Scared, Did I bid to low


Junior Member
NE Ohio
This is my first season plowing. I got a really good deal on an old dodge sno-comander w/ a meyers plow. I just landed a very big comerical lot, in the snow belt of NE Ohio. It is about 200 meters x 350 meters, a real two flasker. Anyhow, I scored this acct, by under cutting, the present contractor. he was ripping them off, and his service was pretty bad. He was chrgeing $1100 a push and it took him only 9 hours. So, I signed a contract for $575, thats more then 50 bucks an hour. My question is, did i bid to low?


Senior Member
Pricing is very regional, but I can tell you that most people are shooting for 75 an hour plus to cover maintainence, insurance and gas and most important something to put in your pocket.

Everyone's expenses are different, but from watching this site for the last 4 months that is what I learned.

I doubted it until I really started plowing and had to replace a steering stabilzer, a sidewall flat, and an altenator while it snowing and paying premiums for parts locally.

Your price sounds pretty cheap.Not sure for that area but $50.00 seems kinda low.Will you really be making much by the time you pay for the truck,plow,gas,insurance,time,etc.My other concern would be provide efficient service with only one truck on a lot that size,with 9 hrs of plowing.In a heavy snowfall you'd have a hard time getting it done in a timely manner for when they open in the morning.

Leave the flask at home,you'll be much better off.


Stamford, CT
Wellllllll, I know for my area, your price is ridiculously low.
based on my calculations, I would have probably charged the same as the guy you undercut or just a few bucks less, but not 50% or more below his price.

You say he was ripping off the owners of the lot... who told you this, the clients??? Or did you sumise it on your own??

Did they( the clients) bid it out because of price or the lack of quality in the work he was providing?

You say it takes him 9 hours to do the lot... ( is that a 1"- 4" storm, or a heavier accumulation?) Either way that works out to $122.222222 an hour. Once you figure cost of doing business
(overhead) and operating your truck you may well realize that his price wasn't so high.

It appears that you didn't do all your homework and now you are rethinking your actions of cutting this guys throat. Now you want us to tell you what we would charge. Everything is relative and very area specific. Do you know the owners of the lot? are they your friends or related to you?

What kind of equipment was this guy using in comparison to you "old sno-Commander", what size plow was he using, maybe he was using a V-Plow and you have a 7.5 foot meyers . If thats the case there is no way you can outperform a Vplow with a straight plow.

How long have you been plowing? Do you have ANY experience? What took him 9 hours may take you a hell of a lot longer if you have never plowed before.

If he was providing poor service then he deserves to lose the job.... but being undercut (and it happens alot) by people who think they know how to plow and being undercut by someone who actually knows what they are doing is two different things.

We are very competitive, and I have lost jobs to people who say they can do what I do for 50% or 75% less than my pricing. I usually get those jobs back sooner or later. Why? because the guy did a poor job, or never showed up, or showed up two day after the storm because in his zeal to steal work from everyone and make a few bucks he overbooked himself and can't handle what he has reaped.

Think twice the next time you undercut someones pricing or make comments about them ripping people off? Someone may soon be saying the same about you.

"before you criticize any man, walk a mile in his shoes"
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Senior Member
Ohio right...

I have a feeling you may have taken on more than you know. Do you have anyone riding with you to spot for you, if so are you going to pay them? Just plow or salt too, do you know? Right off the top of your head can you name and know the location and numbers for the nearest repair shop? Do you carry the extra needed "on the spot" repair items and tools? Do you have a sub willing to complete the work for your if anything happens to you or your truck, at that price? Have you ever plowed commercial? Please tell me you have insurance not just business, but the liability as well... Just a few questions you may want to know prior to the next snow you get. $575, I would not have done it, but good luck, I hope it works out for you.
Owosso, MI
When I started plowing, 5 - 6 years ago, I started by helping a friend in Ohio around Fremont (45mins east of Toledo) and the going rate then was around $55 and hour, at least that is what he charged and seemed to be doing pretty well, enough accounts to take you 20 hours to get them all with 6 trucks running.


Senior Member
Euclid, Ohio
Hey Meyersking, I'm in Euclid here in Cuyahoga county, I just wanted to know maybe what lot you are plowing because I am pretty familiar with most of the snowbelt near me. I'd agree with the rest of the guys that it was a little low, you probably could get it for about $900 if they paid the other guy $1100 and it took him 9 hours. If they accept the bid, I would try to get a pay increase every year. Like 5% more the next year and so on if they like your services.

Mick Veteran
add - my first season plowing, good deal on a Sno-Commander and Meyer plow, just landed a big commercial lot (with metric measurements).

Is 200x350 meters really going to take an experienced plower nine hours?

A real two-flasker (shades of a previous infamous thread).

Would the manager of such a lot really sign a guy with zero experience?

1st post.

You can fool some of the people some of the time .....

Its a shame that its idiot low-ballers like you who are driving the profit margins down in the snow removal industry, and keeping guys who actually know what there doing, and who need snow removal profits to continue there business' through the winter. Your price for that is absoultely ********. The guy ahead of you was gettin $1100.00 for 9 hrs you stated that = $ 120.00 per hr. still low IMO, but somewhat respectable. Here you come at a mere $50.00 and leave $70.00 per hr. on the table. Just plain stupid :nono:

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