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Newbie needs answers

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by precisionyrdwrk, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. precisionyrdwrk

    precisionyrdwrk Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Hi all, I am new have have been searching this site for a few days now and have learned a lot. I have not found all the answers I seek. I have the chance to take on full service for 2 seperate civic associations. I am struggling with coming up with a price for these I was hoping to do per push with let say a 500$ non refundable deposit that would be applied to service. I have had my own landscaping business for 3 years now and just bought a 2006 ford f250 super duty and an 8' fisher stainless steel x blade plow. Hoping it will be a good combo.

    1st neighborhood:
    1 -1.5 miles of rd
    6 cul de sacs
    2 entrances
    9 top of streets that meet the main drag
    this one is for the neighborhood I live in. I want to give them a good price but not a cheap price.

    2nd neighborhood
    .5 miles or rd
    1 entrance
    2 culdesacs
    2 top of streets

    Both i plan on running one middle pass and then one on each side to finish and then clear cul de sacs Prices and ideas would be a great help. I always ran someone elses truck for them and got paid hourly.
    Also when we talk per push what are the average number or pushes per snowfall amount. Like let say 6 to 8 inches, would you plow that 2 or 3 times?

    i have alot of work I could bib on but need some pricing help as I am sure time is of the essence. Between Mowing and estimates its hard to search the thousands of posts and take notes on everyones opinion.
    I am in Delaware and hoping someone in the tristate area to be able to help me out with ideas or someone to just give me a general idea.

    I appriciate any and all help and coments, Sorry this was so long.
  2. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    oh boy...

    first all, welcome to PlowSite, now be prepared to either be ignored or bashed. I say this because you hinted that you have some experience plowing, yet your asking for us to give you the answers. Pricing fluctuates wildly across the country. Your truck and plow are nice but it sounds like your plowing private roads, not driveways or parking lots. Did you get a "V" or straight blade?

    If you are doing roads, get a Sidewing (www.sidewing.net) added to your truck, you'll plow the road in just two passes, and if need be you can push back snow over the curbs. Also don't run plain steel cutting edges, or you'll be replacing them every other event.

    To help with pricing, drive your route at 10-15 mph (oh yeah, get a deflector for the top of the plow or you'll have snow all over your windshield) and time it. Factor in your insurance, cost of equipment, gas, food, etc and it will give you a good idea of what you should charge. A $500 deposit is a joke, your looking at a $15,000 job at least.

    Lastly, if you don't have plowing experience, don't bid on this. Start slowly, don't jump in even if a VERY tempting offer is presented to you. It sounds like they are trying to take advantage of a newbie and you may get screwed. Did you ask why they aren't using the guy from last year?
  3. precisionyrdwrk

    precisionyrdwrk Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanx for the advice. I bought ht fisher 8' straight X blade plow. For the bigger neighborhood i was thinking or charging them a 100$ an inch. I found out from a neighbor that used to run the civic here back in 98' and charged 85$ an inch. I see a lot of guys talk about don't worry about getting rich, that you need to earn your reputation and build clients which is cool but I have a brand new truck and plow and other expenses so i need to make some money. You have to start somewhere as I learned starting my landscaping business. I was thinking of getting a 1000$ deposit for this neighborhood. We usually dont get a lot of snow here but everyone now and again we do get hit hard. average storm is 4 to 6 inches and if we get 8 or 10" its a big deal here. Thanx for the input.
  4. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    your way under-priced, thats a lot of work for $300 for a 3" snow fall. the association probably would like to see a price that is easy to budget for, like a flat rate each plow -with an exception if you get a big storm. try to find out what your average is for the area, and bid slightly higher than the norm, so you win on the 2-4" snow falls, lose on the 4-6" snow falls and win on 6"+ storms. What I mean is make the contract out for say 5 prepaid trips at $600 each. Maybe you end up getting 8 plowable events, 5 were in the 2-4" range and took you 4 hours to plow, 2 were in the 4-6" range and took you 6 hours to plow, and 1 was a whopper at 10" and took you 9 hours to plow but you get to charge an extra say $200 because it was over 6"

    Do you have a plan of where to put the snow? cul de sacs can be a real pain. Also buy ProWings (go to our sponsors page Central Parts for info) if your not going to get a SideWing.

    You say you don't get allot of snow in Delaware, so you don't want to charge a fortune, but you said it yourself, you just spent $$$ just in case it does snow. ---on that note, buying expensive equipment before have locked in contracts is a risky thing to do, its the old putting the cart before the horse analogy.

    good luck, hope some of this was helpful.

    oh yeah, 98' was a LONG time ago and gas was a hell of a lot cheaper than, $15 does not equal inflation in my book.
  5. MO TOYS

    MO TOYS Senior Member
    Messages: 111

    Hey what part of delaware you from
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    The lack of snow in the DE means your operating costs are higher then in a area that has higher avg snowfall rates. You have to recoup your costs with few snow events.It also means your equipment should last longer. Few operating hours per year. Between the lowballers and the limited amount of pushes the hardest part of snow removal around here is making money. You have to make your nut on an avg snowfall of about 22 inches. at $100@ inch thats $2,200 avg income from that contract. Not enough, also think about how your going to salt. This area wants instant gratification, hey will get and expect to go to work as if it didn't snow. They ***** about sand, you'll find yourself cleaning it up come spring. Salt is the key it's also the best way to help keep the numbers where they need to be. The profit % on salting is much higher then plowing.
    The state of DE civic assoc snow removal reimbursement program is a great model. I have not seen the new figures but previously they would pay 3/4 of any registered civic assoc. snow removal cost for any 4" or more snowfall, not to exceed their $ limits. They feel you are entitled to $150.00 just to show up, they refer to it as a mobilization charge, then $90.00@ mile and $25.00@ cul-d-sac and entrance. So 1 mile of road with one entrance and one cul-d-sac would be $290.00 for a 4 inch storm. Now they're opinion of plowing the road is one pass in, one pass out, and most people want curb to curb. Remember if they are a registered civic assoc. they would get $217.50 from the state. This does not include the cost of salting. These are not current numbers, the current info is available from DELDOT.
    So using those numbers they feel your first development would be $440.00 for a 4" storm no salting. I'd probably turn that in to $350.00 2/4 $600 4/8 950 8/12 $175@ inch over 12. I'd also have a $400.00 salt charge, this would be charged every time I plowed.
    I'm not saying these numbers are what you should use. Difficultly, both of access and removal need to be factored in, as well as the fact you will be pushing curb to curb.

    As an aside. I wouldn't plow the neighborhood I lived in. I do my neighbor on either side for free, when I'm done everything else. They offered to contract me but I said no, They would except a deal, then want special service. No quicker way to create friction then doing business with friends and neighbors.

    Did you get your plow from Dempsey's?
  7. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    I am not sure about where you are, but in my home town, if they were bidding that type of money for that size area, the plow guy would loose his butt!!! I agree, that you are looking at all of a 15k to 18k job there.
    Good Luck and best wishes!
  8. emayer23

    emayer23 Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    grn mtn

    you said dont run just steel cutting edge whats the alternative ? and whats it cost
  9. emayer23

    emayer23 Senior Member
    Messages: 117


    could anyone answer my question what is the alternative to just steel cutting edge?
  10. Mick

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

    Most common is rubber or urethane. For prices, you might find them in CPW. Click on the link at the top of the page.
  11. emayer23

    emayer23 Senior Member
    Messages: 117


    i did nt see cpw link on the page sorry
  12. Mick

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

  13. emayer23

    emayer23 Senior Member
    Messages: 117


    thanx mick