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IS their really any money in plowing?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by tomv420, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. tomv420

    tomv420 Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    This is my fith year in plowing and it just seems like your not making a profit in plowing after fuel and how plowing just beats the crap out of the truck I im pretty sure that your not making any money doing it.
  2. ProEnterprises

    ProEnterprises Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 379

    Look pal, you were already kicked off lawnsite for starting these stupid threads that cause no good on the site.
    You know that what you are stating is bogus, and just riles people up, which is against the rules.

    Go waste somone elses time, because we dont want it here.
  3. dirtwork

    dirtwork Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 39

    As in any business plowing has much overhead to overcome, maybe more overhead then most kinds of businesses. You just have to charge enough to make profit. I dont think any of us on here are working purely for the fun of it. When you bid a job you have take into to consideration what your overcome is(truck, fuel,plow,parts,salt barn,spreader,insurance,workers comp, etc.) and think about what you really need to bid out to actually make money on it.Also take into account that you are providing a service that is on call 24/7, explain that to your customers when you give them the bid. If you do good quality work you can charge a little more then the other guys and a good customer will be happy to pay a little more for quality. I know this has all been said before, but for me it is that simple. If you are not making money you simply aernt charging accordingly.
  4. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    LOL, maybe it's Bolens(Queen)driver trying to get his rocks off again. :nod: What a moron. :rolleyes:
  5. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    Than you are doing something wrong , plain and simple. if you are beating the crap out of your truck , then you are running it too hard , if you arent making a profit then your expenses are too high and you are charging too low. Are you going to get rich with a plow truck , no . Honestly if you arent making money after 5 years than it may be time to cut your losses .
  6. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    Is there really any money in any business?

    This sounds so familiar. I remember when I was thinking about buying a plow and I started asking other guys at work about it. All I heard was the same things, you'll wreck your truck, too much maintenance & repairs, dealing with people is a pain in the a$$, the hours are bad, and so on.

    Then there's the same thing if you talk about buying a house to rent out for rental income. On no! Don't do it!!! It's alot of work, people will wreck the place and it takes forever to evict them, people don't pay the rent, too much maintenance & repairs, people will be calling you up all the time bothering you with stupid complaints, and so on.

    I think you could take this further into discussions about alot of businesses, but guess what? Somebody has to do it, and alot of people are making money at it. If being a slumlord is such a nightmare, how come every apartment building is owned by someone? Every 2 or 3 family house, every duplex??? Every commercial property. In other words alot of the same people who hire us to remove snow from the places they own.

    Plowing, renting, whatever, business is business. It requires an initial investment, hard work and one hell of alot of aggravation especially in the early years. But life is full of risks and they are what set us apart from one another. Wanna sit and play it safe your whole life, then you'll avoid the aggravation and probably never make it big. That's why some businesses fail and others are enormous successes.

    Not everyone is cut out to be a business man. But you'll never know unless you try.
  7. dubeb31

    dubeb31 Member
    Messages: 68

    wow this guy has to be taken care of because that is the most rediculous statement i have ever heard... profits from this season...lets put it this way
    $XX,XXX :)
  8. scagster

    scagster Member
    from n.ohio
    Messages: 56

    i make way more profit doing snow and ice than i make doing lawn and landscape with the exeption of fert and pest. apps
  9. Mick

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

    You're getting more and more ridiculous all the time. Fuel expense is only roughly 5% of gross income. In other words, for every $5 of fuel should generate approximately $100 of income.

    "Pretty sure" has no place in business. You need to know what your expenses are to the dollar. You may not be able to determine profit/loss for each event (though you could). But you will be able to at the end of the season - for tax purposes if no other reason. Start with a simple Business Plan.

    If you've been in business for five years and still not making money, it's time to quit.
  10. JCKL

    JCKL Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    If you haven't made any money in this area with snow this year, then you're doing something very wrong.

    I know I have no complaints. :)
  11. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Theres plenty of money in it. No its not easy and no its not a get rich qucik type deal but you should be making money. You are definately doing something wrong if your are beating the crap out of your truck. If you are set up right and drive/plow the right way there is no reason to attribute much stress to plowing.
  12. LBailey

    LBailey Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Five years no profit? time to get out, you really do not know what you are doing! remember you have to be smarter than the plow!!

