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Large commercial account in PA. Advice Please

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by kickingrass, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. kickingrass

    kickingrass Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I need advice if willing to give...

    I have an opportunity to bid a large contract of 757,000 sq ft of parking lot on a smaller scale mall. Snow averages show 17.3 snows per season with 33 inches of total accumulation.

    Based off of my other larger properties that are 1/4 the size I would charge for a seasonal contract as follows:

    $8925 per snow event regardless of depth... averaged off of a figure for 5-8 inches for plowing/clearing multiplied by an average of 14 events per season.

    $2640 per deicing/salting event with an average figured at 21 applications of 11 ton of bulk salt.

    I have stipulated hourly rates for snow removal equipment, operators and hauling vehicles if we need to remove snow authorized by the Manager.

    I am stipulating a minimum of 3 years for the contract and a maximum of 7.

    The customer is very open to the idea and doesnt want to have to worry about it anymore. He understands the pros and cons and is willing to go this route.

    He is getting 2 other bids for the 2015/2016 season and choosing one of the 3.

    His current method and contractors are not sufficient. I believe 3 plow trucks, 2 backhoes with 10' pusher boxes and a skid steer with a back drag box, pusher box and regular quick connect bucket will suffice.

    Comments or suggestions?

    TKLAWN PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,637

    So we are talkin around $200,000 for the season??.:eek:
  3. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Unless I'm missing something, your out to lunch. Unless this is a super high end mall and you have to push every once of snow to one corner of the mall. It seems the other contractor had to much equipment on site for 17 acres. He must just be bad at organizing. I also know Pa isn't the highest paying market around also.
  4. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,920

    That's a lot of ground to cover, especially when your closest property size is as you say a quarter of this. What loader/skid/backhoe experience do you have? Do you really know what they're capable of? We have an account this size that has 2 Case 621B wheel loaders with 14 foot Arctic boxes, 1 skid with a 10 foot Boss/Arctic , and 2 trucks that float in and out to other close by lots. It's adequate to keep up, and we average about the same amount of snow as you.

    I'm thinking you'll be much better off to forego the backhoes and get 2 2-3 yard loaders and run one 14 foot box and 1 16 foot box or 100-150 HP ag tractors, and run them, both with a hydraulic style wing plow. You can get away with the lighter iron on small events, but what happens when a clipper comes through and drops 8 inches in a 4 hour period? Or from Thanksgiving to New Year's, when it's going to be a mad house with no room to work or put snow?

    I think you're way over estimating salt. Your numbers come out to around 1250 pounds per acre every salting. First, you're not salting EVERY part of the lot. Second, you're not always going to use that much on the whole property. I bid everything for 750 pounds per acre that the lot measures. Our historical usage is about 650-700 over the entire season. If you're running 3 trucks, and have a spreader in each one, I think you're good as far as time to apply said salt, vs having a larger salt vehicle.

    I'm not commenting on pricing, because it varies so much, but you realize your per push math comes out to just a touch over 500 bucks an acre right? There is only one way that I would price this on a per push basis, and that is if I had subs with the loaders and skid steer(s) and all I had there were my trucks.

    I would still want a retainer of some type no matter what. Sure, you can front the money for materials, but why would you want to front that kind of money in the hopes that it snows? Are you saying it's seasonal, or per push? You broke it down like per push, but then say seasonal?

    Generally, retail has a much higher expectation than say industrial/warehousing etc. About the only thing picker than large retails is medical complexes. And they're a royal pain in the ass.

    I'm not saying it can't be done, but I think you're a little limited on large property experience to jump into something this size. We have quite a few properties that are in the 3-5 acre range, and in my opinion it's a whole different ball game once you go to something more than about 8-10 acres, especially with no experience of those sizes. It can get out of hand really fast, and when it does it's gonna be really expensive to get it back in hand. I wouldn't do anything this size until I had at least 2-3 seasons experience with a property in the high singles to low double digits acres wise.

    Good luck, but with numbers like those, I really don't think you'll need any help getting the job done.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

    FISHERBOY Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    That's about 17 acres, if I were bidding it I would start at 45,000, leave room for negotiating, of course consider fuel, salt, labor, insurance, break downs. Hope for now snow
  6. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    what do you make on the 4-4.5 acre places ?
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,257

    What does 17.3 snows mean? Is that like being kind of pregnant?

    I'm no math major, but 14 events multiplied by 5" is 70". But you state you have 33" average. 14 events multiplied by 8" is 112".

    By me, in an average year we salt around twice as often as we plow.

    But again, I'm no math major.

    Stipulate all you want, contracts of this size are about negotiations. And why 7 years? What if you're low? (I know, I know, he's not)

    I hope so.

    What is the current method? (before I answer any further)
  8. kickingrass

    kickingrass Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    We have 14 other accounts based off of these numbers. Our customers are service minded and want quality and dependable service. 12 other accounts are residential and very satisfied. Thanks for the opinion. I get these prices all day long just not sure on such a large account. I'll take into consideration. Thanks
  9. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,920

    Good luck. Sounds like you've already got your mind made up as to how you're handling it. But with numbers like those I see no way possible. I don't even think you'd get that in slip and fall central, New Jersey.
  10. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    Congrats to you...I must say if your already getting a similar rate on your smaller properties those might be some of the best rates I have seen posted here. Let us know what happens.

    FISHERBOY Senior Member
    Messages: 542


    IF your question is for me I'm currently doing a 6 acre site for $20,000 zero tolerance, lots of machine work, guide rails dumpsters etc.
  12. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    Fisher...No my question was for OP
  13. R1lukasz

    R1lukasz Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 43

    I'm confused , kickingrass are you saying that you charge per push or per season?
    8925$ per snow event regardless of depth x 14 events per season = 124950$
    2640$ per deicing/salting x 21 events =55440$
    so total will be 180390$ ?On the side I note Im doing 6 acres totally by myself one wideout and one speed skid
  14. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    11 tons of salt per app???????????????
  15. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    So you don't even own a plow and just use subs?
  16. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    Love plowsite, its one of few places on earth where 2+2 really equals 9.
  17. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,681

    Allentown is only two hours away. Guess I should head up there and get some some contracts. payup
  18. pdreibels

    pdreibels Member
    Messages: 63

    I'm only 30mins!
  19. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943


    Go get em tiger!

    I can't speak for the $ but I can say that 11tons of salt for a 17 acre lot is alot of salt! Correct me if I'm wrong(since I don't have anything that big) but wouldn't 17 acres only need maybe 4-5 tons of salt?

    unless your trying to burn through an inch and a half of snow.
  20. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,681

    Allentown is gonna be overwhelmed with out of town plow trucks come the next snowfall. Hell we will just load up the spreaders and go salt. payup