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Snow Magazine this month

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by grandview, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Anyone read the "Lowballer" article ? Couple of good points. I think commutation is the most important part of the business now days not just the work.
  2. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    When did you go deaf?
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    When I got married.
  4. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    I read the whole article twice, some good info in that magazine .....
  5. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    Thats the only article i read so far... Kinda looking at it and looking at my self... Thinking, maby I am blind... Or maby Jon Allin is just an idiot... Still havent decided :laughing:

    There was some good points brought up tho and I think alot of us are thinking twice this year...
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2010
  6. MahonLawnCare

    MahonLawnCare Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 852

    I did, it was a good article..seems in my area lowballing is more of a concern on the lawn side with all the hacks
  7. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,912

    I felt he just made a stupid topic scientifical...actually I think he made a science of being stupid.

    Pie graphs for lowballers, come on! :dizzy:

    The one thing I did like was the little tidbit to look for stains on concrete which could indicate drainage concerns. Never would have thought of that one.
  8. purpleranger519

    purpleranger519 Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 536

    It looks like a flyer now a days more than a magazine. You can read through it in about 10 mins now.
  9. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Yeah too much advertising in there. They need more core reading related to snow and ice.
  10. bosman

    bosman Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    I'm sure if you guys wanted to pay for Snow Mag they could make it as big as you like, until then those ads will have to pay it for us. As far as the article goes, I think anytime one contractor loses a contract to another we assume that he/she is a lowballer. Am I a lowballer b/c I charge less than some of the larger companies? Is the guy that plows for $60/hour a lowballer or is the guy that charges $125/hour gouging his customers? As owners its up to us to set our own prices.
  11. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    i guarantee you if you sit down with a "low baller" contractor and discuss their costs with you, that at LEAST 80% of them wouldnt know what your talking about. I have an accounting degree and specialized in cost accounting, so you tell me joe schmoe out there with his beat up pickup can really flesh out the details of his operation the way we have had to do in order to grow at the rate we do.

    do you think they carry 1 mill or more in liability insurance?
    do you think they have the proper auto insurance for commercial operations?
    do you think they pay for commercial license plates?
    do you think they apply for proper licenses from the cities in which they operate?
    do you think they allocate for unforeseen costs such as breakdowns or when they need to hire help?
    do you think they charge sales tax for counties that require service providers to do so?

    i mean honestly i could go on. when i bid a job, i first sit down and figure all my costs that will be associated with that bid, then from there i figure in margins for safety and try to meet a required profit margin. cost plus pricing is one of the safest ways to go, and if you dont have a handle on what will be involved your setting yourself up for disaster.

    for one, i think John Allin overshot the idea of the "low baller" that many of us are used to. and secondly, His article shows the importance of having a level playing field when it comes to bidding. Once the second contractor pointed out that all those unused lots werent necessary to plow that completely changing the service level and the first contractor did not get a chance to change his bid accordingly. that doesnt make the second contractor a low baller b/c if both contractors bid on the same level of service i guarantee you the price difference would not approach 25%

    responsiblity exists with both contractors including the client.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  12. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    How's this for an idea. In your bid put on a sheet about 5 questions for the property owner to check off when looking at bids.

    Ex. Does all the bidders have the proper insurance?
    2. -----

    get the idea. This way your helping them and maybe knocking the other bidders out.
  13. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    I just got my issue - haven't been to the shop to pick up the mail for a while. Is that Mark O. on the cover?:eek:
  14. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    i always try to stress the point that we have jumped through all the hoops and have insurance and are licensed etc... to our clients. the more you can make it seem that you bring to the table the more you close the gap between price and service.

    ive been lucky enough that some of my commercial accounts will let me see the current contracts, they even tell me that they want everyone to bid on the same level of service

    even if you ask a client whats more important price or service, they may say service but in the end price is the biggest factor that sways their decision when they look at a 20,000 bid vs. a 14,000 bid. some dont even have the common sense to realize there might be something wrong with that situation.
  15. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    I don't think I've gotten one this week? What's on cover? I got one awhile back....like 3 weeks ago!
  16. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    picture of the devil....
  17. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    will this price savings really be a savings if there is a law suit involving the unserviced areas.
    Is it unnecessary to plow the "unused" lots?

    I think Contractor B could be in for a rude awakening.

    The unplowed lots can be classified as an attractive nuisance. The opportunity for a slip and fall is just as great unless they block access. There is a center here in town that borders on another shopping center with inadequate parking. Although the one part of the lot in center A is not used because the stores are all empty, the employees of the neighboring center B use the lot. The owner of the lot with the empty stores was not having that part of the lot serviced. An employee of a store in the neighboring center slipped, fell, broke her arm and successfully sued as the lot A's access was not restricted. Lucky ;) the contractor had included a map of the areas to be serviced in the contract along with a disclaimer for damages/injures occurring in the owner mandated unserviced areas. The contractor was dismissed from the suit, the lot owner paid damages. This year the entire lot was serviced:nod:
  18. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    ya, that brings up issues alot bigger than any of us, my blood boils when i hear of some of these suits. you've live in an area where you know that winter conditions exist, therefore you acknowledge the fact that adverse conditions may present themselves and therefore assume all risks and liabilities that go hand in hand with any outdoor activity.
  19. CSP#1

    CSP#1 Member
    Messages: 59

    Be careful with that thought process. No contractor likes being sued for snow and ice conditions that seem quite obvious. It is natural for a contractor to get defensive when slapped with a lawsuit. However, ask yourself this question - Why would any property owner/manager need to hire a snow removal contractor to plow and salt if lawsuits were not part of the equation? It is a double edged sword.
  20. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    i was referring to the lots that were not plowed at all.

    i completely understand that if a contractor clears the snow and that lot ices over, or ices over for other reasons that the contractor introduced into the equation then he/she brings themselves into the picture.

    and i dont thing prop managers hire snow removal contractors b/c of lawsuits, but because of accessibility. imagine the parking disaster if no one knew where the lines were. snow removal arose from the accessibility need, then lawsuits were introduced and that became a large reason for removal/ice control
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010