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Crystal ball

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by martyman, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Every year I don't make a good living plowing but this year I am determined to do it right. I use a New Jeep Rubicon and a Western plow but this year I am going to plow 80 homes instead of 40 and hire someone to do the sidewalks. I would like to do some small commercial but because of insurance I am still worried about doing them. Last year I had a lot of things on my contract like I would only plow upto 20 snowfalls over 2 1/2 inches and I wouldn't go out of my way during a storm to someones house out of turn and I had my fair share of stupid phone calls and impatient customers so I would again appreciate any input from residential plowers on how to get the job done and make some money.

  2. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    Effective use of equipment and always having backup equipment is key. Also remember you just doubled your work load. Ask yourself this: how long did 40 drives take and how many PITA customers did you have calling you. Now with 80 drives you will have twice as many PITA's and it will take twice the time and at least double the headaches if not more. Plan your strategees carefully.


  3. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    As far as Insurance goes, once you put a plow on and start plowing on someone elses property you need liability insurance, doesn't matter whether it's a residental drive or a commercial lot. Insurance company's here base their rates on the amount of plowing, not the type. The biggest difference between commercial and residental is the amount of coverage you have to carry, most commercial contracts will specify a minimum amount of coverage. If your insurance company doesn't know your plowing driveways you could be letting yourself open to a serious loss.

  4. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I ignore my phone during a storm, in fact I'm usually in the truck so I don't hear it. I explain to my customers that the time I would spend answering calls I spend plowing instead to get everyone done as soon as possible, they get the message after a few times.

    I service about 100 customers inside a 4 mile radius of my home, consolidation is the key. The run takes about 10 hours up to 6 inches, more if we get more snow.

    I've got just a couple commercial that have to be done by 8:00 am, the rest I route as efficiently as possible. I don't run around trying to please anyone, my goal is to get the run completed as quickly as possible so I do it in the order that is most efficient.
  5. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    Pelican, sounds like you got the right idea. Keep them all as close as possible to each other, ignore the phone calls and just do your thing safely, efficiently, and quickly as possible. Cant argue that. Mike :)
  6. Pickering snow removal

    Pickering snow removal Senior Member
    Messages: 151


    I would say reading your post that insurance is something maybe you have not considered like nsmilligan said doesnt matter resi or commerical if your making money, getting paid to plow you have to have commerical insur, personal auto insur does not cover that plow if it gets damaged or stolen.

    Every year i loose more and more accounts to low pricing one of the biggest reasons is the other company is not correctly insur or carrys low liability which is a risk iam not willing to take most of my commerical accounts require a min of 1million we carry 2million. Has a member of plowsite i think you will find everyone here is giving you good advice not trying to pick on you or make you feel bad .

    Three years ago i took over a fairly large amount of accounts from a guy that had plowed for 10yrs i knew him well and considered him a friend one of his trucks was plowing a resi and while backing up ran over and killed a 4yr boy three years has passed and that guy is still going threw courts he had a tissue paper insur policy that covered very little if any commerical work theres a good chance this guy will loose everything when this case is all closed ask yourself can you afford the risk.

    last but not least like snowjay said with that many accounts poss consider a backup truck just in case you never know i have had brand new trucks break during storms and you must be able to deliver your end of the deal to your cust. good luck

    regards fred
  7. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    We do all commercial work first. Then we go out to the residentials. I tell the res. EVERY YEAR that the commercials come first and then the res. but like everyone else said, they'll still call and complain cause they weren't first. After time you'll get to the point that you have enough work that when you have a customer that gets picky and if a customer gives you more grief than you can handle, you can drop them without worrying to much your pocket hurting. My commercial are bread and butter, residentials are the icing on the cake. Just a little extra.