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Commercial Snow Removal

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Hexa Fox, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. Hexa Fox

    Hexa Fox Member
    Messages: 96

    Hey guys I am sure that this or something very similar has been asked here. I am located in Charles Town, West Virginia and work here as a Landscaper and Arborist. However in the past I have usually sat out the Winter because I have not wanted to deal with it.

    This is mostly due to me not having a tractor. However this year in my development there are a lot of people requesting snow removal (I am going to guess because of last year). I am basically looking for any kind of advice that I can get as I am new to it.

    I have done a lot of research on snow blowers Husqvarna, Troy Bilt, Honda, Craftsman, Ariens, and Cub Cadet. I know that MTD makes a lot of these snow blowers including the ones for Cub Cadet. However I found what looks to be a very nice Cub Cadet blower. I will post the link to it below this.

    http://www.snowblowersdirect.com/Cub-Cadet-3530TDE-Snow-Thrower/p14333.html

    I have never really used a snow blower before but it looks like this one will get the job done. I plan on loading it into the back of my 4x4 Silverado and taking it around the development. I have done just a little advertising and already getting nearing a dozen interested people. They are all within a mile of my house.

    I already bought some plastic shovels to clean around vehicles, and a soft bristled brush to clean off vehicles. Some driveways down here are steep, treacherous, long, unpaved, cracked, and everything in between. So far I would like to make at least $60.00 per hour including loading and unloading blower etc.

    Anyway this is just a number and keep in mind I know a lot of you guys make a lot more than that but I am going to be using this little snow blower and doing some mild shoveling hopefully. So I think I have rambled on enough and any kind of tips anyone can give me for anything would be greatly appreciated.

    Anything from what you charge, what basis you charge off of like how much snow type of snow, if you have someone helping you, and however you guys factor this sort of stuff in. Which is why I think an hourly rate is the only thing that is going to work. Also any gear like sprays that work for keeping snow off equipment, good Winter waterproof gloves, head wear, foot wear, etc. Anything you guys could feed me would be awesome.

    Criticism will be well accepted here just take it easy on me. I am totally new to this stuff.
     
  2. Hexa Fox

    Hexa Fox Member
    Messages: 96

    Also I already spoke with a local Cub Cadet dealer and can get this particular model for several hundred less. There is also another deal going on where he can take an extra $100.00 off for a few more days. This is also one of the reasons I am here looking for advice. He also told me that he could put some gas in it and I could play around with it for a few minutes. Something a lot of people around here do not like, so that is a big plus.
     
  3. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,924

    Your gunna drop 2300 on a snowblower that you have never used, or ever operated? Loading and unloading in your trk is gunna be a pain.
    Imo, get a Toro single stage, maybe a 2 stroke if you can find it.
    Again imo don't touch someone's car unless you ask up front.
    Not sure about you wanting to get paid to unload your snowblower? Seems kinda odd to me
     
  4. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,046

    From the sound of the work you're doing, I would lean more towards a (used) plow over a snow blower if you already have a truck. Doing a bunch of P.I.T.A driveways with a blower and shovel sounds miserable to me.
     
  5. Hexa Fox

    Hexa Fox Member
    Messages: 96

    This machine does weigh just over 300lbs so I did think about loading/unloading. I think that I will be able to find a way though. Like I said the dealer did say that he is going to let me start it up and play around with it before I purchase it. I may build some ramps in the next couple of days that I think might suite it.

    Around here I do not think any single stage is going to cut it. Another reason I want a three stage is that the word going around is that they do not get clogged as easily. Also I want to move a lot of snow fast.

    Also about the charging for travel loading and unloading did I miss something? I thought it was normal practice to charge for time that you take to travel and load or unload the equipment? I mean you are using a lot of gas. I also read a lot of reviews and people are saying tracks are the way to go.
     
  6. Hexa Fox

    Hexa Fox Member
    Messages: 96

    This is exactly what I am afraid of... A lot of people are requesting it so there is a lot of room to make money. However I really do not want to be miserable while doing this work.

    The reason I do not want to use my truck to plow the show is because I am scared of doing damage to it. I have heard that there is nothing worse for a truck than playing snow. I know people in other areas that trade in their work truck every single year for a new one that do plow work.

    So I really wanted to avoid putting a plow on my truck. I heard that these new snow blowers with power steering basically do all the work for you. Like I already said I cannot confirm this because I have never used one.

    Also even though the dealer is offering to let me start it up and play around with it I am sure that it will be a lot different in two feet of snow. However I am hoping that by using it at the dealer I will be able to figure it out and decide on whether or not it is something that I will be able to do.
     
  7. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    All I can say is get wheels, not tracks. Sounds like you have things figured pretty well. $60 per hour is about right IMO. Good luck!
     
  8. Hexa Fox

    Hexa Fox Member
    Messages: 96

    By the way I forgot to mention that after taxes I am going to pay just under $2,000 for this unit. Hopefully closer to $1,900. Not a big difference but if it is the tank that it looks like it is I will be very happy and make a lot of money.

