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small lots bidding question

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by PTTP08, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. PTTP08

    PTTP08 Senior Member
    from mn
    Messages: 183

    how much should I charge per square foot. Or what is the going rate these days? I am bidding smaller lots for a single apt. buildings for an owner figure square footage would be the easiest method. It will be the standerd 2 inch trigger and per push. The lots are kinda of small so I figure the per hour method would be useless. But please give me your input thank you very much
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Per push if it's a small lot. Or give a seasonal price for it.
  3. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    Depending on how small were talking I try and stick to a $50 minimum on my commercial lots. This is basically anything that takes one of my trucks 20 minutes or less. Anything bigger than that gets ran through a basic formula then tweaked.

    The average production rate for a pickup is an acre an hour. Of course this is figuring a wide open acre lot with no obstacles. Any obstacle will add to the difficulty there for you may only plow 3/4 of an acre an hour. Once you figure out how long this property is going to take you, you then multiply how many hours (or fraction of an hour) you are going to be there by how much you need to make an hour.

    How much you need to make an hour would be found by taking all of your overhead costs per hour (insurance, payroll, fuel, maintenance ect) + what you want to make per hour.

    This will give you a number to go off of. You will find ways to tweak things as you get more experience.
  4. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    Figuring per square foot would be kind of difficult because you would be less than one cent per square foot.
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Don't forget with apartments you'll be going back to do clean outs.
  6. PTTP08

    PTTP08 Senior Member
    from mn
    Messages: 183

    The owner wants a per push contract. I figure it would take me about 20 min per lot. That was my thought was 50 bucks per lot and 15 for the side walks cause they woould take me 10 min with the blower so 65 per lot what you guys think?
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If you like it,go with it.
  8. Nutz4Plowing

    Nutz4Plowing Member
    Messages: 30

    Figuring insurance into overhead/hr

    I hear people looking for a rate per hour to have to get to make profit goals.
    My question is exactly how do you know how many hours to use to get to that number.
    Every season is so different and to take regional averages is really a roll of the dice.
    I haven't been operating a buisness for more than three years on my own in this field to be able to pin down this. Any good ways of factoring this would be helpful.
    Im glad to follow this site because it gives you alot of experience to bounce stuff off and this is one area I cannot feel confident on based on our past three seasons.
    Thanks in advance for any responses.
  9. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    Figuring hours is something I have had trouble with as well, but here is what I do.

    I take the average number of events we have had in the last five years and multiply it by how long that specific trucks route is. This will give me an average of how long that truck will be out in one year. I usually take that number and add atleast 30% to cover for extra cleanup trips and additional storms.

    I'd be curious to know if this is on track with what most guys are doing.
  10. PTTP08

    PTTP08 Senior Member
    from mn
    Messages: 183

    I had a new customer ask me if I charge half price for open up of the drives in an apartment. This is a per push contact. Do any of you guys do this? I said AHHHH nope
  11. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699


    You guys work cheap ! $50 for a commercial lot ? :confused: That's way too low for my comfort. :cool:

    "Risk must equal reward"

    Old saying but it's true. I get on average $50 to do a residential driveway, and there aren't dozens of blue haired old ladies, with risk of breaking a hip, running across them..... or should I say "shuffling...."

    It's not only the time involved, but the amount of risk that you put before yourself that also comes into play. More of a chance for people to get hurt, the more money I ask.
  12. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Small lots can be big headaches

    Sometimes, small lots are more difficult than larger lots to plow. Production rates and level of difficulty become an issue. Although the lot may only take 20 minutes to plow, the value of the service is greater.

    Personally, I think $50.00 to plow any lot is leaving money on the table. I know every market is different, but the reality of it is the value of the service you provide is worth well over $50.00 to any business. I'm not saying you are wrong, just consider your options.

    That's my .02 worth. Let it snow.