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I need some help from the experts

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by LouieDog, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. LouieDog

    LouieDog Junior Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 7

    Up to this point I've always bid contracts on a per push basis, which has worked fine until last season when the snow never came. No snow no dough. This year I'm trying to get a mix of per push and seasonal contracts together so I can have a more balanced cash flow. I have been asked to send a bid for the attached lot, the guy said he was happy with his contract structure last year, which he believed to be seasonal. However, he got back to me saying that in years past, they have paid a monthly retainer on clearing the lot and walks, but paid extra for salt whenever it was applied. Which is straight forward enough, but is totally new to me. I'm hoping some of you more experienced gentlemen ( and ladies?) could give me some much needed advice. I'm curious how you would bid this lot, for both seasonal and per push. If you have any idea about the retainer + salt that would be great, too. The entire parcel is 3.5 acres, the lots to be cleared are for both buildings, city walks and store front walks.
    I'm in suburban Chicago, I know that can play a role in it as well.


    Attached Files:

  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    first you need to sit down with him again and go over everything. A retainer to me is ,you pay me so much per month to keep my equipment there,then when it snows you are billed either per hr and per piece of equipment or billed per push.
  3. LouieDog

    LouieDog Junior Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 7

    I will definately double check what he meant. When he talked to me about it the first time, I was under the impression it was a flat rate every month, plus the cost of salt as needed. Any thoughts on a salt or seasonal rate?
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    What do you have to work with as to equipment and manpower?
  5. ryde307

    ryde307 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,145

    We contract most of our seasonal this way.

    Most include salt in there seasonal which obviously makes sense in terms of giving the customer a number for there budget (which alot are after).

    With salt being one of our largest expenses we chose to limit risk and we charge seasonal for plowing. Salting is all extra.
  6. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157


    We cant tell you what to charge... Grandviews #'s will be different then mine as we both have totally different costs/profit margins associated with doing business. What you need to do is sit down and figure out YOUR costs and what you want to make per hour per pc of equipment......

    Heres alittle program to help you if you have no idea........
  7. LouieDog

    LouieDog Junior Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for all the good info. I'll sit down with him again to learn what exactly they are looking for.