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larger parking lot question?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by John Mac, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Looking for some advice. You guys that do snow in the winter would be best. Dawn, are you out there. I am jumping into larger lots for plowing next year. These are parking lots that I will not be able to do with my pick up and trying to decide what to do.

    1) Do I buy, rent or lease a back hoe or loader?

    2) How much more do I have to pay workers per hour because it will be at night and very cold?

    3) how big of a loader and how big of a pusher

    4) How do you get all this done in the 8 hr window you have, bigger is better but cost more?

    5) Once you are set up with the correct equipment getting the next big one will easy

    6) Do you move the pushers or just move the loader and have pusher at each location.

    The work that I am quoting on is being done by one contractor and he also has a very large customer about (around 20 square miles of plowing) 30 miles away so he was not able to do these three that I am working on. I would say that total area is about 2.5 square miles. The parking lots include one factory, one grocery, and one Home Center all on the same street. These would all be my contracts, they are all getting a new company. Two of the locations I have a very good idea what the price was for this year.

    Any help on any of these questions or any help on anything else I should be thinking about.

    Thank you
  2. BOSS550

    BOSS550 Senior Member
    Messages: 212

    I don't have any experience wth stuff of that size but..... I would start RIGHT NOW shopping for GOOD, RELIABLE, EFFECIENT, operators. I think your help on a job that size could make or break you plus if you chase down guys now you can see how good they are while someone else is paying them. If you like their work- ask'em what it would take and when they need to know by so you and them could plan accordingly. Any body else on here feel free to correct me. Good Luck!
  3. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Personally if you can't find a need for a bachoe, or wheeled loader year round, just rent one for the contract time.
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    How much plowing have you done yourself? Of anything more than driveways? Answer this and then maybe I'll start answering the other questions.

    Your first statement concerns me a little "You guys that do snow in the winter would be best". Not to be cocky or arrogant, but Ya think?
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2007
  5. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Mark, I posted this on Heavy Equipment Forums also so I just clipped and pasted same post. Not all of the members on that site do snow plowing. I guess it does sound stupid asking you guys if you plow. Sorry for the oversight.
    As for what I am doing now, I own a excavating company and have done plowing for about 5 to 6 years to help with my over head during the winter. I own excavators,dozer,rollers, dump trucks that sort of thing. I don't own a Backhoe or loader because I do all my digging and loading with an excavator and own a LS160 made by New Holland for and skid steer work. I have used my 06' f350 crew cab for salting and plowing with Boss V blade and tailgate salter. The reason these lots are being offered to me is because of my contacts from my excavating company. I have made a big investment in my summer work but I have come to the conclusion that if I have to work all winter in the middle of the night I might as well go after the bigger accounts. At this point I do all my own plowing and work about 8 to 10 hours a night for a typical storm, no driveways now but did do driveways for the first couple of years. The original plan was take the winters off but thats not going to happen. The reason for this post is to truly try and learn something form folks that have already gone done this road. Thanks again for any help you are willing to offer.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2007
  6. csx5197

    csx5197 Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    where in upstate are you located?
  7. Plowfast9957

    Plowfast9957 Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I would say that if you own an excavation co. you must have a use for, at least occasionally, for a backhoe. I know we have alot more everyday use for a backhoe than a loader. I would say use an 10-12 foot pusher or plow depending on your needs and machine size. Only you can decide how long it will take and how cost effective it will be.
  8. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I am in the Utica Area.

    As far the backhoe goes that was my original thought. A backhoe with a 12' pusher. A friend of mine that did this sort of work a few years back used a loader with a 18' pusher and got me thinking about how fast that would be. His problem was he needed the loader during the winter for his dirt work also. The backhoe would be a year round machine but lots of others are using a loader for just snow plowing and removal. The removal part interest me because of the dump truck. I did do about 20 hours of dump truck work this month for snow removal on other peoples parking lots and that was nice. I had to sub out the loader and use my dump truck for my lots. My skid steer is just too small when loading out tri axles. All these question and looking for answers. I am sure everyone does things a little different but idea's are what I am looking for.
  9. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    careful transporting large pushers they require a special permit and I believe you cannot do it at night or on the weekend so you might want to have a pusher at each location.

    a loader will push more snow and stack higher so I would try to see if you can fit one into your biz - if the accounts will allow you (enough profit that is) to buy one I would, especially if you are handy and can fix them. renting them can be cost prohibitive, it was going to cost me about 9 grand for a 5 month rental and the lot I was going to use it on had a winning bid of 4k.

    i think you said you had a skidsteer? that would be very handy for clean-ups and loading bays. there is a quick attach blade to pusher box for them, forgot who makes it.

    sounds like a good opportunity, but as you mentioned just don't over extend yourself, a big company around here is losing accounts because of not showing up in a timely fashion.
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    Sorry, just wasn't sure where this was going.

