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Dont want to work for the other guy. snow blower questions

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by johnyredd99, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. johnyredd99

    johnyredd99 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    will a snowblower clear an inch of snow? 2 inches? or whats the min?
    When snowblowing/plowing drives when bigger storms come do you hit them every 4 inches every 6 or just wait until storm passes?

    Plowed for the other guy for past 8 years and I just dont want to make him money anymore. Cant afford a 4k plow so looking for a snowblower to do drives.
    Have to start somewhere.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    How did you do it when you were plowing for the other guy?
  3. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    A snowblower will certainly clear one inch of snow.
  4. johnyredd99

    johnyredd99 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    im sorry I dont usually post here would of assumed that when using terms such as 'plow' plowed' or 'plowing' it would involve a truck/tractor w/ a steel blade used to move snow.

    and when using terms like 'snow blower' or 'blower' it would relate to a mechanical device using an auger to relocate snow
    I am sorry if I didnt use the correct terms.
    when I am plowing for the other guy its company trucks w/ plows. I dont get out of the truck.
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If your working with a snow blower and head out with 2 inches on snow on the ground and it keeps snowing,no matter what someone is going to have 2+ in the drive. As for making the other guy money, as long as he paid you,you made money to ,just you didn't have any risk like he does.
  6. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    We have a 3" triggerr anything less than that we don't go out. Why would you go out and clean a drive with only an inch of snow? If your really worried about an inch of snow take your backpack blower and blow it off.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  7. johnyredd99

    johnyredd99 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    very true

    and I think about it its his wear and tear and responsibility.
    The reason im looking to leave is because its a 45min drive in when its sunny out and that turns into a 2 hour drive sometimes in the snow
    I am hoping that I can talk to them and then do both. While I build my own customer base. granted right now for them its comercial parking lots and I would be doing residential. which suck I understand. But just like when I got into lawn service the time has come that I want out from underneath them.

    and as for why would I want to clear and inch of snow..... well im thinking is if thats all that it snows that storm why not go out and clear it? If there was an inch on my drive I would clear it. I am not sure if residentials are like that? Like I said I have never done residential

    Messages: 99

    Residential's are normally cleared at 2" and Commercial are normally 1".

    Why would you waste time and gas payup on clearing 1" of snow. I have in my contracts that we only come out to clear if you have 2" of snow or more.
  9. johnyredd99

    johnyredd99 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    If im getting paid to clear 1" of snow then it would be neither a waste of time nor gas.
    as long as im making a profit

    thinking of going w/ the Ariens 30" 2 stage.
    also I dont want to be the lowballer im in Pa. not sure what rates are and then is it per drive cleared starting at 2" then additional after 4"
    And anyone w/ flyer ideas?
    Thanks for the help
  10. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    A blower will scrap a quarter inch of snow.
    Thing is most customers won't pay someone when a snow storm only leaves an inch of snow.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
  11. creek1

    creek1 Junior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 8

    When that one inch of snow turns into a quarter inch of compacted ice your customer will wish that they had you clear it. If they are gonna pay do the work, we are in the business to make money correct? All my contracts are salt if there is any accumulation and clear/plow anything over half an inch.
  12. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694


    Nicely said creek1. I agree 100%.
  13. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    Problem when agreeing with a general statement you will be wrong some of the time. Where I live most people will do their driveway with 1" or less with a shovel to save the expense of hiring the job out. And when there is that little snow most of the time after a sunny day the driveway will melt clean. Without scraping with a plow/push shovel or putting down salt.

    Yes there are places that snow stays on the ground all winter long and that inch won't disappear. Though even in those areas when the driveway is already clear and early or late enough in the season it can melt away the next day as well.

    People aren't that stupid. They see an inch on the ground in the morning and the weather says above freezing and sunny that day and the next they have a good reason to pass on touching the snow.
  14. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    You are right as well

    I would just make sure that your contract states you are not responsible for less than plowable snow depth. Just in case they do have a slip and fall accident, you have covered yourself in your service agreement. Even though the trigger point may be a certain depth, think about the what if's.

    We have a separate sign off area on our contract that the client accepts or declines service for weather situations less than a plowable depth. Not to say anyone else needs to use it, just a suggestion.

    Nice point about agreeing in general. Have a great year.
  15. mnlefty

    mnlefty Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    Yep, every area of the country is different, and many service areas within an area are different. 1" is the standard resi trigger where I work, and I see and hear just as much demand for lower triggers as I do for higher. We are one of those areas where 1" might not melt for 2 months, and it could be gone tomorrow. However, the majority of my customers would rather I come clear it than wait for it to melt tomorrow. I know of at least one competitor in my area, maybe more that have 1/2" resi routes, or for all intents and purposes, zero tolerance. They charge dearly for it, and their customers pay it. For me 1" is hassle enough.

    We had a winter of nearly double the annual average last season, and never got a true "thaw" to speak of. Had a stretch in early January where we went out for 1-1.5" 5 times in 8 days. I saw some neighbors who didn't get serviced during that time and their drives were nasty frozen hardpack until March.

    Only point to the OP, just have to get out there and talk to the potential customers to get a reading on what your area expects/demands and price accordingly.

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    If your using a snow blower then your a low baller.

    Also who cares if you were making the other guy money, If you got paid then you should be happy.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  17. johnyredd99

    johnyredd99 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    yea ok whatever you want to think. If it will help you sleep better at night then go ahead and keep believing it
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  18. forbidden

    forbidden Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Get yourself a single stage blower to start with, a dual stage is going to be way too slow to work with. Time is money when it comes to clearing snow. A dual stage has it's place, we keep ours in reserve for heavy snowfalls that our single stage cannot clear. We used it once last year when 2 feet of snow came down, other than that, it was all single stage. Toro makes some great single stage blowers. Nothing wrong with being out from under the other guy if you want to go on your own.
  19. TatraFan

    TatraFan Senior Member
    Messages: 191

    Can I ask a question... How do you plan on transporting yourself to and from each location with a snowblower? You want a vehicle that allows you dismount your snow blower very quickly since blowing snow can be slower than pushing it. Then you have to reload it and run to the next location. So have you got such a vehicle other wise you might not even be able to do as many jobs as you need to support your business. Just something to think about.
  20. forbidden

    forbidden Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    He is going to take some old Volkl skis attached to a tow bar, add some modified Marker bindings and snap the blower into them and pull it behind the vehicle or he could always get a sled dog or two. What a picture that would make. The single stage Toro is a very light unit and clears right to the pavement in most cases. Our guys can easily lift them in and out of the back of a pickup.