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Question about snowthrowers

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by snowsnothing, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. snowsnothing

    snowsnothing Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    First off I'm new to the site and snow removal. I'm considering getting into some residential snow removal but don't know much about it. I have a landscape management business with about 90 full time customers. I'm located in Cincinnati Ohio where it doesn't snow very often and when it does it's usually not much. I do know that when I was a teenager [ I'm 30 now] my father had a 1/2 ton truck with a plow and did some snow removal. He didn't like it, sold the truck, and we havent touched any snow removal since. I'm older now and want to make some extra cash in the winter months. I have several Walker mowers at my disposal that I could purchase the 42" two stage snowthrower to remove snow. I would only be doing residential driveways since my entire customer base is residential. I'm just wondering if the whole snowthrower thing is a bad idea since I don't ever see anyone but homeowners using them. I'm also curious as to how much I could charge for this service. I was reading some other threads about how much guys charge to plow driveways with a truck and plow but nothing relateing to snowthrowing.
     
  2. kashman

    kashman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    the only time a price changes is if they ask for special stuff 30 dollar drive is 30 if you do it by hand truck or blower. now if you have a truck and they ask for it 2 be done by hand the price gos up.
     
  3. snowsnothing

    snowsnothing Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Do you guys think the whole snowthrower idea is good, bad, or doesn't really matter?
     
  4. kashman

    kashman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    id just get a 1 stage blower 7hp it will clean anything you need 2 stage clog 2 much for me
     
  5. Smitty58

    Smitty58 Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    I'm just north of Cincinnati and here is my take. Been plowing for 5 years mostly commercial. The commercial business is great if you have a plow because they want it plowed sometimes as little as 1 inch. For residentials that is not the case, most people will just drive over it unless we get a 4 or 5 inch snowfall. Even then it's not too good doing residentials ,but if we get a big one which is kind of rare in these parts as you know ,then everyone wants you to do their drive. That's when residentials payoff. Pricing for a normal 2 car wide 40 foot drive is on an avg $30 - $35. It is a good addition to your lawn care business so I would say go for it ,you never know when we will get the big one. Also there are plow companies you can hook up with to do just sidewalk work if you want to work. The guy I work with uses a few guys for sidewalks only ,but your best bang for the buck is just doing residentials. A normal drive will only take you 10-15 minutes with a blower. Good luck.
     
  6. snowsnothing

    snowsnothing Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanx for the advice guys. I have a 2 stage walk behind snow thrower that I don't really like to use. Seems like if the snow is real dry and powdery it works great. Most of the time in my area the snow is wet and heavy. The problem with my walk behind thrower is it doesn't seem to have enough weight to dig down and scrape the drive clean. If the snow is more than a few inches and it's wet it takes me forever to do my own drive, much less my customers. I was thinking that the 42" two stage unit for my Walker mower would weigh alot more plus it would have the weight of the tractor pushing it. I just want to make sure I don't tell too many people I can clear their drives and create a nightmare for myself!
     
  7. GreenManEnvy

    GreenManEnvy Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    Get comfortable with it in your own driveway, and then you can figure the area and time it, and it will give you a good idea of what it will take you to do the job.
     
  8. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,603

    Hmmmm. Snow blower to do driveways.....Way too much work for the money. Think about it this way. How long does it take to do a driveway with a blower 30 minutes, 45? for a typical 2 car. Now your outside with snow and ice blowing on you for 30-45 minutes, you still have to unload your blower, loaded it back up and drive to the next locations. So, maybe 50-60 minutes a house for $25-$30.

    How many houses do you think you can do after a storm? 4 hours, 5 hours before your frozen up and can't think straight.

    If your going down this road consider it a specialty. Go after driveways that are stamped concert or brick or this new goofy stamped asphalt. Then you can up charge a bunch because no one really has a plow with a rubber or poly tip.

    If you were in my area I'd probably flip you 5 or 6 mini-mansions at 50-75 a piece.
     
