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Pricing formulas

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by dannyc33, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. dannyc33

    dannyc33 Member
    Messages: 42

    Hi, I'm new here and would like to get a idea on how to price some things correctly so I'm not a low baller or a scab on the business.
    I'm in Indianapolis, so we don't get alot of snow, like 30 inches a year, which would mean there's not as much people out plowing like there would be in Maine, so we may have alittle higher prices. I say this because region does have some affect on pricing, like mowing in California is less then in Minn. do to less contractors based on weather and some other factors.

    But anyway, when it comes to residential neighborhoods what is generaly the price for a block or mile, ect. for 2-4 inches ( then 20% more for 4-6" ect). If I can figure out how many blocks/miles a neighborhood is and the number of passes I'll need to make I can figure out what to charge.

    Also, when it comes to wide open store parking lots what is a good price per square foot for 2-4", then 20% more for 4-6", ect.

    Anu help would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks you kindly,
  2. snoluvr

    snoluvr Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 266

    Dan, Not sure what you mean when you ask about pricing blocks? Are you intending on plowing private neighborhoods? As for large open lots, I would not recommend pricing by the square foot. You need to figure how long will it take you to plow for a 1-3 inch. You need to figure that you will need a way to stack it around the edges and that will take time.Also does it involve salt and sand? I just got a 4 acre lot and went over and test plowed one area, and then figured how long it will take for the whole thing.Always over bid because you can never make up for under pricing.Also you may need to shovel walks, hydrants,etc..all factors into pricing.
  3. dannyc33

    dannyc33 Member
    Messages: 42

    what i ment by blocks or miles would be if I started the odometer at 0 and to go through the hole neighborhood one time would be lets say 2 miles and I would need to make a total of 4 passes it would be 8 miles, and if I had a price per mile I could have a good idea of what to charge. Then add in time to pile up the snow.

    And for square feet I just want an idea so then I will factor in time after that determine a price.(For example when I mow residential yards I charge $1 per 1,000 sq.ft. and $1 a minute. If it's 25,000 sqft and will take 30 minutes I average them to $27 a cut) That's what I'm trying to do with plowing, and I'll fatctor in shovel and salt after.

    Also since we don't get much snow the only places that really salt are banks and somtimes fast food place and gas stations, other than that it's really only on the sidewalks that most places salt.
  4. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    $ x time = bill

    Simple as it gets

    $ = amount per hour you charge
    time = amount of time on job
    Bill = amount of time you spent on the job times the amount per hour you charge.

    Untill you spend some time doing this type of work you can work by the hour. Keep records so you can work up estimates for pricing by the job.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2004
  5. dannyc33

    dannyc33 Member
    Messages: 42

    this is my first year so I don't know how long it will take exactly, that's why I want other ways to determine what to charge so I'm not a lowballer.
    Can someone help
  6. snoluvr

    snoluvr Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 266



    I still dont know why you want to figure your pricing with miles, etc.. I usae as a general rule $100./hour minimum. I have one account with a long driveway about 1,000 feet long and 20 feet wide.at the end is about 25 parking spots..because it is lined with a fence and hard to stack snow, it must be pushed to the end. You will need to make sure to cover enough if a loader is needed. I took a ride through and estimate it to take 25 minutes. But a minimum is needed to cover the ride there, and backup.I also quoted a price of 215. for 1-3.. This is not per plow..it is per 1-3 storm. If i come through once to open it up and a second time to clear the whole area they are charged the 215.thats it..hopefully it makes sense.Just remember if you get busy and pay a sub $50/hour to help, you still need to make a profit.
  7. Mick

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

    Dan, the reason for the confusion is that nobody charges for plowing by the mile unless you're plowing private roads which I don't think you are. From your description, the road or street is not private so you wouldn't be doing it. If you're talking about plowing all or a number of driveways in a neighborhood, you won't be charging by the mile. One reason is because you spend a lot of time in reverse, taking off the mileage you just put on.

    How about putting the dimensions for a typical area you'll be plowing and maybe someone will help you figure how long it will take, on the average. You would still need to determine what you want to make an hour. The figure $125/hr gets thrown around a lot, but it's really adjusted up or down, depending on location and local tradition. Anyway, put up a scenario, state whether there is a garage or house at end and if there are bushes along the side, if there is room to push the snow off at the end and anything else that can make life miserable for the "plow guy".