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Is residential snow blower only service worth more than a Plow only service?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Exact Services, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    I've spent a fair amount of time here reading posts doing searches and it seems there is an implication that that snow thrower ONLY removal is worth an extra premium over push pull and drag with a blade on truck? How much more is snow thrower removal worth for a typical driveway? I don't think I have have read a post here where that is really answered clearly?

    I'm getting out bid on longer driveways currently with snow plows for $15 :eek: My quote is $25 to $35. I will go down to $15 for a tiny & short drive in a retirement community but not for a 3 car garage and a long driveway in a posh neighborhood. I also include all front walks and steps with my pricing.

    I'm marketing my service as a premium reliable service with a full season commitment. Any tips on how to up sell.

  2. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    IMO a snowblower only service is only worth more to a homeowner who wants snowblower only service. It takes more of your time, but costs you less in upfront costs. Again IMO most homeowners wouldn't care if you plow it, blow it, shovel it, or lick it off as long as you do a good job in a timely manner. If I were the average homeowner I would think a guy with a blower just didn't have the $ to buy a real plow.
  3. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    I agree. If you show up with only a snowblower, chances are your a low baller with no insurance, looking for beer money.
  4. Depends on the area. Dont let these guy's opinions fool you. I have a route with 30 driveways and only 3 can I get a plow truck into and out of safely. Its right downtown Toronto, extremely populated and narrow streets. Most of the traffic would rather hit you when backing out of a driveway than pay attention to the flashing light and wait. So on this route I send a truck with a snow blower and I get $100 more per season than my plow truck.

    With the above, I do agree to a point. If you show up in a residential area with a snow blower where other plows are operating and have no problem operating your going to bad.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2008
  5. d8on27@msn.com

    d8on27@msn.com Junior Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 21

    After the record winter last year we've gained alot of accounts specifically because we use snowblowers only. Lots of tore up grass and huge piles of snow from plows last year. You have to clean sidewalks here also so it dosent take any longer than if you had a plow for the smaller city driveways/walks.

    Don't know if you can charge more but your customers will be a lot more loyal to you IMO.
  6. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    you have to market yourself as not only a complete job but a better job, snowblowers do a better job that plows. And your doing the walkways. Market yourself as better and why your better. And why your better. You will have far and wider spacing on customers but you should be able to sell yourself, NOT tearing up lawns, sprinklers...
  7. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    ...and having a cleaner scrape, no scrape damage on the concrete/blacktop, and if you can find a bunch of paver or stamped concrete drives, you're in like Flynn over a plow. Also tell ALL the customer prospects that they will not end up with piles piled up all over. This will also lead to quicker melting in the spring. When I was a kid and snow blowing driveways in the subdivision across the street, these were the selling points I would use.:)
  8. tyler

    tyler Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I've found that it is quite an easy sell to the homeowner. Not having the ability to disrupt pavers, scrape concrete, scalp grass, break sprinkler heads, and be able to assure the homeowner that this can't happen because the equipment isn't capeable. Its not a sell of how great you can run a plow, but how much better the equipment your going to use is better than a plow. Around here I get $30-$35 a drive and have yet to have a homeowner ask if I can do it for cheaper. The way I see it snowblowing is a premium service and it has its own market, finding that market might be more work than the snowblowing. Let the big boys with plows take care of the big stuff and dial in your route with the blower and you can be profitable like the plows.
  9. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    I agree - thanks for the input. My flyer specifically sells my service as "premium snow blower only" with zero plow damage etc. My contracts do say some landscaping will accumulate blown snow and I am NOT responsible for accumulated snow damage. I just did a flyer run today [heavy snow in the forecast for Saturday] in one of the high end Gucci neighborhoods and frankly very few lots have much to offer in push off areas for a plow.

    Yes I'm a fully insured company and I paid though the shorts for my FAT mega insurance policy for the Lawn & Garden Biz. I took out the maximum coverage available that probably exceeds what many here have in coverage. Last year I wanted to Throw Snow but since I wasn't insured for it I didn't want to take the chance of getting sued. I missed out on a record snow fall last season. Yes I agree snow thrower only may look low baller Pete but hey my rigs have signage and it even says insured on it. I'm probably one of the few insured snow removal companies in my area who exclusively uses snow throwers.

    If some one is just starting out in the biz I can understand someone not taking out insurance due to the cost. It's a huge upfront commitment when you really don't have much cliental. My first partial year just doing Rototilling I was not insured. One day I decided to offer the service got a bunch of calls and lots of happy customers here I am - insured to the hilt.
  10. I think this is what will make the difference. I see TONS of guys in my area with a truck and plow and not a single decal on the truck with their name and phone number or anything. I don't care if you have a 2009 Caddy Pickup pushing a blade, your going to look unprofessional without any lettering.

    I know I would never hand any money to "some guy with a truck".

    Guys should AT LEAST put their phone numbers on the truck. Give people a little piece of mind that the guy actually takes pride in his company.
  11. Brant'sLawnCare

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

    I don't know. It really depends on the driveway. I know we do some that are easy to plow and it would be dumb not to use a plow. Then there are others where we would be dumb not to use a blower. Generally during big storms, we will open up the bottoms of all the drivew with the plows. This makes stuff go a lot faster. And we fix all the grass damage we do. Says it in the contract. But if you have time, I think snowblowing only would be fine and profitable, but a plow helps speed things up so you can charge less and make more if you know what your doing.
  12. Laner

    Laner Member
    from IA
    Messages: 78

    I use both a plow and blower. I have a 47 inch blower on a garden tractor that I use for the majority of accounts. It works well. Most of the drives that I do don't have a lot of space to push the snow, so the blowers really work well. I do have a skid also, but only use that when we have snow pack or ice to remove. I sell my service as doing what it takes to get the job done to their expectations. You can still damage grass with a blower.
  13. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    What is all this stuff about tearing up grass and all that? Don't you know what driveway markers are for? Geez!
  14. Brant'sLawnCare

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

    When your stacking snow or pushing it off the driveway, this is possible. Hasn't this ever happened to you?
  15. Exact Services

    Exact Services Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    A bump for snow blowing