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Lakeside Driveways

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Luciendar, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Luciendar

    Luciendar Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I don't plow commercially, but it has come to my attention that it is a bit of a waste to have a 9' plow and not use it for anything but my driveway and road (~19k sq ft, ~.44ac, ~450' of road, give or take).

    On my road there are 4 driveways that I have been considering offering to plow, but I have no way to know what is a fair price.

    1. A u shaped driveway (2 connections to road), level with roadway, with a steep dropoff on outer edge, ~180' long
    2. A 4-5 car parking area directly on road, level with roadway
    3. One of two 2-3 car parking areas at the bottom of a steep 200' shared accessway, grade drops ~30' in 200' (15% grade)
    4. One of two 2-3 car parking areas at the bottom of a steep 200' shared accessway, grade drops ~30' in 200' (15% grade)

    I am comfortable plowing the steep grade, even though the end of it goes into the lake, but I want to be sure that my pricing covers potential wear and tear to my equipment and is as close to commercial rates as possible while still cutting them a bit of a deal. All driveways are gravel and the 200' grade tends to get rutted and rocky from washout.

    I also have a recently acquired tailgate sander (Fisher Low Profile Model 1000), but I don't even know how I'm going to source salt and sand let alone source enough to do these driveways.

    Any thoughts are appreciated. Thank you for your time.
  2. Luciendar

    Luciendar Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I just took a look at the sloped shared accessway, looks like there are three houses at the end of it.

    I'm thinking $40 for each of the three houses at the end of the accessway, $20 for the parking area attached to the road, and $30 for the u-shaped driveway. All per-storm (if it takes 2 visits, no extra charge).
  3. sectlandscaping

    sectlandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I had a neighbor ask me to plow him. I probably plowed him 6-7 times over 2 years. One of my drivers scrapped the siding on his house. I checked it out and told him the siding cost less then $20 and snaps right on. He told me to do it. So I said $20 is pretty cheap to pay for the plowing. He didnt think so. I fixed it and drove by him every snow storm.

    The whole point is I dont do favors any more. When theres a problem its yours. Charge accordingly. Nobody is going to give you extra cause your a fair guy. If you get stuck in their driveway. Its a few $100 to be pulled out.

    Your to low for per event. Neighbor or not. Give them a higher price for the storm. Or charge them for every push.
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    A few hundred to get pulled out.:dizzy:

    other than that,
    no good deed goes unpunished.

    Op does your price reflect the cost of commercial snowplowing insurance?
    next, as your are now is "business" and your liability exposure has increased, you many want to look into a LLC or the like.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  5. 160SR

    160SR Junior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 27

    You sound hungry. $60 min on the drives maybe 2 sign on. If you are already plowing the road for free they shouldn't have a problem. Also charge something for clean ups even if its half. Auto parts stores aren't as charitable when you break stuff.
  6. Luciendar

    Luciendar Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    All great information.

    Getting pulled out if I get stuck isn't a problem, I've got equipment that would be within a 5 minute walk that I could use to get unstuck.

    The liability perspective is worth consideration, but not something I would feel too worried about (now to find some wood to knock on).

    My main concern is the wear and tear on the truck. I blew the left and right hydraulic lines on the plow this last storm, and I noticed that last year I must have hit a rock because I tore a shoe and the shoe mount right off. Last year I blew my 4WD actuator and ended up stuck in a bank, and I'm sure as long as I keep plowing I'll keep breaking stuff and needing to fix it. My ideal scenario is to make enough from plowing the neighbors driveways to cover these issues, rather than paying out of pocket for them. If I made a little extra, that would be nice too.

    I'd just like to get an idea of what a normal rate would be, I'll come in 10% or so under that to cut them a deal, but I'd still intend on making money.

    In the end, I have to get the truck fired up and plow every storm for myself, all these driveways together would only be about twice the work I already perform. I'd just like to feel like I'm getting ahead at the end of the year rather than looking at the money I've sunk into the truck/plow and wondering if I'd be better off having someone else do it.
  7. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    It's a double edged sword there. You want to make more money to cover your expenses and maintenance.
    So you plow more.
    The more you plow the harder it is on your equipment, then more stuff breaks.