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Residential Contract of 400 homes

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JLS CO1, Nov 2, 2000.

  1. JLS CO1

    JLS CO1 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I won a contract with an sub-divison and it has 400 homes
    I am required to clear the walks and drives. I was trying
    to decide what would be the best way to clear the sidewalk
    and what should I use.

    Also for parking lots, how are you guys charging for salt?
    Any info would be helpful.

    Thanks,
    Darrell
    JLS Company
     
  2. OBRYANMAINT

    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    walks ---quad or maybe two would be good and salt is bidded by the job and budgeted by the ton
     
  3. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Walk behind mower with v plow for the front of the mower, to use along the street adjacent walks,one pass and they are done. A single stage snow blower for the walks to the house.On the plow, use a surface protecting edge of some sort.That will prevent any scrape marks on the concrete. For that type of application, an old tire cut into strips will work. Thank Chuck Smith for that idea.
    On the salt we charge per ton on larger accounts, and per application on smaller ones.
    Dino
     
  4. cutntrim

    cutntrim PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 248

    Congratulations. A skidsteer w/blade should do nicely for the walks and could also be used with a bucket to move/remove piles. We bill salting @ "$XX.XX/application" and it is based on the amount used.
     
  5. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    dino- if he put urethane edges on the quads or whatever he chooses to do the sidewalks with, he wouldn't have to worry about scuffing right? for the sidewalks, maybe looking into a gravely or a small machine (a wb like dino mentioned) that you could go from a broom for light snow, to a blade, to a snowblower for drifts and stuff. or look at eric elms setup, he has a jd tractor which is setup nice. he can expand more on it as he knows it best.


    Bryan
     
  6. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    I think a skid steer will be too big for most walks. I'm lazy, so would never find me pushing or walking behind a snow blow on a project of that size. I'm partial to a tractor w/ a blower attatchment, have one of your employees if you have one do the manual stuff.

    FYI: I've got a couple of projets like this and I sold them on liquid CMAK (calcium magnesuim acetate). In fact, we're going to pre-treat (spray) all of the walks before, during and after the storm. No shoveling or blowing if we keep up on it. This product is more expensive, but will reduce your man hour time significantly, so the higher cost is a wash. You can sell it as environmentally safe, no chlorides or sodiums, its clear so no tracking and won't damage carpeting, etc. I know the Magic gods won't like me recommending this stuff, but other than the cost, Magic can't touch this stuff. Just by having the ability to offer a service like this to your clients will take your business to an even greater level, because your competition will still be pushing shovels and snow blowers.
     
  7. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    You dont say how wide the walks are. When I had accounts downtown all the walks were 8' wide and I did them with the truck. But I think whatever you use a blower would be better than a plow for sidewalks, what happens after 2 or 3 storms in a row, you dont want to be spending time removing snow if you dont have to. At least in the city they came by at night and removed all the snow piles after the storm.
     
  8. JLS CO1

    JLS CO1 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks guys you all are helpful,I didnt mention the
    width of the sidewalk is 60 inches.

    P.S.
    what price are you charging per ton of salt for
    the parking lot jobs.

    Darrell
     
  9. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    If the walkways are 60" wide. Curtis makes a 62 (check their site for exact, but i am pretty sure it is 62")" wide plow for the John Deere Gator, they also build a salt spreader. I think if you angle the 62" wide blade, it would fit perfectly on the walkway. Curtis also builds a cab, with a heater, for more info search gator snow removel.

    I think this set up would be idea for your account.

    Geoff
     
  10. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Geoff,

    I just searched all over the Deere website. I find it odd that they don't offer a plow themselves. I wonder why.
    Obviously there is a market for it if Curtis makes one.

    Darrell,

    You didn't mention if you currently have any equipment you could get attachments for. I know you may want to get a new machine for this task, but sometimes you may already have a machine that could be adapted. For a 60" wide walk, a skid steer would be nice. The bonus of that, would be the various attachments you could get for it. It could do other things besides clearing the walks. You could mount a pusher box on it, or the bucket for stacking, a PA plow on it, a scraper box to back drag away from doors getting closer, easier than a truck, the possibilities are endless. The cost is the highest too of all the sidewalk machines you could choose from. Then again, it's possible you could use it year round in your business.

