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And Curiosity Strikes...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by JFJ212, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. JFJ212

    JFJ212 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Ok so Ive got a rookie question here? I know what your thinkin I should be posting it in the "newbie section" however I want to know what you pros think? Ive never plowed and I'm 18 so hey 2 strikes already, but I'm in it for the long haul not just a quick check,plus Im not the average 18yr old hence I want to plow snow... I wanted to know is it possible to make between 15k-30k a season plowing? I been lurking the sit for a while so Im not dumb and I know not to ask for any specific rates but Im curious. I plan on starting plowing next winter an plan or buying a nice rig come summer so I'm doing all my homework now. But yeah Im curious could my self with with a good truck make like 15k a season plowing residential, commercial, or even subbing, depending on my scheldule since I will have college classes during the day..

    thanks any info would help and be appreciated whle im looking a 8k trucks on craigslist....
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sure you can. But if you don't plan well your expenses will be 20k.
     
  3. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    you can, depends on how many contracts you can secure and how close together you can get them. Plowing a whole neighborhood is going to be cheaper than driving all around town cause you waste time traveling. of course, you may not have that luxury but it's something to shoot for.
     
  4. JFJ212

    JFJ212 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Wells thanks guys. That just got even more about this stuff. And Redman6565 I saw your pics, do you own all thank heavy equipment, it all looks nice and you get bid on those huge store lots=$$$.

    Im also wondering about timing, Im in the chicago suburbs area and plan on be in college my first plow season, will I be able to plow if I have to devote lets say between 2pm to 8pm to school classes on like 2 or 3 days out of the week, and be available to plow the restof the week. Possible? Should I shoot residential only? Can I be a sub with these hours?

    Thanks for all the help...
     
  5. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    depends on your tolerance. i'm in school now, there's really no easy way around it but my guess is residential will be easier for you than commercial. unfortunately for me, we only do commercial. resi's tend to be service from 6 am until 8 p.m. i would imagine, where several of my commercial customers are 24 hours. my advantage is i have 22 employees, so i'm not out there doing everything onsite myself though.

    you can plow and go to school, i would stay away from night classes unless you like to down red bull to stay awake. specially after you plow four and five plus days straight and sleep tends to be less and less.
     
  6. JFJ212

    JFJ212 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Thanks redman, that sounds good to me. I would prefer to start residential for my first season, I think thats the smartest choice. And YiKeS 24 hrs snow removal!!!
    I guess I would plan my classes for the middle of the day between 10 and 4 or something like so, wake up plow early if there was a storm before people went off to work and then again around 5 in the evening just before everyone got back home depending on the weather. And if the money is good than I will tolerate it, Im no rookie when it comes to hardwork...
     
  7. asps4u

    asps4u Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    Keep in mind that your customers will not care about your school schedule when they can't get in/out of their driveway. Make sure you have a backup plan for when you're in school, or you're going to have to plan on missing classes on occasion to plow.
     
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I think you better try hooking up with a plow company,you may not even like the hours that go with it,.
     
  9. JFJ212

    JFJ212 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Yeah your right Allstar, Im aware of that though, at the the end of the day its still a business not a just a job. I guess missing class would have to be a serious option on the days I go to school, or I might have to hook up with another guy that plow and maybe sub for him some days and he sub for me on my school days. that migh work out great if I find someone with a small enough operation since I'd be doing residential.

    Btw GrandView, I would consider working for a plow company also, I know I wouldn't make as much as I might alone but its still more that 9$ an hr, plus its not as much physical labor, besides staying awake. I just would wonder if Id be able to only work on certain days and have myschool days off. It would depend on the company and if they allowed flexible hours...
     
  10. asps4u

    asps4u Senior Member
    Messages: 543

    Subbing for someone else would be a great option for you, but they are going to want to be able to depend on you when it snows, not just when you're available. However, I can't speak for all, as there may be a company near you that would entertain the idea, but I've never heard of that before. Most companies that I know of will assign subs to certain sites to be responsible for, and when they call, you go plow. It can definitely work in your situation, chances are you'd only have a handful of times that you'd have to worry about missing class, but your number one concern should be dependability, no matter which route you take, somebody will be counting on you to be there, whether it be your own customer or the person that you sub for. You might also try to find a company to work for starting out, that can help you learn all aspects of the industry. There are many options for you, and if you're starting next year, than you have plenty of time to research and learn which will be best for you.
     
  11. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    If I were you I'd wait tables or bartend. I did it through college and made a ton of cash- $1000 per weekend in the summer.

    Mother nature has no set schedule and your education needs to come first. Just my opinion and yes I plowed I college but just for friends who didn't mind when I showed up ( I met more plow customers at the restaurant too)
     
  12. JFJ212

    JFJ212 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Yeah Allstar, it would definitely depend on the company and thier requirements of me.

    And your right Plowguy43, my education does comes first and foremost. But right after that comes the money in my pocket. It might work out better if I just did mowing services throughout the summer and saviored winter for school, and plow once Im out of college. Hence the reason I'm doing all this reasearch on the industry now, I have been looking at doing so mowing services the upcomming summmer, Thankgod for Lawnsite.com=).

