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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! My name is Jeremy. So I just got myself a plow truck. I have been plowing for a guy the last few seasons and I had nothing to do with bids,or giving estimates. I am in Northern MN (Tower-lake Vermillion area). But I will extend out to surrounding towns as well. My question is. How do I bid correctly? I just ordered a salt spreader and also have a snowblower if need. I'm not sure if I should stick to residential my first year or jump into commercial and do both. Any input on both aspects will be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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You have commercial auto insurance with snow plowing rider?
General liability, umbrella?
Comp?

After that figure out what the market will bear, what you are best at, factor risk [slip, accident, etc], frequency of servicing, routing, backup equipment, etc.

Try either being a sub or residential to start out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You have commercial auto insurance with snow plowing rider?
General liability, umbrella?
Comp?

After that figure out what the market will bear, what you are best at, factor risk [slip, accident, etc], frequency of servicing, routing, backup equipment, etc.

Try either being a sub or residential to start out.
[/QUOTE.
Commercial auto for the vehicle and plow then general liability. I think residential and sub will be good to start also. Prices around here are kind of all over the place. I see some people getting 50 a push then I see 120 a push. Then another guy has monthly contracts. Not sure that will suit me right now though. I am doing this on top of a full time job.
 

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If your full time job won't tolerate missed days in the winter, or you showing up like a zombie from plowing an overnight event, then put a stop to your plans to plow snow.

However, if they're flexible with your new venture, subbing out to other contractors is a great way to gain experience and keep your exposure to a minimum. Now is a great time to reach out to other contractors, as many of them should be game planning their staffing setup now for their commercial clients. I'm not sure what the market is like up in the Iron Range, but down here in the cities, most of the "old guard" of plow operators and subcontractors are leaving the industry - this means guys like you are somewhat in the drivers' seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been plowing the last few years for a guy. My job is tolerant as long as I work. I just figured I'd venture out on my own. I was going to try residential and sub contracting to other contractors. I just don't know what to charge. The guy I worked for never talked about pricing..
 

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Well I’m not in the residential game anymore due to no $ being in it with inflation and such. BEFORE brandon minimum charge was $50. First year of Brandon I didn’t make anything on $60/per.

FWIW the minimum sub rate offered to me a year ago was $155/hr for truck/plow/shoveler. That was a starting rate. With zero insurance liability, slip and fall risk, etc.

IMO know your numbers. Takes a lot of work, but you have to learn the costs of being in business, the risk-what the costs-and your acceptable profit margin. Like anything else, the more you know, the more you make.
 

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Cat got your tongue @Mark Oomkes ? Another Dutch thing?
Figure overhead, labor, profit.

Determine how long the job is going to take.

Estimate how many billable hours you will have.

Divide overhead, labor and profit by billable hours and multiply that by how long the job is going to take.

Then take into account the going rate in one's market and raise or lower prices accordingly.

Happy?
 

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Figure overhead, labor, profit.

Determine how long the job is going to take.

Estimate how many billable hours you will have.

Divide overhead, labor and profit by billable hours and multiply that by how long the job is going to take.

Then take into account the going rate in one's market and raise or lower prices accordingly.

Happy?
Fair to middling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I see contractors advertising most the winter looking for people. I am going to reach out to some of them and then do some residential as well. With the sub contracting is that usually so much per push or hourly? The last guy I plowed for I was payed hourly but I also used his truck. This season I'll have my own equipment. Thanks for all the info on things. I appreciate it.
 

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Figure overhead, labor, profit.

Determine how long the job is going to take.

Estimate how many billable hours you will have.

Divide overhead, labor and profit by billable hours and multiply that by how long the job is going to take.

Then take into account the going rate in one's market and raise or lower prices accordingly.

Happy?
You're supposed to say "whatever your competitor is charging less 5%"

If thats too much typing, its acceptable to just say "$50"
 

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I see contractors advertising most the winter looking for people. I am going to reach out to some of them and then do some residential as well. With the sub contracting is that usually so much per push or hourly? The last guy I plowed for I was payed hourly but I also used his truck. This season I'll have my own equipment. Thanks for all the info on things. I appreciate it.
Typically around here things are per push. Hourly comes in on larger properties or emergency situations.
 

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With the sub contracting is that usually so much per push or hourly?
Personally, I've only paid a sub by the hour. But I usually had a piece of equipment working with them, so it would have been a bit difficult to figure out a per push price.

Depending on who you work for, you could try for a per push payment so you get rewarded for efficiency.

Just as an FYI. I don't know your area, but there is no way in God's green earth I would or could get the rates @Kvston is getting. Pricing for plowing and subs is extremely regional.
 

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