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Hourly Rate?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by 45kilo, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. 45kilo

    45kilo Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I am located in east central Wisconsin, half way between Milwaukee and Green Bay. Things are pretty cut throat around here, and with no snow it is getting worse. I have been hearing of guys charging $25 to $30 bucks an hour for commercial lots. With things the way they are all the property owners and managers are looking at is the price, not the service. My question is how is it possible for these guys to make money at that rate, and what is the average realistic rate for commercial in this area? I'm not talking loaders and tandem axle dump trucks with wings. I run pickup trucks, and skid steers with pushers and blowers.
  2. 45kilo

    45kilo Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Sorry. That should have been posted in the commercial section.
  3. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    They dont make any money.
  4. mustangman02232

    mustangman02232 Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    I would not even start my pickup for less then $65 an hr
  5. bigz64

    bigz64 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    like others have stated before, this winter will weed out the ones who are operating paycheck to paycheck. if a customer doesnt pay or it just doent snow these guys are gone. if they are bidding that low they are only delaying the inevitable

    im in the market for more equiptment in the spring (snow and non-snow) and i will be watching the internet, auctions and repos for deals
  6. Leanworks

    Leanworks Member
    Messages: 40

  7. Mrplow247

    Mrplow247 Member
    Messages: 46

    Nobody in my area pays more than 20-35/hr
  8. AuroraMSP

    AuroraMSP Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    How can you make money at that price? I'd be for finding a new profession if I lived there! You can't even operate the truck for that. How can you afford to pay a driver?
  9. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    They plow with a S10 and a 6' plow takes twice as long then it should so they will be making money
    There a guy here Charges that much plows with a S10 blazer with 6.6 plow
  10. AuroraMSP

    AuroraMSP Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    And most likely parks in a dark corner of the lot napping on the clock as well...
  11. BPS#1

    BPS#1 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,421

    $35 an hr............ zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    I aint plowing thru the night for that!
  12. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,275

    There is a difference between "hearing" and knowing!
    I'm from S/E WI and haven't had anyone confirm figures that cheap. However, I've "heard" of cheap numbers.
    Perhaps a small business that takes 10 min. to plow and the guy has 4 in a row. He packs a few $35 accounts in a tight route and is happy? Just guessing...
  13. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    There must be a "trick" or something. The only thing I can figure is they have a 1hr minimum per truck at $30/hr. They send three trucks to a location that would take one truck half hour to do alone. Now they billed $90 because technically there were three trucks there but they were only there for 10 minutes.

    That make sense? Basically they show a low hourly rate to the customer but in the end they bill $65+/hr. It's a scam to get the customer with the low advertised hourly rate.

    We lost a larger account this year to a low hourly rate company. I would plow the place by myself with a pickup and 9' plow in 3.5 - 4 hours, keep in mind last year when we got snow it was 4+" per event. So figure it out $65/hr x 4hrs= $260... I dont do any of the billing so I am just using this as an example.

    Now this season the most we have seen in one event is about 2". The company that does it now has, get this... one loader with a 14' pusher, two skid steers with snow buckets and one truck with a 8.5'(?). They run all of the equipment for AT LEAST 5 hours. I have personally watched the loader drive in circles for 2+ hours doing nothing. I have also watched the skids drive around scrapping almost dry pavement. So figure out what what the bill will be for them for a 2" snowfall. I am guessing it is WAY more then the $260 we charged last year for a 4+".

    They also use so much salt there is a white trail down the road leaving the lot. When cars drive through the lot it kicks up a cloud behind them.

    I don't sit and watch them, we do the business on the other side of the road so its hard not to watch them and wonder " what the F are they doing" besides gouging the customer.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  14. BPS#1

    BPS#1 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,421

    On the same note I took two properties away from some one that charged $25 an hr less than me.

    But I do it in half or less time. So their bill is still cheaper with my higher rate.
    I was able to successfully convince the grounds maint manager that I could do that.
    Its likely I'll have these customers for a long time.
  15. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    That is great! The problem is trying to get them to go for a higher hourly rate. I would guess most people would not go for a higher hourly rate even though it will take less time. They want the same rate and less time.

    I have had WAY too much coffee this morning so I am sure I am making almost no sense :dizzy:
  16. BPS#1

    BPS#1 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,421

    They didn't like the higher hourly rate but I was able to convince them the over all bill was going to be lower.

    But most of the time they do want what you said. If they could get it for free they'd be even happier.

    Its amazing how so many of them accept the horrible job that the cheaper rate comes with. Just to have a cheaper rate they are so happy to forgo quality.
  17. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    Guess we are WAY over paying our sub in sheboygan then. For $25/hr I would think you would be better off taking your truck to the scrap yard, and seeing what you could get.
  18. martincare29

    martincare29 Member
    Messages: 30

    iim in Michigan ....
    90 to 125 per hour plowing

    I would would flip to see priceing like that I call those guys " POP UPS" here today gone tomorow but it still kills us that they take lots and drives from us do a crap job then get fired and we come into clean up there mess.
    They have crap trucks and never seem to make it threw the winter .

    you have to sell your work let them know you go out of your way to make them happy ask what they dis liked in the plowing in the past and let them know you will fix that .

    offer them a higher price but offer them something free....or make them feel they are getting a better deal go in high on salt and lower on plowing .

    maybe throw in there side walk for free IF ITS SMALL and you can .

    I would let the 35 per hour guys know they are messed up for doing crap for free and its killing our indursty and stop low balling PUNKS
  19. martincare29

    martincare29 Member
    Messages: 30

    25 per hour for a sub would rock ! guys in our area ask for 40 to 50 per hour or 25 and fill there tanks at our shop .

    we push for 90 plus per hour we can go lower due to haveing lots of plowing in a small area we have guys that pull 80 to 100 drives a nite

    plowing is huge around us but for some reson guys shy away from salting so thats good for us we are one of 3 that have trucks just for salting and run balk salt at 195 per ton

    I love plowsite.com i can get off here its so good to learn from all you guys and see how diffrent it is all over the snow states

    thanks for all the input guys
  20. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    a good 16'' blizzard usually weeds out the scum . after 9-11'' they run home with their tail between their legs . they end up not being able to make a pass across the lot and end up burying themselves Thumbs Up know it

    if you say you run pickups and skids , why are you asking how much to charge ???
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012