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Need help pricing 20 acre lot (seasonal)

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by FBLandscaping66, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. FBLandscaping66

    FBLandscaping66 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    This is the biggest lot I've ever bid on and I do not want to screw myself. I was going to keep a backhoe and two trucks there, is this enough equipment? I'm going to have equipment on the lot 24/7 and they want it clear every 2 inches. So how much should I charge per push and how do I figure out a seasonal price? (I have never done a seasonal contract)

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  2. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    i think you would find a couple of loaders with 15' protech's would be much more efficient and it will be easier when the stores are open to keep lanes clear
  3. FBLandscaping66

    FBLandscaping66 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I was shopping around today and I was thinking of adding a quad with a plow for the 21,000 sq ft of walkways and a 85 hp skid steer with a 12 foot protech to the fleet, and I was going to have a 14 foot protech on the backhoe. I really need help with the price and how seasonals work... BTW there is almost 900,000 square feet or just under 21 acres of parking lot.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  4. FBLandscaping66

    FBLandscaping66 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I was thinking $5,800 per push or every 2". My area gets an average of 40" of snow, I don't know how many events. But if I was charging for every two inches that means 20 times, which is $116,000 for the season... Is this two much or too little? And how should I charge them and do I still get payed if it doesn't snow?
  5. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    Is this the only property you will be plowing? How will you apply salt? And yes, seasonal means you get paid if it doesn't snow. But you get the same money if it snows 2" or 100". Be careful not to get in over your head. 2 trucks and a pusher won't cut it.
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I think your over your head on this one.Worst thing that can happen to you is it snows in Dec during xmas season. The property owners will go nuts if every spot is not open before the first person gets here.
  7. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    set up the skid for sidewalks, imho, a quad wont cut it when it is -20 wind chill...you still need larger protechs with a decent machine behind it!...4wd 100+hp farm tractors will outperform any backhoe....as grandview mentioned you may be over your head...you would need a 3 or 4 yr commitment to justify the capitol costs of setting up with the right equipment
  8. FBLandscaping66

    FBLandscaping66 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Could someone give me an idea what you would get to do a lot like this? I have all the means to get whatever I need as far as equipment and this mall and two other very small lots down the street is all I would be taking care of. I would have three trucks available during storms (two f350s with 8 1/2 foot plows and a mason dump with 8 1/2 plow and a tornado salter). If I get a skid for the sidewalks, another salter, and a couple loaders I think I could handle this. And whatever I invest in to do this will be here next winter to make more money so I really don't see where I could go wrong as long as I get the price right.
  9. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    I think if you have no idea what to charge or equitment needed,then you shouldn't be bidding on it:nono: just my opinion, you learn as you do bigger & bigger accounts, so if you have no idea you could stand to lose alot. just trying to help you:nod:
  10. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    If you don't see the many ways it could go wrong, then you really shouldn't bid on this.
  11. FBLandscaping66

    FBLandscaping66 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I get it... I really thought that if I could get an Idea what to charge and devoted all my time to it that I could pull it off...
  12. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    I would probably add a couple of more trucks besides what you mention as you will at some point have one or 2 break down or be no shows. My main concern with a lot that size would be if you could provide the salting needed. 1 salt truck ain't gonna cut it and then you have the amount it would take for the entire season and make sure you have a lock on that many tons. Not to mention a place to store it.
    Getting a lock on that much salt this late may either be pricey or not available.
    1 day of sleet all day with no real snow could mean 4 or 5 saltings at least especially with all the foot traffic a place like that is bound to endure.

    A lot like that to early in your business start up could drive a person to lose everything. I think the $116,000.oo is a bit low unless you are gambling on a light snow year and not many salting events.

    Do you have a blizzard clause in that seasonal as well?
  13. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    $5800 a push puts you at over $270 per acre. With a 14' push box you will easily do 2.5 acres or even 3 acres per hour at 2" of snow. This means a back hoe is worth $675 per hour. In my area you would be luck to get $1500 per push. I would still throw a number at this but I would rethink your salting. It would take way to much time to put 8-10 yds of salt down with one of them salters
  14. Mike S

    Mike S PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    I would have to agree with Superior. I did a lot of about equal in size but it was not retail it was a warehouse. I was not going to be able to get $5800 per push let alone $5800 for salt, walks, and push per 2 inches. Im not in your area and dont have much experience in seasonal but I do know in my area seasonal never equals what you would figure average snow falls X per push. Its Around 20-30% less. Some one gets the good old screw! LOL!

    Sima's plow production rates are a pretty good way to figure out what you could handle with the equipment you have. They are also on the low end IMO.

    The way I would start by figuring how long you would like it to take to push 2 inches.
    Example 22 acres with one backhoe= 8.8 hours at 2.5 acres per hour
    Example 2 trucks only=7.5 hours on the low end
    So roughly figuring 2 trucks and a hoe around 4 hours you could do it
    So from there you could figure out the rest, you know what it will cost you per hour per truck and hoe

    But when you start adding in equipment it will be alot less. Also keep in mind its retail and it never snows when we want it to you need to be able to really get some stuff done on the days it decideds to snow at 7am. The 5pm snow also are never good you might be sitting out there burning hours up dodging cars and not getting anything done, this is what really hurts my company on the per occ.

    Hope this helps, and I say go for it got to start some where on the big stuff.
  15. diesellandscape

    diesellandscape Member
    Messages: 79

    In my area that would be 110-130k/ season w/3yr commit.

    You'll need:
    3 Backhoes w/14+ pushers
    3 Trucks
    Maybe a Skid with 10ft box
    Prob 400-600t of salt Per season

    You costs will be around 25k Just in Equip For the season on lease
    Plus your trucks
    and operators
    and Laborers...

    If You arent setup for it already, stay far far away. The only way youd get the contract and be profitable is if you have the equipt already and use it during the summer. Chances are you have little to no experence on a site like this and diving right in is a quick way to go out of business. One late payment or failure to perform on something like this will shut you down. We double our snow operations every year and are up to 100+ acres of pavement we clean on 45+ sites and it takes us 9 trucks, 5 Skidloaders, backhoes, ventracs, walkers, and tractors. 22-28 Guys.
  16. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    So when your done in 2 hours with that much equipment what do the guys so for the rest of the night. I could see using 3 backhoes but 3 trucks also and maybe a skid.
  17. diesellandscape

    diesellandscape Member
    Messages: 79

    There's always clean up and stacking. On our big sites such as a lowes we carry all the snow to the backside of the lots and neatly stack it. I'd rather have the lot clear and safe quickly, then have a slip and fall. There's a million ways to skin a cat, but the way we work is probably why our operations double every year. Gotta love forums where people talk from experence and others talk from YouTube videos.
  18. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    Who watches you tube videos ?
    Plus I bet you didn't grow your business because you put way to much Equipement on a site. I'm sure it's because you were low bid.
    Good luck doubling your workload to 200 acres
    emisygrl731 likes this.
  19. BPS#1

    BPS#1 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,421

    I've yet to see a Lowes give enough of a care about how it looks to justify the expense of you moving all the snow.
    Now unless they used too small of a lot or some thing.

    The one here has plowers that no clue about plowing.
    They don't stack the first blade full. Heck they don't even push their blade fulls into each other,
    just when they get close they back up for another run and by the end of Feb almost half the lot is taken up with a bunch of little nonconnected piles.

    And yet..... they keep using the same nonprofessionals year after year. Probably because they are cheap.
  20. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Yeah that's me talking from Youtube video's. LOL