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Addicted to plowing??!!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by qualitylawncare, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Today was my first "real" day pushing snow..

    Ran most of my commercial route this afternoon and made some really good money. I get home at 6pm tonight, eat dinner, and do alittle paperwork.

    7:00 I hooked up the rig and went back to one of my lots and pushed the second half of the lot (I only get paid to do half of it. Lot was paved larger because the company will be expanding, but they currently don't need to use the second half).. Did it free of charge. Can't put a price on the smile on my face :D I love plowing payup

    Happy plowing!! :nod:
     
  2. snooker

    snooker Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 77

    Not so fast! I understand liking to plow, but careful in your exuberance that you don’t ruin that customer. You sound like someone who likes to work for a profit. Well, you have to keep your customer thinking he’s getting a lot (of work) for his money. I’d never do free (extra) plowing again, or they’ll start expecting it for free.
     
  3. intlco

    intlco Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    Doing FREE plowing is = to a lowballer

    A commercial plower never does FREE Plowing.
    If you do half the lot for free, than next year, the guy will expect you to do the entire lot for the same price he pays you now.

    We got lowballers here that do this sh*t all the time. And yes, it might make the customer happy, but they are F 'n up the rates for everyone else.

    NEVER DO FREE PLOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. Caneplow

    Caneplow Senior Member
    Messages: 172

    Well, I look at this from a different perspective; he is learning how to plow and that is some good training. As long as the customers expecations where set that they would normally be charged for it. So be it. Enjoy your learning.
     
  5. Dnipro Max

    Dnipro Max Member
    Messages: 60

    Steve,
    you are true addict LOL, today was pretty good we go couple inches, not enough for me to go plowing the residential, so just did my driveway and that all
     
  6. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501


    Yep.. This is really my first time plowing so instead of being a scrub and not caring about the quality of my work. I decided it would be smart to go practice in an empty parking lot, and play with the plow alittle. Ran through Scoop and Vee, angle, straight, stacking, lifting and piling over a curb, lifting at the end of the lot so I don't dig up grass..

    I'm not being a lowballer, I'm actually pretty expensive. What I'm doing is learning. I want to be prepared 100% when we have more than 2" of snow to push. I offer quality and reliable services, and if that means I need to spend some money on gas, so be it. I go to turf conventions all year too, to keep up with the latest in trends, operations, and equipment. This is no different..

    I'm sure you guys did the same thing the first day you ever plowed.. :nod:
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2004
  7. Caneplow

    Caneplow Senior Member
    Messages: 172

    Good luck Quality. My dad always told me if you do the right thing all the time; things will always work out for you.
     
  8. Ian03

    Ian03 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Snooker & Intlco, give me a break!

    We only have an inch where I live and I can't wait to meet my trigger and get out there. I plowed my full time jobs parking lot for free, I don't even have the contract, I just helped the guy who does. Qualitylawn is right, it's fun when you are just starting out and you want to plow everything in sight just to do it. It doesn't mean you are a lowballer, it means you actually like your job, or side job in this case. It's not all about cashing in on every little thing. Do you work to live, or live to work? Think about it!
     
  9. snooker

    snooker Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 77

    Hey, sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings. LOL

    I’m trying to get a self-confessed addict to open his eyes and gain some perspective. But as anyone who is not new to the business knows, it’s all about the MONEY! Both from our point of view and the customer’s. Anyone who is not TOO sensitive or a true addict knows my advice (above) is sound and that’s about as sensitive and the snooker can get.

    The competition around here charges rates anywhere from 2/3rds to 1/3rd of mine. It was a fight get there and a constant struggle to stay there. It doesn’t matter if its pushing snow, spreading chemicals, cutting grass, etc., any extra work you do for the customer will soon become expected and unappreciated (not paid for). In other words, you are decreasing the value of your service.

    Should this customer look for another snow contractor, they will be able to look at them straight faced and tell them, “the last guy did the whole thing for $$$ (QLC’s price for ½).” With capitalism, there will always be someone around the corner willing to do your job for less money. If someone is too sensitive to heed that warning, they will learn the hard way by losing customers and/or end up working for so little that it will drive them out of the business.

    The smart thing to do is to ALWAYS encourage people to charge as much as the market will bear, raising the standard. I’m sorry if that upsets you. LOL
     
  10. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    I made $4,000 yesterday between salting and plowing.. I'm not cheap, and my prices are 5-10x what the lowballers are charging around here..

    I have $45,000 in plow equipment alone (that is completly paid for)..

    I know money is the main goal of any business, but if you don't do a good job, there won't be any money.

    I have known the owner of this building since I was born. My dad is a management executive for the company, so they know how much I charge and I have them on a 5yr contract (so no lowballer is going to take it for 1/2 rate or whatever, I don't do 1yr commercial contracts)..

    I never give services away for free. My extra run yesterday was merely for training purposes and it won't be done on a regular basis.. My only loss from that was alittle gas and my time, which would have otherwise been spent watching TV or sitting here reading on plowsite..
     
  11. snooker

    snooker Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 77

    "I never give services away for free."

    LOL, I don't have any experience servicing accounts my dad secured for me. I assumed you got customers by hustling them like I have to. None of my advice applies here.

