Residential Driveways/Sidewalks - Snow Plow Forum -†Let's Talk Snow Discussion Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-26-2006, 06:02 PM
JGresko's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Easton, Maine
Posts: 946
Residential Driveways/Sidewalks

I am hoping this winter to get some driveways and side walks to bring in some extra money,nothing major. I know I can't get what we got in Pa for plowing($100hr) I know I need to charge enough to cover gas and repairs on the truck. I already have one lady interested that I do the landscaping at her house,her drive is a straight iin only about 50ft, I figured like $30 for her driveway(Each visit? rate goes up for how many inches,or how many visits?) since my mom is goods friends with her. Any other ones I get will be a little bit more, depending on how I figure the wage. I already have a on call job for the town that my dad runs the grader for,for when we get major snow to help in keeping the firehouse,retirment community,etc. clear.

If I get other jobs how should I figure a price? Per push, Depending on the amount of snow, per visit,by size?

We did not do many resid. in Pa and if it was it was just family,we did all commercial.

Thanks all for the help.

jeff
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 07-26-2006, 06:51 PM
Rocket's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Addict
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: MA
Posts: 1,239
This question has been asked many times and I believe there is/was a F.A.Q. that addressed it, but here goes...

First, it depends on you and your clients. We have client properties that are charged on a scale depending on how many inches fall within a specific time/storm. They require us to keep their drives open throughout the storm. Other residentials only want a cleanup at the end of a storm and will only pay a single flat fee. In short, we use different methods for different situations. An interview with the home owner will provide you with some good feedback if you ask for it. Why not ask her what she would be most comfortable with. If she is a family friend she will most likely want to help you out. You could even ask her to suggest you to the neighbors.

Another question: How will the town job, infrequent as it is, affect your clients?
__________________
Member: Stainless Steel Users Group

Let's talk landscaping or heavy metal.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-26-2006, 07:39 PM
JGresko's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Easton, Maine
Posts: 946
I am going to talk to her this week when I go over and finish some clear cutting,I am going to ask her to mention me to her neibors size the truck I have is perfect fopr the little driveways.

The town job won't effect it to much, I would only go when there is a major storm and my dad(they only have one plow truck) needs help opening up those properties and emergancy road opening that the sub did not get to yet,and also a quick opening of the sidewalks on one of the propertys.


Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-28-2006, 07:47 AM
Snowboy's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,462
Too bad our hood's open the other way. Leave it to the Europeans them dirty birds. *L*
I havenít been plowing for too too long but what works with most of my clients is a flat rate for the whole season. Doing the whole measurement thing would be too confusing for both me and the client and I know my clients wouldnít go for it.

Last year I had a client who didnít pay me for the whole entire season they forgot one last payment which last year I accepted seeing as we didnít have much snow. This year I plan to get the cash up front from them if they decide to go with me again this season. The clients is usually in Florida and will usually pop back in town 3 or 4 times in the season and thatís usually when I got paid from them.

As far as your rate goes you need to see whatís acceptable in your area what your costs are how much you wan to make and what your client is willing to pay you. I know Iím not the cheapest guy around but I still get what I want from my existing clients.

Dave.
__________________
Truck Pictures
Treelawny Groundskeeping Svcs
2002 GMC 2500 6.0L 810
2007 Dodge Cummins 2500HD 8611LP
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-28-2006, 09:03 AM
wyldman's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Brampton,Ontario,Canada
Posts: 8,323
Driveways can be a PITA sometimes.Don't shoot for $30 a push,try to sell it for the season.

Figure out how much it will cost you to do it,and add on how much profit you'd like to see out of it,and that's your price.If they don't like it,leave them,otherwise you'll be working for nothing.

If your going to be adding more driveways,keep them close,as driving time is the killer.

Don't forget to charge accordingly for sidewalks,as they can be a lot of work when the snow gets deep.

Also,can you properly service these clients if your on call to go plow when it snows heavy ? This is when your own clients will need you the most too.
__________________
Chris W. Barrett - AUTO PROFORMANCE SERVICES - (416)565-7282
High performance Plows and Urethane products Email me on the BB
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-28-2006, 11:09 AM
JGresko's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Easton, Maine
Posts: 946
How do you figure for the whole season when you don't know how many times you are going to go out or how less your going to go out?


The oncall job will not effect it to much, The town my dad works for is one the way to the bigger town were I am going to try and get accounts. If i have to do anything there it will be a quick swipe in right next to the curb on each property and then my dad would clean it up.. If I would get called it would be just be like stoping for 3 other accounts on the way.

