Flat Fee Plowing & Property Services

Flat Fee TV

Junior Member
Location
Aroostook
Hi all. New to plowsite and the plow business in general. I started a plow service last fall with the intent of it just being winter employment. Now we are going to be a 4 Season company and expand into a variety of property services.

Here's our story in a nutshell: Winter of 2019 I did snow removal for the big dogs in the Aroostook County. The big dogs only plow the one city of Presque Isle; they don't need to go further. I drove a John Deere 3039R compact tractor with a front blower and rear blade. It was a blast! Since I was the new guy, if there was a light storm I would have to shovel and salt. This was my snow removal initiation.

Fast-forward to my dead end summer job and my boss mentions how he'd love to get paid to move snow in the winter. I told him I would try to get him a job for the winter.

Later that week I crunched some numbers and figured I could make more for myself and work half as hard and the only thing stopping me was equipment. Since the pandemic ruined my credit and sandbagged my summer job, financing was not an option personally.

So I went to my boss (who has also been a lifelong friend and the best man at my wedding) and pitched him the plan with the proposal to pay half the financing if we can use his credit to get a compact tractor and plow. I had a well thought plan and pitched it to him, certain it was a no brainer. He basically crushed my hopes and dreams and said, "Maybe we should start out small."

If I wanted to start small, I would have never asked him in the first place. That was the point of needing credit and financing. So I saved my ass off all summer, while my family finances took a faceplant. In October, I has enough saved for a brand new Fisher SS EZ-V. That was the start of something beautiful.

A few business cards and a Facebook page later and we were off and running. Now keep in mind that I had only plowed 2 commercial lots with a truck the previous season. That was the extent of my plow truck experience. I was a compact tractor guy.

The first time dropping that plow was an exhilarating rush that I haven't felt in years. It was the best decision I ever made.

This year we have 38% less snow than average. I am 41 and this is the least amount of snow I have EVER seen at this time of year. If I had worked for someone else this winter, I would have gone beyond broke already. My 2020 vision saved our family from being reliant on social services this year. If you're on the fence about striking out on you own, just do it.

When you look back on your life, you will only regret the things you didn't do.

What a disjointed first post..
FlatFeePlowing.com
 

BUFF

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
FR NoCo
Hi all. New to plowsite and the plow business in general. I started a plow service last fall with the intent of it just being winter employment. Now we are going to be a 4 Season company and expand into a variety of property services.

Here's our story in a nutshell: Winter of 2019 I did snow removal for the big dogs in the Aroostook County. The big dogs only plow the one city of Presque Isle; they don't need to go further. I drove a John Deere 3039R compact tractor with a front blower and rear blade. It was a blast! Since I was the new guy, if there was a light storm I would have to shovel and salt. This was my snow removal initiation.

Fast-forward to my dead end summer job and my boss mentions how he'd love to get paid to move snow in the winter. I told him I would try to get him a job for the winter.

Later that week I crunched some numbers and figured I could make more for myself and work half as hard and the only thing stopping me was equipment. Since the pandemic ruined my credit and sandbagged my summer job, financing was not an option personally.

So I went to my boss (who has also been a lifelong friend and the best man at my wedding) and pitched him the plan with the proposal to pay half the financing if we can use his credit to get a compact tractor and plow. I had a well thought plan and pitched it to him, certain it was a no brainer. He basically crushed my hopes and dreams and said, "Maybe we should start out small."

If I wanted to start small, I would have never asked him in the first place. That was the point of needing credit and financing. So I saved my ass off all summer, while my family finances took a faceplant. In October, I has enough saved for a brand new Fisher SS EZ-V. That was the start of something beautiful.

A few business cards and a Facebook page later and we were off and running. Now keep in mind that I had only plowed 2 commercial lots with a truck the previous season. That was the extent of my plow truck experience. I was a compact tractor guy.

The first time dropping that plow was an exhilarating rush that I haven't felt in years. It was the best decision I ever made.

This year we have 38% less snow than average. I am 41 and this is the least amount of snow I have EVER seen at this time of year. If I had worked for someone else this winter, I would have gone beyond broke already. My 2020 vision saved our family from being reliant on social services this year. If you're on the fence about striking out on you own, just do it.

When you look back on your life, you will only regret the things you didn't do.

What a disjointed first post..
FlatFeePlowing.com
Welcome.......
BTW there more than a few things I regret doing throughoot my life...... but that's how you learn.
 

thelettuceman

PlowSite.com Addict
FlatFee: I visited your website. I am not one to throw an insult behind a keyboard where you do not know who I am. I would respectfully suggest that you upgrade
( when money allows ) your 1/2 ton truck to 3/4 or higher since you are doing commercial snowplowing. Good Luck / Rick
 

WIPensFan

PlowSite Veteran
Location
Southern WI
FlatFee: I visited your website. I am not one to throw an insult behind a keyboard where you do not know who I am. I would respectfully suggest that you upgrade
( when money allows ) your 1/2 ton truck to 3/4 or higher since you are doing commercial snowplowing. Good Luck / Rick
Thanks, saw the site.
 
