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Big Accum driveway plowing.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ChevKid03, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. ChevKid03

    ChevKid03 Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Question... I haven't had a 12'' snowstorm yet while doing driveways... My question is this.. Do you go out more than once and do each driveway more than once if you expect that much snow and charge accordingly or just go out once? I can't imagine it is going to be run back dragging 12" of snow away from a garage. I gave some people prices today for their driveways and one walkway for $50 and they acted as though I was a god....And these are "normal 2 car driveways.....
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    You best not have more then 4 inches in the driveway or you'll be in trouble. It's to hard to back drag a lot of snow.
  3. ColliganLands

    ColliganLands PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,854

    plow it each time it reaches your trigger amount (or somewhere close to that)
  4. diesel dave 04

    diesel dave 04 Senior Member
    Messages: 155

    I use to go there twice if it was a large storm over 12" But that was with the stright blade I was hopeing that with the V plow I would be ok if i did it one time, My issue was on 12 inches i couldnt go stright or it will pile up infront of me and i wind up stuck in it. or if i go right it pushes me left you know what i mean. so I thought with the V once i brake it open I can work it and even if im there a little longer it is still better then makeing my rounds twice., cause i have a large loop. I sure wont know with this storm, maybe next time

    MOWBIZZ Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    I will go out at around 4-6 inches and do a "quick" plow just to keep the total amount for the later push more under control. Then much later, when the snow has tapered off I will go back a 2nd time and do a thorough job. That has worked for me with a 12" snowfall. I do have a 3/4 F250 and an 8 foot plow, so it will handle a good amount of snow (never bogged down yet) (knock on wood :drinkup:)
    This weekend will definitely be a challenge with another storm due on Sunday/Monday.
  6. ChevKid03

    ChevKid03 Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    That's what I was thinking of doing but do you charge them each time you come??
  7. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,358

    When I get over 12'' I plow twice and charge the people twice.
  8. diesel dave 04

    diesel dave 04 Senior Member
    Messages: 155

    I charge the 12 inch price then every inch over 12 i charge an extra $6-$8 per inch that is just on the drivewys. so iF I CAN DO IT IN 1 PUSH I MAKE MORE
  9. wildbl1500

    wildbl1500 Senior Member
    Messages: 111

    I have a rate for under 6" and a rate for over 6". I just plow whenever it needs to be done- depending when the town/state trucks go by, snow fall intensity, etc...

    When the storm is done I look at the snowfall totals on a local TV station and that is what I charge.

    Most of my accounts are around my home and I'll knock down the ends of the driveway if I happen to drive by.
  10. NorthernSvc's

    NorthernSvc's Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    we start when ther is 2" on the ground, go round till it stops, and then another round after village goes by, charge them per push, usual turn round is 3-4 hours. 5-6" hopefully get 2 pushes oout of, 12" should be able to get 3-4 pushes, keep up with it and youl be ok, wait for 12" and youl be hurting
  11. TerrForms

    TerrForms Member
    Messages: 78

    Charge em!

    I have a 3 inch trigger. If I can I'll try to push every 3-4 inches and charge per push full amount! The problem is, the last couple of drives had about 12 inches by the time I got there. Feels like lost money if I can't keep up @3-4in. Also a LOT more time.
  12. harddock

    harddock Member
    from mass
    Messages: 67

    Think about it this way. If you set a "trigger" of say 4" and you go every 4" thats three runs on the same drive. Knowing that it will be a big storm or the customer will complain you can bump it to 6" per run. If you wait until say 12" falls you will do twice as much work, spend twice as much time, and for a one run price.

    Depending on the storm and watching the weather and stick time wil get you accustom to this you'll know whether you need to go once, twice etc.

    I usually will do an open up run, not a total clean up, or two ( depending on total predicted duration and amount) and a finish run where I clean up to a finished job. My pricing would reflect that.

    These guides and amounts need to be discussed with your customer at the start of the season so there is no problem during the course of the season.

    Every job is different and mine are calculated by how much time I spend at the site. If I have to come back after vehicles are moved (I don't sit around and wait) or end clean ups because of street plows etc.

    My customer gets all this explained in my bid.

    After 35+ years plowing you figure out how you want to do it.

    MOWBIZZ Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    Yes but I explain to them when bidding the job that additional pushes, if needed, are extra.
    I have also done the entire foot of snow at once too...sometimes the storm just gets ahead of you. Any more than a foot of snow, I will try to plow in 2 different pushes which are chargeable.
  14. flakesmeangreen

    flakesmeangreen Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    The way my contracts are worded, i get paid twice the rate for 12". It doesn't matter if I show up once or twice. I learned the hard way. I do plow with the storm for larger accumulations and start plowing my route when we reach my trigger, which is 3". But when snowfall accumulation rates are 2-4" an hour and you're driving around on the roads in 4 low with chains on all 4 and still can't beat the storm cause the roads are crap, it can be close to impossible to actually get to every driveway twice. I, like others have said, do a VERY quick pass initially. I don't widen the apron, no shoveling, no back dragging, one QUICK pass to open it up.

    I've plowed about 14" of powder one storm because of a situation as mentioned above. Of course it took longer and therefore deserves to be charged accordingly. It's not the best level of service and it works everything harder but I'm not a miracle worker and do my best with the conditions that exist.
  15. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    I'd consider this residential not commercial work, right? Isn't there a section for that?
  16. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600

    Plowing a driveway is generally no big deal. Figuring out what each homeowner expects is like finding the G in a spot - A quest that never ends, always changes and never can you make each one happy the same way. :dizzy:

    Love 'em and leave 'em ( .... were talking snow :D )
  17. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    You have to be kidding. :dizzy:
  18. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    I know it is commercial because it is for money but that seems to be 90% of the crap on here is about a $10 driveway plow job and it is sickening to think about all of the non-legit guys doing this type of work without insurance, etc. But it is just a forum and I need to take it as that. I personally have never done a driveway but my own....
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2009
  19. ERCKWD

    ERCKWD Member
    Messages: 32

    Mullis56, we are insured and we do both resi, and commercial. Relax, some of these guys are legit and really are looking for help...
  20. Eronningen

    Eronningen Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    On my residential stuff, my contract has a 1-5" price, a 5"+ -12" price and a 12"+ price. 1-5 is the base rate. 5-12" I charge 40% more and 12"+ I charge 70% more, ROUGHLY (depends on the driveway/property and its difficulty) But you get the drift. And I only do them once, unless the timing forces me to have to get them out in the AM or in in the PM before snowfall quits, and thats minimal since most of my residential is rural type subdivisions and they have proper vehicles to handle it.