    HTH, ask away if you have more questions.
  11. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Thanks Grn Mtn, thats the kind of feed back I am looking for.

    In another post this was written:
    by Kemmer.

    This was written by Paphillips:
    So many deferent out looks on things. I am trying find out what seems to work the best from anybody that is willing to share their experience's with me. The contracts should be worth around $50k. My question was how much to lease a loader per month. To rent it can $4500 per month. Thats $18k toward the machine the first year. I own all of my equipment ( or bank) but no ongoing rentals or lease's because I thought my equity is in owning the equipment at some point. I could be wrong, won't be the first, please educate me.:)
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2007
  12. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Mark you are the man!! Thank you for taking the time to post. The total acres would be close to this;

    Home Center: 4
    Factory: 5
    strip mall: 3

    So a total of about 12 acres or 528,000 sq ft. I was thinking around $80,000 for all three. Did the math wrong on the last post. What do you think. The locations are all on the same street so driving loader and pusher from location to location should not a problem. My walk thru is in couple of weeks and should know more about salt, calcium etc. to be get a more accurate price. The size of machine is what concerns me. With what you have for loader could you get these done in about 4 hours with a plow truck included. I also don't want to give up the accounts I have, hate to have all my eggs in one basket. Worked hard for the one's I have.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2007
  13. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    I won't offer any help on pricing as it's too regional.

    Should be a fairly good night's work for one loader. Need a truck or the SS for setup and tight areas so the loader can just push. Not sure how far you need to drive, but I'd go with a loader and larger pusher. That's going to be too much work for a backhoe based on my experiences.

    Should've gone over to Heavy Equipment and answered there, haven't been there in awhile.
  14. dodgeguy99

    dodgeguy99 Senior Member
    from mn
    Messages: 272

    have you thought about renting a big John Deere and then put a pusher on that. for our large lots we use i believe it is a 14' pusher? anyways they can move a lot of snow and are a lot cheaper than loaders are. just my .02
  15. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Mark, will a backhoe move 14' pusher? My friend that did this a few years back used a 6 yrd loader a 18' pusher and he thinks I can clear 3 to 4 acre's in 2 hours. ?? Thanks again and stop by HEF anytime. I hope you will allow me to quiz you more when I get the exact information. I understand the pricing issue's, I would normally not post that information but bing so green at this I thought what could it hurt. I know I am in the ball park. It is great to find folks like yourselve that will help complete strangers out. Thanks again.
  16. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    Yes and no. Depends on the amount of snow and type of snow. Light and fluffy and a couple inches, it'll do fine. Heavy, wet or heavy amounts you'll be stuck.

    IF you're serious, get multi-year contracts and get a loader with bigger pusher and you'll do fine.

    Been too busy with snow lately to check it out, plus, I don't really have much heavy equipment, but it is fun to read and learn.
  17. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,035

    In Michigan wheel loaders are going for about $3500 per month with no pusher and $2000 for a back hoe with a pusher.
  18. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i would think that you might be able to do thoes with 2 skidloaders (10'blade or 12' pusher) in a resonable amount of time, if you plow with the storm. we don't plow any factories, but the guys that do, only plow about 20% of the lot because they are full of cars 24/7 365days
  19. oarwhat

    oarwhat Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    John Mac. You will definitely need a loader. A backhoe will work with light snow but not with heavy wet or lake effect snow. It won't keep up. If it was me I'd have two older loaders with one pushblade . If one breaks down just switch to the other one if it's a huge storm use both. It will cost the same as a newer loader and you'll always have a backup. I would never rely one one machine, even new or leased machines breakdown. Or maybe a loader and a backhoe that could be used in the summer. We've used older cat machines for years and they have been very reliable. If the loader is only used in the winter you will find the bigger cats are much cheaper than the smaller ones (if you have the space to use them) Randy
  20. digit

    digit Member
    Messages: 94

    It will depend on how far you have to push your snow we have one 11 acre site that we use loader with 20' pusher and a skid loader for store fronts loading ramps ect.and it takes us approx. 3.5 hrs for an 2-3" snow fall and if it snows more you want to make sure your plowing with the storm. we also have another 10 acre site we do with a loader and 20' pusher and sent a pickup in for half an hour not as many small areas again takes about 3.5 hrs.