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how did you guys get started in commercial plowing?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by 09dieselguy, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. 09dieselguy

    09dieselguy Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    since it has been a little slow around here im curious on hearing stories on how everyone got started in the commerical plowing world. do you have another bussiness that carried over into plowing?

    do you mind sharing your sucess stories on how you started what ever company it is that brought you into the plowing or lawn service companies?
  2. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I went 4wheeling with a friend, two weeks later got an F 150 4x4. I had to figure out how to pay for it, I got a plow. Started with driveways. a year later gave an estimate at a car dealership, I figured the parking lot was 11 times the size of the driveways I was plowing, but not having to drive between jobs I bid 7 times my driveway price.

    the manager at the dealer laughed me out of the place. my bid was 4x what he was paying. so now I get paid for driveways. I have 87 this year (down by 13 fron 2 years ago) and havent looked back
  3. Plowtoy

    Plowtoy Senior Member
    Messages: 929

    Its in my blood!
    My uncle had his own business when i was a kid and i would ride with him all the time and also shovel if needed. Started subing for him when i turned 16, started my own business in 2000. Took over a medium sized lawn care business plowing accounts in 02 and have maintained the good ones and let the PITA ones go since. Its still fun the first couple times out but after that its just work
  4. SD40T2

    SD40T2 Member
    Messages: 47

    Started in '88 subbing for a friend of mine grew into doing residential and commercial on my own been a 1 truck operation through most of it finally decided to get out of the commercal end of it and specialize in residential and haven't looked back have enough work to keep fairly busy. I work in road constuction in the summer and this keeps the money flowing in the winter.
  5. CGM Inc.

    CGM Inc. PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,598

    Bought a landscaping and snow clearing company 2 years ago.
  6. JohnRoscoe

    JohnRoscoe Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    One day as a kid we had a snow-day from school and Dad handed me a shovel, took me to a mini-storage facility, and said, "see you at dinner." True Story. That was my first day of commercial snow removal.

    I've had a love/hate relationship with snow ever since.
  7. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    started with a few drives and worked my way up
    do a good job and word spreads
  8. SD40T2

    SD40T2 Member
    Messages: 47

    I agree never advertised always word of mouth and referals, not to mention REASONABLE pricing
  9. dodge15004x45.9

    dodge15004x45.9 Senior Member
    from malvern
    Messages: 361

    Do landscaping with a friend told him I was getting a plow and have gave me work he didn't want.
  10. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    I started subbing commercially for a local landscaper. I started a somewhat unrelated business in the meantime (irrigation), when new home construction was booming, and kept subbing plowing for a couple different companies, then with a few trucks of my own. I then expanded my business to offer plowing and started knocking down doors and making calls until I landed a few accounts on my own. I was able to use my current irrigation accounts as references so it worked out ok. Fortunately I was already legitamately in business and carried contractors insurance, etc, that I was able to go into it looking as if I was already an existing plow company. I did have about 10 years commercial plowing experience, so it's not as if it wasn't pretty much the case. It's been a long journey, but I feel that as far as experience goes, it was an honest, easy way of getting my own accounts. I am experienced enough actually doing the work, that it made bidding a breeze.

    That, and plowsite helped a lot. I think we all here have a way of helping eachother out without even realizing it all the time.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  11. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    And to follow up, presentation is huge. Some of us have it, some of us don't. I feel that I am pretty business minded. I also have flyers that blow the competition away. Very professional looking, I'll post a pic if I remember. I have pics of my own stuff on them too. When I pull up to a potential account, I'm driving one of the trucks in the pictures that's parked next to a loader during a storm, I'm wearing a shirt with my logo on it and I'm the owner of the company coming there as a business professional, but with a personal touch.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  12. Would shovel driveways sence I was 10 n make a few hundred a storm I have "clients" that would call me every storm n I would make my way around town at 16 I bought a truck n started plowing commercially for my uncle
  13. Bigrd1

    Bigrd1 Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    I started working for my uncle when I was little, shoveling and using a snowblower. One day he told me to get in the drivers seat I'm gonna show you a few things. That's when I got started, loved it so much I went out and bought my own truck and a plow in 2005. Now I work with him and several other companies when it snows. It never really feels like work just a good time play'n in the snow.
  14. SteveR

    SteveR Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Short straw
  15. Brucester1

    Brucester1 Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    started out plowing for a guy that did alot of commercial lots 13 14 years ago. then when my yearly income dropped at the redi mix co where i drive i got my own truck n plow .gradually got out of subbing and picked up my own contracts. got licensed and insured n slowly growing .every thing s paid for too so all we need is snow in Michigan
  16. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Started in the lawn business when i was 15, really took off when I was 16 and got my license. At 17 I realized I needed to offer snow removal so I could offer one stop shopping. I rode with a friend to learn some technique of pushing, and he had me pushing in one of his trucks soon. I was already in the process of fixing up my first 4x4 to use for plowing, and got a plow on the truck finally in mid-late winter, just missing out on most of the snow for the season but got to use it a little and learn some more. By the next year I had quite a few customers lined up for snow removal and had gotten a nicer truck and plow and a nice spreader. Things went from there. A couple years ago I sold my business but continued to sub contract last winter. This year I don't have a plow rig so I push for the guy I subbed for last winter as he has more trucks this year. I just can't stay away from it I guess :D

    Snow is my crack :laughing:
  17. KMBertog

    KMBertog PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    my dad started his landscape company 37 years ago and hasn't looked back... first couple seasons was just landscape only, but quickly learned that there is money to be made plowing, salting, etc.
  18. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

  19. vmj

    vmj Senior Member
    from conn
    Messages: 762

    It was something that i just wanted to do since i was a kid, bought my first truck with a plow on it and did a few drives,secound year i was in buisness (carpentry) i work to get through the winter so i hunted for more drives... Got a call on first storm at 4am from a guy saying he was in a pickel (his words) that he needed his lot plowed, so i went their and it only had a dusting,,Gave me the old contrcat and said add to the prices. Been doing that lot now for 18 yrs, and thats how i started doing com...
  20. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706


    6 feet of 2X12 and that old yellow shovel laying behind the tractor. Cab was a custom design of plywood and a green tarp . 13hp B&S that was Non turbo charged.
    Finally traded a few years ago to something that would give us little more push!

    If you want to see it plow snow think of the most snow you have ever pushed with your truck and then watch the video!:nod:
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011