Before U Come To Buffalo Read This Crap!!!

75 Addict
Sad, yes:

But about what I would expect from the media.

Now that the weather itself isn't headline news, they have to find another way to sell papers.

We aren't anywhere near the snowfall amount you guys got, but we HAVE had 2' of snow starting Friday night. That was plenty to keep me going each night this weekend, so I do have some idea of what you were up against - plus I've been checking in as you guys posted the pics!.

Anyone who thinks that snow work is "easy money" should come along in a plow truck for the duration of the snow event - I mean the WHOLE snow event, not just a quick ride to clear one driveway.

John Allin Addict
Erie, PA
It really does not sound like they have all that many complaints.... and, sure the senior citizens are squawking as they don't understand the business and probably REALLY DO believe that a contractor that was charging them $15 or $20 should plow it for the same money even at 7 feet.....

Most citizens (senior or not) understand that you can't do it for the same money at that level... however, some contractors also may be at fault for not properly wording contracts to allow for the necessary upcharge when the unforseen catastrophic storm hits. It's probably a two pronged problem... and, unfortunately a few vocal citizens can make it sound like all hell's breakin loose from price gougers... and, the media loves that crap too.

Buffalo must have several thousand guys plowing during this storm, and if they have 6 complaints (that have been publicized)... then our industry is in good steed.... and we should all be proud that the violators are such a miniscule percentage.

There are not many professions that can boast of such overwhelming honesty amongst its troops.

I for one, think our peers in Buffalo have done a tremendous job responding to this overwhelming storm, and I think they should be commended for their efforts.
very sad article indeed. one of my favorite phrases to tell people who thinkthat we are gouging them is that they are willing to pay the equivalent of $100.00 per hour to have their luxury car built(whatever that car may be), but then try to nickel and dime landscapers, and snowplow operators trying to make a living..i just dont understand it at all.

DaveO Veteran
I hope this is NOT the public's opinion of the many plow operator's who are helping dig out Buffalo. While I am sure some high prices have been charged(and justifiable in most cases), what about the GOOD deeds done by these same people??

The council lady who states " they should be shot at dawn" strikes me as a real professional in her field.

If this is really the public's response, I sympathize with those who have gone above and beyond, and have been chastised by the media.



S.E. Mich.
Price Gouging?

What most people (i.e complainers) fail to realize is,
We, as snow plow operaters, are not making any more money by upcharging.
A driveway that bids out at $20.00 may take us, during a normal snowfall, 5 to 10 minutes.
But that same driveway with 3 to 4 feet of snow is going to take considerably longer. 30, maybe even 45 minutes or more.
Do the math.
We loose.


MOE Veteran
Did everybody notice the reporter's email adress at the bottom of the article ? Hmmm I would think by now he would have heard an earfull from the people in the field who really know the story.
Mabey we should send some mail.


Senior Member
Long Island, NY

for what its worth I sent this idiot an e-mail.

will let you know if I get a reply

Reguarding your article about price gouging snow contractors. What do you think would be a fair price for plowing a drive covered in 4 to 7 feet of no doubt packed an plowed (at the street edge)snow!! The contractor risks getting stuck, breaking his equip.,removing this extrodinary amt. of snow.
These special circumstances take exponential amount of time and based on normal rates we contractors by the hour actually will make less money. These issues should be addressed in contracts, if not part of the fault would be the contrator.
I repeat what would you charge?
I'd like to see the people that are writting these articles get out of thier nice warm offices and go plow snow and then try to say what they just said after being stuck, brocken down, and deprived of sleep for who knows how long. Then i'd like to hear what they have to say.

I just can;t believe people can call it price gouging when you guys are working 10x harder just to plow thier drive way and they expect that much more work for the same amount of money? Maybe they should see what it's like on the other end. How can people be so ignorant ?????:confused: :confused:


Senior Member
Do these idiots realize that it is NOT price gouging!

Price gouging is when a product or service is sold for much more than what it is worth (an example would be a gallon of gas after Sept. 11th. Same product, just higher price)

With 7ft of snow, the level of service and amount of time required is much more. Therefore, the price is higher. It is simple economics.

SIMA should take action on this and get a public apology from the reporters and Council members Mary M. Martino and Rosemarie LoTempio.


Mary Martino, South District Councilmember
1504 City Hall, 65 Niagara Square
Buffalo, N.Y. 14202

Rosemarie LoTempio, Council Majority Leader
1508 City Hall
Buffalo, New York 14202

Phil Fairbanks, Reporter, Buffalo News
Last edited:


Senior Member
I sent an email to all three of them. I refrained from going "postal" and was very eloquent, while at the same time expressing my suprise at their ignorance concerning simple economics and the definition of price gouging.

