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why guys plow a driveway for $17 ?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by John Mac, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I live in Upstate New York and plow around 15 times per season. That would be about $255.00 per drive per season. If you have 10 driveways and some my have more but how many can you do in 8 hours considering drive time is
    $2550 for the season. Add up your fuel, insurance, time, equipment and the fact that you are a slave to winter (no vacations to Florida). This is crazy!
    I figure that you have to gross at least $6000 to $10,000 per season per truck to be realistic. We do excavating in the summer and one day is $1200. You are committed for 4 months for $2500 to $3000, this is nuts. Raise your price to $500 per drive and do same 10 driveways and gross $5000.00 per truck!

    I just can't understand why guys are doing driveways so cheap; they do not look at the big picture. I have worked hard to build a commercial customer base and try to weed out driveways because of these guys that just do not want to make money! It is not the customer’s fault that they can get someone to do the work so cheep, why not, but if only the guy with the plow would do the math!
     
  2. Kosty

    Kosty Member
    Messages: 91

    yea ppl are really hurting these prices. ppl are doing driveways so cheap 140-235 thats crazy. but i can see how they do it tho its up to a certain amount of trips after that its per trip so if he comes back in feb and march when we get hit hard and they come two or three times a day and at 20 a shot they make the money back
     
  3. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    Plus it is old iron thats paid for no insurance except for said truck. And if you don't go anywhere anyway, it is just a little extra cash. Not really a business.
     
  4. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 799

    That's why we call 'em SCABS!
     
  5. Homengarden

    Homengarden Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    We had some Jackass put a bid in with the city to plow residential for $40/season (or something close to it). The paper listed 3 snow pushers that would give breaks to the residents of the city. 1 had a price of $350, another $285 and then the $40 special. We live in the snow belt in NE ohio, so needless to say... he got 95% of the accounts, it snowed like hell, couldn't keep up, lost his ass and he gave the old "what do you think you would get for $40" excuse.. What an A-hole..
     
  6. BayviewLawn

    BayviewLawn Member
    Messages: 67

    This conversation is getting kinda old.
    I know im being refered to here and you guys couldnt be more wrong.
    I have 2 trucks ... a 2005 2500 chevy and its not paid for,and a 1986 1 ton dump with a plow(yes paid for)
    I have full commercial insurance for snowplowing on both trucks,run a landscaping company all summer and plow all winter.
    10 driveways? I do about 57 this year,all within 5 miles of eachother and it wont take more then 3 houras to do.
    Im not a lowballer NO ONE in my area is getting more then 200 for a average driveway.Yes i limit it to 17 trips,however last year with all the snow we got i only went out 15 times.
    I dont know why you guys cant understand this.I dont wanna make 150-200 a driveway..thats all people will pay.And tellin them i wont do it for that much and hoping they call in Feb when a storm hits isnt gonna work.Specially since there are 10 other guys who will plow them for the 150-200 range.
    Anyone in the Rochester area who plows,show me driveway contracts for 35-50 a PUSH and Ill change my tune.
     
  7. Homengarden

    Homengarden Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    A standard contract in NE ohio is no less than $300.. Sometimes i will plow a single drive no less than 4 times in one day..Last year I plowed a drive 45- 50 times.. Once the total came to $500, I stopped charging.. Last year we had 152 inches and year before 132 http://www.chardon.cc/textdocuments/snow.htm So I guess its just location, location, location.
     
  8. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    do the math

    QUOTE=BayviewLawn]This conversation is getting kinda old.
    I know im being refered to here and you guys couldnt be more wrong.
    I have 2 trucks ... a 2005 2500 chevy and its not paid for,and a 1986 1 ton dump with a plow(yes paid for)
    I have full commercial insurance for snowplowing on both trucks,run a landscaping company all summer and plow all winter.
    10 driveways? I do about 57 this year,all within 5 miles of eachother and it wont take more then 3 houras to do.

    Lets see 57 driveways in 3 hours with 2 trucks. That would be 180 minutes for 57 driveways, or 29 driveways per truck in 90 minutes. So what you are saying is that you can do a driveway in 3.11 minutes including drive time. ok.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2005
  9. Mick

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

    John, each truck still gets the full 180 or average of 6.2 minutes. But, considering driving time is included, that's still pretty tight. Say the driveway can be done in 3-4 minutes and you can get from one drive to the next in 2 minutes, maybe it is only worth $17. That would be $170/hr ($17x10 drives per hour).
     
