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Too Much Snow?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by QuadPlower, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I know some of you haven't plowed all winter. I know some of you are getting exactly the amount of snow you want. But where I am we have had WAY too much. I'm around Kalamazoo, MI and we are above the seasonal average already. The average is 72" and in December we had 61". Jan has had atleast 24", but I haven't been able to catch the news when they gave the official number.

    I have 16" of snow in my yard. I'm running out of places to push snow on my accounts. Most of my contracts are seasonal and I used 22 as my average this year. Currently I'm at 21 and its Jan 16. So we have what? 14 more days of Jan, Feb, March, & some of April. Maybe 90 days yet that snow could fall.

    AND it is 4 degrees out with no let up for at least 7 day.

    If anyone needs the snow to come there way so you can plow more, then just ask. I'll see what I can do.

    I'm not complaining. This is better than the year we had 7 plows. Makes it easier to raise the prices on the seasonals next year and to get more contracts.
  2. Woodland

    Woodland Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    I swear this is an exact quote from some of us last season. So far, here in the northeast we've had a fairly average year, but last year was super crazy. All I can say is put your head down and bear through it. Better days are ahead.
  3. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Last year was nuts also here. But between huge snow falls we had melting and it wasn't so early in the season.
  4. shoeman68

    shoeman68 Member
    Messages: 67

    You may want to consider asking some of your clients to switch to a "per inch charge".
    if not current customers, demand you will only give "per inch" for new customers.

    I have 50% on seasonal rate , and 50% on per inch. This way it should work both ways in your favor.

    Good Luck!
  5. My bowtie

    My bowtie Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    My brother lives in kzoo. Was on the phone with him the other day and told him to send some of that white stuff my way...Only had 4 plowable events so far...had 5 last yr, so i'm hoping i'll beat that.....ussmileyflag
  6. Let me give you a tip on seasonal contracts. Don't take all the money up front. Lets say you plow from December 1st to April 1st (four months) and your rate is $400 per season. Take that in 4 equal checks of $100 for the 1st of each month. Make the client give you all four checks post dated so you don't need to chase money down. Now lets say you have 70 residential clients. It may give you some anxiety relief going to the bank on the first of each month with $7000 in checks.
  7. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    We have had 2 good years in a row here too and I am getting sick of being out and running out of places to push as well. As far as contracts, I like 30% seasonal and the rest per push. That way I always have money coming in if it doesnt snow, but can still make a killing if it snows a lot. Last year was the second most snow fall on record and I still made money on the seasonals. The point is to have a good mix so you can keep your head above water in a bad year and make good money in a good year!

    The post dated checks is a good idea.
  8. Turbodiesel

    Turbodiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    start a fire
  9. ford550

    ford550 Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    Must be nice to have any snow to push. I know any of us along the east coast from new york city on south would love for you to send us some. 4 years of one quarter the amount of normal has been killing winter cash flow. Be thankful you guys are able to make money to pay for your stuff. Geez, with 72" of snow I would be in the $xxx,xxx's. :eek:

    I do understand how you can get sick of it though. Back in '94-'95 we had that much and it got tiring. Its just been 14 years since. Kinda sucks.

    SEND IT OUR WAY! We'll take the rest of your season for you. :nod:
  10. 6feetdeep

    6feetdeep Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    Where in 'Upstate' are you? We plowed 11 times by Dec. 22nd!! Last year my plow hit the pavement for the first time on that date!
  11. My bowtie

    My bowtie Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    I'm east of Albany near the Mass border. We dont get the lake snows like you do....
  12. doh

    doh Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    About 70's this year and no thaw's. and I am already running out of places to put the snow. I have not seen pavement since Dec 5th. I have looked at many New ways to plow a lot and place the snow in different places.

    If you have to, sublet a stacking or a removal, charge it to the account and move on. All part of the business.
  13. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I pushed 4 more inches this morning and they are calling for 6 more tonight. North of Grand Rapids was suppose to get 10" last night. Don't know if they got it or not.

    Last year I had a per push that made me all of my money. I lost it to an under bid.

    I love seasonals. No asking for money every time you bill, never have to worry if they complain, "You plowed when there was only 1" of snow".

    I can budget the money for the year if I get it all up front at the begining. It is the fact that today was the 22 plowing of the year. Now the "per push" price I base my seasonal total on is dropping.

    It does make it easier to raise the price next year and hope for no snow. lol.
  14. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    I feel your pain buddy. It has been crazy. Thankfully we had that big meltdown a few weeks ago or we would ALL be having to remove snow from our lots, and even the corners of many driveways!

    I am also pushing snow into places I have not had to in the past. Kind of a pain in some cases, but I have actually cut my time down on one lot.

    Just for laughs... my friend who is in the greenhouse business said the Farmers Almanac predicted a tough start to the winter, with the amount of snow really dropping off starting in Feb. We'll see how it goes.
  15. ksgcapecod

    ksgcapecod Member
    Messages: 52

    I can see the large amount of snow being a hassle for the guys that bid seasonally. On the cape I don't think there are to many guys that do it that way. Per storm or per push is the way to go here. Last year I only went out 3 or 4 times to plow. This year I've already gone out 4 times. Just got in a couple of hours ago after finishing my town route (sub for town) and then finishing my own stuff. I'm looking out the window and it's coming down good again. Looks like a second round all over again. For the guys that charge per push or event we make out. For the seasonal guys I can feel your pain.
  16. sk187

    sk187 Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    We feel your pain as a seasonal contract holder in Holland MI
  17. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,748

    Well yeah, we've had a lot, and it's been overwhelming at times. But I need a lot more snow this year so that I can make my payments! Almost there, but not quite!

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,619

    how much snow is to much again? i use a quad to push my drive? we got 3 ' fri and sat and another 6'' on sunday morning. nothing like going on your roof and its up to your waste where it drifted lol. then you realize, you have 3 roofs on your property lol.
  19. IHI

    IHI Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 245

    Last year we had the 4th snowiest winter in our states history since records were kept at 48", as of last friday we already had 34.7" LOL!!! Been a good two seasons for a change, but last saturday i had to rent a backhoe to move snow piles to back sides of lots since i was literally out of room. It's not to the point of calling in trucks to haul it out yet, but if we continue on this streak, i'll have no choice.
  20. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    IHI, if that's all the faster that car will go and you rippin a wheelie, you don't have the suspension set up correct. I pit for a guy that runs drag radial in a 98 Camaro that runs 7's in the 1/4. He NEVER wheelies. He's hitting it with a 600 shot!

    sorry for taking it off subject.