    Happy plowing!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2004
  12. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I have always enjoyed snow and everything that comes with it. I love plowing, iam fortunate to be able to make money off something i enjoy. I like the quietness when there is 12" of snow on the ground at 3am. I do all residential so its alot less stressful then commercial. As far as plowing for free, I will for friends, family (if i like them), old people struggling with banks ate the end of their drives. I have a base of 37 customers who all pay me what they would pay any other plower and they are all happy to do so. I see nothing wrong with hitting a few for free, most people would not let you plow for free though. Its more like you make a pass down some flag downs driveway then leave, they hand you $10 and you say thanks and leave without asking for more, thats what i do anyways if iam not in a rush. I see no problem with people "hitting" drives for free, some people on this site take huge offense. Lets face it you have a plow, you can do what ever feel like doing with it. There are no laws against lowballing or free services so be it. Iam not one to lowball, but i have no problem spending 1 minuite of my time pushing into a drive and taking little or no pay for it. If its even slightly difficult to plow, a price over $30 is agreed before i even start to plow a flag down.
     
  13. snooker

    snooker Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 77

    Man, what a potential gold mine. All I need to do is find a some guys that have fancy new equipment (financed by their parents) and who don't mind doing some "extra" work because it's fun. My only cost is finding customers and insurance. Heck, with all the money that'll be rolling in, I can get some deep sleep during the quietness of 12" of snow. I'd sell my truck to one my new sub-contractors daddy's, but it's probably not new enough to be any fun. Great idea!!!
     
  14. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I hope your not referring to me with the "fancy new equipment financed by my parents" because my parents don't and never did pay a dime to get my vehicles. I can't stand it when people assume stuff that they have no clue about. I got my truck when i when i turned 16, I made the payments on it (iam done now) and i had the down payment. The plow came out of my pocket too. Insurence, I pay it. My brother paid for his Jeep Cherokee with some help from my dad, i wanted a plow for it so i spent the 3K myself just last month. None of the equipment is fancy, a 2000 model and a 98. I don't know what you have that you think that is fancy. I like my truck, it does the job, if i had more money i would probley have a different truck. You don't know me, you have no clue what i think is "not new enough to have any fun", please don't assume things. I happen to enjoy snow and plowing, if you don't like it fine find something you do like instead of complaining about me because you don't enjoy what you do. If you think I am some spoiled little rich kid who has had everything handed to him think again. Everything i have i have worked for because I wanted it, it is what i like and get alot of enjoyment out of.
     
  15. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,149



    First off, how would your paying customers feel if they knew you plow "some people" for free? Second what happens when or if you break down doing a freebie, is it still worth it? You better believe I take offense to this sort of practice cause this is a add on service to my business that feeds my family. If you were running a legit business you could not work for free, exaple taxes, insurance etc.
     
  16. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    No need to tell me about legitimate business practices, iam completely legit, general liability, the whole thing. If you had read through this thread i have alredy said that once. Iam not in the business of free plowing, i do it ON OCCASION. Usually during BIG storms (1-3) times a year. I will do it for good friends and family. I see no problem helping the elderly man who is struggling with a shovel. I just do a push or two for him and drive off, if i even said more then "hello" and "bye" to him iam sure he would pull out the money. Or ill push some snow off the guys driveway who i see in the corner store everyday. If i think they are just lazy, i won't touch it without first agreeing on a price. What would my other customers thing about the freebies? First i don't care its just a few freebies on rare occasions and second, i don't do HALF AS GOOD A JOB on the very rare freebie as i do for my regular customers. Iam sick of people saying that this hurts them, give me a break, this is a free country this stuff is not regulated, i can do what i want. People complain "it hurts my family" etc, ect. Yea right. Most people who plow RESIDENTIAL don't even have insurence they just do it. If i pull a guy out of the ditch am i going to get flammed for not supporting my local towing company. I will do whatever i want to help who even needs it. My equipment. I make plenty of money to cover expenses of the truck and plow and to have the spending money that i need at my age. Plowing a few drives out of the goodness of my own heart is not going to hurt anyone. A few extra drives OCCASIONALLY won't kill the truck either, it takes me all of a two minuites to do a half assed job for free.
     
  17. bolensdriver

    bolensdriver Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    What a jerk you are.
     
  18. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Yes I have to agree. I too am guilty of plowing my wifes church (low on money) my old neighbor, pulling people out of ditches, and anybody else that I have the time to help and who I think deserves my help. All for free and I have not gone broke yet.
    Sometimes the spirit of helping and giving is more soul warming than the money. My saying to the guy who wants to give you something for helping him is
    " I'm just happy to be in a position to be able to help you" Maybe someday you will be in a position to help me. See Yaa.

    PS: I just re read my post. Didn't mean it to sound too xmas y
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2004
  19. Ian03

    Ian03 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    I finally agree with Bolensdriver on something, snooker is a DICK! Someone should ban this idiot, he is just trying to push peoples buttons and get something brewing!
     
  20. bolensdriver

    bolensdriver Senior Member
    Messages: 603

    Why are you take offense of his service? You don't live near him.

    Tell me, would a person rather have their driveway done for free, or money? He did NOT say he plows for free, family, friends, yes, but I do the same. I even plowed a parking lot for free a couple of times (local church). I did it for the enjoyment.

    If your business is good, you wouldn't need to worry about people plowing for free. So, is it good?