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new to plowing

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by NLMCT, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. NLMCT

    NLMCT Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 148

    i am new to plowing i have a small landscaping business and i would like to start offering snow removal... ive never bid on plowing and dont really understand how to bid i would do all residental houses... do you do all house with bid on a trigger any help will greatly be appreciated thank you
     
  2. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    Home owners typically want a 2" trigger (or more). This is NOT a good idea. They drive on it, gets packed down and never melts. I would recommend a 1" maybe 1.5" trigger. Also I have found some home owners like to argue that they didnt need to be plowed. You may want to agree on a snow total reporting area close to their home, ie a local airport. This doesn't mean you get to sleep if the reporting location isn't reporting a trigger amount. That's when you may need to call the customer if you feel their location may have more and leave it up to them. Residentials can be a pain in the ass.
     
  3. andersman02

    andersman02 Senior Member
    Messages: 708

    All of our residentials are 1" triggers as NBI stated.

    3 different rates you can use, seasonal, per push, per event.

    seasonal- average # of pushes per year (can find snowfall totals of past years online) x amount per push (say you get 10 1" snowfalls, 3 6" snowfalls, 1 12" snowfall a year. We go out every 4" during higher snowfalls so that would be a total of 19 pushes). They pay this much for unlimited plowing, some years youll come out on top, sometimes they will. about 80% of our customers are seasonal, much easier to say ( you pay this much per month or season and you are know you'll be done, think of it as insurance)

    Per push- X amount of $$ per time you come out to plow. say we get a 3" snowfall, we'd come out once and bill once. For a 12" snowfall we'd come out 3 times and bill out 3 times.

    Per event- pyramid pricing structure where you have a set amount per " increment. 1-3" is XX, 3-6" is XX, 6-9" is XX etc etc. Bill base on the event ( we use a 24hr period from beginning of snowfall for the definition of event)

    What ever you do stick you your guns and don't offer people the option to call when it needs to be plowed.

    As per how much you need to charge, thats a whole different ball game, depending on equip id shoot for minmum of $100/hr, we get $150/hour +.

    EDIT- hey NBI, you listen to KFAN? all i can think of when I see your location is them chanting " we're going to arden hills, we're going ot arden hills!" for the new viking stadium
     
  4. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 711

    Depending on where you are in CT, residental can be tough.

    A lot of guys throw plows on their trucks and do driveways anywhere from $25 to $50 depending on driveway size.

    As for the trigger amount, I don't know anyone who plows residental with a 1" trigger.
    It's anywhere from 3" to 4" for every plow and I know some guys who do 6".

    So using an example;
    Regular driveway
    3" storm, you go in after storm end and plow it out and charge $35.
    6" storm go twice and charge $70.
    Every time you plow it charge $35.

    Your trigger is when you plow each and every time and charge them the agreed upon price.

    I would suggest hooking up with a bigger company and subbing out your first season to get a feel for it.
    Depending on what you have for a truck and plow you can get anywhere from $50 to $75 an hour.

    Then next year you can offer the clients you do landscaping for snowplowing service.

    And make sure your GL insurance for the landscaping has a rider on it for plowing snow.

    Good luck.
     
  5. NLMCT

    NLMCT Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 148

    now a 2 inch trigger is wehn the snow fall amounts to 2 inches lol right just making sure... and do you make them sign a agreement that states i will plow your drive way if the total amount of snow equals 3 inchs or more ? thankd for all the info
     
  6. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 711

     
  7. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 711

    I really highly recommend you sub with someone for your first year and learn the business.

    If you don't you will lose money plowing.
     
  8. NLMCT

    NLMCT Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 148

    how would i go about subbing for another company and why would you suggest that just to get the experience ??
     
  9. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,970

    Being new to the game and not knowing anything is hard. Sub, meaning work for someone else that plows using there tks and get your feet wet.
    Look around and ser what company's are hiring plow drivers. Paper, internet, or local. Someone has got to know of a place that's hiring
     
  10. NLMCT

    NLMCT Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 148

    so not use my truck use there trucks
     
  11. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,970

    Well unless you already have a plow on it. I was assuming you didn't
     
  12. NLMCT

    NLMCT Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 148

    mssnowplowing you need help this season lol
     
  13. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 711

    Exactly,
    Look around and see who the larger plow companys are in your area and contact them or even a smaller company in need of an extra truck willing to teach you the trade.

    If you plow with your own truck your looking to get $40 to $75 an hour depending on your equipment and experience.

    If you are driving someone elses plow truck, I think the going rate is around $15 to $25 an hour depending on your experience.
    Don't quote me on those rates because I really don't know for sure.

    I would think it would be on the low end for you because you don't have any expericence plowing.

    A good place to check is craigs list in the service area, just type in snow plowing and then call the companys listed in your area and see if they need an extra truck for plowing.

    Get your feet wet first and gain some experience.

    It will help you out in the long run.
     
  14. NLMCT

    NLMCT Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 148

    would anyone in CT like to hire me part time to learn the ropes... ill work for cheap lol
     
  15. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 711

    Where in CT are you?
     
  16. NLMCT

    NLMCT Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 148

    terryville ct near waterbury ct
     
  17. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 711

  18. MSsnowplowing

    MSsnowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 711

    Here's a list of prices for driveways a guy does in Ellington, CT & Surrounding Towns

    Below are prices based on the average driveway, which may vary depending on the size of the driveway, sidewalk, and other area that needs snow removal (tax included).

    0''-2'' - $25

    2''-6'' - $35

    6''-12'' - $55

    12''-18'' - $85

    18''-30'' - $95

    30''+ - $105

    This should give you a general idea of pricing.
     
  19. NLMCT

    NLMCT Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 148

    oh ok thank you tho
     
  20. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I agree with the idea of getting some experience before taking the plunge. It's getting a bit late for companies to be looking to hire, which means you may have to pound the pavement that much harder. Talk to anyone you know locally that subs for someone else, as well as a few companies if possible. Try to get a feel for what is expected from you & what you can expect from them.

    Another thing to consider is that if someone is willing to train you/ develop you, that is an investment on their part & also higher risk.

    In my past, I've had to ignore guys who would hound me for the same reasons. While they may have very well been a good candidate to train, I couldn't take them on because their expectations of what they should be paid were sometimes unrealistic. Their availability was also at times an issue...sometimes new guys don't understand being on call 24/7, so make sure you're both on the same page.

    Rates will vary from one area to the next, based on a number of factors...expected number of events, popular areas tend to pay less than those areas w/ less action and so on.

    As I mentioned, from the contractors point of view there is risk and expense involved w/ training a new beginner, so you may need to be somewhat flexible your first season. As you become seasoned w/ experience & without incidentals, you can expect your value to increase as well.

    The other main problem that I see is being a one timer...why would anyone want to invest ie: train and develop anyone knowing that they are going to turn around the following season and potentially become another competitor...doesn't make much sense from the contractors perspective does it? On that note...Read carefully any contract you may sign if your not both on the same page. You may find out the hard way (like many do) that there was a "non compete" clause somewhere within that deal. I know of guys who would have to basically move out of state in order to work for themselves or even another contractor for that matter...for the next 15 years. Their only option is to either get out of the business completely or stay w/ the firm that has them locked in...or move far away and not be within 30 miles of any of that companies contracts including futures...even if they were not serviced by you.

    Talk to several if you can & then consider if it's a good fit. There are pros & cons of working w/ smaller companies verses large ones, on both sides. Consider those things so you can make the best decision of what will work best for you.