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What is your snowfall trigger for starting your route??

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by ZLClawncare, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. ZLClawncare

    ZLClawncare Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    How many inches do you let accumulate before starting your snow removal route?
    I do residential only and have 1 group of clients that need to be out before 8AM and the rest that do not.

    Ive done 4" in the past but am thinking of lowering that number for the folks that have to be out early and will end up driving over 2-3 inches if i dont clear it.

    any input appreciated!!!
     
  2. jackkober16

    jackkober16 Junior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 14

    Hey I go on 3 inches, but it also depends on the customers.
     
  3. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,611

    There are many different variables to this, every customers needs and contractors technique are different. I think most everyones trigger is 1 to 2 but this all depends on what time the snow starts and what time the snow is supposed to stop. For instance if I'm plowing a bank that closes at 5pm and we get 1.5 inches by 4:30 pm and its still snowing I'm not going to plow them at 4:45 and then again later.
     
  4. Defcon 5

    Defcon 5 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,686



    What are you plowing that Bank with??



    All depends on the type of account and what your contract reads
     
  5. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,611

    Van full of illegals and shovels.
     
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Last year a lot of guys waited for the snow to stop before they went out. Ended up with 7 feet of snow in their driveways
     
  7. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,034

    I think you're crushing yourself if you have a 4" trigger and you're billing on a per push basis. You mean to tell me that if it snows 3.75 inches you don't plow at all, and the homeowners shovel themselves out?
     
  8. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,285

    Majority are 1" trigger, "2" are 2" triggers and I plow commercial and resi's.
     
  9. ZLClawncare

    ZLClawncare Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    My contract currently reads that I will automatically come out and plow when the storm has ended or 4" have passed, whichever comes first. That way if we get an 8 or 6" storm I am coming out twice; once after 4 inches and again to clear the remaining
    snow from storm charging separately by the inch each time. By "trigger" I meant at what point in the middle of the storm do I start pushing drives.

    After hearing from you guys i think i will drop it down to 3....4 just seems a little much.
     
  10. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,169

    I start my route at 3 am...sometimes 2am. Sometimes start it over at 7 am....then 2nd breakfast and start again at 3 pm....sometimes 2pm, and maybe 7 pm. Have some dinner and back in bed for 11pm and into the next shift."
     
  11. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    What happens when it snows on family fun day?
     
  12. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,169

    lol that's only funny to me cause I had to call a tow at 6am on a Family Fun Day.
    And Jim was not impressed.
     
  13. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,034

    I'm not a residential guy, but if I were, I'd definitely have a 2" trigger and go back out after every 2" after that. More money for you, easier on your truck, and less to deal with for the homeowner if they have to go out in between your 3" or 4" trigger that you're currently using. You might lose a few customers do due the increase in cost on larger storms, but you would more than make up for it with your frequency of plowing.
     
  14. ZLClawncare

    ZLClawncare Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    my minimum is $35 for an in and out residential driveway, no one will want to pay $70 to clear 4 " of snow....besides when you are doing 20-30 driveways by the time the initial run is done there will be another 3-4" on the ground anyway....at which point you run into Mr.Markus's schedule lol
     
  15. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    I only plow my lawn customers. So I get to talk to often. On residential, I agree to keep it safe. Depends on the storm, if ice I chemical treat chemical, some time 2 or 3 times. Snow only 2" and keep them clear. Up to 4x for a 12" storm. Very few complaints. The times customers complain, usually I need only on big storms, I drop. I stay too busy for those. Tell them to wait for the neighbor kids to come by, usually I have several names and numbers for them.

    Commercial, 4 are zero tolerance, 3 are 1" triggers and all others are 2" trigger. Again, return as need to keep safe. I am all per push. Cost is what it is, some winters cheaper, some winters expensive. Some winters, no snow!
     
  16. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,285

    My Resi's are plowed twice a day if needed, before 7am and 5pm. They wouldn't go for more than two plows a day and I don't blame them.
     
  17. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,034

    This makes perfect sense to me. As long as they can get out in the morning who cares what happens during the day? And then again after they're home from work. This sounds feasible for both you and the homeowner. You are getting paid for each of those two visits though, correct? Or are you seasonal bids?
     
  18. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,285

    1" triggers, all per push, and tiered rates. My resi's are also lawn customers that I've had for a long time and the only reason I plow for them.
     
  19. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,868

    Lol........
     
  20. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    All I can say is....."It depends".
    Yankees are tight with a buck. And they expect you to read minds.
    That about sums it up