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JMM0254
09-22-2006, 07:04 PM
Posting this because I know in the landscaping business, most of us also plow snow in the winter. I am hoping someone out there can help with a seasonal plow quote I have.

Here is the info:

12 Townhomes in a court, smaill driveways and walkways, the road (a court) and sidewalks both at street level (the main street into the court).

I have never done a seasonal quote, only per plow business.

The location is in the western suburbs of Chicago (about 30 miles west), last years snow season, we were out only 3 times for plowing. However, this years forecast is for a lot more moisture, thus more snow.

They will also like to look at a quote from us for per plow.

I am sorta lost and could use any help or suggestions anyone may have.

Thanks

UnitedEnvironment.com
09-22-2006, 07:22 PM
ok, plowing is very difficult for one to price without seeing the lots, some town homes like that have 3 homes to a section, they all have there own small driveway, but there is one big one connecting, and sometimes you only have to plow the big one, that was just an example of one i am bidding on. They are all very differnt. unfortunately i cant give u a definitive way to price this because i hate plowing, and i bid an insane rate so that if i get it, its worth it, and i sub plowing out these days anyway. I have a really nice ford f-350, v-10
and plowing did a number on it so i stopped.

try and figure out how long it would take to do
going rate these days for one guy is like $38 per hour, i charge $45,

UnitedEnvironment.com
09-22-2006, 07:23 PM
as far as the seasonal thing, do an average
i ususally figure for 2 per month

JMM0254
09-22-2006, 07:40 PM
Quote[/b] (UnitedEnvironment.com @ Sep. 22 2006,6:23)]as far as the seasonal thing, do an average
i ususally figure for 2 per month
Thanks and I understand how difficult it is without seeing the actual property. These are 2 townhomes per unit, 12 srives ans the main road (a court).

Are you saying that you would usually quote based on 2 months of snow? How many days of snow is a good guess? I realize it is all a guess anyway, both for us and for the client. If I quote for the entire season $9,000.00 and it only snows 2 times, then I win, but if it snows every day from November through February, I'm working my butt off every day...

I was thinking of quoting $350.00 per plow (2 people, one plow truck, other person to snow blow the walkways and sidewalks, maybe 1 -2 hours (which depends on the amount and duration of the snow) and for the seasonal, I'd figure $3000.00 per month for 3 months. Maybe this is way out of line? I am not really sure..

tiedeman
09-22-2006, 08:10 PM
That is the hard thing about snow removal. I have customers on flat monthly rates for snow removal based on an average for the last 3 years of snow. Yes, if we get a lot more snow than usual then the customers wins, but if we have a dryer winter, then I win. It's a total gamble!

What I would do is think about what you would charge the places individually if they were regular residential customers. So example, 12 drives, at $25 each, then you would make $300 for those 12 drives if doing seperately. Once you figure that out, I feel that you can come to a better conclusion on everything

Dumore Landscape
10-08-2009, 07:11 PM
I was thinking of quoting $350.00 per plow (2 people, one plow truck, other person to snow blow the walkways and sidewalks, maybe 1 -2 hours (which depends on the amount and duration of the snow) and for the seasonal, I'd figure $3000.00 per month for 3 months. Maybe this is way out of line? I am not really sure..

Well I tell ya, In Central Ny it is very hard to keep the Seasonal quotes biteable! If you get what i mean. I make more per push than anything.

Steve
10-08-2009, 07:56 PM
What advice do you have when trying to come up with a way to charge for snow plowing? I think a lot of members get stuck on this.

Dumore Landscape
10-09-2009, 02:02 PM
I tell ya steve I used your calculator to find out my hardest bids then I would add about 10-15% to all of my accounts. For example i have a customer who has a 500 foot drive way, on top of a windy hill. I quoted them yesterday for per push rate of $55, and clean-up rate of $15. I got the job, and I also added a snowblowing rate in with the job. Because these CNY winters are hard and I might need to use a skidsteer and blower! So far I tend to find most of my 20 customers want per push rates, which is fine with me. I wont have to pay them back at spring time if I don't get to go out 15 times. The other 5 customers wanted seasonal quotes so what i do and it seems to work for me is take 15 storms and my usual per push rate, and multiply the difference by 3. So that way I don't get screwed and if we don't get the full 15 storms which is unlikely, I can refund them or discount their lawn accounts. In the event we get more than expected. The customer goes automatically to per push rate with a written notice!

