1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Acceptable service area.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by born2farm, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    Well I have started to think about where I want my business to be when I come back and start plowing after college. I know I want to get into some commercial work but how far do you guys travel (one or two trucks and a pusher) to get work? Locally we only have a few mom and pop restaraunts then some gas stations. If I travel about 12 miles there are a few more options such as a Kroger, Drug Mart and several other small stores like Auto Zones and Rite Aids. If I drive about 16 miles the other direction there is a lot more options such as Lowes, Menards, Walmarts, Meijer and sever malls (I realize it will take mroe then two trucks and a pusher to do these). Does this sound like a long ways to travel and still provide reliable service? Locally I feel like a could make quite a bit of money of residential work but commercial work will still be needed.
     
  2. Pennings Garden

    Pennings Garden Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 242

    I'm lucky so far, all our my accounts are within 8 miles from our shop. How ever I live 20 miles north of our shop, but I'm there when it starts to snow and I don't leave until its over.

    For a account big enough I would travel 30 miles or so... but it would have to be big enough to leave the equipment and salt on site.
     
  3. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    Jordy has the right idea, I work for a company that services a 25 square mile area, we have 5 routes in that spread with salt in 4 locations, machines in 7. In the past I worked for a company that served about a 75 square mile area, 6 routes in all, salt in 5 bins etc.........Go where the best oppurtunity is, if you generate the business and it's inexpensive enough perhaps it's worth renting a garage/shop where you do the majority of your work.
     
  4. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    I travel 22 miles from my house to where I plow. Mainly because I'm not set up for most residential and there is very little commercial work available here that would pay what I would require.
     
  5. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    That is how commercial is around here. My biggest worry is being able to keep an eye on the sites. But if I do expand this direction I will have my dad and several other experienced plowers working for me so they could always help check lots. Like I said it is ATLEAST four years down the road so a lot could change. Just want to start investing where its needed so that it helps me on the resi side now and then where I want to be later.
     
  6. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Your already 5 steps ahead of me...I never planned on plowing.... My original intentions were to keep excavating or sewer and watermain repairs for the winters. It didn't work out so well the first year (I only had 3 repairs) so I figured it snows here for 5 months a year and it is guaranteed to snow and I had done it for 17 years before.

    The logistics can be a bit of a nightmare. I found a contracting company that also plows where I do and they will call when the weather gets bad. I use them for sanding, back up or quick fixes when needed and I help them during the big storms or if they are down a machine. Networking is a beautiful thing. I still check my accounts on a regular basis because after all it is my responsibility. The worst part of it is driving through whiteout conditions at 2 or 3 in the morning.... So far so good.

    I wish you all the best in 2010.:rolleyes:.....Or should I say 2014?
     
  7. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310


    Well I figure if I start planning now I will have most of the logistics stuff worked out. Besides actually plowing my favorite part of runnin a business is planning ahead. I plan to return from college and farm full time so I will have extra time in the winter as well as some heavy equipment access. Thanks and best of luck to you.
     
  8. Pennings Garden

    Pennings Garden Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 242

    I'm good friends with the foreman of the highway department of the town where our shop is, we always talk a few times during the storm. When I first started plowing i took over all his plow account when he became foreman and had no time to plow anymore, so it kind of became a habit to talk to each other during a storm.
    Local police department calls him if it get slick unexpectedly, and he calls me...

    when snow is expected I spent the night in my office anyway...
     
  9. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,039

    Sounds like your in the perfect location! Have some crews in town, then one year expand 12 mile out one way then the next year expand 16 miles the other.
     
  10. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    Thats kind of the thought process I was going through...I have large cities on 3 of my 4 sides