Former Tractor/Normand blower company deciding to downsize

Jamesplowsnow

Junior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Hey guys, I’m here in Central Mass, my brother and I used to do 65 driveways with an L6060 normand setup and a 1996 Cummins boss V and Daniels pull plow. Our routes were about 5 hours taking it easy so it was no problem to determine how many houses we could do in 1 storm.

However we decided to sell all of it, including the routes and are still glad we did. For the cost of owning equipment that only got used in the winter (a decision we intentionally made due to our careers) It was no longer worth it to us.

BUT I’ve decided to get 2 walk behind snow blowers, a 36” Ariens commercial and a 26“ yard machines back up. My main question is how many driveways can someone fit into a walk behind snowblower route? Keep in mind I will only accept customers who are either 1. Retired or 2. Work from home during snow storms. I will also only accept up to 2 car long 2 car wide driveways all with in 2 miles of each other. Gonna be offering walkway and garage door shoveling too, which is a higher level service aka will charge more than a straight plowing price.

Since I’m only doing retired/work from home folks I feel like I can stretch my route time to 7-8hrs, maybe more?

Anyone out there doing or know some doing just behind blower routes care to share how many they can fit in a storm and how to sell the higher level of service a blower can offer?
Thanks!
 

Fourteen Contracting Inc.

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Vaughan, Ontario
Hey guys, I’m here in Central Mass, my brother and I used to do 65 driveways with an L6060 normand setup and a 1996 Cummins boss V and Daniels pull plow. Our routes were about 5 hours taking it easy so it was no problem to determine how many houses we could do in 1 storm.

However we decided to sell all of it, including the routes and are still glad we did. For the cost of owning equipment that only got used in the winter (a decision we intentionally made due to our careers) It was no longer worth it to us.

BUT I’ve decided to get 2 walk behind snow blowers, a 36” Ariens commercial and a 26“ yard machines back up. My main question is how many driveways can someone fit into a walk behind snowblower route? Keep in mind I will only accept customers who are either 1. Retired or 2. Work from home during snow storms. I will also only accept up to 2 car long 2 car wide driveways all with in 2 miles of each other. Gonna be offering walkway and garage door shoveling too, which is a higher level service aka will charge more than a straight plowing price.

Since I’m only doing retired/work from home folks I feel like I can stretch my route time to 7-8hrs, maybe more?

Anyone out there doing or know some doing just behind blower routes care to share how many they can fit in a storm and how to sell the higher level of service a blower can offer?
Thanks!

In terms of selling it, I know some companies up here cater to the wealthier areas that have interlock driveways or paver stones (don't know what you guys call them)
The plows can leave rust looking damage to them if using a metal cutting edge.
Also, some guys are just plowing the driveway and not doing the walkways or putting any salt. Hope that helps.
 

IcedDevil

Junior Member
Location
Ma
Hey guys, I’m here in Central Mass, my brother and I used to do 65 driveways with an L6060 normand setup and a 1996 Cummins boss V and Daniels pull plow. Our routes were about 5 hours taking it easy so it was no problem to determine how many houses we could do in 1 storm.

However we decided to sell all of it, including the routes and are still glad we did. For the cost of owning equipment that only got used in the winter (a decision we intentionally made due to our careers) It was no longer worth it to us.

BUT I’ve decided to get 2 walk behind snow blowers, a 36” Ariens commercial and a 26“ yard machines back up. My main question is how many driveways can someone fit into a walk behind snowblower route? Keep in mind I will only accept customers who are either 1. Retired or 2. Work from home during snow storms. I will also only accept up to 2 car long 2 car wide driveways all with in 2 miles of each other. Gonna be offering walkway and garage door shoveling too, which is a higher level service aka will charge more than a straight plowing price.

Since I’m only doing retired/work from home folks I feel like I can stretch my route time to 7-8hrs, maybe more?

Anyone out there doing or know some doing just behind blower routes care to share how many they can fit in a storm and how to sell the higher level of service a blower can offer?
Thanks!
I sell snowplow blades in western mass myself, I think you got something niche and it'll work, I know a lot of the guys we get in are only doing driveways. no side walk or pathways.
 

Aprobleptos

Junior Member
Location
Ontario
In terms of selling it, I know some companies up here cater to the wealthier areas that have interlock driveways or paver stones (don't know what you guys call them)
The plows can leave rust looking damage to them if using a metal cutting edge.
Also, some guys are just plowing the driveway and not doing the walkways or putting any salt. Hope that helps.

I just saw this. I'm doing exactly this. Residential driveways of 2-4 cars plus steps/garage etc. Full service. I am 30 and in very good shape that matters if you are doing driveways like this. I can do 30 driveways in about 5-6 hours max on a normal snow day or 8-10 hours max after a bad stormy day.

I have 2 toro 1 stage (21 and 24 inches) that I use 99% of the time and one toro 26 heavy duty 2 stage that I used twice last year after big storms. I try to keep up with the storm on the bad days and I keep my properties close. This year I have a bit more driveways but also a person on call especially for the big stormy snowfalls.

I also have a snowblower carrier on the back of my truck that i use to haul my 24 inch 1 stage toro or my 2 stage toro when needed. Saves my back from a lot of snow blower lifting in and out the truck. As for shovels I have the plow shovel wide I think it's 32 inch and a normal smaller one that I use on very tight spots and steps. I believe its an ideal setup for 1 person and for this type of snow removal. Hope this helps.
 

Mr.Markus

PlowSite Fanatic
you would have to shoot me to go back to a walk behind snowblower after using a tractor/blower combo .... Please make sure Im dead if my target market was retired people looking out the window for me...
 

SHAWZER

PlowSite Veteran
Yes , I skipped that first phase of walking behind a small machine with a face full of snow . I started in 1980 working for another guy running a JD 544 - A Loader . Steered with 1 hand and scraped the inside of the windows with the other hand .
 

Mr.Markus

PlowSite Fanatic
Yes , I skipped that first phase of walking behind a small machine with a face full of snow . I started in 1980 working for another guy running a JD 544 - A Loader . Steered with 1 hand and scraped the inside of the windows with the other hand .
Case... 910 ? I dont remember the number clearly. 2 wd also spent a summer cultivating the fairways at the Devils Pulpit GC in it... Closest I got to golfing there...
 

Aprobleptos

Junior Member
Location
Ontario
OP those last comments is all you need. Full of positivity and helpful answers from older guys...as for retired clients those are the easiest to me..I tell them what time they should expect me and thats it..no issues...can't wait to get some snow and snow blow / shovel. Keeps me in great shape and I charge more per driveway than big machinery guys with very little overhead..all around win . Good luck OP
 

SHAWZER

PlowSite Veteran
Was not trying to be negative . I just never cleared snow for someone else with a walk behind blower . If you want too and are able to , go for it . I see lots of people using them and they are almost always covered in snow . Different strokes for different folks .
 

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