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Per push AND per event price?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Plow Babe, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    We were just asked for a bid in the format of a per push and per event. This seems wierd to me, so I wondered if any of you have bid like this?

    The format was, to give a per push price and a per event price, broken down into 1.5 - 5", 5-8", 8-14", and 14+".

    So, what this seems like to me is they want a per push price, with a maximum per event price.
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    We've bid like this before(rarely), my view is we bid per push(1-3" generally). If we over booked & can't get back to plow next 3 it's our own fault (doesn't happen very often 1 for 33 last season).
    For your numbers I would generally use somthing like:
    5-8 price x 1.5
    8-14 x 2
    above 14 per inch or hourly(loader time)
  3. Santo

    Santo Banned
    Messages: 255

    Many contractors make the common mistake as follows:

    2"-5' - $ 550.00
    5"-8" - $750.00
    8"-11" - $1075.00
    What would you charge your customer if there is 5"or 8"?
    What would your customer want to pay?

    Start with over 5"-8"
    over 8"-11"
  4. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Also many contractors make the common mistake as follows:

    Using ( XX' ) as in foot instead of inches. Just like you Santo :D :

    $550.00 for 2 inches through 5 foot of snow? Not a bad deal, Santo. I am sure you will have no trouble getting more accounts. :D Caught ya. ;) I am just kidding ya. :waving:
  5. Santo

    Santo Banned
    Messages: 255

    That fell off , it's on the floor.

    >>>> ' <<<<<< see.
  6. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    That's a good observation, thank you.
    Actually, the specs are 5.1 - 8", 8.1 - 14" but I was just trying to type it faster. :D

    Michael F,
    So what you are saying is your per event price for the 1.5-5" push would be the same as the per push price, the next category up would be 1.5 times the per push price, the next would be 2x per push price? They want an event price for the over 14" also, would you go 3x the per-push price?

    I appreciate the input. This is not how I would choose to bid. If we were going to bid per push, I would like to break it down in more of 3" increments. But this particular property has provided the specs and won't accept any variations.
  7. Mick

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

    Karen, just a thought for you to consider:

    If you're using the 1.5" to 5" as the "per push" figure and going from there in setting increments - then I'd want to use some hypotheticals situations in setting the over 14" price.

    Here's why -

    You will set the 1.5" to 5" at a realistic figure for that range. Let's use $100 for example. Now, snow in that range will generally be in all types from light/fluffy to wet/heavy. Now, at least in this area, snowfalls over 12" tend to be primarily wet/heavy so you lose in that respect already. Now, in the 1.5" to 5" range you will have a wide range of depths you get the $100 for with an average of probably 3-4". Over 14" is just plain heavy. Also, do you have a limit over 14"? What happens if you get that freak 7' (feet) snowfall? Would you still get $300 for pushing 14" of wet/heavy and 7'?

    Of course you know your area better than I do and they're setting the ranges, but I'd have to pass on something like that unless I were signing a multiple year contract with some stipulations on upper limits.
  8. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Per Push = a price for each clearing of the property.

    Per Event = A price for a storm total accumulation that falls into those specified categories.

    So if your Per Event price for 5.1" - 8" is $500.00, and it snowed 7.5" you would charge them $500.00, whether you pushed it once or 4 times during that storm. If your Per Push price is $300.00 for that lot, and you plowed it twice for that 7.5" event, you'd charge them $600.00 for that storm. Not sure why they would ask for 2 different pricing styles. I guess they'll decide on which one they want to gamble on for the season, but your contract will be either one or the other after they choose, not both. :confused:

    Also, for the higher accumulations (example - over 14"), give them a big number PLUS loader charges if needed, when doing the Per Event price.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2003
  9. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    Thanks BRL,
    I thought that was a goofy way to ask for a bid. Before I turn in any numbers, I am going to get some more clarification. The form they have for pricing lists per push and per event together, as if to price for both at the same time, but that really does not make sense.

    Also, Mick, thanks for the input. I will definitely have an "extreme storm" clause for the freak storm. It seems like from what I have read on other posts that for a clause like this it is generally anything over 24 inches?
  10. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    "It seems like from what I have read on other posts that for a clause like this it is generally anything over 24 inches?"

    Mine say over 12", or blizzard conditions, or successive storms creating lots of snow in the lots, etc.. Those conditions are about when we start needing to use loaders. Trucks with plows can only do so much. I wouldn't wait til 24" before requiring severe conditions pricing. My equipment will be hurtin before that point, along with my costs to move the snow.

    Your customer may need to be educated a little on what they are actually requesting. You plow snow & asked, and this question has been asked a few times recently here, so it's certainly possible the not in the plowing business customer doesn't know what they are asking for as well?? They might appreciate & value your input in helping them with some confusion, & in turn develop a good business relationship with them.
  11. SnowProGRES

    SnowProGRES Member
    Messages: 34

    I placed a bid on a format similar to this and my understanding of the breakdown was like this.
    in an event with total accumulation of :

    1.5"-5" you hypothetically bid $100 and you plow once and charge $100.

    5"-8" You bid $150 and plow twice so you hit the customer with a bill for $300

    8"-11" You bid $200 and plow 4 times so you hit the customer with a bill of $800 for the snow event.

    (keep in mind the Dollar amount and number of pushes per event are arbitrary in this example)

    I have only seen this once and chose not to pursue the bid due to the complexity.
  12. Mick

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

    SnowProGRES, just as a point of clarification - generally if you bid in increments like that, you would not be charging multiple times for plowing that increment. For instance, using your example if it snowed 10" you would charge $200 regardless of how many times you pushed. I like that method because it gives me the latitude to decide how often to plow considering the weight of the snow. If you were to charge for each time you plow, you will generally charge a set amount for a set depth - ie: $100 and plow every 3".

