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Anyone else thinking getting out of the business??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Team_Yamaha, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. Team_Yamaha

    Team_Yamaha Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    I have just about had it with the past couple of winters!!:realmad: :realmad: I saw a story on the news today that said snowfall totals from last year (02-03 winter) and so far this season (03-04) we have only gotten 14.4" of snow. This is just plain sad. I am now thinking of selling the plows and sanders off of my trucks to atleast try and make up a little bit of the loss.

    I know that my father used to have 6-7 plow trucks (depending on the year), he is now down to just 2 and thinking of selling the equipment off them!!

    Anyone else thinking of doing the same??
  2. General Grounds

    General Grounds Member
    Messages: 66

    :bluebounc i hear ya, giving it seriuos thought to giving up the residential end of the bus. these people become down right annouying as soon as the last flake hits the ground, "did you forget us" we only do 20 res. accounts and we do them in about 2 hours and we keep an eye on the radar and try to start a little before the snow ends and we still get calls like we didnt show up for days. tony
  3. ebaron

    ebaron Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    The stars must have shifted. This winter and last in Rochester have been the busiest in about 10 years. Almost too many events, since many customers want the maximum price contract, since that has been the norm around here for awhile. 3 years ago though I think I only had 3 trips. Already at 12+ this year for residential. The constant 2-3 inches a day keeps you busier than the 36 inch dumps we had years ago.
  4. danthegrassman

    danthegrassman Member
    Messages: 31

    Where i am we have been getting descent winter for the last few years. I remember the 90's as the global warming decade where snow was supposed to be the thing of the past yeah right. 1996 was the worst year on record and 1999 - 2004 has been good old canadian winters, go figure. Regardless I am still thinking heavily for next year to dump a whole bunch of my residental accounts. I will definitely weed out the picky ones which I do normally anyways, get rid of the far ones on the ends of route lists. I want to keep only the high-end good paying customers and places that are too easy to turn down where you virtually just drive in and out with no dicking around "The 5 second drives". The reason I do snowplowing is simple to keep the customers for the summer grass season but will change in 2004. My biggest problem is the money, I can't really justify dumping all of my customers as I have the two plows and all winter equipment paid for, but I have the 2 truck payments on the 2003 F350 diesel and 2004 F250 gas truck I can't get around, so I still have to plow. I figure if I keep 40 of the current 85 customers (residential and commerical combined). I can make it through the winter season reasonably ok with the payments being made and still have a few spending bucks. I would in turn add more summer grass customers to make up the lost income and take on a few more landscape projects. But in summary I will definitely downsize by 50% and lay off 1 employee for the winter months next year. I will resort to operating only 40 good paying customersand that's it. I just want to make sure the customers I let go will not take negatively to the news of dumping them for the winter because i still want their summer business, for the most part I should be ok.

    Sorry for the long post but this was a topic I have seriously pondering, hope other people will share their views on this subject too.

  5. Sidebuz

    Sidebuz Member
    Messages: 41

    Been debating on wether to stay solo or join up with somebody else (local excavating company). Let them handle the PR, billing, phone calls, etc. But getting out completely, no way. I'm young and haven't figured out that there is easier ways to make money at "regular" hours of the day :D

    SNOBLOMAN Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    My dad is slowly working himself out of it. Been doing 55 driveways for the past 25 years so it's time to slow down a bit. Now as people say they don't want him, he doesnt replace them. And all the calls he gets he gives to me for snowblowing. Works out good for me!! payup
  7. badranman

    badranman Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    "did you forget us"
    LOL, geez I hate when they say that. The ones that call are always the ones that aren't going anywhere. People must think you're all suited up waiting up the street from them for the last flake to fall and they're your only customer.

    SNOBLOMAN Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I hear ya there, when they do that to me I usually just drive by do one of these :waving: and keep going and do them last. Or it kills me when they are out there attempting to shovel their driveways themselves and they say " I wasnt sure if you were coming" Its like damn, Ive been here every other storm why would I just decide not to come. Duh:rolleyes:
  9. badranman

    badranman Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    I had a little old lady call me the last storm and ask if I was coming. I told her I'd be there in 10 minutes. She said "Well, someone is here now asking if they can do it so I told them yes, but I still want you to do it". This same lady hadn't left her house in over a week. Hello?
    Getting back to the origin of this thread, no I don't think I'll leave just yet, too early for me.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2004
  10. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    I know as soon as I sell everything, it'll snow like hell!:nod:
  11. bcf

    bcf Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    Being as this is my first year by myself, I'm not going anywhere. I've gotten a new account with each storm, and the money is right. It hasn't snowed that much, not nearly like last year or even close. But I know there can't be that much green falling from the sky every winter. It's a business, with it's lulls and highs. payup My fence work slows down in the winter, so plowing supplements it. :drinkup: As long as I don't have to lowball, or make just enough a drive to actually be paying the owner, I'll stick with it. Besides, its more time spent in my truck.:D
  12. A.L. Inc.