    You also didn't say where you are, and how much snow you get. This would affect my decision on this. I mean if you get 3 snowfalls a year on average, of 6" or less, as opposed to 14 snowfalls of 3" or so, etc, etc.

    I'd definitely want a sidewalk machine with an enclosure and heat for all those walks. A happy machine operator is a productive one!

    ~Chuck
     
  11. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Chuck,
    What is a happy operator? I don't understand.
     
  12. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    For my walks I use a JD 4100 4x4 hydro with a blade and blower, the nice thing is the three point that you can mount a rear blade to help drag drives parking spaces etc. then we use it in the summer to mow.It has a cab on it and is heated allowing operator to stay out longer. We also have a blower mounted on our Toro walk behind,its something you would have to fabricate yourself.Iv'e heard that V plows mounted the same work well. We have done the four wheeler thing and I have some real operator liability issues because of the speed capabilities with the blade on the ground.
     
  13. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Iowa,

    A "happy operator" is one that is not freezing his lower extremities off while doing 400 houses worth of walks!

    I'm also curious how you will be applying the CMA to the walks? I've considered liquids before, but application is the problem. Sign posts would hinder the use of a boom in many areas. Most methods I can think of would be wasteful. I've actually considered a paint striping machine, like I used to paint the lines on football and soccer fields in the past. A self propelled one of course, with a (scaled down) HVLP pump to replace the "typical" one. That seems to be about the least wasteful application method I can think of.

    In fact, if anyone here had to apply de-icer to a few hundred yards of walks at an account such a this one of Darrell's, (only 36" wide walks, not 60") how would you apply it? WITHOUT wasting product. A drop spreader would seem to be better than a broadcast spreader with a shield on it. In 5 years of maintaining a 12 acre campus, I never did come up with a good way to apply it, on a limited budget of course. A smaller version of a golf course top dressing application machine would be nice! The problem is you can only carry so much material, and having to keep "going back" for more gets old fast. Again I'm talking about 36" wide walks.

    ~Chuck

    [Edited by ChucksChevyPages on 11-03-2000 at 06:30 AM]
     
  14. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I dont think man hours will decrease all that much with liquid on walks, on a 6" storm, that will mean at laast 2-3 apps,with 2 men, at at least 1hr per app. That would be for main walks only, the walk behind could do those same walks in the same amount of time. At high snow fall rates you wont be able to keep up with the liquid applications. So you will have to manually remove. I remember a speaker saying, that chemicals are just a tool, and you have a lot of tolls in your box, so dont think they are a cure all.
    I do applaud your insightfullness and willingnss to try something new, however caution needss to be observed, in that you have sold your customers on a service that you have never performed, and there is a huge learning curve to. A one year test area would have been more prudent to help you learn how to apply this material before jumping right in. Many people have tried liquids in the past, but I believe most have seen it isnt a real money maker or saver.
    Dino
     
  15. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    I need to point out that this will be the first year that we take an active roll in spraying; pre-treating before a storm, spraying during the storm and following up afterwards. I've done alot of research over the past 3 months talk to people that have used the product and how it performed under various conditions. As Dino points out, there are many variables that can affect the performance and outcome of a spray product; snowfall duration, lenghth and amounts, for expample. Our goal, however, is not to completeley alleviate shoveling or blowing, but to dramatically reduce the man hours spent in these operations. The properties that we will be servicing in this nature all have walks, staircases, etc that can be sprayed quickly and effectively with either skid sprayer units or hand pump sprayers. Do I think this method will reduce man hours and expense this year? Yes, but there will be a significant reduction to this number due to learning curves. Do I think this method will reduce man hours and expense and make us more efficient over the long term? Yes.

    The main thing though, is that my competitors have no clue about the true nature of de-icers and how they can grow your business and take it to a more professional level. Having a product like CMA in our arsenal has definately taken our business (if not the perception of our business) to an even greater level and helped make us more profitable.

    Man, all of this typing is giving me a headache. Seems like I've been sniffing Chuck's toxic paint again.
     
  16. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    It hard for those in high snow areas to realize but people here want the sidewalks done immediately with any accumulation,and often the amount does not reach more than an inch so chemicals can really give you an edge in arrival time so it allows more people to be served by less employees quicker.
     
  17. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Digger, can I please get an AMEN?