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

Parking the plow!

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Sno, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    Well,
    I'm parking the plow for the winter.

    It has become insane here. There are now 10 times the plowers out there and I keep loosing account after account to the lowballers.

    There is no way I can compete, they are pushing driveways for 10.00 - 15.00 and frankly I'm embarrassed as hell to quote only 25.00. Bank lots for 30.00, apartment lots for 25.00 Hotels are financing buddies with trucks.

    Last year the customers would pounce on 25 for a driveway, the last month or so they hang up within 2 seconds.

    I've had it... I would have to plow 400 driveways to cover expenses... That will never happen. I'm taking my loss now instead of working for free. Parking the plow till next year.

    I'm thinking of writting letters to the customers I have left explaining why and offering the phone numbers of these lowballers.

    They might as well take advantage of the free service.

    I think that might look better for me then quoting double the now going rate of 10.00. Insane!

    There is going to be a **** load of equipment out there when the economy turns guys!

    DONT BUY IT UNLESS PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR!

    Only way to recoupe the expenses they stuck us with.

    I say, let the lowballers have at it!

    I'll take my losses and save my money
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2003
  2. DYNA PLOW

    DYNA PLOW Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    i beleive what it has come to is the fact that the economy is not good and anyone that had a plow for personal use or other reasons is now forced to try and make ends meet by trying to get some extra cash plowing snow and under cutting the pro's in the process. little do they know it won't work. people are just trying to survive and in the process killing others.
    i know your pain SNO.
    dan
     
  3. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    I'm sure thats what it is, doesnt help that they now sell plows in this small town either....

    Too many people laid off and plowing and getting unemployment at the same time.

    10.00 is just cash in the pocket.

    They dont even care if it tears the truck up.

    Hahhahhaa,, you should see all the plow trucks crammed in this small town in a snow event. It's hilarious.

    I swear to god... you stop at a red light and It's one on every corner.

    and two passing through.

    Thats even with NO SNOW!
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2003
  4. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I feel ya brotha, it is getting bad over here too...you have little kids from the projects that will do a driveway for $5.00 so they can go and buy a 1hit bag:rolleyes: atleast they are working for it:rolleyes: I have had the plow off sence the 7th and today I am taking the lower mount off so we can go 4 wheeling this weekend:D maybe 1 more good snow, I doubt it.

    ~Nate~
     
  5. PLOWMAN21157

    PLOWMAN21157 Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    10.00 bucks for a driveway??? I'd park it too!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    sounds like you need a good blizzard for people to appreciate plowers and show why they price like they do. sounds to me the beggar on the corner would make more than you are making adoing driveways for $10.
     
  7. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    When prices get that low then reliable service needs to be your strong point. Those guys cannot make enought to handle a repair to their truck. They will be the ones who do not survive. Stay with it. Keep the accounts you have with solid service and wait. You will get recommendations from those who you do service. This is the best way to grow IMO.
     
  8. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Thats the way to do it,you will survive.Don't drop to their level or you will disappear as quickly as they do.
     
  9. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    Well,

    That reminds me of Christmas eve and Christmas day.

    I am a single dad of an 8 year old daughter who woke to open presents.

    I WAS THE ONLY PLOW TRUCK ON THE ROAD FOR TWO DAYS! 10 hours a day.

    Including the town.

    I even plowed alleys for the elderly stuck in the drifts the city didnt bother with. For free.

    Pulled three cars out. And recieved numerous complaints on my answering machine because people thought I was the guy who was supposed to clear the allies for the city.. LOL Had to explain I have nothing to do with the city and I can not afford to plow all the alleys.

    Banks where full of snow, carry outs, stores, the whole town was burried and no one working but me and an occasional truck passing by about 1 an hour or two. Never seen one plowing though.

    I did take an hour break when my daughter woke up.

    The thanks I get,

    My big accounts decided to save 40.00 per snow event for the rest of the year and screw me. Even had a contract.

    Maybe 100.00 savings to them for the rest of the year.

