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help with bidding a very large account

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by grottsnowremoval, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. grottsnowremoval

    grottsnowremoval Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I need some help bidding a nearby hospital. There is a 1 inch trigger depth on all the lots, and a bare pavement contract for the ER area. The lots come to a total of about 224,691 sq. ft. There are little to no obstacles in the lots themselves, but during the 5 day working week the lots will be full throughout the entire day. This is a high priority account. It must be open at all times, meaning we right have to stay there for days at a time if the roads are closed. Also, we must remove all of this snow from the lots because they will be needing all available parking spots. We will be dumping the snow at a location about a block away. we figure about 400+ cubic yards of snow to be removed per inch. :eek: Are we accurate with these figures? This is not just one large lot, it is 6 individual lots with some streets in between.

    There is an average of about 90 inches of snow per year here.

    We have a good idea of what we will be pricing for salting and sidewalks, but I would like to see what you would charge for this so we can have a second opinion due to the size and circumstances of an account like this. Thanks!

    Gordon Grott
    Grott Snow Removal
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Is this going to be seasonal pricing ? By the inch or per push ?

    Hopefully JCurtis will chime in here,or maybe PM or e-mail him.He does a hospital as well,and I remember they had to truck away some of the snow as well.He should be able to give you some insight.

    The lot calculations will be pretty easy,I'd say 5-6 hrs if they are fairly open,and not a lot of obstacles.You will have to add more if your working these lots with cars going in and out of them,or there are a lots of obstacles.

    I think your a little low on the amount of snow to be removed.If you do the math,it's closer to 700 yards per inch,if your getting every last bit,which you probably won't.

    If it's a fairly busy hospital,then the traffic may do a lot for you.If you salt the roadways heavy,the cars will track it around,and melt a lot of snow.Especially in the Emergency area.I used to sub guys out to do a hospital,and they rarely had to plow the busy sections much.Just scrape up the slop now and again,when traffic died down.

    Do they want rock salt ? Some places are picky about high traffic areas,and the stuff being tracked into the hospital.You might want to look into some different de-icers for near entrance areas.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2003
  3. grottsnowremoval

    grottsnowremoval Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    we figured 400 by multiplying it out at about 80%. This will probably be a seasonal bid.

  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,238

    This is a little off the subject, but where in Chicago do they get 90 inches per year? I'm in Grand Rapids, MI , we are out of the lake effect snowbelt (somewhat) and our average is only 74 inches.

    I guess on the other hand, if it is going to be seasonal you might want to make sure your average is correct. I thought it was only 35-40 inches in most of Chicago. Just curious.
  5. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862


    Ok, I'm chiming in.....

    First of all lets make one thing clear. My full time job USED to be as a Facilities Management Supervisor responsible for snow removal among other things. I started there 27 years ago as a grounds maintenance staff person. ( grass cutter)

    2nd POINT - Read the words "USED TO BE". Yes after 27 years I was laid off due to a massive cost reduction effort. 81 people were let go, 55 vacant positions were eliminated and many people got their hours reduced to part time.

    As far as plowing hospitals... it is a very labor / time intensive effort. The snow removal operations begin as the snow begins to fall and doesn't stop until everything is cleared up and salted at storms end!

    My former employer never wanted a Seasonal price because they didnt want to pay say $150,000 and have it not snow.

    So they insisted on hourly rates for all equipment and laborers as well as a per load price for salt applied to lots and per bag prices of salt applied to walks.

    Their thinking was ... If it doesn't snow... it doesn't cost us anything.

    Needless to say this is a double edge sword. If it snows alot they pay alot.

    I have to be careful how I talk about my former employer or I jeopardize my severance, so lets just say that the original snow removal budget was blown out of the water in by the end of December. I think we paid ten times over the money budgeted for snow removal, but we did have a bad winter and alot of haulaway costs ( which is extremely expensive)

    Ask the hospital you are bidding on if they have a snow response plan and or policy. Look at it if they will give you a copy of it ( but I bet they don't have one, or its very simple and general if they do)

    If this is your first hospital, you may be better served by giving them hourly rates for equipment. You can spend a lot of time there during and after a storm. Don't forget... all those parking spaces that have cars in them as you plow during the storm need to be cleared after the storm ends and people have gone home
    ( hopefully the other two shifts have a cleared lot to park in when they arrive to work) Hospitals are notorious for NEVER having enough parking and never having a lot closing policy.

    You can make alot of money doing hospitals, but unless you are extremely lucky at estimating an annual/seasonal price I think you will be better off going hourly.

    Good LUCK....

    PS... Hospitals are notorious for wanting monthly billing instead of per storm billing... then guess what They take their sweet time paying . sometimes it can go well past 60, 90 - 120 days.

    Fore warned is fore armed !!!

