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How much work?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by BushHogBoy, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    I know its been discussed alot before, but i'm too lazy to search it... Ok and the dial-up here at my grandparents' is too slow & the firewall is not permitting searches....

    How much work should you book per truck for a 4" snowstorm? Our average storms here are 2-4" sometimes maybe 6"... we've got the following 2 trucks (listed in signature).... we're booking more work everyday and trying to figure out how much commercial work to book, the residentials are done last and don't really matter at this point, but how many hours should you book per truck? So far I think the 2500 w/the bigger plow would be busy about 9 hours just running by itself on just the commercial jobs. We'll put the 1500 w/6.5' on the residentials and small commercials and to complement the 2500 on big jobs. So the route won't take 9 hours even with residentials, i just figured it would take about that long with the one truck. Plus the salting which isn't very long... Any "rule of thumb" how many hours each truck should be booked for on commercial jobs? Obviously it makes a difference when you start plowing but of course commercials want done before opening time.
    Thanks for any input.

  2. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    The only person that truely knows is you. You know how good you are at plowing, how fast you work, what the exact types of properties you have, and so on.....
  3. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    we only have about 6 hours per truck any more and if you get a big storm or a late storm you will not keep up
  4. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Keep in mind you only have 2 trucks. One breaks and now you have twice the work and time for one truck to do. Some contracts can look easy to do till you find out any wind and you have 4 foot drifts across one end. Might have a plan for a sub contractor to work too. To keep you out of the deep end of the pool all the time.
  5. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    thanks guys. This guy that works for me now, with the Dodge 1500 6.5', he was my sub then i found out he's unemployed so i said well since you have more time lets get busy! but we've got another sub lined up that has almost no plowing at all to do this year and he does have a full time job but he can still plow a lot so, we do have a plan C... and i know others that could pitch in if we have problems... a storm with 4' drifts is rare here lol, 2-4" is an average storm here (or less) but 6-8" is a big storm, anything over that is rare and no one expects to get out instantly.....
  6. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    when looking for work, no matter what type (construction, landscaping, etc...) take all the work you can get. If you fill up the equipment you have, buy more, rent subcontract, but I never like to turn down work. You might take on a small apartment building this year that might add 30 mins to your route, you might not make a tonne. But in the spring they might need landscaping done, or some construction. Then you have more money. Then in the fall that management company might ask you to bid more properties, and so on and so on. It will keep snowballing.
  7. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    I would keep it to no more than 6 hours. In a big storm, you will be doomed. I give my residential trucks a 4 hour max. Any longer than that, and u start pi$$ing people off..
  8. bcf

    bcf Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    I should be able to do my route by myself in 9-10 hours. I'm thinking around 7-8 with a shoveler. People start calling me getting POed after 2 hours, let alone 6 hours. There's always someone to b#tch about something. That's the number one reason to not lowball, my left ear is worth a lot.:dizzy:
  9. Stone Mountain

    Stone Mountain Member
    Messages: 45

    I book about 7-8 hours per truck. I have separate salters and two hand labour crews, so some sites get visited by 3 different crews.
    I have 45 properties and 9 trucks in total, plus the 2 hand labour crews.
    Of course, in a heavy fall, that goes by the wayside, but my customers (some of which I've had for 20 years), understand, and I have very few complaints.
  10. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Thanks for the responses guys... so far we haven't picked up any more work really, just a couple more accounts... the holidays have been hell on me :yow!: gotta go out and replace an axle seal on my truck right now then replace some bearings on the spreader if i get to that... gotta work on a Dixie Chopper for a family friend this afternoon.... :realmad: Then the truck has to go to the transmission shop because they're to freakin' incompetent to do it properly (and this shop has the best reputation around for these transmissions) :realmad: :gunsfiring: this is why i HATE letting shops work on my truck they always screw it up... IF YOU WANT IT DONE RIGHT DO IT YOURSELF!
  11. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I'm with a lot of these folks here in thinking 4-6 hours is probably a good limit. Basically in plowing everything twice for me (first push and cleanup after storm) I'm done in about 9 hours. NH can get some hefty storms (not by Colorado standards, but still!), and it will keep me running longer. I'm quite literally 95% residential for accounts (accouting for about 2/3 of my income), and my route goes pretty well for the regular (up to a foot) storms and somewhat delayed for larger storms. Basically in 13 years I've weeded out most of the problem folks and kept a good core clientelle I can work with. If there's 18" of snow, people aren't gonna be in a hurry in my book. Stuff is shut down. They can live with a longer wait for plowing. On the other hand, I'm not doing a full cleanup in 18" of snow, merely roughing it out 3 times and a good cleanup at the end, so I'm getting through the route a little quicker. Since I'm a 1-man show right now, people aren't getting walkways shovelled during a storm, and most are pretty content about that.

  12. 2moresleeps

    2moresleeps Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 131

    This year we have overbooked ourselves but like another posted said, we don't turn ANYTHING down...period.

    We have 3 trucks for this winter and have yet to use the third so far as we have not had any storms that required plowing.

    The last time we went out it was just salting and we tried to base those times on what would be required of us if we plowed. We quickly discovered that any storm with significant snowfall will certainly put a strain on our time.

    I have never calculated truck hours per storm. We base our service on the number of locations versus proximity. We can manage more properties that are side by side as opposed to 10 properties 20 minutes apart (I hope this makes sense).

    This year with only 2 trucks we have:

    5 gas stations (major PITA---not yet but will be)

    1 U haul

    2 strip malls

    1 law office (has 8-10 parking spaces)

    3 medical buildings

    1 locksmith building

    15 residentials - estate homes equal to a 6 car driveway

    Just salting these locations takes approx. 2.5 hours per truck. I dread the thought of plowing and salting. We guesstimate it will take 6 hours per truck to do the route.

    Last year, we worked a solid 17 hours but with the complaints, we downsized.