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How do you make any money with all the cost?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Hondaplowguy, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Hondaplowguy

    Hondaplowguy Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Ok, you need a decent truck(probably already have), plow ($3,000-5,000), insurance on commercial vehicle and GL, and the fact that sometimes it only snows 4 times in one year. I just picked up a nice used Western plow really cheap and was wanting to step out of the sidewalks and driveways into commercial but damn I don't see how a guy could make it if you paid for everything to be legit. Is there something I'm not seeing here. For the last 2 years lawn and landscaping has been sucking worse and worse as well because of all the cost. I really don't see where I'm getting anywhere working for myself anymore. I typically make about the exact same as my last jobs wages except it didn't cost me anything to be there.
  2. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,974

    Simple, move to Canada tymusic
  3. Hondaplowguy

    Hondaplowguy Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Don't tempt me. Canada has been looking like a better choice for awhile now.
  4. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,593

    The reality is you have to bust your a$$ for at least a season or two to get even on your initial investment, depending on snowfall of course. Then you can start to turn a profit with any luck by year three or four; hopefully your equipment holds up and your able to make some bank for general maintenance and the unexpected repair. A lot of people think its a get rich quick biz- it's not that easy.
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    You need to know your operating costs and bid accordingly.
    Hard to make much money the first or second year unless you get plenty of snow.
  6. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    This is my second season I've been saving money to buy another plow for my latest 92 F-150 purchase...
    It's very hard to get set in this business the expenses will always be more then your profit. After the second year be established and have enough to keep going..
  7. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,748

    Well, first, you have to have a lot of work. Figure out what it costs you per hour, per route, or per storm and charge that amount plus what your desired profit is. Trucks are expensive to keep up. But just keep going out there picking up work, and you will be suprised how many people will want you to do work for them. Around here there is a big demand for residential work, but commercial is cut-throat.
  8. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,439

    Time is the factor like some stated. I drive newer stuff anyhow, so a truck payment is the norm. After a few years the plows pay for themselves. The more trucks/plows, the more $$$. Being in business for other things helps, then snow is like a bonus. The work sucks but the money is good once you get rolling. Its nothing to make a couple grand during one event if you play your cards right.
  9. Hondaplowguy

    Hondaplowguy Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I would probably only be doing 1 gas station, 1 or 2 bars, and maybe something else small. I guess I should rethink even doing this. The insurance would eat up everything made on thise places. I'd be working for free or maybe even costing me to work.
  10. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    I dont know this from personal experience, but have heard plowing bars is a high liability?.....why dont you pick up more work? That dosent seem like enough work for 1 route? You also could subcontract to another company on top of the few jobs you have, making it worth while?
  11. Hondaplowguy

    Hondaplowguy Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Well I guess the gas station maybe out of the question too then because its got a Casino with a full liquir bar as well.
  12. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Your not going to make a ton a money the first year. It's more experience that you'll get from that 1 st year. Then you will start to make money.
  13. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Did you tell your insurance what kinds of places you are plowing? If so, then I know why you are wondering how to turn a profit?
  14. Hondaplowguy

    Hondaplowguy Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I worry about not making any profit because the insurance would be likely $1,500. Lets say it snow 5 times and I have 5 accounts. 2 are $150 ea. and the other 3 are $100 ea. That comes out to $3,000 total. $3k-$1.5K ins=1.5K. That 1.5k-other expenses would leave me sitting bad. I fear to take on more than about 5 jobs because everyone wants them dome by opening(8:00 or earlier). Lets sat it doesn't even start snowing real heavy until 4:00 a.m. That leaves me not much time to go all over plowing.
  15. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Welcome to the snowing business! You could make that much money working the Christmas season in a store and without the headaches

    Guess you have more thinking to do.:nod:
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2009
  16. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    What if it starts snowing at 7 am? I cant make a good estimate of time without pics or layouts, but its seems to me you could take on more work?.........and they cant ALL ALWAYS expect to be done by 8am....otherwise your just setting yourself up for disaster. Do you have a backup truck? What happens if you break down?
  17. Hondaplowguy

    Hondaplowguy Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I've got 2 other vehicles but only the one plow. Its a cable ran older Western so its not like it would even help to have mounts on one of the other trucks because the cables are ran thru the dash. If I had a lot of business lined up I'd get another plow for one of the other trucks.
  18. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    You plow with the storm. If it doesn't start snowing till 5...then you go out at 5. Snow won't pile up that fast usually so customers understand.
  19. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,868

    This business isn't for alot of people. Who the heck wants to wake up at 2am to go work in the 10deg weather in wet crappy conditions. On top of that if it doesn't snow you don't make any money. :confused:

    Oh yeah, I do...bring it on! :cool:
  20. CP Paul

    CP Paul Member
    Messages: 99

    Triple is right, Canada is the place!