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new to plowing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by winterblues, Jan 23, 2003.

  1. winterblues

    winterblues Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I Need help!! I started a lawn care company a year ago and told my clients in advance that I would not be doing snow removal until the following year, 2004. I want to offer snow removal so that I can keep my customers year round and living in WI winter months can be very lucrative. (notice can not this year lol) The thing is ive never done snow plowing. How can I learn, what tips do you have. My plan was to work for a different company this winter and learn how but am finding out that it is very hard to find an employer to hire with no experience and especially with the dry winter eveyone is shutting the door on me. Obviously it doesnt look hard but im sure there is tricks, techniques, things to watch out for etc... Any tips will be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot and I will hope for snow for the rest of you!

    P.S If it comes down to it I'll drive to a different state and work for one of you guys just to learn this trade lol. :drinkup: this ones on me

    SCFALL Member
    Messages: 47


    :D The best advice I can give is get a copy of Chucks snowplowing handbook. You can order it from Chucks page WWW.Snowplowing-contractor.com good luck Scott
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Agreed. Get Chuck's book. Then you've got a year to search old thread on here - use search words "starting new business" or similar. Then ask specific questions - plenty of guys on here all year to answer you. Realize that mostly you're going to learn by doing, but you can be ready with the basics.
  4. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Welcome to plowsite.:waving:

    Here is a link to the sima website. They sell very good training video's scrole down in the link and you'll find a basic training video and an intermediate training video. They're not cheap but they're very informative.
  5. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    winterblues, Welcome to Plowsite!:drinkup:

    Chuck's book is a great reference tool as mentioned. The archives here at Plowsite offer a great deal of information as well. Click the "Search" icon at the top of the page, type in a topic you're interested in and sit back and absorb. WARNING: This site is highly addictive! Family members may send out a missing persons report.

    Riding with a plowman who's been in the business a while is also a good way to learn, but depending on his abilities, you may learn how not to plow. Best thing would be to ride with a few different guys. Good luck!
  6. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    welcome to plowsite!

    your lucky to have found this site, you'll pick up a ton of good info.

    but like Pelican said, it's very addictive.

    like everyone else said, get the books and do the reading, but if i had to tell you only one thing, it would be to PLOW SLOWLY.

    your in good hands on this site, so sit back and absorb it up.

    DYNA PLOW Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    Winterblues, where in WI. are you from? if you need help i will offer my services as long as you are not plowing in the same city or area as i. i will also offer to take you with me when and if we get a decent event this season. i can offer advice on quoting your current lawn customers for snow removal if you need some help there.
    my equipment is as follows
    01 dodge 2500 extended cab 8' box cummins turbo diesel,6sp.
    01 western 8'6" mvp plow with uedge.
    01 snoway stainless salter
    93 JD 675b skidloader
    01 6'x12' northern dump trailer 12,000 gvwr
    the take you with me would be a ride along as your truck will not be covered in my lots.
    the best advice.....pay close attention to this site and all the topics.
    dan warner Shawano, WI
  8. winterblues

    winterblues Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks for the help evey1, I had trouble getting into chucks website I tried www.snowplowing-contractor.com but didnt work. I will visit this site often I think anything and eveything I have a question on someone here has a good answere/advice for me. Thanks again
  9. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

  10. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Or just click the link at the top of this page... :D Either way Welcome. :waving: Just do as said above, read the posts and books, watch the videos, the knowledge gained will help but most of all practice if you are able. If you are going to get equipment this year or already have it, practice on your own drive, and any ride along you can get.... Oh, and lots of SNOW helps.:D
  11. dillyolboy

    dillyolboy Member
    Messages: 97

    Two things:
    Go slow - you lose all the money you made going fast when the truck breaks or you hit something.
    Ride with someone who has experience. I'm not saying Chuck's snowplowing handbook isn't useful but riding with someone will give you a much more real world experience in many different situations which you can't gain from reading. Also drive the truck and have them tell you what your doing wrong or what could be done better, etc.
  12. new guy too

    glad i found this sie. I am new also. I just got laid off from a big company in sarnia.(Bayer Rubber corp)
    Started my business, doing lawn cutting and parking lot markings in the summer and snow plowing in the winter. The snow plowing im not starting until next year either. Just looking into the details now and this site is a world of info.
    The priceing is the toughest part i think.

