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Big parking lots AND small driveways

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by theplowmeister, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    1) Would someone please explain to me how and why (from a business point of view) someone wants to plow both BIG parking lots and small driveways ?

    2) is the money that good in driveway plowing? to try to fit a plow and trucks that are 26 feet long (F250 extended cab long bed) into a driveway that is 35 feet long? Is that not like using the same mower to mow a football field and a 1/4 acre lot. using the same equipment in each case is that good efficient $$ business?
  2. NickT

    NickT Senior Member
    Messages: 707

  3. fulltiltwill

    fulltiltwill Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    From A business point of view

    I agree that a big truck is not the most efficient to do a driveway. How ever when you can pick up a few extra drives near were you are plowing a big lot, it makes more sense to just get the job done with what you have. The extra 5min does not justify getting a more efficient rig like your wranglers.When I get to the point were I have enough driveways to do then I would look to add a driveway rig, but right now the 12 that I have don't justify the need or the expense.
  4. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    How many did you lose to this guy?
  5. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

  6. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    You gotta start somewhere, right..?.?...

    that makes sense.

    he hehe he
  7. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Plowmeister you are not dumb. Why are you asking questions you already know the answers too?

    Also, I dont ever have any problem plowing a driveway with my 4 door short bed truck. If you need some driving lessons and are ever in my neck of the woods, let me know. I'll show you how it's done.
  8. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,275

    I service both types of properties.
    From a business point of view: Send out the right equipment for the driveways, for me that's tractor and blowers. Now, big parking lots: a loader and wide pusher on the front.
    It's not one type of account or the other, service area is what matters.
    Not that we try to pull in a driveway with a wheel loader and 12' pusher, but in bigger storms I've been know to clear out a few on my way between bigger parking lots.
    On the other end, sometimes we use a tractor and blower to square up big parking lots even though they were purchased for driveways.
  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Big lots you pick up and lose every year, with drives you can keep them as your backup money.
  10. Landgreen

    Landgreen Member
    Messages: 92

    There is not many parking lots that can be plowed after 7am so might as well add drives to the route. We are usually done with our routes around 9:30. Thats 2.5 hours of extra plowing. Drives dont get plowed as often as our lots but $/hour is much higher especially with a tight route. payup
  11. bristolturf

    bristolturf Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    i agree. It can be done with bigger trucks, but if you have smaller trucks or even a van or something sitting around thats what you use. Plus some customers want year round service, so why not give them the service. i agree dont go out and buy a dedicated driveway rig unless you have the accounts or are already set up for it (have a smaller kubota tractor sitting around, or a f150 or something that isnt going out.) Put another piece on the road and make a few dollars. Plus like others said, residentials can wait until later. We have 5 that are clear by 8 (which are actually country houses so we can use a full size truck at them) but the rest are all between 930 and 12pm. So I have a resi guy come in at 7 and hes got them clear by usually 10, and by then some of the other guys that started at 2 or so can get out and go home and i can keep him in for a few more hours just to do some minor sidewalk work or light cleanup.
  12. DScapes

    DScapes Member
    Messages: 94

    I keep an IPAD in my truck for GPS, log hours and hold route info and whatnot... I timestamp each start/stop time for each property I service. I have a 2500HD, 7.5ft standard boss plow and can clear the average drive in my area in 4 minutes. (unless other shovel/salt/calc services are requested) average drive is 30-40ft long, 12ft wide.

    4 mins per is fine by me for the 40 drives I do, also do 5 small commercial and sub for a buddy when he needs help.

    If we got more snow in this area I would justify a driveway rig, but I think I would lean towards a Dakota over a Jeep, as I would use the Dakota to pull a residential mowing trailer the rest of the season.

    Jeep would be fun, but that's an expensive rig to run for 3 months out of the year at least for me and my area
  13. Chris112lee

    Chris112lee Member
    Messages: 64

    I do everything with my crew cab long bed. Though we do all residentials during the day when there are fewer cars in the driveways. This way our equipment runs for 14-18 hours every storm.

    I think it's crazy that some of you will have your stuff done in under 10 hours.
  14. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Its Called Customer Service.....If i was the Customer and My contractor showed up in Hour 10....I would be looking for a New Contractor....:rolleyes:
  15. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,782

    If they pay your rate what do you care what they have to clear?
  16. Kayem

    Kayem Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Why say no to people who want to pay you? Money is money. Not to mention if you don't have a full route or it works into your schedule or service area, just starting out, etc, take what you can get as long as you're getting your rate.
  17. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    How far do you drive between customers? my customers want to be plowed so they can get to work. If I only took customers that could wait to get plowed out Id have miles between them. Funny thing I dont get payed to drive between customers.
  18. My bowtie

    My bowtie Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    In my area the drives are long ..Shortest i have is 175ft. Most are weekend or summer homes. The $/hr well worth the effort.
  19. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257


    If you can't get out of your 35' driveway there's a good chance you won't be getting to work anyway. When I did houses I promised to have them done before 5pm, when most return home from work.
  20. DaveCN5

    DaveCN5 Senior Member
    Messages: 236

    I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here. We are 95% commercial and the only residential we do is a condo complex with 34 drives in it. We make a killing on those units because we can get them done extremely quickly and they're less than a stones throw away from the next one.

    If we can't get a high number of residentials close together, we won't touch them. That's why we're mostly commercial. We control 75% of all commercial lots in a heavily industrial area that is about 3 sq. miles. Density is key.

    Some people might drive 15-20 minutes to hit 1 driveway, but we won't. We can be putting our equipment to better use.