    But at the the end of the day I've got goals and dreams that Im chasing and I won't get there by taking the easiest route possible, Im a entrepenuer at heart and thats what keep me going, Im gonna take your advise and remeber EDUCATION first and if I can firgure out a way to make it work then Im going for it..

    Thanks alot though guys, I hope you'll get where Im coming from because not alot if people do. but hey..
     
  13. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    I totally understand. You may be underestimating waiting tables and bartending. There really is no other job that you learn how to sell well (including yourself), network, handle problems on the spot, be personable, responsible with finances (its all cash), and how much you make depends soley on you and your service. Does that relate to plowing/running your own business?

    Bartending is the same, but you meet more chicks bartending :)
     
  14. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    Oh yeah I still think you should give plowing a shot so you get some experience under your belt, but try to sign up people who are lienent/aren't in a dire need of being cleared out.

    Any early to mid 90's 3/4 or 1 ton truck are great workhorses that can be bought and fixed for cheap.
     
  15. Bird21

    Bird21 Senior Member
    Messages: 533

    Why don't you try working for someone this winter in their truck and make your decision about jumping into this great business after a couple 28 hour shifts. I plowed through high school for a guy I bought lawn mowers from, he worked with my schedule and I was the relief plow guy. I would go to school then jump in a truck and plow till another guy came back in, if they came back. I learned alot from that Man and still remember rolling into High School in a rat salt truck from the night before.

    I did plow all through College and had no choice but to skip a couple classes here and there, I just had classmates tape the class for me.

    Give it a try before you spend the money.

    JMO
     
  16. JFJ212

    JFJ212 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Well I am familiar with the bartending scene, my brother-in-law got into a while back, I do understand they make mad money, and you meet chicks which is always a plus. I just never felt that it fit my type of persona, I don't mind working with people and being personable and all, I currently work in the mall and sell shoes which causes for greeting people and all and I love doing it, but the whole being a batender just wasn't me.

    I also have horses and a trailer which means that I having 2500 truck is always useful. I guess what Im trying to say is that plowing is more of an enjoyable work for me than the nightlife scene would be, although most of the guys that do it are alot older than me it makes perfrect sense to me to get started now, imagine I have a horrible first season, it would just make for great learning experience and I would be that much better for the next season.

    And yeah I plan on buying a 90-99 f250, I have a 91 GMC K1500 2wd (77,000 org miles)now pics coming I guess, which will be sold for a newer model p/u, I'd like to have a plow truck and a seperate daily driver truck, should help with gas and if things don't go well with the plowing I can sell the plow truck and get out the industry without losing that much money or having to drive the costly truck around on the daily basis.

    This help is greatly appreciated, I much rather have constructive critisism than just yeh neh answers, plus Im getting opinions from guys that have done it before,,, which is worth more $$$ than ma spend on the monthly internet service....
     
  17. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    hey, i did snow removal going through school. i was a farm kid, so getting up earlly didn't phase me, i would suggest 2 things, 1st do all your stuff seasonal, guaranteeing your income. 2nd, make sure you are commited to it, be honest with yourself, you have to live your life first by school, second by the weather, don't go drinking the night of a big snowfall.
     
  18. JFJ212

    JFJ212 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    @ Bird21
    If I could find someone with that option I would. And yeah I know 28hrs shifts would suck but as I said Im not unfamiliar with the work aspect of it. I been cleaning 32 horse stalls all summer in the hostest of weather, and working the mall job and working with a construction company guy on the side installling drain tile, I then listen to people complaining about how hard thier McDonalds shift is that they work 2wice a week.
    I should tell them to come clean 32 horse stalls with me while standing next to a horse at 6am, we'll be done by 12, right when it hits about 95 degrees, they woud enjoy that McDonalds shift after that. The mall job I work is my first job been there for 2yrs and I love it, working with ppl n all and it isnt as hard as a fast food joint could be.

    I must say I am blessed at the end of the day, I dont take anything for granted well (try not to), just keep my nose to ground and keeping working hard because hard work is what got here, and that fact that Im a blessed young man.
     
  19. JFJ212

    JFJ212 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    @ BuckWheat

    Damn man, I wish I was a farmkid. I grew up in suburbs but would have had just as much fun if I was on a farm growing up.
    And what do mean by doing all my stuff seasonal to garantee income?? Is that how I should word a contract, I've been planning on going residential so customers might prefer a pay per push kind of billing...
    And yes Im committed and wouldn't put as much time and effort as I do into it if I wasn't. And Im not that big of drinker as of now and never was, my wrk scheldule most likey contributed to that, another reason why I wouldn't think bartending would fit my persona..
     
  20. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    too bad you don't live up here, i would give you a job, lol. As far as seasonal/monthly contract, it means you have a price/month for your service, instead of making money only when it snows. it means that if you do 10 contracts a month on a monthly fee (lets throw out a number and say $80 bucks per customer) that you know you well be making $800 dollars every month, you may have some months that you work harder for that $800, but on your slow months you well be happy having that guaranteed income. if you are doing places on your own, plan on doing 4-6 places a hour on your own. Also "just a suggestion" if it works into your school schedule, try to give yourself a 2-3 hour spare in the late morning, that way if it is snowing hard, or something goes wrong, you can slip out with your pickup and do a any touch ups you need to.