I.e. Just a reminder per your contract for snow removal, you were quoted 15 storm clean ups, we are now on 15. The date is 12-20-2009 and the winter is not over. You will now be turned over to per push rate as stated in you contract.

Thank you
DuMore Landscape

*Hope this helps steve. As i read more and more on this forum. I find that sometimes you have to find someone in your state who has done this and ask them for help... I used to work for a landscaper in my area and with time i figured out what his prices were, just by telling him on the radio that a non-customer asked to be plowed out and how much to charge. He would always reply that if the drive is bigger (wider) than two blades width, and longer than the truck, charge $25, if it was a tricky drive way to do (meaning long and narrow, or windy) add about 20 more. So thats how I learned to charge. He allways no matter what, charged $20-$25 bucks just to drop that fisher! *

Steve
10-09-2009, 07:01 PM
A lot of guys reading this are starting from the absolute beginning with this. Could you tell us what 'per push' means?

Also say it snow 1 ft through out the day, how many times would you go back to a person's how to plow it again? Is there any standard you work with to say every X amount of inches I will be back to plow again?

If you are at a house multiple times in a day, how do you bill them? Do you leave an invoice each time or do you bill at the end of the month?

Dumore Landscape
10-11-2009, 02:30 PM
A lot of guys reading this are starting from the absolute beginning with this. Could you tell us what 'per push' means?

Also say it snow 1 ft through out the day, how many times would you go back to a person's how to plow it again? Is there any standard you work with to say every X amount of inches I will be back to plow again?

If you are at a house multiple times in a day, how do you bill them? Do you leave an invoice each time or do you bill at the end of the month?

Well with my "per push" rate I include one trip up and one back, So you make two passes in a drive that you have to back up in. I have one for instence. I make a pass to open the drive way under neath the mail box, and one behind the cars parked in it. That I count one push. Then If say it stopped snowing an hour after i left and town plows were still out. I would go back and clean the end out again, and if they moved the cars I would open the drive up more. I count it as a second time. Any snow that comes after 4pm say, the customer has to call me to go back out. If they do its a third time for me. I usually only go twice, depending on a storm.

With getting a foot through out the day, I start my mornings at 3 am, if it were to snow till 5pm with a foot total, I would plow once in the morning when I make my runs. Then At about 4pm go out to do it again. I wouldn't go back a third time unless called. I would just wait till the next morning!

And the way I invoice for per push is, I have business cards made up with a date,time, and frequency area on them so I can leave them in a mail box to tell the customer how many times i was there.

Steve
10-11-2009, 07:34 PM
With getting a foot through out the day, I start my mornings at 3 am, if it were to snow till 5pm with a foot total, I would plow once in the morning when I make my runs. Then At about 4pm go out to do it again. I wouldn't go back a third time unless called. I would just wait till the next morning!

How many customers do you feel a one man snow plow operation could service?

And the way I invoice for per push is, I have business cards made up with a date,time, and frequency area on them so I can leave them in a mail box to tell the customer how many times i was there.

Will you leave an invoice per visit? So if you are there twice in a day you will leave two?

Dumore Landscape
10-11-2009, 08:21 PM
I have so far this season 22 customers, 2 are family so i don't count them.

Some of my customers want to know when i was there and all that jazz so i came up with a Mini invoice i call them. I use business card stock from office max and make my own.

Dumore Landscape
10-11-2009, 08:23 PM
The last two cards I use for the customers that get billed monthly. Its just away to let them know how many times I plowed or mowed.

Steve
10-11-2009, 09:14 PM
That's a great card! Very creative.

I have so far this season 22 customers, 2 are family so i don't count them.

Do you feel that is a good amount of customers for a one man operation or do you feel you could do more? What would be ideal?

