1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

New to the game and wondering...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by ace10km, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. ace10km

    ace10km Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Hey guys, I'm new to the game and found this site and love it already. I spend the last couple hours browsing and getting familiar with the forum.

    I work fulltime and want to work my way up to owning a snow removal company. Last year, I did quite a bit of gigs by hand with a shovel and it was very tiring on the body and super slow (30-60 min) per driveway. I only charged per visit so I only got called when things we out of control.

    This year I am buying a snowblower. I'm actually picking it up today and I have a cargo van that I want to use to transport the snowblower. I may also be able to get someone to take care of the work while I'm at work and do my share on evenings and weekends.

    People have been asking me for contracts quite a bit this year and I'm not sure how to structure things to make it work knowing that I work during the day and my helper is not always available.

    Do you know I should continue doing it per visit until I can work on this fulltime or do you think there is a way to make it work early mornings, weekends and evening?

    I'd like to work my way up and grow this slowly and I'm not sure how to do it.

    An other option that I am considering is to sell leads in areas that are far from where I live and I was wondering if anyone had experience or an opinion about that. Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,536

    Either you hire someone so whenever it snows you can service your contracts or continue to be a on call/when available service. You must decide that.
     
  3. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,552

  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,445

    If you need your job now is not time.

    Save your $$$$
    Do your homework.
    Save up some more $$$
    For the cost of entry.

    Then go legit.
    A business lic,
    Permits,( yea in some areas you need a permit from the city)
    Truck
    Plow
    Snowblower
    Shovels,
    Salt
    INSURANCE.
    Are you going to hire a employee?
    Workmans comp,
    Wages
    Why do they want to sit around and waite for it to snow.
    Employee renentshion, replacement cost,

    Etc, etc,

    Yea sounds like a plan,
    you say they are asking for a contract?
    Do you have a contract thay could sigen.


    Decisions, decisions, decisions.
    And all Ya want is some extra beer money....

    Ps do you know how to plow?
    Cost of fixing/ replacing landscaping every spring.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  5. JDosch

    JDosch Senior Member
    from Joliet
    Messages: 125

    I agree 100%. Snow plowing requires you to be on call 24/7. You are better off just going around with your snow blower, and going house to house doing driveways when you have time.
     
  6. ace10km

    ace10km Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks a lot for giving this the time a day. This stuff was keeping me up at night!

    I think I'll saving up and doing it when I can is probably better for the time being. I ordered a snowblower and will get it on Wednesday and I'm pretty excited about that. That's already a step up for me. Maybe the next step could be to get a second one and have it available to get help as need be.

    I'll also start keeping a list of people that I help so I can hit them up with the contract option down the road.

    When talking about start up capital... How much should I aim for if I want to buy a new Truck, Plow, and so on?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  7. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,585

    and nothin better to do, just like me...Thumbs Up
     
  8. kolwnmstr

    kolwnmstr Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    Brand new truck?
     
  9. ace10km

    ace10km Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Yes, brand new.

    I contacted a ford dealer in my area and all they wanted to talk about was leasing.
     
  10. kolwnmstr

    kolwnmstr Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    Brand new truck and brand new plow maybe $55K depending on where you live.
     
  11. JDosch

    JDosch Senior Member
    from Joliet
    Messages: 125

    And don't forget insurance on top of that. Among a million other things.
     
  12. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,536

    I bought a tradesman model 2014 dodge 2500 and got a brand new blizzard plow for 37k total. Almost cheapest it can be done.
     
  13. jonniesmooth

    jonniesmooth Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    new truck

    That's how I started, doing my accounts before my day job and again after.

    If you're starting small (sounds like you are) whatever you buy, pay cash for it.

    Watch the video in my signature. It's a plan that works.
     
  14. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,552

    Good lord, you did alright on that. My yearly insurance nut is almost that much!

    Ace - I would not just jump into a new truck payment just to plow snow... what if you hate it???
     
  15. CashinH&P

    CashinH&P Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    Like every one else has said. Start small, retain customers who understand that your doing this in conjunction with your day job now. When you have enough saved to do snow full time, take the plunge. And what ever you do, do not buy a brand new truck as your first plow truck. I started in a 2004 chevy 1500, it was paid and I didnt have to worry about making the the truck not if it didn't snow.
     
  16. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,552

    Throwing out ball park numbers here - Sno did a good job of covering the big things, so I will hit the numbers on his list.

    A business lic, Figure $500- $1000 threw a lawyer
    Permits,( yea in some areas you need a permit from the city) Don't know never had that issue
    Truck $15-$50k
    Plow $2-$8k
    Snowblower$500- $1000
    Shovels, $25-$50
    Salt That all depends on quantity and size of plowable area
    INSURANCE. Figure $1-2k for the most basic G/L and truck
    Are you going to hire a employee?
    Workmans comp, This one is the b*tch - It depends on your state, most states use the NCCI classifications which depending on your insurance agent feels is the correct class to cover the scope of work that you will provide can vary drastically. I would say figure a number of $10-$15 per $100 of payroll will get you in the ball park, but it could be higher, could be lower
    Wages All depends on amount of snow and what you feel your help is worth - unless you get into PW work some day, then the government sets it for you
    Why do they want to sit around and waite for it to snow.
    Employee renentshion, replacement cost,

    Hopefully that gives you an idea on capital to do it right. I would also recommend that you save your money and pay cash for things to get going. If you don't like the business or can't handle all the elements of the business, you can get out and you will get some of your money back to try something else. Just my 2 cents. Do whatever makes you feel good. :salute:
     
  17. Ramitt

    Ramitt Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    What is your work hours(your full time job) If you worked 7-3:30 like I do that gives you plenty of time after work to take care of customers if they are alright waiting till after the storm or when there is 6+in on the ground. You just have to go over this with them and have them know that could be the issue.. My buddy im sub'ing for dont need to be cleared for AM hours(all of them have 4wds so even 12in of snow isnt a big deal if it comes down to it) They just want the bulk of it cleared at some point in the day so it doesnt accumulate.. This has worked for him and he usually did it after work.. It could be an option for you.. Do you have a buddy that is laid off during this time of the year that you can trust to take over for you? Lots of planning needs to be done.. Start calling your customers and talk with them on what they are looking for..
     
  18. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,829

    55K i dont wo you deal with i got my new truck for 32k right off the plus 5 for the plow
     
  19. Ramitt

    Ramitt Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    Depends on the guy and what they wanna plow with.. Local guy by me plows commercially with his 2015 duramax denali has a stainless fisher vblade.... Seems like a waste of money to use such a nice expensive truck.. Looking at around 63k for denali with the duramax plain package no upgrades... Guess im just that cheap and love not having a truck payment
     
  20. kolwnmstr

    kolwnmstr Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    All depends on where you live.