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Solo here

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by exmark, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. exmark

    exmark Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    Hey guys I just have a quick question. This is my first year in snow removal I already have my 4 commercial parking lots that I do lawn care for during summer months. But I was wondering how many of my residential drives I should take on. I will be running a f.250 super duty with a vee blade and I have an employee who will be snow blowing, shoveling and spreading salt. Thanks in advance. By solo I mean just one truck.
     
  2. the new boss 92

    the new boss 92 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,989

    one thing i have learned is that dont take to much on at one time. i would say 4 commercials and a 8-10 driveways that arecloser together will be good. see how you go from there. you can add driveways through out the season, aswell as commercial. bet thing to do is add work as you need it, but remember some storms will be bigger then others and will take more time to finish.
     
  3. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    so you are just running one truck with a employee running it for you? or well the employee be taking another truck with the snow blower, shovel, and salt? if so, i would divide things up like this. you go do the 4 commercial places on your list, he gets up and does the small drives/easy to do places. if you pace yourselves well, you can meet together on the larger residential places and together you can plow the lots, and he can do the walks etc. i would guess that you could handle something in the line of about 20-30 residentials and your 4 commercial lots. I am going to go out on a limb her and say you can expect that your guy with the snow blower can do 4 lots/hour if they are not too far away from each other by himself, with you helping him that well be even faster. Now all this really depends on how many inches you are planning on as a trigger, how large these "commercial" lots are, how big the residences are, when they expect to be done in the mornings, etc
     
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Dump the driveways for this year and get your feet wet first before taking on to much. By the how big are these commercial places?
     
  5. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    Driveways near me are quite small. They can be done in 5 minutes max. I have seen pictures of driveways on PS that would take 10-15 min. I would think a 6-8 hour route on 4" of snow would be plenty. You have to remember you will have some long storms where you might have to plow 3 times with maybe an hour or 2 off.
     
  6. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    solo

    More work means the crap really hits the fan when you have a breakdown. Just because your stuff is new doesn't mean it can't fail. Can you fix it, or do you have to wait for someone else to. Make sure you have a backup plan, If you break and someone else covers your butt you get no $$ If you have payments, that can be a tough pill to swallow.
     
  7. the new boss 92

    the new boss 92 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,989

    take into consideration on what others have said and make sure you have a back up plan if your stuff fails. this past winter my boss brand new plow broke and put one truck out of commission, his bob cat broke, and my truck. good thing for the back up truck and me willing to work!
     
  8. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Backup plans are priceless, especially when you are a small one or two truck operation (we were up until a couple years ago). Breakdowns will criple you. We now have 14 trucks out, plus Bobcat & loader, & 4 shovelers, so WHEN issues arise whe distibute the work as resources free up.
    Commercial lots can be all over in size so saying you have 4 means nothing, we have one that isn't much bigger than a driveway others that are 3 acres, which in a heavy snow will eat up 3-4 hours easy (we plow it with the loader, so I don't have a number).
    Get a good backup plan, personal or wifes truck / suv you can put a plow on is a good idea.
     
  9. exmark

    exmark Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    Thanks for all the feedback guys. Its just going to be one truck my employee is going to be riding along with me, when we pull up he's jumping out and snow blowing or shoveling. The lots are not very big. One will take me about 30 to 45 min the other 3 should only take 5 to 10 the other 3 are only going to be like 4 to 5 passes and done and the walkways are about 6 to 10 feet on all three so very little there. Thats why I was thinking about doing some driveways, over half of my residential drives are with in half a mile from my house 7 in my neighborhood. Im only thinking about taking on anywhere from 10 to 15 driveways this year, I don't think we could do anymore.
     
  10. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    given this info, i would say you could handle a whole bunch of residentials if you want to, 10-15 would be very easy to maintain

    look at it this way

    4 hours out ( you could look at 6 hours out too)
    1.5 hours doing your commercials
    6-8 residences / hour
    i would say you could look at 16-20 residences.................easy
     
  11. mycirus

    mycirus Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 589

    I do just driveways with 1 truck. I had 30 or so last season and one pass took me about 5 hours. That was a comfortable number for me. With your commercials I wouldnt go over 20 driveways until you know exactly how long it takes you. Close to your house is good. You can knock more out in less time since no travel time. Good luck to ya.
     
  12. exmark

    exmark Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    Thanks alot guys for the help. The only thing that Im wondering about now is how not to piss off residential houses because I probably wont be doing them tell during the day. So by that I mean like when they want to leave early in the am and I haven't gotten to there drive yet. So far the people who have asked me about snow removal I explained that I probably wont be able to have the drives cleared until late morning because of my parking lots. Do you just tell them this same thing.
     
  13. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    No. You must keep everyone happy or don't do them .They are depending on you to provide a service that they paid for.
     
  14. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    why, WHY, would you be late in the morning doing them?, start around 4am, do commercial lots, done by 5:30am, start residential, done residential, done by 8:30-9am at the latest. If your commercials are wanting to be done later in the morning, then start your residential llist earlly. Also it doesn't hurt to know your customers, we have quite a few elder customers, and some of them are happy being done by noon, but we know and organize this before the snow flies.
     
  15. exmark

    exmark Senior Member
    Messages: 340

    Im just saying if the snow doesn't stop by the time there ready to leave. I plan on having every customer done before they enter the lot or back out of the driveway. Im just saying for those storms when its still snowing at 8 am. I don't know what im saying honestly haha. I plan to have them done when they need, that I plan on. Sorry about the confusion.
     
  16. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    It's called a circle! You just keep going till you finish!
     
  17. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    Most of the houses here aren't on main streets. If they can't get out of their driveway most likely they can't get off their street. When I did houses I told them they would be done by the time they got home. If it started snowing early then I would start early and most had a first pass by 7 am. Around here houses go so cheap they can't expect commercial service.
     
  18. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    solo

    Plan to have the commercial lots done by 5:00 am, That gives you time for Resi's. If the snow is still falling by then you must explain to your customers the "Window of opportunity" is not big enuf to get them before they go to work. If the storm is a whopper, You must do pass through's until the storm breaks. Customers who complain need to be told you can't make a living on one $35 driveway, therefore they won't be the first, or last job on your list
     
  19. plowatnight

    plowatnight Senior Member
    from Mn
    Messages: 305

    solo

    One more thing about Resi, plowing YOU CAN"T MAKE PROMISES ! ! unless they pay enuf $ $ to be your only source of income, take it with a grain, some you win....some you lose....some are rained out.