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Is it really worth it?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mkwl, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,361

    I was looking at snow plows for the better part of the day today, and am trying to figure out what I am going to do about this winter. I have a '06 Kawasaki Prairie 360 4x4 ATV with a cycle country 54" plow which works great for my driveways, but I feel I could do so much more plowing with my truck and a plow on the truck. I am having a hard time justifying the cost of insurance to plow though- between $1500-3000+ per year. Since I only made around $5,000 plowing last year, I can't really justify spending $3,000 on insurance, if I am only making $2,000-3,000 profit. My parents won't let me get a plow on my truck unless its insured :help: . I was also looking at the cost of the plow itself, around $4,200 for a new Western 8' ultra- so basiclly I'd be looking at putting in $5,500+ into a setup which may not turn over the investment for a few years. I was also looking at used plows- is it worth it to buy used to save some $$$? Do you guys think its worth it to invest int eh insurance and a plow, or just keep plowing a few neighbors with my ATV and call it a day? What do you think?
     
  2. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    from what you have said in your post i would say no. its not worth it (and your parents are right). but only you can really be the judge of that.
    just keep in mind the more you spend the more you need to make just to keep out of the red. many people lose money plowing. some just dont make any. if you made money last year your ahead of two thirds of the people with plow trucks using your atv. If you have dreams of building a customer base, and can use that same base for your non snow seasons running a full show then it may be worth it to you in the long run to add a plow and insurance. other wise fire up the atv for another season. there is a reason some people run junk trucks with old plows for cash in hand and dont buy insurance. and there is a reason people that run a business above table with expensive equipment and overhead hate the people in the junk trucks.
    by the way. you should have insurance even using your atv but i wont tell..
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2007
  3. Frostysnow

    Frostysnow Senior Member
    from oh
    Messages: 145

    i would do a little insurance shopping if i was you. Check with some independent insurers that get multiple quotes from different underwriters. If it is just you plowing and want 1 mill in general liability, you should be looking around $500.00. As for a new or used plow, that is up to you. Sometimes you gotta spend money to make money. With a plow on your truck, you could probably do twice the amount of driveways (in the same time), providing you get the customers lined up.

    best of luck
     
  4. 01FordPlower

    01FordPlower Member
    from PA
    Messages: 60

    First off that insurance quote sounds way to high, I would diff. take a look around. The equipment is a up front cost, but you could potently make a lot of money. I would either at least double your customer base, or do what you have now and then sub out to another company. I did all my buying last year, and believe me my parents were not happy either, with the price of the equipment plus they want me to stay focused on college. Weeks leading up to me buying the plow I started getting driveways around my neighborhood. I started producing possible figures I could make and I started to see how the plow might not be a good idea, which I would have made a lot less than i had figured because we didn't get much snow in the Philadelphia area last season. But, being stubborn as usual I went ahead and got the plow installed, $5,000 OUT THE DOOR. That day I prayed that we would get a lot of snow that season, or else I was screwed. As fate would have it, the day my plow was being installed I was called by a huge snow and ice management company which proposed me to work with them. I did all last season, I made plenty of money to cover all my expenses and I managed to put a nice amount away. It may seem like a lot up front, but if you choose the right place to work you can easily pay your expenses off and still have plenty left over.
     
  5. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    I pay about $350 a year for my snow plow insurance on top of my landscape insurance.

    I would get the brand new 8' pro plus, and a set of timberns (basically required on a chevy). If you want to save some money. Bring the plow to me and I can help ya put in on your truck. I did like 30 chevy plow installs last year. Us jersey natives got to sick together.
     
  6. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,361

    I PM'd you...
     
  7. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,361

    Any other thoughts? Anyone know of a company with good rates for plowing insurance?
     
  8. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    im sitting here looking at a quote that came in on my fax for my insurance. 1951 a year. plowing/landscaping/firewood for two vehicles commercial 500,000 max.
    full coverage.
    keep in mind though im 32 and my girlfriend on the policy is 26. vehicles listed around 13k value each.
    she does have three speeding tickets they are counting and i have two. so they arent clean records. im still shopping around. thinking ill try my bank to see if i can do better.

    company is progressive insurance.
    thought i would throw this in. not sure if it helps.

    1-800-PROGRESSIVE
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  9. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    There is NOOOOOO way plowing ins would be that high! Maybe your agent made a mistake, or I would hope so. I pay about $375.00 on top of my landscaping ins. which is around $400.00/year plus my regular commecial insurance on the vehicle. If we all paid even close to that (3000.00) no one would be able to plow or driveways would be a $75.00 minimum.
     
  10. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    $4200 for a new 8' western?????? snowplowsupply.com has them for $3500 and i believe that includes a mount and wiring harness.