  9. MAGNUM SERVICES

    MAGNUM SERVICES Member
    Messages: 65

    I just bought a used Craftsmen 24 in. 5 hp 2 stage snowblower from a lawn customer and live in Covington,Ky. so I understand how little snow we get here but everybody is predicting heavy snow every where this year. I just got tired of shoveling sidewalks and residential driveways so now I will let the machine do it. I charge $ 40.00 per hr. for anything I do by hand and have gone up to $75.00 per hr. for anything done with the truck and plow. The things to think about are 1 How will you transport a Walker mower with the snowblower attachment to your customers sites? 2 If it breaks down how much of a struggle will it be to get loaded up to take it to get repaired? 3 At 42 in. will it fit down sidewalks or just driveways only? 4 Snowblowers throw snow and does somebody make a cab to keep the snow off of you?
     
  10. keitha

    keitha Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    Snowblower

    I can appreciate you wanting to get the most bang for buck
    out of your Walker.
    But as was mentioned moving your machine, possibly a cab
    and the shear cost of the attachment it self.
    What kind of payback will you get for the effort expended?
    What is the consistancy of your snow? Not many blowers work real well with "wet"
    snow.
    Now on the other hand. What do you have for a truck now?
    Could you use the money for the blower to upgrade or add a blade to what you have now?
    Good luck whatever you decide.

    Keith
     
  11. I have a two stage Troy-Built 24" blower that we use in the downtown core where streets are extremely narrow. Often too narrow for a plow truck. The last snowfall of 10cm my Toronto truck did 22 driveways in 9 hours with that blower. That included travel time etc.

    For standard driveways I'm getting $500 to $550 for seasonal with the blower.

    Last year This blower went through anything and I mean anything. It cut ice up and spit it out like nothing. Wet heavy snow went through without a problem. Now, here is the trick to wet heavy snow... Use some kind of spray... I use "Snow Shooter" which is kind of an oil type spray. I guess something like Fluid Film. It helps keep snow from sticking to the auger or shoot.

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. MAGNUM SERVICES

    MAGNUM SERVICES Member
    Messages: 65

    driveway doctor

    What horsepower is your snow blower ? I just bought a 5 hp. 24 in. 2 stage blower to use for the first time and can't wait for snow. Does your use chains or wheel weights ?
     
  13. I believe mine is a 5hp also. I use chains, made a HUGE difference, I highly recommend getting them.
     
  14. Grampa Plow

    Grampa Plow Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 274

    Don't let Dano hear you talk about that Sno Shooter stuff. I've read a number of other threads where they either talk about Fluid Film or Pam cooking oil. According to Dano, don't get the 2 mixed up!!
     
  15. bakerc8

    bakerc8 Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    get a blad for your walker
     
  16. bosman

    bosman Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    i'm w/ baker, get a blade, way cheaper, less maintenance, and no snow blowing in your face
     
  17. MAGNUM SERVICES

    MAGNUM SERVICES Member
    Messages: 65

    drivewaydoctor, Where did you find chains for your snow blower? My snow blower tire size is 4.10-6 and am looking for a set of chains for mine . Any idea who sells Fluid Film or Sno Shooter as I have never seen neither product before around the Greater Cincinnati,Oh. /Northern Ky. area?
     
  18. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Fluid Film can be bought at most John Deere dealers, or Mcmaster Carr, or e-bay on the internet
     
  19. MAGNUM SERVICES

    MAGNUM SERVICES Member
    Messages: 65

    Rc2505 Thanks for the info on fluid film and I will check the Deere dealer near my house. Thanks, Keith
     
  20. plownoob

    plownoob Senior Member
    from ny
    Messages: 128

    cheapest way I found. Go to live.com. search for "wii". Click the ebay link that comes up in the sponsored sites box. Should say 30% off. Once you get to ebay, search for fluid film. Believe kellsports has the best price. You can buy 2x1 gallon cans for $74.50 with free shipping. Later on, when you get the 30% back, final price ends up being $26 a gal. Make sure you see the 30% cashback logo and you have to pay with paypal. You have to have a live cashback account to. Worth the hassles if its stuff you need anyways.