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need some info

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by draftlawncare, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. draftlawncare

    draftlawncare Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    i am in the lawncare business and i always have customers asking about snow removal never done before so i know nothing about it. what i would like to know is whats a good $ rate per hour . I will be using a 7 1/2 plow and half ton truck if that helps any all of my account will be commercial

    thanks J D
  2. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    Do not bill by the hour. Bill by the push or job. IE if you become better, use better equipment then you are just cutting your fee now since it does not take as long. Loose the mind set of billing by the hour. Let them know what you will charge for each push or per inch, if you go by inch be aware the snow might take forever to fall or fall so that your going back again when its done that is why per push is better.
  3. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    jd i bill by the hour but that is not where i make my money. It all comes down to the contract .In my area sw ohio salt is the key my money comes from salting not plowing. and when i plow i can take my time and not break my equipment. With your clients you can not over book also. some contractors think more is better but it only causes problems when you have equipment probs everyone thinks they should be first but in fact the ones that get the most service go to the top of the list. I only plow comerical props and make a ton its all about service not how many Eric
  4. draftlawncare

    draftlawncare Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    this is all greek to me i have never plowed before in the last year i have had 4 commercial acounts ask about snow removal. these lots are not very big i just dont know how to price the job. I know what my time is worth if i did it by the hour i would charge $ 65 -$70 per hour . HOW would i charge for salting do you charge per ton like i said i am new to this and could use some help

    CApital when you say by the push does that mean you plow after the snow reaches a certain depht the replow again when it reaches the same depht
  5. JWT

    JWT Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Bill By the job or the push.....I just got into plowing last year and I spent like $$$6,000 on equipment and this past year I made it all back by billing by the job and push I figure if I did it by the hour I would have made 1/2 that ...Bill you yhe Job and Push
  6. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Draftlawncare "I know what my time is worth if i did it by the hour i would charge $ 65 -$70 per hour "

    Don't sell yourself off that cheap. Pricing has been discussed all over this sight on numerous threads. Most of us, contractors, not subs, seem to be grossing $100-200+ per hour. This will vary by geography. For my area $100-125+ is the going rate. If at all possible do it by the push with a 1-2" trigger, but it all depends of the type of property and the what the customers needs are.
  7. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    Per push means that every time you do their lot it is a set price for doing the lot. IE if you get a 2" snow fall the charge is $85.00 If it snows 4" and you push it once then the cost is again $85.00. In my case we have quite a few accounts that are 24 hour operations and due not want any snow accumulation. So as an example in the last 9" snow fall we pushed some locations 5 times while others were done 3-4 times. As previously noted you will find a system that works for you as we use a hybrid of per push.............per inch and per hour based on the situation. Also as noted by others pay attn to the ice melt factor, that is where you will find your highest profit margins if you do it correctly.
  8. Snowplow newbie

    Snowplow newbie Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Just remember that you have to charge by what your area will handle for price.

    Here in upstate NY contractors are getting low rates per hour. I have figured out some of the two major company rates with one at $60.00 per hour, and the other at $40.00 per hour.

    As you can see this is no where in the 100 to 200 range. In a normal winter they will get about 20 to 50 events in a season.

    This year has been tough for them, put since I am just starting it hasn't been that bad. Just make sure that you know the average rate that is being charged in your market.
  9. Snowplow newbie -

    I'm not sure exactly where you are in upstate NY, but $40-$60/hr are sub-contractor rates in this upstate NY area. Prices for contractors are right in the $100 - $200 range. Of course there are many lowballers like in any market, but most of us have figured out how to get $100/hr at a bare minimum. I personaly think that $100/hour for a legit contractor is too low, but everyone has there price.

  10. Snowplow newbie

    Snowplow newbie Junior Member
    Messages: 28


    I am about 75 miles west of Plattsburgh NY. Franklin County, the one with the highest unemployment in the STATE!!!. What a wonderful place. Anyway you have had some serious snow at the beginning of the season. We missed all the snow that you got. Usually with the number of events that we have it seems that the price per hour is lower. Businesses won't pay the higher price and some don't care about insurance so that opens me up to the lowballer. Up here almost everyone has a plow on their truck so you get quite a few independent plowers.
  11. Snowplow newbie - I would imagine that is a rough market up there. Now that I know where you are from the $40 - $60/hr makes sense. I really like it in the northern part of the state but the economy must make it realy tough. Although, the poor economy is probably why it stays such a nice area, keeps everyone away. Can't have everything I guess.

  12. Bchlawns

    Bchlawns Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 147

    I live in northwest ohio does anyone know the going rate? You guys are saying not to charge by the hour, why is that? Also how do you guys charge for different inches of snow? Do you have a flat rate and then add on for different inch amounts?
  13. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I agree that that's a tough one. The problem is that insurance is really for yourself. If you don't have insurance, you could lose everything you own if someone sues you for damages. I have the same problem up here and have heard people say "Oh, don't worry about it, nobody around here would think of sueing you for falling on snow". BS!!! All it would take is for that "nobody" to have some medical bills and see if they'd sue or not.

    Also how do you guys charge for different inches of snow? Do you have a flat rate and then add on for different inch amounts?

    There are several ways - one common way is a graduated rate. ie:

    3" - 6" $xxx ($30)
    over 6" - 9" $xxx times 1 1/2 ($45)
    over 9" - 12" $xxx times 2 ($60)
    over 12" $xxx times 2 plus $yyy per inch over 12"
  14. Bchlawns

    Bchlawns Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 147

    Charge by the hour to start off a lot easier to get going then all that other stuff with charging. I would get either a 2500 HD Chevy truck with a Western plow. U will be happy.