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What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by MakkTruck, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. MakkTruck

    MakkTruck Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    I wanted to start plowing residential driveways in my neighborhood so I bought an atv and a plow. I bought a 2004 Arctic Cat 400 4x4 with a plow (Cant Drive). my questions is why it takes me 45 minutes to do a driveway while i see other guys with the same setup doing three driveways and half the street in the same amount of time with one guy while my brother and I take 45 to do one. what Im doing right now is plowing the driveway with the atv and then spending 35 minutes with my brother using two hand shovels (ones a scraper and ones a shovel). After that we place down salt with a bucket and cup. So I was wondering if this is just how it is or if I need different slat/equipment or a new way of plowing. I'm plowing about 3 inches with ice and thats my problem. the atv gets the snow but then i have to use the shovels to get the ice. Any advice would be great. thanks in advanced.
     
  2. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,028

    You're not plowing efficiently. WATCH those "other guys" that are doing them that quickly. You just need to get a knack for it, which takes time and repetition. You will get quicker. Also, why is there three inches of ice there? If it was there prior to you plowing I wouldn't scrape it up, or I'd explain to the homeowner that if they wanted the ice removed it would be at a LARGE additional charge. The only reason the ice is there is because they hadn't been taking proper care of snow removal prior to your working on it. Not your responsibility unless you take it upon yourself to do so. There is no reason that you should be expected to remove it unless you tell the customer that you will take care of the pre-existing condition, and that they will be charged for your time. Those "other guys" are definitely not doing the amount of work that you're doing either, that's part of the reason that they're faster.
     
  3. skorum03

    skorum03 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,940

    Do the other guys get all the snow and ice off the driveways? I would say they must not be getting the driveways as cleans as you if you are scraping and shoveling after you've already plowed. Many of my places have a layer of ice packed down on them just because over the season thats how it gets to be. I would just plow the places out, throw some salt down. Then when it warms a little try scraping it clean. All the extra hand work is not worth it in my opinion.
     
  4. MakkTruck

    MakkTruck Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    sorry, I meant that there is three inches of snow with ice under it, and should i just leave the ice alone even though it looks bad or can i put something down to take care of the ice, and no the other guys dont.
     
  5. skorum03

    skorum03 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,940

    Leave it alone. Dump some salt down if its absolutely necessary or the customer asks. Its hard enough to make a living in this business, can't waste time or money on things that people aren't paying extra for (salting and extra shoveling/scraping)
     
  6. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,028

    A+. As I stated earlier, the ice is not your responsibility unless you tell the customer that you'll remove it. And if you do that, then you need to charge more to make it worth your while. And explain that if they want salt there is an additional charge for it. If you're getting into this business to make money you need to take care of yourself so that you are able to do just that.
     
  7. MakkTruck

    MakkTruck Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    So how much should I be charging to clear the sidewalk and plow the driveway on a typical sized drive and walk? Right now I'm charging 30 to 40 averaging around 35 is this the right price or...? Also if I do use salt is their certain type of salt I should use?
     
  8. skorum03

    skorum03 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,940

    $35 for a typical two car wide two car long drive would be about right, but that wouldn't include much shoveling. Just the front walkway. But in your market maybe pricing is a little different than mine. You can use whatever salt is at your local fleet farm or menards. I just use the cheap stuff. Since you won't be buying in large quantities you won't need to go to US Salt or anything like that.
     
  9. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,028

    Ya, your price doesn't sound bad, but not for scraping all of the ice or salting. If you're just plowing the snow your price sounds fair. Anything more, price it higher.