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The ultimate lowball

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by birddseedd, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    I bid on a private road. probably 150 f. only 3 house lengths.

    i said 75....

    whoever said 10....

    asked the lady to keep my number in case the other guy doesn't come through.
  2. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    150 feet is considered a road? Can you push to the end and pile it? Should take no more than 4 pushes. Maybe even just 3 windrows.

    The $10 guy is a beer money guy for sure.
  3. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Dammnit! I bid that out for $15! Damn lowballers.
  4. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    I would probably windrow it. maybe pile some. how much is it worth?
  5. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    $75 sounds in the ball park without seeing it.
  6. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    my self I be 2 passes unless The road is wider then 20ft
    if it was in my route I charge 30-40

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,362

    What you have a 14ft plow?
  8. osborneconst

    osborneconst Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I guess it depends on the road. I have been doing a 600 ft private road for years for $20.00. It is right on my route, it is one pass in, and one pass out, takes about 2 min. I would do those all day long vs the back and forth of a $20.00 driveway.
  9. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    This is my fourth winter in the snow business, when I started a fellow who has about twenty season at his said "every winter I see three or four guys figure they will make some money at this, but I don't see them around the following year." get that guys number and send every lowballer pita call to him, killed with kindness I say.
  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    So, if you did 10 of them for 20bucks......

    You would gross 200 bucks, then take into account 60 dollars in fuel then your looking at a profit of 140 bucks.

    Then not to mention wear and tear, and the 3k plow you've got hanging of the front of the truck.

    No way for 20 bucks.

    I'd do it for no less than 50

  11. osborneconst

    osborneconst Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Like I said every situation is different. I wouldn't do twenty of them, I do one of them because I drive right by it, so there is no extra gas involved to get there. This is my 19th year of snow plowing, and I run all nice newer equipment, with multiple trucks. I don't feel right about charging $50.00 for TWO minutes worth of work. That's $1500.00 per hour. This is my 5th season plowing this, and feel that it is worth it. If I had to make a special trip somewhere to do it, than I would have to charge more, like I said it depends on the situation.
  12. Alaskaforby4

    Alaskaforby4 Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 74

    Now we're getting somewhere!Thumbs Up
  13. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I understand what you are saying, and agree.

    My deal is that we are all out to make money. There is other professions that make you more money for less work.

    Then I factor in that during the winter, I go nowhere. On top of it, you have to plow on Xmas and New years if it snows.

    Then there is the long hours that take a toll on your body.

    No, I'm not about ripping people off, but I really feel that I need to charge a certain amount to make this gig worth the effort.

    Another thing to consider is I'm a landscaper. I'm all about profiting as much as I can and have a different Charging mentality rather than heavy equipment operators who have a per hour charge mindset.

  14. Laszlo Almasi

    Laszlo Almasi Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    I wouldn't even think about dropping my plow on the ground that that little. Granted, down here we are able to charge more. I have come to realize that tgoing much more than 7-8 hours drive north of NC is just not worth the expense and the "per hour" rate falls off drastically.

    I also have a minimum that I charge...and it's more than $50.00
  15. Laszlo Almasi

    Laszlo Almasi Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    As for the ultimate lowball? I've got that beat:

    Years ago before the Inet, I used to layout/design printed circuit boards and did quite well. We had one lady that was coming into one of our customers and was undercutting us and it was obvious she did not know what the job was worth and we lost a few jobs to her. So, my dad and I decided we'd resolve the issue immediately by telling them we'd design the boards she bid on for free. We also found out the majority of the other companies that she was bidding jobs for and bid free on those jobs as well. It only took about 2 months before she was out of business and we could increase our rates again.

    Bottom line? It's a dog-eat-dog world out there and if you want to get off the porch and run with the big dogs, you better run right beside them because someone else will kick ur arse if you step out of line.

    Low ballers ruin just about every industry. It happened in the PCB design industry, it's happening in the snow service industry, and it happens in the personal watercraft industry as well. Luckily, the low ballers go out of business very quickly in the PWC arena.
  16. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    I agree with this post. I use to think about being very resonable with my plowing rates because 20 for a 5 min driveway seems like good money. But in the winters around here you'll be lucky to plow 4 times a winter, last year was a 1 plowing event season. If you charge per push you have to make decent money. So now those $20 driveways are $30 driveways now and same applys to commercial properties. We got our first plow event of the season here today, it was hilarious it was like a half inch to a inch and all the snow contractors are out like vulgers with there plows down( myself included but hey we are hungary).
  17. Flawless440

    Flawless440 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,543

    Wow... I have a $100 min.. plow/salt.. I do two houses reg drives $100 for the two.. Neighbors.. stay away from all that crap
  18. osborneconst

    osborneconst Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I agree, we all want to make as much as possible. I have a tendency to be too high in my pricing, as a lot of the stuff I bid on, other people come in cheaper. Like I stated before, I only do this one as it is right on my route, and I do the neighbors drive, and some years I plow some of the houses on the road.

    It does make it tough in this economy, out there being a legit company, with employees, as there are other people out there with zero overhead, and not claiming any of their income, so they are not paying taxes either. I try to keep my overhead as low as possible to stay competitive. One of my commercial accounts this year had some crazy insurance requirements, so I had to change that to accommodate them, which just adds more to overhead. On a side note, I am glad that one is seasonal, as we haven't had one plow able event this season, and we usually have 7-10 events by now. I haven't had to salt either. I almost felt guilty depositing Decembers payment.

    I very seldom do anything per hour, and only charge per hour for snow plowing when doing loader work, or hauling snow with dump trucks, which is how it gets billed to the customer per the contract. I do however usually check my estimate/invoice to customers into a per/hour just to see what the profit margins are, and which employees net the most money, since they get paid per hour.
  19. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    I hope you charged enough to pay the entire extra payment for that accommidation. if not that customer is costing you more money than you are getting paid for that customer
  20. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    One Seasonal Restaurant I bid this year sent my insurance certificate and contract to their corporate lawyer for review. They came back and said my Auto Insurance limits were not high enough and they normally require $x. I said that coverage will cost me and additional $x.xx in premiums and their contract price will be increased by that amount. All the sudden the insurance I hace was adequate. Funny how that works. prsport