OP
Flat Fee TV

Flat Fee TV

Junior Member
Location
Aroostook
20201206_035014.jpg

'05 Silveraydo 1500. Plow went on with 203,000 on the clock. The motor finally gave up the ghost last Sunday and now she's getting a shiny new one with 0 miles and a 3 year warranty. It's absolute insanity to throw a $5,500 motor in a $2,500 truck, but the way I see it is I'm just paying for miles right now.

When it comes to residential, the advantages of a 1/2-Ton with the light EZ-V are numerous. Mainly it's easy on lawns and doesn't dig where larger trucks are tearing up the turf, especially this year. You usually have to push way back at the beginning of the season to make room for all the snow up here, but we've had melt events and the banks are still tiny meaning many passes over the same soft lawns. So far minimal damage, especially compared to what I see elsewhere.

@thelettuceman Definitely looking to get a 1 Ton when the funds allow. I have a plan going forward (since I was mentored by the top dog in property services) that has been thought through pretty thoroughly (I hope). It goes something like this: Z-turn, pressure washer, trailer for the summer. JD 3046R is a must by next fall. Depending on the commercial plows I can lock down over the summer, I'm looking at a CAT 918M loader with Arctic sectional.

It was quite a change to go from shopping baby plows to tractors and loaders in 3 months time. I feel like we're in a unique position as a company to dominate Property Services in Northern Maine. Should be quite a journey.
 

BUFF

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
FR NoCo
FlatFee: I visited your website. I am not one to throw an insult behind a keyboard where you do not know who I am. I would respectfully suggest that you upgrade
( when money allows ) your 1/2 ton truck to 3/4 or higher since you are doing commercial snowplowing. Good Luck / Rick
You need to remember... we all had to start someplace and do the job with what we had available at the time.
1/2 tons are capable for Commercial property's but they do have limitations for larger property's. Based on is location I doubt there's many large box store type lots and the commercial work is banks, small shopping centers / grocery stores, churches and Dr type offices. All a 1/2 ton is capable of.
 

BUFF

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
FR NoCo
Serious question why are you driving on lawns? I don’t do residential but is that normal?
As winter progresses you need a place to put snow, pushing back far from the actual driveway or parking area is common in places that actually get snow.
 
OP
Flat Fee TV

Flat Fee TV

Junior Member
Location
Aroostook
As winter progresses you need a place to put snow, pushing back far from the actual driveway or parking area is common in places that actually get snow.
Exactly. The three prior winter seasons here were over 135". To winters ago (at 166") we were running out of places to put it. You have to account for about 50' of runout at most properties to make it work all winter. Up here this is a possibility.
78blizzard.jpg
 

jonniesmooth

PlowSite Veteran
Location
Minnesota
Serious question why are you driving on lawns? I don’t do residential but is that normal?
Yes it is. Some yards are layer out that a plow works well, some are not.
The ones that aren't look terrible with a big ugly snow pile in the front yard. Or they push it all out into the street and then back up on the bvld, which is illegal most places.
And the next year we pick.up those accounts because we use tractors and blowers and do a much cleaner job.
 

WIPensFan

PlowSite Veteran
Location
Southern WI
Never plowed onto lawns. Most accounts out into street and back up onto the median. Some drives you could plow straight back, but I still never drove onto the lawn to push back. Pull-plow boys/girls! Haha, I get it, you get that much snow and it’s gotta go somewhere.
 

EWSplow

PlowSite Fanatic
Location
Milwaukee
Never plowed onto lawns. Most accounts out into street and back up onto the median. Some drives you could plow straight back, but I still never drove onto the lawn to push back. Pull-plow boys/girls! Haha, I get it, you get that much snow and it’s gotta go somewhere.
I plow a $1.5 million house driveway and parking. All of the snow goes on the lawn in back. Just gotta time it right when to raise the plow a little so you don't gouge the lawn.
 
OP
Flat Fee TV

Flat Fee TV

Junior Member
Location
Aroostook
Never plowed onto lawns. Most accounts out into street and back up onto the median. Some drives you could plow straight back, but I still never drove onto the lawn to push back. Pull-plow boys/girls! Haha, I get it, you get that much snow and it’s gotta go somewhere.
We don't have medians to load it onto up here and it is illegal to pull it all out and push it up the street "in a truck."

@jonniesmooth has the right idea. Compact tractors are the way to go within city limits. You can pull it to the street, block the street, push it up the street. You can pretty much do whatever you want in a compact tractor and never have a problem. Try that in a truck. Someone will probably call the police and you might be getting a fine.
 
Top