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I want to see if you think ive lost or if i set you up thinking I did

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by snoking, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. snoking

    snoking Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    Im plowing drives this year for 135/year. Average snao falls approx 25. 2" trigger. All trucks are the same F350 02,04,00,94. 9ft front and 9ft to 18ft expanding back blades.

    Ask anything you want, This is true, just seeing what comes of it.
  2. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    If you are making money then there is nothing wrong with your pricing.
    But are you making enough to pay insurance, equipment payment (or replacement payment) equipment maintance witholding, fuel, wages, SS witholdings, unemployment witholdings, medical,retirement and benifits for your employes, Wage for your self including your own withholdings, retirement program (should be at least 10% of gross), medecal, support expences for shop, equipment not used in direct income (loader for salt/sand) shop tool repalcment, (lift, jack, hand tools, etc.) meals while you work, safty clothing, advertising, bookeeper's wage, machanic's wage, utilitys for shop and office, computer and other office equipment replacment, plus other items not listed. including the national average of 30% profit not included in the above then your pricing is below average.
    You may feel you are doing well untill you add in all your overhead then you find all you are realy doing is supplying yourself a job. Remember you should also make a wage plus the co. should make a profit.

    In our area you would be loosing and not last 2 years but in your area that pricing may make you money plus national average profit for a business.
  3. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    A few years ago we did residential drives for $100 per year and $300 if you wanted the sidewalks done. Made OK money, it only takes about 5 minutes to do a drive. Good when you have 15 accounts on one block.

    We ended up giving up on residentials because they people were too much trouble. Their driveways were blocked and we had to go back several times, they kept calling at all hours of the night/morning, etc. The real key is to get a few clients on each block so you can make it up in volume...
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I think you're off a little. Average snowfall for Muskegan, Michigan is 97.1".

    But if you're happy with $135/yr, that's what counts.

    I don't understand the title of the thread though - "I want to see if you think ive lost or if i set you up thinking I did". How would you have set us up?
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2005
  5. westwind

    westwind Member
    Messages: 79

    If it works for you great, but we would not be able to survive on that up here.
  6. genrock

    genrock Member
    Messages: 60

    Personally I tend to not waste my time doing small drives but stick mainly to the longer country drives. I have a couple of small accounts with a brake shop who we barder with to keep my brakes and suspension humming while in turn I take care of his lot and I do a 7-11 lot or convenience store lot. I charge them on contract $25 every time it snows 2 inches no salt no walks. Country driveways are usually contracted in the area of $30-$40 per snow depending on the length no salt add salt charge in appropriately for 10% over the price I pay per bag.

    The trick to contracting is getting the customer to sign just as its starting to get cold or before. If you dont secure a contract you can set them up on an on call basis but that gets annoying having people call you after you have already been by there drive and have to double back to do it. The reason you want to contract these smaller jobs is cause most people will have there money spent when christmas rolls around and then theres taxes on there minds after the newyears and they may decide just to drive over there snow all winter and pack it down into a sheet of ice that wont melt until June.

    If you offer on call type service let them know it will be more to cover the cost of extra fuel for off route type service and that they will not be in a priority type status but will come in an order of first call first serve type basis meaning there drive may not get plowed until well after 5pm etc. Then talk to them about the contract and that they are set up on a route and are guaranteed you will have the drive done in a more resonable time.

    Small drives are a pain in the butt and you wont know what im talking about until you do a few of them yourself. First drives are too close to the house possible damage can occur. There is never any place to put the pile. They will constantly call you back to have you remove the citys pile ups when there blade goes by. In my state it is illegal to drop your plow on the roadway so this makes it difficult at times to get a clean plow in the front. City drive owners are used to a shovel job and salt which a plow cannot get a driveway as clean as a neighborhood kid with a shovel can. Oh and they think there going to get you to plow for the same price they can get the neighbor kid to do it too. Fat chance. Let the neighborhood guy with the beat up truck that is ready for the bone yard tackle these small jobs and waste his time, cause that is not where the money is at all.
  7. Quality1

    Quality1 Member
    Messages: 34

    Sounds like Greenscapes.
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    This is the same guy who said he was doing a WalMart in 30 minutes with 2 pickups.

    Never seen a 9-18' back plow either. Especially since 8'6" is the legal limit. There are a multitude of 16' back plows in West Michigan, however.

