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Share your pricing structure

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bigjeeping, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    Man.. I can't decide how to price plowing this year.

    Last year I gave everyone this pricing scale:

    0-6" = $X
    6-9" = $1.5X
    9-12" = $2X

    But I have a feeling it would be easier just to say $X PER PUSH. And if I have to push twice in a storm then they get charged twice.

    Anyone want to tap in?

    How do you guys price seasonal rates. Do you take the per push price and multiply it by estimated number of events?
  2. Mick

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

    Here's a thread where this was kind of discussed a couple years ago and looks like you posted on:


    Charging one rate for any push can work. I'd advise charging what you would for a 6" to 9". Just be cautious of the person who claims you came too soon. As an illustration, say it snows 16" in one storm. You push twice and bill twice. The customer thinks you should have pushed all 16" at once and billed for one push. You want to have this all clearly covered in your "agreement" or contract.

    For a seasonal, I divide the annual average snowfall by 6 (for an average push of 6" of snow). Then multiply that by the rate for the 6" to 9".
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2006
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    For seasonal I base it on 20 plows for the season.
  4. fulltiltwill

    fulltiltwill Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    Here in Lansing I do 0-3", 3"-6", 6" and up, seeing as how we may only get 4-5 storms over 6" in a season. Most of my commercial lots I plow twice if it is a longer storm and over 6" rather than wait to push all of it.
  5. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    there are so many variations to this.... we do a little of each, depending on the job and the person paying the bill. just got a new contract that states pays $250 and $50 for each inch after 2". i like the hourly jobs because we plow these even if there is 1/2" of snow during the storm. if your doing by the push, i like how some of you just average it out, instead of trying to break it up into different pricing catagories for inches snowed.
  6. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    From a customer's perspective.. what do you think they like the most? (Other than a great seasonal rate)

    Also, still want to hear how you guys are estimating seasonal prices for residentials.
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,257

    Our pricing structure depends on the customer's needs and request.

    We have everything but hourly. Full seasonal--salt, plow, sidewalks, no hauling or stacking--all one price, seasonal that have salt extra, seasonal that have extras built in for daytime plowing, per push, per inch, it all depends. So this answers your question about what the customers like--everybody's different.

    Personally and in my area, I believe that most if not all residentials are a seasonal contract and that is the only way I would price them if I did them.
  8. go plow

    go plow Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    this is the way i price.
    3-6'' one push or visit
    6-12 two visits
    12+ depends on the snow condition, meaning , is it fluffy? freezing rain mixed in??

    this is the way its written on my contract
    3-6 lets say $10
    6-12 $20
    12 + price may vary depending on snow and road conditions...

    i also put in my contracts that i have the right to determine the price based on the weather forecast not the exact words but you know what i mean...
    also put in the fact that if the weather forecast says that your going to get 12'' storm you need to plow with the storm not after it, therefor you have the right to plow twice even if you only get 9'' of snow... this eliminates the YOU PLOWED TWICE AND WE ONLY GOT 10 1/2 INCHES!!!! also state the fact that they may get charged , if the driveway is blocked, and or a car parked where you need to push the snow... i also charge if i was hired to plow get there and the owner has shoveled half the drive to save money... i had so many people do this, they shovel the upper half thinking i would charge them less, but didnt think about the fact that i stack the snow at the top of the driveway so i still had to plow over what they have shoveled... even if the whole place is cleaned before i arrive, rather by the owner/ property manager or another contractor unless i was notified 24hrs prior to the storm i charge!!! its all worded different in my contract.... im just going off of what i remember from it..
  9. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    I do the same thing. I charge the same price per push, but I do 2-6" one visit, 6-12" two visits, 12+ is usually still 2 visits, but if the snow is wet I'll go three times, but charge for two. It also depends on the driveway. People with steep driveways or large parking lots get charged a little more and are more likely for me to push multiple times. I let them know before we sign the contract. I also have a blurb that allows me to be the judge of how much snow is on the ground to the best of my ability. I had to fight with a few people before I added that clause because they would try to get my only to come once, even if it was 8". I tossed that clause in there and have not had a problem since.
  10. JLK 1500

    JLK 1500 Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    I still feel new to this myself. I had asked sevral people how they charge for plowing and it seems that you always get the same resualt. Per push, seasonal, and hourly. now your thinking ok which do i use. what do i charge and hour, season, or per push. The other factor to is what area your plowing in. I have a few accounts that i charge 20% more on because i know thats what the going rate is in that area. The best advice ive gotten is figure out what you have to make an hour plowing. Fuel, insurance, wear and tear on the truck and what you have to pay your guys. Figure out how long it would take you to plow the lot and times it by 20. Let that be your price for the season. The other thing i have been doing which i guess is kinda unprofessional but it works very well is just walk into the place and ask to speak to the person who is in charge of hiring the landscaper/snowplowing guy. tell them you new to his area for plowing and would like to know what they pay for plowing to see what the market allows. 95% of the time they will tell you when there accepting bids, and what the price last year was. at that very moment you remind them that last years fuel price was 30% lower and fuel is one of the biggest opperating cost. Thank them for there time, get there name, give em your card, and let them know that youll be looking forward to doing business with them in the future. In all reality you just got your foot in the door and have a contact person and a jumping off price to work with. Youll know if its to cheap for you to plow there, and not worth your time.Also youll see what the market in that area is getting. Now try that in several different areas. Thats what seems to work for me and lets me know where the money is and where to make my efforts for ads, and flyers. Just my 2 centspayup
  11. korelandscaping

    korelandscaping Member
    from CT
    Messages: 66

    I have my accounts set up a few different ways. Some are seasonal and some are per push. Over the past couple of years I am beginning to structure my full maintenance accounts differently. I will give them a season plow price of X, however I will have a cap. Since I live in CT, snowfall totals vary depending upon where you live in the state. I will state that X will cover up to 40 inches of snow for the season, anything above and beyond will be 1-3 X, 3-6 X and so on. This way if we get hammered, I'm not taking a beating and all my bases are covered. I only include one sanding per snow event and additional sandings are extra. The way I look it is I know I will have a steady income no matter what mother nature brings. Over the past three years I believe we had 46 inches, 59 inches and 48 inches. I also state that snowfall totals will be determined what ct weather (snowfall measuring company that most management companies use ) reports. Don't forget to add a blizzard clause.
  12. mike33

    mike33 Senior Member
    Messages: 335


    Hello Mick,
    Havent shared snow plowing with you since last winter. Last time i heard from you were hanging it up do to ins. cost.
  13. Mick

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

    Hi, Mike. More or less. I've stopped plowing except for a couple of neighbors who can't get anybody else (seriously, they live on a road behind me nobody wants - I've talked to a couple of plow guys). So, I'll probably do them without officially charging anything. I'm building up the Magic Salt business and have been busy the last week or so making that. I'm having quite a time finding containers, though, so I'm advertising selling "in your container" and see how that goes.

    Sorry about hijacking your thread, bigjeeping. I just wanted to respond to Mike33 and anyone else who wondered what I was up to. Any further, we should probably start a new thread.
  14. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping Senior Member
    Messages: 678

    it's all good.. I decided on keeping the same structure as last year

    Except I'm changing 0-6" to 0-5"

    0-5" x dollars
    5-9" 1.5x dollars
    9-12" 2x dollars
    12+" 2x dollars + $2.00 per additional inch.