1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

startup for a college student??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by nextdoorlabor, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. nextdoorlabor

    nextdoorlabor Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Hey I hope everyone is stackin up green after that last nor'easter. I'm an 18 year old college student and I've been doing driveways in my hometown all during high school with a Toro blower, but now that I moved away I'm missing out on all that money i used to make from storms. I am seriously considering getting a smaller plow truck but I'm not sure if it would work out with being a full time student. Complications I'm considering are: I need the truck to be small (s10, cherokee, compact pickup- but since I'm not bad with a wrench I would make sure they're up for the task) so i get good mileage the other 9 months of the year when I wouldn't be plowing. I also don't have time or money to set up my own business and invest in commercial insurance.

    With that situation, what would you guys suggest I do? I assume I can't subcontract without insurance, and I can't bid on lots. I would have to be an employee of another company correct? What kind of pay could i expect as an employee with my own vehicle in central NJ? I have plowed one other storm with my friend's truck and picked it up really quick, so I'm not SUPER green haha. I basically just need to know how to get work with a smaller truck with no established business. I'm at Rutgers University just incase anybody is familiar with any companies, airports, or municipalities in the area looking for this sort of thing. Thanks alot guys, drive safe and good luck this season.
    -Matt
     
  2. SnowDozers

    SnowDozers Member
    Messages: 86

    I'm 19 and I co own with my 27 year old brother. We have 60 some commercial contracts, and 15 residential. We have around 25 drivers, 1 Tandem axel dump with salt spreader and belly blade, 1 one ton pickup with a stainless spreader, and 1 2070 Mustang Skid.

    Insurance isn't that big of a deal, just call your insurance broker and see what you need to do in your locality to make it legal.

    Good luck, you can do it and make it profitable vary easily if you are determined.

    Below are some of the things we have have accomplished in the two seasons we have been operating.

    [​IMG]
    Me (black truck with snow all over tailgate), my brother (pewter truck), our buddy Ryan (green dodge), The hardest working man in the company (big truck)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. nextdoorlabor

    nextdoorlabor Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Thats great to see other successful young people. You make a good point, i'm sure if i dedicated it to myself to starting and running a full business i could be successful and really do well... but the thing is that i'm pretty busy keeping up my grades to get into the business school (isn't it ironic how i can't run a business because i'm studying business...) Is there a way to still plow without any "red tape" strings attached?
     
  4. Mick

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

    I think you've answered your own question - concentrate on your studies. At least put in writing the direct costs (vehicle, gas, insurance etc with amounts - call the agent) and indirect costs (time spent plowing vs studying and attending class). Once you've got it all written down, decide your next step.
     
  5. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639


    I sub without slip and fall, just liability insurance.

    I have it written into my contract that I don't need it. I'm also a registered corporation. Basically, if the company gets sued, they can't get anything because it's not really worth anything.

    If it's a sizeable company (50+ trucks) they will put you under their insurance because it doesn't really cost them extra. Where as a small company with 2-3 trucks will have a noticeable increase when they add just one vehicle.

    Also, large size companies usually offer part time. The company I work for lets part time staff work say 8pm - 8am. They won't ask you to go over that. But... if you are plowing and school, work, etc... cancels you can offer to continue to plow.
     
  6. nextdoorlabor

    nextdoorlabor Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    very good advice. well i know it would be different from area to area, but what is involved with registering a corporation or LLC. is it a real difficult process? maybe it would be workable.
     
  7. ICindrich

    ICindrich Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    the easiest way to set up a business is to charter as a sole proprieter. You don't need to file for a fed tax id, its just you ss number, the fee is only a nominal processing fee and you only need general liability insurance policy. You should be able to get the insuarance for less than 600 a year. I don't know the exact cost because my insurance is just a rider on a large construction policy. Oh, and you don't always have to tell the insurance company exactly what you are doing. You can get a policy together for just... say salting or lawn mowing and if the policy doesn't say "snowplowing will not be covered" or "snow plowing will void this policy", they have to cover you. I know its not completly honest, but insurance is such a rip off and legal monopoly, we've got to stick it to them some how!!!

    Ivan
     
  8. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Don't count on that, apparantly it doesn't work that way in Ontario anymore. They can sue the corporation AND its majority stockholder/chairman/president, ie: you personally. We talked about this issue specifically during biz class last spring.

    Too many people used it to hide wrongdoings and from what I understand legislation changed as a result. Just FYI, you are as vulnerable as the rest of us.
     
  9. nextdoorlabor

    nextdoorlabor Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    haha good point i like the way you think. i'll definelty look into that. if i can set up a sole proprietorship and get insured for that cheap maybe i could end up picking up some lots... do i have to worry about lawsuits if i'm only a sole proprietorship and not corporated? i would hate to have my (few) personal assets in the crosshairs of customers.
     
