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How to price different snowfall rates

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by oldschoo, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    I was wondering if anyone could give me an idea of increasing the price based on snow depth. Should I charge more for a 10 inch depth than a 4 or 6? It surely will take more time even with a thrower. As of right now we only have shovels though. If I charge $20 for a 2-lane-30ft driveway with 4-6 inches should I charge $30 or more if it gets like 10 or 12 inches?
  2. dodgeguy99

    dodgeguy99 Senior Member
    from mn
    Messages: 272

    if i were you i would charge diferent for every 2 or 3 aditional inches of snow
  3. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    pricing at different snow depths

    Oh, ok, that sounds reasonable. So customers are pretty good about understanding this? Say $20 for 4-6, $30 for 7-10, and like $35 for 11 inches or more? Makes sence to me!
  4. dodgeguy99

    dodgeguy99 Senior Member
    from mn
    Messages: 272

    ya i think that sounds preety good just price it what you feel is fair and you should be ok
  5. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144


    Ok, I appreciate the word Dodgeguy! :salute:
  6. Rcgm

    Rcgm Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Oldschool in our area I would charge 30 dollars 45 dollars and 65 dollars.Your rates are to cheap for a foot of snow.A foot of wet snow is worth more than 35 dollasr don't sell yourself cheap .

  7. go plow

    go plow Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    the biggest problem with pricing snow by the inch is that you will always have people saying that they didnt get as much snow as you charged them for. i had a client tell me once that we didnt get 12 inch snow fall, they were right, it was 8 inches, but in their drive way it had drifted. then you get the ones that tell you that they dont go out in a storm, but yet they are the first to call and ask were you are? one other thing that you might want to think about is that although you need to get paid for the work you do, you cant charge as much or more then someone with a truck/plow.
  8. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    What to charge for Residentials in Indy

    I was out today and it was brutal. Especially where the plows had pushed the snow up in front of the drives; there it was like 2 foot of densly packed, super heavy stuff. Makes me wish I had a plow. Maybe next year. For now I just have some shuvels and a helper or two. ( and they don't do near the work I do). But anyway, it's a suck job to shuvel alone!
    I'm not sure if it's like 8 inch avg or more out there, but it's heavy as hell and takes me 2-3 times as long as the last snow we had of 4-5 inches. I was told some plowers charge about $100 for residentials for this storm. What should I charge. $25-30 just doesn't seem worth it. Maybe if I had a big blower or plow. But shuveling this heavy sh#t is brutal on the back! Would anyone say that $40-50 would be reasonable for a 2-car width, 30 ft drive and small walkway? And I was thinking of offering a bit of salting for $3 extra.
    What do u Vetrans think? :confused:
  9. Mick

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

    First - you shoveling should charge the same as a truck and plow for the same area. Bottom line - the snow gets moved. HOW it gets moved is up to you. You with a shovel are worth exactly the same as me with a $30,000 truck and plow. The only difference is that I can get it done a lot faster.

    Yes, charge so much for snowfall up to, say, 6". Then charge half that for every 3" afterwards. The only difference between you with a shovel and someone with a plow is that it's harder on you instead of being harder on equipment. Measure the snow from the middle of the driveway or drifted area. Then you're not measuring the highest or lowest area, but an average. Finally, don't back down. Give off a sense of confidence in yourself and your pricing structure. If they sense that you're not sure of yourself, some people will try to take advantage of you. It takes a little practice to be self-assured without coming across as arrogant, so try it out on someone you know well before approaching customers. If someone is trying to beat you down or you just get a sense that this is someone you'd rather not work with - walk away. I'm usually pretty easy-going but there have been times... I once got a call from a young lady. Went and talked to her about what she needed as far as area to plow, time she goes to work etc. She got to wanting a little extra area pushed here, be careful of something there and so on. Usually, I take that stuff in stride, but when we got to price, she wanted to see if I'd take a "little less". Again, nothing really unusual. But I just got a "sixth sense" and told her "sorry, I won't do it at any price". She started backpedaling when I got in the truck and agreed to my price. Not interested. Told my wife about it when I got home. Come to find out my wife knows her from work (in a social service type place as a "client"). My instinct saved me some grief based on her history.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2007
  10. diehrd

    diehrd Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 199

    Honestly I would retire from snow removal if I was you . . Only because you are using a shovel to do it :dizzy:
  11. gino

    gino Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 94

    I give a price (Say $25.00) for a small driveway. This price has a 3" trigger and covers the customer for up to 8" of snow. Anything over 8" I charge X 1.5 storms. Anything over 16" I charge X2 storms. This seems to work out well with no bitching.
  12. What do you mean by x1.5 storms and x2 ? You mean per storm or what ??
    Dumb it down. I'm new.
  13. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    Nah. Ain't happenin'. I'm making 2-3x as much per hour shuveling as the waitin' tables.
    I'm gettin' used to the cold. And a shuvel is the easiest way to start.
  14. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144


  15. Mick

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

    Walkways - never have done them since I was kid doing my own. There are no sidewalks in my town. If the customer has a walk from the house to the garage or car - I don't do them. Seriously. I don't get out of the truck. Not saying that's right for your area - it's just how it's done here.

    Time for a two car/30' driveway with 6" - if there is a garage that needs backdragging - I'd say 5 or ten minutes, depending where you're putting the snow.

    About the angle - No you're going to need to do more planning with a plow than a shovel. You can angle the plow, but getting everything to cooperate is a skill.
  16. FeelLikeANumber

    FeelLikeANumber Member
    Messages: 63

    Ask the customer if they want the walkways done and then include it in your price quote. I usually talk with the homeowner and see if they want sidewalks, and walk ups done or anything special. Some do, some dont. I get out and shovel the walkways of the customers that dont request it sometimes just to be nice and to hopefully burn some calories. Sometimes I throw down a little salt on the steps, or do a little extra shoveling, or even sit and chat with them for 5-10 minutes. Charge them the normal rate but do a few extra things for them once in a while and they'll keep sending work your way. Do good on one driveway and before you know it the whole neighborhood will hunt you down for work next year.
  17. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    Wow, can't wait to find a good deal on my first truck. Never really realized how many things u could do with a truck 'til this year! That's one skill I'd like to learn!
    Thanks buddypurplebou
  18. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    Some nice ideas here. I try to do the little extra things and talk with em too. Can't wait ti' the next snow!
  19. Marine1

    Marine1 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    i price similar to gino: 3" trigger determined by me, 3-6" base rate(30.00), 6" upto 12" 1.5x base rate(45.00), 12+ 2x base rate (60.00). It works pretty good evrybody happy with it. Most storms around here are below 6", a couple in the 6-12" range and usually 2 over 12". Use a local news or weather site to determine snowfall or you'll be arguing...tell them in advance. also, charge more for timeliness.
  20. KINNCO

    KINNCO Senior Member
    Messages: 256