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For you guys doing residentials

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by NPMinc, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. Have noticed a lot of talk on here regarding per push rates for residentials. I dont do many residentials anymore, but where I am at you would be laughed at or more likely cussed out at by a majority of customers for trying to come and plow and bill more then once. All the guys around here I know, as well as the few we still do are once n done deals for a flat rate up to x inches of snow. Most including myself, have it written in the contracts that they will come ASAP after the snow is done and/or after road is plowed and remove the snow & apply salt once,unless it in writing that the customer needs it at certain time---example leaves for work at 5AM, or customer requests it more often. Also have seen triggers as low as 2" being spoken of on here for residentials---you guys are either very lucky or have some very elderly, dumb or lazy customers. All but 2 current resi customers I still do have all requested 6" for theirs as they have no desire to pay someone to come plow or shovel a snow that they can push with a shovel or sweep with a broom. Should add that the reason I dropped most of my residentials was that the profit vs PITA factor was not to my liking......You know, the person calling you several times at o dark 30 when you are on a site that pays you $severalK trying to manage your guys n a few subs as well as plow, asking when u are gonna clear her driveway and when you ask if they need to go somewhere they say no,just want the driveway open "in case"
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  2. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,511

    I dont understand the reason for your post.

    no question

    All you have stated is that you cant figure out how to make money with resies.

    I plow only only resies and make good money, I get 90% to start at 2 " and some resies have 0 tolerance for snow :)

    Many years ago when I first started I was asked to give a bid on a parking lot. I looked at the lot and figured it was about the size of 30 driveways, so gave a bid of 20 driveways (since they where so close together) He thought I was nuts to charge that much, I got laughed out of the office. So I stick with resies.

    I have found a way to make money with them Thank you
  3. ppandr

    ppandr Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    Make more money with them here as well......and yes I do commercials (large) as well.
    Less overhead, less hours, less stress, more dollars. I think the plowmeister has a few more than me, but I can say that I've been plowing for 20 plus years and with the right route (all 80 of my drives are within a three mile radius) I can bill out about 30-40% more than commercials. Our drives are done with two jeeps ($10k purchase cost in jeeps and used plows) and our commercials are done with tractor, International 4700 and another p-up.
  4. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    I guess I'm not sure what your asking either. All my residentials have 2" trigger, thats pretty standard. With a good tight route, there is money in residentials. If you figure out how much you are making per hour plowing commercial and then figure out how much you're making per hour plowing residential, you might be surprised.

    Another nice thing about residential is that a lot of them are pretty quick pay. When I send out my invoices on the first of the month, I will often have checks back within a few days, no net 30 or 45 like many commercial. Its not huge money like some of the commercial checks, but it's good for cash flow.
  5. LockedUP

    LockedUP Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    Depends where you live. In upper VT we only get $20-30 per. and some drives are big. All dirt drives.
    still make over $120.00 hr. Up here thats not bad but there's not alot of $$$$ here..
  6. Sorry I guess I wasnt too clear in my first post. I wasnt asking a question,just making an observation about things I have read on here. I wasnt saying that there is anything wrong with residentials, and yes I do understand how to make a profit on them. I was simply just saying that in my area that a per push and a 2" trigger would never fly,(not that it is wrong to bid that way, just that it is not done that way around here) That being said I wasnt aware that people even priced residentials that way. The way it is around here a majority of the time is once n done, with a set price for the job. And thats what people are used to. To give you a better understanding I have and know of lots of other guys who have been yelled at or almost chased from the property for attempting to clear a 4" or so snow. As I stated people dont like to pay when they can simply push the snow off the paved areas with a broom or shovel. i guess I should also add that a majority of residential driveways in my area developments are not ideally suited for plowing with the trucks I have (and I need my skid on my comm accts) and also tend to have long sidewalk areas too. Another thing in my area seems like these days nearly every household owns a snowblower or one of their neighbors does.Not to mention all the fly by night lowballers who have popped up since the economy started heading south. For those of you who questioned my ability to know how to make money, thanks for your concern, but I do just fine. I have in fact done the figures and in my case (based on my area, driveway types prevalent in area, equipment I have, the available market for resid etc) I make substantially more doing the commercial accounts I have then I could ever do on residentials. Might not be the case for you. Don't know what I said to make a few of you feel the need to attack me like that. If you think I was bad mouthing people who do residentials, I was not, thats how I started into the snow side of the business and as stated I still do several. More power to those of you make the $$ doing it.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  7. cplmac

    cplmac Senior Member
    from Dundee
    Messages: 113

    Confusing original post. All my contracts are on a 2" trigger, salt on a 1" trigger. Contractors make contracts that the customers want, or they wouldn't get contracts. Probably most of us don't bid contracts where you are at, and you might have a different take on our contracts if you were accustomed to bidding here.
  8. LockedUP

    LockedUP Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    Most of my customers want it done 3" some less...Over the years I have weeded out the deadbeats. Seems you are in the city. Big difference in backwoods usa...I couldn't handle plowing there..
    No backdragging up here.
  9. not city but a little too close for my liking lol. Used to be a great money market for resid work but as i said with the layout of these new developments and the other factors just isnt really worth it anymore. The ones I do are mostly longtime customers from my lawn side and they have been loyal to me so I stay with them. Love hearing from them though the crazy low bids they get from these fly by nighters that have popped up everywhere, both on the lawn and snow side. Like $15 for double car wide probly 35' deep drive, walkway and 100' of sidewalk.(don't know if he had plow or was gonna shovel/blow) I really hate those guys, just glad they cant afford the GLI to start messing with my good comm accounts.
  10. LockedUP

