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advice wanted

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by casey90, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. casey90

    casey90 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Im 17 years old and have a coupple years of plowing experence at my previous job and last year i bought myself a plow. I have a 94 S10 4x4 with a 6.5 western unimount plow. im just trying to start out and would like to get some residentials and mabe a small lot for my first year solo. i have 2 friends willing to help do hand work: shovel, snowblower, and walk behind salt spreader. ive been throwing around a $60 hr figure it seems reasonable. how does everyone handle pay. say we worked with the storm and were there over night should i just keep track and leave it in their door and have them send paymeny or should i wake them up to pay. also im trying to work out a few things. any ideas on what i should have on hand with me when im out im trying to put an emergency box together any ideas would be helpful. also im considering tire chan=ins and wonder if their worthwile, they offer great traction, but i dont want to damage the finish on anyones driveway. i bought my plow used and its going to need a new cutting edge, i don't have a pro model and there dosent seem to be much to the moldboard so long term reliabiality seems like it could be an issue. any suggestions on a new cutting edge? any help will be greatly appreaciated.
     
  2. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Guys will often do one of two things: contract for the season a set amount (ie: $250 for the whole winter for a residential), or "per push" $25-30 each time. Both have advantages & disadvantages. Personally, I do contracted amounts for commercial plowing and per push for residential. Now, as for collecting.... I don't think you're gonna keep a big clientelle by waking them up at 4:30 to collect! I bill monthly, but others will send a bill each storm or every 2 weeks. I stopped hand delivering bills when I got more than 15 residentials to collect from.

    Your S-10 will push a lot of snow, but it has its limitations. When you get established with a good client list, it may be in your best interest to upgrade trucks to a 3/4 ton or eventually a 1-ton truck. Many of us run 1-ton pickups, so it's not like you have to get a dump with duallies into that 1-car wide drive.

    You're going to need insurance for plowing, if you haven't already done this. It's a hassle, but the first claim against you will ruin plowing if you don't have insurance.

    Definitely get out there & push for new contracts next month, beating the competition & getting people thinking about the coming season. Every person you speak with should also be asked if they know of anyone who might need the service, a couple business cards left, and have them call you if they should need plowing.

    Don't worry about how much you make per hour -- it will be necessity-driven soon enough. Look at your expenses for plowing and how many storms on average you have in a season, and figure your per hour cost & income needs. Many of us are in the $125/hr range for single truck operations.

    Good luck!

    ~Kevin
     
  3. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Casey90

    Good job startin out!

    If it were me I would stick to driveways for this year, then move into lots as you name for yourself.

    First off you should try to get contracts for the winter with your customers. This way you have priding set, and you are protected (a little). You can then bill your customers after you are done plowing and have had a nap. Now when you get flag downs, you can ask for payment at that time, or can have contracts with you to have them sign.

    What is your 60 per hour? For your truck or for you to pay your guys?

    I would reach out to your local western dealer for a new cutting edge, and an emergancy parts kit.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. casey90

    casey90 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    thanks for all the help. what is a fair seasonal contract rate for eastern PA. and does anyone have like a sample contract i could build mine off of i have no idea how to start. the $60 was for the 3 of us to plow snowblow walks and clean up. is that price too low i mean i dont want to be a lowballer i just dont know what i should charge.
     
  5. casey90

    casey90 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    My email is tubs2911@yahoo.com if you have a contract demo to send i havent made up my mind on how i should charge yet.
     
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    If I remember correctly Grandview had a simple one on here somewhere already. Let me see if I can find it..............
     
  7. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Found it... This should give you the basic idea on what you should have and you can tailor it to your needs...Sample Contract
     
  8. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    Hello
    First dont bit off more than you can chew. A s-10 is great for driveways, and small commercial like gas stations things like that. If you are going to bid on anything bigger I would make sure you have someone that can help you if you need it. If I were you I would stick with the driveways, you can make alot of money. Your in and out fast and you can move on to the next one. Commercial, with a small truck you can backed up, with a 6' 6" blade. JMO.
    Yard Medic is right about the insurance. You want your a*s covered god forbid anything happens( you go through a garage door, someone slips, you take out paving stones, etc.)

    A per push seems like a good way to do it. For residential, it would be $xxx for plowing, $xxx for snowblowing, and $xxx for salting.
    I would do the same thing for the commercial. Or i would give them a price for 2-4, 5-7 etc.
    If you did it this way you would send them a bill. Say you had 7" of snow. You will bill them for the 7" plus the other services like salting, snowblowing. etc.

    I would pick up a Western kit. It has like one of everything, springs, hose, pins things like that. That comes in handy. Also flash light, wrenches, sockets, a jack, extra jackets, rain coat, gloves,CELL PHONE. Anything you can think of encase your stuck.
    You can probably do with out the chains, you will do ok with the 4x4 and weight in the bed. Here is the link for the Uni Mount kit and the cutting edge.
    http://www.westernplows.com/publibrary.asp?cat=443
    I hope this all helps. Good luck
     
  9. casey90

    casey90 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    thank you all for all the help it is much appreaciated
     
  10. casey90

    casey90 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    any more ideas would be great just trying to get squared away early so im not scrambling when the time comes
     
  11. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    I would try working for someone too. You can make money that way too.