Also I figured I would need to set a trigger, I was thinking 3"-4" is when I start plowing. Does trhat sound about right?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-28-2006, 11:31 AM
wyldman's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Brampton,Ontario,Canada
Posts: 8,323
You should be able to figure an average for the number of events over the last few years.Take the average,add two,and mulitple by what you want to charge for the service.That is a ballpark price for the season.

When you decide on a trigger,then you charge accordingly.A low trigger means a higher level of service,and more money.Don't forget though,a higher trigger means less pushes,but each push is harder as you have more snow,so don't discount too much for a higher trigger.
__________________
Chris W. Barrett - AUTO PROFORMANCE SERVICES - (416)565-7282
High performance Plows and Urethane products Email me on the BB
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-28-2006, 11:41 AM
JGresko's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Easton, Maine
Posts: 946
I am going to have to ask around,I just moved up her last summer and we had maybe 10 storms total and I know the are capable of more up here.

I dont want to set the trigger to high, I don't want to be pushing 6-8 inches of heavy snow, and only have a Chevy 1500 V6. I just don't want to push that much snow all at once, I would not even do it if I had a 1 ton Diesel.

Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-28-2006, 02:18 PM
Mick's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Palermo, Maine
Posts: 2,249
Generally, your trigger will be 3" unless you are in a metropolitan area where they might want a lower trigger. Also, some specific customers may want a lower trigger, but they will be the exception and will be prepared to pay for the extra work. I have a history of all snowfalls in this area (east of Augusta) for the past five winters. I could help you with specifics, if you decide to go the route of seasonal rates.

There may also be some members here closer to you who might help you out if you want.
__________________
I spend summer getting ready for winter
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-28-2006, 04:35 PM
JGresko's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Easton, Maine
Posts: 946
I most likly do it seasonal, since that seems the easiest. Would the price vary some depending on the size of the drive? Also I know I would probably be a extra charge for sidewalks.

Since I am not looking at getting a huge amounts of accounts this year would it be better just top charge by visit or push?

Have the price vary depending on the amount of snow?

like 3"-6"=so & so price
7"-12"= So and so
12"-16"=so and so
16"+ So and so..

Thanks for the help everyone, never realy had to deal with this down in Pa juts went by hourly and went out when the first flake fell and di not come in till the parking lots were wet.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-28-2006, 05:02 PM
Mick's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Palermo, Maine
Posts: 2,249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Korn
I most likly do it seasonal, since that seems the easiest. Would the price vary some depending on the size of the drive? Also I know I would probably be a extra charge for sidewalks.

Since I am not looking at getting a huge amounts of accounts this year would it be better just top charge by visit or push?
Not trying to be critical, but that is contradictory. The price might vary by the size of the driveway, but I wouldn't get too worried about it, unless there is obvious difference, like one is twice as big as another. But, yes, I'd agree that at this stage, you'd be best off charging "per push" and the layout you had is fine. (Leave him alone about the "gaps" ). Actually, till you've got more experience, I'd suggest just charging one price each time you're there and let them know you won't let it get over a certain height so there may be two charges per snowstorm. Don't get too wrapped up about pricing and you'll learn a lot this winter.
__________________
I spend summer getting ready for winter
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-28-2006, 05:11 PM
JGresko's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Easton, Maine
Posts: 946
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick
Not trying to be critical, but that is contradictory. The price might vary by the size of the driveway, but I wouldn't get too worried about it, unless there is obvious difference, like one is twice as big as another. But, yes, I'd agree that at this stage, you'd be best off charging "per push" and the layout you had is fine. (Leave him alone about the "gaps" ). Actually, till you've got more experience, I'd suggest just charging one price each time you're there and let them know you won't let it get over a certain height so there may be two charges per snowstorm. Don't get too wrapped up about pricing and you'll learn a lot this winter.
For one What "Gaps"??? I figured Each customer will be a little different, dpedning on when the want everything cleared off by. I would go out at 3" trigger push everything open and then if we get more I would go out as needed till the storm is done. Does that sound like it would work??

I would have a set rate for each time I visted the property to push,Depending on the distance of the poperty or if they want walks cleared the rate will be different from other customers.

Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-28-2006, 05:56 PM
Mick's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Palermo, Maine
Posts: 2,249
Jeff, "gap" means what would you charge for anything between 6" and 7"? Or what you charge for exactly 12"? It's a technicality that has sometimes started a lot of posts. Anyway, really, don't worry about it. The problem with going out at the trigger (ie: 3") is in how you set your pricing structure and the customer expectations. Let's say it snows 5" total. You plowed the first 3" , so now do you plow the other 2"? Should you charge another push? If not, you lose money. If you do, the customer will be upset. If you don't push the 2" , the customer would be upset at having almost half the snow still on his driveway. Generally, a 5" snowfall would be one push for one "charge". What if it snow 15" and you push every 3"? Make five charges? A $30 driveway just cost them $150 for one snowfall. It should be more than one push, maybe 2x or 3x but 5x is too much.

