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Seasonal rates or monthly set pricing? gamble?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    I bid two properties almost identical in nature...

    My per push 2-4” prices were like $650-750 for the two stores.

    Salt was $300~

    I wanted $5-6k monthly for the sites… then the company said I needed to be around 3k which almost made me laugh.

    Does anyone have an easier guestimation or have an easier way to do this?

    for central/south NJ... keep in mind a 8 push for february is still only technically 8-16" of snow since we can plow 1" one time for cleanup storms a single 10" storm would be at least 5 visits/pushes plus salt each time we leave.

    November 09 1 push, 2 salt $750plow/600 salt
    Dec 09 2 push, 7 salt $1500 plow/2100 salt
    Jan 10 7 push, 15 salt $5,250plow/4500 salt
    Feb 10 8 push, 15 salt $6,000plow/4500 salt
    March 10 2 push, 5 salt $1500 plow/1500 salt
    April 10 On the hook till the 15th or 30th for some contracts but assume no snow

    Divide by 5 and I get $5,640 for 5 months total for total of $28,200.00 ? That’s for a $750 per push site.

    3k range is maybe 15-18k seasonal which is not nearly enough.
  2. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    I am sorry but I just dont get it. 5 pushes and saltings for a 10 inch storm. Your saltings should burn 1 inch of snow each time, whats left to plow. Sounds like over kill to me.
    You mention 19 pushes, am I correct in assuming you got around 38 inches of snow last year.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  3. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    I agree with Neige... our customers would freak if we billed for five complete pushes and saltings during a ten inch event. No offense, but if you can get away with that in Jersey, then we're moving out there!

    For a ten inch storm we would probably bill for two "open-ups" at each 4" and a final "complete plow".

    An open-up would be a quick run through to move some bulk and keep it driveable until the storm ends... usually billing it at 1/3 - 1/2 a plow. Depending on the TIMING of the storm, they MAY get billed for two completes, and maybe even an open-up... still a long ways from five.
  4. bsuds

    bsuds Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    The way it works out here in Colorado. If we get a big storm and we have to open up the drive lane a couple times during the day they get billed for an hour of service; even if it only took 5 min. We will also hit their walks and icemelt them. Later on in the evening we will do a final clean up. I have never had a problem with the way I bill. Yes, it turns out the be alot of money, but the way I look at it. These companies hired us to remove snow and lower the liability and probability of a slip and fall. These companies are also listed as additionally insured on my General Liability. Whats a few hundred dollars extra for great service compared to a slip and fall lawsuit.
  5. Pennings Garden

    Pennings Garden Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 242

    I'm north of you and get more snow and more ice. last year was an average snow fall, not allot, not a little.

    12 plowable storms, 23 salt events

    I think you might be a little high also, I don't know the details on the requirements, but I think you are playing it very, very safe... I don't think our friends upstate in the snow belt are planning to go out as much as you are.
  6. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Never in 20 years have I even heard of doing a lot 5 times in one day (a hospital, yes).
    3 times in one day O.K. If it is that bad of a storm, would anyone be out on the roads anyway? Even a 24/7 operation only gets a quick run through and just a few parking spaces opened up at night if need be during a storm. They never require a fully open lot until they start to get busy.
    It sounds as if you may be providing them with more service than they actually need on the big storms. I won't argue with what you need to make on the accounts but your commercial clients are business people too. If it takes them weeks of sales to recoup what they paid you for one storm they are not going to be profitable either.
    Just my 2 cents.
  7. snowguys

    snowguys Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    i plowed a hotel 2 years ago on nye they had a big party and didnt want any snow we plowed it 7 times
  8. big acres

    big acres Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    congrats... you won the snowplow lottery. Bill us as much as you can for one night, and one night only!payup
  9. breadoflife

    breadoflife Member
    Messages: 85

    My stepdad and I have been working to start a plowing business, i had planned to charge for each trip as a full charge, even during the same storm, now the question i have here, is while we need the extra money to get started, as we only have a 77 chevy K10 shortbox, which for a half ton plows some serious snow, some shovels, ice breaker, a broom and a older snowblower. But what do you more experienced guys think we should do for billing during a single storm?
  10. Premier

    Premier Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    I love it when i get requests like that, 2 seasons ago a hospital that i was plowing opend up a new wing and it just happened to snow that day, ok we got dumped on, I started plowing there at 9AM second truck arived at 3PM finally pulled off at 9PM to plow other sites, it was snowing so bad they had me plowing the road to the ER so the ambulances could get in, and remember there open house that was going on so they had to put on a good show. I subed out a bunch of my accounts to keep them open and billed the hospital hourly @210 a hour. We did full plows at all the accounts between 9pm and 6am all in all it was a good day, payuppayup
  11. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    Well your probably all right and have valid points.

    Im very skeptical about locking into set fees for the month or season.

    Its not even the snow accumulation that worries me as much as how often companies would be calling up requesting MORE service, claiming theres not enough salt, want it plowed more often, more work at the end of the storm etc.

    I can only estimate the worst case senario. But yes, most likely we'd never have 19 pushes, i could have estimated something like 14 pushes and probably made out ok and reduced the salting events by 5-15 as well.

    And like others have said... you get no snow, and your a crook with a many thousand dollar locked contract and you get battered and your not providing adequate services. Ive seen the huge companies do this as well with "good" accounts that pay well. They lock them into set monthly rates, then sub out the work, and then wait TOO LONG to send the subs out to start salting or plowing in the storm because therye penny pinching the whole season.

    Id rather know my snow contractor is roaring to go to get the lot cleaned up each event not dodging my calls and trying to show up as little as possible, and salt as little as possible :/