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View Full Version : Commercial Plowing, Few questions


SECTLANDSCAPING
08-22-2011, 05:08 PM
I was asked to bid on snow removal at two commercial properties I already service. They want a time and materials bid which I never did. So I just give them a per hour figure for Truck Plowing, Lot Salting, Shovel Labor, Walk De-icer? Anything I'm missing? I should charge for every hundred pounds of salt/sand? And again for the time it takes to apply, right?


They do not want it removed off site. Any one want to chime in with some rates and bid tips. I included a picture of one of the complexes. Also should I have second rate for more then one truck or double the rate?

xtreem3d
08-22-2011, 07:17 PM
http://www.plowsite.com/

SECTLANDSCAPING
08-22-2011, 07:21 PM
I posted there too. I always get more responses here though. Since most landscapers remove snow it seems logical.

xtreem3d
08-22-2011, 07:39 PM
sorry just trying to help out,..... i hate those hourly bid prices because our price would be much higher than others and they may not understand how fast we can move snow with our type of equipment (pushers)
Steve

SDLandscapes VT
08-22-2011, 08:58 PM
that site is going to be a PITA w/o heavy equipment......

Snyder's Lawn Inc
08-22-2011, 09:30 PM
If they dont like your hr price give them a bid set price 1-3'' $000 Base price then a inch price over 3''
On your salt you have slide in Spreader or tail gate


I have few hr rate jobs
With me I dont drag out the clock no time do that
Whats you truck rate on a hr How big is your blade

Snyder's Lawn Inc
08-22-2011, 09:35 PM
From pic looks like there no good place pile snow around the back buildings Looks like have push it and pile out side the fence Looks like lot snow moving hope you have a pusher
Rest of it looks real easy to push

nepatsfan
08-22-2011, 09:45 PM
Your hourly rate is going to be based on your equipment and your overhead. As far as the sand/salt I would give them a price per yard spread, which is totally dependant on what you are using for a mix or straight salt. I would do the same for the sidewalk de-icer, charge by the bag spread. I would make sure you have minimum charges also. You don't want to go there for a 2 inch storm and make nothing.

One tip I can give you based on a couple bad experiences. Make sure the salt is based on your discretion and not on call.(I mean if they call and say it's icy fine, but make sure you can apply it whenever you feel it is necessary)

SECTLANDSCAPING
08-22-2011, 09:49 PM
Im use to push prices by depth. That makes it easy for me and no dispute about how long your there.The bid wasnt real specific with what rates to include. I'm going to throw in other rates for equipment that might be used. I would have to put a 3-4 hour minimum cost for anything that I have to rent.

I have a 8' blade with a tailgate spreader and a 6' 1/2 blade. A couple 2 stage blowers and a 4 wheeler with a 4' blade.

nepatsfan
08-22-2011, 09:52 PM
How many square feet is the parking lot? It would seem to me that based upon that picture you do not have the equipment necessary to do the job....what would you be renting? Most places that rent equipment rent them seasonally so you would probably have to have another contractor come in. Most of them that have equipment will be using it during storms. Be careful what you bite off. even if you got by with the plow trucks....a tailgate spreader there would be an absolute nightmare. You would have to fill it up like a hundred times.

Snyder's Lawn Inc
08-22-2011, 09:58 PM
Im use to push prices by depth. That makes it easy for me and no dispute about how long your there.The bid wasnt real specific with what rates to include. I'm going to throw in other rates for equipment that might be used. I would have to put a 3-4 hour minimum cost for anything that I have to rent.

I have a 8' blade with a tailgate spreader and a 6' 1/2 blade. A couple 2 stage blowers and a 4 wheeler with a 4' blade.

Might be good time buy you a V plow if you get the job
I cant live with out my 2 V plows move more snow faster and easyer

Snyder's Lawn Inc
08-22-2011, 10:02 PM
How many square feet is the parking lot? It would seem to me that based upon that picture you do not have the equipment necessary to do the job....what would you be renting? Most places that rent equipment rent them seasonally so you would probably have to have another contractor come in. Most of them that have equipment will be using it during storms. Be careful what you bite off. even if you got by with the plow trucks....a tailgate spreader there would be an absolute nightmare. You would have to fill it up like a hundred times.

Tailgate Spreader nice for little lots
Like Nepatsfan said be a nite mare have to fill that up 100 times in one lot

SDLandscapes VT
08-22-2011, 10:32 PM
if you dont have at a minimum a skidsteer with a box, this site is not for you......we have a winter like last one and you will be SOL w/ 8' plow on that site--however a skidsteer with a small pusher/puller, a 1 ton with a larger plow V or blizzard style with a good spreader and you could bang this place out

nepatsfan
08-22-2011, 10:55 PM
if you dont have at a minimum a skidsteer with a box, this site is not for you......we have a winter like last one and you will be SOL w/ 8' plow on that site--however a skidsteer with a small pusher/puller, a 1 ton with a larger plow V or blizzard style with a good spreader and you could bang this place out

I would agree. You feel indestructable in august. Wait until you have a blizzard and the truck with the 8' plow and your spreader loses a tranny or even something simple like an altenator in the middle of the night. You didn't have the right equipment to start and now it is a panic.

xtreem3d
08-22-2011, 11:00 PM
try to envision getting snow away from those garage doors and out to the end of the lot with a truck plow. you would need to push it to the middle then make a BUNCH of passes to finally clean it up.For me it would be futile. i don't know your budget but maybe you could rent a skid from a rental yard or from another contractor who might otherwise let it sit during the winter. You would also need some cash for the pusher. I would think that even not having a skid with a cab wouldn't be a big deal on this property to clean up the garages...just "cowboy" up for a couple hours ...good luck i hope you can make it work,
Steve

SECTLANDSCAPING
08-22-2011, 11:11 PM
I would rent the skid steer or sub if possible. The back of the office looks like the biggest challenge to me. Since I have to push it 100' and go around the corner to stack. The front parking lot is about 75x150 the back is around 40x150. I could measure them later in the week.

