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What to do

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by pheasantfarmer, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. pheasantfarmer

    pheasantfarmer Member
    from MN
    Messages: 37

    Oh ok first of all this is my first post but i have been reading a bunch of stuff on this forum for the last couple months. I have a bunch of buddies that are plowing as contractors and i would be to but I am in college so i can't be plowing all the time. In my "starting your own business class" I am writing a business plan for a lawn care and snow removal business that i would be starting for the 2010 to 2011. But this year i want some extra cash and would like to do a little snow removal.

    I have a 1 ton Dodge Cummins for my hay bailing business and for fun but i don't want to put a plow on that. If i plow next year i will go out a buy a plow truck.

    But anyway I have a John Deere 425 with a 46 in or 47 in 2-stage snow blower and that is what i would use. I am only thinking of trying to pick up about 3 hours max of driveways with a 6in dump of snow even though for the blower a 3in or 6in snowfall takes about the same time. So i am thinking up to 10 of your normal 2 car width and 2 car length residential driveways. I live outside a small city of $5,000 with a nice golf course so i thought i could probably get 10 for i was thinking about $40 a plow for a normal driveway wtih a 2in trigger

    Does that seem right for 2in trigger and 10 driveway at $40 a push cause that is what i am gathering from reading. I guess i could go cheap like $30 but if i can get 10 driveways for $40 that would be great.

    My only concern is, yes i know about insurance and of course next year when i actually go all out and plow with a truck i will get insurance but do i need it now? I know it would be a good idea but i don't want to be spending $1000 a month for insurance for doing only 10 drives....any suggestions or is my idea of the insurance price to high

    any other suggestions? I appreciate all your advice and will try to follow it i don't want to do anything stupid just trying to get started. By the way i live in MN hour south of the Twin Cities. Thanks
     
  2. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    I pay 800 a year, per truck, for Gen liability plowing insurance and Commercial Auto.

    I would not plow snow if it was 12000 a year....per truck.
     
  3. pheasantfarmer

    pheasantfarmer Member
    from MN
    Messages: 37

    hahaa that was somebodies # they gave me i thought it was a lot, I haven't checked locally...I guess i will figure that out this week.

    So I take it i would need the same as if i was using a truck...so get gen liability plowing insurance? any specific insurance companies to go with?
     
  4. Mick

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

    You need insurance more in beginning than as you gain experience. More likelihood of something happening. Unfortunately, some people think the other way around.
     
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Contact your insurance guy and see what he suggests, then post back to get replies on what people here think.
     
  6. pheasantfarmer

    pheasantfarmer Member
    from MN
    Messages: 37

    oh ok thanks everyone. Yes i want to be insured, so i will talk and get a quote with that within this week. I of course want to be insured even though our tractor is a slick setup with good view and control, and i will do a great job, i still want to sleep in peace every night that someone won't fall and sue me for everything.

    Does everything else sound right? I know i could bid each driveway individually but in residential areas the driveways all the driveways are about the same size so i thought just in the flyer or something give each person a set price of what $25, $30, $40 for the average 2 car driveway? I only need 10 or so driveways for 2 to 3 hours per push of the average 4in to 6in snowfall.

    Thanks any advice is really appreciated!!!
     
  7. Mick

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

    Sounds good, if they're all approx the same size. Keep it as simple as possible for both you and the customer.
     
  8. pheasantfarmer

    pheasantfarmer Member
    from MN
    Messages: 37

    yeah if they are all about the same size which they are I thought it would be great and easy when I send flyers out if I have the price for each time i plow. That way i only get calls from people interested and not people wanting to know how much or when i can come and bid.

    So what would you all charge for a driveway that is 2 car widths and 3 car lengths roughly. I am seeing everything from $20 to $50....I was thinking $30 to $40

    Also is 2in trigger the right amount and what times do you all do residential. I would like to do them between 4:30am-6:30am but is that to early am i going to wake people up? If it started snowing at 9pm could i wait till 1pm when after i get done with my college classes to start clearing driveways?? Cause I have classes from 8am to Noon. So it would have to working before 7am or at 1pm

    thanks
     
  9. Mick

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

    Talk to your customers to find out what they want/need. Most people will want to have it cleared so they can go to work. Some, like medical people, police etc will have other needs. Trigger - find out local custom. I usually go with a 3" trigger, but some customers want less and are willing to pay for individual treatment.
     
  10. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Every customer is different in what they want.
    Ask when they want plowed and where they want the snow.