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How do you guys deal with....

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Meathead, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. Meathead

    Meathead Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    How do you guys deal with odd shaped driveways where theres not really anywhere to put plowed snow? Do you use blowers or shovels in these cases, or what? I havea few of them, and have been shoveling up until now, but its sort of a pain... The other thing is driveways with cars parked in them? Again, we nromally shovel around them and things..

    Any ideas or input? I'm kind of new to this gig, so still feeling my way around issues like this.
  2. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    Odd shaped driveways take a lot of experience to plow. My suggestion is to leave these for your first year. We do not shovel around cars. I mainly do driveways in the morning when people have gone to work but if there is a car there I plow around it or up to it and thats that. I will tell people if there are going to be things in the driveway all the time then you do not want a plowing service. It all looks easy when you are rested and in the daylight. In the middle of the night and you have been out for ever and shoveling is hard.
    I will not even shovel front walks. JMO
  3. trinitygrove

    trinitygrove Member
    Messages: 35

    Cars in the driveway suck, this is my first year plowing, I live in Toronto and we just got hit with 25 cm of snow with some freezing rain on top, so it sucked bad. But I got through it, I actually hit this guy's mirror on his piece of junk VW. Im thinking that next year we will be putting a clause in our contract saying that driveways with parked cars in them will not be done until the car has been removed. Good idea I think, let me know what you think?
  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    The only problem with this is you are going to have to make notes of all the driveways and go around another time to do them. This is not cost effective. I would plow upto the car and leave the rest. They will soon get the idea.
  5. CamLand

    CamLand Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    I use to push a driveay that was 500 ft S-shaped.What a nightmare that was but I never damaged anything and did the drive for about 5 yrs before the customer moved away.But yes it takes alot of experience to to odd shaped drives..Stake them and good luck...
  6. jhook

    jhook Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    About the cars, that can be tricky. We just plow around them or to them as best as possible. We do residential stuff during the day. More chance that the person will be gone with their car. If it is a big bad storm, I might do a pass so they can get out and then go back later. The odd time I will have a customer request that I call on my way over and they move their car. I don't mind that. But shovel, definately not. I don't even know how to use one of those. I tried it once but I couldn't figure out where to put the gas. I can't use anything that doesn't burn gas. I send out a seperate guy to do all my shoveling. Walkways, etc. Not cost effective for me to stop the truck and shovel.
  7. frankmachine

    frankmachine Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    re ..odd shape drives

    when the snow turns brown .... stop..
    hire a kid with a blower or shovel
  8. infineon954

    infineon954 Senior Member
    Messages: 235

    Anything in this case you have to have experience.Especially driveways that have tight circles.Right now up here in Northeast Ohio everyone can agree that there are no more places to put snow. Usually it's good to have "Plan A & Plan B". Hopefully. you can come up with Plan C.
    In some cases backdragging is an option or taking it across the street. As far as cars being in the driveway, unless that customer pays for you to shovel, the hell with them and do the best you can.
  9. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I think it's like anything else, you have to consider each job for it's own pros and cons.

    I'm never afraid to just say "no" if it's not for me. But, what's not for me might be no big deal for another guy. Some guy's won't turn down anything. Personally, I try to balance it out by thinking if it's going to tie me up when I could be doing a few easier accounts quicker, or if it's got so many hazards I may end up hitting something or damaging my equipment.

    Cars in the way? Hello, why did you call me to plow? Either be there to move the car out of my way once I pull enough snow out of it's way, or it's going to stay where it is for a while. Where to put the snow.......there's always someplace. Even if I have to back drag it all out and angle it evenly into the curbside banks. For the really rare impossible ones, I don't bother with them, I don't shovel or snowblow, I just plow.

    So, it's all up to how you want to play it. I just turned down a HOA job where they were paying $75.00 an hour to plow the roads of this 80 house frigging neighborhood next to a pond. One paved road in down the middle, and all these narrow dirt and rock sideroads, some with some pretty steep inclines......and they wanted it clear to the pond because the FD pumps out of there in case of a fire, there are no hydrants. It would probably take about 2 hours to do and another 2 hours waiting for a tow out when you get stuck. No thanks! They got another guy.

    One man's trash is another man's treasure.
  10. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Yeah, you have to learn when to say no to a job.
    I have been doing this for about 10 years now, I stopped advertising 4 years ago- all new accounts are strictly word of mouth, and I have turned down many houses because of the lack of somewhere to put the snow. I have a small wheel loader available if necessary and I always offer that option (as well as the hauling and disposal) with the accompanying costs so they understand I am not simply being difficult. If there are cars in the Dway that are not supposed to be there I plow what I can and leave the rest for them to shovel- if there is a car that is supposed to be there I tell them where they have to park it and if it's not where I tell them I don't plow when I get there.
    After the 2nd storm of having to wait for me to finish my route to get back there plus shovling out the car so I can plow they make sure never to do it a third time.

    If you are good, responsible, reliable and reasonable you can turn down potential accounts that you don;t want to plow (I don't shovel for example except for 2 elderly accounts I have- it's cost prohibitive) Stick to the easy ones for a couple of years then make your choices if you want to add complex ones
  11. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,137

    Use plenty of stakes and take your time on the one that are more difficult then others.
  12. PAGE2004

    PAGE2004 Senior Member
    Messages: 102

    Look ,

    In tight , odd shaped driveways I attack it this way ,

    If you cant get them to move the cars then hit the entrance of the driveway at left and right angles - push the snow on to the lawn etc ( remember to lift the plow a little in lawn areas)

    Then backdrag the rest out to the street and lose it down the road as you leave ( angle it into the gutter )

    People just dont get it - ya gotta move the vehicles to do the job right.