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First post!!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by ktfbgb, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 792

    Hey everyone this is my first post! I've been reading posts on here for a long time and decided to finally join. I am a licensed contractor in Flagstaff AZ. I have been plowing snow for the last five years for a big outfit and decided to take the year off, build my contracts for next year, and get a new plow on my company truck. It's a 2014 Ram 2500 4x4 with the Cummins. I just bought a new Meyer Super V2 and it's getting installed supposedly this week. I'll post some pics when it's mounted. Went with the he Meyer because it's sold by the biggest shop here so I got what I could get parts for in a hurry. This year has been a good snow year for us so far. We average 103" of snow per year. We already had two 12" storms, a 31" storm, and several 2-4 inch storms. So, talking people into seasonal contracts for next season has been very easy so far. Thanks for all the info so far, it's been a big help. Do you guys know of anyone else from the Norther Arizona area on here?
     
  2. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Welcome aboard.
     
  3. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,278

    Most members are in the Eastern/Midwestern area of the country.
    I've been seeing on the Denver news you guys have been getting some decent snow this season.
     
  4. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,072

    Welcome to PS
     
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    See.people love seasonal contracts :)
     
  6. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,278

    When they're coming out of a hi snowfall year....
     
  7. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 792

    Yes they do Grandview. And so do I. Get paid weather you go out or not. Much easier to plan out cash flow and aren't spending all your time invoicing. Sell it to them as snow insurance. You don't use your vehicle or homeowners insurance hardly ever, but you are sure glad you have it when you need it. They are paying for piece of mind that they never have to worry about lifting a finger. And it does get used a lot as we average 103 inches of snow a year.
     
  8. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,531

    See next line.... stupid phone
     
  9. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,531

    Curious how your snow removal is different from ours. Care to share some details? Not any contractors from AZ that I know of on PS.
     
  10. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,072

    Man, I think if we had an average of 103" a year I wouldn't have to work in the summer at all. Here we usually only get about 20-25" a year. This year I think 5"...
     
  11. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 792

    Some differences that I can tell from reading other posts include:

    Much of our storms are wet and heavy. Not many storms produce light powdery snow. I have read that some guys can use leaf blowers on their snow when it's just a dusting, that would would never work here, neither would the sidewalk brooms on a skid steer. Our storms are usually warmer, like in the mid 20's. So it stays wet during the snow fall. Then typically the next 3-7 days have lows at night around 0 F. We are at 7,000 feet.

    Not much salt is used around here for commercial. Some is used but not like you guys do. It's almost exclusively cinders. There is a cinder mine in town. Two of them actually. Residential does use ice melt sometimes. Those are great because there are hardly any black top driveways here. Most of them are concrete so it's really easy to sell concrete sealing in the off season to the customers who want salt. All city streets are cindered. The state highways and county highways are salted. Triggers for commercial are all pretty much an inch.

    The city windrows snow to the curbs and onto the sidewalks. There is an ordinance in place that says all buildings, residential or commercial, must clear the snow off of sidewalks within 24 hours of the snowfall or they will be ticketed and charged for the city crews to clear it for them. Which is absolute crap b cause the city truck puts a four foot tall windrow on the walk in front of your house and then you are ticketed if you don't move their snow, but hey more for me to charge for.

    There is a Crap ton of money in this town. We are 30 min north of Sedona which is one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the country, and 1 hour south of the Grand Canyon. So we are a huge mountain town destination and everyone wants to live here. We are also a college town so we have 33,000 students here during the school year. Mommy and Daddy pay for the stuff they are too lazy to do. We have 3 gated golf course communities that are exclusively 1 million dollar plus homes. The biggest one is around 800 houses with the majority of them being second, third, fourth homes. With owners like Tom Cruze, and Naomi Campbell. The customers in these communities have money that the normal person can't comprehend. So, it's easy to sell a premium service when they don't care what it costs as long as they like you and you provide an outstanding service. For the rest of the town the majority are upper middle class as the cost of living is rediculous here so it's not hard to sell them if your competitive.

    That's pretty much all I can think of off the top of my head.
     
  12. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 792

    JMH that would be the case if the cost of living was normal here. Median home price here is $335,000.
     
  13. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,531

    Good post/info

    That's kinda of what I thought, what's your choice-most popular equipment down there.

    Loaders/skids?

    Pushers or blades?

    Straight/expending/vee's?
     
  14. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,033

    Good point, he should start an Arizonia thread.
     
  15. kolwnmstr

    kolwnmstr Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    That would be cheap here. Avg home is $600K. My home town has nothing under $800K and average is $1.2mil :cry:
     
  16. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 792

    Old dog it kinda depends on what you are doing obviously. The outfit I worked for the last five seasons did nothing but big box stores in town. We did two Walmarts, two Home Depots, a Target store, and a shopping center, along with a bunch of smaller accounts like banks and such. He ran twenty trucks with straight blades, 8 skidders, two box pushers, several sidewalk crews, and the owner had a V blade on his truck. We were the only outfit that I knew of that was running the box pushers. The other big company that does work in town runs thirty three trucks. Most are straight blades, but they use some V blades and they run a bunch of skidders too. The rest of us small guys pretty much run V blades since you have more versatility to do more with less people. I don't think I've ever seen an expanding blade down here like western or snoway sell. The nearest western dealer is like 130 miles away. The municipal crews for the city state and county run typical ten wheel dump trucks set up with the big plows, they also run a ton of road graders and a bunch of the three yard front end loaders to stack cul-de-sacs in the middle with snow.

    Kolwn I thought we had it bad here! That's a really high median home price! Not sure what the pay is like around there but here a really good job that would require a minimum qualification of a bachelors degree at like the city or university would pay 32k a year. I'm lucky I made a lot of good decisions and got in at the right time when I bought my first house here. Most normal people can't ever get into the housing market here and have to rent if they want to stay. Most people that live here are from somewhere else and brought money wi them.
     
  17. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 792

    Oh here's another possible difference. I don't know could be the same there it's in the business side of things. You can't get other contractors to talk to you. We have a huge problem with people running illegal businesses up here and low balling the crap out of everyone. In all the trades not just snow plowing. So much so that people are accustomed to the lowball prices and it taking a huge effort by a few of us to recondition people to a realistic price. I turn everyone in that I can to the registrar of contractors but one guy gets shut down and two more pop up. What I don't understand is why non of the legit guys talk about pricing with each other. Obviously every company is going to have different overhead to pay for but it realistically wouldn't be that much of a difference between guys working in the same town. If all the legit guys would talk and charge roughly the same then it would be a lot easier on everyone. And most of the guys that would be adjusting their prices would be adjusting up! If a customer calls 4 different contractors and they all essentially give the same price then the customers will be accustomed to realistic prices much faster and the low ballers will get strong armed out of town. Ok rant over.