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Contractors throwing in the towel.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by lawn king, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. lawn king

    lawn king PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,085

    I think there will be less snow contractors here (northeast) next season as we have had zero snow.
  2. Turf Masters

    Turf Masters Member
    Messages: 93

    I have never seen it this snowless !

    I agree with your post.Alot of new companies will not make it to spring.Only the deepest pockets will come out of this.
  3. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    I think it will be a nationwide problem almost... I see so many trucks and plows for sale even around here it's insane!
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Or the lowballers will make it through one more winter.
  5. diehrd

    diehrd Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 199

    "Us low ballers" Or guys like me who do the plowing them selves with there own truck who do not depend on the income but enjoy it,,will always be around ! ! ! :gunsfiring: :waving:
  6. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    Remember, the time to buy is when blood is in the streets.
    Come this spring in the NE is going to be the time for you deep pocketed boys to pick up equipment on the cheap and contracts left and right.
    Dont' slack off now on marketing and selling.
    It will come around. This the best snow I've seen in colorado in 7 or 8 years. (drought).
    And they got hammered cuz lots of people left the business and the ones that were left weren't prepared for that size of storm. (since they apparantly ALL forgot how to stack snow)
  7. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    I thought about not doing this next season, but this post made me think:D With all of the guys who are not gonna do plowing next year will leave alot more jobs available. This means that if we do get a good winter 07-08, I will make some good cashpayup Or we will have a sh***y winter again.:cry: Its all a big gamble gentlemen
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Personally, I don't care what other charge. I give a good price it's then up to the customer if they what me to work for them.
  9. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    As far as the big guys , the trend seems to be.....

    On the commercial side of things with big equipment I have seen the competition getting less and less.Hard to find drivers.
    There are not as many CDL drivers anymore.
    In the cross country trucking end of things foreigners are taking over.They are running teams of three and four per truck,can drive round the clock getting loads there faster and they work for almost nothing...My cousin contracts to Mayflower Electronics and Trade Show division and he has been saying it is getting very hard to make a living on the road anymore....Hard to compete against guys who live in their rigs....
    Back to snow removal, It used to be impossible to get into a state pit and now they run ads all season long looking for equipment....Just isn't the same anymore...Companies are down sizing because they cannot find cdl drivers....The DOT wants you to jump threw hoops to have a cdl and then the companies don't want to pay more than any other job....Hardly seems worth the hassle..
  10. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    I don't touch commercial,don't care for it.I do residential however I just have 5 accounts this season.Been thinking of taking a winter vacation in Alberta next season and making some quick cash and just return for the summer to dig some dirt on the side,under the table cash and about $140,000 a year is a current offer.

    I think you'll find the next 2 seasons as the writing on the wall if folks will still go with seasonal,if its a warm winter you may see people switch to per push accounts.I'm still shocked to see so many guys running around with fleets of equipment and newer big trucks that carry high overhead whining about no money.

    Another trend I'm seeing is everyone is running out and calling themselves landscapers.Brand new trucks,all these enclosed trailers and skid steers I wonder how many of these folks will die off this year too?
  11. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,912

    well think about it this way how many here on the site have thrown in the towel. it might weed out the few local 1year wonders but they were on the way out anyway. there will be a new crop of newbies next year fightin tooth and nail to get your clients.
  12. repo_man62

    repo_man62 Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    THAT should earn some big friendships here!
  13. Rcgm

    Rcgm Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    I have been doing this for to many years.I got out of it ow about 3 years ago after a very nasty febuary.It snowed so much in febuary 2001 2002 season that I sold the plow truck first of march I was so sick of being in that truck.I plowed for other companys in there trucks off and on.We really haven't had a good snow season since then.I dropped the cash last year for a new plow it hasn't snowed 1 time this year.I always look at a winter like this that it is good for our business in the long run.Gets rid of the lowballers.Just like in landscaping I like to see a good drought every few years to wheat them out.Hang on to your equipment because the best is yet to come we will all get a few good plow events this year just hang on fellas.

  14. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    Do as I say, not as I do:

    The best thing to do is to put money back, so if we have a winter like this your some what ok.

    Now this winter sorry to say I Spent to much money this year and was counting on plow money..

    But needless to say I'll be ok till spring, things will be tight be were make it.. and next year i'll be saving money back big time.. It might not be so bad if i didnt have amost
    $ 10,000 still owed to me for work i did in the summer.
  15. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,912

    :dizzy: maybe it will come in the spring as after winter bonus
  16. 'Rude Dog

    'Rude Dog Member
    Messages: 56

    throwing in the towel...

    I'm just a one man show - been hanging around since'84, so I must be doing something right- I don't have high overhead ( new truck, plow, etc.) for snow removal, but what I got I take CARE of - I always seemed to be able to find a good , older chevrolet , in good shape, to plow with, paid cash for it- I have even had the same meyers e-47, and 7.5 footer on the last 3 trucks ( had this plow for OVER 10 years!!!) change the fluid TWICE during the winter, drive it sensibly ( this is how I got into the plow business in the FIRST place!!!- a local contractor let 2 "drive it like you stole it" employees tear up my mother in laws' motel parking lot !!! they busted 4 out of 8 sidewalk corners , plowing like idiots !!!)
    The only thing I use my plow truck for is hunting, fishing, wood cutting, and plowing - the rest of the time , she sits proudly in front of the garage !!! Btw, I target small , commercial lots - easy in, easy out - take the money and run!!! easy on the equipment, too !!! 'Rude Dog
  17. Winter Land Man

    Winter Land Man Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    Yeah there's a lot less people with CDL's driving because people seem to not want to train them these days. I hear that a lot. Like a lot of towns now, you need to have experience driving for a year or so and have a CDL B or something. I hear a lot of people complain about it, but that's okay. Sometimes you can find a used International or Ford or even Mack and get it cheaper than you would a pickup with a plow. Although I think the town is the best place to start, or even a construction crew or paving crew.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2007
  18. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655

    I was one of those...

    LOL, I owned one of those Construction crews/Paving companies. Finding good guys was tough...The biggest reason for selling off was the lack of good employees.I payed well, I worked right there with them ,would never ask anyone to do something I wouldn't do...Every week when they got paid didn't know if they would show up the next day or not:drinkup: To much drinking I think ,seems to attract that type in the paving crowd...Which is a huge liability!!!
    I hear of guys out of my old camp stealing drivers from other guys ,just doesn't seem to be allot of talent out there anymore.
  19. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    ive noticed a ton of stuff for sale around here already!
  20. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I think the weather & lack of snow will be one of the factors in "natural selection" for plowing. The new guys who have no clue will get flushed out while some of the good new ones will be able to prevail in a thinner competitive market. Either way, we seasoned guys should do pretty well picking up additional work. I'd be interested in picking up another truck & 20 more driveways! Take care out there