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Just Curious

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by clncut, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. clncut

    clncut PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,121

    For commercial lots that have a per inch increments for billing do you only bill for the amount of snow fallen regaurdless of how many visits? If they want no more than 2 inches of snow at one time and you get a 6 inch snowstorm do you only bill for the 6 inches of snow fallen even though you may have been there 3 times.

    Seems if you charged each time you visited would that not be per push and there would be no need for the inch increments?


    PlowMeister, if you read this post, thanks for the help with the contract, I was able to land a decent comm. prop using your advice!
    Thanks again.

  2. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    A lot of companies use a "round" method, what I mean is say you go out and your plowing at 2" and it keeps snowing so you come back for round two (2) and so on. I would try to hit all of my commercial accounts right at whatever inch requirements they have and keep on plowing until storm is over. Thats why I think its benificial to go hourly on big commercial accounts.
  3. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    When I get the specs. for a given property they either say per inch or per push. If someone wants no more than 2" on the property at any time and still want a per inch price I price it the way they want. A six inch storm will require 3 visits, Basically the same pricing as as per push price..Ex 600 for up to 6" or 200 for every 2". I charge people less only if they require 1 visit when the storm is over.
  4. genrock

    genrock Member
    Messages: 60

    per hour is the best way to go make sure you figure out when you will be starting your run and give them a time slot available that they can have it done then charge them for call back work.
  5. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Genrock I disagree with the per hour snowplowing. If you charge by the hour I believe that you are penalized for having top rate drivers and the right equipment to get the job done quickly. I have always charged by the inch or by the push. Everyones situation is different. Also the customers know that a certain storm is going to cost them a fixed amount where as by the hour you never know exactly what it will cost and I would imagine there would be time discrepancies. Just my opinnion :)
  6. little pat

    little pat Member
    Messages: 83

    We start plowing at our trigger depth if snow occurs during business hours and continue returning to the location until the storm is over. If the location is
    closed during the snow we wait til the storm is over unless it's a really heavy snowfall. As far as how often to bill, if we plow the location every 2 inches we charge for every trip.
  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    If you're a solo op, and snowplowing is your only income in the winter time, the best option, IMO is to have 80% contracts, and 20% or so per push / per inch.

    This way you have money to cover your payments all winter, to be able to have a life. If you have 1 or 2 per push accounts, those should / will cover your expenses each time it snows, so you're not out the extra fuel in case you plow 7-8 times in one month when you'd normally average 4.

    If you're doing it per push / per inch / by the hour, you're going to run into months when you have no work. You're either going to have to get a job, or find some source of income.

    In 3 days, I'll have another month under my belt with no plowing.

    Last year we didn't plow until February 3rd, so there would have been no income for November, December or January had it not been for the contracts.

    If you've got 3+ employees, it's harder to do contracts, because if you get too much snow, you're going to run the risk of blowing your budget.

    If you've got another job, and plowing is an extra money gig, then by all means, do whatever you like the best. No one here can tell you it doesn't work if you're happy.

    As long as you can make a living and be happy, that's what it's all about.

    As far as per push or per inch.....

    Lets say you have 15 accounts, and they each take you 30 minutes.

    It's snowing 1" / hour.

    When you start at 2", your first account is going to be plowed, but it'll be 7 hours later before you get to your last account.

    Now each account has been pushed once, so a per push price would be.... approx. $50.

    Now if each account was at a per inch, then your first 5 or so would have been $50, your next 5 or so would have been say $100 and your last 5 would have been $150, give or take.

    Now, it's stopped snowing, but you have to go back and do your 1st account, which now has 5" of snow on it since you last plowed it.

    You do them all again, at a per push of $50 for 1/2 hour, and you've billed out $1500 for pushing each of them 2 times this storm at a rate of $50 / push.

    Now if you did it by the inch, you would have billed the first set of 5 at $200, since you did them the first time at your $50 range, but then the second time it would have been more like $150. The second set of 5 would have been in your $100 range both times, approx 4" or so each push, and the third set of 5 would have been $150 the first time around, but then only in the $50 range the second time around.

    So, now you're billing each one approx $200 each for this storm, or a total of $3000.

    Trick is by the push, that you've got to get to them all in that 2" range, or else you're selling yourself short.