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Discussion Starter #1
I'm bidding a parking lot that is used for employee parking, the two lots combine to about 10 acres of pavement. The lot is used 3 shifts, first shift being heaviest, about 80% filled. I have not yet driven by third shift to see how full the lot is going to be.

It's a 1" trigger with salting. I'm looking at this and thinkig that all I can do is plow the aisles during the day and salt the snot out of the lot. Nightime I'll be able to get into a few more open spaces and then salt again.

They want a seasonal price on plowing. I know my production standards for a normal parking lot of similar size. But this lot I won't be able to access the snow. I will be doing constant maintenance and clean up plows to keep the lot clean.

For a 10 acre lot I might figure normally 2 to 4 tons (400 lbs to 800 lbs per acre) which is a bit higher than needed, but safe. With this lot I won't actually be applying to the entire lot, but will probably want to salt the aisles very heavy to get the traffic to pull the salt into the parking areas. Leave the salt estimate as is, revise up or down based on the traffic for the parking lot?

As for equipment, I think daytime plows can be handled by a couple of trucks with v blades. I thought about a skid steer with blizzard blade, but not sure if I want to purchase a $35,000 set up for this relatively small lot. The lots are too tight for backhoe, etc with parked vehicles.
 

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Using a skid map help you out especially if you have alot of plowing out spaces inbetween cars its nice to be a little smaller than a truck concidering theres a good amount of time that people dont seem to leave alot of room for trucks to get inbetween.
 

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one other thought how about a quad rather that a skid there can fit into even smaller spaces and definatly cheaper if you dont need a skid this may be a viable option... and you could also use it as a sidewalk machine on other propertys...
 

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I would also try to have each shift park in a different section of the lot to give you a little more room
 

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I haven't had to deal with 3rd shifters, but I have with newspaper dist center and a property with 1st and 2nd shifts. I try to come after they leave, or before the newspaper people get there. For a place that is running shifts 24hrs, it would obviously be different. At least during the shifts most of the cars will remain parked, or they should. My approach would be to keep the main drives open during 1st shift, plow what you can, then salt, come back during 2nd shift, plow more, salt more, then during 3rd you've have to try to clean up what you missed the past two times. Depending on what the storm is like, how much it drops and when, I would change that plan. Do you have resources to keep a truck or SS on site? That might be the best plan of attack, if you have one to spare, it would let you get the most done, without making too many trips back and forth to this property.
 

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I put a bid on a plant that ran shifts like that a couple years ago. It was an annual maintenance bid and I got underbid on it and did not get it. Anyhow, there was a "lag" time between shifts where the plow guys had an hour or so to hit the lot between the next wave of cars arriving. Guess your site doesn't have that?

Not sure how usefull a quadrunner would be since I can't see it pushing a lot of snow, but a skidsteer would be a big help from what you're saying.

If EVERY spot is taken by every shift's cars then your in for a nightmare. But otherwise, you can clear the open ones, then be onsite when the shifts end to quickly clear the spots the cars leave behind before new vehicles try to park there.

Zoning off the lot for parking at certain times by certain shifts would help if feasible.
 

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I would be careful, definitely find out if they want someone there constantly with a blade down or they can stand having you come back every few hours during a long storm.

It is my experience that places that run 3 shifts have a difficult time getting people to park in other areas or to move their cars.

I used to plow and manage the plowing of a hospital.... I sure aint easy .

Everyone wants to park closest to the entrance
 

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I think you've got the right idea Doug. I agree with the others, the chances of getting everybody to park in one area at a time is virtually nil.

Everything else sounds right, though, the trucks with V's. A skid steer would work out great, but it is quite an investment for only 1 place unless a multi year contract is possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Unfortunetly the specs are not well written so they haven't really said what they want with any kind of definition. So my scope of services will have to be pretty well defined. I'm just trying to decide how to write them. If I offer a lot of service I'll out price myself.

I don't see anyway good way of roping an area off and rotating through the lot. Unfortunetly the lots open up right off the street with just two entries and exits. Basically a big free for all when it comes to parking with some faint yellow lines on the ground. The aisles in some places get very narrow, so that only one vehicle can pass through it.

My biggest concern is the number of return trips required to maintain the lot, even though there may be no fresh snow accumulation. They want a fixed contract which means I have to build in those extra trips back... but I don't want to overbid it either.
 

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I worked in a factory that had a simialr sized lot and actually had four "shifts" as there was an office staff that worked different hours than prodution did.

The lot was similar sized to what you're describing and people tended to cluster close to the building during the evening shift changes so there was a far corner that was free of cars. The contractor would clear what was open and then we would get an announcement on the plant PA system to go move our cars. That seemed to work pretty well since third shift was the smallest and there was plenty of room for our cars in the cleared area.


Would it be an option to do something like that with these people? At least then you have one total clearing in every 24 hours period.
 

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Lots of good ideas here. I'll add, why buy a new machine for one contract you are not sure about. You could rent the skidder you want for there for the season for 5 or 6 grand. Maybe buy a pusher that & you can use it anytime you have a skid and they could be moved to other locations certainly as needed, or any ptoential subs down the road could use the pusher. Just a thought I had.
 
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