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50 Residentials, severly under equiped

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Reliablesnow, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Reliablesnow

    Reliablesnow Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 36

    Hello all,

    Last season I had 25 residential accounts, which I found pretty manageable with two people, one snowblower, and shovels. This year I have jumped to 50 accounts, all within 1 mile from each other and ranging from 30'-200' driveways. I went through a 6" storm the other day, and I realized that one single stage blower, shovels, and 3 total workers is too light of a load to keep up.

    I am wondering what advice you all have in regards to upgrading equipment. I am hoping each storm I can have 2-3 workers total, but people are unreliable so I need to prepare for 2 workers in any sized storm. a 1-3" storm isn't too bad, but more than that I worry it will take too long to get to every one.

    I have thought about an ATV, but that would require me getting a storage unit year long, which I'm not sure is worth it.

    Maybe a two stage blower off Craigs list?

    I have no experience with a plow, and am not sure if that's a good idea to jump into throwing a plow on my 09 F150.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    well if you can't plow,get another blower,Shovels should be used at a minimum.
  3. Reliablesnow

    Reliablesnow Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 36

    Do you think adding a 2 stage blower to the fleet would be more beneficial than another 1 stage? I feel like the 1 stage is not heavy duty enough- changing scraper blades and paddles all the time.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Yes it would.
  5. gc3

    gc3 Senior Member
    Messages: 713

    At least another blower. If you double your accounts then you need to be more efficient. More equipment or more manpower. It depends on how much up front money you want to spend. A buddy of mine is always buying used equipment from craigslist. A little while later he's mad cause it blew up. You never know what you get when you buy used.
  6. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    start saving for another truck, another blower will keep your shoveler fresher, as blowing is easier then shoveling, maybe find another worker & give them a small route of there own, places that can be shoveled with the 2 of them, while u & your shoveler do the bigger ones.
  7. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    That depends on how much snow you allow to build on the drives before you clear them. 2 stage have their place but I like single stage... you just have to stay on top of the storm and dont let it get too deep before you get started. But with 50 drives you should have a 2 stage for back up when the big storms hit.
  8. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Another blower...
  9. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,123

    How about a plow and 2 more snow blowers.
  10. Reliablesnow

    Reliablesnow Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 36

    Thank you for the responses. Another 2 stage is definitely in my future. With plowing, I have no experience with one. I feel as if there would be a big learning curve- one in which I do not think I could achieve in the middle of a season with so many accounts.

    My biggest concern is being able to get every home done in a timely manner once a storm is done.
  11. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 944

    50 driveways is a lot for a few guys and 1, even 2 snowblowers. You have a tight route which is killer so get a small plow for your truck and just go easy. The other day was my first time plowing ever without even sitting in on anybody or anything and aslong as you take it easy, and be methodical and wart where you put the plow and snow.
    Just to show whow efficient you can be I did 15 drives last year with a 4 hour route. They are relatively big and that was with me and a help with just shovels and a 2 stage. This year I picked up a small plow for my ranger, and I'm now doing 28 properties in 4.5 hours. Drop your helper off at the sidewalk and plow. A lot of times we finish at the same time and on to the next. A plow will really save you time and money, and you'll be a lot less tired at the end of the day.
  12. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,272

    50 resi's within a mile of each other - thats a tight route. so currently you have 1 truck with plow, 1 blower, shovels, and a crew of 3 people? how long it is taking you to service all 50 accounts with that setup during a 6" storm?

    upon first glance, i would say you are over equipped. i have 50 resi's all within a 2 mile radius of each other, and its just me. no shoveling or blowing. only plowing and i dont get out of the truck. it takes me 6-7 hours to do the route for a 6" storm. if i was doing walkways, i'd bring one other guy and he'd be sholving, but i dont imagine that would increase my route time. but loading and unloading a snowblower into the truck at each account would definetly be eating up the clock.
  13. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,272

    oh - my bad. i guess you dont have a plow truck. i just read the post above mine. anyway, yeah, definetly get a truck with plow. loose the snowblower (unless you have acccounts with TONS of walkways) and bring one other guy with you. he shovels while you plow.
  14. Reliablesnow

    Reliablesnow Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 36

    I will look into a plow after this season is done. I am leaning towards an Ariens 2 stage blower- whether there is a good deal online or a new one.
  15. wils5150

    wils5150 Member
    from mass
    Messages: 87

    I would get the plow now if you can afford it. with the increased productivity you may be able to pick up a few more drivways to pay for it.
  16. quigleysiding

    quigleysiding PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    Hire a sub who has a plow and knows what he"s doing, Pay him by the hour. give him a route, If they are all that close there should be no problem keeping a eye on him. Find someone with insurance.
  17. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 944

    With 50 driveways it would be more than worth the investment to get a plow. With that nice of a customer base you will have it paid for in no time aslong as they priced correctly
  18. kg26

    kg26 Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Take it from me, others will agree I'm sure its on Craig's list for a reason.
  19. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    You have 50 accounts and 1 blower... what happens when your 1 blower craps out? each storm your blower gets at least 2X the use it was designed for.
  20. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    add one them 40'' + size blowers

    I seen a guy running one and we had 4-5'' snow fall and he was going at a fast walk