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Neep help for season contract please

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by shovelracer, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    OK I have been doing a commercial lot for 5 years now. At first it was vacant and small, then they built a new building and tripled the lot size. Up till now they have always wanted a per push / per pound price. That was fine until last year. Their salt usage for last year was 500% the average of the other years due to the many small ice storms we had. I have the pushing price pretty good since all years have been within 2-3 pushes. Not sure where to go with the salt pricing. My instinct is to use the highest amount as my starting point, but I dont want to scare them off since its good money. I have an average on 4 years for salt since year 1 it was vacant and no one was there. Any thoughts on the subject would be good. Thanks
  2. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    If you feel good about the seasonal plowing price, then do it. It is guarenteed money.

    I would probably explain to them like this. "Last year was a freak year in that we had a lot of small ice storms. I'm not saying that won't be the case this year, but I don't want to over charge you if the salt is not needed. Budget for last years amount and if it is less, you will have money at the end."

    Good Luck
  3. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    The pushing has been consistant. Invoices list salting and pushing as separate line items on per push customers. They want one price to budget. Of course I want to go high for protection and profit, but only 1 out of 4 years was like this, but salt isnt cheap and I dont want to work for free if it gets bad. So what do you do. Im not affraid of raising prices, but this account could hurt if lost, so I need to be fair to them, but need to make money as well. This isnt a hobby.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    You could only keep bring up how much you used last yr. And bill it like last yr. or have a base tonnage for the season and anything over is extra.
  5. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Salt is volatile right now, there already is a shortage. Do you have the cash (and storage) to purchase all of last years quantity now ? Remember if your offering seasonal salting you need to be able to supply it as well. Keep a sharp eye on that market, if your not going to stock pile it. You will lose contracts if you can not perform, that includes salting.

    My advice to you is never offer up unlimited salting on a seasonal unless its at least 50% more then your 5 year average saltings. I took a serious beating last winter on 3 banks with no caps on salt or plowing. To add to the 5 figure hit, there was no salt available local from Feb on. I paid to truck in salt from Toledo. Our average is 25 (not any more) and I salted 37 times. Lesson learned, and it will never happen again.
    Take your 5 year average and if your feeling lucky (or need to sweeten the pot) throw in one or two extra applications and thats it, caped. If you have a normal winter everyones happy and you get a monthly check. If you have a tuff winter, and they go over budget oh well. The guys doing the green work will be whining all summer as they have only maintenance and no "extra" work.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  6. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    Tman, well said, almost seems like an idea i was thinking earlier ...lol:jester: