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What to consider

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by farmerkev, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    I have a few years of snow removal experience for a contractor, and am looking at picking up a few of my own accounts. I dont want to start another "help me bid this" or "bid this for me thread" as those are pointless. Rather I want some help setting up a plan for how to bid myself. I did search but the only threads that seem to pop up are more "help me bid this" threads.

    I understand the different ways to charge, such as hourly, per push, seasonal etc. I Figure after a season, Ill get a much better handle on bidding on my own. But I want some advice so I dont get screwed over completely at first. Just looking for some advice from some of you to help get me started.

    My experience is mostly in a 3500 DRW chevy with a 9' straight blade, but Ill be plowing in my truck, a 3500 SRW 3500 with a 7.5' straight blade (hopefully getting wings soon), and Im looking into a few smaller commercial lots.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Take what you know now about plowing and use it for yourself. Next time you go plow a lot try and figure out how much you would charge for it yourself.
  3. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    Im getting a good idea on how long I will take on lots, but I just am not sure what all to consider in what to charge for. Fuel, my time, insurance costs, etc. Could use a step in the right direction figureing out these parts.
  4. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    farmer I'll help you with some of that, But I'm not going to continue teaching you plow techniques if your gonna leave next year.

    I know you love your truck but be real careful promising commercial clients service. Plowing is hard on trucks and that poor girl has been rode hard.
  5. GL&M

    GL&M Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 223

    Oh no. Not good when the boss reads the same boards.
  6. snowguys

    snowguys Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    its like oh Sh@it thats never a good thing lol
  7. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    Some people just don't think before posting something on an open board lol I hope he got fired lol
  8. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    I've had guys play 20 questions with me on their first time out with me. "How much does a plow cost?" "How do you get these customers?" "How much do you charge?" You know what, F-OFF!! I'm not helping you start a business, you're supposed to be helping me.:realmad:
  9. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    I in a nice way tell them the same thing, and don't answer a damn question other then what they need to know to make me money successfully. If I knew of an employee contemplating buying a plow or one that owned a plow that would be there last day period :realmad:
  10. GL&M

    GL&M Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 223

    He hasn't posted since. Maybe he did get canned. He may be out looking for a job.
  11. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    No I didn't fire him. Farmers a good kid. However our accounts must come first.
  12. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    why dont you sit down with your boss and talk to him about it. i know it sounds odd but who taught you what you know about the industry? who better to teach you how to start your own business/ get your own work. most employers realize thier guys arnt gonna stay around forever and if your one of his good employees. most owners wont have a problem getting you started. i got my start that way. and to this day im still good friends with the company and we use eachother as subs and give eachother work. we operate in opposite ends of the county and dont compete with eachother.

    if you talk to your boss about helping you out. im sure he will. you may want to try that avenue before you go nuts posting on here where your boss can see...
  13. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    Haha no didnt get fired. Ive worked for him for several years, shoveling and am now running a plow, I have a great job going there with some great people. Not looking at leaving but I would like to start my own operation someday and since I have my own plow I have several people who have asked about plowing for them, and Im looking at maybe picking up a few for some more cash when Im done working for snowman. Ive learned a lot working for him, even learned a ton just shoveling.

    But I know there are also lots of knowledgeable guys on here and it never hurts to ask.
  14. ryde307

    ryde307 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,145

    Sounds like you have a good relationship. I realize employees are not around forever and many will want to go on there own. I would not have aproblem helping them get started if the circumstances were right. I have 4 or 5 friends I see daily that do what I do year round we all work together and are respectful of it. Normally we dont have any issues.

    Anyways things to consider for pricing are the obvious your overhead, time it would take and so on.
    Other things come consider is how close to other accounts, what type of service do they want, are the people easy to work with, is there good exposure, is it a long term contract or just one season, and so on. Goodluck to you either way. Sometimes when you add it all up its alot easier to just be an employee if you have a good thing going.
  15. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

  16. snowman55

    snowman55 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    If this is what guys are using to come up with their pricing no wonder I am more expensive. There are so many expense items missing I don't know where to begin
  17. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    I dont want to think of a computer being able to tell me what Im worth.