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Plowing a Wal-Mart

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by BrokenMRanch, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. BrokenMRanch

    BrokenMRanch Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I was just looking for suggestions on clearing snow off a average size Wal-Mart Supercenter lot. I have two John Deere 9200's with 12ft Degelman dozer blades for the main lot. Case 75XT skid steer for sidewalks and trailer dock area, with 10ft hydralic angle blade and 6 snow bucket. I will charge $150/hr/unit for the tractors and $50/hr for skidsteer. I will sub out the salt for now. We get an average of 25-30inches of snow per year, with the last couple years below average. Wind is the main concern as drifting snow is a major problem. If things do get nasty I have 2 other JD9200's with 16ft Degelman snowblades and 1 JD8410 with 12ft dozer, but these units are in use for other lots so would just be called in for severe blizzard duty. They want snow cleared off every time it reaches 2 inches. Does this sound reasonable for price and equiptment for clearing such a place? Any suggestions of other items/equipt/etc I might need? How do the poly blades work on these type lots...do they last as long as the high temper steel blades? Thanks
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2006
  2. 06HD BOSS

    06HD BOSS 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,611

    I did a couple Walmarts under another guy for 2 years. I was running an F650 with 10' fisher and the other guy was running a Trojan loader with a 16' box. Under 6" of snow we could get the lot finished in under 6 hours. Bouncing back and forth between another walmart it would take a good 12 hours to to finish both. One big blizzard we got hit with like 25" of snow we stayed on one lot for 18hours straight. So yes your equipment can definitely handle the work.
    As for your pricing in my area that would be low. We'd be getting about a 1/3rd more than that per hour. Even though we didnt bill by the hour. It was roughly $65-$70,000 per season for each store. Im sure your demographics are much different seeing as you only get 25" of snow per season.
    Best of luck:cool:
  3. mike33

    mike33 Senior Member
    Messages: 335


    The wally world in my area is a cheap ass low life out fit who wants it done for nothing. Each year its entertaing to see what sanford and son operation is domb enough to take it on.I guess again all based on location.
  4. digit

    digit Member
    Messages: 94

    Sounds like you have enough equipment the thing I can see you having a problem with is piling snow unless aI'm wrong I don't think you can pile snow very high with the dozer blades and most places don't want to lose more parking spots than necassary.
    The price sounds low but you have to know what it cost you to run these machines and what you can get.
  5. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876


    Im comin Elizabeth!
  6. mike33

    mike33 Senior Member
    Messages: 335


    Thats a fact too. i had the chance to bid it 4 years ago, the manager fired a contractor who claimed he charged to much. This contractor i know and he does excellant work. The manager which is from an area 75 miles west in a higher elevation that gets alot more snow than us feels snow plowers go over board. That our area people should be able to get around in it and not have to have a perfect lot that it will go away soon. Of course these managers get a bonus of what they save from there budget also. I think places like wal- mart would be a real pita to plw with all of the trafffic and people in the way.
  7. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    Maybe, but at nite, there's just an empty parking lot waiting to be cleared. I'd love to do a Wal-Mart!
  8. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    I have plowed wal-marts for over 10yrs. They do squeak a little but most customers do. I can say they are easy and pay on time. dougpayup
  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    I don't plow Wal-Marts, but I DO do the lawn maintenance for 3, and they are 3 of the fastest paying accounts that I have, as long as I get them a bill by the 5th of the month.

    I'll have a check by the 15th - 20th. If I don't get it by the 5th, then it usually gets paid with the next month's bill, but that one comes faster yet.

    I plowed one, the first year the store opened, but it was 40 miles from me, and hard to guage when to service it.

    We were the lawn contractor at the time, in a small town, and the store management had just shifted from the crew that opens the store, to the crew that runs the store, but no one had hired a plowing crew.

    I told them the situation, and if I hadn't been there to plow, that they would have to call and we'd be there in an hour....

    It was an okay deal, but thankfully they found a different contractor in the area to take it over.
  10. Mark Witcher

    Mark Witcher Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    I have been doing a Wal Mart Super center for 7 years now. The parking lot is far from empty at night. Open 24 hrs, plus all the employee cars. But its a good account now that the corporate office is out of the pay system. 1 inch of snow and we plow it.
  11. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    The 12' pusher prices seem low. Would be about at least $50 more an hour here. But $50 an hour for a skid loader?? You got to get more than that. $100 an hour is more in tune.
  12. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,249

    Just out of curiosity, how can anybody except someone else in his market be telling him what his prices per hour should be? And even then they don't know his numbers? Then throw in nobody here has any clue what his costs are?

