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How many accounts?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by wolfie, Aug 17, 2001.

  1. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    Hi everyone I'm fairly new to this forum and have a question. I did a search and couldn't find what I was looking for... it's probably here someplace but I couldn't find it. I was wonderig how many account one guy could expect to do by himself? last year I did 8 and other years I have done more... But this year I will have a new truck with a fisher V-plow and want to expand. I know you'll all say it depends on the driveways... I do only residential and don't sand at all unless it gets really icy then I will do it by hand for a select few customers that can't do it themselves. the driveways are usally pretty long around here and we can get lot's of deep snow... I just don't want to take on more than I can handle... Thanks....Jon
     
  2. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    If your only doing residentials,my guess is 20-50 a truck,depending on size,and ice control.I look at how much the truck is making per hour,gross,and try to use that as a guide instead of how many drives.
     
  3. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    cant really answer your question. sorry, but i see your from CT. what town?
     
  4. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    I guess I will just run and ad and see what happens... I am going to be real choosy... I'll only take on drives without much backdragging... Time is money and I can do quite a few long straight drives in an hour as long as they are close together. Right now the farthest one is only about 3 miles from my house. I'm willing to expand that to get the accounts but they can't be spread too far apart. The new V-plow should make a difference too.
     
  5. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    I'm in New Hartford
     
  6. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    oops I quoted the wrong post... but you get the idea......
     
  7. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    I have a sort of half baked system I use to try to track how many "accounts" we do per truck. Base is an average residential driveway, which gets a value of 1. Big driveways and commercial accounts get rated according to the time thjey take and dollars involved. As of last year we had 52 stops on the route that made up just over 100 "plowing units". In a light storm, under 6" we could keep them all happy with two trucks, in a fast storm of around 6" or a bigger storm we would put three on the road. One truck had spreader and plow capability while hte other two only had plows. We also had a dedicated spreader truck that did not plow. This year we'll add more accounts, trucks and drivers.

    I'd like to be at around 125 "plowing units" and hope to field four plows with one in reserve for breakdowns or extreme conditions.

    Plan is for.

    K2500 with 9'1" vee plow and 1.4 yd vee box
    (2) S-10 w/ 8' straight blades, one with 10 cu. ft. hopper
    5 yd dump w/ 10' blade & undertailgate spreader
    S-Blazer w straight blade as reserve/backup

    That works out to 25-30 plowing units per truck, depending on how bad the storm is. With that number of units per truck we're looking at about a four hour lap time on the route.
     
  8. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    I probably won't take on over 20 this year and see how it goes... If things go alright 'll take on more next year... this is assuming I even get any calls on the ad....
     
  9. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    If your market is New Hartford that may be a problem due to the low density.

    My sister lives up your way, and a big dilemma for plowing is that the towns are not very timely on clearing the secondary roads (i.e., anything except the state routes) so you will need to figure what happens when u show up at an account and the prospect of having the town re-bury the apron a 1/2 hour later.
     
  10. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    Yeah I have had my share of trouble with the town roads not being cleared... One storm last winter I couldn't get up one road to get to my cutomers and when I was finally able to get up there the snow was so deep that i couldn't do one of them.. I ended up losing that customer for this season.... he bought a big Troybuilt snowblower... I can't wait to see how long it is before he is looking for a plower again though... his driveway is about a thousand feet long... I think he will get tired of doing it real fast.
     
  11. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    That is why a v plow is great. Never again will you not be able to clear a drive. We went easily through 18" of heavy wet snow and 2-4" drifts with the v plow last winter.
    Dino
     
  12. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    I'm sure that if there is a way to get stuck that I will be the one to find it... But I'm sure the V- plow will wor great.
     
  13. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    during some of those bigger storms, as one would try and exit the highway, the DOT trucks would leave a 2" high about 10" winrow on the top of the offramp. the v plow would cut right through that.
    And on roads that hadnt been plowed yet, I would run with the plow down, it was easier on the truck plowing with the v plow down, then trying to drive through 12" of snow.
    Dino
     
  14. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    The biggest problem i have is with snow building up in front of the plow... especially after the first few storms when the banks are starting to get high. My straight 8 foot blade just wouldn't throw enough sow to the side. this last winter I was have trouble with it building up and when I started around a sharp turn it pushed me right off the driveway into a swamp! I had to get a tow truck to get me out! I think the V-plow will be a big help... The odd thing is that this last year i didn't see many v-plows on the lots... a couple of years ago they were all over the place. I am sure that the v-plow is the way to go.
     
  15. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I like the v-plow for small commercial and driveways (beleive it or not) The ability to move snow is a factor. On a big lot straight blades are fine because I treat them like roads by making long passes.
     
  16. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    I only plow residential driveways and I think the V-plow will work out great... it's the same size truck as I had before so the only difference will be the V-plow. almost all of the driveways are long and most have curves. I don't think there is any plow that's real good on tight turns but I'm sure I will be happy with the new plow.
     
  17. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Wolfe,I see the same thing here,the V-plow was a fad thing.All the new trucks have straight blades on them,rarely do you see a new V-but a few yrs ago,Bosses were everywhere you looked,now they are getting sold ,and you see less of them on commercial sites.I know V's have their place,but my Uncle has 2 Boss V's,and his 3 new trucks all have 9 ft Western straight blades.HE said the higher cost isnt recouped with the V to him.
     
  18. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    I probably wouldn't have spent the extra money eithe if I hadn't got tired of my truck geting pushed odd the side of driveways.... this last year when I endent uo in a swamp cinvinced me that there has to be a better way. I think that with the snow being pushed to either side i wil have a lot less trouble when in deep snow.. the only thing is that we don't get that many storms where it will matter much. but when we do it could be a lifesaver... $800 extra seems like a small price to pay over the live of the plow for the peace of mind I'll get in return.
     
  19. roonie

    roonie Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I have 30 accounts and it takes me 6-8 hours to complete depending on the snowfall. I am trying to take on about 10 more this year. The key to a good route is planning. Keep them in line to minimize the travel time between them. If you get a customer that is out of the way, try to get a couple more around it to justify the travel time. Sometimes the customer can get these accounts for you if you tell them it will be cheaper if you had a couple more of his/her neighbors. ;)
     
  20. Deere John

    Deere John Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    One of our trucks regularly did 54 accounts with an 8' Arctic straight plow in 8 hours. After two seasons with an 8'2" vee, the same driver (68 years old now!) whacks 72 accounts in the same 8 hours. He says his neck gets sore, but he won't stop plowing and he won't go back to a straight.

    Me, I don't work that hard at it, but I have seen about a 25% increase in productivity on my own route, plus the deep-snow benefits that Dino mentioned.

    Those with multiple vehicles may not, when allocating routes, be able to take advantage of the vee's abilities everywhere, so the expense is not necessary on every vehicle. I'll bet there will always be vees in the fleet, though.