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I would like to introduce myself. Hudson Valley members?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by theIceNSnowman, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. theIceNSnowman

    theIceNSnowman Member
    Messages: 65

    I have recently signed up on PlowSite. I have browsed before over the years, and have taken advice many times. Thank you.

    I hail from the Hudson Valley in New York, and for right now at least, I am a needle in a haystack of plow guys. There are many guys who plow on the side around here, almost certainly with out any formed entity or insurance whatsoever. There are a few good/real companies around here, but for the most part, we have a bunch of young buck landscapers who plow in the winter. Most of em know nothing about plowing, pricing, liability, climate or responsibility. I know cause I was one of em when I started my first company 9 years ago. Back then there weren't nearly as many young bucks.

    I have been plowing for over 8 years now and am ready to take the bull by the horns... I am pretty much starting over this year. No snow last year and my truck going down all together makes this year a fresh start.

    I discarded the accounts I had that were off the beaten path.
    I had a tacoma w snow way poly plow. Great for driveways and was an awesome plow truck, but obviously lacked power and over all might. I knew it was time for an upgrade years ago. Sure was nice to have a plow truck and no payments for a couple years but anyways...

    I now have a 2010 f350, super cab, short bed and brand new 8.5 fisher v ss.
    I spent the last year learning about the plowing insurance world. Ex. Slip and Fall, Waivers, Liability, and commercial auto. Here in NY, most places don't even know how to insure a Snow and Ice company. I found an agent who would and at a fair price, so why not go for it completely legit for a couple years.

    So here I go, 28 years old now and starting over essentially. I went from 40 accounts all over the place, down to 15 that are near my house. I want to get back up to about 35, but closer to my HQ than before. I had a lot of accounts before, however, as most of you will agree, driving between accounts does not make any money, it just spends valuable time. I used to spend 12 hours on one run. You can make the same amount of money with half the accounts if you are smart about it.

    I have been getting slightly addicted to the forum. so much information in one place. It also seems like most plow guys are like minded. Yeah trucks! Yeah Lights! Yeah coffee! etc...
    I was hoping to hear from some of the older guys on the following subject...

    For a good 5-6 years I made enough money to get through the winter. Snowed plenty and people didn't mind paying for a good service. With last year being a complete Dud, customers have forgotten that it actually snows around here. People don't even want to here about a price for the winter, or a monthly charge. Only pay per push. How do you reverse the effect of a mild winter, before it snows again? is this possible?

    Usually a pay per push is ok with me, but with winters being so mild, for a snow and ice control company, it is more important than ever to have money coming in, snow or no snow.

    Im sure some of the more seasoned veterans on here will lift my spirits by reminding me that this is a cycle and it will get better. Anybody know of a prediction for this winter in the Hudson Valley?

    Over and Out
  2. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    Due to the economy and last years dud, private HO's are less likely to agree to money up front. Larger corporations tend to part with that money easier because it is a calculated risk that the weather will even out over say ten years, and the money spent on snow removal will end up favoring their coffers rather than the snow removal company's. Per pushes arent too bad if you set them up right and have the operating capital to float on till first snow. I have 14 condo complexes/multifamillies that are priced in increments of 4 inch per push (1 push per 4 inches). And they are all automatic until the last flake falls. I dont call, or get called off for any reason ( if it snows 12 inches, I go 3 times and customer pays three times..) If we have anything like an average snow fall, I'll be up 25% of what I'd have given them for a seasonal anyway.

    And yes, it will get better once we get whackd with a cpl heavy winters... You can do a cost benefit analysis presentation against your per push billing vs a per season rate to your current customers, and that will change many of their minds if there is enough of a discrepancy between the two...
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  3. theIceNSnowman

    theIceNSnowman Member
    Messages: 65

    that is exactly how i do per push...
    every 4 inches, billed each plow. period.

    I do have a chart that I can show custies. Shows 3 options. pay per push, fixed price based on average snowfall, and hedge option.

    most people, HOs anyways, dont wanna hear the "think of it as insurance" bit
  4. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    They will after we get bashed with an 80 inch year again....
  5. theIceNSnowman

    theIceNSnowman Member
    Messages: 65

    i am sort of banking on a stellar year to drive numbers and help the market around here.
  6. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    We all are. I'm trying to by a new to me bucket truck and chipper in the spring cash. Need this snow to happen to pull it off!
  7. ygim

    ygim Member
    Messages: 81

    welcome to the site man i'm also in the hudson valley area over in orange county.
  8. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,114

    What do you guys charge a typical home owner (i.e., city with 50 foot drive) for a season on seasonal basis?
  9. theIceNSnowman

    theIceNSnowman Member
    Messages: 65

    I dont drop the plow for under 40 bucks. That's for a postage stamp driveway. There are many cheaper outfits out here, however they show when they want to and do a flim-flam job plowing. The "$20 guys" around here are not insured either.
  10. ponyboy

    ponyboy Senior Member
    Messages: 934

    I mainly have seasonal contracts for commercial and all seasonal for residential
    How do people to afford to get trucks ready for snow on per push events
  11. ZappBrannigan

    ZappBrannigan Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hello there, also hail from the HV!!