    I thought we had come to the conclusion that everybody's pricing is different based on costs-overhead, labor, and profit and market. Nobody can apply their pricing to another market without knowing the market and knowing his costs. I realize some of you have given that disclaimer, that they would be low in your market, but not all.

    I can tell all the plowers in Holland, MI that their prices should be $100\hour for a truck, but they won't be buying any groceries this winter, because their market will not bear that price. Their market will only go an average of $35-$40\hour per truck. And they're only 40 miles away, not 400 or 1000.
  13. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,249

    deleted post
  14. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    If a skidsteer gets 200 per hour, in Maine, what does that same skidsteer, with the same operater get in Michigan?
    He gets what the market will bear.

    By the way.....
    Ann Arbor, Dont you start with me!!!!:D
  15. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Heh I have one to blow everyone else out of the water,A local so called "civil contractor" (and I use that term very loosely) used his Komatsu 600 to plow the Wal-Mart here he was trying to out bid another rival so the jackass bid.........................$75, yes $75 to show up with a massive mining loader to plow the damn Wally world for the entire year.To this day I still laugh at that moron no pusher just his spade nose bucket with teeth,I wish I still had pics of it,He plowed the larger mall across the road with 2 old Dresser 560's from the 70's.

    If the people here knew how to plow commercial they would be dangerous :rolleyes:
  16. framer1901

    framer1901 Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Mark, Mark , Mark - we ain't that low, yet and if we ever get that low, I got alot for sale.

    I laugh at some of the "competitive bids' I have seen. $xx.xx per hour for a 6' blade on a truck. Quoting $xx.xx per hour and billing double - I coulda done that lot with a shovel as fast as they did in a truck...........

    When I first started on my own, I bent everyones ear about seasonal events, price per hour, everything - I don't think one person said anything near the truth.

    A landscaping friend from GR told me that you guys won't even look over at each other at stoplights, competitive as heck. At least builders can eat lunch together, we still jack on our prices, but at least we'll lie to each other over lunch............
  17. snoking

    snoking Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    framer, whats the name of your business....and let me know when youwant to have lunch....i know this great dive..lol
  18. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,249

    I have it on good authority that there is a large landscape company in Holland that is doing Herman Miller for $35\truck. They also informed me that they saw an actual bid for $18\hour--with a truck. Driving 20+ miles. One way.

    Yes, it is competitive and I will wave at the reputable competition, but there are a few that know better because they have been in business long enough and been to the same seminars that I have been to that decided they wanted to be the next JAA\area management company so they hire not 1, but 2 full time sales reps in GRAND RAPIDS. This town ain't anywhere's close enough to big enough for that. Of course, by the middle of the summer, both sales reps were gone as were 2 of the 3 full time mechanics and I don't know how many office personnel. Had something to do with not making any money because their idiot sales force didn't have a clue how to estimate anything.

    Enough venting.
  19. traviswalker007

    traviswalker007 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Bear Market

    Well in norther chicago, trucks go for 65 to 85 an hour. Most people still bark but when the snow hits and there lot is cleared they tend to quite down. Again there are zero tolerance sites like doctors office's and hospitals witch require alot of grooming and salting and they pay for that service let me tell you. Some even subsribe to weather reports to make sure your not over charging. But one thing is for sure guys, if you do a good job, there gonna be there next year, and if some low baller jumps in...let em have cuz there gonna call you back when the **** hits the fan!!!
  20. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I do think that $50 / hr for a skid steer is a little cheap in my area. I charge $75 / hr for my plow pickups. When I started with pickups about 5 years ago, the going rate around town was $40 / hr. I am now charging $75 / hr. The difference between me and them is I am always there for the customer. I never get caught "with my pants down" with a storm in August. I am always ready. The guys that were around the $40 mark are all done and it is just me left. I guess I am the only stupid one left. If I had a skid steer, I believe I would charge around $100 / hr. The big loaders would be $200 minimum. The last post I read said something about $18 / hr for a plow pickup. Hell, my 87 Chevy burns more than that in gas an hour!!!
    I also think that Poor or Good payment history with the big stores depends upon the local management. I have had accounts that paid on time every month, then got a new manager and became very slow with payment. Good Luck.