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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by calvarylandscap, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. calvarylandscap

    calvarylandscap Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Hey Guys,
    Thanks for the help with the questions I have in recent past. I have someone who wants me to give them an estimate to salt, snow removal and sidewalks. I am in norteast ohio and we generally get 20-23 snow events. The lot size is about 400,000 sq ft. They are looking for a three year fixed rate contract. How do you go about bidding on something that size and what do they mean by a fixed rate?
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    I would assume fixed rate is the same as "Seasonal" pricing. Meaning they want a firm price regardless of whether you plow once or 30 times. You already know the # of events and the size of the lot now just figure out your productivity time and your expenses. You'll be looking at 800-1000lbs per acre for salt.
  3. Turf Z

    Turf Z Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    ok, so what equipment do you have currently
  4. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    For a tiddlywink 9 acre lot?
    All he needs is an F100 and a 7'6" meyers blade. Ask anyone.
  5. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Myself, I would figure it out by the hour, adding in time spent fueling, loading salt, drive time, and whatever else..multiply by 23, and then add 15%.

    Only you know your men and your equipment, your logistics, and your other commitments. Myself, I want $100 per hour minimum for me, my truck, and the 9.5 V blade. If I can't make that, I am working for nothing but the cost of fuel and the truck payment.
    You know what your bottom line figure is. You know what you need to make to actually make a profit.
    Bust out that calculator.
  6. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 722

    Figure out what equipment will be used at this location.

    Based on your seasonal history how many hours will these units be working ( including stacking hauling if it's included) multiply this by your hourly rate per unit.

    Figure material usage X cost X markup

    Add profit % , then add your fudge %

    Obviously there is more but this should get you started
  7. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,910

    What equipment do you have currently? Seasonal bids aren't for the faint at heart, and with inefficient equipment. Think about this past winter, if you were off by 5 pushes and 7 saltings in a normal season, where would you be after this past?

    We bid our seasonal accounts just as if it were by the push, but use historical data to figure how many pushes per season. That's the only way I have found that makes it fair for us and the customer in the long run.

    Seasonal accounts are all about budgeting. Lets them budget expenses and you budget income. Just make sure you're efficient and have historical data to bid with!

    If you do the part in bold in Northeast Ohio, you'll be sitting at home starving.
  8. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    JMO, but I'd rather lose a bid than have a bad winter and work for nothing- or worse yet lose money. Since it is a gamble, I would prefer to hedge my bets. Again, just my point of view.
  9. fatheadon1

    fatheadon1 Senior Member
    Messages: 406

    You repeat the same thing over and over in all seasonal posts and you are right but wrong at the same time. if you have new truck and new plow like you list and all the plowing you do it hourly you have to work x amount of hours for free just to cover that truck plow and insurance. Say that number is 50 hours before you make a profit if you get a good season of say 200 billable hours then you are in the money but if you have a light winter and say you only bill 25 hours then the next year if you are still in snow removal you now have to work 75 hours to cover the debt from the last years lack of billing plus cover the current years cost. its all part of the "bloodmoney" snow removal is. i am not bashing the way you like your work just pointing out that no matter how you cut the deck you always can end up working for free. in my eyes its best to have a mix of hourly perpush and seasonal this way on a light winter your costs are covered and you make some coin on a heavy winter you lost coin on the seasonal but make it up on the hourly and per push. This past winter i did well because i have all perpush and hourly work but im really pushing seasonal next year in hopes of growning from covering 20 acres this past year to 40 next year and if i bid it right no matter what kind of winter we get i should be in the payup This is just my take on it not bashing anyone
  10. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Again, I don't like to gamble. Paring a bid to the bare minimum just to get the work is too risky for me.
    There are only 3 outcomes to a seasonal; win, lose, and draw. That's 2-1 odds of not making money if you don't have a fudge factor figured in. Even with a ff, it's not a sure thing.
    Agreed that even per push is dependant on good snow, but at least there's no chance of working for nothing. I figure salting and sanding is going to kick in if it doesn't snow. Usually we get lots of ice events on low snow years.
    Thanks for the reply, I hadn't thought about that way of looking at it.