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Help with bid for 1 mile of road

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by OConnorLLC, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. OConnorLLC

    OConnorLLC Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    I have plowed for a few years but never on my own always for other companys. Now the time has come and a development that I have worked in wants me to place a bid for them for snow plowing. Its 1 mile worth of road with 3 culdesacs they would like a price per inch. with a 1 inch trigger and salting only when icy conditons occour. Could someone help with this?:confused:
  2. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow plowing

    To begin with you are dealing with 2 count them-2 lane miles of road being slight ly less than 11,000 feet plus the cul-de-sacs and they are hoping you will sign a contract that will save them a lot of money period.

    Per inch is either gold mine or a trap depending on ones point of view and then the argument about measurements is the issue as they will split hairs about snow depths versus simply plowing twice a day dependent upon conditions and your discreation.

    They are looking to save money which is no favor for you and using a road grader for snow plowing does several things for you

    1. A wider moldboard plow to reduce plowing time

    2. More wieght for scraping the ice and snow AND down pressure.

    3. much higher visibility in all directions as the operators platform is very high above the road.

    Roads are plowed to maintain a safe travel speed dependent entirely upon conditions.
    Off highway private roads are the type that are not regulated by the DOT recommended
    normal operating and maintenance methods.

    I have mentioned it before and will mention it again here a 6 wheel drive road grader from Volvo with loaded tires will do everything for you and then some, you could use a truck to plow the cul-de-sacs and salt when needed.

    Leasing the smallest Volvo road grader from october to may would be a much easier and less troublesome way to do this because the machine is a rental and they wil maintain it if so arranged with the Volvo dealer.

    You could do it seasonally with a leased road grader and salt accordingly

    The road grader wil give you a very very large field of view and be a god send at night with HID lighting.

    Leasing cost for a small Volvo road grader for 7 months will probably run you 14-16 thousand dollars for 7 months but it is a machine that wil handle everything short of a blizzard.

    If the cul de sacs are large enough you could also use the smallest Volvo road grader and road plowing wont be an issue because you will be able to plow a wider swath at one time.

    You could do a multi year seasonal plowing contract and if you can use the grader for the cul de sacs it will save you time and work and you will be able to plow other jobs with the road grader if space permits it

    Plowing at 5 miles per hour is 440 feet per minute and 11000 feet of plowing with a grader
    will require 25 minutes per trip and a little less than an hour for both directions.
    plowing the cul de sacs with a truck if required can push the snow out and the grader can remove it.

    Plowing slowly lets you see everything and allows you to reverse and scrape when needed as you are sitting well above the roadway looking down at it.
  3. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    So leon do you think this housing development is going to be willing to pay 14 thousand a year to be able to afford this miracle machine your suggesting? I would bet against it. 1 mile of road equals 2 miles of plowing. Just a regular 3/4 ton pickup will handle this without any problems at all. I don't understand what the need for a road grader is?

    Oconnerllc, just figure out your average plowing speed. If you have plowed for other people this should not be a problem at all. Figure the culdesacs at 10 to 20 additional minutes each depending on the size of them, and plug in your hourly rate for the whole job. Your sale useage should average about 1/2 a ton or so depending on the size of the culdesacs, and the ice conditions.
  4. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    private road etc.

    First and foremost;

    If they are attempting to contract their snow removal for a private road rather than transfer the ownership of the road to the municipality that should tell you something;

    They obviously wish to find a low cost snow plowing service.

    They know little to nothing about snow removal

    They will argue over snow plowing amounts where the use of road grader can do it quickly 2 times a day and be used effectively in the event of a snow storm with a V plow on the nose of the grader.

    1. a road grader is not a miracle machine

    2 horse drawn road graders were used to build roads and TO PLOW THEM.
    a. the truck mounted snow plow is simply an out growth of the horse drawn road grader so
    lets be sure we clarify this.

    3. road graders are still used to plow roads all over the world.

    4. an even smaller road grader of the type used for asphault could be used
    but is limited in its versatlity as they are not heavy or road legal like the smallest road
    graders built by the major equipment builders.

    5. I simply suggested the road grader as and option to allow him an excellent opportunity
    to obtain a long term contract (10 years plus) as they obviously intend to nickle and
    dime him with "their" designed pricing method.

    6. the cost of operation for a road grader over a long term will be less than a plow truck as the road grader
    WILL live longer and be easier to repair AT any time.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  5. Mick

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

    Just a wild guess, but I'd say the winning bid will be around $2,000 for the season or $250 a push. This is based on $100 a lane-mile and $50 for the cul-de-sacs. Not saying it's "right", just that's what I'd expect for that area in this economy.

    Thinking about renting a grader for this is ridiculous.
  6. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I am not saying anything bad about road graders. I am just saying that there is no way at all they are going to want to pay that kind of money for a 1 mile road. If he had 20 miles of road, and a big commercial lot within driging distance, then yes, a grader might be the ideal thing to use.
  7. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    private road

    If they can afford these homes thay can surely afford paying for snow removal.

    a seasonal rate per home owner dependent upon the number of homes and the road as a factor can be managed no mention of the layout or whether a end loop turnaround or fan was mentioned nor issues with drainage ditches if any.