  10. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I dont mean to discourage you but what are you going to do when it snows and you have classes to go to or work to be done? Do you commute to Rutgers or live there? If you live on campus, where are you going to store the plow when its not on the truck? Are you close enough to home to store the plow there and just go grab it when it snows? If school is not so close to home, what about breaks when your home for weeks at a time, will it be worth it to travel to school just to plow?

    Id look into the insurence part, its not wise to risk it under any circumstances, just make sure you have at least the minimum required for what your planning to do. I would say it can be done, however if I was in your situation I would check classifieds and even contact companies or the campus property manager and see if they need people to plow for them. If they really need help, they will be happy for any hours you can put in and if your really lucky you may even find a company who is flexable about you being avilable for some storms and maybe not others. You have plowed before, you could even try to get a reference from your friend whos truck you used. Just a thought, it may not be what you want to do, I may be way off base here.

    Good Luck and whatever you do make sure you get the school work done too.
     
  11. nextdoorlabor

    nextdoorlabor Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    thank you very much Chris, that wasnt off base that was very on point. i only live about 45 minutes from Rutgers, and i can keep my truck in the parking lot of my fraternity on campus and theres plenty of room to store the plow there as well- i wouldnt even need to go home. i didnt think about asking the university if they needed help plowing, thats definetly a good idea. and as far as working around classes goes, the only thing that could keep me from plowing is if i had a final the next morning because i usually learn more teaching myself, so im not too concerned about missing classes. but i'll definetly contact some local companies and explain my situation. awesome advice thanks alot.
     
  12. PORTER 05

    PORTER 05 Senior Member
    Messages: 449

    id say drop out.....and open up a real company, and do landscaping in the summer season.....thats wat i did, and im making double + than almost anyone in my class that has finshed college,+ tons of them are landscaping...i nevver got that go to college for 4 years, spend $50,000 + then do some job you could have done with out even going????my 2 brother both went to college, one for 6 years one for 4 years and they both work for me, and i never went , hahahahaha!
     
  13. almostbk1stday

    almostbk1stday Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 33

    .



    Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut.
     
  14. Grunt0311

    Grunt0311 Member
    Messages: 79

    DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS GUY RE: INSURANCE!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me?? Not tell them what you are doing?? Listen, I am an insurance agent, so I know what I am talking about. Best case scenerio, you have a claim, they find out your snowplowing, and they go back and charge you all the premium you would have paid since you started the policy had you told them you were plowing. Worst case: They deny your claim, and send you packing. Listen, insurance premiums suck, but they are a necessary evil. You pay because if you need it, you NEED it! Be straight with you insurance agent, or else you are better off taking the gamble and not buying any insurance at all!!
     
  15. nextdoorlabor

    nextdoorlabor Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    all of these are points very well taken. i'll take everything said into consideration and plot up a plan this week. thanks again everyone
     
  16. Mick

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

    Thanks for the voice of knowledge and experience. I get tired of saying this so didn't respond. In a slightly different twist, the general liability policy I have will pay for any claim, but then the policy it to make sure I claimed the activity which lead to the claim. If not, it will be cancelled. If cancelled, I will not be written another policy by any company.
     
  17. PORTER 05

    PORTER 05 Senior Member
    Messages: 449

    hey ALMOSTBR1STDAY

    hey ALOMOSTBR1STAY , big guy wat did you mean by that fancy little phrase....im seroius, you should aonly go to college unless youre going to get out and do somthing with buisness, and in this kids case i dont know why hes be wasting his time plowing if hes in buisess school at college??!!!
     
  18. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639


    It depends what you care caught doing. I talked to my lawyer who is also my dad, and I'm covered for most things. If you register a corp and dump toxic waste into the lake, they can get you.

    If you register a corporation, and someone buys a pair of your shoes and the shoes make their feet turn green, they can't sue you for your personal house. YOu arn't bullet proof. but you are more protected.
     
  19. SnowDozers

    SnowDozers Member
    Messages: 86

    I am also going to school. I have 13 credits this semester. Every one of my teachers knows that I snow plow and that I may not make it to class if there is bad weather. I ALWAYS have my homework done in time and can e-mail it or drop it off to their office the day it's due or the day after without ever getting marks off.

    I am currently getting a solid 4.0 this semester.

    You can focus on many things at once, if you have the will.
     
  20. B&K LawnCare

    B&K LawnCare Member
    Messages: 68

    hey i am a full time student 18 years old and have 5 trucks that are out plowing, i get good grades and get the snow removed it can be done.