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I'm just Starting the Plow Biz! Help!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Str82go, Oct 1, 2001.

  1. Str82go

    Str82go Guest
    Messages: 0

    First off, I've searched everywhere in the forums and have came up with some great answers to the questions I've had. Now, I want to ask some questions that I couldn't find answers to.

    1.Do you need some sort of license to do residential snow removal?

    2.How exactly do you price a driveway? And when do you go out to clear the snow? How many times do you go out to clear snow? Remember, this is for residential. How much extra do you charge for walks and steps? How much extra do you charge for de-icing? Can anyone give me a sample? on what customers are willing to pay and what will keep my small business afloat?

    3.Could someone please e-mail me a sample residential contract? My e-mail address is markdaytrading@home.com. Thanks in advance.

    4.How much does de-icing products cost and where can I get them the cheapest?

    5.Any special methods in advertising for residential?

    I do believe that is all I need to know. One more thing, Maybe someone could suggest a plow for my Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 pickup, heavy duty everything, offroad package.?

    Thanks In advance for the advice and please feel free to e-mail me any other information that may be helpful.

    Mark McKnight
  2. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Answers for the topics you have listed are going to vary depending on location.

    I'm a little unclear on what you mean by "licence" - do you mean registered as a business, or an additional licence issued by your town? You'll need to check with your local authorities on this.

    One thing you ARE going to need if plowing "for hire" is appropriate insurance.

    Pricing/trigger depth/# of visits/extra $ for walks & steps etc are all, again, going to vary depending on location and what you and your customer have agreed upon. One factor that can affect pricing a driveway is: How difficult is it? A driveway that can be cleared with a few straight pushes right into the backyard is going to be easier & faster to clear than one that involves a lot of backdragging, turning around & pushing.

    De-icing product costs again vary locally, remember too when shopping for a supplier that price is important, but so is availability. The cheapest price isn't much good to you when they "don't got none", and you need it NOW!

    Advertising? The usual - flyers & word-of-mouth are good, key thing is to be persistent.

    And - you may have already done this - check out SIMA (Snow and Ice Management Association) - there's a link you can click on here at Plowsite, or go to www.sima.org
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2001
  3. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Not sure if you would need license for residential plowing in your state. Check with your state business laws. But you will need insurance. If you are not sure or don't know if your insurance co. will cover you for snowplowing, check with them.

    Pricing varies greatly from area to area. Can't really help with the pricing. The pricing is something for you to decide. Go out and clear the snow when the snowstorm is over. But if there are big snowstorm, plow during the storm, and plow again if necessary to keep up, and then after the storm, finish plow the driveways. Don't wait until the big snowstorm is over or you would get stuck.
  4. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    That's a lesson I learned the hard way last year. Started snowing Monday evening, didn't seem that bad. By morning - it was bad! Now I know better.

    As for a plow for your Ram, it's too light a truck IMO to take a V-plow, but any of the 7.5' straight blades should work OK on there. If driveways are going to be your main focus, the Sno-Way plows can be equipped with a "downpressure" feature which helps when backdragging. (Most plows use a single-acting cyliner for blade lift/lower, when backdragging it's just the weight of the plow that holds it down. With the downpressure feature, hydraulic pressure is applied to the blade while it's down. You select downpressure "on" or "off" as required)

    A big factor in your choice of what plow to buy will be dealer support. Best plow in the world is no good to you if it's down for the count and your dealer can't/won't get you going again.
  5. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    I second the SnoWay... I'm very happy with mine. Except for the solenoid right now...