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Working for the County

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by CHCSnowman, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. CHCSnowman

    CHCSnowman Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 138

    Our county decided this year that they was going to hire contractors to do the subdivisions in our area. They put it out for bid and it was 82 subdivisions. Some of these places have 5-6 miles of roads, maybe more. They had it bid 1-3", 3-6", 6-9", 9-12, 12+, plowing only.

    Low bid was $5564, High bid was $23995 for 1-3", per event. The low bidder was $13,105 and high bidder $107,322 for a 12"+ price.

    I understand this guy that won the bid is struggling to get out of this winter.

    I am just wondering......how can you bid 82 subdivisions and get somewhat close on time it will take to do the plowing?
  2. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I can't believe they wouldn't have broken them down somewhat into smaller groups. As far as the low bid being almost 1/5 of the high bid for the 1-3 inch range, and the 12+ being less than 1/10 should hanve told the county that something wasn't right to start off with. They (the county) would have known the cost of this service to start with, so if it was alot less then they could have done it for then they should never grant the bid to start with.
  3. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    agreed, the county should have set some min. big number they were willing to accept, b/c 5500 bucks screams incompetence.
  4. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,190

    I would imagine that the county required the winning contractor to carry a performance bond for this very reason. If the winning contractor defaults, the county can pick up where he left off and bill the service back to them. Not really surprised the county accepted the bid, it happens all the time on other non-snow projects as well, especially in this economy.
  5. CHCSnowman

    CHCSnowman Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 138

    Here are the actual bids......in defense of the county, this is the first year they have tried this. They have always done subdivisions as they can, when they can, which wasn't very often. We are one of the fastest growing counties in the USA and I think they are just looking for a better way.

    1-3 3-6 6-9 9-12 12+
    Lynch $ 5,470 $10,600 $15,760 $20,865 $28,178 not all subdivisions
    Bear’s $23,440 $33,973 $49,359 $72,858 $105,679
    Spencer $8,700 $16,000 $24.200 $32,550 N/A
    Pierre $23,995 $35,159 $49,354 $72,679 $107,322
    Extreme $5,564 $6,628 $8,235 $10,934 $13,105
    E - Scape $13,680 $14,437 $15,960 $18,390 $20,519

    Now back to bidding something like this. How would you do it? Drive it and find out mileage...plow a few miles and see how long it takes then add it up? I mean.....82 subdivisions in 1 bid seems even tough for you most experienced guys.
  6. jkiser96

    jkiser96 Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    I have plowed for our county the last 3 years & they have 5 contractors for the subdivisions. They have it broke up into areas & it is all bid per hour. I have around 15 miles of roads that I take care of & it takes between 10-12 hours with 2 trucks running on a 3"-6" snow. Easy money & they usually get us out after the snow is done.
  7. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Yes CHC you would measure the mileage, and put your numbers to it. The way I figure it, it would take 2 passes per lane, and if you plowed at an average speed of 10 mph then you could plow 2.5 miles of 2 lane road per hour. If you plowed at an average of 20 mph, then you would plow 5 miles of 2 lane road per hour. Multiply the number you come up with, by how many trucks you have on the road, and that should give you a pretty close number. Maybe add 10% or so on the time for intersections, and 15 to 20% for cul-de-sacs. Then put a number on salt for intersections, and you would be set.
  8. white diamonds

    white diamonds Junior Member
    from pgh, pa
    Messages: 12

    Just wondering how many actual miles of road were in these 82 subdivisions and if the co specified any time frame for completion? looking at the bids namely extremes bid of 13k for a12''+ storm i would assume the county did not look to deep into contractor qualifications. this is a scenario where they should have thrown out the high and low bids and went from there.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    the way the county milks their job it would be hard to follow them around, around here dam they scrape asphalt one day and snow the next. only after rush hour and everyone is already stuck of course