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Plowing bid for gas staions

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by maple city lawn care, Jul 23, 2003.

  1. maple city lawn care

    maple city lawn care Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    We're going to bid on 10 gas stations in our area this season. We have already been doing commercial plowing for the last 3 years, but never a gas station. They are all different sized lots, but will all be billed to one place. I'm wondering how to go about figuring up the bid. I'm assuming (hoping) they'll want it hit every 2 inches. Should I give a bulk bid for the whole deal, or break each station down individually? I know it's a little early to think about snow, but I want all my ducks in a row when I place this bid.

    Anyone doing this type of account now, please give me some bidding pointers.

  2. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Hello MCLC, Welcome to plowsite!

    I will give you my .02 cents for what it is worth. We did gas stations years ago per push every 2 inches. I think the price was around $125 to $150 per push. Seems like good money until you are sitting there waiting for the people to finish pumping. As they do 5 more come in and so on. Pretty soon you are tied up for an hour sometimes longer. Then you have to contend with the filler caps. Man they can play havoc on your truck. I feel there are easier places to make money.

    I am sure others will chime in.

    Good Luck
  3. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    Gas stations are a high maintenance account, especially if they're 24hr stations. The company requesting the bid should have some sort of bidding criteria, so that all the bids are the same or it's impossible to tell who is the low bidder. I'm bidding on a couple this winter and the pump jockeys, using scoop shovels clear around the pump islands, and we look after the lots and move their snow. That way they can work around customers, and it's safer then having equipment working around the pumps


    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    I would treat all the stations as individual. Chances are that all the managers or attendants are going to have your number and some will have different tolerances for snow than others. Not to mention geography will play a big role in your pricing and snowfall amounts. As Mike mentioned bid these knowing that gas stations can be high maintenance accounts and slip and fall magnets. As far as numbers go maybe people from your neck of the woods can help you there. Good luck.
  5. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    I would think quote each one as an individual property. Depending on the geography, you may plow some and not plow others during a particular event. Then invoice each separately but you can send them all in one envelope. If you want, summarize the 10 invoices into one summary statement for the convenience of the customer, if you think this would be helpful.

    A urethane cutting edge will reduce the jolts you'll get when you hit the gas fill caps.
  6. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    I agree with all the replies so far. I will add one thing. When you look at them, notice where the fill caps are. That is where the tanker will need room to park and fill the tanks. Usually that means all the snow has to go on the other side of the lot. Not always, but, it depends on the site and how much room there will be.

    Now, imagine having to pile all the snow on one side, and having traffic in the way. Also, imagine not knowing this until you show up to plow, and having the manager tell you "all the snow has to go over there".

    Ditto on the U edge. I blew 2 tank fills out of the ground doing 2 mph because I knew they were there. It was my brother's account, and he accused me of doing something wrong. That same storm, he went to plow the lot after me, and he blew two more out of the ground. It was a poor installation, which is what the owner said. We thought he would be mad, but he said they were installed wrong from day one, and he had been complaining about it to Mobil. Well, he got them done right, and we never had a problem after that, other than the jarring when you hit them.

  7. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    Here are another couple suggestions
    1- Carry a couple cones with you to close an area you are working if during business hours. Cones can be a good deterent to folks driving where you are working. (not perfect but they help)

    2- Draw a layout map of where the fillers are. Keep it with you and use it until you are really sure.

    3- hand shovel around the fillers. The ones at my customers have a metal rise-up ridge around each one. 4 of them, plus a couple of recessed ones. I just bite the bullet and hand shovel. adds 10 min but is safer and I built it into the charges.

    Good luck:nod:
  8. Mick

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

    Take pictures - digital preferred - from at least two angles. Have all fillers and curbs clear in them. If you plow by the pumps, be very careful not to catch the hose. Same for diesel or fuel oil tanks that are usually in a outer location. Those hoses are usually longer than the gas pumps. Be sure your insurance co is aware you are plowing a gas station.
  9. kipcom

    kipcom Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 455

    INSURANCE.....Insurance.....Insurance !!!! Make sure your insurance policy has you covered in every way -shape-and form. Just for example, the plow operator was pushing snow in a gas station lot and was coming out of a blind side and hit a car and pushed it into the gas pump, that erupted in flames and caused a BIG explosion !!!!:yow!: Are you prepared to deal with it ????
    Oh ya, we do a "package deal" behind the scenes we know what is being charged per station.
  10. maple city lawn care

    maple city lawn care Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Very good and helpful suggestions, guys. Some of these things I would have never thought of. Thanks so much!!!
  11. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I remember hearing that digitals are not admissible in court. Certainly they're more convenient for most purposes, but I imagine it has something to do with how easily they can be edited, as opposed to printing from actual film negatives. Anybody else ever heard this?
  12. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    most cases they are not.....although a judge might let one slide, but if your only reason for snapping pics is for future evidence they aint a good idea.

    They might be nice if you have a sub plow a site he has never looked at before.

    Polaroids are the best for accidents and such IMO since you imediatly see if it came out ok.
  13. Mick

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

    No, I wasn't thinking of using them as evidence. My reason for suggesting digital was that I find them to be clearer than a Polaroid. Also, that they can be stored on the hard drive in files and manipulated - as in zooming in on a particular area etc.
  14. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    Yup, for that they are great.....and digital is much cheaper. It can also be nice cheap way to show before and after of your services. A pic on some nice photo copy paper stuff of before you sweep a lot and after you suck all the trash (or anything you do) do helps with the sales pitch. And for showing subs what to plow and watch out for.