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Best Place In U.S.to Start Snow Plow Buisness?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by BASIC, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. BASIC

    BASIC Member
    Messages: 69

    Hi guys,Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.If you were able to move anywhere in the United States to start a snow plowing company,where would you go?I'm not in the position to move,at least right now but I'am curios just the same.Thanks,BASIC.
  2. Tim1075

    Tim1075 Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    Tug Hill area of New York
  3. BASIC

    BASIC Member
    Messages: 69

    Tim1075,I first learned about the Tug Hill on this web-site about a year ago.At first,no one belived the poor guy who posted about 300+" of snow a year in upsate New York but its true.Do you think the population is large enough to make a living plowing snow?Thanks,BASIC.
  4. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,141

    I've been there several times snowmobiling,that much snow is hard to believe untill you can see it,one thing i didn't notice was snowplows,(besides the state and towns)They must be there,but at the same time any one living there knows what to expect in the winters,maybe they do their own?
  5. Tim1075

    Tim1075 Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    I go snowmobiling there and the snow is unreal but i do not think that the population would be enough for business. Most of the people up there just plow their own driveways. I was up there last winter over new years, we got 7 feet of powder in 3.5 days i couldnt believe my eyes.
  6. BASIC

    BASIC Member
    Messages: 69

    I think the ideal area would have a high annual snow fall and also a fairly high population.Places like the UP of Michigan,northern Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire all get plenty of snow but I don't think they have the population to support a snow plow buisness.BASIC.
  7. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,141

    Maybe JAA will reply to this thread,he runs a modest little business out in Erie PA :D ,altough he's probably got the market cornered out there!
  8. long0

    long0 Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Tahoe / Northern California.

    They have been getting pounded this year. I'm not real sure how other years have been for them, but they are getting it this year.

    Then again, once I re-read the original subject, I don't think a place that gets an extreme amount of snow is the best place to start a plowing business. Especially if you have never done it before. If you have plowed before, then go where there is lots of it.

  9. J.Henderson

    J.Henderson Senior Member
    Messages: 164

    Anywhere but north/western Illinois. It doesn't snow this far north, thinking about moving south :)
  10. litle green guy

    litle green guy Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    you gotta go someplace that you can get good rates too, like here in new jersey we get higher rates than places like maine and colorado but we don't get as much snow. If you new you could depend on the winters around here it might be ideal but some years we get 2 storms ( like last year) and some years we get pounded ( where on our 3rd storm alreadt this year) or like 93' or 96'. i don't think you would realt want to go some place thst has the highest snow fall but just somewhere that gets decient amounts that is reliable and consitent and the rates are ok. my 2 cents.
  11. Rooster

    Rooster Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 650

    My answer would be any where there is snow.

  12. PAPS Landscape

    PAPS Landscape Member
    Messages: 51

    I agree, I wouldn't want to go to a place that posted the highest snow fall amounts. For one, everyone is in the snow removal business in those type places, 2. rates are considerably lower due to that, and 3. I would want to take a break between storms. I would prefer an area that got a snow storm maybe once every 5-7 days, that way I could re-cover and keep the equip. in good working order. Also, and area like here in N.Jersey where the rates are high.
  13. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Trust me, the ones who say that areas with high snowfall rates are not good areas to start a business are right. There are A LOT of snowplows up here - everything from a piece of 3/4" plywood bolted to the bumper on to brand new Boss and Fisher V-plows. Then you contend with the likes of the two guys I talked to in the past three days. First one, I asked if he had an hourly rate that he used to determine what to charge based on time it would take to do a lot. He said "yes" so I asked what he used. Very proudly and enthusiastically, he said "twenty dollars an hour". Huh?? (I wrote it out so you wouldn't think it was a misprint). Second guy, I actually talked to his father. Guy charges one rate for a site, regardless of snow depth. According to the father, the guy actually turned down one driveway cause it was "too big for the rate he charges".

    Neither one could believe that I actually get any business with the rates I charge. They just can't get past "they won't pay that much".

    I would think going to an area with a small annual snowfall. Set up in business with little to no competition.
  14. Earthscapes

    Earthscapes Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 577

    Basic,when your ready i'll sell you my house and company (with plenty of snow) and i'll go move down south so i never have to see snow again.... except maybe to come home on x-mas and visit with the family.

    On a serious note if you don't have a fulltime landscaping,lawn service or construction company it's pretty hard to get work. There are alot of large company's which have most of the commercial work locked up with their "low" rates.
    Heres an example: we pull into Perkins at 6am this morning and there is 5" of snow in the lot, we go and sit at our table and the manager comes over and asks me if i can plow out the first 2 lanes so noone has to walk through the snow. I tell him sure breakfast for 2 and $25.00.....he looks at me and says well we only pay $75.00 for the whole lot,,so i say fine i'll take the 3 eggs and bacon.
    Heck i have a hard enough time trying to get residentials when guys are bidding 40%-60% less than me. Right now were getting snow every 5-7 days but i am really hoping for a huge storm like last year's 7 feet to really start proving some points again.
  15. bassmaster

    bassmaster Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Not in Kansas city that's for sure! We haven't even had a trace all year, and here I just went out an bought a new snow blower
  16. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    I would have to say Erie Pa, but the competition out there is well entrenched. ( isn't that right JAA) but with something along the lines of 300 inches of snowfall on average, I'm sure there is plenty of work to go around.

    2nd Choice would be Tug Hill Plateau

    Third Choice - Denver Colorado
  17. Rooster

    Rooster Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 650

    Good for you Earthscapes! Stick to your guns.

    Although here in K.C. some people I have talked to almost are willing to pay to plow to have snow! :realmad:

    But we will get ours just like last year.

  18. greenquestlawn

    greenquestlawn Senior Member
    Messages: 157

  19. lawnkid

    lawnkid Senior Member
    Messages: 234

    Hey Earthscapes,
    I woulda done the same thing if they were asking for lawn service because I won't be plowing until next winter. How is the business for you up there? Are their a lot of plowers in that area too that lowball and so forth as much as here?

    I think the best place to start a business would probably like Montana or like Erie, Pa or Western New York. Actually, we have an area by us called the snowbelt and they usually get like 2-3" when I get flurries by my house. Whenever I get like 6", they get like double or even triple that amount so it's not too bad there either.
  20. Earthscapes

    Earthscapes Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 577

    Business is pretty darn good,,can't complain to much. Lowballers= many. I just stick to my prices and pray it works out. So far it's been working.
    Every year there seems to be 5-10 new guys and by the end of the year only 3-5 are left and i know a few guys with some pretty good size companys that just gave up on snowplowing because of the lowballers.... it's tought to make any money when your charging $270 and some guy comes in at $160,,,and i don't even want to talk about the commercial accounts.