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Need help on Residential Bidding

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Big_Red_Truck, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Big_Red_Truck

    Big_Red_Truck Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    I am new to plowing and was wondering how I should go about bidding residential jobs. Most jobs consider driveways and a private drive. I was also wondering if seasonal contracts are a good idea?
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Always worked for me. Find the ave. time of plowable events then multiply by the per push amount for a seasonal price. But you need to find out what other companies are charging.
  3. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    It really works for me too. Just sent out my renewal letters on Monday. I'm hoping to have 80% respond ok by Oct. 10, 2008. I setting my sights high.
  4. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Just curious-How many thousands of driveways do you plow anyways with all that gear?
  5. Banger

    Banger Member
    Messages: 70

  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I think 3,000.
  7. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Holy chit Man! Is Paul with you in margaritaville all summer?
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    He owns it with all the money he makes!
  9. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Yep we own it all, well the banks doing pretty well by us. Our count last year was 2700 drives.
  10. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 950

    wow and im gotta dump outta my residential driveways for more commercial work. 2700?????/ wow good for youwesport
  11. curty85

    curty85 Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I learned my lesson last year. I charged for the season based on 10 events and did not have a caveat where I could charge for more if it went over 12 or so. Well, we had 20 and most of my accounts are right on my private road and, more or less, neighbors. After some stammering, I broke down and sent a couple of letters out to ask for half of the difference as I had put in a ton of extra time but had not covered myself with the quoted price. Not one customer offered to hook me up. I take my time and do a good job too. This year it will be a contract based on 10 events ($30/$300) with a per event after the 11th (a one event incentive to go seasonal) and a 8" point to define an event. And it will be COD. I would wait half the winter for some cust. to pay me and I let them get away with it because they were my neighbors..... sucker.
  12. M&M

    M&M Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    I only have per push residentials and have thought about giving a seasonal option. We had 17 events last year and our average for the last 5 years has been 10. I would have left a lot of cash on the table if I offered it last year. My prevailing thought on the subject is "If I work I get paid." Skinny some years, made a mint (very small mint) last year. I have never been asked for a seasonal by a customer but if I did it would be based on roughly 13 events. 3 over the 5 year average.
  13. blazylscaping

    blazylscaping Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    im new to this site and i must admit i live in a different world than most of you. i, personally, plow roughly 80 high end residential accounts per event ALL per push. there is no chance in risking it on contracts, we get give or take 35 to 40 pushes in per year and every time we pull up to a driveway we mark the time and they get billed. we shoot to have everyone done no later than 7 worst case. if it continues to snow you keep going and charging. i tell everyone who is new to plowing our purpose is to clear a path to the street and get the customer out or in. never get fancy or they ll get used to that. time is money,always. people dont tend to enjoy gambling, atleast in my area, on contracts and neither do i. you dont need to be roped down by miswording or a misunderstandsing in a contract per push is always easier, dont give yourself away and be reliable. and again i mean no offense i live in n area where we regularly wake up to 4 or 5 inches of snow, i like to start at 2 inches but you never want to leave to early and screw yourself out of sleep when it can or should be a single push night. for us 2 inches is childs play and our customers can handle it i very rarely get compalints. sorry for the rant iv been readin all these post for days and some of the stuff iv been reading would never ever fly in my neck of the woods hahaha

    BRENTMAN Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    i hear you man im in cleveland as well....westside suburbs....sounds like ur in the east side snow belt? no?
  15. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    The thing about Northeast OHIO is that the residents of every city demands either a per push or a seasonal contract depending on where you work. Ironically one of the highest per capita cities.... Hudson has the lowest seasonal rate of anywhere...... $160 a season and you will find mail boxes stuffed with flyers with the same.

    BRENTMAN Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    Where are you at in ohio? What do you think cuyahoga seasonals are? westside cleveland that is. I'm about to be in the game and i'd just hate to lowball all you fine fellow plowmen, or over charge my people, but papa needs a new pair 'a shoes. payup
  17. MeeksCo

    MeeksCo Senior Member
    Messages: 214

    Here is a sample of my contract. This is my first year on my own. Though, after reading some of the posts made by other, I am considering changing over to a per-push type of deal for the rest of the season and next year. Who knows?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2008
  18. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    Sooo curty85

    If you get like 8 storm do you refund 2 storms worth? If not WHY would a person sign with you? They have only a liability. they pay up front and get screwed if its a light year and have to pay extra if its a bad year (Good year payup). Seams to me the liability is ALL one side.

    If your truck started to run ruff and you took it to a shop to get fixed. what would you say about the shop if they said "we have a flat rate of $600 to fix trucks, unless it needs more work then we charge extra. O ya if it only need plugs we KEEP the $600?


    BRENTMAN Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    i like your contract, for the most part. What part of cleveland you in?
  20. MeeksCo

    MeeksCo Senior Member
    Messages: 214

    I am in Brookpark. I have a few contracts in the snow belt though. East side is where its at though its hard to drive that way not knowing what all they have since they get so much more then the westside.