So you guys think its to much pushing for a normal plow? I would need a V or side wings? I could sell the smaller one and try to find a v. I did talk to a contractor that did it before and he said they were throwing snow over the fence. So Im assuming he didnt have a loader either. He wouldnt tell me how many hours it took either. i know it would be a nightmare with a foot snow on the ground.

nepatsfan
08-22-2011, 11:40 PM
It looks bigger than that in the picture. If that's all it is than you may be ok. Rental places rent out their skid steers for the winter generally. You will have a tough time renting one for the day in the winter. Pushing the snow 100' isn't a big deal as long as you stay on top of it. A skidder would make your life a lot easier though.

ryde307
08-25-2011, 05:55 PM
From quick scaling and measuring is somwhere between 40-60,000 sqft of pavement. You should be able to do that with your set up no problem in my opinion. My question would be more on your experiance and knowledge with plowing a bigger commercial site. Hw qualified are you to do it? On the same note everyone has to start somewhere.
My next question is what happned to the last guy? You said you talked to him about it? Did he quit? Are you bidding against him? Why is he answering your questions if he is still in the picture at all?

SECTLANDSCAPING
08-25-2011, 10:12 PM
A home improvement company built and sold the site to the current owners.

I worked as a driver for a few years but that company provided the vehicles. So they paid a lower rate. Last winter I wasnt even going to plow but we had close to record snow falls. So I quit the part time and did that as a solo with 22'' on the ground. We had almost our annual snow in one storm. So part of this has nothing to do with experience. I like having a set storm price that me and the customer know in advance. Less problems later.

Its billing discrepancies. If i bid a job at 3 hours and it takes 5 I take a loss and deal with it. If I bill for 22 hours for one storm and they think it shouldnt have took more then 8. Theres major problems. There has been serious litigation in this state after last winter with snow removal and clearing snow from roofs. There was companies charging 110-150 per man hour for roofs. They handed the town a $300,000 bill for 3 schools. Another company charge $350 per machine and had a 100 subs working for them, they billed the city 5.9 million. Both the above are still trying to collect. There was a investigation into price gouging.

So I want to be competitive and not gouge. At the same time I got my eye on a f450 and would love to recoup that money this winter. On the other hand if we go to previous snow falls. I wont have a chance. It almost becomes invest for a chance to make money for three months or the whole year. I talked to my insurance agent and plowing is covered in my policy. I wasnt sure because a previous policy excluded snow coverage.

xtreem3d
08-25-2011, 10:21 PM
most of us look at snow equipment as an "long term" investment. I don't think many have hopes of making back their expenses in a single season.
Must suck to have to wait for 5.9 Milliion

Snyder's Lawn Inc
08-25-2011, 10:41 PM
I would rent the skid steer or sub if possible. The back of the office looks like the biggest challenge to me. Since I have to push it 100' and go around the corner to stack. The front parking lot is about 75x150 the back is around 40x150. I could measure them later in the week.

So you guys think its to much pushing for a normal plow? I would need a V or side wings? I could sell the smaller one and try to find a v. I did talk to a contractor that did it before and he said they were throwing snow over the fence. So Im assuming he didnt have a loader either. He wouldnt tell me how many hours it took either. i know it would be a nightmare with a foot snow on the ground.

You can get you a V plow with wings on it western 9.6 + wings = 12 wide makes it moving snow
or get you one them 8-10 plow
But tell you there be days where drifts are big and you be happy having V plow to bust the first run

SECTLANDSCAPING
08-25-2011, 11:03 PM
most of us look at snow equipment as an "long term" investment. I don't think many have hopes of making back their expenses in a single season.
Must suck to have to wait for 5.9 Milliion
They went under after paying the subcontractors. Shitty way to go down.

cuttin-to-the-Max
08-26-2011, 07:42 PM
I could knock these places out in an hr in a half tops with my 10ft boss and GMC kodiak

a Nice skidsteer would be nice but with a big truck like i have i can make longer passes than a regular truck.

LawnsRUsInc.
11-11-2012, 11:48 AM
Easy lot I agree 2 hours with your 1 truck on a 2" storm

LawnsRUsInc.
11-11-2012, 11:53 AM
Easy lot the storage area will take you some time I agree 2 hours with your 1 truck on a 2" storm invest in a winged plow. But from the sounds of it you don't have a lot of commercial lots so use what you have. Don't take a skidder there who wants to trailer things in a storm. Last year we ran 5 skids and had them at places like this but we also had 10 other lots in the same park.

With your smaller truck I would say its a $175 job at 2" and go up from there

SECTLANDSCAPING
11-11-2012, 07:08 PM
Easy lot I agree 2 hours with your 1 truck on a 2" storm

This was from last year. The lot took 45 mins to a hour tops. Even in a 8 inch storm I was out in a hour. I cant remember off the top of my head but with walks and salt I was around $260 for 2".