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A Hard Lesson learned and we just got rolling

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DAZ982500, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. DAZ982500

    DAZ982500 Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    Last year I had about 30 accounts which was managble.This year I took on an extra 15 accounts,I work alone.Well the route was not tight,and required shoveling snowblowing.An 8 hour route jumped to 12 hours of hard work.I ended up giveing away two of the furthest accountsand hireing a guy to plow about six of them for me.Some of these accounts are to low $35,00 driveway and sidewalk. How many in the present or past have overextended themselves and regreted it and what ,if anything did you do about and when. The route generates about $1800, they are hard hours.DAVE
     
  2. clncut

    clncut PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,121

    And the part that sucks is, its early in the season and now when a snow is predicted you will be hating it knowing your going to have to go out and bust your azz when plowing is probably something you otherwise would enjoy.

    John
     
  3. IMAGE

    IMAGE Sponsor
    Messages: 1,741

    Get a helper. Pay them $15-$20 an hour which is only $180-$240 for that route. Probally less because it will go faster. It will make the time easier because you have someone to talk to. And because they do the labor at sites, you do the plowing. You will feel like a million bucks when your done. They will be happy they made a couple hundo.

    I have 3 labors "on call". 1 primary, and 2 backups.

    Hell last time we were just out a couple hours and my main guy asked if another guy could come with, a mutual friend. I was like sure, I'm not paying him but he can ride with. After awhile I noticed the second guy was doing half the work... I was like "dude you know I'm paying him well, you can just sit in the truck if you want." He was like "No, He is paying me." lol I almost died laughing!
     
  4. 92XT

    92XT Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    Beats sitting home
     
  5. KATTRANSPORT

    KATTRANSPORT Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa:help: Better to have to much work then no work at all. Hire a helper or work harder
     
  6. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,754

    Your making $150/hr. That's a pretty good wage. Like said above, hire a worker. Snowplowing isn't so bad for 12 hours, but adding shoveling and snowblowing to that 12 hours, makes it a lot worse. I have 1 or 2 workers that help me, and we get my route done in 3-6 hours. I only have about 12, but we have quite a bit of shoveling to do at them, which makes them take a little longer.
     
  7. Wicked500R

    Wicked500R Senior Member
    Messages: 394


    :eek: LMAO
     
  8. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    I am in the same boat- got 27 houses solo- only snowblowers and shovels--

    I can do all 27 in 5-6 hours if it's just a few inches like the last few storms but when we get bilzzards it's like 24 hours. This year I'm gonna get help for any larger storms- I can't handle it alone.

    What you can also do is condense route (mine is maybe 3.5 miles end to end) and proritize customers-
     
  9. snowpoe

    snowpoe Member
    Messages: 41

    I am solo also & have a hard time turning down work.
    We had around 4-5" & my route was 14 hrs.today but that was with a few free bee drives

    Definatly stressful & strenuous but worth it for the money:nod:

    Here are a few things to keep in mind when your solo & have a big work load:
    These are a list of things that can send you over the edge & turn a good day making money plowing into a stressful nightmare

    If you have a 12hr day with up to 4" It can turn into a 20 hr day when you add 2-4 more " to that
    When your sh!**t breaks down it can double the stress of normal 4" event

    Add the extra 4" & stuff breaking down for that really killer test on your breaking point

    If it storms 3 or more days in a row it can cause you to work your self silly
    nothing like 3 20hr days in a row $$$$$$$$$$

    I don't know what it is that makes us challenge our selfs like this :dizzy: But I'm guessing if the money was not so good :p that there would be fewer of us out there with schedules that are pushing the envelope

    I would just try and tighten it up (route),get someone to shovel,& have a backup plan (subs or friends w/plow truck) & stick it out & count the money when & if the white stuff comes down

    I think I better get some sleep (4 hr last nite because of plowing /4 the nite before because of working on truck & 5 the nite before that from more plowing & working on stuff,gotta love it):drinkup:
     
  10. ADK

    ADK Member
    Messages: 31

    DAZ982500- Where about in upstate are you? I work mostly in the Saratoga area and I know where your coming from. My route is full, and I've turned down close to 15 new accounts in the last 2 weeks. I did increase my route by about 30% this year and so far so good. It's hard to turn away the money when people are throwing at you. What I have found though, is the reason I'm getting the calls is I do good work and the word-of-mouth gets out. Anyway, stay in control, be careful and watch your back...........:salute:
     
  11. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,999

    Let me get this straight.... you guys are worried and stressed out that you have a 12 hour route???
     
  12. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    get a fat friend to buy a beat and have him make it useable. and have him keep it so when ur truck gets smashd up pretty good u have something to plow with.
     
  13. linycctitan

    linycctitan Senior Member
    Messages: 588

    That's freakin funny!! Your helper hired a sub!!!! ROFLMAO!! This one's for him!!!:drinkup:
     
  14. Meadelz

    Meadelz Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Over extended

    I took on a few more accounts this year and never thought December would be such a brutal month. It is possible for me to handle a 3" snow by myself, BUT there is nothing left in the tank to go out later and clean up after hours when cars are out of the parking lots. I decided to go through a temp service so they handle all the paperwork and workmans comp on an employee or two. It is well worth it, but finding help is difficult. Everyone wants to be paid under the table because they are on unemployment with a contruction company. So I am still struggling to find a solution.

    I went 26 hours nonstop over the weekend and I was nothing more than a liability out there. I'm not practicing what I preach, but find help or remain status quo.
     
  15. bill8379

    bill8379 Junior Member
    from central
    Messages: 15

    I know exactly what you mean, lol.

    Last year I jumped up to 47 accounts and was planning on having two trucks going, which did happen ONCE. lol. I can't find driver's licenses. So I ended up doing the Easy days myself, what a night mare. It took sooo long I couldn't do a good job. I stopped scrapping the driveways to the cement with ice scrapers and it was still hard.

    On Hard days, I would hire 2-3 ppl for cash and it would still be a night mare with only one snow blower, two shovelers.

    This year, I thought I was smart (turns out I'm not) I was going to raise my prices and stick with 24 driveways. But I started getting greedy and ended up with 32, I also turned away over a dozen and no advertising.

    So this year I have 32 drives, and I try to do as much myself as possible. But it's a LONG day, into the night, if it's plus 10 cms. If we get a real storm 30+ cm, I'm going to have to go to day labor and try and fit two snowblowers on my truck. I wish I would have stuck to 24 customers, but some people even begged me.
     
  16. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,999

    Am I reading the bold statement correctly???
     
  17. TNT Lawncare

    TNT Lawncare Member
    Messages: 96

    I do 5 medium size commercial lots. This leaves me time for the calls you know you will get from the driveway people after you are done. Its not how many you have to do, its the quality of the ones you have. This past weekend, I ended up plowing and salting each place 4 times and did an extra 7 driveways. It took me about 24 straight hours but I ended up making $4200. And I did it all solo.
     
  18. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,737

    I really am doing something wrong. :realmad:
     
  19. TNT Lawncare

    TNT Lawncare Member
    Messages: 96

    When businesses need it clean all the time no matter what the price, thats how you make the money. I do 2 newspapers which the carriers need a clean parking lot all night so that gets special treatment and extra salt, 1 factory that works 24 hours a day so they need a clean lot all the time with lots of salt, and 2 other places that I plow every 2 inches. We got 12 inches of snow so that and the salt and the driveways, it adds up fast.