    LockedUP Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    $3 something a gallon its gonna be harder to make$$$ this year at 6-8 mpg..The economy up here is so bad most guys lost their rigs..One bad year and you can't pay for that nice new shiny boss plow and truck..If we don't have 5 pushes in a month thats what happens to many of them.
  11. vmj

    vmj Senior Member
    from conn
    Messages: 746

    I posted about this a couple of years ago,,, i can't see how u can plow a res on a two inch trigger.. I would not have any driveways around here... So if it were to snow six inches i would have to be there three times and bill them the $30 each time.... Not to say how t
    long the route would take just running around and around...... May be i must be missing something here.
  12. LockedUP

    LockedUP Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    I think the more money you have the more you can afford to keep it clean.. The only folks I would do at 2" are the ones who are scared and have the $$ to keep it clean.. Thats 2 customers. retired and can't walk well..If you plow in westport ct I'll bet the people with cash want it cleaned all the time.. Not where I be..
  13. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,511

    try this for pricing

    if the is between 2 and 8 inches you will plow them for $40

    why do you HAVE to plow every 2" if the storm is going to be 4" plow them once..

    If the storm is over 2" by 7 AM I provide a path from the garage to the street. Then I finish after the storm finishes.

    A path is one blade wide from the garage to the street so they can get to work.

    Then come back after the storm is finished and "clean up"
  14. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,195

    I can understand why people ask for ask for a six inch trigger, if you are going to charge them $20/40 for each push, an 8 inch storm could end up costing $80/160 bucks. My opinion is that lots of companies make the resi contracts to complicated. You have people wanting to be opened at 5am and others at 2 inches, and 4 inches, and six inches. Then you have to keep track of each service call, then bill them at the end of each month. Then you get arguments that you passed to often, and you now have to explain your invoice. I get a headache just thinking about all the combinations and permutations of problems that can arise. What if you were to go with a seasonal price, 2 inch trigger, done before 7am if the trigger is met by 3am. Have a very detailed SRP, so everyone is on the same page. Make it payable all up front at a discounted rate, or two payments one for Nov 1st and the other for Jan. 1st. 1)Clients are happy because they can budget for the snow service. 2) You have a clear SRP which cuts down on the phone calls. 3) Two invoices instead of 5, and no more arguments and lots less paperwork. 4) If you price it right, many more clients on a tighter route. 5) resi becomes profitable.

    I always hear complaints of guys who are lowballing. There will always be guys out there that have a snowblower and want to make a few bucks. Sometimes they make out well and expand their business. Others have a pickup, put on a plow and figure they can make some extra cash on the side. These scenarios have always been around, and will never go away. But they are not the real threat to your business, they are one man shows and usually crash and burn when they take on too much, or their only piece of equipment breaks down. You have to sell yourself, and offer something different. JMO

    Well I and hundreds of others blow resi s, with 2 inch triggers. It can be done, and with profit.
  15. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,195

    :salute: Now your talking
  16. pats plowing

    pats plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    My favorite residential plowing prices

    For snowblowing
    Under 12" - $XX
    Over 12 - $XX
    Over 24 - per storm

    For plowing
    up to 6
    up to 9
    up to 12
    up to 15
    per storm

    Done probably at most twice per storm.
  17. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Plowmeister has the best responses
    we do it the same here
    resis are great money....esp on a tight route
  18. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    Most all my customers are done by how long it takes to clean everything up. If the storm is small and drops a couple inches then I'll usually base it off of the current and forecasted temps. If the storm is going to dump, I'll call all of them to give them a time frame that I can be there. Heck, in some cases it could drop 2-3in of snow and not even stick to asphalt in turn there's no need to even go out to any. If it's going to be below freezing, I'll call them to see if they want it cleared. Most storms they can get in and out but want it cleaned up. People are fickle around here. Most have a snow blower and do their drive and a few neighbors while they're out there doing it. I do only residential and only have 20 or so. It's weird, I've gotten 4 plowing accounts over the summer and picked up 3 new lawns for next spring.
  19. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    It seems like the original poster is saying that all the customers do not want it plowed until the end of the storm and they want to pay once. This is in theory the same thing... You charge for each time you plow.

    This could make sense depending on the area.
    The way he is saying his customers want snow plowing, would NOT work in other areas, say where im from. Even the customers know that you cannot wait until the end of the storm around here because we get big storms with snow that is like CEMENT. New england is infamous for that. 6 inches of that snow is the same as plowing over a foot of light fluffy snow. It is all regional.
  20. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    I plow at 2" up to 12" for one money. After that it doubles for every 12", an example would be $50 for 12", $100 for 13-24" and $150 for 25-36". I only drop sand/salt if they request or if i see it will be in my benefit for the next push to prevent getting stuck. If they do not like it then too bad. More than once i have offered a customer the shovel off the bed of my truck so they could shovel, if they are not willing to shovel the job for what i charge with a $10 shovel then why should i do it with a $50k truck for any less?
    I do have a couple customers who work for the postal service who have to be out at a certain time and they know to expect a double charge if i need to plow them out in the middle of a storm.