The example you gave:

3"-6"=so & so price
7"-12"= So and so
12"-16"=so and so
16"+ So and so..

is good. Just use - "over 6" - 12"" and "over 12" - 16"". This is a pretty common setup. Then charge this for the total snowfall per storm. So you could push every 3" or wait till the storm is over. The customer will pay the same regardless of how many times you push. Then you can use your own judgement. Sometimes you'll want to push every 4" or so and sometimes you'll wait for 8" to 10" when it's light and fluffy.
__________________
I spend summer getting ready for winter
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-28-2006, 06:07 PM
JGresko's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Easton, Maine
Posts: 946
I figured it would all depend on the storm on how I push it and how much I push. If it is going to be a overnight fluffy storm then I can wait for it to build up and go hit everything earlyt in the morning unless the customer wanst otherwise. If it is a day storm then I have to be ontop of it depending on how hard it is falling.

I would gfive then a rate for 3"-6",a rate for over6"-12" and a rate for over12"-16" and then a rate for over16"+.

Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-28-2006, 09:40 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Otsego, MN
Posts: 3,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Korn
I would gfive then a rate for 3"-6",a rate for over6"-12" and a rate for over12"-16" and then a rate for over16"+.
Jeff, FWIW, I don't quote any prices for any snowfall over 8". I price 2-5 and 5-8. My contracts have heavy snowfall and blizzard clauses that cover me in case of extreme situations. These clauses state that extra charges can be anticipated for snowfalls over 8" or if blizzard conditions exist. Thing is, with your average snowfall, if you can't get it pushed before it gets to 8", you need more manpower or less accounts. And on the outside chance it snows 2+" an hour for several hours straight, the heavy snowfall clause covers you.

My driveways (all whopping 6 of them) are priced per push 2-5 and 5-8. I try to stay away from driveways though. The ones I have are within 6 blocks of home base and I knock them all out within 30 minutes after the commercial work is done. I don't make much on driveways. I pay the bills with the commercial work and the driveways are just a little extra "friday night money". I really just do them to help out the little old ladies in my neighborhood.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-28-2006, 09:48 PM
JGresko's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Easton, Maine
Posts: 946
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizardsr
Jeff, FWIW, I don't quote any prices for any snowfall over 8". I price 2-5 and 5-8. My contracts have heavy snowfall and blizzard clauses that cover me in case of extreme situations. These clauses state that extra charges can be anticipated for snowfalls over 8" or if blizzard conditions exist. Thing is, with your average snowfall, if you can't get it pushed before it gets to 8", you need more manpower or less accounts. And on the outside chance it snows 2+" an hour for several hours straight, the heavy snowfall clause covers you.

My driveways (all whopping 6 of them) are priced per push 2-5 and 5-8. I try to stay away from driveways though. The ones I have are within 6 blocks of home base and I knock them all out within 30 minutes after the commercial work is done. I don't make much on driveways. I pay the bills with the commercial work and the driveways are just a little extra "friday night money". I really just do them to help out the little old ladies in my neighborhood.

So you just have a set rate for 2-5, over5-8. Then anything over 8" or blizzard is extra charges since there will need to be extra visits to keep the snow tamed. That sounds like a good idea. I was reading and found out that my county averages 120" a year of snow, basically 24 inches a month through out winter(Nov.-Mar.)
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-28-2006, 10:04 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Otsego, MN
Posts: 3,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Korn
So you just have a set rate for 2-5, over5-8. Then anything over 8" or blizzard is extra charges since there will need to be extra visits to keep the snow tamed. That sounds like a good idea. I was reading and found out that my county averages 120" a year of snow, basically 24 inches a month through out winter(Nov.-Mar.)
But we also get 1/2 the snow you do, and people here are not tollerant of snow. It's amazing the amount of complaining you hear around here every time it snows. I love it, but 90% of the population hates it. All my commercial stuff has 1.5" triggers, and every customer gets salt. What works here, may not work there as far as trigger depths and frequency of service. I just wanted to give you an idea on pricing. I'd hate to see you give a flat rate for 16" and end up losing your shirt. Around here, anything over 8" is considered a heavy snow event, but in other areas, an 8" snow may be the norm. Also, we service every 4", so in keeping on top of the event, we rarely need to push more than 8" at a time. Hopefully you'll get some good advice on trigger depths and frequency from some other guys in your area so you know what "the norm" is. A good talk with the customer will help you understand what they expect as well.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-28-2006, 10:10 PM
JGresko's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Easton, Maine
Posts: 946
Yea I am going to ask around town a little. People coplain when it is a dusting on the ground,but after a 6in storm if you go to any commercial lot(wal-mart,grocery store,gas station)there will be 3 inches of slush on the ground and it will still be there a week after.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-29-2006, 02:07 AM
Rocket's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Addict
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: MA
Posts: 1,239
It would makes sense that if you average 120 inches a season folks would be a bit more tolerant of snow. We average about half of that.

