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Oops! Its only 100,000 Sq. Feet.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by cfrommer, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. cfrommer

    cfrommer Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I posted earlier, but made a mistake in my decimal place! The parking lot for me to plow is only 100,000 Square Feet. How long should this take? And how much gas would it use?
  2. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    the old standby is 8' plow = 1 acre (46Ksqft approx) per hour. That said, provide a google earth photo, tell us what type of equipment your using and whether or not the lot will be salted on a regular basis. Then a better idea of time can be given.

    side note: how long have you been in the business?
  3. cfrommer

    cfrommer Junior Member
    Messages: 7


    Here is a google map of the area:


    The small side lot will not need to be done every time, only on weekends. Sanding/salting will be done on an as needed basis. How much sand/salt will that require?

    I will be plowing with a 1992 Ford F-250 4x4 with a spreader. It is my first time trying to plow. Hoping to save the church a bunch of money.
  4. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    This will work for the first, year might save some money, intill you get tired of waking up at 3am to plow, or your truck breaks down or you run out of salt and cant get any cause you dont buy it like to contractors.

    Not trying to be a @$$ but we see this all the time, there is a church around here that did the same thing, Till they ran out of salt, and then couldnt keep up with this snow, My buddy end up in there for 4 hours with 2 trucks and a Loader cost the church $1500.

    See what im saying.

    Call powerjoke ( member on this site) Im sure here plow it for you :D
  5. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    Good intentions ... they never go un-punished.

    The side lot has to be plowed when the large lot is done. If not, you'll get a build up of ice/snow that's harder to push and will not clean up without a lot of salt.

    You've got a 1992 truck ... expect down time. Who will cover for you?

    Salt/sand you'll need more than you can store at home.

    There are a lot of islands to consider. Islands eat up time and you can NOT stack much there or you will loose many parking spots. I'm not sure how the other guy took 4 hours with 2 trucks and a loader unless that was combined time and the lot was crap. I'd target 4-5 hours with an empty lot and <4" of snow for being new to plowing. Better make sure you know were they want the snow stacked - that could put a whole lot of pain into this.
  6. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    the link is general and list a bunch of churches so I wasn't able to see the lot.

    What size is your blade? Its sounds like your doing this as a freebee, unfortunately free to the church is going to cost you a small fortune. tranny service, ball joints, rusted rotted everything, gas and tires. Please say your charging something, the magic number is roughly $100-$120 per hour to make money and pay for replacement. so if it take you 1 1/2 hours to plow charge $150.

    I do a church thats 56K, 12k of it is gravel. The first year I did it the gravel portion was mostly blocked with construction equipment, but this year its not and the weather has been weird so the gravel has been soft, needless to say I will have to renegotiate my contract with them because I fell under my magic number, I was doing it in 33-47 minutes but the last couple of storms its been more like 60-90:cry:

    What makes it worse with churches is the lack of consistency. if you salt everytime the snow doesn't stick and scrapes real easy, other wise it sticks and takes longer to plow. Or they say wait and make you plow at 6" instead which doubles your time on site but they want to pay the same. IN my case its a seasonal contract so letting the snow build up is partly my fault during weekday snows storms, and I hate myself everytime its happened, but everytime I plow I make "less" money, its all a game and winning takes luck and experience.

    Do yourself a favor and get some prowings to increase your efficiency by 20% all for a whopping $300.
  7. cfrommer

    cfrommer Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Good Questions, Scott!

    I know where they'll want to put the snow when moved, no problem there. Good point about the side lot, hadn't thought of that. As far as sand/salt, what is the best way of getting that? How much would a lot this size take? Also, I won't be doing it for free, just hoping to do it a lot cheaper than the large landscape company we are currently using. What is a good hourly rate to charge? We paid about $15,000 this year for 8 snows of 1-4 inches. I have a backup driver, and another truck I can use, so downtime isn't an issue.
  8. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    what kind of spreader? ie tailgate or v'box, meaning cheaper bulk or more expensive bagged?

    Do you need to do the whole lot or just the driving lanes and handicap areas?

    Remember salt melts and its brine helps to keep melting to some extent with future storms, sand provides traction but then you have to pay for a sweeper to pick it up and it tracks into the church pretty bad.

    I would say roughly 2000 - 3000 lbs of salt per app., thats going light is some area's and heavy in others
  9. cfrommer

    cfrommer Junior Member
    Messages: 7


    I have a V-Box Spreader. It fits in the back of my truck, not on the tailgate. Good to know about the sand being dragged into the church. Probably salt only for us!
  10. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    15k / 8 == $1875 per event. Let's make some assumptions on how they got to this cost... 4 hours 2 trucks per event that's $234 per hour. Pay a driver $65 an hour that's $169 above cost per hour. I think a single truck and smart driver could do this in 3-4 hours. Those islands will cost you time.

    Why not budget on 1 truck for 4 hours, 2nd truck for 2 hours for a total of 6 hours per event. ( there is a fatigue or boredom when doing the same lot for 6 hours straight and if you take too long when an event ends and the church is going to meet your screwed so, I'd plan on having your buddy help in all cases). At $200 per hour at 8 events you'll be at $9600 for a comparable time effort. This would be a savings to them. I'd still be curious why the other company up charged so much ... must be missing something.

    I do not expect anyone charging $200 an hour, kind of stiff. You might want to also have a clause in your contract that says when the mounds are too high you can sub out a front loader for T&M to push back the piles.

    Can't help you on salt cost or amount.
  11. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    agreed, maybe that was a seasonal price based on an average of XX trips per year?

    for example, a large outfit around here charges $200 per acre this lot is roughly 2 1/4 acres which woudl be $450 per push. I base my seasonal commercials on 30 trips, and thats pretty close to the numbers I was just throwing around. Still thats a big chunk of money, like you said must be missing something?
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2008