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Starting Out On A Shoestring Budget

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by ALC-SnowRemoval, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. ALC-SnowRemoval

    ALC-SnowRemoval Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hey Guys,

    I wasn’t planning on doing snow removal this year but I’ve been asked by too many people whom I do lawns for, so I'm going to give it a whirl.

    Warning, I’m running on a shoestring operation which I’m hoping will work. Any feedback would be great as I don’t want to get myself killed.

    I don’t own a plow but my old Ford is good in the snow. I’ve purchased a nice 2-stage Toro 30’ snow blower that I plan on using for three driveways and three tiny parking lots. I will be pulling the snow blower on my trailer and parking along the street to load and unload. I can’t compete with the full-timers on speed but my goal is to make it up with quality work.

    Do you think this operation will work for a few small time jobs this winter? Any suggestions?
  2. MikeLawnSnowLLC

    MikeLawnSnowLLC Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    It will definetly work for the houses. The parking lots you might be better sub contracting those out as they need to be done in a timely fashion and sometimes visited multiple times per storm.
  3. Maleko

    Maleko Senior Member
    from Ct
    Messages: 776

    ^^^ THIS^^^
    I just can't see doing a commercial lot with a snowblower. I give you credit for trying but, I also think getting a sub to help and try to make money on him. When you say tiny lots , just what are the size of them?
    What do you plan on doing about ice? salt etc?
  4. maverjohn

    maverjohn Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    How many cars park in the tiny lots? more then 6 cars means lots of outside time and work for you.
  5. ALC-SnowRemoval

    ALC-SnowRemoval Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I have a contract to remove snow for three business. The lots are about 8 car lengths each. I'm contracted only to blow the snow, not salt. I really hope I made the right chooice jumping head-first like this, but I've been asked by multiple people and already had a contract before I bought my snow blower. Thank god I have a plow guy that I can sub to in case this doesn't work out.

    I'm investing in some chains, extra shear pins but what else might be worth looking into. What do you guys do for add-ons? Do you shovel/blow walkways/sidewalks and de-ice them? What else?
  6. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    I have a 24" and 28" that I either put in my son's Colorado or trailer. I have done residential work for three years.

    About one month ago some people were referred to me. They said they have a business and do I still do snow removal. I said yes but do residential because I do not plow at this time.

    She said they had one plow guy show up once last year, then another guy come and he broke their cobble stone curb and never repaired the damage. They did it themselves years past with a snow blower and would appreciate if I came and give them a price.

    So I went and saw the property, a private house used as office by a professional, does not really have much place to push snow to and it was not that large. A 80'x11' drive on property line with a 50'x50' parking lot in the rear.

    I figured square footage then charged what I normally charge per SF.

    Thing is I hope you have a back up blower. Doing residential I have sucked up a few newspapers and jammed my blower. Lucky no damage. Commercial don't want to hear you won't get their lot open on time. Though I now tell customers that if my blower sucks up a newspaper they get charged an extra $50 un-jam-up fee in addtion.

    If I had the money I would get a 36" WB Ariens ,or 38" WB JD, or 44" for my JD mower. This is a nice niche market. No room to push snow, tight space to maneuver.

  7. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    Not a ideal setup even for small parking lots, but you know what? even though it is going to take you some time, there is no reason why it won't work. Going to guess those 3 lots are going to take you a hour our better each. The thing you must make sure of is to not let them get away from you. If you end up with a foot of snow on the ground, you are screwed.
  8. McG_Landscaping

    McG_Landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 191

    sounds like it would work for residentials but commercial might be tough. can you pick up a used lawn tractor with plow? you can usually find one on craigslist between $500 and $1000. i used to use one in my neighborhood before i had one for my truck and i could usually clear 5 driveways plus an hour. if your already towing a trailer you could just throw it on there.
  9. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Atv might be the trick help you out