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How many properties can a solo operator handle?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by By-The-Lake, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. I wanted to get some opinions on how many full service residential properties (drive, and walkway, salting) could be reasonably handled by a solo operator. Also how many could be handled by a driver with a helper. I know this will vary depending on experience but I just need to get a general idea for how many clients to book. This will be my first year working with my own equipment which consists of a Blizzard 7600LT on a F-150 4x4 and a Toro 3650 blower. Thanks for you help.

    All drives are speced at 2" trigger for falling or drifing and clearing by 7:00am.
  2. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    need more info:
    how long do they want to work for
    how much snow is average
    are you doing walks and steps (i am assuming based on the snow blower)
    how large are the residences (approximately, one car drive, two car drive, back yards, etc)

    now i can only tell you what i expect from my crews, two guys, shovels/snowblowers, usually a one car, sometimes two car driveway, front walk, steps, and path to garbage in the backalley, 1-3inches average, with snow drifts (we get a lot of wind here) i expect them to do 4-6/hour including drive time, as a average, there is 5-10 min inbetween each place, and allowing 2-10min for shovelling/snow blower,
  3. dingybigfoot

    dingybigfoot Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    30-35 solo no shoveller.
    40-45 with a shoveller.
  4. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    definetly shows the different dynamics of different regions, we do approximately 50-55/two man crew, but i am pretty sure you guys get more snow in a dumping then we do
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Alot depends on the operator's experience level
  6. Matts Kitty

    Matts Kitty Junior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 20

    When my husband had a heart attack at 36 he had 34 residential customers. I had very little experience but got a grip real quick. Most of the drives over 200' long. My brother in law has 60 and he's a one man operation w/no shoveling. Good luck to you.
  7. KBTConst

    KBTConst Senior Member
    Messages: 426

    I have 72 but only about 30 involves a shovel it will take me about 10 - 12 hrs to get them all done 12 are commercial accounts and are all done buy 7 am this is all based on 4 in snow fall
  8. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    I've worked solo now for around 12 years and I've gotten wise about how many walks I do on my own...as little as possible. I've done over 60 and I'm down to 35 to 40. I was trying to figure out the money aspect of doing residential plowing.

    Okay here is a very rough estimate

    I have very little or no income November and April.

    December 1st to March 31 if you get 40 homes at $350

    $14 000.

    Okay an average amount of fuel I used last year over 4 months was

    $300 per month (February I actually used $400)

    leaving you with

    $12 800.00

    I spend around $1500 to $3000 in repairs depending on the year and severity of the winter...(I will subtract the lowest amount).

    So will end up with a grand total of

    $11 300.00

    An average of $35 to $40 per hour...

    This is a rough calculation (fuel prices/different vehicles/distance to each home/amounts of snow).
  9. shott8283

    shott8283 Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    i cant even begin to imagine the ops tempo of myself, running more then 25 accounts.
  10. Thanks for the responses everyone. I think I am going to play it a little conservative this year and start turning people away after 25 clients. I just want to make sure everything goes as planned and that most people are happy with the service provided. At the end of the plow season I think I will have the enough perspective to see how many clients to take on and how to increase my productivity. I think my biggest increase to productivity will come when I tighten my route. Right now I think I am sitting at 22 clients which is all residential with the exception of 2 small commercials.