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best way of making money in this business

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by KrazyPlow, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. KrazyPlow

    KrazyPlow Junior Member
    from utah
    Messages: 18

    Ok asside from the lifted truck (pretend i have a normal truck) and on a more serious note. I'd like to know the best way to make money in the plowing business.

    Do you get accounts and come everytime it snows a certain amount, or do u come once or twice a week. How do u charge? per visit or buy the month. How much do u charge? by the hr, the ammount of snow plowed, obviously consider how large the property is.

    or skip accounts and just do 24hr emergency calls or do both? accounts and emergency. i guess that depends on how many trucks you have right?

    what kind of liscence do u need? insurence etc? i have insurence for up to 3 mill for landscaping. can snow plowing be considered as landscaping?
    what are the laws for plowing? you have to have flashing lights? certain hrs?
     
  2. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    well...

    snow plowing inurance is way different than landscaping, i know in this area there is only 1 company that provides coverage for snow, becuae there are lots of lawsuits

    what to charge, depends on the account your going after, some are pre pay , some are per push,... it really just depends what the customer wants
     
  3. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129


    different accounts require different service.. residentials are usually the starting point for most in the industry because generally they require the least equip. / attention.. then on the other end of the spectrum theres 24hr. stores / large lots... these places require a lot of attention/ Large equipment.. you need to learn to calculate square footage of service area, and be able to know how much your rig can handle to determine how long it takes then apply your hourly rate or seasonal rate.. emergency calls depending on how busy you are might be good for exrtra cash but you cant depend on them plus doing things without a contract can get shady (they can stiff yea real easy and get away with it)..

    liscensing depends on what area your in, where im at in ny its not needed. insurance is very important due to slip and fall claims so make sure that your covered for that, and no plowing cant be covered for landscaping...

    you dont have to have flashing lights but it is definately reccomended and amber is the color... also if your doing lots that may want salting or other de-icers applied and you will need either a tailgate or v box spreader... good luck loading either with that tall of a truck.

    are you planning on doing this just for this winter or what? if so its not worth it...
     
  4. KrazyPlow

    KrazyPlow Junior Member
    from utah
    Messages: 18


    hhmm i guess i could check with my company and see if they will add snow coverage.

    what kind off law suits?...like maybe you didn't plow the property right and a car wrecked?

    i was thinking i would charge a flat rate based on about 2 visits a week and charge by the month. if we get a storm and i gotta come more then i'd figure out a emergency cost.
    if it didn't snow one week then i'd go to the property and break the snow piles down, pour salt on them. that way they not so high when the next storm comes thru. maybe blow the parking lot off so peoples cars arn't getting covered in salt. collect the salt and put it on the snow piles. get a normal size resturant or whatever and charge about 800-1000 bucks a month...park city is pretty wealthy.

    i dunno maybe thats a bad idea you tell me.

    i know its realy sketchy bussiness cuz it all depends on the weather. but i figure u charge for the worse and then if the worse doesn't come, then do extra things and keep the property looking clean. maybe shovel the snow off the roofs, plants, flowres etc.

    this way the customer is garrenteed a plowed property and you are grrenteed and monthly check. i would just have to make sure i don't get too many accounts i can't handle.
     
  5. KrazyPlow

    KrazyPlow Junior Member
    from utah
    Messages: 18

    basicly i just want to plow enuff so i can pay my rent my truck and save up enuff to buy reel mowers for next summer, and snowboard at the same time. i'm not trying to get a million accounts. so its not like i'm gonna be trying to get a 100 jobs done in one night.

    if posible i'd like to get accounts that aren't 24hrs and plow them at night... i know it depends on when it snows.

    when do u determine when to plow...everytime it snow 3 or more inches or what?
     
  6. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    thats a risky idea being new.. youd be better off charging per push. another problem with that philosophy of adding in emergency cost if u gotta plow more than you planned is the customer will want money back if you dont plow as many times due to low snow..

    only ways to get rid of snow piles is to melt them with industrial size melter (lot o money) or haul them to dump site with dump truck..

    the most common lawsuits are "slip and falls" happens when person walking on surface maintained by you slips and falls due to poor conditions then in turn sue's you.
     
  7. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    thats usually up to the property owner. some may want it plowed every .5" of accumulation, or some may not want it touched until 3" or whatnot.

    i honestly think youd be better off getting a night job in GA that makes decent pay then save for the mowers that way... then go out to utah for a week or two and get your snow fix, then get back home and plan for summer... cant you guys mow/landscape all year around down there when not in drought?? jmo.
     
