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Should I expand into Plowing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by fivepoints, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. fivepoints

    fivepoints Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I currently do 10 different sidewalks and about 20 driveways, a good snow 2.5 inches i can gross about 1000.- wages fuel and salt I'm about 750 for 10 hrs. Ive been on my own lawn and snow for seven yrs. I plowed for a guy for ten yrs before that. I miss staying in the truck.

    Any thoughts on getting a plow or should I just try and get more sidewalks. sidewalks are easy and I go out after an inch.

    I have turned some long drives away as well as a couple of lots. But i wonder after minusing all the extra exspenses of plowtruck and all the repairs/maintenance on truck and plow if its worthwhile just to be where its warm.

    Thanks in advance rob
     
  2. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    I understand what your saying about missing being in a warm truck. I have thought for a long time if you could find the "right employees" you can make far more money running a company just doing sidewalks.
    I have a cube van my employee takes out, holds a full pallet of salt, 2 blowers, shovels & a walk behind spreader, everything stays dry & safe. I have about 4K into the van, 1K into the rest minus material costs. No doubt with a setup like this, or breaking down the pallet of melt, you could get an ATV in there, with 2 employees you could generate far more than one or even 2 plow trucks in my market. No one wants to do it, hell even subcontract for other companies. If I looked back at my numbers he probably does as much as a plow truck now, & he speads at least as much time driving as he does outside woking.
     
  3. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    I would almost say no. I have always said you could make a killing just doing sidewalks and smaller driveways with blowers. If your already in that market I'd just keep hitting that hot and heavy.
     
  4. downtoearthnh

    downtoearthnh Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    This probably is a grass is greener issue. If you are making $750 net on a storm, and can go out after an inch, you are doing very well. Truck, plow, fuel, repairs, chasing money, variability in customer demands, and all else that go with the warm truck may be a dream.
     
  5. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    If your making enough money by yourself i wouldn't even bother expanding. Unless you really want to. I tried a plow operation for 5 years with 4 guys and 4 trucks and i swear i will do better next year doing half the work by myself. I wish i made that decision this year.
     
  6. RepoMan1968

    RepoMan1968 Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    hmmm . get a blade .
     
  7. Flawless440

    Flawless440 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,543

    I agree on getting a blade..... Get a guy with a pick up truck, put a snow blower in the back and have him do the driveway route. Then you need to find some high end office buildings, nothing to big to wear you need big equipment. Contracts that only take an hour with you and a side walk guy. These people pay high and fast......:salute:
     
  8. Eronningen

    Eronningen Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    Nope. Stick to what you're doing Thumbs Up
     
  9. P.L.

    P.L. Member
    from usa
    Messages: 74

    What you are doing requires little to no over head resulting in higher profit margins, and less headaches. I'd say keep it simple for now. Sounds like you are making out ok with the set up you have so maybe add a few more accounts and be happy with it. I have a two man operation year round and have purchesed a lot of equipment to go with it. As a result my overhead is extremly high and I spend most of my free time fixing/maintaing stuff. I often think to my self I would be better of by myself with half of the equipment, doing half the work and probably making more profit.
     
  10. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    I would buy yourself a John deere like most of the city muni's have, mount a small salt spreader on the back and just aim for sidewalks and driveways....
     
  11. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    I would stick to what you are doing and become the "sidewalk king" (so to speak). Once you get organized enough with a van and the tools start hitting up the big contractors in your area with a business card.

    I know around here people are always looking for reliable sidewalk guys and say they wish they knew of someone who just did walks. Like others have said, lower investment in tools and lower overhead. I would bet once you get rolling on that alone you would have enough work to make some serious cash every storm.

    And who knows soon you may just sit in the truck doing paper work on the computer while "your guys" are doing the work.
     
  12. fivepoints

    fivepoints Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I appreciate all the replies. I think I will get into more walks next yr. maybe some thing that will let me do some bigger drives also. Maybe a plow in a few yrs just to have not to have to work just to help out.

    snow is about 10 percent of my business but its 25 percent of my yr so I think I need to increase that a bit. Although I do enjoy the down time for family and do things to prepare for the lawn season.

    Take care and hope we get a bit more white stuff to turn into green stuff