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Pricing Driveways

Ken

Junior Member
I'm new to the board and need your opinions. I've been doing snow removal for a few years. In my neck of the woods, we haven't had much snow.

I have several contracts and am a one man operation. I'm trying to cut down on my contracts by raising my prices. I use a Deere 455 garden tractor with a 54" blade and a Deere 1032 snowblower. My mininum fee for a standard driveway is $25. What is the average price in your neck of the woods for a standard driveway? How high could I raise my prices before people think I was crazy. I want to raise my prices without upsetting a good customer.

Whats your opinion and also what the valve of my Deere 1032 mint late model snowblower.
 

John Allin

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Erie, PA
Keep raising your price until you start to lose people. Then you'll know where the threshold is for your market. You may be incredibly surprised where that line is.
 

diggerman

Senior Member
Location
Ames
Ditto as to what John said,as for your blower I have one and it is the biggest pile of crap I have ever owned.This is the machine that changed my whole view of "quality" snow blowers,so I guess its value depends on who you talk to.If I didn't finally have mine so it didn't break down or literaly fall apart ever snow I'd be giving mine away.
 

iowastorm

Senior Member
I agree too. We won't drop our plows (or snowblowers) for anything under $50 this year. If people will pay for it and are happy with our service, then it's great for both of us.
BTW: Digger, please stop using that vulgar language. Didn't you read the post concerning proper forum behavior. We're going to have to put you on double secret probation!
 

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member
Location
NJ
Wow Geoff, that's the minimum we get for a 16' x 16' driveway! As a minimum here, it's about $10 for each car that fits in the driveway. So a "4 car" driveway would be a min. of $40. The walk to the front door is included if it isn't unusually long.

~Chuck
 

GeoffD

PlowSite.com Veteran
Well chuck, we get a little bit more snow up in the northeast corner. So i think it evens out, over all. That and most of my drives are a lot bigger, and a lot more money.

Geoff
 

Lazer

Senior Member
If I could get $25 for a 16'x75' driveway, I'd be RICH!

If they're close enough, I'm happy to do a drive like that for $6.

($6 x 40 = $240/hour)

Actually, I can properly plow a 16'x75' driveway in 35 seconds without travel time and almost regardless of snow amount. (8" or less)
 

cutntrim

PlowSite.com - Veteran
In answer to your question Ken, going rate around here is $25-$40. We used to charge $25, now we charge $40. Our scenario is different from yours, in that we use plow trucks, so we target commercial lots for plowing and only consider driveways as "grocery money". $40 is steep for a lot of people, and if we only did residential driveways we would not charge that much. We'd probably charge $30 (no shoveling of walks though).
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
I am with John Allin on this one. If anyone ever hears him speak, (I have 2x, and even own him on tape, talk about bedtime music) he will state that he does like 2 driveways, and most of the time that is 2 to many driveways.
Just kidding John, if you ever get the chance to hear him speak, it is a treat.
Dino
 

Snow Pro

Senior Member
Driveways

We got out of driveways about 8 years ago because they all wanted sidewalks done, and we couldn't get guys to do them. I have no problem getting guys up in the middle of the night to make $35 - $60 an hour staying in a warm truck. To try to get guys out in the cold at 3 A.M. for shovellers wages (here $8 - $15 an hour) was not worth all the frustration. When we were doing driveways, the straight ones were $25 and if they were "J" shaped we got $30. Circular driveways were $35. (Plus $10 for sidewalks). I'm sure it's gone up by now. You could make good $$$ if you had a monopoly on a subdivision with zero travel time. As long as you agree to only do truck work.

By the way, what do you guys do about residential customers who call you back to do their aprons after you've cleaned it and the city comes by and plows street snow up there?
 

Matt

Member
Ditto on Dino it is a pleasure to hear John speak. Everyone has to do what they feel comfortable with and expand when they feel they are ready, it sounds as if most of us started out like all the other guys starting out today. The nice difference is the support that they receive from everyone to help them avoid the pit falls of snowplowing.

Matt
 

GeoffD

PlowSite.com Veteran
Well most of my residentials are on the private roads i plow, so my drivers work together. This way the final scrape on a road is done before the drive is plow again. As for the other residential drives, we clean up the aprons, at no extra charge, its kinda like poker, sometime we come after the dot, sometimes we don't. Plus i think it's kinda hard to explain to a customer, about why they shouldn't have the snowplowed from the apron. That and it is just, may i say more professional.

Plus all my accounts are seasonal contracts except for some close friends. So i kinda have to return. The numbers i gave were what it might cost per push, if ya broke down a seasonal rate.

Geoff

[Edited by GeoffDiamond on 10-12-2000 at 01:49 AM]
 

diggerman

Senior Member
Location
Ames
John is there a web site if you want to join your personal fan club?Also I was wondering if you would trace your hand on a napkin and send it to me so I can place my hands in the tracings and gleen your amazing understanding of all thing great and small. If not, are your hand prints in the concrete outside of SIMA head quarters so that we in the snow industry may have a meca to travel to.(it is east of hear)Hey maybe shag SIMA prayer rugs with your image,could be a money maker,just add $50 to memberships.
 

iowastorm

Senior Member
Not to be blasphemous in any way (I'm kneeling facing East/Northeast towards Erie) I think this is a tremendous merchendising opportunity for SIMA. It could be called the John Allin line . . .

1. The John Allin prayer rug (used for praying for more snow)
2. The J.A. prayer turbin with unfolding ear muffs. Pray while you plow and stay warm
3. The J.A. head dashboard compass (always know where you are during white-outs
4. The J.A. rectal examination kit; for when we get hosed by our customers
5. SIMA bumper stickers should have J.A.'s picture on them
6. J.A. magic (toxic) paint for snow plows; SIMA approved of course
7. J.A. blow up doll to use as a companion for those lonely nights plowing by oneself.

Did I miss anything????
 
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