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Anyone run the business on the side?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by bowtie_guy, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. bowtie_guy

    bowtie_guy Senior Member
    Messages: 551

    I was just wondering if anyone plows as a business on the side of another full time job?
    If not do most people get into grass cutting, paving stuff like that for the summer?

    Just something I've wondered. I know for most it's the off season for outside cutting, weeping tiles ect.

    Thanks, also if this is in the wrong place I'm sorry.
  2. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Most people who plow are landscapers or some type of contractors. To be successful in snow removal you have to be dedicated. It is going to cost money to get into business effectively. Also, you have to be available throughout the winter season. As a side business, you can subcontract for other contractors or do driveways in your neighborhood. However, if your 1 truck fails, customers will forget you and go on to next person. Good luck.
  3. timm9

    timm9 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    I probably have the most unusual "cross business" of anyone on plowsite. I own a real estate firm (in the business since 1979) in a resort area. We also do snow removal. For years our clients called asking who to use. When our snow removal contractor (a major player) decided to get out, we found ourselves without snow removal for not only our small commercial center but also our 40+ vacation rentals. I bought one truck the first year and now have 4 trucks and a CAT front end loader. We now do approx. 90 vacation rentals, 6 small commercial centers, a motel, and a school plus what ever "one shots" that get called in. In the last two weeks we were hammered with snow and our longest run was 31 hours. when I have been up that long I hate it. After a little sleep I seem to forget about the last storm and lack of sleep...-)
  4. badranman

    badranman Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Please don't tell me about all your snow, I'm close enough to suicide as it is! I wish I had a 1/4 of the hours you got in so far! Congrats on your business success timm9, glad to here it.

    I run a Bobcat, build the odd garage,deck, anything of that nature when I'm not plowing.
  5. timm9

    timm9 Senior Member
    Messages: 168


    It was not my intention to make you feel bad. We had that last year. Bought new equipment and it snowed at Christmas, stopped on New Years Eve, and did not snow again until after the first of April when the ski resort was closed and there was no one to call for plowing. I know what you are talking about all too well.....
  6. rewoodworking

    rewoodworking Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    i hae a cabinet shop and i am starting plowing this year on the side
  7. badranman

    badranman Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Maybe I could rent my yard out to people to store their plows, we definately don't need them on the trucks!
  8. tawilson

    tawilson Senior Member
    Messages: 225

    Campsite owner, firewood seller and fledgling landscape business. I need a plow to keep myself plowed out figured I might as well try to get a little return on my investment. I only take customers that are near the route between my home and the campsite property.
  9. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    tawilson, good luck, sounds like a promising addition to your existing businesses. This site is a great way to learn the business. I have been plowing for 20+ years and this site has helped me tremendously. Check older postings that may have information for you. Plow early and often.
  10. tawilson

    tawilson Senior Member
    Messages: 225

    Thanks. Trust me, I spent a month reading and researching old posts before I ever opened my yap here. I couldn't believe how many people asked the exact same questions that were rattling around in my head. Same thing with the landscape site that I learned about here.
  11. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Maybe someone will start a marriage forum for contractors who have trouble finding their home.
  12. flykelley

    flykelley 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,127

    Bowtie Guy

    I work at GM Truck assy in Pontaic Mi,we build 1/2 3/4 1 ton chev & Gmc. I needed a new truck and was tired of the snow blower,so I came across a 2001 3/4 HD with Curtis Plow with 1600 mikes on it for twenty grand.

    This way I make a little money and do not shovel anymore. I used to plow about ten years ago but sold the trtuck so I could buy a house.

    Good Luck Mike
  13. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    I own a automotive repair shop. Plowing makes a nice supplement to our business. Repair shop wise, we are usually a little slower on snowy days. Most of our accounts are commercial and must be plowed by 8:00am so we are usually done by then. We go back and clean them up after they are empty again after 6:00pm. If it snows on weekends it is even better.

    Owning a repair shop also allows me to keep my 4 trucks in top mechanical condition. This is a huge cost savings and effective, since we run older equipment. It also fills those occasional slack times at the shop.
  14. bowtie_guy

    bowtie_guy Senior Member
    Messages: 551

    Awsome, thanks for the input. I'm thinking of next winter getting a plow and doing the odd job here or there. More than likely people I know who don't like doing their yards.
    Working shift work hurts things but would like to do a little on the side.

    I really find this site interesting and this section about business just rocks!!

    Keep up the good work!!
  15. eortheain

    eortheain Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Count me into the "plowing on the side" category.

    I work full-time in the metro DC area. Most snow days, my employer has either liberal leave or closes outright, so plowing is a perfect side gig for me. I also have a guy working for me who is in a similar situation -- he does drywall deliveries, and when it rains or snows, his employer tells him to stay home.
  16. eortheain

    eortheain Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    While we are on the subject of business:

    I bought a used JD 410E backhoe for plowing, and by my reckoning, I need to work a little less than 100 hours a year to pay for it (capital cost, insurance, maintenance, fuel).

    Ideally, I'd like to use it the machine far more than that, ideally as a subcontractor doing occasional work for local builders, excavating companies, plumbers, and/or landscapers.

    What would be the best way to find that kind of work?
  17. Snow Jaw

    Snow Jaw Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    I am doing side work as snow plowing, I have full time job that is from 7am to 4pm.. any one that call me for snow plowing will have to wait till after 5 pm. or if they make plans much as sign up for every time it snows, if it's a small drive way or small parking lot I can have it done around middlenight before 5am how every if it snows in day time and it's a going wait till after 5pm.. that will be my rule till then if any change or my own snow business grew up it will change.. any way I still have to hold a other job.

    I can always have some part time guys around for cleaning side walks. right now I only have one truck.

    my wife's job covers heath ins for me so I dont have to worry about my job for heath ins.

  18. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    First Question would be how much experience do you have digging? Do you have a truck and trailer capable of pulling the 410? What do you think you will make as a sub? A good friend just got out of that end of the business , his work is available and not far from you over in Columbia Maryland. He was hooking up water and sewer lines to new homes
  19. Dave1250

    Dave1250 Member
    Messages: 57

    Other Jobs

    Hi all I work for the state of NY as a correctional officer 2:45 till 11:00 PM . I also own my commercial refrigeration business snow plowing and small house repair jobs . I do all type of work .I stay busy most of the time . My truck is a GMC 1990 4x4 3/4 ton with 274,000 miles I will be getting a new truck this year . Was looking at GMC C-4500 or C-5500 to bad not 4x4 yet.
  20. NYplowboy

    NYplowboy Member
    Messages: 35

    Dave, Another NY CO here, I also plow on the side, working those two's and four"s gives me a lot of free time! might as well earn some side money!!! stay safe my brother:salute: