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Per Push Charging, Per hour charging.

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by cole22, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. cole22

    cole22 Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    Hi I've been pondering on going out on my own here plowing and am wondering how does everyone charge for per push when you get 7-8"s and you push twice so its not to much snow to move at once. Does everyone put in there contracts for every so many inches for per push etc. And for per hour how do you go about paying subs. Thanks in advance for everyone's advice.
  2. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    i will only bid per hour usually for government work (schools and stuff) other wise its all per push. My trigger is 1" anything under is just salt or no service. Its broke down into categories 1-4"
    And greater then 12"

    1-4 gets pushed 1 time 4-7 2 times and so on. If I charge 60 an hour for a truck (not my rate) and have a lot that takes me 1 hour to push 1-4" (about a 1 acre lot) i would charge $60.00. If the storm dumped 4.1-7 inches it will see 2 pushes and i increase my base rate by 150% so it would be 90$ for the storm, 7.1-10 inches is 225% of the base rate so $135.00 and then 300% for the 10-12 or $180. Then what I do for the 12" or greater storm, its $180 plus what ever other category it falls in, so lets say we get 15.5" of snow, it would be $240. Then if there is salting, that is figured into the price. If they want a fixed rate for salt we figure on a medium application, other wise its priced per lb. We could have one storm where its 30* out and put down like 800lbs per acre, and another one where its 10* out and were putting down 1500lbs per acre. So if they say fixed rate they would get a price for a 1200lb salt application.

    As far as sub rates go it really depends on the equipment they are using. For a pick up with a 7.5-8.0 plow on it I would pay out about $50-55/hour based on experience. Small dump truck (1-2 ton) would be about $65/hour and then for a skid I would pay out around $70-75 per hour depending on what kind of plow or pusher they have. It really all varies by area.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010
  3. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    I am going on my fifth season plowing and I have been hourly since day one. I'm am trying my hardest to get my contracts (small to medium commercial) to switch to a per push price.

    I figured instead of giving them a breakdown of total inches for the storm, I would tell them that we will initially plow at the trigger depth and again once the trigger depth is met. You could end up plowing once or you could go do it ten times. It all depends on the severity and length of the storm. If the trigger depth is not met after the first time, they have the option of having me come in and plow whatever is on the ground for a reduced rate.

    I have a very tight route and the equipment to handle it in a timely manner. It would be on me though if I couldn't get there at the trigger depth and had to push 5" instead.

    I am seriously done with the hourly work. I thought it would be great in the beginning and that I could take my time to get things done. Now, I want to get bigger equipment and get things knocked out quicker so that I can send the guys (and myself) home earlier.
  4. cubanb343

    cubanb343 Senior Member
    from ERIE
    Messages: 637

    Good point. Makes me laugh, there are lots I try to take my time on to make a few extra $$ but I can't help it but do them quickly just so I can get done faster. I'm even looking for some wings to get done even quicker
  5. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    ya like I said, the only thing I bid at hourly is schools. They want low bidder and dont want event pricing. I dont mind it because usually were able to do pretty well with them. They usually only want 1 or 2 services per storm. So we make sure there open in the AM and then usually again at the end of the storm. Maybe some work in the middle to get lanes open for buses. but this works to our advantage. The amount of snow we push sometimes is so great (long pushes), if we have a 3 or 4 inches on the ground, we cant push it back far enough so we get to sell some loader work.

    but per push is defenitally the way to go. Thats why too you see a lot of guys that say after 12" its hourly. Well like you said you move fast so you might not be on site long enough to make more then your 10" figure. Thats why I just do the 12" price total plus the additional inches fell price total. works out great.
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If you plow twice you charge twice. Try and get a seasonal contract with them.

    Bristol,If your charging hourly how long does it take you to plow one of these lots?
  7. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    depends on snow totals, but a 2.5-3 acre lot with 2-3" of snow on it can be done in about 1.5hours with 2 trucks, the property has an upper lot, no curbs just straight pushes 1 acre, then a middle lot, very small probably 200x100, and then a lower lot, pretty open, a few curbed areas, but thats it. There are small roads connecting each lot, probably about 1k-2k long 1 pass each way and they are clear. We get about 150-200 for it for that size storm
  8. snobgone

    snobgone Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 122

    Local markets can have an impact on what you can charge. Our area is predominately charged in per inch increments, 1-3, 3-6. and so on. When we bid, we figure what needs to be plowed every three inches or so, and what can be done post event. It does not work in all scenarios, but in most cases it does.

