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  • Snow Plowing??

    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

  • #2
    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,

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    • #3
      as far as the seasonal thing, do an average
      i ususally figure for 2 per month

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      • #4
        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..

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        • #5
          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

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          • #6

            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.

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            • #7
              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.
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              • #8
                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! *
                Last edited by Dumore Landscape; 10-09-2009, 01:04 PM. Reason: miss spell

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                • #9
                  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?
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                  • #10
                    Good Question!

                    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.

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                    • #11
                      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?
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                      • #12
                        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.
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            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?
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                            • #15
                              Good enough for a beginner!

                              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.

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