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View Full Version : Snow plowing... hourly or flat rate????


kevin_naecker
12-06-2010, 02:40 PM
Ok so a long story short i have been waiting on a snow removal contract renewal to come back to me so i called to see whats going on. it turns out that 3 other guys submitted bids and they are charging per push to plow and i am the 4th person and the only one that charges by the hour and by the material. well the guy incharge of the property wants me to submit a per push price as well i have no clue what to charge i know that per push should i look at total sq. feet how deep the snow is or what???? l have my hourly rate and many people are happy with that should i stick to my way and hope for the best? what would i do if we get another crazy winter like last year and get 3 24inch storms in a month and im charging a rate that would be for 2-4 inchs??? help me out guys

thank you

Steve
12-07-2010, 12:52 PM
Do you have any idea how long it will take you to perform this job?

If you can get the sq ft of the area you need to plow, you should be able to enter that into the snow plow calculator (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?p=43299#post43299) and then figure out a price.

You have to do what you are comfortable with. If you want to stick with your per hour bid, that is fine, but there is a chance you won't get the job because the customer may feel they can't compare your bid to the others.

Does this help?

picframer
12-07-2010, 03:12 PM
Not sure what part of the country you are in however it sounds like you have experience removing snow, also not sure what equipment you have.

Where I live we do get a lot of snow, I know from 30 years + of plowing how much to charge, from 3 to 10" it's a flat rate, from 11 to 15" it's flat rate plus 50% as we would plow twice, after 15" it's $85.00 an hour.

This is a standard current set up for here, by the hour for anything under 15" and one will not get the contract.

Steve
12-07-2010, 03:52 PM
This is a standard current set up for here, by the hour for anything under 15" and one will not get the contract.

What is your view on why that is the case?

Ultimately charging per push or per hour, shouldn't it come out to the same amount or no?

picframer
12-07-2010, 04:02 PM
What is your view on why that is the case?

Ultimately charging per push or per hour, shouldn't it come out to the same amount or no?

Not even close and the issue per hour where I live and elsewhere is what the supplier is using for equipment and if it will be done in a timely fashion. I run into this from time to time on excavation as there are so many companies out there that waste time and when you are charging $80 to $140 an hour it add's up fast. I have experienced it personally and I used to get furious at excavator operators when I was landscaping my house, I finally bought one and did the work myself, saved about twenty grand.

If you are a homeowner are you going to hire company 1 that maybe uses a 30" Craftsman snowblower at $40 an hour or company 2 that has an 8 foot plow at a flat rate of $35.00?

The economy is still in very serious shape especially in the US, people are really watching their coin, they want to know exactly what it is going to cost for the service.

Now if you get a major dump it has to be by the hour, I give the rate and in my case the tractor that will be used and let them decide for themselves, I get at least 95% of the quotes as there are not many around that have 6' wide blowers and 72" buckets that can move snow like we can.

kevin_naecker
12-07-2010, 06:04 PM
Im out of maryland. we normaly get small storms but then we will get a couple big ones to. last year we had 3 20 inch storms days apart. i have a plow truck a skid loader blower atv etc. the time it takes me for this one property giving me a head ache depends on the amount of snow. i have spent under an hour and i have also spent 8 hours. the property has 3 parking lots 2 small and one big . the small ones are about a half acre and the big one is an acre. the 2 small ones on a normal small snow would take probly around an hour and the same for the big lot its self. i have been out of there in an hour doing all 3 and then salted. this year they reserfaced the big lot with millings so they dont want it to be plowed the 2 others are paved those are the only ones to be plowed. so there is just the 2 small lots. last year with our 3 storms i had to bring in my skid loader to move all the packed snow so there would be room for the next storm. what to do what to do i normaly only chrge by the hour for snow removal and equipmnt work so i havent ever thought of a flat rate. i typicly dont do residents unless they call i try to stick with comercial plowing. what would you guys say. hourly or a flat rate and what the heck would the flat rate come form?

picframer
12-07-2010, 06:44 PM
Kevin,

I would brake it down into two parts, one for plowing with the truck and one for the skid steer to pile the snow banks up.

I have no idea what the going rates are there, the plowing here would be around $125 per, skid steer's here are $60 to $90 an hour plus a float fee which generally is one hour.

On the commercial side we have a standby fee on top of this, I do very little commercial however if I get called out in the middle of the night to do loader work, which has happened, there is a $250 charge, that is standard around here if we are called out.

kevin_naecker
12-07-2010, 07:10 PM
your rates are the same there as here give or take a few dollars. i charge a min of one hour. everyone is fine with that because it always takes exactly an hour or it will be more so i might as well not even say that. as for the skid loader i charge a little mor just because parts prices are out of this world. i get a ton of call out here from guys that want me to just run along curbs and moving snow piles i never have thought of charging a fee besides my hourly rate. thanks.

but i still dont know how guys are coming up with there per push rate.

picframer
12-07-2010, 09:09 PM
your rates are the same there as here give or take a few dollars. i charge a min of one hour. everyone is fine with that because it always takes exactly an hour or it will be more so i might as well not even say that. as for the skid loader i charge a little mor just because parts prices are out of this world. i get a ton of call out here from guys that want me to just run along curbs and moving snow piles i never have thought of charging a fee besides my hourly rate. thanks.

but i still dont know how guys are coming up with there per push rate.

I look at a parking lot or driveway, I can tell based on the layout how long it will take, I know what I want to make per hour, I have a min fee so I quote based on that. I pretty much always make more than my per hour rate unless it is heavy wet snow but it's all a wash in the end.

It's the same as mowing a lawn or bidding a drain install, once we have done it enough we know in our head what we are going to have to charge. You have been plowing for a while it seems and you know what you were charging per hour, and in this case you have a history of doing it in an hour, quote that as your push rate.

As for the skid, stick to an hourly rate, they can't, at least here and anywhere I have read, get a firm quote other than by the hour.

I would encourage you to charge a float fee, as you know hauling gear is expensive as are parts should they brake.

Steve
12-08-2010, 01:40 PM
On the commercial side we have a standby fee on top of this, I do very little commercial however if I get called out in the middle of the night to do loader work, which has happened, there is a $250 charge, that is standard around here if we are called out.

What kind of companies would need this kind of service? Would they be ones that are open all night or would they just call in the middle of the night to get a jump on the morning plowing?

picframer
12-08-2010, 02:01 PM
What kind of companies would need this kind of service? Would they be ones that are open all night or would they just call in the middle of the night to get a jump on the morning plowing?

Yes, places that are open 24/7 or if the property manager receives a complaint from tennants then they will call, this happened quite a bit last season when underground parking lot entrances were blocked by snow plows.