  10. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    10 driveways should be about 2 hours work... what are you doing for the other 6 hours? If you have to drive more than 5 minutes to get to a driveway job, then you shouldn't take it -- especially at $17.
     
  11. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Sorry for my math mistake you are correct I should check my math. But the numbers still don't add up. 3 minutes to plow a drive is only possible if you drive in back up and drive away. 4 minutes to the next driveway all night long for 57 driveways no way. My point is that 57 driveways in 3 hours with 2 trucks is not possible. So back to plowing a driveway for $150 to $200 for 15 plows is nuts.
    This is what BayviewLawn is doing Rochester NY. Price per plow is $10.00 to $13.00 a plow. And he states this is the norm in Rochester. Why get out of bed.
     
  12. vipereng2

    vipereng2 Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    we charge 35.00 to 45.00 per push in ct and we will clean off the walkway for a nother five to ten .
     
  13. BayviewLawn is right.

    My son lives and plows in Rochester, NY and it is tough to get $20 a driveway.
    Most seasonals are at $180 or less. My 80 yr old uncle will wait till the last minute and someone will come by with a $140 contract. To him, he just saved $40, wether the plow guy shows is another story.

    I live just 35 miles west and get $25-30 per push, and no seasonal one price deals. People won't go for it.

    I wish I could get $40 but at $25, we also have guys that under bid us.
    We also have to sell a potential customer on our service. That is just business.
     
  14. cornbinder

    cornbinder Senior Member
    Messages: 348

    let's face it guys different areas, different prices. going rate for drives in my area (wooster oh) from local contractors is 30 to 40 bucks. residentials are not "my cup of tea" but i do have some regulars.we have on the average 10 to 15 plowable events and on the average (some where around a 55" yearly avg.)i'll only shove the resedentials 3 or 4 times a year (at their request). i only charge $15 to $20 dollars a drive not that i'm trying to be a lowballer, but i'd rather make a little$ after i'm done with my comm. $ makers rather than twiddle my thumbs and do nothing.the residentials help fill the gas tank too, as they are usually cash, and they call back every year
     
  15. Mick

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

    But at some point, you've got to say it's not worth it and find another line of work.

    Cornbinder, I'm curious. When you said residenitials are "usually cash" - what else would they pay with? Or do you mean because they pay cash, you don't declare it on your taxes?
     
  16. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I have a real problem charging someone $35 - $40 a drive for CITY SIZE DRIVES that take me 2 minutes to do. I do 5 or 6 at best after big snows. Around here $15 -$20 is about average. I claim 9/10's of what I make and do not write off fuel / mileage and the trucks paid off.
    I guess I am a "Scab"? or is that "Low baller"? how about " Driveway Pirate"?
    Can you say that the company vehicle's you drive have " Business Only, use / Miles" written off?
     
  17. The Cowboy

    The Cowboy Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    In Northern IL it is hard to get more than $35 for a 1+ residential place. I was blowing the snow last year for some of my neighboring lawn clients with my 55" blower on my 27 hp Gravely ZTR. It was hard to make $100 per hour, and usually took me 8 hours to do 25 of 'em. This year I will have a heated truck so it will be better. Some people wanted a price reduction since I got the truck, because the other guys were going to charge 25 and I was $10 more, so I threw in some walk clearing. I doubt that anyone would plow AND clear walks for $25.
     
  18. maurader

    maurader Member
    Messages: 37

    BayviewLawn is right. In Rochester the going rate for a driveway ranges from $175 to $250 a season. People will not pay more than that. Check the local community news for ads and there is at least 20 in there.
    I average 10 drives an hour and that includes drive time.

    You might get 25+ per push but that's only during a blizzard.
     
  19. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    No direspect intended. It will be blunt though. If all you idiots stopped plowing for CHUMP change then these people will pay whatever they need to to get plowed. For those prices I would sit at home and have my own driveway plowed.
     
  20. BayviewLawn

    BayviewLawn Member
    Messages: 67


    Do all the math you like.All 57 driveways i do are within 5 miles of eachother.Most are 6-7 on the same street.there 2 car driveways.So yes i can plow a driveway in 1-2 minutes.
    And i do them with 1 truck.The other is a backup.