    3 2500 HD (Hinikers)
    1 550 Ford (leo)
    1 1ton 2000 chev (Boss V)
    8 case skidders
    1 966 loader
    1 190 New Holland loader
    3 220s
    2 crushers
    lots of small equipment
  13. jsaunders

    jsaunders Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    If your not making money after 5 yrs, TIME to start working at the golden arches- thats where the real $$$$$$ is.
  14. schnitz

    schnitz Member
    Messages: 98

    I might be able to see this guys point. Just hear me out, O.K. I started out doing lawn mowing, built a rock solid base to a business that I hoped I could grow into a full time career. I shovelled a ton of snow from sidewalks and around cars in parking lots (don't get me started on that :rolleyes: ) for a couple of years for a buddy who showed me the ropes. I spent $500 for my '84 Chevy with the plow. It needed (and still does need) some work to be a real good reliable truck. It broke in it's first time out. Overheated because I didn't take the full time I needed to make 100% sure it was capable of plowing my accounts. It's still down with more little things. I jumped in WAY too quick in finding 'a truck with a plow' and 'multiple accounts' to help pay for it. I wound up putting a Snowbear on my daily driven 2wd to try to salvage my business.

    I just wiped it out last Friday. Now I'm back to shovelling. And I'm getting out of plowing and lawncare. I basically ruined my chances at developing a healthy business by not properly planning ahead. I can see all that sooo clearly now. My customers were all pleased with the job that I did, don't get me wrong there, they all were done and done better than with my plow (mainly because I could go right to the rock edging and not do any damage to that or the lawns). I may re-try my luck later, but I will definately have better equipment before trying it again. Bottom line, IMO, is that if you do not plan ahead for unexpected expenses AND have a strong willingness to make your business a success, YOU WILL FAIL. And even worse that that, when you fail, YOU make those guys that have sacrificed to survive look bad. That is a lose-lose proposition no matter how you look at it.

    Just my $.02, I'll leave the bank now, Chet.
  15. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Yeah TomV420 - you're right it does bite. It's a total loosing endeavor - I shoulda got out years ago. Twenty five years of loosing money. I'm sooo stupid for thinking I could make it work.

    Hey, by the way, can I have you're accounts when you bail?

    I just don't learn. I might stick it out for another 25 and see if I can't get the whole mess to turn a profit.

    MIAWPUKEK Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    I know how you feel, there's not much business where I live too. And what little business there is, I'm losing to increasing competition! If you're losing money in truck repairs, ease up. Don't do more than your truck can handle. And keep your truck for plowing only, burn fuel in another vehicle, preferribly in a small car. And do a little research, be creative in finding customer's. Thats that I did this year, and wham!......40 client contract!

    Good Luck Bud! :drinkup:
  17. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    YEA!! I started with a cool million in the bank and after plowing this year I'm broke :jester: maybe if you wren't 420 all the time you would still have a plow, and all of your money would not be going up in smoke :eek:
    some times you have to separate the wheat from the shaft!!!
    It sounds like you should not be in the snow removel biz when i read all of you posts. IMO.
  18. SkykingHD

    SkykingHD Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    How to make money snow plowing

    1. Form 2 corporations
    2. Secure bids with corp #1, hire sub contractors with corp #2
    3. Don't pay sub contractors.
    4. Collect all moneys from contracts and live high on the hog!

    Bad side: Sub contractor will loose, sheds a bad light on the snow plowing industry. Not good for long term contracts.

    Good side: Area management company makes all the money for shuffling papers.

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2005
  19. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    If is from our failures that we learn to succeed.
    Back 20 some odd years ago when I started out in the service industry, I too made many, many, many mistakes. I have always looked at what went wrong and how I could either prevent or overcome the problem in the future, then I would consider what went right, and how I could capitalize on that. You obviously had some success in getting work and making customers happy in the past. You obviously posses some business sense as well. I applaud your efforts to try to keep things going when the truck failed you. Dont give up, regroup and look at things that went right and what went wrong, find the problems you need to address and plan better for your next attempt. You've found some of your problems, poor planning, insufficient equipment, etcetera, thats more than half the battle man. Many people can't even get that part right, they bang their head against the wall making the same mistakes and expecting better results than in the past.
    Giving up simply insures failure, dont give up.
    Just my 2 cents
  20. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    so you make $100 for every 2.5 gallons of gas. That, is the upshot. For residentials, you should be able to do 4-5 driveways including travel for that 2.5 gallons of gas. :)