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Are you really charging enough?

steveair

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
morristown, nj
Hello,

Well, I ask this question after attending a seminar giving this week. The speaker was Charles Vander Kooi, from Vander Koi Assoc., which is a very well known contractor consulting firm.

What he had to say was VERY interesting. He was giving a run down of how to prepare bids, and in the process he broke down the section on how to include equipment into our bidding/estimating process.

What he said, straight out, was that a person, with a basic pickup/plow set up, should be charging $90-95 dollars a hour for that truck to be out plowing.

At first, I said to myself that it just can't be. However, he then proceeded to break down every single aspect of what that truck costs your company to be out there, and you know what.....Dam if he wasn't right.

I just thought this was interesting. He mentioned areas, especially Colorado, where contractors ARE getting this as the going rate. I was wondering what are some of the other feelings on this subject, as I am sure there are a lot of people out there who are no where near this number.

I am not a 100% believer in everything that was said, but I will say, that with other estimating/bidding formulas used out there, that still, to not be able to get numbers close to $90 would make me think about whether or not I really should go into the snow plowing business.

steveair
 

PINEISLAND1

LawnSite Member
Location
WEST MI
We don't do any charging by the hour, but we do figure everything at $125 per hour here. It is still fairly rough, since you're guessing at an average amount of time to do the job, then estimating an average number of visits per year, to get your bid. Some come out much higher, and a few fall short. But that is the target I shoot for.

I must admit I seem to most often come out higher than almost everyone else here.

Still get lots of bids awarded to us though, more than enough for a job thats supposed to be my "2cnd" job.
 

Alan

Member
I find that from start to finish, including pee stops, refueling, coffee breaks, breakfast, etc. we run in the lower $80/hr range. Actual work time is coming in close to the $90 figure.
 

TLS

LawnSite Fanatic
I've been around the $100 to $125 per hour mark now for the last 10 years. Its what you have to make to actually make money successfully in this business. I'm in the Philly suburbs.

 

Alan

Member
I don't think out market will stand the $100 figure at this time. Something about snow not being a panic situation up here yet. As more flatlanders move in that may change though.
 

GeoffDiamond

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Maine
Same here in Maine Alan. If I average everything we are right around 95. However the private roads really push that figure up. In the end sometimes it best not to know the hour figure, as long as I am running in the red and not the black I am happy. I mean some storms are easy to deal with some are hard, in the end it all averages out.

The 95 dollar figure includes it all the typical biz expenses plus food, coffee, soda for the crew, and their paid breaks.

Geoff

[Edited by GeoffDiamond on 12-12-2000 at 02:05 AM]
 

plowking35

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
S.E. CT
We bid our lots to make 150 per hour per truck. Seasonals of course depend on total hours spent servicing the account.
Dino
 

landscaper3

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Southern, Maine
For instance One of our commercial contracts takes 1 truck 1 person, plow, sand and walkways just under 1hour $380.00 per storm then we got residentials which sometimes we can do 2-3 homes an hour with travel so our pay vary. On sub-contracting we get $80.00 plus materials (sanding) our average is probly around $100.00 to $125.00 per hr
 

Psyclopse

LawnSite Member
Location
In
Private roads? We don't see many of them here- only two that I know of. Some of the farmers have long paths to a few of their barns, but farmers generally don't need outside help keeping snow cleared off.

How long are these roads?
 
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