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Vdot(Fairfax County) Pricing Question from NOOB

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by ck17va, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. ck17va

    ck17va Junior Member
    from 20170
    Messages: 4

    HI! First Post!

    First year at Reston(Fairfax County) Vdot for Snow Plowing. We are noticing that we are not being called in as often as other contractors are. We also noticed that our usual route has another contractor on it now.
    Any suggestions on our pricing? We don't know anyone else's prices so we don't know where to go with it. Obviously down, but not sure how much.

    2 F250's w/plow and sanders signed up @$100 per hour (up to $175 allowed when bidding).

    2 F450's w/plow and sanders signed up @$140 per hour (up to $200 allowed when bidding).

    1 skidsteer @$100 per hour (up to $115 allowed when bidding).

    Any help would be awesome! Thanks!
  2. fireball

    fireball PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 545

    you might need to make a political contribution
  3. OldSchoolPSD

    OldSchoolPSD Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    Whats the capacity of the spreaders? Prices look fine, right in line with that we are getting up here unless you are running small spreaders.

    Your equipment might be the reason you aren't getting called in first. Municipalities like single axle dumps and other big trucks that hold a lot of salt. They don't want to pay you to run back and forth to the salt dome a dozen times with a little 2 yard spreader. I also wouldn't expect them to pay for a skid steer until we get a foot or more of snow.

    It's also your first year, and that works against you. They like guys they are familiar with and know they wont have to babysit. Kind of a catch 22, they don't call you in unless they absolutely have to because you are new and unproven, but if you don't get called in you don't get the chance to prove yourself.

    We are always the first called in and last to leave. Things I've noticed that the county guys don't like are:

    -using too much material
    -drivers that cannot speak english fluently
    -frequent breakdowns
    -mismatched equipment (i.e. using a pickup with a 2 yard on a route that's known to take a lot of salt or using a single axle dump on a route with a bunch of cul-de-sacs)
    -damaging mail boxes or curbs
    -missing roads on the route (its easy to overlook side streets when the snow is coming down heavy... those are the people that usually call and complain)

    And of course, at the end of the day you have to remember that it is the government and they have their own way of operating. You can do the best job in the world, but they guy that plays golf with the supervisor is always going to have the advantage. Find out where the guy drinks and buy him a round.

    "When it comes to political corruption, I either want less of it or more opportunity to participate."
  4. Amazingearth

    Amazingearth Junior Member
    from 20132
    Messages: 23

    You have probably only been called a handful of times right? Well if you go on VDOTplows.org you can see there mobilization plan. Leesburg, Arcola, Reston Etc only call if it's a level 5 storm because they can take care of it with dump trucks unless it's 6+
  5. ck17va

    ck17va Junior Member
    from 20170
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for getting back to me!
    I guess we have concluded that they are on a Tier system for calling in trucks. We are on the bottom Tier due to price/amount of trucks/tenure.
    Next year we will be slightly dropping our prices and hopefully adding a new truck!
  6. ck17va

    ck17va Junior Member
    from 20170
    Messages: 4

    Great point. Thanks!
  7. MajorDave

    MajorDave Senior Member
    Messages: 968

    Droppng Prices and ADDING equipment = a bad combo. Be careful...we price ourselves right outta this industry.
  8. ck17va

    ck17va Junior Member
    from 20170
    Messages: 4

    you're right about that one! i think we just came in way too high at first. we are looking to be somewhat comparable to others.
  9. hsullc

    hsullc Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Year later...

    Hello CK17va,

    I saw your year old post and wanted to see how you did this year? I plow for VDOT as well and was hoping to compare notes.

    Any help or advice would be great.

    Thank you,