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Is Shoveling required?

Tony S

Junior Member
Hi Guys,<br>I just started snow plowing this year. I did no advertising except for sending a letter out to my regular mowing customers in Oct. offering this new service. I made it clear that this service would include plowing of the driveway / parking lot ONLY and not include snow removal from walkways or steps. I received a fairly good number of my reg. customers signing up for plowing. My question is: I want to increase my number of plowing accounts for next year. Will I have to include walkways and steps in my bids in order to get any substantial accounts or can I get away with just plowing?<p>Thanks in Advance,<br>Tony S.
 

Lazer

Senior Member
In my market you don't need to shovel residential sidewalks (thankfully) so we don't. Nobody does, 'cept for the city walks with a Bombadier.<p>Commercial: You'll eventually have to in order to get the good accounts. Make them sign up for salting though, too.<br>
 

GeoffD

PlowSite.com Veteran
As for shoveling commercial, all our accounts get it we include it in the bid. It is easier the shovel the snow into the lot and have us plow it away. Then to have to carry it to the edge of the lot.<p>For residental, some people will pay the extra cost, other won't.<p>It does make extra money, so why not do it?<p>Geoff
 

Lazer

Senior Member
Geoff,<p>Your charges for plowing come out to $55-$200+ per hour. You just can't come close to that shoveling. (Unless there's something I'm missing)<p>Plus, would you rather be sitting in your warm plow truck tapping switches or bundled up, out in the howling wind shoveling.<p>For certain accounts, you've gotta do it to get them, but I certainly wouldn't offer it.
 

gene gls

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Granville, MA.
My snow removeal service includes:clearing in front of garage doors,steps to house,walk way to house,and mail box.In the past I had a customer with the heating oil filler pipe on the back side of the house,pathway-$25.00 extra in my pocket.Every one is happy.The only request I have gotten is not to use salt or chemicals on two properties.I had to do some explaining.<p>I have heard people say that if they have to shovel the walk and garage door that they might as well get a blower and do the drive.I have to agree with them.
 

Lazer

Senior Member
gene,<p>I suppose it's what your customers are after. If we were to charge $25.00 per time to shovel the front door walk, garage door & mailbox, that would average about $500.00 per year and that does sound like great money. We just don't have a market for that where we're at.
 

DFLS

Senior Member
Location
Connecticut
GeoffD;491 said:
<p>For residental, some people will pay the extra cost, other won't.<p>It does make extra money, so why not do it?<p>Geoff
++Thread resurrection from January 2000++


Just what I think for walks. Bigger walk = more money and most of my customers will pay extra for it.
 

Dustball

Senior Member
Location
St. Paul, MN
It's the law here to have sidewalks in front of your house cleared within 24 hours of a snowfall. It's a good service to offer.

Excerpt from a local newspaper article

"The owner or occupant of any building or lot abutting a public sidewalk is responsible for and shall remove any accumulation of snow and/or ice from said public sidewalk within 24 hours after the snow and/or ice has ceased to fall, gather or accumulate."

If the responsible person is irresponsible, any neighbor can complain, and the homeowner will receive a notice by mail. Then, there's an inspection 48 hours after the postmark. If the walk isn't cleared of snow, a city crew of shovelers and a Bobcat will do the chore — and charge $160 an hour, with a half-hour minimum.

If the walk is not cleared of ice, the charge is $80 an hour for sanding and salting, with a half-hour minimum. And there may be administrative fees on top of that.

One of these episodes usually gets the homeowner's attention, Lippert said. If the city has to get involved again, it may impose a fine of up to $100.
 
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onemanshow

Junior Member
Location
alaska
In my area the competition for residential drives is fierce.I shovel the strip in front of the garage and the walk up to the house and include it in my rates.At best it is only a couple of minutes out of the truck and it gives me a chance to stretch.
 

Rc2505

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Northwest Ohio
I agree. This is the first and last year I will be removing snow from sidewalks, and I only have one that requires me to do so. I have plenty of oppertunities to go after, so I will not do it again. Call me a wuss, but it's cold out there, lol.
 

Cassy

Senior Member
Location
Sudbury, MA
i have offered it before for residential clients, for a fee, never outright..

At this point I don't do it, and I don't think i ever want to again. it's warm in my truck, i'll stay inside.
 

LoneCowboy

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Longmont, CO
If you get a lot of these (and you might), hire a guy, 15 bucks an hour or so and have him go with you.
You pull up, he jumps out and starts shoveling, you plow (this way he can get right up to the garage door) and you should finish close to the same time.
but you made extra money
jump back in, zoom to the next property.

You should more than cover his extra cost and you'll end up with cleaner driveways.
 

hedhunter9

Senior Member
Location
Northern Indiana
My wife goes along with me to shovel. (You know, women dont have heart attacks shoveling snow)

She gets extra spending $$$. Excersise, Fresh air, my company !

but she only does it, if its light fluffy stuff up to 3"
If its heavy or more, then we break out the snowblower...(her snowblower, I bought her for christmas 5 years ago!)

She does the garage door and walks while Im plowing.
It works out well....
 
I certainly don't offer shoveling but I have a few older customers that asked if it could be done so I shovel their walkways for them. I would rather not but ya got to feel bad imagining the older folk out there trying to do it. If anything happened I would feel bad. Obviously I charge a little extra. I do have one condo complex I plow 6 units 4 apartments in each unit. My friends dad brings his gravely over with the snowthrower attachment and I hit the walkways that he can't reach. He's older and retired and enjoys the extra pocket money. They get sand/salt of the lot and walkways after so it pays well. Like was mentioned in some other posts, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet if you want the decent accounts.
 

Krieger91

Senior Member
Location
East Lansing, MI
Here in Lansing, I'm pretty sure it's an ordiance to have the city sidewalks cleared within 24 hours of the end of snowfall. In a neighboring township, they aren't so strict because they have one of those little Bombadier-style tractors that they clear them with.

When I start plowing next year, I'll offer the service at an addition $15-$30 depending on the amount. It's not something I'd add into a regular contract, too much work for that, but if they want to pay me extra to shovel their walks for them, I won't turn it down.
 

DFLS

Senior Member
Location
Connecticut
LoneCowboy;728744 said:
If you get a lot of these (and you might), hire a guy, 15 bucks an hour or so and have him go with you.
You pull up, he jumps out and starts shoveling, you plow (this way he can get right up to the garage door) and you should finish close to the same time.
but you made extra money
jump back in, zoom to the next property.

You should more than cover his extra cost and you'll end up with cleaner driveways.
This works perfectly. On really big storms two helpers are nice.


If I do my route solo it is about 9 hrs for 6" snow. If I have help it can be done in 7. Pay the guy $15 / hr., $105 for his 7 hours. Costs me $105, the price of my largest residential driveway, but I can wake up the next day and not be sore : priceless.
 
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