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What Should I Charge Michigan

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by cobra333, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. cobra333

    cobra333 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Should I Charge A Price Just To Plow Driveway ..

    What To Charge Salt Sand??

    What To Charge Sidewalks ??

    And Most Importantly How To Stake Out New Homes .. How Do U Find Corners Of Drives .sidewalks ???

    All Residential .. Thanks Guys Please Respond
  2. cobra333

    cobra333 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Help Here Guys
  3. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Told you before. Basic drives are going for 30 to 35. Less in some areas. More if they are bigger but not much more. Thats up to 6" for me...then I add 15 dollars for each additional 2 inches.

    Yes! You do the walks. NO you dont salt resis unless they really want it. Sometimes Ill dribble a little calcium on porch steps at no charge as a courtesy.

    You use driveway stakes....the orange things???? to mark the ends corners tricky areas of concern etc.

    Your names not Rumplestiltskin by chance is it?

  4. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    Ann Arbor.....
    Play nice! LOL Just kidding.
    Yeah, if you are doing residentials, I would not wory bout the salt much. About 30- 35 per drive, till you hit the bigger ones. that is about right, for this area as well.
    Orange marker sticks should help you find the curbs, etc. They sell em at the Home Depot. I think 1.99 each.
  5. mark m

    mark m Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    north mi 35-40 for stan. drive with porch cleaned and salted free
  6. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    Dont ask other people what to charge. Figure out your own costs... fuel, labor, tax, payments, phones, etc. etc. and see how much YOU NEED to charge.

    People in NY have different prices than us. Nothing I hate more than hearing guys charging $20bucks a driveway or $250 per season.
  7. Added Touch

    Added Touch Member
    Messages: 34

    Being Diplomatic on price

    Hey all,

    Fairly new to this forum and industry however can see that there is a lot of different thoughts on pricing for sure. Truth seems that everyone of us has different requirements and obligations which will impact what makes sense to charge in order to have some profit at the end of the day. A good example is myself ... I can make a profit at $25 to $30 bucks a shot because my overhead is low and I have other streams of income, and my equipment costs are relatively low. That said, no one wants to leave money on the table either. If I can get $45 a drive, than I want to get that as well. It really helps for those of us who are new to get a feel for what the going rates are so we are not low balling, or at the same time pricing ourselves out of the water. Thanks for everyone who gives their opinion and details where possible.

  8. Added Touch

    Added Touch Member
    Messages: 34

  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Yes a good example, you do not charge what you are worth becauce you are subsidizing your plowing business with a stream of income from a diffrent job.
    cut off that stream and adjust your prices.
    So, if you get a raise at this other job are you goint to lower your prices?

    ""To figure costs, you will need to start with some basic assumptions:
    1. Equipment -
    A. Use replacement costs. Payments (how much, whether you
    have any or not) are irrelevant. The guy who says he
    doesn’t have to make as much as someone else
    because his “equipment is paid for” is doomed to failure
    and won’t be around more than a couple of years - if that.
    B. Allow a realistic amount for maintenance and repairs of
    even new equipment. If you don’t have any idea, a mechanic
    or someone on this site.
    C. Allow for labor costs. Sure you are doing it yourself - so pay
    yourself. Besides, you just may have to pay someone at some
    D. Allow a reasonable profit. Only you can decide what you want to

    Ok, as an example, let’s say you have decided to plow with a used truck that costs $15,000 and a plow that costs $4,000 and expect the truck to last five years and the plow to last ten years. Your replacement cost of the truck is $3,000yr ($15,000/5ys) and the plow is $400yr. You have determined that you should expect about $1,500/yr in repairs and $300/yr in maintenance. Your yearly equipment cost is $5,200. Now you will also need to get the figures for insurance (both Commercial Vehicle and General Liability). Lets say $1200 and $800 respectively so that’s an additional $2,000 per year. Total yearly cost of business is now $7,200. Now for labor costs. Let’s say you want to set up a route of five hours. You determine that the average wage for someone to plow is $12/hr, so a five hour route will really involve labor for six or seven hours (travel, maintenance etc) so labor costs will be $84/day. You expect to be out ten days, so labor costs are $840/yr. (You’re using subs so you won’t need Workman’s Comp, Unemployment Insurance etc of employee-related costs.) Now you’re up to $8040/yr. If you figure a 30% profit margin, that’s $2412. You need to make $10,452 over a winter. Now you determine that the average driveway is worth $30 and with a three inch trigger, you will be plowing an average of 12 times over the winter. One driveway will bring in $360/yr. You will need 29.0333 driveways (round up or down, whatever you want). If you want to figure hourly, you will be billing 60 hours (five hours plowing per route times 12 snowfalls that get plowed). So you need to charge $174.20/hr ($10,452/60). If you want to figure how much do I need to charge each driveway and keep my route to five hours, then use $10,452/12(snowfalls per winter)/5 (hours per route)/x (# of driveways you can do in an hour - let’s say six). So you‘d need to charge $29.03 per driveway.""
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2006
  10. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Nice breakdown SF. I hope it helps some of them understand this a little better.
  11. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Don't thank me,:nono: lol!!!! Thank, Mick!!!!!
  12. ECS

    ECS Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    Although you can save a lot on maintenance costs by using liquid weld or something instead of properly fixing it.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2006
  13. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    If we all did that wede be doing resis for 7 dollars.

    The standard price is 35.
  14. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    I really get so damned tired of hearing that line of thinking. What does it cost you to do a resi each time you do it. 3 dollars?

    If you added 500% profit youd be doing them for 15 dollars.
  15. Northland

    Northland Senior Member
    Messages: 169

  16. m_j_glover

    m_j_glover Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    I live in Lansing, Michigan and I charge $250-$350 per season!!!!!!!!! Something wrong with that??
  17. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    yes. Based off a 15 plow season and 48 inch average snowfall thats 16 dollars and 90 cents a property.

    I wont even plow my own driveway for $16.90
  18. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Snoking does drives for 200 a year in Muskegon and they get 97 inches a year on average.

    Depending on how many times they plow...Im figuring 20, thats 10 dollars a drive.

    I wouldn't plow Jesus's drive for ten dollars.

    You guys are ruining this industry for everyone.

    Its already ruined in Muskegon and Grand rapids thanks to the likes of the John Allins of the world. I just hope and pray it doesnt move east, or that none of you guys do with all due respect.

    I was doing drives by hand back in the eighties for 25.

    I have to believe you guys do a lousy job to boot but for the price no one cares because you are almost doing it for free.

    That and one good year of snowfall and you guys cut and run and disconnect your phones.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2006
  19. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    And not to quote myself....but these guys come in here and hear the guys say...add up your expenses, and this and that and what you need to make. They do, throw a 500 or 700% profit on top of that and ....well? You get people,plowing drives for 10 or 15 dollars.

    Thats exactly why I hate hearing that said.

    I suggest an industry "standard" and guys like Mick whip out federal websites on price fixing.

    How many different ways do you guys want to have it.
  20. Mick

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

    LLM Ann Arbor, either you're missing something in that formulae I wrote up or you're just trying to "stir the pot". If a person used what I wrote, there is no way you're going to "get people,plowing drives for 10 or 15 dollars" unless that's what fits your needs. You WILL get people plowing for enough to make expenses, plan for equipment replacement, plan growth and make a profit. There is no basis for an "industry standard" because all these factors will vary based on locale, goals and individual circumstances.