    Plowbabe - I also use 12" as a cutoff point and charge $xxx for 12" plus $yyy per inch over 12" within a 24 hour period. Twenty four hours after the beginning of unbroken snowfall begins a new billing period.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2003
  13. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    It's interesting how different contract language is interupted in diffferent areas of the country.

    I take the following example to be how I'd interupt using your numbers:

    Clearing per push:
    1.5 > 5.0" - $100.00
    5.0 > 8.0" - $150.00
    8.0 > 14.0" - $200.00
    14.0" + - $200 plus hourly

    Per push would come out to each time you plow the property, you would charge according to the amount of snow you pushed. If the snow fall for the event was 12", and you plowed it three times, once in the 5.0 > 8.0" range and twice in the lower category, that would equal $350.00 for the three plowings.

    If you were charging per event, regardless of how many times you plow, you would charge for the total snow fall accumulation for that storm. A 12" storm would be invoiced at $200.00.

    So, if you're pricing per event, you need to have a common understanding with the owner how that "event" is defined. Is it each time you push? Then it's really a per push price. If it's multiple plowings per "storm" then you need to have an average number of plowings that you'll perform each storm. You might figure hypothetically that the average number of plowings per event is 1.5. Using your same pricing, your event numbers might then look like:

    Clearing per event:
    1.5 > 5.0" - $150.00
    5.0 > 8.0" - $225.00
    8.0 > 14.0" - $300.00
    14.0" + - $300 plus hourly

    So, on that same 12" storm which you plowed three times, you'd charge $300.00. Okay, so it's less then the $350.00. But you'll recoup this when you're making your single plows at the $150 number.

    The factor of how many times you expect to plow per event will be your critical number. It's like your seasonal factor that you have for seasonal contracts. I see the per event pricing as being a slight hybrid between per push and seasonals.

    Per "Storm" or per "event" is more common in some areas in the East. I have only heard about it from a couple of people out East, and this was how I interupted what they explained to me. They also wind up pricing salting per event as well. An event could last one trip out or be multiple trips. Just depends on the storm system.

    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664

    Doug makes a lot of sense of it , as usual. The problem here would be a storm that doesnt end, like two years ago December when it snowed ALL WEEK for 60 plus inches. How in the world would you bill that if you had a per event pricing ? Would you specify no more than 24 hours, then you automatically get to bill for a second event ?

    That would be too confusing here, but it would be profitable, if you did it right. You would need to consider the average event as a very high number of inches to keep from getting burned, and then all of those 1/2 to 3 inch lake effect nights you would be making a killling.
  15. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Yes, like Mick posted, after 24 hours, the storm becomes a new event for billing purposes. But I believe what you describe is a good reason to use "per push" or seasonal pricing in high snow areas such as lake effect areas etc.

    SnowproGRES & Lawn Lad have posted 2 other variations of "incremental per push" pricing that may explain what Plow Babe's customer is thinking. (that's my phrase for this to differrentiate between, "per push" & "per event" (as far as the definition of "event", let's say it is the total accumulation at the end of the storm (within 24 hours LOL)?) :confused: ) Like SnowproGRES & Pine Island mentioned, those are confusing & complex ways of dealing with the billing. For that reason alone I would try to avoid those variations

    I've seen a contract specified like Lawn Lad explains. The problem with that is that we don't\can't wait for 8" accumulations to start pushing commercial lots (this type of contract wouldn't be a problem for residential IMO). So again I say that sometimes the customers need to educated a little. The per push price would theoretically be based on the fact that we will be pushing every 3"-4" at the most. (Though small unobstructed lots can probably be done with higher accumulations, so then I would agree that a pricing strategy like that could work, when the facility isn't open at night & the snow falls in the evening\night) The assumption here is that the facility you are plowing for wants to have safe access during the snow, so the customer needs to be educated that there is no need for a 8.1" - 14" per push price. The lot will be cleared every so many inches so that the average employee, visitor, or customers car, & delivery trucks etc. can actually use the lot.

    But another thought I just had, these types of pricing might actually be appropriate LOL. Theoretically, the difficulty of each successive push during higher accumulation storms increases due to moving around all of the cars, etc. throughout the event. So why shouldn't we charge a higher "per push" price for the higher accumulations (like SnowproGRES's example)? But again, I say that it's too complicated, and I would prefer to keep it as simple as possible for the clients, so they have less of a chance to argue or contest a charge.

    So Plow Babe, how are we doing with helping with your question LOL? :alien: :confused: :eek: Great discussion you prompted IMO.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2003
  16. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    "They also wind up pricing salting per event as well. An event could last one trip out or be multiple trips."

    I've seen a ton of different contracts, talked to many contractors in the east, and read many posts here, and not once heard of anyone pricing salting that way. Interesting that you've heard of people doing it that way. By the ton or by the application is all I've ever seen or heard of. Plowing with all of these variations we're discussing, but never salting that way from what I've seen LOL.
  17. Plow Babe

    Plow Babe Senior Member
    Messages: 218

    This has been a great thread, thanks for all the info. It was two different pricing methods they were asking for. So the per push is just that, charged each time we clear the lot. The per event price they did not define, so I wrote in a definition of a 24 hour period. I decided to try to go with just T&M for deicing (this was discussed in another thread) because it was just too complex to try to come up with a per-application price. I turned the bid in today, so keep your fingers crossed for us :)