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How to price Commercial Jobs

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by lesedwards, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. lesedwards

    lesedwards Member
    Messages: 85

    Hi everyone we bought a couple plows in January and picked up a lot of hourly work with a freind of mine that owns a landscape company. This year we are setting out on our own and picking up our own contracts and just wondered how everyone else figures out there quotes and do you charge for Salting / Shoveling Seperate?
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    My first question to you is,did you ever plow before?
  3. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Whats your hourly rate?
  4. lesedwards

    lesedwards Member
    Messages: 85

    Yes we started in January and plowed the rest of the season. I am very well known in this area and now have commercial lots asking for a quote.
  5. lesedwards

    lesedwards Member
    Messages: 85

    $75.00 / hour for each truck. But these customers want a price for the month.
  6. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,261

    First off I pay my brokers more then that. Do you get $75 or are you planning on charging that. I hope the first one.

    You need to know how many snowfalls you are going to have. Add a few extra visits for multiple plows during a storm. Site visits on windy days and partial plows.

    Some contracts are all in and some have salting as an extra. Don't know of any where sidewalks are an extra.

    I would like to help you price because most new guys price to low and then have a hard time getting paid more the next year.

    You are going to need the experience to look at a lot and know how long it will take to plow and how much salt you need to spread.
  7. lesedwards

    lesedwards Member
    Messages: 85

    Judging by work we did last year I would say I can do the plaza in an hour with shoveling & salting. I would say on the average we are looking at no more than 5 times a month.
  8. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,261

    On an all in contract how many times do you think you are going to salt? Are you putting straight salt on the sidewalks or treated salt?

    There are many things to consider and the pricing is very different from area to area.
  9. lesedwards

    lesedwards Member
    Messages: 85


    Of course this is a bit of a guess but I would say we will probably salt about 10 times in a month.
  10. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,214

    Winter is 5 months, we generally don't break things into seperate months when we talk total plows and saltings. Some months are brutal others are very light and we generally avg out. I agree with CET most new guys are way to cheap because they really don't understand all the aspects of a snow business. Have you looked into proper insurance? Maybe start there and when you find out your rates you'll have a better idea what to charge.
  11. lesedwards

    lesedwards Member
    Messages: 85

    I already have everything in place 2 million liability plus plow insurance. Right now I run a Kwik Kerb Continuous Concrete Landscape Edging business and have to figure out quotes all the time. I just need ball parks on how you go about charging. The previous winter we plowed 5 times in Jan, 3 times in Feb and 0 in March and from what I remember the guys I was subing off plowed 3 times in Oct, 4 times in Nov and 9 times in Dec.
  12. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    I used this link to find out roughly how many times it snows in my area. It is usefull to find out the number of wind days too. In this area of "snowing sideways" it helped to find out how many times I would have to service my customers.

    I came up with 60 plows on average and last year did 58. Don't forget that you will have to check your accounts every morning and include your time for that in your price. It happened on 2 occasions that the city/county plow operator plowed in my entrances on one lot after it hadn't snowed for a day or two. If I had not checked them I would have been awakened by some very angry customers and those two times would be the only times they remember when the contract comes up for renewal.

    Good Luck

  13. DarKnightVIII

    DarKnightVIII Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 3

    Hello all. :) I'm new to the site, but am reading and processing information before posting anything. However, as I come across things that I need clarification on, I'll ask.

    The link above is for Canada...by chance do you happen to know of anything like that for the US? I'm in Ohio and starting out, something like this would be extremely helpful for estimating prices and what have you.

  14. bigmudder77

    bigmudder77 Senior Member
    from wooster
    Messages: 125

    where at in ohio?
  15. DarKnightVIII

    DarKnightVIII Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 3

    Northwest Ohio (Toledo area).
  16. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Price your jobs based on your overhead & use-rates

    All the help offered is great on this site. However, I have one suggestion on pricing. Calculate your costs per hour of operation for your company based on your overhead and expenses. I made the same mistakes for the first nine years I was in business. That mistake was asking what to charge. Unfortunately, we all have different overhead, expenses and use-rates. Thus all of our break-even costs are different.

    I have a CD called know why you charge what you charge that you simply enter your company data (such as cost for equipment, insurance, use-rates, etc) onto the spreadsheet and it will calculate your break-even costs per hour for your company. From that point, you ad what your particular market will bear for the service being offered. Visit our website at www.profitsareus.com or call me @ 800-845-0499 if you have any questions. We are also a sponsor on plowsite. We have a great snow & ice management bidding package available that includes a comprehensive snow & ice management manual, a CD full of different snow templates for contracts, bidding, proposals, etc and a CD Quick Estimator for snow & ice management that calculates per push, seasonal and flat rate pricing. It also calculates hand-labor, deicing material rates and liquid applications rates as well.

    It is simple, accurate and professional. You can calculate costs per hour of operation for any service you offer such as mowing, landscaping, fert. & weed control etc.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
  17. SkyLineofToledo

    SkyLineofToledo Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    My way to Price

    I currently Snow Plow in NorthWest Ohio (Toledo and Surrounding Area) I charge $39.00 and Hour for Residential Clients and $75.00 an Hour for Commercial Clients. On my Estimates I always put the hourly wage times the Hours to make it more understanding since no one knows how much snow Ohio will get for the year. It looks like this Wage x Hours= Cost. Here's an Example as I estimate the costs for the Month ($75.00 x TBD= TBD) My Clients like this way due to the Unusual Snow Fall

    Christopher M. Williams


  18. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,962

    So if youre at a resi for 10 minutes u only charge them 7$ or do you have a minimum?
  19. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,948

    That seems REALLY cheap! After all your overhead what do you make? If it works for you, great. I wouldn't ever show a customer what I charge for hour. What happens when you get faster, or a new plow that is more efficient. You lose money because you are better or have better equipment.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  20. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,962

    Ya that sounds wayy to cheap. How do you pay insurance etc on 75$ an hour. My small lots we make about 250 an hour and we sub ourselves out for 85$