    A.L. Inc. Member
    Messages: 97

    I got into snow removal in 1996, after working as a shoveler during the '95-'96 winter, which was about 15 events (a lot for us). The next winter we had one plowable event, the next, zero! I wanted to quit then, but stuck it out, and have had a decent time since then. This business definitely has it's ups and downs. Mike
  13. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    I think we will pretty much eliminate residential plowing next season for this reason. No matter how much and how hard I explain to people how the system works, they still end up calling with the "wonder where you are" call. It's ridiculous. Like they are the only and the first customer you go to.
  14. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    IT's an up and down thing, always has been always will be. I remember years where we got big snow and big profits. The next year was a bust. DAD says it's always been that way, he's 67.
    That's why I have a good job and do plowing on the side, it keeps the wife from bitching too much. I also put money in reserve from mowing and painting to cover short's on plowing.
    Welcome to the new century.
  15. neversatisfied

    neversatisfied Member
    from ct
    Messages: 73

    I say every year that im done,but every year i end up taking on more accounts,lol.I hear ya on the residential driveways.I did driveways for one year then never again,stayed with just commercial lots.I own a very big construction/excavating business out here and started plowing to keep my own stuff clean so we can work jobs through the winter,then 1 truck,2 trucks,3 trcuks,crap i think were up to a dozen trucks now.I enjoy it i geuss,but i do a boatload of mcdonalds now for almost 8 years,the check is cut every single week and delivered to the closest store for me to pick up on friday so its kinda a joy to be out,lol.I think if u find good customers that understand that u are out for days plowing( not the 20 of them that call and expect u to be everywere at the same time) it makes it better and youll enjoy it more and stay in longer.Isnt it supposed to be fun anyway,lol.
  16. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,107

    it's been ok here to, other job is filling in the loop holes as far as payup goes, however I need to the classic painted in the spring so some more plowable events would be great :nod:

    hang in there we all go through tough times :(
  17. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,951

    i might go back to doing roads for the city and state and dumping everything else payup
  18. MSL INC.

    MSL INC. Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Team Yamaha, Where are U in WI? I'm close to Racine.
    Ya, these last few years have stunk! What about doing seasonals? If everyone worked this way we all wouldn't have this problem. People must realize that if they are buying our time to keep us "on hold" all winter they gotta pay for it! Granted- only commercials are gonna do this but maybe thats where we need to focus our biz anyhow. just my $.02
    There are many strategies, I know whats working for me.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2004
  19. jiriki87

    jiriki87 Member
    Messages: 63

    You can think of it this way, when it rains it pours. If you didn't have these on/off seasons and every thing was the same you would be bored. The ups and downs keep things interesting. We have had two times this season where we worked almost 7-8 days in a row. The first time I had every piece of equipment go down on me, keeps things exciting. ha ha ha. Of course I prefer work and equipment to run well and smoothly, but it keeps you on top of your game.

    early season.
    1. F350 diesel w/ Boss V broke
    2. F250 w/ Western 8' broke
    3. new CAT 262 w/ Blizzard 810SS broke
    4. New Areins 1332 Pro broke
    5. 1 year old Honda HS1132 broke, and still continues to have
    engine problems.

    Of course this really made things interesting with 65 Commercial and residental accounts, but if you out weigh the positives it is worth plowing.

    I don't know of many other jobs that I can essentaily work on average one day a week and make 1000-1500 dollars a day.

    Just my 2cents worth,
  20. neversatisfied

    neversatisfied Member
    from ct
    Messages: 73

    i hear ya pete on the cash.We bring in more in 1-2 days than guys make over a period of 3-4 months at a reguler job.Whats keeping me in is the money i use to keep dumping stuff in the strip/show truck and to do something in the winter besides the regular work.