    Basically what you gave me would be,,,
    up to 4 = $100
    up to 6 = $150
    up to 8 = $225

    What I have now would put me @
    up to 4 = $100
    up to 6 = $135
    up to 8 = $170

    what I had before and am stuck on now (04-05) has me at
    up to 4 = $100
    up to 6 = $113
    up to 8 = $128
    so I got screwed on this last one :yow!:

    I will wait to see how much input I get before I fix the next year price.
  5. lee157

    lee157 Junior Member
    Messages: 23


    What I am looking at now puts me a bit higher than your pricing, if my
    up to 4 = $100
    up to 12 = $239

    I'm not sure if I had Indy's price understood correctly he may have meant that his up to 8 = $200 instead of $225 maybe he will correct me???
  6. SGLC

    SGLC Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    Another Per Push Question

    When you price per push and the total accumulation for the day is 8" but you got the first 4" and then a second trip for 4" you'd only charge for 2 pushes at 4" each correct?

    So if you are triggered at 2" what makes you get 8" not getting to it first as in third on your list? Or just a huge dump.
  7. lee157

    lee157 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Correct on the first part not sure what you meant on the 2nd part but I'll try,,

    by the time we went out we had 6" on the ground so they were billed @ 6",, as the day and night went on we got into deeper pushes some were billed @ 12" and then we hit EVERTHING again after that so what we hit first got billed @ deeper inches the 2nd time as more snow fell on them than what we cleaned towards the end, the last lots cleaned the first time got billed a minimum the second time.

    With my deep snow pricing being screwed up I figure it cost me around $6000 to learn my pricing was off,,,,,

    OK I'll take that blindfold now and uh,,, here's the bullet make it quick please,,,,, :gunsfiring:
  8. lee157

    lee157 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Just to save my looking like an idiot,,

    in the whole 14 yrs I have pushed snow I only had 2 snows over 6" the first one being my 2nd year and I was using a tractor with loader and grader blade working by the hour and then this last snow so I haven't had much experience with deep snow.

    We did have 2 yrs ago 6" of SLEET yes little ice balls, 9000# of snowplow truck and drove onto the lots not even leaving a track for the most part,,, took a learning on that one but salvaged it by billing out what the weather service said the snow equivelent was and I had no compliants.

    Stuff was like pushing sand.
  9. T-MAN

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

    So over 8" goes to automatic hourly rate ? Is this your Hourly operations target rate or is it inflated for the big storm ? Wondering for futture bidding.
    Thanks, Todd
  10. IndySnowPlow

    IndySnowPlow Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 214

    No over inflated pricing at all.....

    The hourly rate is figured into the incremental rate so that once you hit the 8" benchmark your not trying to over run your equipment ( overhead ) costs.

    Using this type of formula ( rate ) works the best for me. I have tried many ways and this hits the >gross profit< target$$ + everytime.

    Factor: Estimated hours X rate $ ( hourly ) = $

    Basic mathematics: Estimated it will take 2 hrs. to do customer lot. I get it done in 1.5hrs, Im now +.5hrs ahead...so using this type of method once you hit the benchmark 8" (or whatever you want) your net gain has already kicked in.

    Basic knowledge: You have to know how to estimate production for each piece of equipment your using. If you dont, then your only guessing at it.

    Sure, its easy to just take a guess...but as most people on here wont admit (ok some do) they end up loosing their butts on payout or they(single operators) just dont make as much as they could have.....because their guessing at what it would take to make a profit.
  11. lee157

    lee157 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    In my case I had never plowed anything over 6" of snow, just don't happen where I am so I took a beating on what I should have made, I ended up between $90 and $100 an hour so I guess it wasn't just horrible but I do wish I had that $200 an hour I was used to.

    So my loss I took, well you do the math I billed out $12,000 and I figure I made half my hourly average.

    Hell that was a free truck,,, :cry:

    DERBYDON Member
    Messages: 39

    You didn't do to bad. I don't know where they get $200 an hour, but in Louisville we are around $120-$130/hr over 8".

    My customers all had price shock. Suggestion on how to deal with it. Because so much was ice, we really couldn't clear to pavement until it started warming up. I hand delivered the invoice from Dec 22 through Sunday Dec 27th on Monday AM. Customers went Ape S#@t and complained they still didn't have dry pavement.

    Explained to them that we have snowplows, not Coast Guard IceBreakers, threw in "courtesy cleanups" - basically capped their bill - and all was happy.

    Explained that with a 8" snowfall hourly trigger, they (the customer) "win" on snowfall from 4-8", as it takes me far longer to clear their lot. I "win" on a 2-4" snow. On average it comes out fair.

    Didn't see the point in crying to customers about all the busted snow shovels, trip spring bolts, ...and all my other expenses associated with a BFS (Big F---ing Snow).

    After this snow, everyone wants to sign a contract for snow removal, and any customers who want to drop me or welcome to go right ahead.

    ABSOLUTELY MOST JOYFUL MOMENT of plowing I ever had was when a grocery store owner, who I had tried to sign up two months prior, asked me to "take 10 minutes" to clear his lot. I reminded him he told me that he didn't need a snow removal contract in Louisville, Ky, and informed him (politely) I would clear his lot in three days. Oh what joy...
  13. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Try it this way guys, the more snow in front of you the harder work and more stress you put on your truck so instead of charging more simple plow more often like I do.
    I plow between 3 and 6 inches NEVER over 6 inches and depending on the snow (New England gets wet heavy stuff alot) I plow in between. So, a 5 inch storm gets 1 pass per customer at $X, a 7 inch storm gets 2 passes per customer at 2 times $X, an 8 inch storm gets between 2 and 3 times....etcetera. It's the same work to plow the first 4 inches of snow as it is the 3rd 4 inches so charge the same and come more often don't over work yourself and truck trying to plow through 8 inches.

    Now, the customers that wait for 7 inches on the ground before calling me and asking to be plowed out usually don't do that again once they realize how much I am going to charge them to push that 7 inches at 1 time. System has been working for me for 8 years and counting and I haven't had to advertise for customers- new ones every year by word of mouth so I have no complaints.