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plowing along with a full time job

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by jhill603085, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. jhill603085

    jhill603085 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Hey, this will probably be a bit long winded, so hang in there if you would.

    Ive been working doing landscaping 5+ years, and snow shoveling/plowing for the past 3 years as an employee. Worked for a small landscaping company as a shoveler in the winter, and was fortunate that they helped me along and gave me some seat time plowing some open parking lots really just for emergency access, and some easy driveways.

    I now have a full time job at a private high school working as a member of the facilities crew. I got a whole lot of time behind the wheel of a f350 dump with sander during this past winter.

    Now this year, I purchased a new to me 2003 F350, to do some landscaping work on the side. Truck came with a MM2 plow. Im looking to do some plowing with it if there ever is snow. Mostly just a couple neighbors and my house to start, nothing major.

    My main question is how any of you has handled plowing for yourself, after having to plow for another company. If that is even really possible granted that for the most part I will be tied up plowing at my full time job. Thanks for any input!! It is much appreciated.
  2. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    I'll help you out since I'm from next door to you (Wellesley, MA) You are just going to have to find customers who are flexible. I never had trouble with that at all. I used to plow my driveways in Wellesley while having full time jobs. I'd hit them real early in the morning or after work and throughout the night. It can be done, but just don't take on too much and make sure they are flexible with you. I never once advertised either. All my work came from referrals and I turned down many driveways that didn't work for me for whatever reason. Do a good job, be reliable, be easy to work with and your phone will blow up. Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  3. maverjohn

    maverjohn Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    Banksy right, I do the samething, just don't overload yourself.
  4. jhill603085

    jhill603085 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    thanks for the advice guys. sounds pretty simple.

    but what if i get tied up at work with a long snow event, during which i will have to stay at work for the duration?, what customer on earth is going to want to wait 12 or 14 hours before i can plow them out?? nevermind the fact that i really wouldnt want to have to worry about plowing a large amount of snow in one push.
  5. DuraBird02

    DuraBird02 Member
    Messages: 76

    My suggestion would be to find a company that would let you work as a backup plow truck. I have worked the last few winters as a "reinforcement" type plow, where i only plow when we get 6+ inches in a storm. That is a lot of snow around here, and it is extra money for me. Just my thoughts.
  6. chevyman83

    chevyman83 Member
    Messages: 55

    I did it for 3+ years while working a 50-60 hr/week job. 1 account was a commercial parking lot and 3 resi driveways. They were understanding. I think only 3 times did I have to go on my lunch hour and clean the main areas of the commercial parking lot.
  7. AC2717

    AC2717 Senior Member
    Messages: 669

    DItto from Banksy.
    I have done it for years, and hold myself to 15 regular customers. and then will calls for that event only. Also I stay in the West Roxbury area only.
    Although this year, I have gotten rid of regular customers because I got a job driving a loader for snow (again around my regular full time job). I sent a note to my regulars that I would still be willing to do it on a will call basis. Which was fine with most of them. I serviced them for a while, I lost some, but I still retained enough.

    Trick is this: Be reliable, price accordingly that you will not be able to be as fast as the other guy, Make sure this is explained and do a good job.
    FOr example I did jobs at $45 a visit ( six inches an under, anythign basically over 8 inches I came twice depending on when and how it fell) where others might have been $60 and up easily. But I did the work myself and included the walkways

    I made a promise to my customers that I kept. No matter what you will be plowed out by 7am the morning after the storm if it came over night and stopped done by 7am or aleast had at least one pass done by 7am if storm was ongoing. IF the storm came during the day and stopped, they would be cleaned out by that night. Most understood and were fine with that. I am sure the price had something do with it. Timing was everything on the storm
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  8. jhill603085

    jhill603085 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Hey guys, thanks a lot. That all sounds like great advice! Makes me feel a bit more confident that there are people out there that are willing to wait to be plowed out!

    I especially like the idea of being a "back up". That seems like a lot less pressure.

    Thanks again.