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granger Indiana looking to get into snow plowing

Discussion in 'Networking' started by SFCarmyvet, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. SFCarmyvet

    SFCarmyvet Member
    Messages: 60

    I am a 12 year active duty service army veteran trying to get into the snow removal and lawn service businesses. I have read many forums and do have some limited plowing experience in the military. I know it isn't easy and I have a ton to learn. I have used 12k and 4K all Terrian forklifts, Kelmar to move Containers 30k lbs 40 ft and 20 ft containers, and more. Moved snow in our own lots. One of my military occupational specialties is 88H cargo specialist. I am looking for a good plow truck to start out with and would like to subcontract some work starting out. How do I find plow guys from my area on here? I would like to find one in my area who could use a subcontractor. Also I found a salvaged title f250 06 with 44k miles on it. It was salvaged due to being stolen in Chicagoland area and it was gutted empty in the interior. Motor was left intact. Drove nice but I'm scared to put 13 grand into a salvaged titled truck plus the cost of a plow. I would rather invest less into something still reliable though.
     
  2. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 711

    For 13 grand you can pick up a nice 2000-2003-(half the year) F350 diesel dually with the 7.3, then you have the power to plow and can have a full size sander with no weight issues.
    Now you don't need a dually to put a full size sander on, I used a f350 06 with a western v-plow and a tornado sander, I beefed up the springs in the back, but this year switching to a 2001 f350 diesel dually for several reasons, 1 being better in gas and 2 it handles the plow better and 3 handles the weight with the sander filled.
    As for you subbing for someone, put a ad on CL, and here.
    don't ask me what you should make because subbing prices really vary from state to state and area's within the state.
    I have heard sub prices from $40 and hour up to $80 and in between.
    If you have experience pushing snow, try bidding on a few contracts in your area instead of subbing and use that as a backup in case you don't get them.
    If you don't have experience in bidding and making contracts shoot me a email, I will send you the stuff I use for bidding and formal contracts.
    Bottom line on bidding is regardless of how you do it, figure it hourly.
    If it takes you 1 hour to plow and clear a lot of a 3 inch storm, how much do you need to make to pay your expenses -(gas, insurance, etc...) and make a profit?
    $75 an hour, $100 etc...
    Then you have to factor in what the going rates are in your area because you don't want to overbid or underbid way low.
    It's hard in the beginning and it takes time.
    Good luck and welcome
     
    SFCarmyvet likes this.
  3. SFCarmyvet

    SFCarmyvet Member
    Messages: 60

    Thank you so much for your feedback
     
  4. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,212

    SF, How you making out with your plans? Have not heard much from you. :waving:
     
    SFCarmyvet likes this.
  5. SFCarmyvet

    SFCarmyvet Member
    Messages: 60

    Well I picked up the western wideout and a extended cab 2016 Ford F-250. Using it as my daily driver too just in case I do not find too much work. I'm hitting the pavement right now trying to find some work. May not be doing as good as you guys though lol.
     
  6. SFCarmyvet

    SFCarmyvet Member
    Messages: 60

    I know I went pricey on new equipment I wouldn't have if not using it as daily driver.
     
  7. SFCarmyvet

    SFCarmyvet Member
    Messages: 60

    I thought buying equipment was hard lol. Finding customers is hard. I just ordered business cards, truck magnets and door hangers.
     
  8. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,212

    You got to give it sometime, None of us start out banging when you start a new biz. Stick with it if you like it somewhat it will all come together. Congrats on the new truck. Work hard, be safe.Thumbs Up
     
  9. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,028

    I don't know about your area, but in my area I'm seeing ads for sub-contractor work all over by me. Look in "jobs" and use the keyword "snow. I know the company I sub for does some work in Indiana, but not sure if they go as far East as you are. But I drive an hour to get to my route because they give me the wages and hours to justify my commuting that far. I would think that in an hour you could go from Granger to the IN/IL State line, couldn't you? If so, you could probably get in with my company. They are honest, and pay every time. Let me know if you're interested, and I'll give you a name and phone number.
     
  10. SFCarmyvet

    SFCarmyvet Member
    Messages: 60

    Thanks, I am trying to bid on some commercial lots. Figuring out the going rate in my area was tough because no one likes to share what they charge. That is how new guys come in undercutting and driving prices down, they just don't know. I could not really figure out how many plowable events there are per year in my area. After some research I decided 15 seemed in the ball park from different posts I had read nearby. I feel like my prices may be too low, so I have not given the companies the bids yet. Doing more research to make sure I am not selling myself short and undercutting the business.
     
  11. SFCarmyvet

    SFCarmyvet Member
    Messages: 60

    Very interested
     
  12. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,028

    SFCarmyvet likes this.
  13. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,028

    Sending you a Private Message.
     
    SFCarmyvet likes this.
  14. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,028

    Question though. If you're full-time military, how would you take care of your own contracts if you got them since you would be a one man operation?
     
    SFCarmyvet likes this.
  15. SFCarmyvet

    SFCarmyvet Member
    Messages: 60

    I get a lot of leave days per year I do not use typically and will be using for this.
     
  16. SFCarmyvet

    SFCarmyvet Member
    Messages: 60

    I found those, I was looking for the average plowable events. So I could use that number in figuring my seasonal rates by multiplying my one time plow rate times the average events per year.
     
  17. SFCarmyvet

    SFCarmyvet Member
    Messages: 60

    Thanks for everyone's help in getting me started and those who still continue to help. This is my business and website veteranssnowandlawn.com If you guys want to check it out, go for it and just look or private message me if you think I should change anything. Or if you just plain do not like it.

    All of you have been great guys, I wish you the best of luck this plowing season, you deserve it!
     
  18. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,028

    Do you have insurance yet? You don't mention being insured on your website. You'd better get with a lawyer and customize a contract. Specifically regarding slip and fall in your contracts. And you should have ready made contracts for 1 time services addressing slip and falls as well.
     
    SFCarmyvet likes this.
  19. SFCarmyvet

    SFCarmyvet Member
    Messages: 60

    Yeah, I have insurance and contracts already ran through my attorney.