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Comparing snowplowing to lawn cutting.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by grandview, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    See if this comes out right. Lawncutting we show up every week to cut around 25-30 times a year up North. We spent a lot of money on mowers are stuff but charge 20 bucks and up for a 20-30 minutes of work. Yet with snowplowing,basically the same thing with costs. But, guys want to charge an arm and leg for about 2 minutes of for a driveway(on average). Your costs are not that much more during the different season. Just say you work by yourself , 50 lawns and 50 driveways.
     
  2. redsox4life

    redsox4life Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 18

    I think it's more out of necessity than anything. You have 40 or more hours a week to go cut grass and make money. If plowing is your only winter work, it's just hard to work once every two weeks and only make $300 or whatever. Gotta squeeze every penny out of it you can.

    Also.....plowing is rough on trucks, shortens the life, and can easily stick you with a huge repair bill. You have to be able to recoup those costs somehow, and plowing for cheap isn't the way.

    Edit: one more thing. you also have to think about value. Sure it takes 5-10 minutes to plow a driveway, but it would take 3 hours to shovel. A customer paying $40 to not have to shovel for 3 hours is a good value Imo.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  3. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,315

    Mowing operating cost, expenses and risk are much more predicable and typically less. The season typically spans over six months which factors into a different/reduced cost structure.
    In mowing there's also more competition with seasonal employees. In the resi market it's more intense, between neighborhood kids and guys with WBH mowers and a pickup this market is tough in my area.
     
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,904

    If snow could be planned like mowing, the cost could be reduced a little.
     
  5. pdreibels

    pdreibels Member
    Messages: 63

    Right and plowing is a 24/7 deal. Which in my opinion should demand a little more of a premium price.
     
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,904

    And more prep and more time watching the weather and less time to recover those spent dollars compared to mowing.

    Of course it's higher priced than mowing, and it should be. Much higher. Otherwise you're just selling yourself short.
     
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,904

    Would you plow for the same hourly rate as you mow for?
     
  8. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    Yes, if you figure out the hourly rate for plowing / sidewalk clearing often times it is what many would consider very high.

    I always figured it like this; I basically have thousands of dollars of equipment, employees lined up, salt stock piled, and an expensive insurance policy paid for, all in case we get snow. Plus, places to store all this stuff, phones, faxes, computers and other office equipment ect. All of this equipment and people are basically ready to go at a moments notice, if and only if we get snow. So, to make a long story short, someone (aka the customer) has to pay for all of this. They (customer) want (need) someone to take care of them when it does snow, in order for us to be there for them, we have to be able to bring in enough $$ to keep all of this equipment and people at the ready, so hence why they (the customer) ends up paying $50.00 for two minutes worth or work. There is a lot more that goes into it than the two minutes it took the shovel the walk.
     
  9. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,177

    Ideally I would do all my mowing customers in the winter. The difference is I have a week to get around to mowing 40 lawns... I have about 12 hrs before the irate start calling in the winter about their snow.
     
  10. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    Don't you need a phone, fax machine and other office equipment to cut grass or is this a snow only thing?
     
  11. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Ah Grandview,

    th.jpg





    ......

    th.jpg
     
  12. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609


    JD is right, I have all the same things for lawn cutting as for snow. My insurance is no more or less in the winter. I watch the weather just as much in the summer as winter. Do your employees blow you off in the summer? No,they are ready to work everyday.
    I work less in the winter then the summer if you were to take the same amount of customers.
     
  13. pdreibels

    pdreibels Member
    Messages: 63

    Well then go ahead and charge what you do for mowing...im sure the competition will hate you, your customers will love you, and you'll have no shortage of work.
     
  14. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,177

    You answer it there, you work less but invest the same shouldn't you be more expensive to cover cost.
     
  15. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    No they wouldn't, I would cost them more for plowing then. For the record., I only plow one of my cutting customers Winter and summer are completely different customers. I don't even know who plow the ones that have snowplowing.
     
  16. pdreibels

    pdreibels Member
    Messages: 63

    So now what's the point of this thread again?
     
  17. all ferris

    all ferris Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    If I'm going to be on call 24/7 I am going to charge accordingly. I would do the same for mowing under the same circumstances.
     
  18. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Don't know. I didn't plow today.:D
     
  19. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,432

    wow grandview did you stir up a hornets nest!
     
  20. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    No,that was yesterday with the snow melter.Thumbs Up