Snow price by the inch help

Layten13

Junior Member
I have been reading threads for hours. I have 2 questions

1. Does anyone have a % to raise the price from 1-3 to 3-6inch?

2. If I charge $100 (1-3) and $150 (3-6) with a 2 inch trigger which means I have to plow twice if we get 4 or 5 inches do I charge them $150 total? Or $250 total? I dont understand . If I make $100 off one push I feel like I should make $200 if I have to push it twice?
 

wishfull

Senior Member
This is why I don't do per inch pricing. It can be to confusing, for the contractor as well as the customer. In your scenario we would charge it out as 2 pushes so $200. If you are worried about plowing extra snow for nothing then average your snowfall depths out. Let's say 1/2 are 2" the other half are 6" and set a per push price at 4". On some snowfalls you come out ahead while the customer comes out ahead on the rest. At the end of the season it will all average out the same for both of you.
 
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Layten13

Junior Member
This is why I don't do per inch pricing. It can be to confusing, for the contractor as well as the customer. In your scenario we would charge it out as 2 pushes so $200. If you are worried about plowing extra snow for nothing then average your snowfall depths out. Let's say 1/2 are 2" the other half are 6" and set a per push price at 4". On some snowfalls you come out ahead while the customer comes out ahead on the rest. At the end of the season it will all average out the same for both of you.


I've been putting in bids and alot of them want per inch pricing . How do you bid your jobs . I like to stick to hourly
 

wishfull

Senior Member
You have to have an hourly rate in the back of your mind when you are pricing jobs but I never tell anyone what it is. When you start any new job you will usually take longer than let's say 3 times down the road so the better you get the less you get paid. Same goes for the hassel of explaining to a customer why the hourly rates went up on your bigger and newer machine. Probably cost the same at the end but customer's don't always see it that way, they just see an hourly price increase. Also hard to compare prices when there is such a difference between types and sizes of equipment out there. If your customers want per inch pricing then you need to find the sweet spot that works for you and don't worry what others are doing. As far as I am concerned if you have a 2-4" price and you plow every 2"-4" then that is your per push price. If you wait until 8-10" of snow is on the ground before you push then your 8-10" price kicks inif you're doing by the inch. I am sure others on here that do per inch pricing can explain it better than me though. There has been other threads on here discussing this issue.
 
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Layten13

Junior Member
I've been reading them for hours and still am. I just dont understand how to charge them . If its from 1-3 for $100 and 3-6 for $150 do you wait until it stop snowing? Or plow it twice if it's a 2 inch trigger . If you plow it twice do you only charge 150 for 5 inch and 2 pushes or do you charge 100 (1-3) plus 150 (3-6) and charge 250
 

wishfull

Senior Member
This is why I hate plowing snow by the inch. It's just to d__n confusing. On a 2" trigger I plow. Next 2" I plow. I charge per push price every time I service a lot based on the trigger. If 5" comes down between plowing because of a heavy round of snow then charge your price for a 5" snowfall. If you go in every time there is 2 inches on the lot and clear then you will never reach your next pricing level anyway. Besides why would you want to make a separate push for less money. That per inch stuff really only applies if you allow it to accumulate. My clients don't really like it if I plow twice during the night when the lots are not being used so we plow closer towards morning and in the case of a heavy snow we may push a bit more but we don't care. Our equipment is more than capable, our price per push is high enough to cover our butts and our customers are happy.
 

EWSplow

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
Milwaukee
Wishfull pretty much covered it.
The majority of my accounts are per push, with inch increments, 1-3, 3-6, etc.
Its more about the timing. Let's say its snowing like crazy all night, but the business doesn't open until 8am. I plow it before they open and charge for the amount on site. If it needs to be plowed throughout the day, I charge per push, again what's on site when I get there.
For multifamily lots and residential drives, I typically go through before what I think would be the earliest time someone needs to get out. I return before I feel most people would be returning from work. (this is if it continues to snow) Both times, charging for what's on site. If the snow has stopped before my 1st trip, my return trip to clear out where cars were parked is included in the 1st per push (I have this built into the pricing).
Depending on the lot, The events where the snow starts around morning rush hour suck. Nothing to plow before the cars start piling in, but there's snow built up before they need to leave. The best you can do is clear a way out and go back when they leave. In this case, I have sometimes charged for one push and sometimes two. Usually one. It just depends on the situation.
 

cjames808

Senior Member
Location
SE WI
I am working on changing all per push accounts to:
2-4”
4-6”
Inch rate over 6”
Ground work hourly. 1 hr minimum.
Lot salt and walk salt separate.

I get the inch rate by dividing the 4-6” price by 4/5/6 and running the numbers for a storm.
Ex: 4-6= $300 push
$300/4= $75 per inch
$300/5= $60 per inch
$300/6= $50 per inch

Easier lots get the lower rate, harder lots get the higher rate.

I have switched most over already for this year.
 
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Mitragorz

Senior Member
Location
Long Island
I must be the minority because I don't think charging by the inch is confusing at all.

2-4 is a price.
4.1-8 is a price
etc.

Look at the snowfall totals on the NWS page or use a ruler. Charge accordingly.

