Street Sweeping - How much is the going rate

Ideas and discussions on how to best bid sweeping jobs.

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Street Sweeping - How much is the going rate

Post by trebor » Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:05 am

We are a parking lot sweeping company but have been asked to bid on sweeping the streets in a gated subdivision. The subdivision has 5.2 curb miles that will have to be swept. The curbs are not to dirty just have some small gravel and dust in them. We will probably sweep it with one of our Schwarze 348's that have curb brooms. I am confident the Schwarze can do the job, it just might take longer than if we had a true street sweeper.

Out of curiousity what is the going rate to charge per curb mile for street sweeping? I know what I need to make per hour but would like to see how much pricing flexibility I have.



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Bidding 5.2 miles

Post by Sweepsta » Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:48 pm

First, your project is located where in the country? It's much different price wise throughout the U.S.A. Some factors: Cost of living, insurance & fuel play a part of deciding hourly rates. Heres something else to consider during sweeping: How many times are you going to empty the 3 yard hopper of yours(downtime),additional manpower, Dump truck etc, Will you have a backup if your machine has a mechanical failure putting it through a workout? Penalties for non completion of work on time?. An Air-Rengenerative such as your 348-I is capable of sweeping but will definitely take much longer. Again, pending the region in the U.S.A. I recommend testing your sweeper first on a roadway to pick-up curb debris. Estimate your sweeping time for a mile. If your pricing parking lots and winning, you know what you need to profit. Hourly rates can go from $50.00 per hour to over hundreds in some parts of the country depending the scope of work requested. Also remember, if your sweeping the street remember (both sides) should be calculated. Your mileage is more in tune of 10.4 miles and possibly more if you miss sweep.

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Post by Tom_in_CA » Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:57 pm

About 5 curb miles, in 1 hr, is about the fastest you can go. Typically, cities are bid assuming 3 to 4 curb miles per hour.

If you are used to parking lots, at night, then you know that you can start speeding up when you see a clean stretch, right? Not so with street sweeping. While you can move a little faster here and there, you will usually find out, that on HOA's, there's the psychology that residents have, that street sweepers *must* go slow. For example, sometimes my guys would get complaints "your sweeper was flying through here like a bat out of h*ll!". I'd drive over, look at the place, and it would be perfectly clean. So I'd ask the customer, "uh, what's the problem? Maybe he was just on a clean stretch? it got done didn't it?". But to no avail. They'd strain hard to see some missed pebble, or just defiantly say we weren't being conscientious. So you can see how, you will be hard-pressed to go faster than 5 mph, even on clean easy streets, just to appease the public perception that street sweepers are slow gangly beasts :shock:

Other factors to consider in the formula are 1) proximety of dump spot, and do they provide that? 2) water source... must you provide your own water? Is there hydrants on site they'll let you use w/o a meter? 3) Is it prevailing wage? 4) Do they want corners blown out, dead-ends, etc...? 5) Is a pass down the curb lines ok, or do they expect the middle done, even if the debri is naturally windrowed to the sides? 6) Is it so thrashed w/debri, that you'll be needing to make more than 1 pass? If so, factor that in..... curb miles practically goes out the window then, or is vastly re-arranged.

Once you've figured out how fast you think you can move per hour, then just multiply it through the expected hourly rate you typically try to get.

Usually though, curb mile type bids don't even apply to HOA's anyhow. They just want a flat rate ("$200 p/sweep, at 1x p/month" or whatever). So you can just drive it in your car, and mentally know "this would take me 1.5 hrs." or whatever. Another way I sometimes do odd-ball 1-time, or on-call type work, is to just bid by the hour, and let the customer be the one to decide when you're done. But if it's going to be a monthly or E/O month type scheduled sweep, then hourly bids won't cut it, in their mind. Good luck.

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