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Common Questions

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Ipushsnow, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. Ipushsnow

    Ipushsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    After reading all the questions from newbies on the site for the last year or so I hope to answer what I think are the most recurring questions. This is based on my experience and what I have learned. I am sure others will disagree with some points, you should read what they say as well. Get all the opinions you can! Also, dollar figures are based on my area, remember this all varies by region.

    No, you cant plow with a 2wd truck. Period. No "what ifs" or "I know a guy......" BS.

    Yes, you can plow with a half ton truck, but should REALLY use a 3/4 ton or larger.

    Charge what is the going rate in your area. I try to make $100 per hour minimum. Find out whats the usual rate is in your area.

    Yes, you HAVE to have insurance, you know how much **** your/your employees are gonna end up hitting in a career of snowplowing? A LOT.

    Salt- If at all possible BUY BULK SALT! A skid of bagged salt costs $185, that is a ton and a quarter. A ton of bulk costs $40!!!!!!!! If at all possible find a way to store it and load it in your truck!

    Dont put bulk salt in a walk behind spreader, or in a tailgate spreader if you dont have a vibrator, you will get nothing but headaches.

    Coverage-figure 3500 square feet per 50lb bag, and 17 pounds of bulk per 1000 square feet. REMEMBER THIS WILL VARY GREATLY WITH CONDITIONS.

    What to charge for salt? I charge cost x 3 for bagged and a set amount per pound for bulk. (Usually between .10 and .15)

    Snowblowers, skidsteers, and ATV's all work great on sidewalks. What you use should be determined by how many linear feet/miles you have of sidewalk. There is no sense in trailering an ATV to a site for 100' of sidewalk when a snowblower works great.

    What kind of plow/truck should I buy? That is your preference, the Ford, Dodge, Chevy question will be forever debated and never resolved. Buy what you think is the best. Same with plows.

    How to bill? I charge per push for 80% of my customers with a 2" trigger. Then an hourly amount for clean ups, return calls, etc. The other 20% I do seasonal. I HATE seasonal contracts, but I keep them as insurance so I have some money coming in if we have a bad season. The reason I hate seasonal is that they are usually on the phone with the first 1/4" that has fallen with "We need to be salted, its kinda slick" calls. They want NO SNOW on their lot at ANYTIME. I keep their contracts in the truck to show them "Look, 'snow plowing will commence when 2" has accumulated', NOT 1/4""! They will call again next time it snows though!
    You can plow per hour, per push, or seasonal, its up to you.

    Yes, have a good contract, there have been a lot of good ones posted on here, do a search.

    If someone doesnt pay you stop plowing them, and if its worth it sue them. If you ever stop plowing someone for failure to pay dont ever plow them again.

    Hope this helps!
  2. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    actaully you can plow with a 2wd truck. i know people who have done it for years. my grandfather did in the blizzard of 78. 3+ feet of snow with a 2wd single rear wheel 3/4 ton ford with a utility body. i also know a lot of people who use 2wd trucks as of now.

    there is not always a need to use a 3/4 ton or larger. thats why companies make plows for 1/2 ton and smaller vehicals.
  3. duff daddy

    duff daddy Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    damn a+ make this a sticky!!!
  4. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    ...do they put 7 tonnes of concrete bloc in the back?? LOL
  5. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    2WD works well for plowing snow in certain cases. 2wd dually flat beds and dumps are very common. They need a great deal of weight in the bed but they do well in parking lots and roadways. Check out DOT trucks in lots of areas many if not most are 2wd. 2wd PU are not as successful.


    If someone doesnt pay you stop plowing them, and if its worth it sue them. If you ever stop plowing someone for failure to pay dont ever plow them again.

    but only if you follow the guidelines laid out in your contract. To arbitrarily stop plowing with-out following procedures outlined and agreed to by both parties you could find yourself liable for the results of your "in-action."