It's my discretion how many "pushes" to make. If I can get away with making one pass in 6" of light fluffy stuff, I do that. Would you guys charge your one-push rate for that? I'm not going to waste the gas and time. They're still being charged as though it was three passes (or close to that price), but if I can do it with one pass and make the same money, that works for me.

You might charge $50 per push every 2" and make $100 off a 4" snowfall because you had to make 2 passes.
I'll charge $75 for 2-4" and make only one pass. Yeah, you'll make $25 more than me at 4", but I'll make more than you at anything under 4". It all evens out.

I DO UNDERSTAND PER PUSH if you have a site with a true 2" trigger that actually needs to be cleared every 2". I don't have any of those. I'm mostly residential with two very flexible commercial accounts (an ANG site and a Kingdom Hall) who don't need to be "maintained." That's why per inch works for me.

THAT BEING SAID: This year I am doing most of my new quotes as one seasonal price. Homeowners seem to like it. "Set it and forget it." And I like it, because now I don't have to argue with a homeowner about that tenth of an inch, or try to justify why I plowed your driveway twice for 4" and charged you twice when I could've banged it out in just one pass.

What it comes down to, is that the pricing winds up all being the same... It's just a matter of how you charge it.
 

wishfull

Senior Member
My customers ( all commercial ) don't care if it's dry and fluffy or wet and soggy they just want it off their lots. Some are a 2" trigger while the industrial ones are a 4" trigger. Our prices are based on various things concerning the lots complexity, travel time, where we can pile and things like that. We also base our pricing on the inch to I suppose and that being 5 or 6" inches as average per snowfall event. Anything under that amount we charge our base price and smile, anything over that amount we charge our base price and the customer smiles. It all averages out over the course of the winter. We also do a lot of our customers now based on monthly pricing. Again it's being done so the customer can budget X amount per month. We mix them up and even do some one timers hourly. What ever works.
 

EWSplow

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
Milwaukee
My customers ( all commercial ) don't care if it's dry and fluffy or wet and soggy they just want it off their lots. Some are a 2" trigger while the industrial ones are a 4" trigger. Our prices are based on various things concerning the lots complexity, travel time, where we can pile and things like that. We also base our pricing on the inch to I suppose and that being 5 or 6" inches as average per snowfall event. Anything under that amount we charge our base price and smile, anything over that amount we charge our base price and the customer smiles. It all averages out over the course of the winter. We also do a lot of our customers now based on monthly pricing. Again it's being done so the customer can budget X amount per month. We mix them up and even do some one timers hourly. What ever works.
For salting, I don't charge by weight, or amount used. Its $xxx for plow and salt and $xxx salt only.
And that pretty much averages out. More used when its cold, less when its warm, or other variables.
 

cjames808

Senior Member
Location
SE WI
How do you charge if it's a 2 inch trigger but get 4 inches . Say the lot is 100. Do you charge 200 if we get 4 or 5 inch since you pushed it twice

We’d plow it twice if time allows and charge for two service visits.

And you original question about the % increase from 2-4 to 4-6 etc is typically 20-60% or 1.2-1.6 times. Depending on the difficulty, space for snow, and base price rate.

Some make it double for double the amount of snow but it doesn’t take double the time and you may price your self out of a large section of the market. This is why lower triggers with higher base price and getting there on the trigger is important.
 
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Mark Oomkes

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
I don't think I can go any further here.

It's Monday and I'm stoopid...

How do you charge if it's a 2 inch trigger but get 4 inches . Say the lot is 100. Do you charge 200 if we get 4 or 5 inch since you pushed it twice

Why did you let it accumulate to 4" if your trigger depth is 2"?

Why aren't you plowing with the storm?
 

Mark Oomkes

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
I'm was asking if you get 4" and plow at 2" then come back later and plow another 2" do you bill them your 1-3 inch price twice?

This isn't rocket surgery.

If you get 4" but plow twice, you would be plowing somewhere between that 1-3" price range each time.

So 2 pushes times your 1-3" price would be what you would bill.

Maybe I'm slow and don't understand math, but it doesn't seem that difficult.
 

MSsnowplowing

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Eastern CT
I have been reading threads for hours. I have 2 questions

1. Does anyone have a % to raise the price from 1-3 to 3-6inch?

2. If I charge $100 (1-3) and $150 (3-6) with a 2 inch trigger which means I have to plow twice if we get 4 or 5 inches do I charge them $150 total? Or $250 total? I dont understand . If I make $100 off one push I feel like I should make $200 if I have to push it twice?

These are just examples, site will determine pricing.
Start with your rate to clear a 2-3 inch storm and increase it by $25-$50 for 6" and $50-$75 for 7-12"

2-3.9 $100
4-6.9 $150
7-10.9 $225
11-12.9 $300
13+ $50 a inch

What you need to remember with the bigger storms is your just clearing roadways and say a few parking spots

so if a site takes you 1 hour to plow a 3" storm then on a 6" storm you will go in and only spend say 20 minutes there at the 3" mark then come back at storm end.

So the same applies for a 12" storm.
3" mark, 20 minutes
6" mark, 20 minutes
9" mark, 20 minutes
12" mark, 1 hour

So if your making $100 for 1 hour of work, 2 hours would be $200 but your charging $300 so you make a little more.

If a place is closed and you wait till storm end at 6" you still charge the $150 because it was 6" even if you only plowed once.
 

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