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At what level to start in contracts

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by oldschoo, May 26, 2007.

  1. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    At what levels do most plowers/blowing contracts work at? Like how deep does the snow have to be b4 u must go out and remove it? I was thinking anything over 4 inches but what would u guys say? I don't see how 2 inches would require removing, that would be a lot more trips. I'm wanting to know this for residential contracts. Don't want to make it too low ( 2 or 3 inches ) when it should be 4 or 5 or more! That could cut my profits per hour it 1/2!
  2. B&E snowplowing

    B&E snowplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    I don't know what its like in your area, but here where I am we have a 2" (5cm) trigger. Most of the time however if it snows anywhere between 3-5 cm (1 1/2 to 2 ") I send all my trucks out.
  3. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,830

    2" seems to be the magic number for commercial. I think they do 3"- 4" for residential. The residential i do, they call me when they want it done
  4. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    I have 1-2 for commercial and 2 for a few drives that we do ;)
  5. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    2-3" is a reasonable accumulation for driveways, and it creates enough of a hazard for people that it's perfectly acceptable to plow. I refuse to have different triggers for different people; I do things the right way for plowing, and I'm not compromising a safe, quality job because someone is a little cheap about their snow removal. I only have 1 customer right now that's getting to be more of a PIA than she's worth, so my latest "counsel" either sticks with her or she's being dumped (she's also a slow payer, which only makes me more reluctant to renew her for the coming season).

    Question for you, Oldschoo.... are you snowblowing only? I ask only because you mentioned hourly pay and low triggers NOT being something you want. You do realize a 2-3" trigger doesn't mean you have to be out there at 10pm when that first 2" falls, right? It just means that when storm comes and there's 2-3 by the time things are done, you're justified in plowing (thus INCREASING the income you're worried about because now you're clearing those smaller storms you never used to get out of bed for). Food for thought, ya know? Good luck

  6. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    Yeah, I don't have a plow not and probably won't be able to afford one this year as I hear it's like $2,000 or more to buy one and have it installed. I shuveled last year and made about $35-40/hr avg. I may try to at least add a small blower or 2 as I could do that for less than 1/2 of what a plow would cost me. Then maybe next year I will be able to do some plowing.
  7. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    Should I figure on charging the contract fee upfront; like $150 for the season no matter how many pushes, blows, shuvel jobs I do on their drive? Or should I sign them up and charge a flat fee each time it snows over 3 inches or whenever they call or should I price it per foot? Yet still, if I charge an upfront fee like $150 for the season, should I break it down into monthly or bi-weekly payments of either $50/month for 3 months or $25 every 2 weeks? Or is it easier to get them to pay all at once? And some people the price should be $250, $400 or more right ( if they have a very long drive like 15ftx80 or something)?
  8. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I have generally done a "per push" charge each time, though others do seasonal charges like you spoke of, and those can work out well too. It's all in what you think is right -- some guys will do all seasonal charges for budget reasons, so they can make X dollars spread over 4-5 months. If you don't mind the variability of per push, go this way. Otherwise, come up with a seasonal charge that works for you and go that way.
  9. oldschoo

    oldschoo Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    thanks! I think I'll try for the 1 time charge if possible