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Growing pains, and lots of them! Help!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ALarsh, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. ALarsh

    ALarsh Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    So heres the deal. Most of you may know my background, but i'm 18 years old and have a growing mowing/plowing business. I have approx. 40 weekly mowing customers and last year I had 30 plowing accts, all residential. I just bought out a guy that had 30 accounts so I will be giving my contracts to his old customers, all residential. With the way things are looking, chances are pretty darn good that I will have 50-55 driveways all in the same neighborhood (1.5 mile radius) along with another 10-15 outside of the neighborhood. This is all with doing little to no advertising and I'm sure I can drum up several more driveways if I need to.

    For me to handle all these accounts I need more equipment and to get them done before school. I currently have a Chevy 2500 HD w/ 8' boss plow but I need to decide what is next for me and my business. I can't decide on what to do, if I should try and pickup a cheap work truck/plow or a used bobcat and put a plow on it? I would send a guy out in the bobcat to do the 50 or so driveways all in the same neighborhood as I went out and did the other ones... I estimate a used bobcat would cost me approx $15k (763 with 500 hrs) but I am concerned about keeping this busy during the summer as we do mostly mowing. Should I try and find a cheap work truck instead, but then go through the pains of insuring it and all, but then I could use it for mowing also... ahh I can't decide what direction would be best for me.

    Any help?
  2. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    Depends on what kind of driveway they are. But I might first suggest getting a rear pull plow. They can cut ur plow time down on 50% on driveways if used in the right application.
  3. ALarsh

    ALarsh Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    I would say 1 out of 10 of the driveways has the garage door directly in front of the driveway (have to backdrag and push snow to the side). The rest of them have considerable room at the end of the driveway to just push the snow forward.
  4. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    You can ALWAYS find a use for a Bobcat in the summer. Do hardscape installs, excavation work, rent it out, etc. If the drive time between the houses is as close as you make it out to be, I would do the Bobcat. Put it on your business insurance, fill it with fuel and go. You can always put a snow blower, blade, etc. on it.

    Make sure the houses are as close as you think. Driving 8 mph in a Bobcat even a half a block can take a long time.

    Other hand a used plow truck (in my area) can be had for <$5k so you would be saving 10K up front. But (in my area and I'm sure if you looked around) you can find a Bobcat in the mid $8K range. If that was the case saving $3k I would still get the Bobcat.

    Do you have a truck and trailer to get it to the sites in the a.m.? If not, I might go back to the plow truck.

    Man that was a lot of help. I'm as confused as you are.:confused:
  5. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,142

    I would look for a good used fullsize blazer or bronco, best truck for driveways.IMO
  6. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    your gonna want a 2nd truck sooner or later for backup so i would first buy a couple beaters with plows or 1 more decent truck with a newer plow ...jmo
  7. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    I agree with Dlcs. They have alot of power, especially the bronco's. They are small enough to do narrow drives. The longer trucks are a pain to back up out in to the road if you have a parked car or curb behind you. Also Jeeps work well. Good Luck Rich
  8. ManorLandscape8

    ManorLandscape8 Member
    Messages: 40

    i would buy a used work truck and use as a backup in the summer
  9. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    Why buy anything? Sub it out or at least a good part of it. That way while your in school you still have coverage. Subbing= no out of pocket expense to you, daytime coverage and your customer's are happy.