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Your opinion on pricing this lot

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Robo, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. Robo

    Robo Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    I have a church that asked me to give them a bid on plowing their lot. It is a simple lot: has 2 drives that are about 100' long and a lot behind the church that is 150' x 150'. Plenty of places to put snow and it is smooth. I don't know whether or not they want sidewalks done. What do you think the lot would cost to plow??

    I believe it will take about 1.5 hours (probably faster but sometimes everything doesn't work out that way) to plow and is several miles from my house. If I use the typical formula of $75 to $125 an hour it would be roughly $200 a pop. What do you guys think??
  2. Mick

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

    Are you sure about those measurements and time estimates? 150'x150' is 22500 sq ft or about 1/2 acre. One 100' drive is about five minutes - max. (I cover (round trip) 1/2 mi in 15 minutes). Supposing no obstructions and plenty of space to push snow, I'm figuring 40-50 minutes. Using your $125/hr - around $95, not counting drive time. So maybe bid $100?

    I figure drive time in total route income, but I don't think you should charge mileage from your house at the plow rate of $125. Try to get some more accounts in the area and split the drive-time charge amoung them. When I start in a new area, I just count on getting several accounts in the same general area. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but usually does.
  3. Robo

    Robo Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    I am reasonably accurate with my measurements of the lot. I figure the $75 to $125 an hour from what I have read on sites like this so I figure somewhere in there is a happy median for my area. I am not an expert on pricing larger jobs as I try to stick to driveways mainly. It seems I always read everyone pricing their jobs to low?? I did think $200 was high but figure $100 to be low. So lets say 1 hour $125 for the job??
  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    I agree with Mick. You can probably have this job done in under 1 hour. If is 15 minutes from your hause take that into consideration also. How bad do you need or want the work and what are the chances of finding other work in the area. Most of the time a church can be done a little later in the morning(not before 7am) and you do not get a premium price but a good price to do the work after your major calls. Just some things to consider.
  5. Mick

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

    Ok. Put the bid in. You'll be able to figure out pretty quick by watching them if you too high. Ideally, they'll hem and haw a little and say "ok, you got it."

    Good Luck and let us know how it went.
  6. Robo

    Robo Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    Well thanks for the help!! I may further adjust my price to reflect more of what you guys said but we'll see. Hopefully they do take my offer as it seems every hillbilly within 25 miles has a plow on their truck. I will let you know if I get it or not.
  7. CamLand

    CamLand Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    What part of Michigan are you in? so I wont mistake you for a hillbilly...
  8. Robo

    Robo Senior Member
    Messages: 107

  9. salt shaker

    salt shaker Member
    Messages: 65

    Robo, if they want you to shovel their walks how do you plan on giving them a quote for that

    Let It Snow, We'll Deal With It! :D :D
  10. DJC

    DJC Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    I don't know how it's going to take an hour unless your going to do half then have a nap and then finish :nono:
  11. Robo

    Robo Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    I really don't want to do their walks but I will charge the same amount per hour to shovel as I would plow. Isn't that the standard procedure??
  12. jax1013

    jax1013 Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    you get what you pay for...

    "The inconvenience of poor quality, lingers long after the thrill of a bargain is forgotten"
  13. salt shaker

    salt shaker Member
    Messages: 65

    I dont know about other people but bidding a plow truck, at lets say $125 per/hour, does not seem the same as bidding a laborer, at lets say $55 an hour. IMO A vehicle includes a driver, his insurance, the vehicles insurance the cost of the plow, fuel and license. A laborer costs you his wage, insurance, and a snow blower, or (I hate to say it) aaaaa sshhoovveell. If you can get $125 for you sidewalks I'd love to be where you are lol.

    Let It Snow, We'll Deal With It!
  14. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I would do that for around $100 + salt & walks walks $30/hour for my shovler and salt 7¢ a pound applied
  15. F2507.3

    F2507.3 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I'm new on the thread, and this is going to be my first year plowing. But, I have skills in an area that seems to be of great interest to a lot here for some reason - PRICING a JOB! What your trying to accomplish volumes have been written in books. I'll keep it short and sweet. It dosen't matter what your trying to price - Snowballs, Lemonaid, Rolex Watches. The prices for the goods you buy, don't come from a smoke filled room, with guys, and gals throwing DARTS!, and your price shouldn't either. First gather all of your hard cost ie. fixed cost. Truck & Plow Cost, Insurance, Gas or Diesel/ mile. Next, and I know it's hard, but try to guestimate the # of hours you will plow during an average storm, and based on past history - how many storms are likely - figure a worst & best case scenario.

    Let's cut to the chase - In your case: 150' X 150' yard

    All will be assumptions - you can refigure with your own #'s

    7.5' plow 3500.00 Truck 30,000.00 Annual Insurance 2,000.00 GPM 8.0 Plow Speed 15 MPH.

    Say a 12" snow maximum cleaned area with plow is 6' - that would be 25 passes on the lot @ 150' ea. total linear travel 150 * 25 = 3,750' + 2 driveways 3 passes each @ 100' = 600' total linear travel 4,350'.

    Assume 4 months of plow season 10 storms @ 2 days @10 hours of plowing each per day = 200 plow hours over 4 months = 50 plow hours / month.

    Total fixed expenses of 3500 + 30,000 + 2000 = 35,500 figure a 5 year life on truck & plow 33550 / 5 years = $6700 cost recapture / year/3 because 4 plow months is 1/3 of year so 6700 / 3 = 2,233 fixed cost to be recaptured. Now add the insurance for 4 months @ 667.00 that brings total to $2900.00 to be recaptured in 4 months. Bear in mind that this is your cost.

    Now consider things like mainenance cost on plow, plow pump, truck ect. assume another $800.00 bringing our total to $3700 to be recaptured over 200 hours of plowing. Your out of pocket cost is now $18.50 / hour

    Now lets figure diesel or gas for a big 8 cylinder is going to run $8-10 per hour - now our hourly cost of operation is roughly @28.00/ Hour.

    Once you have your hard out of pocket expense calculated you know the minimum you can operate at, before you start making money. Now with our cost of $28 we need to add our return on our investment - lets assume 50% on the low side 28 * 1.5 = $42.00 / hour so we now know that marking up our cost @ 50% everything will be covered - provided we plow for 200 hours in 4 months, and our return is $14.00/ hour which I think is probably low across the country. So if we double to $28.00 we have to charge $56.00 / hour. At an hourly rate of $56. we are netting @28.00 this is not bad.

    Back to the church @ 4350 linear feet to plow @ 5 miles / hr avg. 4350/5,280 feet / mile * 5 mi / hr = 26,400' per hour is 20 minutes + turns & Backing - lot @ drives are accomplishable in 45 minutes.

    45 min. is .75 hours * $56 = $42 - if your cost were as assumed above, you would know that you could do the job if you had to for $42.00, and still make money. I know this is a rediculious price, but a smart plower knows exactly these #'s - and he also knows 95% of his competitors are slinging the 75-125 / hour dart throws! you have to take it from here - but the first step in "Slice the BALLS off of your Competitor PRICING" is knowing your hard fixed cost. Good Luck

  16. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Now that is a well thrown dart. Incidentally I was off by one dollar an hour.