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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all...

Long time stalker...first time poster.

Been plowing just a few yrs now. One of my customers is a large corp for whom I currently do smaller properties. They now want me to submit a contract for 4 miles of sidewalk according to the same terms I do their other properties - plowing/salting @ 0 tolerance for the entire season for an unlimited number of visits. For me this is kind of a big deal lol

They've proven they have no problem cutting a check. The problem is me. I don't have bobcats or ATV's because I've only been a 2 truck operation doing, for example -neighborhood church sized lots that hold 150 cars at most. So I don't know what to price or what to expect from a sub. The beauty is I don't have to bid or compete, its mine to price.

The sidewalks are off a major road with limited traffic for it's size. It's most flat, but there's a 2 block portion that's slightly elevated so it's buried under 3ft of snow from drifting and past storms since it's never been done. This portion worries me most.

I need your advice please....
 

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Where are you located and what's the annual snowfall and typical event amount?
Width of the walks?
Are you considering using subs, or doing it yourself?
Good sidewalk subs are hard to find and keep. The same is true for sidewalk employees.
I've had good and bad. Had a sub drop the ball in the middle of a big event and never return. I limped through that season with 1 crew and using construction employees to help out
and replaced them the next season.

Sounds like you need a blower and a broom and blade, depending on what falls.
Another thing to consider along the major road is the municipal plows burying the walk. This could add at the very least, 1 return. Probably some thaw and refreeze to consider too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Where are you located and what's the annual snowfall and typical event amount?
Width of the walks?
Are you considering using subs, or doing it yourself?
Good sidewalk subs are hard to find and keep. The same is true for sidewalk employees.
I've had good and bad. Had a sub drop the ball in the middle of a big event and never return. I limped through that season with 1 crew and using construction employees to help out
and replaced them the next season.

Sounds like you need a blower and a broom and blade, depending on what falls.
Another thing to consider along the major road is the municipal plows burying the walk. This could add at the very least, 1 return. Probably some thaw and refreeze to consider too.
I'm kind of near you in Chicago. It's been weird here. Typically we get 2-3" but the last several seasons have been minimal except for a couple of big storms. This season we're in the middle of 3 weeks worth of 2-6 inchers. The rest of this season could bring a blizzard and then nothing else. Or we could get a couple inches in Feb.
Late March is typically the end of it but we could get a surprise.

Sidewalks are 5 x 5. You're correct about good help..hard to find. I'd prefer to do it myself. But not at all opposed to subbing. I think the paycheck would help me to upgrade my equipment.
 

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It looks like he said seasonal, zero tolerance unlimited number of visits.
That's kind of how I took it, but he didn't really make it clear how they want pricing.

"Zero tolerance" (read:impossible) sidewalks and 4 miles of them without any equipment or manpower is quite a challenge to bite off at the end of January. If the width can handle it, a 3000 series Deere or L series Kubota would be great. Broom blade or blower, and hydraulic drop spreader.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's kind of how I took it, but he didn't really make it clear how they want pricing.

"Zero tolerance" (read:impossible) sidewalks and 4 miles of them without any equipment or manpower is quite a challenge to bite off at the end of January. If the width can handle it, a 3000 series Deere or L series Kubota would be great. Broom blade or blower, and hydraulic drop spreader.
I'd love to have a Kubota in my arsenal! Just to need the right accts to pull the trigger.
 

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I'm kind of near you in Chicago. It's been weird here. Typically we get 2-3" but the last several seasons have been minimal except for a couple of big storms. This season we're in the middle of 3 weeks worth of 2-6 inchers. The rest of this season could bring a blizzard and then nothing else. Or we could get a couple inches in Feb.
Late March is typically the end of it but we could get a surprise.

Sidewalks are 5 x 5. You're correct about good help..hard to find. I'd prefer to do it myself. But not at all opposed to subbing. I think the paycheck would help me to upgrade my equipment.
I just had the weather discussion with a client yesterday. Typically we'd get 1-4" events and 1 or 2 bigger events. Not lately.
@John_DeereGreen has the right idea.
I've been subbing walks out for about 5 years, but always had the machines and manpower to back them up when needed. The guys on the construction crew didn't really enjoy it, but they got
1.5 times the regular pay, so they'd do it.
Investing 10s of thousands on equipment for one site might not make you money, but 4 miles is quite a bit and probably doable if you have other uses for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just had the weather discussion with a client yesterday. Typically we'd get 1-4" events and 1 or 2 bigger events. Not lately.
@John_DeereGreen has the right idea.
I've been subbing walks out for about 5 years, but always had the machines and manpower to back them up when needed. The guys on the construction crew didn't really enjoy it, but they got
1.5 times the regular pay, so they'd do it.
Investing 10s of thousands on equipment for one site might not make you money, but 4 miles is quite a bit and probably doable if you have other uses for them.
Thanks for the insight. I do property maintenance all year so finding uses for it outside of this acct shouldnt be an issue.

Any ideas on pricing?
 

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Damn, 4 miles is a lot of walks! You’re gonna have to spend some serious money to get the right equipment for that. Not only that, you will need a backup plan if equipment breaks or malfunctions. Really, the equipment you decide on will have the most impact on your time to do it and the price you charge. Blower, broom and drop salter. I wouldn’t use a plow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Damn, 4 miles is a lot of walks! You're gonna have to spend some serious money to get the right equipment for that. Not only that, you will need a backup plan if equipment breaks or malfunctions. Really, the equipment you decide on will have the most impact on your time to do it and the price you charge. Blower, broom and drop salter. I wouldn't use a plow.
yea...think i'll sub out the initial clean then try and maintain the rest myself with upgraded equipment...I may sub out help for big snows which are more rare.
 

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Zero tolerance but they haven't been touched yet?

Like JDG said, zero tolerance is by definition impossible.

4 miles is plenty to pay for a dedicated machine.
 

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Yes
 

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Enough to pay your overhead, labor, and desired profit.

Which is different than mine.
 

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If it has not been touched this season yet it is probably rock hard. Your going to have to price the initial clean up first then give them a price per trip. You got over 21K feet which may be the way you will need to price it by the foot.

Is it all straight? corners, wheel chair ramps. Your going to need a trackless, bomby or similar Imo. Here you would probably get 15 cents a foot if it is all straight. You go in 2 to 3 times a day your making money.
 

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If it has not been touched this season yet it is probably rock hard.
Freddy, Freddy, Freddy... Oh Freddy...

Yeah probably couple hours of work with the right piece and a phat money maker... Little compact with broom and blower... Drop spreader in rear...
 

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If it has not been touched this season yet it is probably rock hard. Your going to have to price the initial clean up first then give them a price per trip. You got over 21K feet which may be the way you will need to price it by the foot.

Is it all straight? corners, wheel chair ramps. Your going to need a trackless, bomby or similar Imo. Here you would probably get 15 cents a foot if it is all straight. You go in 2 to 3 times a day your making money.
I like your quote much better Fred. I don't know what he will use to do it so it's impossible to determine how long it will take.
 
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