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Too Big??? Need help with bid PLEASE

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Canadian Viking, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Canadian Viking

    Canadian Viking Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hello everyone
    Just a new guy here trying to make an honest living. I have a few years experience pushing but none pricing (bidding). I have mostly residential accounts. and a few very small (5-12 spots) parkinglots. I have been asked to bid on a hotel(2009-2010). It has about 140 spots in three large lots and two smaller ones. I have included a pic. The blue highlighted areas are where I can push snow. The orange areas are where they need walks cleared.
    What I really need help with is how long should this lot take to plow with an 8' arctic plow on a GMC K2500 4x4. I figure the snowblowing should take about 1-2 hours depending on snow fall.
    Also I do not have much experience salting (no salter on truck yet) Would a tailgate salter filled with bagged (40kgs) salt be good enough for this sort of property? How much salt would I expect to use per application?
    One final question: Am I biting off more than I can chew?? I dont mind workin hard or long hours but I also dont want to leave customers waiting endlessly and unhappy ( Not a good way to build up a business)
    Thanks in advance everyone!

    90 GMC K2500 4x4 w 8' Arctic
    MTD 28" 4stroke blower & loading ramps
    80lbs walk behind spreader
    Various Hand shovels ( Yea thats right I said Hand Shovel!!!)
    A Warm pair of boots and an addiction to Red Bull

    Hilton Garden Inn arial view.jpg
  2. jblatti13

    jblatti13 Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    if you have a helper or two do the snowblowing or shoveling, that will definitely be the most profitable and time saving. you and 2 others could do this property in less than 2 hours. id say between 400-500 would be a good idea. plowing wont be too bad, but the walks look like alot from the pic. i have a tailgate spreader, snowex 575... holds 450 lbs of bagged salt... thatd be good for this property, even if you had to throw a few more bags in it... dont get too crazy with the equipment.. just enough to handle what you have... and no this isnt too much for you with one truck... unless your absolutely new to plowing and just dont do it that quickly.. time is money but if you have the experience and know what you're doing, id jump on this one if you get the bid.
  3. HinikerPrototyp

    HinikerPrototyp Member
    Messages: 88

    One thing with hotels most times cars are always in the way and it takes way longer to clear a lot.Is the hotel open now, if so do you see a lot of cars parked there at all hours?,What condition is the surface of the parking lot now if they are open,lots of compacted snow?
  4. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    I would bid that at 4 hours...It shouldn't take any longer than 3....You will be able to do a nice clean job this way.

    With two trucks...you could bust it out in an hour if your both working together.

    $495.00 a push....give or take $50.

    Don't ask me about salt.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  5. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    We usually did hotels with the mindset that at night you just open them up and if you have time you plow the portions that dont have any cars in them then come back around check out time and get all the areas that had cars in them.
  6. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    This is a job for 1 truck and 1 snowblower. Hopefully you can have someone help you with the sidewalks. If I were you I would get there and have the helper start on the sidewalks. You start by opening up the entrances to the parking lot and dragging what snow you can out of the parking spaces. Your helper continues along the sides of the building while you follow behind him with the plow. He will finish before you so then he salts the sidewalk. After he is done with that you should be finishing up plowind and he can ride in the bed for a bit and throw more bags of salt in your salter if needed so you don't have to stop and refill. Total time about 2 hours (times two men). What's that worth to you? I'd go $300 cause you can't get as much $ for a guy with a snowblower as you can for one with a truck.

    Then, figure in salt... do they need sidewalk salt? That is going to be pricy cause that is a lot of sidewalk. Rock salt or icemelt requested on the walks cause the price is much different?
    I am betting that is about 800 lbs of salt needed for that lot. That is a lot of bagged salt. I mean it is going to cost you about $70 for the salt for just the parking lot and you have to make some profit so at least double that, if not triple. Not to mention do you have a place where you can store that much bagged salt? You are going to want to have it on hand before the season starts cause if you can't get salt half way through the season you will have one unhappy customer!

    Also, you will have to go back at least one time per event to clear out more spaces after the cars have moved. Don't forget to negotiate the price on this with the manager and find out what their expectations are regarding that.

    All things said and done I agree w the others around $500 per time.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  7. lilweeds

    lilweeds PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,178

    I'd consider upgrading to a bigger plow also, or at least some wings to help you move the snow!
  8. Canadian Viking

    Canadian Viking Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    So I ve put in a bid at 495 under 15cm (6"?) and 595 over. Included: plowing lots(with return trip). Walks, entrances, patios(Orange areas) cleared and salted.
    I think they were pretty disatisfied with the old contractor. (I saw lots of parking blocked by snow mounds) If I am a little high in price, maybe my attention to detail wil win them over! (30min extra = good recomendation from large chain = more $$$ next year. Right?)
    Thanks to everyone for your advice and I will let you know if I get the bid!
  9. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I do some hotel parking lots. Depending on the timing of the storm, I try to clear them between 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Not many cars in the lot during this time and it will make your work easier. If the storm ends in the middle of the night, I'll open up the traffic areas and then return after 11 a.m. to clean up. I think your price is in the ballpark. Hope you get the job.
  10. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    I agre w the guy who said get some plow wings. It will make it a lot easier there.
  11. Canadian Viking

    Canadian Viking Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Are wings universal fit? I've never used them. I can see how they would help with straight pushing to keep the snow falling off the sides. Are they adjustable? Used as extensions to lenghthen the plow or mounted forward to make a "box". Any recomendations on brand and/or availability in Toronto area?

    Older Steel Arctic 8'
  12. dirtmandan2

    dirtmandan2 Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    I plow a couple of hotels also, a lot of times the employees at night will do some shoveling... At night all I do is clear the main runs. Then 10 30 to 11 am I go back to clean the lots. If you start back dragging and doing what you can at night you will find that you will double your time on the lot and basically be doing it twice. I would bid it high, there a pita. Im sure that the sidewalks will need to be done before morning, so you'll go plow all your accounts at night, open up the runs, do the sidewalks, go home tired as hell then get back up 2 hours later and go back there... I do this every snowfall and it kinda sux, so price it accordingly...
  13. Mr Bigblock

    Mr Bigblock Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    Just remember if you do get it its a commitment and you also need a plan b. What r you going to do if your truck goes down and you know sooner or later that ill happen it happens to all of us,Good
    Luck hope you get it.