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A few questions

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by The Duke, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. The Duke

    The Duke Member
    from WI
    Messages: 79

    I am new to the biz. In the spring, I picked up a 1991 F250 with a new engine in it for cheapo.

    Now I am looking into plowing (that is the main reason I got the truck).

    First a little backround to help you answer my questions.
    I am 20 years old, but will be 21 by the time we have any significant snowfall here. I will also have a full time job in an unrelated industry.

    Now for the questions.

    1. For me, I assume that residential is the only way to go since I have a regular job too and can't always be there immediately, right?
    2. What size plow do I need and what can I expect to pay.
    3. Sub-contract or get my own accounts?
    4. If I sub, what is a fair wage? (I have seen ads for 15-25 and hour, but that would barely cover gas, IMO)
    5. is there a good NATIONAL insurance company that has good GL insurance?
    6. Given my full time job, how many residential account would I be able to take on?

    Might have some more questions later on, but for now this should help me get started.

  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Probably the best thing to do would be to read a few of the threads in this New.... forum. A lot of your questions will get answered. But, yes to residential and how many depends on your job flexibility. Plow - 7.5' and cost about $3500 to $4000.

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,581

    Talk to your curent employer, see if you can work out a deal with plowing and maintaining parking lot or sidewlks for a more flexable work schedule. How would you be able to plow when you have to work. Mother nature always will through a curve ball no mater how prepared you think you are. If your schedule is conrete, forget about pushing snow.

  4. The Duke

    The Duke Member
    from WI
    Messages: 79

    Unfortunately my ex employer (in between jobs right now) had a lot that is too large for me. The company that does it leaves a full size Cat front loader with a plow on it. They often have snow piled 15+ feet high.

    Do you guys guarantee a time to have residential accounts plowed by?

    You guys just sit around all winter waiting for snow? I mean, you don't have a winter job, even if you do landscaping?

    If I knew I could make some serious cash on plowing, I would just get a part time job and plow. But, my luck would be that we would only get a couple of snows and I would be screwed.
  5. The Duke

    The Duke Member
    from WI
    Messages: 79

    Yeah, I read almost all of the current threads and got alot out of them.

    For arguments sake, lets say my job is 8-5 5 days a week.

    How soon do you guys start advertising (and actually getting them) for residential accounts?
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Advertising - use to start in October; people started calling in Nov or first snow. Most accounts I get are in January when:

    1. The "other guy" gives up
    2. The homeowner gets tired of shoveling
    3. The snowblower can't keep up
    4. The homeowner can't drive on the snow anymore cause it's too deep

    This year, because I've got don't need to - I've put a notice on my flyer at the convenience store that I will not be accepting any new customers during a snowstorm.

    In the situation you describe, I'd limit it to three or four driveways (not private roads) and plan on starting your plowing about 3:00AM. Try to stick with ones close to you and fairly easy (flat and straight). Also, take only people who are ok with your need to be at work all day. This may mean you won't be able to plow a daytime storm until late in the evening. Don't get yourself overwhelmed the first year; take this as a learning time. Next winter, you'll be ready to go at it full bore. Maybe plan on taking some one-time plows on the weekend. They're a real pain, but you learn a lot and real quick.

    Carry a shovel with you.
  7. The Duke

    The Duke Member
    from WI
    Messages: 79

    Thanks. That was kind of what I was thinking, but wanted to reaffirm it. I had thought about just trying to pick up the people who say the day of the storm, "geez I don't wanna shovel this!!".
    But taking just a hand full of accounts and then doing some "storm day" jobs too sounds like it might works best.

    How do you guys advertise? Besides an ad in the paper. Anyone use Craigslist?
    Thanks for the help, Mick.