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Started a new company this for the upcoming season, couple of questions

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by kruser6, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. kruser6

    kruser6 Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 36

    First of all what a nice site you have here. It seems like there is a lot of good information and discussion going on here.

    I have been plowing for 6 years. Through the time I have been plowing for another company I have picked up about 8 accounts albeit small, but enough to make a good chunk of change whenever it snows. Anyways this year I have been approached by a few apartment complexes and two large commercial lots. I also have a good connection with a big restaurant and a shopping mall. I really have wanted to do this for about 3 years and now it's my time that I can make it work because my other job is self employed.

    So in order to do the bids I need to get a salt spreader and sand spreader. I am also in need of a liquid product to put down before the ice.

    I am doing my bid at $80 an hour per truck for the plow.

    So here are my questions, please help if you can answer any of them.

    - How do I go about putting a bid in for the salting. Do you guys like to put a bid in for a per application or a per ton? Obviously the size of the parking lot matters, I am looking at a normal grocery store size parking lot.

    - If you go with a per application how do you figure how many tons of salt you would use per application.

    -What are your guy's triggers? Anything underneath "?" inches salt, anything over that plow? Is that how you guys do it.

    - How do you know if you need to be salting or sanding

    - How much area do I need to store salt and can you just get truck loads delivered to the storage spot?

    - How much do you guys charge an hour normally for shoveling/snow blowing commercial lots?

    - What is the amount of insurance you like to carry?

    - I can run the salt and sand out of the same box? I will have two trucks, would it make more sense to have one for salt and one for sand?

    Thanks to anyone that can help me with any of the questions. I look forward to really learning this business inside and out and being able to contribute to the forum.
  2. kruser6

    kruser6 Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 36

    I just wanted to say I found a couple other sections of the forum I didn't see. I had all of these questions in my mind and had to get them out and typed out but I will also do my own reading.
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Go do some reading then come back and we'll help you out with the rest.

    Welcome to the site.:waving::drinkup:
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    My "short answer" is - for commercial, salt/sand every time you plow. For me, "rule of thumb" was charge for sanding was equal to plowing - just seemed to work out most times.
  5. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    on average 17lbs+- of salt per 1000sq ft depending upon weather conditions and lot conditions
  6. kruser6

    kruser6 Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 36

    So if you are saying that it depends on weather conditions would you say it is better to do a charge on the amount of salt rather then a per application?
  7. kruser6

    kruser6 Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 36

    OK so I have a few things figured out;

    Let me know if my prices seem competitive;

    $80/hour per truck
    $30 or $35/ an hour per sidewalk cleaning -(what do you think is best?)

    I am charging $350 per hour every application of salt on the grocery store lots. I am using that as a base to decide on new lots. IF they are half the size then $175 and so on.

    $80/hour for the dump truck, $80/skid for hauling

    Please help me out on letting me know if these sound competitive.
  8. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    How big is grocery store lots? How much salt would you have to use in worse case senario?