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Question on plowing private roads?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by BucklesIX, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. BucklesIX

    BucklesIX Member
    from US
    Messages: 30

    I started plowing driveways last year. However now I have local cottagers asking me for estimates on their private cottage roads that they all all go in on. Problem is I have no fricken clue how to estimate roads, or if it is more than I can take on.

    For instants how would one estimate doing a flat narrow 3/4mi stretch of dirt road, about 10ft wide. I do live in a unpredictable area lots of Lake Effect that will dump a ft an hour, or nothing for 6 months :(

    I plow with a newer 3/4 Chevy 6.6 Diesel with a 8.5 Vplow, and a 1 tone 6.5 diesel with a 9ft straight blade.

    Any info would be appreciated
     
  2. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,024

    Do they just want the road done or their drives and sidewalks also?
    Is it in a wood area where you may have to worry about a tree falling and blocking you in or out? And do they want NaCl?
     
  3. 95HDRam

    95HDRam Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    The equipment you are using will get the job done but just like BOSS said what all are they wanting done will depend on how you should bid it.

    If I was approached in my area for the road only I would bid on a per push basis just like driveways. With no salt just snow removal I would go $150 per push on a 3" trigger. That is providing there is sufficient room for snow to pile up along the road side and a place at the end to push it.

    I do not bid on these types of jobs so I could be way off but I would make it worth your while for how long you would be there.
     
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,611

    Are these year round cottages? what do the sides of the road look like,meaning after one plow is these still room for more snow? Need to know this before you can give a bid.
     
  5. BucklesIX

    BucklesIX Member
    from US
    Messages: 30

    They want just straight plowing get the road clear, people are responsible for making sure their own driveways are clear, hopefully paying me to clear them. There really are no sides of the road, just yards, and trees, and stupid yard crap that cottagers cram in their yards to mow around,.the snow like the town dopes is just pushed off the to the side. My worry is if we do get a real winter if I have to push my banks back the only place to push it back is in their yards, how do I write that into a contract, so I don;t have to be responsible for any ruts, and sod damage?
     
  6. BucklesIX

    BucklesIX Member
    from US
    Messages: 30

    Wait let me clear that up some.

    Some of the residents live there year round, but all roads have to be maintained for the fire department. They want just straight plowing get the road clear, people are responsible for making sure their own driveways are clear, hopefully paying me to clear them when I'm done with the road. There are no sidewalks, yards, and trees. The snow just banked up to the sides. My worry is if we do get a real winter and I have to push my banks back the only place to push it back is in their yards, how do I write that into a contract, so I don;t have to be responsible for any ruts, and sod damage
     
  7. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,024

    To be honest I'd be more nervous not plowing their drives. If 'lil ole lady comes walking out to get the mail and trips on your snowbank in her own drive - that's a lawsuit waiting to happen. So make sure you're contract is very clear and get everyone to sign it or don't do it.
    Good luck!
     
  8. 95HDRam

    95HDRam Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    ^^^X2 Write a very clear contract saying you are not responsible for the driveways to be clear unless otherwise contracted to do so per lot owner. Have the manager sign and each resident sign regarding that to clear you of liability.
     
  9. BucklesIX

    BucklesIX Member
    from US
    Messages: 30

    Well I appreciate the advice on the contract stipulations, but I still don't know how to estimate these roads, no one is giving info to me, wouldn't trust them if they told me, most people willing to talk about that stuff where I am are undercutting scammers and/or exaggerating BSers. I don't even know if I would do any roads, as I am all set with residential driveways that will call me back every year, but I would like to know for future reference.

    Thanks
     
  10. 95HDRam

    95HDRam Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    If your not interested in doing roads then stick to what makes you money. There will be someone out there that will gladly take that. We don't do roads bc of the liability. So it is not for everyone.
     
  11. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    I do a couple roads and then can be a hassle. The one i do "3/4 mile" i only charge $75 because there is only one full time resident and i know he cannot afford to pay bigger money. But we have an agreement to push every 6" regardless and he pays for sand almost every storm to boot. There are other people who come on occasion that he tries to get money from and for those people i punch out the drives too. Every time we have an issue i remind him what i normally charge for a driveway and that he gets a smoken deal for what i charge. He pays me cash money and at yrs end i make a couple grand off him. The road is always in good condition and has plenty of places to push out for more room so that is a plus. The other i charge $100 for one mile every 6". These are very cheap prices and should be charged more, but they are good money makers too. Small storms you can drop the blade and drive in at 15mph winging the snow way back, punch out the drive and come back out and you done. Usually can do these in about 20 minutes so it is quick money. It is the 24+ inches that will take time and hurt their wallets. These are not driveways to put off until the end, punch em out and leave. Come back at another 4-6" and punch em back again, be sure you push your banks way back at the beginning too. Amazing how fast a 14' wide road will become a goat path with a heavy snow.
     
  12. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Drive the road at 20. That's probibaly how fast you can plow it. Standard 2 lane road (1 lane each way) will need 6 passes maybe 8. (in and out count as 2 passes). The 1 we plow goes around a corner and the sidewalk changes sides so we cannot throw snow both ways but at the corner where the sidewalk changed we swivel the plows. It's always hammer down to throw the snow as far over the curb as possible. If we are expecting more snow we use a plow with wings to push it back the extra 2 ft. Love plowing the road. No backing up, quick and easy.
     
  13. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 6,230

    I have three subdivisions I plow the roads in, ranging from 1.5-3.5miles. They are paved, plenty of room pushing back banks if needed, no curbs and only hazards are mail boxes. these roads are wide and require 2 in-out passes to get everything ditch to ditch. I charge $115 per mile, they're set up with 3 rates, 4-8", 8-12" and 12" plus and I do a 60% bump from the 4-8" base rate as it gets deeper. These jobs are gold mines for me, just pushing and no obstacles.
    Based on what you've said the only thing I'd give some thought about is having a place to put the snow as the season goes on. If you have access to a blower (sub out blowing or rent) it's probably something you'd want to consider given the lake effect snows you get or push it off as far as you can from the get go.