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Opinions please....

jrblawncare

Senior Member
I need some thougts on this,I got my first snow & ice client Friday..A Daycare apx.14000 sq.ft. of parking lot..I will be working per event at 3 inches I'm pushing at 60.00 per push..less than that I'm speading.I'm adding on a tailgate spreader,We get a mixed bag here and will {I'm thinking}use it more than the plow.My problem..how to charge for this service.I was thinking of charging a trip fee of 25.00 or 30.00 and doubling my cost for material.Sounds like most guys here are using a potassium chloride based product..Ice Melt w/traction my cost is around 6.00 per bag.What do you think..is my plow price in line..will my speading price idea work..I'm only doing residentail and smaller commercial lots.Thanks and don't beat me up to bad,this is my first at this and I'm starting up in a new market{new guy in town}...sure do miss up-state NY and.......OK I will not say it...Oh why not...LAKE EFFECT!!! JOHN
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
Well the pricing is what your market will bear. I usually try to get 70-80% of the per push price for ice control.At any rate no matter what ice melter you use, in order to melt 3" of snow in a timely fashion, you will have to use alot of it. I think you will find that when you get 2" of snow, you will push the lot off, and then ice control. Ice control alone is effective only to about an inch if you are melting from the top down, if you pre apply, you may be able to melt more, that will depend on the concentration of the product and the application rates. With the per trip charge and 2x material you really cant lose.
Dino
 

John Allin

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Erie, PA
Pricing on plowing sounds good. I agree with Dino on the ice control. His numbers "feel" right. Your way might not get you enough money.
 
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jrblawncare

Senior Member
Dino,John I guess I will make that change, push at 2 inches.Less than that I will spread.Dino you said 70% to 80% of the price of a push for speading {I did remember that from our phone chat}so lets use my numbers for speading ice melt on the above lot...Trip charge of 25.00 two bags of product 26.00 for a total to the customer of 51.00 thats a little better than 80% of 60.00.does this sound right?
 

GeoffD

PlowSite.com Veteran
I wouldn't have a minium amount on when you push. If you get 1" of wet snow, that builds up fast, you may be better off even pushing that 1". Then after the push apply your salt. The less there is to melt the less melting agent required.

Geoff
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
Not to be picky, but if the material is $6.00 and you double it, that will give you 12.00x2 bags, puts you at 24.00 + 25.00 trip charge, nets 49.00.
But anyway, I dont like being tied to trigger depths, if its an 1.5" and warming up, maybe no need to plow, but if the temps are dropping and you have an 1" then maybe you plow. By covering yourself from 0-3" plow price, you are able to use your judgement.
Well anyway, I think with a trip charge and a good markup on the material you really cant lose, but just be realistic on what the deicer will be able to accomplish.
Dino
 
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jrblawncare

Senior Member
Thanks guys,once again you have been a great help!!!Dino....I was rounding up my costs in my favor...Charging 13.00 a bag..after all I have to pick it up...store it and handle it,You know what I mean.Your right...its been a long day thats 49.00.

[Edited by jrblawncare on 11-12-2000 at 10:31 PM]
 

John Allin

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Erie, PA
Man 'O Man..... if I could go 'off topic' I'd have a field day with all the opportunities presented in this thread.....

Ah well.... don't want to get into trouble, so I'll just observe some more......
 

BRL

PlowSite.com - Veteran
Location
Somerset, NJ
jrb,
Nope. I think you were free & clear on that one & everything else you said. Those comments were aimed elsewhere & we'll probably be good, since we've been admonished recently. As far as your situation goes, I'll second the comments concerning the minimum push & salting theories presented.
 

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member
Location
NJ
It never ceases to amaze me how much prices vary, depending on the area. I may be naive, since no one locally likes to talk prices much, but here in Northern NJ, a lot that is 14,000 sq ft, would be at least $300 for a 1-4" push. My brother plows one lot, that is about 5000 sq. ft for $130, and he has kept it for 5 years, because he is the cheapest. And I keep telling him he isn't charging enough for that one. I am constantly told I charge too little for plowing by friends. I guess I do, because I never lost a bid based on price. There is a first time for everything though....

~Chuck
 
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jrblawncare

Senior Member
I know what you mean Chuck,but its a starting point for me.I'm sort of in the middle of the state between Louisville and Lexington both apx.45 min.away.I guess its the same on the green side of the biz..alot of guys here doing lawns for 15.00 that I would not touch for less than 30.00.I was going to buy a Bobcat when I moved here for landscaping but there is one on every corner,I can hire a man with a 'cat for 35.00 to 40.00 an hour so I put that on hold.
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
We all have an hour in which to edit and or delete any thread that you yourself posted. I saw where you all were going with it, and I merely made a premtive strike.
 

turfquip

PlowSite.com Veteran
At your location you would be lucky to get two or three 3 inch snow events. If you are contractually bound to plow at three and apply at any depth below, I hope it's not because you convinced them this plan would work. Or, are they dictating terms to you (more likely). In this business when the tail wags the dog somebody gets screwed.
 
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jrblawncare

Senior Member
Well your right about my small number of events...and at this point I'm not bound to any thing it was just talk.I have been hiehied to keep the lot safe....If they want that, they will have to work with me on the couse of action that is needed and thats the way it is.Thanks John
 
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