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Is it really worth it anymore

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DAZ982500, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. DAZ982500

    DAZ982500 Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    I was sitting around with some other guys talking about the winter and wondering what they thought about plowing today.All but one guy states that it is not worth it anymore.The main reason not enough snow and to many guys have plows.I agreed, granted I work full time and have ablend of residental and commercial .My complaint was more around finding the right acounts to make money.Example, residential requires getting out of the truck shoveling walkways which is time consuming and you do not really get commenstated well for it and it beats on you.And commercially you still have businesses that really do not want to pay to much.So the one guy says to me if there really was money in it you would see more people doing it.He is right most contractors in the binghamton area do not snowplow.What is the ideal for a one man operation.DAVE
  2. kolkie05

    kolkie05 Senior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 114

    I guess you really need to land the right accounts and for that sometimes you need some major equipment! I agree with you the residential doesn't pay that great and my smaller commercial stuff you see them skimping out. I have companies that don't even want salt dropped because they don't want to pay for it.
  3. Mick

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

    I agree it's not worth the hassle, risk to self and equipment. I've gotten into other things that are more profitable with less hassle/risk/equipment damage/insurance cost etc than plowing snow. I'm only keeping one gravy account for next winter. I won't be getting up early or worrying about getting stuck or any of the other stuff.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Well the first mistake is you getting out of the truck to shovel Residenals you need to convert them to seasonal then this way you get paid even it if don't snow.As for commercials try and bump yourself up to a little bigger lot ,it may take longer with a truck but some guys are scared off of bigger lots and less competition. Worst case bid it high and if you don't get so be it.
  5. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    Move to Canada, & you'll be richer after one winter! LOL
    Most of the "successful" company's in the capital run big equipment. Doesn't need to be a large fleet or anythin' but as long as yur machines make you money, its all that counts.
  6. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    In my opinion its worth everything you put into it..... I made really good $ last year and the year before that ( we got a ton of snow those 2 years) the 2 before that I made ok $.... this year I'm buying larger equipment for the large commercial lots....... "easy money" is just alittle harder to get now a days but when you land the right ones... all your hard work pays off....... I'm not downsizing, I'm "upsizing"!... I'm sorry to hear that you don't think its worth it anymore, I wish more people in my area would think the same!:drinkup:
  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Well shoveling blows, for sure. It's not so much that I mind doing it, it's actually good to get out of the truck once in a while. The problem is that I could have plowed another drive in the time I spent shoveling. I've got $40k of equipment sitting in the drive, and I'm shoveling a walk for ten bucks. I can't complain too much though. I only shovel one residence, the bank that pays very well, and the old folks apartment building that pays crap. I moved the bank and apartment to contract last year. Bank price is fine, but I've got to start cranking the apts up. Did well on the bank, not so much with the apts. Moved one comm/resi to contract for this year already. Tried to get the laundry over, but they are up for sale. Hopefully the restaurant will go over to contract.

    For those of you who have resis on contract, how do you do it? I presume you try to present it as a deal/safeguard to the customer. 13 storms last year, 23 the year before. This is what 18 would cost you. etc. And how do you do payment(s)?
  8. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i would probably quit too if i had a regular FT job...i don't think it would be worth getting out in the middle of the night, or missing family time, just to make a few bucks.....probably just be better to work some OT at the regular job.....
  9. johnslawn

    johnslawn Member
    from ma
    Messages: 90

    I started and stayed small. I have always turned down work if it would abuse my truck.If customer points out landscaping I tell em to call someone else. getting into it thinking I was not going to get rich,just make some cash maybe. I do private drives only,no shoveling cept a older woman, wheelchair bound man I do for $0 and some times a vet. 8 years I paid off a truck and plow. last year a newer trk and plow. plow is paid for from last winter. 27 drives cash, no billing, no repairing turf in spring.
  10. blk90s13

    blk90s13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,157

    I keep thinking about that my self, what to do in the summer ?
  11. Bajak

    Bajak Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Winter here is 5 months long and if I don't do something for those 5 months I would likely need re-hab. I can make enough in the other 7 months to survive but I also like to have some cash flow going all year through my business. I was on stand by for sewer/watermain breaks and had on average only 3 jobs a season. The money wasn't worth it and here it seems we are guaranteed 40- 60+ events a year when it comes to plowable events. Snow work here is basically recession proof. IT IS GOING TO SNOW. Our customers know that as well as we know that. I do find more and more requests for seasonal contracts vs. hourly/per push. This way the customer can better budget for their inevitable need for services. I can complain about being over worked and under paid for a month or so and then brag about doing nothing and getting paid anyway for the rest of the season. It seems to all work out in the end.

    Is it worth it? For some people I would say yes. For those people that don't need the headaches, or are not properly prepared, the answer is no.
  12. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    For me, yes it is worth it. The snowplowing side of my business is the bussiest and most sought after part of my biz. As long as it snows, I will make money.
  13. Elite_Maint

    Elite_Maint Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    I agree, last season was my first season doing this solo. I've worked for other companies before but you never notice how much money winter can make until you do it yourself. Sure there are headaches but your right snow removal in Canada is recession proof. People know it's going to snow so they rather sign up for a seasonal contract and guarantee service for the whole season.
  14. Flawless

    Flawless Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    I make more profit plowing than landscaping, last 4 winters have been great here
  15. milkie62

    milkie62 Senior Member
    from Troy,NY
    Messages: 231

    An 8" storm every 2 wks would be great for me.My area has been crappy the last few years.
  16. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    I really love hearing when folks think ... WoW look how much money I could make if I put a plow on my truck or if I go solo.

    Yeah..... On the front end your making money ... On the back end your paying out money and risk out the wazo. Insurances, gas, wear and tear with repairs, stress, wages, taxes and if you get a claim against you or a ticket ......

    There is a lot of management that goes into this plowing stuff yet, the turd balls who you plow for see you as some jerk water low brow. I bet they couldn't run a business with this much dynamic built in even with help.

    Really .... How does one plow a lot for $25 bucks when it should be $140?????? :realmad: They will be calling back.