  8. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762



    Well sir, i do plow my properties correctly... and i have never been suit.... however, many plow drivers have, and its not because they didnt plow correctly, its because some older person decided to walk on ice, and slip and fall... now its ur falt becasue u didnt salt it properly.... Hell it could have been a dry sunny day, while u were on the slopes snow boarding... a pile starts to melt around luch time.. 5 pm rolls around the temp drops and you have ICE, she falls , gets hurt breaks a hip, now you owe 100k , thats how it works
     
  9. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    you do know that a new plow is around 5 k .... plus all the moods that ur truck needs
     
  10. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,737

    Depends what kinda plow, if your getting a V or Blizzard my guess is you can figure $5-7k. Your going to be $8k+ in the hole before you get anything going. And what if this winter sucks and gives you two plowable events?
     
  11. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,614

    1. You are not ready to be out on your own as you have no clue as to the what or how.

    2. If you have a business, then you would already know 1/2 of the answers to your questions.

    3. You have no clue how to plow.
    (did I mention you have no clue?)

    4. The real money maker "SERVICE"

    5.. How do you plain on getting customers?
    Your in Ga and you want to plow in Utah.

    6. Hint you plow with the storm not 24hr latter.....

    7. You only snowboard on the nice Sunny days.
    (Hint, the best boarding is when it's snowing)

    8. In Utah "SNOW" it's not an emergency

    first things first
    You need a plow.
    you need to fix your truck
    you need to move.
    So your going to go to school in Utah also?


    The bottom line is you have no clue and have never plowed snow before.
    It's not easy money.


    Go open the phone book and start calling contractors that do snow removal/plowing and get a job working for someone.
    Get some experience.

    Now, I'm a potential customer why would I want you to plow my drive?

    Where are you going to be in the spring when the snow melts and exposes all the damage you did to my landscaping?

    Back in GA pushing a mower around your grandmas house?


    hint, try using the search button.
     
  12. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    large lots are a pain. I use to do a super 8 big parking lot. it had to be done all the time. every 3 inches. then they were paying me to do a truck lot next to it for the truck drivers that had to be done every 3 inches also. and these lots were not small. then you had to clean the sidewalks. this took a lot of time away from your regular accounts. But the best and easy way to make money is to know what you are doing. get in there get it done in a professional manor and do it good. have a truck that is reliable enough to not break down every snow storm. I charge my driveways each time I do it. I have 2 parking lots I have contracts with I get paid a certain amount to do it.
     
  13. F250 Boss v

    F250 Boss v Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    SnoFarmer; -WELL SAID!!!
     
  14. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    you did forget one more thing.....

    well here in chicago, when it snows, people, act crazy , like they never seen this stuff in there whole life and forget how to drive... even though it snowed 2 weeks prior, and has snowed every year since they were born.... Im sure that the average chicago driver, or northern climate driver - has WAY more experiance then most ppl for GA.... i could be wrong, but how much "basic driving experiance" do you have on snow.... im not saying you couldnt do it, but plowing is alot harder
     
  15. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,737

    So true. :D Most people around here suck at driving on the white stuff.
     
  16. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    The best way for you to make money and save money is NOT to plow snow.
    You need experience and snow to make money....Neither of which is easy to come by your first year.
     
  17. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    exactly you cant go out there and just drop the blade and go. you have be very aware of what is around. people think plowing is easy and people make money from it. when you put in the aspects what you do to your truck if you dont know what your doing.
     
  18. bltp203

    bltp203 Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    If I were in your situation I would go out and become a subcontractor. This way you dont have to worry about client base, collections, etc.........

    Get in with a reputable company out there and build from there.
     
  19. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Have you seen the truck he wants to plow with???
    He will have a VERY hard time getting a reputable snow removal business to hire him as a sub. I know I wouldn't.
    Get the right truck for the job first. JMO
     
  20. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I've read both of your threads, now. Disregarding the lift on your truck - if you're only planning to plow this winter, don't even start. Seriously, unless you're in it for the long run, you'll lose money - guaranteed. If you look at my profile, you'll see I live in snow country. Even knowing my neighbors - it cost me more to be in business the first two years than I made. And that wasn't counting the cost of the plow or value of the truck it went on. I'm making good money now; but like any business, it took time to "get my feet on the ground". I think you said you wanted to MAKE $2000/mo - I'm assuming by that you mean after fuel, insurance payments and similar costs. So, my estimate would be you'll need to make $4000 a month (average) to do that or approx $1000 a week. How many of these guys do you think makes $1000 a week (every week) with one truck and plow? If you could average $50 a driveway and plow twice EVERY week, you'd need ten customers right from the start. Actually, starting out, you'll probably charge more like $30 and HOPE to plow once a week - so you'll need 34 customers (now you'll use more fuel and need more customers to make up for it). And all this still isn't considering the cost of the plow setup.

    But what do I know?