    For the President's Day Blizzard in February 2003, we hauled snow out of two of our three properties over two days (or should I say nights). We took slightly over 300 triaxle dump truck loads of snow out of the two sites during that period. It was extremely expensive!!!!
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2003
  6. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    If you predict on moving that amount of snow regularly, you may want to investigate a blower for loading trucks. It reduces the volume of snow by a factor of six making the trucking more efficient.
  7. lm116

    lm116 Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    We are responsible for a hospital in our area. Your statement of being there constantly is a 100% correct. We are always there, from the time the event starts, to the time it is over. Also consider that this parking lot will never be empty because the hospital has to maintain a certain number of employees at all times. You will also have to determine when shift changes occur and work around those. On several occasions we have had to park our trucks for 45 minutes until the lots cleared out. It can be crazy at
    times. You will definetly be married to this one.
  8. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    That'd almost enough snow to look at renting a snow melter, at 90 inches, about 2500 tandem truck loads! Is the dumping lot big enough? I know what works for me on a per sq ft basis for my climate, so bidding on the clearing aspect is easy ( If it was here) The removal is a whole different kettle of fish, as we say up here, I look at 75 to $100 per load for trucking depending on distance, and now with environmental issues, finding a dump site is becoming more difficult.
  9. grottsnowremoval

    grottsnowremoval Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    After doing some calculations we have come up with a number around 250,000.00 for everything (push, salt, and removal). Is this around what you would bid for this account without seeing it? :eek:
  10. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I would be careful discussing actual pricing here in a public forum.You never know who is watching.
  11. grottsnowremoval

    grottsnowremoval Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    just looking for a ballpark figure
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2003
  12. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Without giving away what it cost my former employer last year, I would agree that mentioning prices on here is a bad idea.

    If you come up with a ballpark figure on the plowing and salting for the season, I would add things such as a blizzard clause to your contract, stating that over a certain # of inches within a specific period of time constitutes a blizzard and those hours are billed above and beyond the actual seasonal price.

    Then I would seperate the haulaway and to that as per hour basis. The reason I say that is that your local government may throw a few monkey wrenches and roadblocks in your haulaway plan that could cost you money if you quote a flat rate.
  13. gslam88

    gslam88 Senior Member
    Messages: 168


    Just reading your post.. were you let go from Stamford hospital this year???

    I am sorry to hear about that.... I sure the hospital has screwed them selves in the foot....

    Pete :gunsfiring: :gunsfiring: :gunsfiring: bean counters of the hospital
  14. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862


    Yes, I was let go ( along with 80 some odd people) as of July 28th.

    They say it was purely a financial decision.

    OH well, on to bigger and much better things now!!!!!

    At least I have a little time now to do the Honey-DO list that my wife has been after me to get done.

    I hold no ill feelings toward the hospital, It was just business, pure and simply.

    Anyone wanna buy a bridge? or some ocen front property in Phoenix Arizona?????:D
  15. gordyo

    gordyo Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    This wouldn't be that list that we all get with 25 things to do on it and we get through 22 of them and the next weekend the list has 35 things on it to do would it!! ;)

    Sorry to hear about your job loss Jeff, but I am sure with your Networking you will find something even better.
  16. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    :D Yes Jeff,

    Thats exactly the list I am referring too!!!!!!!!!!!

    You're lucky, your list only has that many items on it LOL

    Thanks, I know something better will come along. Its just real bad timing, my wife lost her mom almost three months ago, my daughter who is getting married next month took that real bad ( they were very close)

    NOW THIS, she came crying to me the other day when it happened saying that we could cancel the reception if we had to!

    My daughter is a great kid !, I assured her that that would not be necessary at all! Thankfully, her mom and I put the money away ahead of time.

    If nothing comes along in 6 months, I take what was a part time business and go full time and expand.....;)
  17. rgrimes945

    rgrimes945 Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    The Inclement Weather Contractor

    Be Careful with Hospitals. They have an army of lawyer and cut you to peices when it's time to pay up. we did a contract for a hospital years ago in New York and it was not pretty. if you'll call me I can explain how we fixed some of the problems your facing.if your interested email me or hit me on IM I'll be glad to give you my version of some help. Not that I have all the answers,But I think I can help you avoid a few mistakes

    R Grimes
  18. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    The above post was in 2003
  19. awl1973

    awl1973 Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Hey there, new to the site. Been reading a lot of the forums and topics and so far it has been educational. My brother and I own a property maintenace co. in chicagoland and this year we are expanding into snow removal for our accts. They have asked for bids with a 20% reduction in price from the year before and for them to be flat rated, without salt and removal from the property. I am new to this snow plowing but have been in the trades for years and have quoted a lot of different projects but this sounds like if you get it wrong your f***Ed. I have been trying to find out what site is good to find out how much it snowed in each month in chicagoland last year and more importantly how many days did it snow x-amout of inches that day so I can get an avg of how many times did guys have to go out last year and plow each month. This is my delima. Who can help with this one?
  20. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I would check with the local airport sites.