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Help Help Inherted This Plow Buisness

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mylittlescoop, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. mylittlescoop

    mylittlescoop Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 101

    GUYS! I need your help! My brother passed away last August he was 28 and I inherited a snow plow business. He had several big contracts and a bunch of little ones(we own an auto body shop here in NJ)
    Well it was my first experience last year it was a total total nightmare! The ATV plow broke, All of my trucks broke down, someone crashed 1 and totaled it luckily the Meyers plow with electric lift was not harmed, I was buying pallets of salt at home depot for nearly 400.00 a ton times that by about 3 tons per snow fall..I had no equipment so to save my contacts I rented a bobcat and my brothers best friend helped me out..I had people price gouging me i don't know if its cuz I am a girl or what but I had no idea of anything and worked on my brother's old invoices to see what he was charging,my questions here...

    1) How much do I pay a driver to plow per hour is it 60/40 or flat rater per hour? (if they are using my truck with my equipment? I COULDN'T SUB IT OUT CUZ MY BROTHER WAS ONLY MAKING 70.00 PER HOUR FOR 1 PLOW TRUCK the average Joe wasn't touching it for less than 75.00 so I would have ended up losing money, what I did was rented a bobcat with an extra large bucket and charged 225.00 per hour.

    2) need a new salt spreader the crappy Buyers we had was a nightmare and then the whole thing got stolen, The snowblower was an 1800.00 2 stage it was junk! I bought a new one but I need a new truck salter and ATV plow. I am working with a Honda Ranger

    3) we got a crew togerther and for 2 men salting and shoveling we were paying 15.00 hour cash does that seem fair?

    4) we have a Western plow and a Meyers no trucks though, I think I ma going to need 3 trucks, 2 for the plows and 1 to cart the ATV around...

    Pleeeeeeeeeeease help!!!!!!!!:mad: :(
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I started a reply but it got deleted before it could get posted. Basically it came down to "you need help and are headed to potentially bigger trouble than you realize". There is too much to go into here; the better course would be if someone with a few years experience could come and act as a consultant. You really need to sub out those big accounts and you need someone to oversee the subs and to monitor the sites and weather. #3 looks more in line.

    If you don't get a good offer of help within the next few days, get back with me by PM or Email and I'll see if I can't line you up with someone.
  3. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    If I were you I think it might not be a bad idea to sub most of your work out. This way you dont have to worry about some guy tearing up your equip. And make sure you get some one to help you out in case of a breakdown or a heavy snow fall. If your going to get serious then go out and get yourself a truck you can trust. How many drives / lots are you plowing in an event? You may want to take a real good look at whats going on before you leap. This may be costing you money to keep this alive.....Rob
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I had another thought. Unless you just really want a snowplowing business, put all the equipment up for sale, put the route up for sale.

    Go out of business.

    If this was a Sole Proprietorship, the business legally no longer exists. You may have inherited the equipment, but I don't think you inherited the business itself or the contracts. Check with an attorney.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2004
  5. mylittlescoop

    mylittlescoop Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 101

    Well I did check into that, I really want to make this work...We are talking big bucks here.My brother grossed an average of 40,000- 65,000 a season sometimes more.
    I have been reading up on everything and if I invest about 6,000 in eqipment that would only be half for me and half for my brothers friend That would be for a plow truck to match the mounts we have then all I would need is a good tailgate spreader,a good atv plow blade,and grab 2 trucks. The plows are top notch a meyers and a Western and we have the mounts from the other 2 trucks and a snow blower.
    I made it work renting a bobcat last year most people were understanding.My brother died right before the snow so they gave me a shot, this year most everyone said i have to make it or break it.Bbasixcally they are giving me another shot so I figured if I had the right equipment then I would really make it!
    I dare not buy anything heavy on Ebay,you dont know how people took care of thier eqipment though some people may be legitamite often these people are selling stuff for others and may not have been given the whole truth on the eqiupment.
    This year I already have 2 people who are to be on standby if any equipment fails, I am already nerly prepared. I just need help on recommendations., Tried to sub it out last year when the equipment failed but no one would touch it for what we gave per hour.We offered 65.00 just to make 5.00 per hour they said no they wont go for less than 75.00. These places are pretty big and takes about 6 -8 hours to plow with 2 trucks an atv and 3 salters and shovlers.
    I cant give up! i just cant..I got to try to do this.
  6. snoluvr

    snoluvr Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 266


    I posted a reply but it went to your control panel. click on the "user cp" link on the top of the page.I included some ideas I had.hope it helps.
  7. TLCsnow

    TLCsnow Junior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 1

    about plowing

    Sorry to hear about your brother.
    I have been plowing in Southern NJ since 1976. I love it! The colder,, the snowier the better!!! Business is business no matter what the comodity. The problem with plowing is that you have to be in all places at one time and have all the lots clean by the time businesses open. If you want to mak eit work, dont be discouraged. For me, I dont care if you are a guy, a girl, white, black, whatever, if it plows it works, if you shovel, ill pay you. BEFORE it gets cold (like now!!!) get ALL your ducks (or snowflakes) in a row. Make arrangements with rental houses, subs, whatever... and any agreements for plowing in writing. Hang in there. Remember, you are in it to make money by providing a service. If you provide the best service and perform what you say you will do, you WILL suceed.
    Where in NJ are you? I'm to the right of Camden about 15 miles.
  8. QMVA

    QMVA Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    I would get a warn plow for your ranger. They are known for haveing good quality products.
  9. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    QMVA, did you read the part where she said she has $40,000 to $65,000 worth of business? I don't think any plow on a Ranger is going to be of much help.