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I'm not grasping the basics...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by gogetter, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. gogetter

    gogetter Junior Member
    from PA.
    Messages: 17

    Although I'll be doing snowBLOWING and no plowing, I think these questions apply to either. Keep in mind I'm talking about SMALL residential drives (1 and 2 car drives) and the sidewalks.

    1. Do you wait for the township plows to come through first? If not, won't you have to return to clear the pile it makes at the end of the driveway?

    2. What do you do about cars in the the driveway?

    3. I hear of 2" and 3" triggers. What do you do below that?

    4. How do you determine when it's "go time" when you have a set trigger of say 2" but the weatherman is giving a range of 1" to 3"?? Do you sit outside with your ruler and wait to see if it goes over 2"?? LOL!

    5. A scenario: It snows until 7am. Township plow happens to go by at 7:30am and plows them in pretty good. Customer needs to leave for work at 8am. Since I'm using loud snow blowers, I can't even start until about 7 or 8am. But they are scheduled as one of the last stops anyway, so I won't be there for several hours yet. Customer can't get out of driveway. How do I handle that?

    Alright, enough out loud thinking for now. Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Mick

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

    A lot depends on local conditions and tradition. You didn't note where you're from and this likely will not all apply, but here's what I do.

    1. In most instances, no. If I can get through, I plow.
    2. I have talked to all my customers about positioning cars so I can be most effective. I do not like to plow so that a car is behind me.
    3. Anything less than the trigger does not get plowed. One situation is where you get several snowfalls of less than the trigger. I contact the customers in a situation like that to determine if they want plowed. Otherwise, I instruct them to call me if they want plowed.
    4. I have my route set up so those who need to be plowed to get out for work can do so at a particular time. Some customers can be done later as they have 4wd vehicle or are retired, etc and do not need out at a certain time.
    5. I can't help you there. I start plowing at 3:50AM. People around here don't have neighbors close enough to be bothered and they are up getting ready for work anyway.
     
  3. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    1. No it is days before the plows get to all the streets around here.

    2. I tell the customer that I cannot plow under there car. If they don't have it moved or come out and move it when I get there I plow around it and they can deal with the snow right around it.

    3. Nothing

    4. Wait until you think it is about to stop or until you figure you better get started so you don't end up way behind.

    5. You might try changing your schedule so that the people that have trouble getting out of there driveway are closer to the top of the list. You cannot worry about your loud snowblower at 5am. People need to realize that equipment makes noise and when it snows we need equipment to move it. If you have someone that if doing alot of griping about noise early in the morning you tell them "thanks I was wondering where I was going to put all this snow. Now I know.. In your driveway". Just kidding....
     
  4. gogetter

    gogetter Junior Member
    from PA.
    Messages: 17

    So if you get there before the township plows come through, and you plow the driveway nice and clear, then an hour (or 10 hours, whatever) after you leave the township plow comes through and makes a nice 2' or 3' pile at the beginning of the driveway, now what? You have to go back I guess? And you charge them again?

    And as far as waiting for the customer to come out to move the car. They have to suit up for the weather, clear the car off, scrape the windshield, and then move it. I could be done a driveway before that!. If that happened 2,3,4 times a night, that could really eat into your money making time.

    What do most guys use for a trigger? I've read 2" and 3" several times. Is that pretty much the norm?

    Couldn't you salt or something if you got less then your trigger, so that you can still make some money, and so the customer doesn't have to worry about slipping?

    Thanks for the input.
     
  5. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    2' pile at the beginning of the driveway? Sounds like it is time for the homeowner to call the snowplow company and yes he has to pay them to get the berm plowed.

    I don't wait for the homeowner to come out and move the car. If he gets the car moved before I am done plowing then that spot gets plowed if he comes out when I am driving off I wave and yell "have a nice day" time is money..

    It is too cold here to worry about salting but down in the states many company's do sand and salt when it snows just a little. There are a couple of company's here that sand a little but salt here is not needed and just makes a mess. A few will throw a little ice melt on the sidewalks.
     
  6. gogetter

    gogetter Junior Member
    from PA.
    Messages: 17

    Sorry, got more questions:

    So I was thinking of giving a price for up to say.... 6". Not sure how to charge over that? A certain dollar amount per additional inch, say one or two dollars per each additional inch?

    Or just a second price for 7" to 14", and a third price for 15" to 22", and so on? (just using those numbers as an example).

    Thanks again.
     
  7. Mick

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

    That's along the line of what I do. I don't use that wide a range, but if it works for you, go for it. As far as what to charge, with range like that I'd say just use your 6" amount and double it for 7" - 14"; triple for 15 -22" etc. Or just say it's $xxx for every 6" of snow.