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Snow "removal"

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Big Todd, Sep 17, 2002.

  1. Big Todd

    Big Todd Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    Hey all, good to be back on the plow site and thinking about snow!

    We are curently bidding on an account that has very, and I mean very, limited amonut of space for piling snow. Thus, they want us to include a price for actually loading the snow into a truck and hauling it away when the piles get too big (they say after two or three snowfalls).

    Years ago, we subcontracted for a guy who would do this occasionally, but I don't remember what his set up was or any details.

    So, the question is, do I get pricing from an excavating company to do the whole thing? Or do I just hire a dump truck and rent a loader myself (my brother and I both know how to operate a loader). I have two accounts that I know would let me dump the snow on their property.

    Any input would be apreciated.
  2. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Subcontracting 101

    I'd develop a relationship with an excavator. If you grow your business, they can be an integral part of your operation in the future. Call around to a few and tell them what you want. Although many other services are bid by the job, 99.9% of removal is done hourly. I'd guess a loader or backhoe will run you $50-$100 per hour. I realize that is quite a range, but there are many different size machines and everyone has their own idea of what their service is worth. A decent size dump should run in about the same range, depending upon size. Call several contractors because prices can vary quite a bit.

    Ask if they have a minimum, many have 3-4 hour minimums or other minimum charges. Even if you can dump the snow for free, you need to establish a disposal fee per load, too. YOU developed the relationship with your customer, so you should benefit from that relationship rather than the other customer. You don't have to get rich from the disposal fee, but you don't want to give anything away and devalue the service, either.

    If I could find a dependable company at the low end of the price scale, I would charge the price on the highest end of the scale. For example, let's say you can find 2.5 yard loaders for $70 an hour and $100 an hour at different companies. I'd hire the guy for $70 an hour and charge the customer $100.
  3. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I think you might've meant, "the other contractor".

    And in my case, I was usually the excavator.

    Outside of that, you've described my snow "removal" experience almost exactly. It's been more than a few years since we've had to do that, mainly since it never seems to snow any more :( . The time I hired another guy with his machine I charged the customer for my time as "supervisor, with plow truck."

    My hourly rate for the backhoe was maybe $15 over what I'd charge hourly for digging, because I've found the market will bear that. Not everyone wants to work all night loading snow.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2002
  4. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384


    I meant what I said. I was trying to get the point across that if you are taking snow from customer A's lot to customer B's dump site, you want to benefit (profit) from the relationship you have established with customer B.

    If you don't charge a fee for the disposal, customer A benefits from your relationship with customer B and you have gained nothing. Sorry for the confusion.

    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664

    Hey Todd, you can just call us, we will take care of it !

    Or, I guess you could do what we have sometimes done , that is sub it out to a local excavator, or well driller, or anyone you know with a hoe and a truck.

    I will probably have at least one loader in the area this year, so in all seriousness, we could help you out in that area.
  6. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    My fault.

    Thanks for the clarification.
  7. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384


    Not a problem. After reading my post again, I could see why the meaning of that sentence was unclear to you. I'm glad the "I meant what I said" statement wasn't taken as being snide. Sometimes context is tough to figure out with nothing more than words on a screen.

    I guess I have learned quite a bit, despite the fact I consider myself "wet behind the ears" as a plowman!:cool:
  8. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Most of the time for snow haulaway, we charge per hour/per piece of equipment.

    Unless you are very good at judging the amount of snow in a pile, and adding 25% for air volume once snow is moved from pile to truck, and you are the worlds greatest estimator you will never be able to determine a flat rate for hauling snow that a customer will easily agree to. IMO its better if you charge so much per hour per loader and dump truck.

    I have also used Roll off containers (dumpsters) on occassion. One truck and three or four 30 - 40 yard containers. This way you can be loading containers while the one truck is hauling... when the truck returns to the sight and drops the empty container it pickups up the next full one and off it goes... real productivity.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2002
  9. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Just so you guys know.

    Even if the snow doesn't leave site, just reloacting the snow from bank A to bank B, means the bank B is a snow dump. To have a snow dump you need a DEP permit. This is to be 100% legall. I don't think anyone is going to bother you for moving it from Bank A to Bank B. However if you are paying someone to haul it off, make sure it is being haulled to a licenced snow dump. Or have a contract that the contractor hauling is responsible for any law suits of incorrect dumping.

  10. Big Todd

    Big Todd Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    Hey, thanks for the input guys. I just collected all of the information I got (from your posts as well as asking everyone I could think of), and gave an hourly rate. I still don't know if I have the account yet, so this may have been all for naught, but at least I learned something.