    But, they will call again next year for a quote, they say.

    :rolleyes:

    Oh, I'll take care of the 20% left, but I am sending a letter out letting them know I'm not about to try and compete with that. They are all more than welcome to take advantage of the free service thats out there. But I'm not about to do it at anymore of a loss then I just took.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2003
  10. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    i agree with CT18fireman,

    you need to have your reliable service be your selling point, not your prices.

    if people are runnig around lowballing prices, let them, they will eventually go broke. they'll learn real quick the costs of doing business.

    i have plenty of costumers that would never get another contractor to clean thier snow (even at half my price). because they know how i work things, and i always show up, and i do the work right.

    stick with the customers you have, and work on getting costumer's that know what it means to have a real snow removal contractor, that shows up and does the work correctly, at the right time.

    it can be very discouraging, at times. but stick it out and try to build yourself a good clientel list. i lose plenty of customer's to lowballers, but they come back, after "joey halfprice" cant be found, cant get there, or his trucks broken, or he's drunk, etc...
     
  11. Ohiosnow

    Ohiosnow Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 415

    Sno

    Don't quit on your accounts as then you are no better than 'Those's Guys" ;)

    I'm sure you can hang in there as Professional Snowplowers always can. Look around there is always work at a fair $$$ if you look hard enough.


    10 yrs. ago a friend of mine set-up a lowballer scum to plow a drive for a lady that works at the local IRS Building :eek: well needless to say he's been audited 3 times in the last 10 yrs. :D & last we heard he's paying $35,000.00 back in fines & back taxes. Sometimes LIFE IS GOOD!!!!!!! :waving:
     
  12. landman

    landman Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 185

    Go to your local town councilman and tell him about the situation. Maybe even the mayor, what the hell even tell the local paper about it. The local paper might even do a big write up about the situation and you could get some free advetising out of it. Explain the situation that you are a full time plower and carry insuranse etc. your responsible yada yada yada! and by doing this it might spark town interest in perhaps some sort of contractor licence program which contractors would have to show thier credentials to have the licence and get some sorta stickers for the trucks. This happened in a town around here and it worked! every Jan you have to go to the town office fill out the application, pay $25.00 and provide an insurance certificate as well as your tax id # to prove you are a legal business. In turn they provide you with stickers for every truck and must be displayed "in public view" If you do not have these stickers residents in the town or any town official including police can report you for a reward, and in turn you get hit with a $250.00 fine. Also the homeowner/business owner will also be fined for not hiring a licenced contractor. so this system pretty much cut out all the scrubs and lowballers, I just wish they could implement this in every single town, this way the true professionals will stand above the rest.
     
  13. elitelandscape

    elitelandscape Member
    Messages: 79

    Hey Sno that happened last year where i am i basically plowed a couple places and that was it people where plowing for $10-$13 for driveways and plowing commerical accounts for next to nothing. It only happens for a year or 2 this year is totally different one company that was lowballing had 17 trucks going plus loaders this year they are done.
    They can only do it for so long so hang in there

    I remember the days of plow trucks out numbering the number of cars it seems


    cheers
     
  14. lawnkid

    lawnkid Senior Member
    Messages: 234

    Sno,
    Are you saying that you're gonna give up plowing for good?

