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schoo; district

karl klein

Senior Member
i have the chance to bid on a local school district the bid is for 3 high schools and 1 middle school the rest they clean there selfs. i have a question?

1. the bid specifications state the bid should be in a hourly rate. i am used to figuring my jobs at 125.00 an hour but dont no if that will be to high?

i would really like the job and want to make a little money.



PlowSite.com Veteran
Nova Scotia
Its realy hard to make an honest bid when bidding an hourly rate. You need $125/hr to make money, which I agree likely won't win the job. So if you charge say $50/hr, and charge for travel time to the job site, no part hours, and charge for the operator say $20/hr, and it takes 15 min to travel to the school and 45 mins to plow it Then you would bill 50 +20 travel time and 50+20 for plowing total $140! ( and if you're a little dis-honest you bill for 1 1/4 hours plowing and now its $210!)
The trouble with these kind of bids is they usually don't allow for improved equipment or a good operator, so the guy who takes 3 hours to plow a lot with a beat-up pickup and a 71/2' blade @ $40/hr will win the contract over the guy with a loader and a pusher which takes 45 mins @ $125/hr!
It wouldn't hurt to call the person in charge of the contract and ask if they will accept a per push price and explain why its in their best interest to do so.


John Allin

PlowSite.com Addict
Erie, PA
It is truly unfortunate that our customers are really quite ignorant of the truth's of our industry, one being that hourly rate pricing is a testament to inefficiency. In fact, hourly rate pricing is a incentive to be inefficent - and probably an incentive to be as inefficient as you possibly can.

We have a long way to go yet gang.....

Bill's explanation is quite accurate and very well put, IMO.


Western CT
Excellent statement John. People just don't see what NS explained. Even when I lay out all the pricing (open book) I still have people that do not see paying per push or monthly. Many places think by paying hourly they somehow have more control. What I tell them is that no one can control mother nature. If you plow per push at a certain depth then the customer wins whether there is a lot of snow or a little. One push will equal one push. In a big storm the time it takes to plow could be much longer. Somehow this goes right over their head.


Senior Member

I posted to a response to your same ? on SIMA website I would post it here but not sure how to copy from there and put it here.