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How to know when the route is full and add another truck?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by LawnsInOrder, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. LawnsInOrder

    LawnsInOrder Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 395

    Hi folks,
    I did a search but only came up with 2 or 3 threads to look at. We have 2 trucks and wondering about adding a third. We have several commercial places that keep our trucks busy throughout the storm and we can keep up pretty decent then. But after the storm ends it takes us both about 8 hrs to clean up all the residentials as well. Now for a smaller 6 inch or less storm we are fine, but when we get like 12" or so, we don't have time to run around and do all the resis mid storm. I guess my question is, how long do you guys try to keep your route times at? 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours??? How long before you say, okay, it's taking us too long to get them all done, we need another truck? When it snows an inch an hour or more, we get behind in a hurry.....haha. Not really too many complaints, just is taking us way to long to get everyone plowed out.


  2. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 722

    From what you said I'd add the third truck now, dedicate it to commercials and use it as a floater on your residential.
  3. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    I run about 6.5 hours per truck, that's mostly residential and small commercial.
  4. LawnsInOrder

    LawnsInOrder Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 395

    That's kind of what I was afraid of....lol Thanks so much guy!! - guess I'll start looking around.
  5. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Have fun, good luck!
  6. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    Yep. Add a truck. It also gives piece of mind knowing you have it in case one of your primary trucks has a break down. But don't feel bad about adding a truck, it means your business is growing.
  7. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I keep all my routes set at 6 hours per truck. If I start running over that, I try and re-arage things. If that doesn't work I add another truck. I base these times on a normal 4 inch snow fall, that way if we get hit with 8 or 12 inches, we are still good, just figure a 6 hour route turns into 10 or 12 hours.
  8. LawnsInOrder

    LawnsInOrder Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 395

    Ya, that's kinda what I was guessing. Last year I figured on 6 hrs per round (we push every 6 inches on the resis). Last big storm I ended up only getting through them once when we had 10 inches, ended up leaving one whole round on the table. Thanks for all the input - hate to buy a plow truck mid winter but might not have a choice. I'll mess around with the route a little and see what happens, but based on the numbers, I think a third is needed. I'll need one in the spring for landscaping anyways....
  9. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    Just hire a sub.
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    What would happen if one of your trucks go down?
  11. ColliCut

    ColliCut Member
    Messages: 33

    ^^^ I like this idea. May be a good way to keep up with your routes, until you've brought in enough new clients to fill a third truck's route?
  12. GM Landscape

    GM Landscape Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    We run 2 trucks full time at 6 hrs to finish all but we have 3rd truck ready to go if needed w/ 2 possible part timers to run it. Any possibility of going over 6 hrs we call for 3rd truck. IMO as a business owner subs are a waste ($ and reliability compared to having 3rd truck and part time driver)
  13. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    Every situation is different. If he doesn't want to spend money right now a sub is an ideal fix. It takes the pressure off. I like having subs. It allows me more salting after they are done plowing.:D

    FIREMAN Q Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    Having a back up truck is huge. What would happen if 1 of yiur trucks went down during the next storm. When you can afford it an extra truck is wise. Especially since you are doing commercial. Mrs smith might be able to wait an extra day to be plowed but not the business. Until you can afford it find a sub to help commercially on bigger storms and residentials.

    I run 3 trucks if my own and run with 3 additional subs for each storm. All of my trucks are set up the same and can except any plow or sander from each truck. Equipment failer is just as likely as truck failure.
  15. chachi1984

    chachi1984 Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    maybe getting a v plow or power plow could save you some time
  16. LawnsInOrder

    LawnsInOrder Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 395

    Thanks guys. Yes, I have some subs available that I can call when I need it, but I was more thinking in route times etc how much to fill up. It seems 6 hrs is about right. I have 4 backup subs that I can call if I get in a jam. But I also maintain our stuff very well to try to prevent break downs.

    Already got the v plow - gonna get and xls next truck. That should help out too.

    Thanks for all the input.
  17. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,123

    I do my own with no other help and on 2 inches it is 6.5 hours. I have two trucks with BOSS V plows, both are interchangeable. I can not afford the time to fix a plow or truck if it breaks during a storm.