Dumore Landscape
10-13-2009, 12:22 PM
Its good for a beginner, but I would like to be at about 40 or so, I generally get more once the snow flys! Then if I can't handle them all I have a friend that I can give some to. He will work for an hourly rate at the site and usually does about 15 or so! I also do alot for a guy I do side work for, he has alot more driveways and when one of his trucks breaksdown, he calls me when he needs help so its a win win situation.

Steve
10-13-2009, 08:40 PM
Your friend has a snow plow on his truck? It sounds like it is really important to network with others in your area that have snow plows so if you get swamped, you can call others for help.

What % do you suggest paying your friend when you need him to help you?

Also, would you have him place the invoice cards in the mailbox or would you handle that still so he wouldn't know how much you are charging?

Do you have to pay him that day or will he wait till you get paid?

Dumore Landscape
10-14-2009, 05:21 PM
It is a great idea to get in touch with "friends" Im not say competition... Friends who just so happen to have a Plow or tractor and blower. I will pay my buddy any wheres from 15-20 % depending on the drive way. I will always handle the invoices at a later time in the day. Right now I have a agreement that he signed that states, He has to be ready 24/7 during a set date till set stop date. He will be paid at the end of the month, as most of the time so do I. I will sometimes be able to give him 40 or so bucks for gas for the day. But I like to keep a tight schedule so that we can move on. If for some reason he is late getting out and I get a call from customers, I will deduct from his monthly pay. Which so far I have'nt had to do.

Steve
10-14-2009, 10:02 PM
If for some reason he is late getting out and I get a call from customers, I will deduct from his monthly pay. Which so far I have'nt had to do.

Have you thought about what kind of deductions you would take?



Do you feel having such a workforce makes you want to expand out your services? Or are you at a spot where you feel it works and it's comfortable and you don't want to grow it much bigger?

Dumore Landscape
10-16-2009, 08:50 PM
I have worked it out with him on deductions! And I think for now i am in a good spot not to expand. Him and I have talked about doing so next year. But one thing to remember is we both work two full time construction jobs and I also have a part time job at the golf course.

Steve
10-16-2009, 10:43 PM
And I think for now i am in a good spot not to expand. Him and I have talked about doing so next year.

When you think about expansion, what would be your ideal? What would be your next steps?

Dumore Landscape
11-19-2009, 05:43 PM
Wow steve Fall Is busy time for me.... but I am back. I have already expanded to tell you the truth since I last talked to you. I bought a 89' chevy one ton dump truck with a fisher plow, and began restoring it. I needed to put a few plates on the frame, and sheet metal on the cab and doors, and also a new floor in the dump box. It is out getting painted right at the moment. I also bought a 90' Ford F-150 for another plow truck. And traded in my 92' F-150... (although i miss it) for a 07' chevy colorado. I bought a smaller truck to do estimates and pull the small 5x10 trailer with the mower when I don't need the one ton. So I was planning on hiring a guy to help me so I have been looking. Right now my sisters boy toy... lol Is laid off and helping me. So I will be busy all winter. I have also put in bids for snow removal from roofs in the north country of cny. There is good money there! Talk to You Soon!

-Greg-
Dumore Landscape

Steve
11-20-2009, 01:30 PM
. I bought a 89' chevy one ton dump truck with a fisher plow, and began restoring it. I needed to put a few plates on the frame, and sheet metal on the cab and doors, and also a new floor in the dump box.

Greg,

I have seen many people on here feel they need to get a new truck and plow in order to get into snow plowing. Can you tell me your experience of how used equipment like this truck has served you?

How has restoring a truck and trailer helped you vs going out and buying a brand new truck and trailer?

Dumore Landscape
11-25-2009, 11:47 PM
I bought the used equipment cheap but not so cheap it was going to die the first time I dropped the plow. It has saved me a ton of money and with that I was able to repair it. Now It is as good as new. I would be able to either sell out right of trade up for a newer truck within the next year so that is my plan! Which I think is a good deal for me. Besides its payed off already I don't have to worry about 3 trucks all at once.

Till next time!
"Let it Snow"

Steve
11-26-2009, 12:14 AM
That sounds great! Do you have any pictures of the restoration you did?

Dumore Landscape
12-01-2009, 06:29 PM
No I wish I took some. I hope to be getting a camera for Christmas... So I will send some of the Fleet!