    A condo for example, we are going to plow the mains every 3 inches and the spots once every 6 inches or so (or before 7 a.m. or 5 p.m.). So our 1-3 rate is a full plow, our 3-6 is a full plow plus a second plow of the main roads. So if it takes 6 hrs for a complete 1-3 inch plow and the mains take 3hrs of that 6, then our 3-6 inch hour budget is 9 hrs so we can plow the mains twice. (its actually a bit more because it takes longer to clean up the spots on a 6 than a 3, but that is the jist of it).

    Commercial with traditional business hours is the same, clear mains during the event and mop it up at night when the lot is empty.

    Make sense?
  9. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    My experience is that for per hour pricing, you have to have a low figure and usually end up kicking yourself. I never get jobs that I bid on per hour. I try and go for per push pricing. Works good, I make a good hourly figure and it's easier to keep track of during a big storm. I have in my contracts that we plow each time a maximum of 6" accumulates. This is both for residentials and commercials. I don't do a lot of commercial work, so I don't have many "high demand" customers as of now (plow every inch or two). I don't get much commercial work that I bid on, because it always goes for the cheapest rate. Nobody wants residentials around here, so I snatch all those up. Works pretty good for me so far. Parking lots are easier though...
  10. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    we do a mix of billing types. Large accounts we do hourly, the fact is that lots that are into many acres of area or are difficult (we do a large manufacturing facility) are so hard to be consistent on, some days they need something light (a couple hours) sometimes they want a machine there all day, and there can be no drifting or huge amounts of drifting in at different times/places, so i have found hourly is best here, we do however charge a retainer fee every month, so we are always guaranteed some money even if there is no snow, and we allow them to use that retainer fee towards anything. An example is the one manufacturing plant had us doing some sweeping and stuff around the plant in March because there was no snow, they got value for their retaineer, and the job ended up costing way more then the retainer, so we got some extra work.

    We do all our light/medium commercial/industrial on a per time basis, they are always the same, and if the snow fall/weather results in one or two drifts it really doesn't hamper you on your time too much, really what is the difference of 1hr to 1 1/4hr if it is a heavier snowfall.

    All of our residential is done on a seasonal contract, since these are the smallest contracts there is little risk if there is a bad drift etc, it hangs up one of your crews for a bit longer, or they call in a skid steer to come deal with it, but most of those elder people and such are happy to pay a monthly amount and not worry about it any more.
  11. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    Condo's seem to be the only places around here that want monthly rates. As far as bigger commercial jobs, those go for really cheap around here. Usually about $55/hr for a pickup and $65/hr for a loader. I don't know how those guys make money doing that...

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,556

    The only way I think they could make money would be they are only working half and hour and billing for an hour. Or they are figuring out how long it takes going slow, then adding the wings or the 810, or a pusher and ripping thru it. Really who knows how long you have been then, really. Its like the mechanics book of how long it should take vs how long it really took and how much was billed. I dont get it either but without an educated customer knowing about the difference between say a pusher and a bucket its going to stay like that.
  13. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    FWIW, I have a mixture of per push, by the inch, & hourly. Mostly by inch & per push.....dont like hourly so much. I have a few that are in increments of 2 or less, 2.1 - 4, 4.1 - 6, 6.1 - 8, then it goes to 8.1 or more which is the last increment plus which ever other increment that equals the total amount. For example, a 12 inch storm would be charged out as the 6.1 - 8 price plus the 2.1 - 4 price. Drift clean up is always an hourly rate w/ a minimum charge. I also have a few that are setup on a less than 6inch charge & 6in or more (with blizzard clause for 12 in or more, which is the 6in or more price plus an hourly rate for the time spent piling/moving snow). Not one way is best for everybody and every account......seasonals dont sell good here. We dont get enough snow for one, and the few guys that are getting seasonals around here that I know of are getting them through a year round property maintence contract.
  14. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    Sounds like a pretty good way of doing things.
  15. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I totally agree with you. I don't want to be dishonest in order to make money. I would love to see some of the invoices and compare them to what I figured for the properties. Maybe they are honest, you never know.