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Have truck & plow, would like assistance with my plan.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Krrz350, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Krrz350

    Krrz350 Member
    Messages: 93

    First things first my names Kevin, I live in southeastern mass & I'm a self employed wrench turner with abs of steel & a very strong work ethic, I also handle tense situations very well & don't give up easily.

    This thread will be my sort of 'to-do list', as well as a place to ask questions & update with the lessons, success, & failures I will surely experience over the next couple months, so sit back, crack a beer, and enjoy. Feel free to tell me when I am being an idiot as well, every one of you knows more than me on this subject. */red= I need to get off my ass & buy it/take care of it. OR it's a question

    The truck-

    '99 Nissan Frontier (Not my only vehicle), good condition oversized tires, timbrens, trans cooler*, new alternator*, good battery & cables, tune-up*, strobes in headlights*, taillights*, & roof*. Will look into a shift kit as well. 6.5' Snoway still yet to be mounted.

    Things I need/need to get-

    Contracts for people to sign??*, General liability Insurance (Buddy has me covered on this)*, call my auto insurance company*, possibly get a DBA if I decide to name it (Might just use my name), visit town halls in the 2 towns & find out required licenses & regulations*, anything els you cheeky mates aware me of.

    Plan-

    If worse comes to worse my uncle can get me in a few towns over for $68/hr, but I want to do private. I want to do private. I want to do private & make more than $68/hr preferably.

    Located 10 miles from me there is the following within a 15 mile radius- 3 large retirement communities (150-300 homes) , and 2 neighborhoods w/approximately 200-300 homes in each. The retirement communities all have very small driveways, I dunno 12'x 20'? & the homes range from 30'-50', with a few in the 75' range.

    I am still not sure about pricing, I will be calling some local companies today to see what they charge (come on son, we all do it), but JUST off the top of my head, with ZERO knowledge/experience of the industry asides from a 5 minute conversation with a friend at the bar, I was thinking $30/retirement, $40/avg home, including clearing & salting walkways, and that would cover a 24/hr period after 1/2" had accumulated (Edit- after reading it seems I should do 1" trigger, or offer 1" or 2" trigger?). So I'm pulling this out of my arse, am I way off oh great ones?

    Marketing will be done via door-to-door on weekends, I will have business cards (Magnets actually)*, as well as flyers* that includes pricing information*. I am a hard worker, good communication skills, and paying my way through college with zero loans & working for myself so I really feel this will help me with the retirement communities (That probably have no solicitation signs :( ). Then what, I go back with a contract to sign & markers for the driveway? As long as I can pay the bills this winter & learn a thing or two I expect to kill it next year via word of mouth.

    Sorry for the long post. ANY & ALL ADVICE WILL BE APPRECIATED. Tell me I'm an idiot & go work for the town, tell me everything sounds great, whatever.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2011
  2. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    Your pricing seems close to what I would charge. Your truck is smaller than mine which would be good for those driveways.
    Do not take on more than you can handle. Stay away from big box stores. You do not have the equipment. Small driveways should be your thing.
     
  3. mike thunder

    mike thunder Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    Find the most reputable small operation in your area and try to get in with them as a shoveler. Do this for an entire winter, learn what you can while in the plow trucks and in the shop, then come back to this site next year with your questions.
     
  4. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    Ummmm.........Thumbs Up
     
  5. NickT

    NickT Senior Member
    Messages: 707

    Call the local companies and start out as a sub contractor for them,that's the best way to start
     
  6. Krrz350

    Krrz350 Member
    Messages: 93

    Update! First storm was a success, I got 2 signed contracts so far, and I have another 8 that I know are going to call me next storm &/or refer me to family/friends! I focused on doing a really good job & making friends with the clients.

    Oh, and one thing I realized that nobody told me.......... PLOWING IS FUN!!!!!!

    I got everything on the list above done EXCEPT for the general liability policy, I would have liked to have it for sure but in order to get a GL with snow removal rider I would have also needed matching CSL's on my truck, so all in all it would have been close to $4K extra :dizzy: :dizzy: So for right now, I'll stick to driveways where people can go after their homeowners, my pockets aren't deep so any lawsuits wouldn't go anywhere, though I do have property damage but in that event I would obviously prefer to fix anything out of pocket anyways. At least I am covered against any at fault accidents on the road, more than I can say for quiet a few guys I saw this past storm, it's kinda scary.


    Lol, I was going to call you an idiot when I first read this, but I figured I'd wait for some snow to fall. Pretty sure I learned more about plowing by actually plowing for one storm than I would have shoveling for an entire winter. Sounds like your first year didn't go so well? Just out of curiosity, were you the guy I saw running around doing driveways in an F350 w/drw's & regular plates :laughing: Or were you the one who's accounts I stole because his truck was down :laughing:
     
  7. Krrz350

    Krrz350 Member
    Messages: 93

    That's a good suggestion, I have been doing this but haven't found anything worth while yet, IDEALLY I want something hourly for when the snow is falling, than after it's done go bang out my accounts, but I need it to be flexible as well so if we get 8=" I can go bang out my accounts as they would be my first priority. Hummmm..... any suggestions?
     
