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Some Start Up Questions

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by mmmelch1, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. mmmelch1

    mmmelch1 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I have done my best to search through these threads but still have some questions. This is going to be my first year plowing and I'm going to start small with some residential driveways. I am going to be charging per push. I will probably use a 2'' trigger. My question is should I be plowing multiple times per storm? What is usually a good system so customers don't feel like you are plowing there driveway too much? I was thinking that its important to have the driveway clean in the morning before they go to work and then again around the time they come home. So perhaps twice in a day and then the final cleanup? Thanks!
     
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Check your area most driveways have a 3 inch trigger,at least here.Yes most people want it cleaned out before and after work. Can you get them to sign up for a seasonal contract?
     
  3. mmmelch1

    mmmelch1 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    If there is a decent amount of snow coming down should I visit these driveways in the middle of the day as well or should I just let it accumulate until later in the day? Pretty much my question is after the initial clearing how much snow should accumulate until it gets plowed out again? Also I have not given much thoughts about seasonal contracts yet but I will consider it. Thanks for the help
     
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    You have to play it by ear. If it's wet and heavy better to go out and keep them open ,but if they are per push they may choke on a 200.00 bill for one storm. Remember the more snow in the drive the longer it will take to do your route.
     
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    These are questions to hash out with your customer, until you get the experience to decide what you offer as "standard". For instance, some have a 3" trigger as most people in a rural snow-belt region are comfortable just driving on less than 3". (If you insist on pushing 2" of snow, in NH you may not get many customers.) I once had a guy who wanted a 5" trigger and another who wanted "to call" when the snow was over his bumper. I told both to find someone else to plow. However, I also had a couple who wanted "anything" plowed and sanded. I once plowed 1/2" and they were both thrilled. Some plow guys will plow every 4-5" or so. Others "just wait till it's over". Each style will dictate how you structure pricing. If you wait till it's over, you will need to carefully monitor each snowfall, so there isn't more snow than your truck/plow can handle. For instance, I can easily push 14" of light and fluffy, but have seen the time when 5" of wet & heavy caused problems.
     
  6. bigmudder77

    bigmudder77 Senior Member
    from wooster
    Messages: 125

    always go back the night after a storm to clean out the front of the drive from snow plows i lost some people last year for that so i just charge it in the price so they dont yell when i clean out a 6ft long by 2 ft wide strip

    but yes the plow trucks will block there drive ways and the next morning they wont be too happy at least some of the people i delt with last year didnt like that so after every storm if it was a day storm i took the car and a shovel and moved it all by hand (i have flashers in the head and tail lights of the car as well lol)
     
  7. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    I ask all me clients and they tell me when they want it plowed. Most people want to be plowed out before they go to work, and when they get home they want to be plowed out..
     
  8. mmmelch1

    mmmelch1 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanks for the help so far I think I'm starting to get it. For those customers that want it plowed only once at the end of the storm should I put some kind of clause in the contract saying that at some point it will need to be plowed since a truck can only handle so much?
     
  9. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    If we get more than 12" of snow I plow twice but if we get 12" or less I only plow once.