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Monthly unlimited residential? Limitation of 2 trips per 24 hours?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Exact Services, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    I remember seeing someone's flyer here that said unlimited residential plowing for $90 a month. So if it snows constantly for 36 hours how do you limit your trips to each account per 24 period? Lets say no more than 2 clearing per 24 hour period? We all have our limits before total exhaustion wesport
  2. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    How do you get away with offering unlimited plowing while limiting the number of visits? :confused::dizzy:
  3. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    You don't

    You set a depth of snow that you will remove and then you remove it. Number of times in 24 hours doesn't count. If you can't judge your local snow conditions don't plow on contract pricing
  4. grasskeepers

    grasskeepers Member
    Messages: 71

    for i regular drive and side walks i charge $200 that cover them for 20 snow events then after that its 15 a event. On average it snow ten times a month. So far i have 14 people signed up and every one is very happy
  5. lilphil26

    lilphil26 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    15 dollars a plow??? Dont mean to be cruel, but do you think you can make it on 15 bucks a plow??? I have customers this year that told me that their last guy did it a lot cheaper than me. So I asked them why they don't just go with them again, and they reply back and say that their last guy is no longer in business.

    Just something to consider
  6. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    Since I'm a solo operator using Toro single stage blowers I can only clear so many drives and walks in one day. If I have 17 or so accounts and it's a 36 hour long storm and it really piles up how do I state I will show up ONLY twice in a 24 hour period but NOT more than that?

    I have no problem clearing an unlimited amount of snow per month but I'm only human and I don't want this to become a death march and work myself to exhaustion in a 24 hour period of time?

    So I guess the question is how can I state this on my bids and flyers but still imply THEY are getting a great deal with no cap on events?

    "No limit on monthly snowfall" ?
  7. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Just for reference we've got drivers that have operated for 27 hour stretches and that is no record on this site. You take naps in between cycles and get back into the saddle until the job is done. Last year was a record breaker here 60% over average, you just keep putting foot in front of the other.
    Or in the alternative you hire a second operator to take the next shift to keep the equipment running. We have a saying around our place "you don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps!"
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  8. Advanced Glenn

    Advanced Glenn Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    If it snows for 36 hours straight, you are going to have a difficult time clearing snow with a single stage snowthrower. I would rethink your plan here. We charge by the push. If it's a heavy storm and we need to come twice. That is two pushes. If it is a light to medium storm that drags on, and they need a quick push to get in or out to work, we charge them 50% of the set fee for the second visit. We shovel most if not all of our customers walks as well. If I have to go there twice, three times, or how many it takes during a large storm, and I do the complete plow & sidewalks... its full pop for each visit. Unless they are elderly or handicapped, remember snow services is a convenience not a necessity. They could save the money and buy a shovel. Don't undersell yourself.
  9. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    :realmad: So you are doing drives and walks for $10 and then $15 for anything more than 20? You need to sit down and figure your ACTUAL expenses, time, material, equipment, maintenance on equipment, taxes, insurance and I think you will find you are actually LOSING money doing this. Besides, you are driving prices down for everyone else.
  10. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    "Don't under sell yourself" great advice and I really do agree. Family members tell me this all the time.

    Problem is there is a fine line between leaving money on the table by dropping ones price vs. being priced too high and never getting the work. I lost out on a fair amount of work during the summer because I stuck to the $1 to $2 per minute too firmly that is boasted about on lawnsite.com.

    This is my first year for snow removal and frankly I don't plan on making much if anything with it. I hope to pay for my Toro singles, Ice melt, post cards, gas and all the 18 x 27 yard signs, flyers etc. that I have out there in what I thought were key areas. Not to mention my fixed cost of insurance for the entire year whether I work or just stay home.

    We have had only one snow storm and it melted quickly with barely 3/4 of an inch in town. Tough to tell how it will go? Maybe they are waiting for it to snow and a flood of calls will come pouring in?

    I'm not even expecting that much snow here either. Last year was a record year and I missed out on it because I didn't have insurance at the time. and sure enough last winter every Joe Six Pack was out there with snow blowers in their trucks clearing snow without insurance.

    My goals for snow removal is more customer contact in key neighborhoods where I hope to upsell my growing season services. My snow flyers will have some very incredible offers for the spring services. Gimmicks that will cause the homeowner to double take before they throw out the flyer. I want them to think, "hey I'll hang on to that" or "I'll keep that for reference". Flyer response rate are very dismal and I know this. Part of it is many flyers are not very good.

    I'm at a bit of a disadvantage in that I really have no solid idea how productive my Toro Singles are. I'm taking a bit of wild guess to some degree.

    If I already had a solid 40 to 50 growing season clients from last season in the cue for next and healthy cash reserves from last season I'd just stay home on snow days and build a snowman with my 8 year old son.

    Time will tell.