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Question to the pros

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by bofreebird, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. bofreebird

    bofreebird Junior Member
    from Calgary
    Messages: 5

    I live in Calgary, AB tymusic and we get a minimum of snow every year but enough that it needs to be removed. In the past I have always hired a Professional company to come and remove it.

    Prices have seemed to sky rocket here and for my triple car drive way( 20 ft length) and about 6 feet of side walk and 16 feet of walk way companies are charging $140 a month. This mostly seems to work out to about $40 a snow fall

    I am partially physically disabled and can not shovel the snow myself but I was thinking of other alternatives. I think we had 13 snow falls above 1 inch last year,

    Snow removal will cost me ~$700 so I would be willing to spend a bit more for a solution that would allow me to do the snow without any lifting/carrying/bending.

    I thought about buying a back pack blower and attaching it to a dolly or maybe a snow blower.

    What do you guys think would be best for my situation?

  2. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    I think $40 to plow your drive and shovel 24 foot of walkway is cheap and you should continue.

    Your other alternative is buying a self propelled two stage snowblower. At >$700 a year it would only take a couple years tp recoup the cost.
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sorry,but you could look around for someone else. How much would trip to hospital cost you if you fell while monkeying around?
  4. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,547

    Hey, GV, That wasn't nice. He's not a monkey he's a bird. Didn't you read his screen name ?

    Hey Bofreebird,

    If you're partially disabled, then aren't there programs to help people in your situation ?

    I would think that someone here would (or might) be interested in helping you out. The costs you're describing are actually dirt cheap, BTW
  5. bofreebird

    bofreebird Junior Member
    from Calgary
    Messages: 5

    Hey Guys thanks for the replies.

    I am glad you guys think the price isn't unreasonable. I the guy comes and shovels and in under 10 minutes he is gone. Last year I had to call them back more than once for missing one section or another of the walkway or sidewalk and my frustration level was at a maximum. I was thinking it would be less of a hassle to do it myself.

    While in Canada you can break your leg for free. I am not sure I want to do so and this is really the deciding factor. I will call around for a quote.

  6. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    Thats awesome:laughing:!! We will have that here soon, if we don't change presidents in November
  7. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,468

    $700/yr isn't bad. Or get an apartment. Or find a neighbor kid...$20/event.
  8. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,343

    call and discuss the problems of last year...find a soulution...pay them and watch them work form a cozy warm window....maybe tell them to leave after you check the work the first few snows!..sometimes its a communication problem
  9. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    Where I am that would be on the higher end of the scale. Most drives are 20x50 and go for $400 without walks and $500 with. If you are paying $700 you would think you would have great service and not have to call the guy back. I would shop around for another contractor. Do any of your neighbours have a plowing service.
  10. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,547

  11. ScubaSteve728

    ScubaSteve728 Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    find someone nearby and pay them per event
  12. bofreebird

    bofreebird Junior Member
    from Calgary
    Messages: 5

    I forgot about this thread. We actually made a propane fueled flamethrower to solve my problems. My neighbor is an ex-military engineer. I think it's going to work great.

    Here is a video of it
  13. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 654

  14. forbidden

    forbidden Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Last winter we were out almost every sunday doing snowplow and bobcat clearing of snow here in Calgary. It is most certainly not done at 1" of snowfall. Insurance is a huge cost to the business, same with WCB coverage for the workers, the equipment they use, the vehicle and it's expenses to get them there. We typically charge $160.00 per month for the average size Calgary lot. A double drive, front city sidewalk and walkway to the front door.

    I find that people think that they are first on the list. Our list starts where it is most logical to do so and then the properties are put into the most efficient order. If a client wants to be first on the list, $5000 up front for that and then we redo all of the routes to suit it. Most people at that point get the notion that hey, we don't control the weather, we are busting our butts outside and we are working hard to get to your property as well. In the days that the snow is light, yes it does not take that long to do the work on site but the expenses associated to getting the crew there stays the same. On the days of heavy snow, we are not there in as timely a manner and that is to be expected. The costs to get the employees there is the same but our costs increase dramatically on those days for the time that is spent on site, due to wages, wear on equipment and fuel in the equipment.

    Some days we win, some days we lose. On the days we win, you lose. On the days we lose, you win. At the end of the day if you have a solid contractor who is insured, that does good work and delivers a highly predictable outcome, that is money well spent.

    Our averages here in Calgary are as follows.

    9 visits per month over 6 months.
    5 visits per month are under 3 cm of snow.
    2 visits per month are under 8 cm of snow.
    2 visits per month are over 8 cm of snow.
    Fall and spring are heavy wet snow, like the foot of it we got here in Okotoks the other day.

    Even the large backpack blowers we use (Stihl BR600) will not work in snow above 4cm in the distances you mention. You would need a single stage snowblower at the minimum and then fuel for it and the time to use it. Stay inside, stay warm and hire a good company to do the work for you. Your health has to be worth that much at least.
  15. kyles landscapi

    kyles landscapi Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    find a local kid tell him how u want it hell be glad to make 20 bucks
  16. forbidden

    forbidden Senior Member
    Messages: 392

    Local kid has no insurance, leaves homeowners neck over the chopping block for a slip and fall claim. This is a big time issue here in Calgary. The City has a call in number for people to complain to about snow removal not being done properly and the bylaw officers act on it immediatly. We had a emergency call out today from a homeowner in Eversyde who had not done his sidewalk. His city sidewalk is a corner lot on a major school route. It took 2 guys an hour to ice chip the sidewalk clear. Homeowner had 7 complaints in one hour. Local kid...... was in school.
  17. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Great!!!! what are you going to do with the ice that all that water turns to???????
  18. bofreebird

    bofreebird Junior Member
    from Calgary
    Messages: 5

    This website must have the stats wrong


    Oct 1.00 cm
    Nov 15.00 cm
    Dec 23.10 cm
    Jan 7.80 cm
    Feb 20.00 cm
    Mar 19.80 cm
    Apr 27.70 cm
    May 12.60 cm
    Jun 0.00 cm
    Jul 0.00 cm
    Aug 0.00 cm
    Sep 0.00 cm

    127 cm total
  19. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    Why are you still here? I thought you solved your issue with your ingenious flamethrower you Invented yourself recently with a video from 2005.

  20. bofreebird

    bofreebird Junior Member
    from Calgary
    Messages: 5

    I did hire a company to do the snow removal. The flamethrower was just a joke.

    I guess I should ask you the same question.

    Why are you still here?