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throwing in the towel

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by milkie62, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. milkie62

    milkie62 Senior Member
    from Troy,NY
    Messages: 231

    I am a one man show with between 60 and 70 accounts.I started back in 1989 with one small ad.Since 1989 it has been all word of mouth.So I must have done something right.Well anyway I still have not built a garage to work on the truck during the winter.I have no backup help.3 yrs ago I upgraded to an extended cab.Long story short Now the townhouse development I do cannot be done with the extended cab since the drives are so close.I switched to snowblowers.That worked out good until you start getting newpapers jammed in the 2nd stage.I have my son and one of his friends help do them.The pay is relatively great----$1600-$1800 for about 6hrs of work.I really need an enclosed trailer ---About a 6x12 to hold the blowers tools extra clothes.I just seemed burned out after all these years.I can't just sit back with a cup of hot chocolate and watch it snow from my mountain top home.I told my wife when its time for a new truck I am done.I am not lazy by any means,I guess I just worry too much that something will break--have only lost 1 tranny in 20 yrs of plowing.Everything else is minor quick fixes.But I hate the way my truck just rots from the salt.Anybody else getting burned out ?????
     
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    Not here. Last year was a little more stressful for me than I would've liked but I've corrected those things so this season should be a lot better.

    If you're making the kind of money you stated then why not hire some guys to relieve your stress? So what if you go from making $1600 in 6 hours to making $1000. I know a lot of people who would love to make money like that.
     
  3. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,754

    Last year was stressful and tiring on me too. But it was worth it. Last year my Dodge caused me a bunch of headaches. I still have it so it could be an interesting winter again. I can't afford a replacement so I guess I have to use it. :rolleyes:
     
  4. milkie62

    milkie62 Senior Member
    from Troy,NY
    Messages: 231

    It is mostly a homeowner association.They like my work since They are not restricted to who plows.But I am the biggest guy in there.I run 933 Cub Cadet blowers and Ariens 1332 blowers.If I could take the best of both it would be one hell of a snowblower.The plastic chute on the Cub sucks,and the turning on the Ariens sucks.Both have the same engine.If I get an enclosed trailer I may enjoy it better.Tarping the blowers sucks for the drive there.The 6x12 would be nice.Would like a small generator to run lights and a small heater.A place to change into dry clothes and sit down for a cup of coffee.With the 3 of us we can knock them out in 4 hrs and then run to my other drives.We average 6-7 per hr per blower.That includes the walk and cleanup in front of garage.The trailer will mean staying or quitting.
     
  5. milkie62

    milkie62 Senior Member
    from Troy,NY
    Messages: 231

    the salt rot on the vehicle is the killer.
     
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    NY salt will rot your truck just going for coffee.

    If the Townhouses is the only place you snow blow can't you set up a bigger shed on the property for the winter to store the blowers and some extra clothes?
     
  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    It wouldn't cost a tremendous amount of money to get a trailer and set it up the way you want. Probably the profit from 2 or 3 storms. The Haulmarks are very nice. Get the transport package so you can stand up inside. Apply Fluid Film liberally to the bottom of it.
     
  8. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    We went through a similiar situtation with sidewalks. Ended up buying a used cargo van. Trailer was a pain on snow covered roads. I bought a 1/2 ton Dodge van (short), If I have (or when I do) replace it I will buy either a 1 ton or cube van. All the stuff stays out of the weather, heat generally melts snow off blowers so they don't ice up. Reason for larger unit is for us we need to carry melt product & convience of being able to p/u a pallet & go, as uposed to now we can only take 15 or so bags (50 on pallet). Guys leave it running when working in general as insulation is non existant on this unit, they're basiclly a tin can on wheels, it would be easy to insulate & make very comfortabe. However our is a 1997 & I'm not looking to put any more than I need to in it. Also the 1/2 tons often use unibody construction (ours is & rust is becoming an issue), the larger use frame & body which seems to be more durable. Overall it is definitly the way to go for sidewalk crew though, used vans sell cheap, check craigslist in your area, for 3-4K you can ussally find decent units.
     
  9. Flawless

    Flawless Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    I have Codo Assoc with the same problems your having. I use a dingo or skid loader or sub it out.
     
  10. Nascar24

    Nascar24 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    Have you consider to get a Kabuta with a cab and blade or blower? Maybe leave it right on site? or how about a Jeep Wrangler, certainly smaller than a extended cab truck and you can still drive from site to site?
     
  11. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    If you feel burned out and can afford to quit get out. On the other hand is your son interested in taking the business over? I''ve plowed about the same number of years as you and I feel very tied down. My dad on the other hand is 66 and he's plowed since the late 60's and he's still the first one there and the last one to leave and he's suppose to be retired, thank god for him.
     
  12. milkie62

    milkie62 Senior Member
    from Troy,NY
    Messages: 231

    Well just mostly the way vehicles rot that plow.I am very easy on my truck when I plow.Anyhow 2nd week of May just going up my driveway tranny starts pouring out smoke.Tranny fluid is up to level.Bottom line: $ 2700.00 for rebuild.1 month later starter: $159.00.End of June brakes & calipers: $500.00.End of July,Dipstick tube rots off at block:$ 27.00 for parts,$400.00 labor to pull engine up to access area to get piece of tube out.2 weeks later: $134.00 for new tranny lines that were rotten and leaking.Tranny shop should have replaced them but it still would have cost me.I am capable of doing alot of my work but am getting sick of laying on my back to work on it.But it would be nice to just sit back and watch it snow just once.But the money is decent so I guess I will start looking for a trailer.
     
  13. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Its proabably the single most reason everyones still doing it-dont feel so bad about your decision. It could be worse.