    Sounds fishy as has most of his posts. I'm thinking of a five letter word that starts with t and ends with l.
  9. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I just realized he might saying they get snow of at least 2" 25 times a winter. So he'll be plowing 25 times for $135. I imagine some of those will be in the neighborhood of 10-12". But that's great for someone - he'll be plowing any driveway for $5.40 ($135/25). Just think, he might not make a lot per driveway, but all he needs to do is get a lot of driveways (maybe 90-100) and he'll make a lot of money.

    Actually, I agree with Mark.

    If that's what he means by setting us up, he couldn't even hold the bat for some of them in the past.
  10. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    We all try and help each other out here, which is what I thought the general purpose of this board was intended for. I lot of seasoned guys have helped out alot of newcommers with ideas and suggestions. When we get a guy who "wants to set us up" and winds up wasting our prescious time (after all, time is money!), he should be banned from the site. :angry:

    Mark, you might be right, come to think of it. Well, I guess we will have to monitor his posts and see if he is for real...
  11. JElmWin

    JElmWin Senior Member
    Messages: 232

    I think Mick's right. I went to school in Montague, Musk. County. Lots of lake effect snow. I remember having to trudge to the bus in over a foot of snow. :realmad: Here in NY they close the schools for less than 4".:rolleyes: I wouldn't do short drives around here for $135 a year. Won't do it once for under $30. Too much B.S. with the owners.

    Average snowfall 25", Maybe weekly:rolleyes:
  12. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    I could be mistaken here after checking a few of his other posts. (haven't done it in awhile at least since he said he's doing a WalMart in a half hour). He says he's charging $40\hr, that isn't too far off for that area for the most part. Go down to Holland and they are at $25-$35 and hour and thinking they are getting rich. Never been able to figure out the discrepancy between the lakeshore and Grand Rapids pricing. Most people with half a brain in the GR area are 3X what Holland\Grand Haven\Muskegon are charging. The others are higher than that. Still wouldn't even get out of bed for that kind of money. The last few years he's probably been OK, since they've been getting less snow than GR, but wait till the lake effect starts kicking in for them again and he probably won't be raking it in hand over fist. (his words).

    I think I should change my term to lowballer instead. Especially when he mentions others doing it for $250 and he brags about getting $135.

    LAKESHORESNOW Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    :gunsfiring: I Live In Muskegon And Was Called Last Year By Many Of This So Called Contracters Accounts Because He Was A No Show. He "did" Have Large Equipment Encluding 16' Expanding Back Blades And So On But That Was All Lost. We Have Too Many Low Ballers Like Him In This Area Because Of Large Scale Job Losses. I Guess You Can Do Drives For $135.00/ Yr If You Do Not Ever Show Up To Plow.
    Stop Giving All Snowplow Companys A Bad Name!!!!!!!
  14. Quality1

    Quality1 Member
    Messages: 34

    Amen to that
  15. Pete7

    Pete7 Member
    Messages: 55

    a little off topic

    I tried doing that weather link for around here Orange County, NY--Middletown is the closest city but it does not show numbers for snowfall? How come?
  16. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    He's saying 18'. But regardless - something that size on a one ton?

    LAKESHORESNOW Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I Am Not Sure But They Could Be 18' Ten Foot Main Blade With 4' Wings. Yes,one Ton Flat Dump.
  18. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    Lakeshore, it can't be ten foot because 8'6" is the legal limit to drive on state roads. 8' may be the legal limit in Muskegon county, not sure. Nobody has an 18' back plow, they are all 16's.

    Mick, there are a couple different designs. One has the sideplates attached to cylinders that pull them parallel with the moldboard, so if you have a 8' moldboard with 4' sideplates, you have a 16' plow. The other is the extensions extend\slide on rails from the moldboard out. Both have their good and bad points. The extending one is great except for the close tolerances on the rails, because as soon as it is tweaked, you can't get the extension back in. You are also more apt to catch things--either the back plow itself or obstacles because it is all behind you. You also need a ton of hydraulics on these plows to operate everything. And they are very heavy. There's even some guys with them on 1/2 tons, believe it or not. Most have frame problems sooner or later and most have to rebuild either the entire plow or at least the wings\extensions.

    And last but not least, they are extremely expensive.

    Even if you had an 8'6" moldboard, it still only equals 17'.
  19. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I don't know. I just tried it for Middletown and it doesn't list any snowfall. Maybe Middletown doesn't get snow?:rolleyes: Did you try another town in the same general area?
  20. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I can believe that. Sixteen foot backblade must weigh at least 2,000 pounds. Then the snow it'd capture and it would put an unbelievable amount of force on a truck frame. Besides the strain on the engine, transmission and drive components. Hardly seems like it'd be worth any efficiency gain.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2005