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Is plowing right for me????

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by eggy, Jan 28, 2002.

  1. eggy

    eggy Member
    Messages: 71

    We are a established lawn care company , and have been growing steady for the last three years. Are client base leans more towrds mid sized commercial maintence over residential. I have been running numbers over and over about the snow buisness, and I am not seeing where it can be profitable. We average two maybe three snows tops here each year. We use 2wd trucks to pull the lawn trailer with, this making us having to look at buying not only a plow but a 4wd truck. Also a issuie I have is only having one truck I belive aback up in the snow buisness is almost a must. Other lawn care companies in the area do offer snow removel however with the little snow we recieve I am not seeing any profit in this??? Am I missing something here or am I smart for thinking its best to stay away from snow? Also after a small poll the typical snow removel contractor in the area charges per push! not seasonal contract......any thoughts tips on being profitable on a per push basis but still being reliable on a small snow budget?
  2. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Fill in your location, and maybe someone local might take the time to share with you how they make money with the snow...
  3. eggy

    eggy Member
    Messages: 71

    Its updated!
  4. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Somebody needs to move that snow when it hits, and it may as well be you. Or at least under your control.

    On the simplest terms you could sub it out to an established snow removal co., keeping a piece of the pie to cover your time and aggravation. Another option would be to buy a plow for your truck, if the terrain of the accounts would enable a 2wd truck with ample tires and weight to move whatever accumulations you may have. Total investment including a blower under 4 grand?

    Its always a good idea to have a second truck even for pulling trailers, maybe an older 4wd truck? With a handi-ramp gate and an older 48 inch mower and trimmer in the back it could be a money-maker during the lawn season also with a one-man crew.
  5. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    You're not all that far from St. Louis. One way to find out might be to attend the Snow & Ice Management's annual Symposium this June. It's being held in St. Louis this year. Hundreds of plowing contractors from all over will attend. You can ask them and network with others that have started up, and are working in your general market (but not necessarily direct competitors).

    It would help alot with your decision.
  6. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    The SIMA show would be great to attend. You'll be exposed to so much more than you could possibly get any where else on this topic.

    Business is business, and the numbers have to work no matter what your widget is. If your costs of doing business are to great to compete in the market your in, than you may be right. No matter how little snow an area gets, someone is making money on it. It has to work for you and fit into your business. Before June you may want to reach out to SIMA members in your area or other southern states that get similar snow fall totals, and ask them how they structure their finances to make money.

    Good luck to you.
  7. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    I am in Louisville, Ky. We started providing snow and ice removal in 1987. We had your same questions prior to deciding to offer this service. You don't need several plows per year for this to be profitable. Your best bet in tis fregion is not plowable snow, but less than an inch snow. This is many times much more hazardous than 3 inches. Offering a deicing service is very profitable and requires a small capital investment. So my opinion to you is this. buy a plow and a tailgate spreader and watch your profits grow. Any questions feel free to call me at wayne's lawn service 502-499-7841.