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How early do you start.....

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JayD2, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. JayD2

    JayD2 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    For you guys who plow residential drives and side walks, what is a good time to start with out making some one mad with all the noise....

    I know a lot depends on when the snow starts and stops falling, but whats an average time or do you even worry about that stuff?

    Do you try to wait until the snow stops before going out?

    Just wondering because thought maybe some customers would rather you start before the leave for work, although I know you cant be every where at the same time and this could turn into a nightmare that I would rather avoid.

    Thanks for the input.
  2. mycirus

    mycirus Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 589

    Are you using a snow blower or a truck. If there is enough snow I am out with my truck around 430 am so I can make sure people can get to work.
  3. gtstang462002

    gtstang462002 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    I plow for the county, but I see guys out at all hours of the night plowing drives and neighborhoods. I guess it would really be up to the individual that own's the place. Ask them outright if they would rather you wait till a certain hour to start plowing in the mornings. All the residential drives that I do are done after the county tells me I am done, so it is already daylight usually.
  4. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    It depends on the storm, the storm track and the customers.
    I am always out by 3:30am and depending on what the storm is doing will plow all night if need be. I plow at intervals based on snowfall (3-4 inches) with times my customers need to have the driveway open (to work and home from work) and time needed to do the route all in mind.
    If you wait until the storm is done you will encounter times where you can;t push all the snow and you will be making the truck work much harder than it needs to.
  5. JayD2

    JayD2 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    Oh, sorry......Snow blowers, both single and two stage if needed, along with shovels..
  6. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I start about then also so I can get 100 customers out by 7:00AM

    OK Let the bashing begin
  7. Gary @ Shamrock

    Gary @ Shamrock Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Starting time depends upon the storm's timing (start and intensity) and the amount of time needed to get your properties opened up before the customers need to get in or out. We plow for 2" or more snow. For residential customers we keep their property open and clean-up after the storm. For commercial customers we work for their schedules. We need 1 hour to open our driveways plus 3 hours on our commercial properties. That being said, we usually begin anywhere up to the latest time of 3AM. We've never had any complaints from customers or neighbors about working through the night.
  8. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    As stated by many above... depends on the storm. If there is 2-3" down by 4AM and there is supposed to be at least another 2" after that point, I'm out plowing by 4:15A so they are all opened up by 7:30A at the latest.

    Haven't had anyone complain about us working through the night... they are happy to be getting plowed out and not having to wake up and shovel! :nod:

    Some guys by me wait until the very end of a major storm (12"+) I will never understand this...:dizzy:
  9. gtstang462002

    gtstang462002 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    I agree it is so much easier to push with a big storm rather than wait till there is 12" on the ground then you end up trying to push a mountain of snow.
  10. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    you need to time it so everyone can get to work and out of their drives when they want
  11. JayD2

    JayD2 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    OK, i see your point on how happy they will be not to have get out in it in the morning. I just want to be ready for the first one who bitches.
  12. superc013

    superc013 Junior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 14

    try talking to your customers, you should be laying out what you will do for them and when it will happen. Plus you need to ask if they have special needs ie. a doctor who leaves at 5am you do him first or closest to 5. with snow blowers 5am is as early as i would go out. but you need to know their needs. My rule is I plow when the town plows.
  13. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    too much commercial work and keeping up with lots to be worried about resis during a storm... and if we get a foot nobodys going anywhere for at least 6 hours after a storm... thats why we wait
  14. gtstang462002

    gtstang462002 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    People here in MD never seem to get that message. I saw a car that found it's way into a ditch at the beginning of these storms that came through last year. Before that storm was over it was buried. It wasn't seen again for almost a month and a half.

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    whenever i show up is when they get plowed.
  16. ddb maine

    ddb maine Senior Member
    Messages: 832

    Get to know your customers. It will put you on a first name basis, and give you an understanding of what they expect. If you provide what they want and you are on a first name basis with them you will build customer loyalty. I have customers who need to be out, those who like to be able to get out if needed, and those that would rather sleep.
    The biggest factor is how fast it is snowing. if your getting 2-3"/hour then you'd better have that priority list in hand, because if you start at 3, by six they are back under snow. I'm lucky my residentials are all on the same street so I know as I'm plowing how my first ones are looking just by how much the depth has increased as I continue on.
  17. the new boss 92

    the new boss 92 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,989

    we do our resi's on the way to our commercial lots all hours of the night and during the day. rather has a pissed neighbor than a loss contract in my mind. i have actually gotton work that way because they can out pissed and only relized there was 8 inches down!
  18. clncut

    clncut PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,121

    Depends on the storms intensity, how much longer the snow is going to last and whats on the ground already. Smaller storms, we wait till its over. Larger storms or prolonged storms they will get opened up to leave for work and then when returning. Billing is per push and havent had a complaint yet for multiple visits during larger storms. Im sure they would be bitching for plowing twice for anything smaller than 5 inches. Oh, we have been running blowers between 3 and 5 am with no complaints yet.
  19. JayD2

    JayD2 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    Good imput you all, thanks. Keep it coming..
  20. gravelyguy

    gravelyguy Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 92


    I'm close to you. I start as soon as the snow tapers off or after 4" if it's going to be a big storm. I go right through the night with plow and snow blower. i've never had any complaints. Normally only in one spot for 15 minutes or so.