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Seeking Guidance

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by NEWFINISH, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. NEWFINISH

    NEWFINISH Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    I am relatively new to plowing and and looking to gain some more information. I am based out of the Detroit area and I have an 01 Chevy Silverado 2500HD and I have been cosidering plowing. I have zero experience but a lot of my lawn clients have been inquiring about plowing. I have a few light commercials (gas stations, Car washes and nursing homes) and they are looking to get me to do it because I do the grass. Out of curiosity I asked them how much were they paying the last guy and they have been telling me $35-$40 per push with no salt. I thought it sounded kinda crazy because the price sounded to low because of the risk of running into gas pumps or people in the way and I figured they would be trying to push the liability on me for the salt. Im in between on plowing because I don't want to put wear and tear on my truck for pennies but at the same time I don't want to lose out on a good opportunity if it presents itself. I have been looking at Boss plows and Snoways as well and would like to get some input on which would be the best one to get. I was looking to buy used and want to know what to look out for when going that route. I want to know is there anything specifically I should do to the truck before it gets cold as far as maintenance, specific tires etc. I know it is a lot to read but I want to get some good input. I too at one point like a lot of other posters on the site didn't think there was a lot that goes into plowing but reading other posts I realize that a lot lies in front of me.
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Surprised he's paying that much to have his station plowed out! Does seem funny on how much we spend on equipment and stuff and then go plow something for less then what we cut the grass for.:confused:
     
  3. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Tell him to beat it and dont waste anymore of your time with him. You'd be better off plowing 2 driveways at 20 bucks a pop, than wasting your time there.
     
  4. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    $35-$40 for a driveway would be great. That much for a gas station is WAY low. Ask more clients to get a better feel. Tell them you are considering it, but want to make sure it is worth your time to provide excellent service.

    I would buy a plow in my price range. Doesn't really matter to me about brand.

    There are several posts about what to do to your truck to get it ready and what to carry when plowing. Do a search for them.

    Good Luck if you end up doing it.
     
  5. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    I have no idea what driveway plowing is worth, my 20 buck reference was "figuratevly speaking"-sorry if it upset you.
     
  6. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    haha you know the sad part is, that's about the price range that gas stations around here are going for. With all these layoffs from Kodak, Delphi and Xerox, every Tom Dick and Harry has a plow and needs the money. Hell i know the local Tim Hortons is being plowed in exchange for free cofee and doughnuts.
     
  7. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    I think the guy looks like Tom Selleck and spends some time on this forum when hes not dreaming of Giada-cant remember his name though. . :drinkup:
     
  8. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    i was going to turn in a bid too for hot chocolate and a cinnamon roll but i heard i was too pricy and coffee and a doughnut will still undercut me lol
     
  9. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    You in no way upset me. I don't get upset on this site. (well most of the time). I was just saying do some more local research on what the going rates are.

    So you guys are saying that a #13 breakfast meal at McD's is TO Much to bid to plow their parking lot? What if I enclude salt?

    Redman: getting kind of greedy payup in these tough economic times asking for a hot chocolate instead of a coffee aren't you? :p Don't you know there are people out there that don't even have coffee to drink?
     
  10. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    touche my friend.
     
  11. NEWFINISH

    NEWFINISH Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Hey Quadplower,

    Just out of curiosity how much do gas stations typically go for? I see you are from Michigan too. Also is anybody subbing in the Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, or Inkster area?
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  12. TJSNOW

    TJSNOW Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    My advice to you is sub for someone for a year or two....Dont go out and bid work so low that you lose your ass....Thats why these places you are talking to are looking for a new guy..That guy spent 45 min to an hour in that gas station for $35 bucks....Learn the ropes first...We have enough hacks in michigan
     
  13. NEWFINISH

    NEWFINISH Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Besides liablilty insurance what else do other contractors look for when hiring subs? Last year I saw a lot of ads on craigslist about hiring subs for $75hr. How exactly do you get paid without conflict about time spent? Do they require that a certain amount of work be done in a specific time frame? Hey TJSNOW, do you work in my area and do you sub?
     
  14. TJSNOW

    TJSNOW Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Im downriver...Trenton, Southgate, Etc...My subs have a route i give them..Yes, i have a pretty good idea how long the route takes....I ask all subs to keep a detailed time sheet(provided by me). Site conditions, how much snow, air temp, etc....$75 dollars is top end pay for a newbee...My subs are paid twice a month....I might be looking for 2-3 more subs depending how things play out here in the next month or so...
     
  15. NEWFINISH

    NEWFINISH Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Thanks for all the info TJSNOW. I will keep in touch with you and let you know how everything plays out man.
     
  16. JKA

    JKA Junior Member
    from Montana
    Messages: 9

    to TJSNOW, if you don't mind me asking. What is your minimum charge for a driveway?
    Do you shovel the walks as well, if so what is your minimum charge for that?

    Thanks
     
  17. TJSNOW

    TJSNOW Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    JKA......I dont do driveways..But my feeling with any job is know your costs. You never want to pay to plow someones snow...Too many guys in this area running around with their NEW BOSS blades that dont have a clue how much it costs per hour to run that truck. They bid jobs way to low then sit around and wonder why they are not making money..
     
  18. bltp203

    bltp203 Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    I agree with starting out as a sub. Great way to get a foot into the door and make a great hourly rate as well.
     
  19. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Who's that?:D