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Cutting Grass vs. Pushing Snow

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by zwhit81, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. zwhit81

    zwhit81 Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 10

    I was wondering what the profit margins for pushing snow were compared to cutting grass. I know every market is a little different. I have been in the lawn care business for a long time and have some experience driving plow truck but I am looking into pushing snow next winter and I was wondering what profit margins look like compared to cutting grass. (Not landscaping just comparing mowing and snow removal.)

  2. On a Call

    On a Call PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,077

    Give up the grass and focus on the snow
  3. On a Call

    On a Call PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,077

    Problem is......depending on snow is risky.

    Go commercial and set up contracts. Make sure you can handle what you contract. And net work in case you break down.
  4. On a Call

    On a Call PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,077

    Start small and build
  5. zwhit81

    zwhit81 Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 10

    Here we get about 4-7 snow events a year. They "usually" range from 3-8 inches.

    I know snow is less predictable but what about profit margin? Can you make as much in one 6 inch snow event is a few weeks of mowing?
  6. On a Call

    On a Call PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,077

    All depends on your contracts.

    I find contracts that have 0 tolerance. They keep you jumping.... But if they pay you can make money.

    Banks, offices, call centers, etc.

    We had 4 inch snow last Sunday I plowed most places twice some three and one four times. They are charged every push. One take us two hours and is 400.00 a push plus 300 for salt. You do the math.

    Mowing is hard money imo. Unless you have good commercial work, even then it is hard. But if mow...do their snow.
  7. On a Call

    On a Call PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,077

    But love factories best
  8. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,272

    grossly overly simplified:

    $50 driveway takes 5 minutes to plow. arrive on site, plow, (shovel if required) then leave. need truck, plow, and applicable insurance. on call at anytime, cannot push it off until tomorrow (or even a few hours). breakdowns or schedule changes are not accepted.

    $50 lawn takes 30 minutes to mow. arrive on site, unload mower, trim, blow, then leave. need truck, trailer, mower, trimmer, blower, possibly a second guy, and applicable insurance. much more scheduling flexibility then plowing.
  9. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Last winter was a big snow fall for me

    Snow/salt $68,000 gross most years I'm in the high 40k

    Mowing only last summer $191,000 gross

    In a 6'' snow event you should make more but you starting out I will say no unless you can pick up nice jobs to plow. I'm not talking driveways either. Com. Lots
  10. Showmestaterida

    Showmestaterida Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    that is mowing only ? commercial? how many guys u run for mowing ? whats profit after bills and payroll?
  11. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Sorry wasn't much profit last year spent most of it on New equipment so I didn't have to give it to Uncle Sam

    Plus there still 7k out there that didn't make on last year books Its on this years books

    Same with year before some wasn't paid till 2014

    If I break down to just last year guessing 178k With out looking at computer and doing a report on just 2014 mowing invoices

    Plus last summer never miss a week it was growing when shouldn't been, wet year.
    Most years like 2013 I was around 120k for just mowing with pretty much same jobs as 2014. In 2013 July and Aug. I didn't mow much and that is normal to. Last year wasn't a normal year.
    But it was a good thing bought 2015 F350 chassis 2 plows Dump hoist flat bed.
    Newer AWD SUV to run estimates or take future customers around show my work. Plus my 17yrold daughter is driving it now during winter time.
  12. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    I was wondering how you had so many posts and only been a member since Jan...this thread explained it.
  13. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    I prefer grass, I turn over about 30% more with grass than snow and it is more forgiving.
    Mowers aren't cheap but are just as comparable to blades, blowers, loaders salters, shovels etc.
    It's nice to have the change of pace, but where I am snow can between 30-50 (grass is 22-30) visits a season not including monitoring.
  14. On a Call

    On a Call PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,077

    Am I being called on the carpet :confused:
  15. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    Don't forget wear shorts and you don't have to wear layers of clothing
  16. derekslawncare

    derekslawncare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    Including going back and doing overnight property checks after the storm, I gross more in one storm plowing than I do in a month's worth of mowing. It's a no brainer for me, if I could do snow year round I would. Unfortunately, I live in the wrong part of the country for that, but this is where my wife's job and the grand kids keep us for now. Also, I've been in business for 19 yrs now, so it would suck to pack up and move somewhere else as I would be starting over from scratch.
  17. On a Call

    On a Call PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,077

    Move east old man move east

    Buffalo yes Buffalo were the sun never shines
  18. derekslawncare

    derekslawncare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    Last year was a hell of a winter for me with around 40" for the season. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off most of the time and the salt shortage didn't help. That being said, this year, we have only had 14" thus far and the long range winter forecast was only 17", so I'm guessing we are about done for the year. :(

    So if I was going crazy trying to keep up with 40" for the season, I can't even begin to imagine the amount of hair you east coast guys are pulling out this winter. :dizzy:
  19. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I could see a 1 man company making more in winter time vs mowing .
    If you have snow like last year
    I hope never have a winter like last year again. Sure was nice $$$ but stress went up to on salt side.
    But adding more equipment I would take on a winter like last year now.

    I hope winter is over. Here I'm up to 22'' with a lot of ice events that's where you can make a faster profit . Be nice see few more so I don't carry salt over the summer.

    If I pack up and moved It wouldn't be to work just to retire and hunt enjoy life maybe help Buff to plow snow if he would hire me.
  20. Doughboy12

    Doughboy12 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,698

    Hope he doesn't see my join date/post count....:rolleyes: