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What would you charge?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by Eleven-FiftyLLC, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Eleven-FiftyLLC

    Eleven-FiftyLLC Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Been floating around here for awhile. Had a local VFW post contact us recently. They think they are getting raked over the coals from a local plow guy. Attached is the two lots that get plowed. There is a 2" trigger and it only needs to be plowed before an activity at the post (ie plowed before weekly bingo, weekly fish fry, bi-monthly meetings, etc). The guy that was plowing is charging $60/hr and says it takes 3.5 hours. The first lot is pretty open and is about 120' x 140' and the second lot is 130' x 120' plus the drive to the barn. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please pm any questions. Thanks in advance.

    Attached Files:

  2. milwaukeevtwin

    milwaukeevtwin Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    60 dollars an hour is pretty cheap where i am at i can do sub work for 70.00 an hour.
  3. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    60.00 an hour is cheap here as well. Maybe he only has a 6 foot plow on the front of his S-10 blazer. I would think I would have those lots done in about 45 minutes tops, but I run all 9 foot plus blades.
  4. Eleven-FiftyLLC

    Eleven-FiftyLLC Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Since this was brought up and I didn't mention it.
    The current plow contractor is running a full size
    pickup with an 8' plow.
  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    They should fire the plow guy
    not because his price isn't fair (it is)
    but because he's lying to them.

    if those two lots total take much more than an hour, I'd be amazed. I think about 1/2 hour each.
    Now, I'd charge about what that guy is charging, but I don't lie to my customers.
    the price is X for this much snow.

    this guy is doing the typical hourly crap. Ohhhh a low price per hour, but then they lie on the number of hours.
    You could do those lots with an ATV in 2.5 hours (less actually)
  6. slongfellowii

    slongfellowii Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    I agree. Promise a low hourly rate, the overbill. They obviously think the same thing if they are asking you to bid it.
  7. Tubby's Snow Plowing

    Tubby's Snow Plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    Yup I agree as well. If you charge $60/hr and estimate a half hour per lot I would bid this way:

    "I charge $60 per hour. I estimate the time to complete the job is 1 to 1.5 hours depending on the snowfall, so per job you're looking at $60-90 per push."

    You make the choice of bidding per hour or per job. Per hour I would give them a range like in the quotes, that way they are billed more accurately. Per job I'd give them $90 per job flat rate. The times you plow under an hour and a half will make up for the times you plow over the hour and a half.

    If you match his price but are more honest (efficient), that will be a win-win situation for you and the client.

    *One thought is the current contractor could just not be a good driver and it takes him forever to do it.
  8. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    From the arial photo. I would charge about that for the lot ($60 x3.5=210 if my math skils aint' failing me)

    But I agree, the dude is lieing to them, it should not take mroe then a 1-1.5 hours (I am slower then I should be)

    I just bidded on a lot, the guy before my bid did a per hour for the plow and per hour for shovel work, minuium 1 hr each..
    I always just give the bid as per push, if it takes me 10 minuits or 2 hours, its the same price...

    If you want the lot, give them your best price per push, not per hour and see what happens

    PLOWTRUCK Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    no more than 1.5 hours with an 8 foot blade.
  10. b&b landscapes

    b&b landscapes Member
    Messages: 74

    so my thinking is this.......
    all the above who mentioned for you to go in there and say you will do it for the same price but you can do it faster....... wrong in my opinion....

    i would say... ok i will do it for $45 an hour and approximate your bill at the 3.5 hours the other guy was doing it in. so if it does take less and it should your still making more and it seems cheaper to them

    $60 x 2 = $120 ( if you tell them what ppl above is telling you to charge )
    (and if you do it in 1.5 hrs = you just made $90)

    $45 x 3.5 = $157.50 (if you tell them $45 an hour and you keep hour charge based from last guy @ 3.5)
    if it takes you------
    ( 1 hr = $157.50 hr)
    ( 1.5 hrs = $105 hr)
    ( 2 hrs = $78.75 hr)
    ( 2.5 hrs = $63 hr )--- this is what you make

    or just give the a flat rate for 1-3.9",4-7.9",8-11.9", & 12"+ and base it off everyone her telling you it should only take so and so long and run the risk off losing ur a$$ on this job every event
  11. goinggreen

    goinggreen Senior Member
    Messages: 237

    Dude i know right where that is i live in perry I thought that place looked familer. not sure who is doing the plowing shouldnt take more then 2 hrs to clear that. and 60 bucks an hr i would charge 45/hr or about 80/push. I only do resid. in perry dont have a plow but that sounds like a good price for me, i am only a one man show so no overhead and payroll
  12. Tubby's Snow Plowing

    Tubby's Snow Plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    For commercial I bid on the job but use an hourly rate to factor the bid. I was giving him an example.