In the emails, I included a link to this thread at so that they can see that we are not just a bunch of scam artists that "key in on the weak and the vulnerable" and none of us deserve to "be shot at dawn."

How about we all kick in a buck and pay for them to take a refresher course in economics. Or better yet, pay for a full page ad in the Buffalo News so that they may make a public apology to the many hard-working members of this industry who went above and beyond to dig their city out from under one of the biggest snowfalls on record.

I applaud every contractor that earned their money. And I find it hard to believe that anyone COULD price gouge. At my normal rates, according to my contract, I could charge $420 for a $30 driveway. (14 6" increments X $30) But would probably cut a little slack, since with that amount of snow, I wouldn't be able to keep up and therefore wouldn't have actually plowed 14 times. After all, even we need a couple hours sleep after plowing for over 30 hours straight, to go yet another 30 hours.

i agree with all above and have to add that these people(in buffalo) are in a mode of frustration and have practically had there lives stopped so they need to act out on any thing....i would not want that kind of snow for any amount of money

i think clearing drives , at this point would need loaders to be effective and the prices mentioned above are fair

i do agree with the coments of snow removal professionals
I saw a similiar article in todays paper (Rochester D&C). I have a friend who went to Buffalo , he's not making a killing, money but not a getting rich. Charginmg normal rates for his backhoe & skid, just takes alot longer to get things acomplished.
The article brings up some points we as contractors need to make sure are in out contracts:
-Equipment being used- specify trucks with plows, skid loaders, etc.
- Clause if you can't get down roads-as is problem in Buffalo or was as I understand, if you can't get to drive, how can you plow it?
Bottom line we need to make sure we're covered because atty general will shut you down, happen two weeks ago here to a contractor, from a storm two years ago which dumped 40-50 inches in 3-4 days.

One last thing the contractor is getting all the bad mouthing in the media, if the consumers were educated about hiring responsible contractors rather than lowest priced they might have better luck. I have tried to educate consumers about this- they want lowest price(most)-period, especially residential.
A responsible contractor cannot compete with the guy that has a truck that barely makes it down the street, no insrance, etc., when he has new trucks, 3 million in insurance, & equipment for when needed. Maybe the media should help us educate the consumers? Wow an idea.


Senior Member
Oh gosh!!! Thats so very sad and most deffinetly incorrect.
I hope everyone did get a high # for there drives or lots
You just simply have to, have to have to

That kind of news media coverage can be devastaing
(most likely it was from just a mere handful of complaints) but I can see what kind of blow it will cause..

I agree with ctfireman that suggest; they be approached and talked with ASAP, I see it being a priority matter.
also the emails,, but an in person contact I can see being needed here to correct that issue..

This inaccurate gouging will spread like a snowball or a wildfire.
It needs be recorrected ASAP,,

You contractors did an outsatanding job.
I have made on some small res driveways in the past $125 with only 12" snow and no complaints along w/ Thank yous,, I know each one of yous where thanked,, you didnt need this
86" MY GOD

A snowstorm like that is like a forrest fire to me,, one needs be compensated for their service and equiptment usage.


Senior Member

Thank you everyone for your support in this matter, it is a shame that this is even being spoken of...This council member is in the hardest hit area of the city where as of now..8 days later there are still many people homebound! I caught word that the independent operators that were called in from out of state to help with the cleanup aren't even going to get paid any time soon. The city of Buffalo is on the verge of Bankruptcy or being dissolved into the county government. The city was already facing a mega million dollars shortfall before this event. These poor contractors are already getting a low rate for their equipment, now they have to wait over 6 months for their money!! And that is IF federal aid comes through. How irresponsible can a city be? This year, with the sept 11 disaster & this disaster IT WILL finally be a wake up call to this city that has relied on handouts for years.I hope people are smart enough to rise up now and force the fiscal mismanagement & bureacrats out of this city once & for all. These statements come from a council woman.....Go figure? The city can't be profitable. So why should we, right? The politicians must be pissed off now, They are trying to siphon us too..Anything to save face. Word on the streets is Payloader $230 An hour, Tandem Axle Dumps $75 Hour, Bobcat $80 Hour... I do not own machinery like this, but to me this sounds awfully cheap and to make these independent companies front the money for this storm is ABSURD!


Senior Member
Although I am not a member of SIMA

Although I am not a member of SIMA, I would consider joining if I could see the power of a professional organization get results in this matter.

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