We use a two inch trigger.
__________________
Member: Stainless Steel Users Group

Let's talk landscaping or heavy metal.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-29-2006, 05:08 PM
atgreene's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mud City, Sebago, Maine
Posts: 5,485
Korn,

you'll find that Mainer's tend to be thrifty with the money. Very few around here will go for a seasonal account, but their starting to look at them.

For ease of billing I use a 2" trigger (lots of steep driveways, some of which even have a 1" trigger) and the only other charge is that anything over 12" is billed as 2 storms. I was one of the few around here pushing that a few years ago and it seems to have caught on.

Don't be afraid to take on the ones that nobody else wants. You have to pay your dues and it gets your name out there. As long as they pay, every job is a good ad for you where your new. Also, the plowing jobs with shoveling walkways deal suck, but for you it's another ace. Nobody else wants to deal with grandma's walkway and if you will do it your in.

Good luck.
__________________
2013 GMC 3500 9 2 Boss V
2005 GMC 5500 Topkick 10' Boss V (For Sale) (SOLD)
1963 Oshkosh 10' V, 11' Wing (For Sale)
Kubota M7040, 8' pusher, 8' blower.
2005 Takeuchi 135
IAFF Local 740

Facebook: A. T. Greene Excavation & Snowplowing

www.atgreene.com
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07-31-2006, 10:30 AM
JGresko's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Easton, Maine
Posts: 946
Thanks Atgreene.

How does this sound has far as charging.

2"-5"=$35
over5"-8"=$45
over8"-12"=$55
over12" pricing depends on the kind of storm,if equipment needs to come in to clean up the snow..

P.S When do yous start charging for like over 5" or over 8" ect.. Does that different pricing come in when its a 1/4 inch over a 1/2 inch over etc.?
Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07-31-2006, 06:04 PM
atgreene's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mud City, Sebago, Maine
Posts: 5,485
Personally, I think your making it too complicated. In my area, I have accounts that could get 10" of snow up on the mountain, 6" in another area and 2" down by the lake, all in the same storm. Therefore I charge a simple flat rate up to 12". You're likely to find similar variations on your route as well. Trying to track each one individually is a real pita.

Anything over 2" up to 12" is one charge, over 12" is a double charge. Simple and quick, easy to keep track of.

Good luck!
__________________
2013 GMC 3500 9 2 Boss V
2005 GMC 5500 Topkick 10' Boss V (For Sale) (SOLD)
1963 Oshkosh 10' V, 11' Wing (For Sale)
Kubota M7040, 8' pusher, 8' blower.
2005 Takeuchi 135
IAFF Local 740

Facebook: A. T. Greene Excavation & Snowplowing

www.atgreene.com
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-31-2006, 06:28 PM
JGresko's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Easton, Maine
Posts: 946
Sounds simple, anything over 12" is doubvle the rate? You do charge extra if we get like 24+ plus storm or something right?

Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-31-2006, 06:37 PM
Mick's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Palermo, Maine
Posts: 2,249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Korn
You do charge extra if we get like 24+ plus storm or something right?Jeff
I have some that I charge the same way. Most major snowstorms are around 8" - 10". The most at any 24 hour period in the past five years has been 14" which was on a couple of occasions. I agree with Alan, you're way over-thinking pricing. Put more emphasis on customer service and technique. They'll pay off much more than fine-tuning your pricing stategy.
__________________
I spend summer getting ready for winter
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07-31-2006, 09:49 PM
Snowboy's Avatar
LetsTalkSnow.com - Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,462
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizardsr

My driveways (all whopping 6 of them) are priced per push 2-5 and 5-8. I try to stay away from driveways though. The ones I have are within 6 blocks of home base and I knock them all out within 30 minutes after the commercial work is done. I don't make much on driveways. I pay the bills with the commercial work and the driveways are just a little extra "friday night money". I really just do them to help out the little old ladies in my neighborhood.
You wana come to Canada and plow my drive's for me?
__________________
Truck Pictures
Treelawny Groundskeeping Svcs
2002 GMC 2500 6.0L 810
2007 Dodge Cummins 2500HD 8611LP
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:49 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1