    I am not personally a plowe but this sh*t is getting disgusting. I agree with everyone. Everyone thinks hey, I can make $60 per hour plowing snow becuase I won't boehter getting insurance so this will all be my money. I THINK THIS IS THE TIME WE NEED TO STRIKEBACK. I MEAN HOW LONG HAVE YOU GUYS WORKED AT MAKING YOUR BUSINESSES SUCCESSFUL WHEN SOME JACKOFFS COME AND RUIN EVERYTHING FOR YOU. YHEY PUT YOU OUT OF BUSINESS, AND THEN THEY GO OUT OF BUSINESS BECAUSE THEY DON'T GET PAYED ENOUGH TO STAY IN BUSINESS SO YOU'RE BOTH SCREWED BUT IT'S NOT AS BAD FOR THEM BECAUSE HEY I DID MY JOB AND MADE MY MONEY FOR NOW, MAYBE I'LL GO NOW AND PUT A 21" MOWER IN THE BACK OF MY TRUCK AND GO RUIN SOME LANDSCAPERS LIFE. THIS IS SERIOUSLY SOME BULLSH*T. I THINK YOU GUYS SHOULD ALL SEND LETTERS TO YOUR CONGRESSMEN WITH A PROSPOSED PLAN STATING THAT ONLY LICENSED AND INSURED SNOWPLOWERS AND LANDSCAPERS SHOULD ONLY BE ALLOWED TO WORK IN THIS FIELD. I EVEN AGREE THAT IT IS UNFAIR THAT YOU GUYS HAVE BUILT YOUR BUSINESSES AND NOW ARE STARTING TO GO UNDER BECAUSE THESE PEOPLE ARE UNEXPERIENCED, UNLICENSED, AND UNINSURED THEREFORE CHARGING LESS THAN THOSE OF YOU GUYS WHO HAVE TO PAY FOR LICENSES AND INSURANCE . GUYS, I'M NOT SAYING IT'S YOUR FAULTS BUT JUST LETTING IT HAPPEN AND NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT IS NOT RIGHT EITHER. IN 10 YEARS THE WHOLE SNOW BUSINESS IS GONNA TAKE A DROP AND PEOPLE WILL BE ALL PLOWING FOR FREE IF SOMETHING DOESN'T HAPPEN NOW. NOW LET'S PUT TOGETHER SOME THOUGHTS AND ACTUALLY SEND SOME LETTERS TO SOME HIGHLY RANKED BODIES IN THE GOVERNMENT AND SEE IF TEHEY CAN PROPOSE SOME REGULATIONS OR MAYBE EVEN SOME LAWS BE MADE. wHO KNOWS. IT'S DEFINITELY WORTH A TRY THOUGH.
     
  15. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    I agree with CT18 also

    let me tell you.i sent out my new contracts for lawn service and people sent them back signed ,but they changed the prices or cancelation terms.one customer said "the guy i called before you last year said he would do it for half of what you want" funny but this guy took his money and never showed up.also the last little storm we had i got payment from all but two people.i called and went to the places with no call back or anything.things are tuff but once these LOW BALL A**HOLES go out of biz we will be back on top.


    yeah i haven't looked at my plows or sander in 3 weeks and yes it does suck
     
  16. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    lawnkid

    my state could give TWO SH*** less about landscapers
    they think we are all SH** HEADS that SCREW PEOPLE.
    yes i did write some letters to some people in office and you know what they said frankly??


    GO WIPE YOUR A**.your not a concern to us.
     
  17. L.I.Mike

    L.I.Mike Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    I would sevice the accounts I have left to keep my name out in view. I lost 3 residential accounts to a lowballer who cut my price in half. The accounts were 1/2 hour from my house and I kept the 1 house I had left just to keep my face in the neighborhood. The last storm at christmas my 1 house was plowed and I shoveled the walk. The 3 I lost had nothing done. My customer was thrilled and laughed when the neighbors complained about their "new" guy.
    Stick with it, When the lowballers break and can not affor to fix the equipment or just do not show up, the customers will be back.
     
  18. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom Member
    Messages: 82

    I know it is discouraging but you have to hang tough. I have seen this happen in plowing, landscaping and lawn care. Stick to your guns, lick your wounds and come back to fight when the others find out that buisiness isn't as easy as it seems. There will always be lowballers, and there will always be people that use them. You lose clients to them, but once they have been burned a few times they come back.
     
  19. lawnkid

    lawnkid Senior Member
    Messages: 234

    Hey mike9497,
    I agree with you but if enouhg people write about it maybe then they'l get annoyed and do something about it. I think it's definitely worth a shot. Is there any city regulations that can be made?
     
  20. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    they will be back

    when they come back introduce them to the new price for your reliable service >.......it works for me