    All they are looking for is a bargain and that is the issue with what little information he has given us.

    The number homes has not beeen discussed and a seasonal contract with each homeowner is a win win with a very large tractor and Pronovost PXPL86 or PXPL92 inch snow blower mounted on a hig horse power row crop tractor or a bi-directional tractor is a much less expensive option but I suppose some one will say thats foolish as well.

    Three passes with a the PXPL86 and its done no matter the accumulation and the snow blower will remove it completely
    to the road surface.

    So its OK to charge 250 dollars a per day 7 days per week during the snow season assuming you plow once per day its $7,500 U.S.D. per month for 30 days of plowing per month?

    For the snow season from Sptember 1 to May 1 that will drive them to the municipality in one season which again proves that they dont know anyrthing about snow removal.

    Even buying a used road grader from a job completion or disposal auction will cost even less money AND he would not be limited to just these customers with the road graders utility and ability to move quickly from customer to customer.

    Its not my fault they build these homes away from municipal roads and fire protection without thinking!!!!!!

    If a fire department or EMS service cannot successfully acccess a fire scene in progress its not going to happen period and this happens a lot with swampy areas, as a fire service will end up with a centralised pumper and portable pond and lay hose from the road to the fire scene.

    It happened at the Eco Village as they had several cluster homes burn to the ground because the access was unavailable due to the design of the cul de sacs and the dirt road being soft so the all the unused unfinished homes going up were burned to the ground.

    They had to fix their roads to comply with the size and weight of the fire rescue vehicles
    in order to be properly served and insured.

    They brought in several thousand yards of gravel to widen and repair thier "Cat Path" and they have to maintain it every year with a vibrating roller and additional gravel every year as it was simply laid on the ground with no sub base or drainage tile.

    Oh, and the fire pond was frozen from what I remember as well so they were equally screwed BECAUSE THEY DID NOT PLAN OR DESIGN ANY METHOD OF FIRE PROTECTION which they had to fix and repair after the fact.

    The hydrant pressure at the road below the fires was about 12 pounds per square inch gauge before the 600,000 gallon equalizing tank was installed and they could not run rigid line or flexible hose due to the ground conditions from the lower road as a bonus..

    SO, they have a new pumping station and an equalizing pressure balancing tank of 600,000 gallons of minucipal water for potable water and fire protection on their property to augment the cobbed up mess they have attached to the municipal connection at the lower road which my taxes pay for and I am unable to use.

    Its not my fault these fools did not build a road with a turn around loop/fan at the bottom past all the homes which is done with dead end municipal roads.

    Everyone forgets that a cubic foot of snow wieghs 21 pounds and if the road is 16 feet wide (which sincerely I doubt) he is going to have
    1,775 tons of snow to deal with if it is a foot deep and if the snow is simply psuhed aside it will freeze eventually and limit his ability to remove heavy accumulations.

    If the frame on the plow truck breaks he is equally screwed.

    I did not design the mess he is getting involved in!!!
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  8. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    This will increase your confidence in bidding

    Snow & Ice Management Bidding Package
    #1 Snow & Ice Management Manual – this is a comprehensive manual covering all aspects of snow & ice management for both residential and commercial accounts. Also includes application rates for many different deicing materials.

    #2 Snow & Ice Management CD full of templates for contracts, route sheets, hours of operation sheets, Who’s first, proposal formats, don’t take the risk template for clients, sample invoices, sample marketing forms and much more. All these templates are in Microsoft Word format and are completely customizable to your business.

    #3 Snow & Ice Management Quick Estimator CD – calculates per push, per event, hourly or season contracts. Also calculates material application rates for both granular and liquid applications for any deicing material that you may be using. This CD also calculates time and material for application of material, and hand labor as well. This CD runs in Microsoft Excel and is not software. You simply fill in the blanks and you have your estimate.

    Go to www.profitsareus.com or call us at 800-845-0499 to order. Feel free to call us with any questions you might have as well. Being a full-service lawn & landscaping business myself since 1979, I know what a contractor is looking for; something simple, accurate and professional. This package is it.
  9. ss502gmc

    ss502gmc Senior Member
    Messages: 473

    I would talk them into an hourly rate. If there is a sizable snow storm you are going to be dedicated to that road for the entire event. I believe a per inch basis would not be in your best interest. You are probably looking at around an hour of plow time per push give or take depending on the siz of the cul de sacs and im sure if you sent them a bill for $3000 for a 12' snow fall you would probably never here from them again. Roads are easy to plow and cul de sacs arent bad. I will plow roads between 15 and 25mph depending on the road condition. When i plowed for my town i was responsible for 3 miles of road with 2 culdesacs and could be done with one complete push in just over an hour so bid accordingly. Good Luck