    Me? I'd want to get the job done as quickly as possible without beating my equipment and still doing a good quality job. If I can plow a job in 1 to 1.5 hours, what incentive is there to take twice as long? Three jobs at $90 per job in three hours is $270 versus one job in 3 hours at $90 or even your $150. I'd rather make $270 in three hours than $150.
  13. b&b landscapes

    b&b landscapes Member
    Messages: 74


    Either u misunderstood my post or i want whatever your smokin
  14. slongfellowii

    slongfellowii Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    If they are getting charge $210 by the other guy ($60x3.5h), are they happy with the total, or are they mad that he is padding hours. How long did they think it would take, and how much were the expecting to pay. I assume $60/hr is low for your area? Tell them what you think it is worth, whether it be a 2" contract or inch brackets. They are paying for your service not your time. Just make sure you tell them you get that rate if it takes you 3 hours to plow it with an ATV or 15 minute with a loader. People would never pay me my hourly rate for my truck. It is built for efficiency not to milk hours. In your example I would expect to be able to plow that in 30 minutes with a the 14' Ebling on my truck. Hourly is how people with an "employee" mentality instead of a business owner mentality. Similar to what Tubby's said. Get in, get it do, get to the next job. JMHO
  15. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Are you kidding me....$45 an hour or $80 a Push for this Lot....Please for the Love of God...Stay where you are and Please don't come this way.......Why dont you sit down and do the math......I could Never run My Business if My Trucks were only making $45 an hour....:realmad:
  16. goinggreen

    goinggreen Senior Member
    Messages: 237

    Dont worry I dont plan on plowing snow like i said i dont have a plow and no overhead. I think 80-90/push is far for the property I have see it and i dont think you have drove the hour and a half to look at it. Yes theres a pic but dose not show all the detail. 55-60/hr is normal but its a vfw post I give a little bit of a discount to the vets. And I agree 45/hr sounds low but i am still learning this is my first year plowing so give me a break, I dont plan on trying to run any company into the ground by lowballing
  17. diesellandscape

    diesellandscape Member
    Messages: 79

    Thats only 33ksqft. 45/mins maybe an hr with travel. I'd say right around 130/135 plow and 135/140 salt
  18. Tubby's Snow Plowing

    Tubby's Snow Plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 199

    Most likely misunderstood your post, as it's hard to read what you are trying to state.

    I understand that more hours at a lower rate can be more money in certain examples.

    I understand $60/hr for 2 hours is $120.

    I don't understand your second part. Seems like you are overbilling.

    Factor how much time it will take and make your bid.

    As for the time part, don't focus on how long it takes your competitor to do it, focus on what it would take YOU. If I know I can plow the job on average between 1 and 1.5 hours, I'll factor 1.5 hours times my rate and that's my per job bid. Get the job done and go on to the next one.
  19. johnnyhem

    johnnyhem Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi, i am new here. i have a home ass. that wants about 3800 x 2 feet of sidewalk cleared. 1 blower and 2 shovels. the walks are at different locations around the development. main roads that get plowed over and make it more difficult. takes about 5 to 6 hours depending on depth. i was originally charging 125 for up to 6" for about 1600 x 2 and they added the rest. more than double. i just tripled my price. that covers me, workers and gas ect. just wondering if 375 for the job is fair? i am in jersey near the shore. thank you for any input.
  20. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    johnnyhem, its best if you start your own thread instaed of jumping in on the op.

    OP: From the sounds of it, they just want it cleared after the snowfall more or less. Seeing as I am sure that if its snowing when one of these activities comes up they will most likely cancel. I think your best bet is to give them a per push per inch price.

    That lot with 1-3 inches on it should take no more than 1.5 hours depending on travel time. I dont know what your getting for your truck as far as rates go, but me I get about 65/hour.

    So id bid it at something like

    1-3"- 100.00
    Anything greater than 12" is just billed hourly.

    And thats for the amount of snow on the ground at the time of the push. So if for some reason it needed to be pushed 2x's during a storm totaling 8" and the first push was 2" and the second was 6" the total would be $275, not the 245.

    As far as salt (if needed not sure if you need to or not) your looking at about .80 acres. General rule of thumb is 600-1000lbs/salt per acre so your looking at like 480-800lbs of salt needed for that. I would just bid it at about 600lbs which is anywhere from 105-120 per application based on your price for salt.