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seasonal vs blizzards

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by cutbetterthanyo, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. cutbetterthanyo

    cutbetterthanyo Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    For you guys that are gun hoe on seasonal contracts how bad has it hurt you when you get a blizzard. I have some contracts that have been per push that now wannt to change. I looked up past records and last year was per push with a 2 inch trigger i billed out 14k for the site, the last 5 years before were anywhere from 600 to 1500 for the year. They are offering me 3200 i think i am going to jump on it. I was just wondering how hard was it to for you guys that only got the 3200 when you could have got the 14000. Does the 3200 sound like a good price based off of what i got paid before?
  2. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    So in years past you billed out and received 14k with per-push on the site..

    This year they are offering...(which is kinda messed up in itself) 3200.

    And your thinking your "going to jump on it"?

    That"s like 5 times less.

    Was the year you billed 14k a REAL heavy snow year?
  3. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    So lets look at it this way year 2010 $14 grand, year 2009 $1 grand, year 2008 $600 hundred, year 2007 $1200 hundred, year 2006 $800, and year 2005 $1 grand. Add them all and you get $18,600.00 divide by 6 and you get $3,100.00 a year. I think $3,200 is a good deal. The average before your big winter was only $920.00, it may be a good time to lock in some seasonals. Try and get a mix of both.
  4. fci

    fci Senior Member
    Messages: 122

    Seasonal prices have been great for me. But I also have per push and hourly sites too. When there is a seasonal price I always have a 3 year contract. If you can diversify than do it. Get paid when it snows and when does not. But make sure that the seasonal price won't hurt you too bad if there is a bad winter.
  5. cutbetterthanyo

    cutbetterthanyo Senior Member
    Messages: 134

    yes last year was the most snow here since back in the 20s or 30s it wa a record blizzard
  6. ford550

    ford550 Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    Last year was an anomaly. We wont see one of those again for a while. If you thow out the $14K, $3200 is a good deal.
  7. snowman5313

    snowman5313 Member
    Messages: 86

    People always forget about the obvious. I do deal with a banker. when I go to him to ask for a loan I can show him that even if it doesn't snow or very little snow I can cover costs this year and set myself up for next year. AND I do plow many accounts per push so if it does snow alot I do make money. Every year I figure out certain numbers so I can figure out the percent of contracts I want.
  8. grf_1000

    grf_1000 Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    last year was the second lightest snow fall in history for us. the only thing that saved me was the seasonal accounts. the per push and per hour hurt bad. we avg. 45 full pushes, last year we had 11.
    i'm a believer in seasonal and a 3 year deal.
  9. G&T LAWN

    G&T LAWN Senior Member
    Messages: 149

    It des help to have a couple seasonal contracts just to know you have some cash flow. Churchs are usaully good for this. They like a budget, and in most snows you ont have to be there the same day.
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    Sorry, I didn't read your post good enough the first time...

    I agree with Neige.
  11. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    CUT , you are in Md , like myself , where the weather can be unpredictable due to the mountains , bay and ocean . Last year was not as muck as a fluke as you may think . Can you afford to gamble and take the chance?. There is a church that we picked up because the company that bid it did what you were saying seasonal price , he got 2 grand for the season . Well that lot COST him over $7000.00 to do , why? He couldnt keep up , and it was too much for him , I came in with 3 trucks , 1 bobcat , and a backhoe , spent 6 hours there moving , piling , plowing and salting , my bill was $ 9450.00 . They were having mass the next day . HE HAD TO PAY THE BILL not the church
  12. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    LOL I was worried about you for a second after I read your first post...... :salute:
  13. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    its good to have a mix of both seasonals and per time/hourly, all of your residentials are seasonal, and most/all our commercials are either per event or per hour, so we get a great average of both worlds, in the event that we get a lot of snow, we lose our shirts on our residentials, but we make a killing on the commercials. if we get no snow, then we have a guaranated income, coming in. And if it is average year, both pay out alright.
  14. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Mat, those numbers sound excessive. You billed 30 hrs of equipment use for one event at one church. I don't know why he would have you salt, but lets remove $1450.00 for the salting that still leaves you 8 grand for your equipment, which comes out to $266.66 / hr. What is the standard rate in your market? I do only seasonal, and even in the bad years we make money. Granted not much, but it sure would not have cost the original contractor $9450.00 to plow and salt that church. Let me put it this way, on a seasonal you figure to make $150.00/hr per equipment. You know your costs are $48.00/hr. So you have an excessive winter, and you ended up with $65.00/hr your are still making money. If It ends up being an average winter you made $150/hr, or it was a minimum snow year and you came away with $200.00/hr. The OP has been offered $3200 for the season, when in the past he averaged $920 before the killer winter, that's makes his seasonal price outstanding. He should lock it in for 3 years, because if he has an average winter the church will want to lower his seasonal price the next year.
  15. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Dont think "standard rate" applied here Paul.
  16. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    I was called on a saturday afternoon after the blizzard , they needed to be open by morning for 600 cars , we were tired , and they wanted a flat price ,we got the ok at 8 pm . We pushed the equip a bit hard to get done , i havent heard of the standard rate , I know my rate , dont realy care what others are charging . i do know that maryland is not known for seasonal pricing , all the contractors i know are by the push or hour plus chemicals .
  17. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    I'm assuming this was like a 20-30" snowfall!? I'd be at your numbers to. IMO, you are taking a big gamble on $3200.00 for the season. Don't be stupid, it can happen again...and again...and again.
  18. second income

    second income Member
    Messages: 82

    No one on plowsite has a standard rate that i have ever seen quoted , ranges are thrown around but nothing concrete. All accounts are billed at what the traffic will bear not a little more than your operating expenses. No ones cost are the same. I had the same commercial account for several years in North Jersey, Avdel Fastening Systems, they went with a seasonal guy. We were always per storm by the inch. After the second 6-9 inch storm of the season Guess who Avdel had to call back? The seasonal guy was MIA, and the purchasing agent had egg on her face. We never lost that contract again and people don't have a problem paying for service they receive. Seasonal Contracts are good but they are always a gamble and always leave someone feeling like they got beat. We are contractors not insurance companies working with actuarial tables. Charge for the service you provide.
  19. viper881

    viper881 Senior Member
    Messages: 477

    I do a mix of both. But I try and have only 30% seasonal. Ifs a good winter you get paid great for per push and make up for the seasonal, if its a bad one you work out great for seasonal and not per push. Just try and make the seasonal more then one year so incase one year you get burned the next you make it up.
  20. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    You mean to tell me you dont have an hourly rate per operated piece of equipment? Thats what I was referring too. What's your answer to someone calling you wondering what your hourly price for a loader and operator is? "How bad do you need it?"

    Maybe I should have made myself clearer.

    I realize due to the circumstances you could have asked for share ownership of the moon-and probably would have got it. Good for you-if that makes you feel better.

    In my younger days I would have agreed with your practices of ruthless overcharging, and capitalizing on someones unfortunate situation, but lately I seem to have gotten soft and found a heart and realized the long term reciprocating benefit of treating someone with a little respect outlasts the one time score. You never know when the tables may turn.

    This of course is just my opinion, and maybe I'm crazy. I'm not asking anyone to agree or disagree with me, or start a debate or pissing fight...its just the way I see it.