    I will spend the next week going through all the posts and maybe order that video that was mentioned.
    thanks for any help.
    PS. its impossible too get help from people in my own area, and understandably , they dont want the competition.
  13. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    its not that big of a deal.you sound like a 15 year old virgin who forgot the flower...lol lol....j/k. get a truck with a plow and start off just doing your driveway then grow from there.thats all i did 8 years ago.as the years went by i learned new things.i know that man hole covers are not my friends. people that are out in a snow storm don't even bother to look at your strobe lights so they tend to rear end yah or slam head on into the plow.a V plow is the way to go.westerns are the best plows made....lol.chucks book is nice good to read and get your feet wet,but a book can only do so much.
  14. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265


    Welcome to plow site,and congrats on starting up the new biz.

    I'm a few hours down the road from you,but if you need a hand with quoting for this area,or just some general info,feel free to drop me a line.I may also be able to help you out with getting set up with the right equipment.It's a lot easier in this biz if you do it right the first time,mistakes can be very costly.


    I know what you mean about getting help from others in your area,it's like that all over.People seem to think that this stuff is some guarded secret,or your out to steal their contracts,and they give you the cold shoulder.I just don't understand it.I've been doing this for 18 years,and I'm still learning stuff from other people.
  15. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I agree with Wyldman, people in my area would never help each other out with prices, they would be scared you'll steal their contracts. In fact some don't even dare wave back to you in fear of giving away a contract location. I'd be willing to help you with quoting etc if you wanted to make the drive out here LOL. I've helped my dad get into the snow removal biz, and helped him with pricing etc. I wish more people in my area would help each other out It keeps newcomers from pricing to cheap, not knowing how much they should be charging. Thats whats nice about plowsite, it has all the info you need to start up a snow removal biz, and you can learn from all the mistakes that hundreds of people on this site have made before. :D
  16. thanks wyldman and grshppr.
    I may need some help, ill save your email add wyldman, since your so close. If i have any questions ill email you if you dont mind.
    hey grshppr, i wish i could come out there. I was in the navy for a short time , on the island. nice place.

    Im just getting into the specifics of it now. I have been dealing with the grass cutting and parking lot marking for the spring.
    Ive priced some trucks, looks like a 2500 series truck, with diesel engine, 4 x4, and plow package prefered.
    Probably buy one a few years old.
    I actually got some prices off a couple of people i know that have had there drives done.
    There chargeing less than i would have thaought.
    one fellow is ( this is canadain dollars) $20 for a single residential drive, or 185 for the season plus %7 tax, not sure on the particulars for that price.

    thanks again,,, for any help.
  17. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Well,my first tip is to stay away from that cheap residential stuff.It's just a bidding war over who can do it the cheapest. $185.00 for the season ? You can make that in an hour doing industrial\commercial properties.Only residential I would touch is high end estate homes,with large driveways.they are the only one I have found to pay well.Think big,go big,stay big.
  18. I kinda thaoght that.
    Im hopeing too get the snow plowing from the places i take care of for lawn cutting .
    although for the first year, if i have too then some residential may do.

    which trucks hold up the best for the plowing.
  19. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Trucks - anything with a non-electronic dependable diesel,and a solid front axle.94-97 Dodge Cummins turbo diesels fit the bill niclely :D

    Send me an e-mail and we can discuss it more offline if you wish.
  20. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I find I make the most money on my businesses. We don't do any huge parking areas but I do good on the small 7-11 type parking area. Most of our small ones are about $50 per push, and you can do at least 2-3 of those an hour.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2003