    However not to be a PU$$ but as MK97 already mentioned I could really go this Winter without having a miserable side job... I think it will pay off but this is another reason I am here.
     
  9. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,924

    300 lbs after 8 hours is gunna be hell. After I'm done, my single stage Toro is like a ton. Fyi long ramps if you go that route.
    Operating the machine on clear clean ground is way different then with a couple inches.
    If your contract is set at 2" a single stage is just fine
    Question, would you pay someone to unload there snowblower, or lawn mower to service your yard?
    I would almost suggest not doing anything this year and working with a company first.
     
  10. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    I am thinking WV snow will be heavy and wet, so single stage is a bad idea. Don't be scared of putting a plow on though, the damage is from the driver, not the plow. What size is your truck? 1500 or 2500?
     
  11. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    The way I read it, he wants to average $60 per hour, including drive time and loading time? Not unreasonable.
     
  12. Hexa Fox

    Hexa Fox Member
    Messages: 96

    Hey Buswell Forest thanks for your response. I was looking at some other "lesser" units built by Troy Bilt. Here are the two I was looking at. For some reason the Triple Stage is duplicated but the same thing. If I decide on the Storm 3090 I can order it for 15% off now but have to order before midnight. I also get an extra 5% because I have a Lowes credit card. I will post below.

    http://www.lowes.com/Search=troy+bilt+3090?storeId=10151&langId=-1&catalogId=10051&N=0&newSearch=true&Ntt=troy+bilt+3090#!

    Now I heard this said one other time. "Wheels Not Tracks" Can you explain why? I heard tracks were the new big thing that made a big difference. I have read many reviews that say they are not just marketing help but do help.
     
  13. MK97

    MK97 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,046

    It's not even about being a puss, it's about being smart. A plow on your truck is going to make life far more enjoyable. There is now way I would ever consider lugging a blower in and out of a truck every time it snowed. Only way I would consider this is buying a cheap pull behind trailer with ramps. Much lower and easier to deal with.

    Also as said, the damage comes from the driver, not the plow. I've yet to hit anything in my truck.
     
  14. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,924

    More psi on the tires. Tracks with float and not dig in for traction.
    Just wondering why you would charge to unload it? Seems like nitpicking
     
  15. Hexa Fox

    Hexa Fox Member
    Messages: 96

    Just to be honest up front I have never driven a truck with a plow on the front... I really do not want to "learn from my mistakes" in my truck. My truck is a 2007 Silverado 4.8 V8 1500 4x4. So it is the smallest of the V8's and not something I want to deal with.

    Yeah, snow in my area is usually heavy and wet. The kind people easily hurt themselves trying to shovel.
     
  16. Hexa Fox

    Hexa Fox Member
    Messages: 96

    I mean like Buswell said it is what I want to make on average. I thought it was common practice to charge that as part of the time. Anyway it is just a idea I was throwing out there. Driveways around here can range from very tiny to very long and wide.

    Also between neighbors the terrain various ridiculously as I mentioned. Another reason I was told to go with tracks.
     
  17. Hexa Fox

    Hexa Fox Member
    Messages: 96

    Last year was terrible for snow but snow here in West Virginia usually does not happen often but when it does it usually accumulates to something. I am not sure if that is normal or what. Maybe I need to consider a plow for my truck.

    I was considering buying a tractor with a plow and taking in a lot more customer base. However if it does not snow I am in trouble. I much rather be stuck with a $2,000 snow blower than a $10,000 compact tractor with a $500 plow and $2,500 snow blower on the back. However if this year goes good I may consider it.
     
  18. Hexa Fox

    Hexa Fox Member
    Messages: 96

    I have been reading around that Track Drive is superior in every way. Also the only thing that can be considered a con is that they do float on snow. However it can be considered a pro too. This particular blower is on sale until midnight tonight.

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_139971-270-31AH55R5711_0__?productId=3798213&Ntt=troy+bilt+3090&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dtroy%2Bbilt%2B3090&facetInfo=

    I also save an additional 5% with my Lowes card. So I might just pick this up and see how it does. However the engine is weaker for a 30", no tracks, and it is only a two stage unlike the new three stage blowers.
     
  19. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,924

    Slow down sounds like you racing to make a decision right this min without all the facts. How many contracts do you have right now? What if you don't get anymore customers and your struck with 1900 paperweight?
     
  20. Hexa Fox

    Hexa Fox Member
    Messages: 96

    Yeah I know... I have six people on a list and several others that I have not gotten back to yet. Also like I said I think if I actually advertise I will get a lot more. I know I will have enough customer base.

    My biggest problem is that if do my own LONG @$$ driveway and I am tired from lugging this thing around I am not going to want to go do five more driveways. However aren't these things suppose to do the work for you mostly? They have power steering now so no problem???