  8. Chrisxl64

    Chrisxl64 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 574

    That is probably not going to happen. You are working for THEM, not vice versa. I wouldnt think a company is going to let you cut loose during a major storm, to do your own work.
     
  9. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    Exactly.

    I would first start by taking Ritalin, just by reading your thread you seam to have everything figured out so why ask for advice. Insulting board members who are giving you advice that you asked for isnt a way to be liked on this forum. The guys on this forum offer a wealth of knowledge and take this business seriously.
     
  10. habart30

    habart30 Member
    Messages: 58

    Exactly what I was thinking.
     
  11. Krrz350

    Krrz350 Member
    Messages: 93

    Sorry my post to that one guy offended you. Chris & Nicks advice was much appreciated, as was the lettuce man.

    I take this serious myself, so if you have anything relevant to add such as advice, your story of how you started out, or anything you feel could trip me up in the long run I am all ears. Thanks.
     
  12. blazer2plower

    blazer2plower Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    I have sub'd. For a few years. And still do there is a lot to learn. Just not push snow. There are things you will need to have ready
    Like what are you going to do when you rip up the yard ? Do you have a plan for that? And as insurance I would not plow with out
    It. If a slip and fall happens you are on the hook. Not the home owner. Do you have a back up plan. For when your truck brakes
    Down not if it does. This is all my 2¢ though.

    I love my Z
     
  13. Krrz350

    Krrz350 Member
    Messages: 93

    Your 2 cents is appreciated Thumbs Up, funny you mention the Z, I'm a nissan specialist so I'm active on my350z but the name's actually from an oldschool streetbike.

    If a slip and fall accident happens I'm on the hook yes, trust me I want GL w/snow removal ryder in the worst way but I can't afford it. Worse case scenario they take everything I own and garnish my income for life, a risk I'm willing to take. Allthough what usually happens in those rare events is they send demand letters out to everyone but only pursue claims against those with deep pockets.

    So far I've given every customer a verbal warning regarding lawn damage & gravel, & for those that sign contracts they state that any turf damage will be raked over & reseeded in the spring & that's that.

    I don't have a backup plan yet, and this is the one thing that has my stomach turning more than anything else, tomorrow I am going to work on that some more, I have a foaf and a relative that do muni work so I will be getting in touch with them, and there is one snow plowing business in the area that has an actual facility, they appear to be the most professional so I would like to go down there & tell them my situation, either the owner will be cool or he will laugh me away.

    When you guys didn't have the capitol to have a spare or multiple rigs, what did you do in this regard or what would you suggest?
     
  14. Krrz350

    Krrz350 Member
    Messages: 93

    I had the opportunity to Sub for another foaf, he had 6 resi accounts nice & tight a few towns over that we looked at together & agreed on a price for me to do them. He wanted to give me less than 50%, yet he didn't have a GL policy with snow removal or a snow removal ryder on his truck. We talked a lot & he gave me some good advice, but I sorta laughed at his liability waivers & the fact that he believed his insurance agent when they told him as long as he only did a few driveways he was covered under his existing policies for his stone business, I recommended he read his policy and not trust his agent, but of course nobody that's been doing it for a few years wants to listen to someone who's new & still asking questions. In the end it didn't work out.


    I would be willing to sub but isn't it required the sub still have there own GL insurance? In which case you are basically paying the contractor a fair chunk of change for marketing, contract negotiations, billing, and logistics.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  15. NickT

    NickT Senior Member
    Messages: 707

    I hooked up with a few fellow plowers that will help me out if I have a breakdown. This is another good reason to sub, because if you have ( and you will) a breakdown your not trying to find a way to get the lot done.
     
  16. blazer2plower

    blazer2plower Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    I have one rig I have a friend who I will help and in turn he will help me. And my ZR2 works great for driveways. And insurance is
    Not that bad in Indiana 1mill is 1300 for six months. And you may get a 50000 for less.

    I love my Z
     
  17. blazer2plower

    blazer2plower Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    When I sub they all ways ask to see my info if not they move on to someone
    Who does
     
  18. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    Personally I started out subbing for a landscaper who needed extra trucks. After a few years I made my mistakes, got to know the equipment and realized the one man show is tough. You might want to consider finding a buddy who is as enthusiastic as you are and go partners with him. Therefore you always have a backup. Also, residential is tough. Its all about finding enough accounts in a small area so it limits the travel time. To spread out and you arent making money. I only do commercial now, cant be bothered with all the calls asking when am I going to be there etc.

    Good Luck. Plowing isnt rocket science buts theres more to just pushing snow... Always have a backup plan, and its not will something break, its when will it break so be prepared...
     
  19. Chris92789

    Chris92789 Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    I dont know where you are getting your quote for general liability.... Running two trucks for 1 mill policy costs me about 250 every 3 months... Thats full coverage for plowing, landscaping, and my commerical auto is 175.00 a month... call erie inusrance they have a great commercial policy price.
     
  20. Lugnut

    Lugnut Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Agreed on making friends with some of the local guys who could help you out, and on the flip side they might give you a call with a list of accounts they need you to do some storm. I've got 3 plow trucks so if something breaks we can usually spread out the remainder of their route with the other 2 and get everything done in a timely manor ourselves but I still have 3 friends who could help me out if i get jammed up