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Privet / Unincorperated Roads

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Vaughn Schultz, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Privet / Unincorporated Roads


    Well it's getting that time a year again, the time of year in need help ;) I have a few questions I would really appreciate any advice i can get.

    I have recently obtained a list of all the privately plowed roads (mostly in unincorporated areas) in my home town. I would really like to place bids for plowing and salting. My questions are as follows:

    1. Any ideas on how I might go about finding out who owns the road?
    2. What is the going rate in your area per mile for a 2 lane road plowed and salted?
    3. Are most roads set on a "Per Event" or "Monthly" charge.

    I know that they are hard questions to ask, lots of variables.

    I appreciate it,
    - Eric :waving:
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2005
  2. Mick

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

    Eric, up here we have a lot of Private roads, otherwise known as Fire Roads. They can be anywhere from 1/2 mile to a couple miles long. Usually about 12' wide, unpaved and hilly with curves. Generally, they will belong to whoever lives on them, which might be one family. Other times, they will have formed an association of homeowners. Each homeowner will be responsible for their own driveway and the association will be responsible for the common roadway. In the first circumstance, it's easy to tell who owns the road if only one family lives on it. In the case of an association, you need to find out who the Association President is. You might try just driving up and down the road till you see somebody outside, then stop and ask. They might already have a contract for snowplowing, but it won't hurt to ask. If you're plowing, you'll also want to be able to do sanding/salting. If you get the road, you'll also want to try for as many of the driveways as you can get. You might consider making a package deal for the road and driveways.

    Around here, I base the rate on $125 per mile and adjust up for hills, sharp curves and other hazards. If you have no experience with roads, you want to get very familiar with the ones you get BEFORE any snow falls. Drive over them several times. Take pictures. Clearly mark edges that drop off. Mark the edge of curves. Mark each side of driveways near the road. Plan your plow so you won't push snow into driveways. Once you're really familiar with the road, drive it several more times. Plan a place to "push off" every 1/8 mile or so.

    All mine have always been "per event". Don't forget sanding/salt which may actually be a major portion of your work due to freeze patterns, freezing rain runoff, ice spots. As an example, nearly everything I did last November and December was sanding of two roads and and a steep driveway (several times each payup ). I don't think I actually plowed at all. I would never give a Seasonal or Monthly rate for a road. Be prepared, though. You'll find people less tolerant of adverse conditions on a shared roadway than they are of driveway conditions.