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How Many, Solo guys?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by sgoalie23, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 Member
    Messages: 62

    How many driveways do you solo guys do per storm? One truck, one man, just driveways. Just wanted to know because i want to try to expand to 50-60 driveways per storm.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    50-60? How big are they - 10'x15' and 20' apart? I "only" have 15 for next season so far, but some of them are a half-mile long. A few are ten to fifteen minutes drives to the next.

    I think a better measure would be how many hours, on average, does a route take. My 15 take about eight hours.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2005
  3. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    Travel time is the biggest concern. My 22 driveways took 6 hours with two small parking lots squeezed in. I know of a few local guys who have 8 or 10 drives on the same street, all real short each going for $25 a pop, thats $200 an hour, not bad for my area.
     
  4. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I have run between 25 and 30 each year. I'm planning to expand to 30-35 for this coming season- takes me between 6 and 12 hours depending on the storm and when it hits.

    My neighbor does almost 50 drives- many are close to gether (entire neighborhoods) but it's tough if they are not close. He's gone for 10 hours minimum per storm.
     
  5. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    It's all about the $ per hour in this business, what did this guy do to get almost complete neighborhoods. I've tried flyer's and even going door to door in person with a reasonable price thinking I could knock down 15 or 20 on a street and I've never really had much success with that.
     
  6. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    With 50 or more drives,that's a lot of work for one truck.
    I know around here the Cell Phone would be a ringing with people wanting to know when their drive will be plowed. They want it done so they can go to work in the morning. If you could split them up between 2 trucks the customers would not complain as much. But as customers go some would complain no matter when you plowed them.
     
  7. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 Member
    Messages: 62

    It takes me on average 3-3.5 hours for 35 driveways at 3-5 inches of snow. Granted all of my houses are within a 2-3 mile radius of the shop, with the farthest one about 5 miles away. Driveways around here are about 200 feet.
    Rarely any backblading, and are usually straight shots.

    Do you think that 50 driveways would be too much abuse for one truck?

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  8. dubeb31

    dubeb31 Member
    Messages: 68

    yes it would eventually take its toll...i donno about you but we average about 20 plowable storms a year in Massachusetts...so 50 x 20=1000 driveways at least you will plow a year...sounds like after a while it will take its toll on any truck...
     
  9. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    At three hours and fifteen minutes for 35 drives within a three mile radius, you're averaging 5 1/2 minutes per drive. If you go to 50 drives with the same stipulations, you should do it in 4 1/2 - 5 hours.

    I don't think it would be much abuse, I'm just having hard time imagining any driveway that can be done in five minutes to include driving time. Maybe they're so small, you might be better off using a snowblower?

    I just figured what these would be worth. Given a typical pricing structure of $125/hr, they'd be an average of $11.45 per drive.
     
  10. Rappa

    Rappa Member
    Messages: 84

    My 35 drives takes me 4 hours. All driveways are within 5 miles of each other. Almost 7 minutes per drive with driving time. Is easily done. I get a minimum of $35 for 1-6 inches. Some are bigger. I have mastered my route and fly through it. I don't think I would take any more than that though. Big storms get tricky when you overextend yourself. God forbid your truck breaks down. Then you are in trouble.


    PS. Mick, why would anyone want to get out of the truck and fire up a snowblower to clear a driveway when they can plow it, no matter how small it is????
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2005
  11. jt5019

    jt5019 Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    I have 20 driveways and 2 small parking lots(30 mins each tops) and one that takes about an hour and a half with one truck.I can be out for a good 7 hours depending on the storm size and road conditions.
     
  12. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    It might be more cost effective. Manuvering a truck in tight spaces can be not only difficult, but take more fuel, wear on equipment etc. I remember doing my daughter's driveway several years ago. It was straight in, bushes on one side, neighbor's house within four feet on the other and the garage straight ahead at the end. The 9' plow barely fit the driveway. There was literally nowhere to push the snow but a real small space between the bushes and garage. I wound up with a real mess. Snowblowing over the bushes was the only way.
     
  13. Rappa

    Rappa Member
    Messages: 84

    Ok I hear ya there. But in my case, I wouldn't take on a drive like that. I guess I am lucky as there is plenty of work where I can pick and choose my clients. I can't imagine having to get out of the truck during a storm. lol
     
  14. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I wouldn't waste my time taking on a customer that was too small to plow with my truck. Not cost effective for me either. If it's a snowblower drive they are going to pay more for my time than plowing it would AND they will be one of the last done after the storm. Everyone I am aprached by with a snow blower drive always politly says on thank you I'm all set.

    His truck is well maintained and he's been plowing the same area for 20+ years. This is only his 3rd truck. It's alot of work, but not abuse if you plow smart.
    Start in a neighborhood and do a good job- word of mouth will get you more IF you stay in business AND you do a great (better than good) job. This coming year will be my first having to advertise for new accounts in 4 years. I get everything by word of mouth and loose any because of people moving. Loosing 2 for next season already.
     
  15. 042500hd

    042500hd Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    4-5 hours

    23 drives 2 parking lots 4-5 hours my route is about 10 miles. That's taking into account spending up to 45 min. at three drives I do on a main street. Without those I'd be done sooner. I don't rush or beat my equipment either. Drives vary in size from 1 car to 3 car one lot has about 10 spaces the other about 40.
     
  16. mole

    mole Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    I do 55 driveways by my self. have been for the past 7yrs. Im lucky though my route is 2.5 miles. I have 35 on my street alone. on the rest I have at least 4 houses together. This year Im going to charge way more and have less. The people who really want my services will stay and the price lookers will go. that's fine with me because the other plowers in my area are never there, mine are always done before them. My truck can't take the pounding any more. between lawn care and plowing Im suprised that it hasn't blown up yet. Im looking at it right now loaded with grass up to the boards and it looks like its going to rain to way it down some more.
     
  17. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    I plow 66 drives and 4 smaller lots in about 8 hours. I plow with the storm and I start to plow at 2 inches.....Rob
     
  18. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 Member
    Messages: 62

    This has been very helpful. The good news is I will be expanding to about 75 accounts. Thankfully there is a mason dump on its way with a Blizzard 810 to take care of the bigger drives and two parking lots. At least if one truck breaks down we have the other.

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  19. snoking

    snoking Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    im not a solo guy buti have two trucks that work on residential routes. Each has their own route on guy has plowed for going on 9 years(rob) the other 6 years(steve). rob did 187 drives a night last year with a f350 deisel 10 foot sno~way on front and a swing wing on the back, route coverd about 12-13 miles. ill post pick of truck when i move some stuff at my shop....


    Erik Green

    Owner Greenscapes of West Michigan
     
  20. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 Member
    Messages: 62

    snoking, i would love to see the pics of the truck when you get to it.