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

Newbie Question

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

  1. brandonnmm

    brandonnmm Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    My second newbie question!

    I just started plowing on my own this year, I did some plowing when I was younger but I just jumped in the truck and pushed snow on commercial sites then. My question is about residential driveways, am i harming my truck if i want to plow when the snow ends and there is a foot of snow? Should I be going more often? For the commercial sites I go every 2 to 3 inches so its a non issue but with residential customers some dont want you to come more then once.
     
  2. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,044

    We did residentials at 3" triggers. Everyone knew that this meant they paid every 3" and never had a complaint. Overnight we would wait for up to 6" and charge them once. You don't want to show up to a long residential with a foot of heavy snow. Powder is another story.
     
  3. brandonnmm

    brandonnmm Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    That was my thinking, a foot of fluffy stuff no problem, wet stuff a different story. I was thinking maybe every 6" would work. I have a property management company that has a few empty houses they need done so its not really needed every 3'.
     
  4. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,975

    Pushing a foot of snow....no problem.
    Your serious Clark?
     
  5. johnnywaz

    johnnywaz Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Wow all you guys really plow residentials at every 3 inches?
     
  6. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,043

    Damn sure can't wait for 12" if people live there unless it's overnight. Even then I'd be awful pissed if I was the homeowner and needed to get out for an emergency or something and there was 11" of snow in my driveway.
     
  7. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,295

    My resi's have 1" triggers (in town) with tiered rates , I plow in the early morning and again in the afternoon if needed.

    Talk to your customers and find oot their expectations, then tell them what you'll do for them. FYI keep you're triggers and service the same for all your customers, it makes running the route a lot easier and you don't have to remember who gets what and when.
     
  8. johnnywaz

    johnnywaz Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Last year when i lived in a tightly packed subdivision the neighbors on each side of me and 1 across the street all had the same landscape service for grass and snow. They always came when it snowed 3 inches or less. But if it snowed any more than that the neighbors were asking me to plow or snowblow their drives cause their service wouldn't show sometimes till 2-3 days AFTER the storm. I understand everyone has a different level of service and professionalism though. I don't plow for money, so I was only asking about the 3 inch thing out of curiosity. The drives I do the people all want me to wait till after the storm(family, close friends).
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  9. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,044

    We plowed every 3" (started the first house at 3" so by the time we got to the last house the first time there could be 4-5" depending on the storm and if there were any issues.

    During the day we tried our hardest to keep on track and be there every 3" and at night the max we ever let it get to was 8" (wet snow). We tried to keep up during the day because most of our clients were families so they were in and our plus school. (Our school district didnt like to cancel school when we plowed)

    Plus everyone knew that we would try to plow every 3" and they never complained. We only had one late payment in 3 seasons with 30 houses.
     
  10. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,574

    naw, ya only plow resi's every 12" to 24".....
     
  11. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,080

    Even when I did residential with my blowers that could easily handle a foot of anow, none of my customers would want that on the driveways. They pay for a service, make sure it's everything they expect. I wouldn't ever let over 4" be in someone's drive. I also got paid for every time I went out. We don't get that much snow often, but when we did I never had a complaint about the invoice. I think the complaints would have been rolling in with a foot on their drives.
     
  12. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,080

    I feel like that's all I read on here anymore.
     
  13. johnnywaz

    johnnywaz Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Sorry didn't mean to come across as only plowing when it gets 12" to 24". I realize each storm would require different tactics and in the case of something over 12" you would probably have to do multiple trips. But lets say you had a 6"-9" storm and your trigger is 3" you guys would really make it around to your "residentials" 3 times in one day? With a fleet of trucks maybe its possible, but a few man show I don't see how you can do it unless you have few residentials. Then mix in commercial which is usually priority and I really don't see how you can do it in 1 day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  14. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,574

    While your servicing 50 drives one time a day.
    and spending extra time moving snow pushing it back, beating on your equipment. The rest of of us are servicing 25 drives 2-3 times and a couple of commercial lots only pushing 2"-4" at a time.
    my commercial lots are all 2" triggers.

    Plow the drive in the early am so they can get out,
    then again before they get home.
    and if its humping 24" I may swing by again in the evening just to keep it open

    but you are right you can have to much work at some point.
    that means you ether get more efficient or you grow your business by adding trucks and crew members.

    I plow my resi's with a 10ft Vee plow....as a 6.7 or a 7.5 wide plow is to inefficient for me.


    but the last thing I do is wait for 9"- 12" to be in a drive before we plow it. Its easier on the equipment and the operator. I have found I can plow a drive in a few minutes with 3" or less. but get 6" and up it just takes longer.

    jmo.
     
  15. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,080

    To me that says your route is too big. It also depends on what time of day. If it's in the middle of the day on a weekend you're commercial accounts will probably be just keeping lanes open, and you'll have to come back that night to get all the parking spaces. During that same time, you're residential customers will want to get out. You'll have to focus on hitting them 2 to 3 times in a heavy snowfall. If it's at night however, you will have to spend more time with your commercial to clear it while it's empty. You can let the snow build up a little more (not too much for your trucks sake) and just make sure you clear it in time for your customer to get out to go to work.

    Just plan your routes and know your customers. Know if you have an office building that opens at 0900H, if your driveway needs to be cleaned by 0600H, a restaurant that the cooks start prepping food at 0700H, you get the picture. Hope that helps. Good luck.
     
  16. johnnywaz

    johnnywaz Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Thanks for the info guys. I was only prodding for the orginal posters sake. Me personally I only plow as a hobby. Have a few long rural drives and sometimes 1 sub drive if called. Plowing doesn't pay enough for me. I like my 5:00am-2:00pm job with weekends off.