Knocking the flybynighter out of the game

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by FifthAve, Jan 29, 2001.

  1. FifthAve

    FifthAve Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    How much do you think a driver with his own plow should be payed per hour? How about if they use your rig? What do you think? $50? less-more? How much on average do you think you profit per hour pushing snow? Will the market bear more next winter-can we raise our prices- also what can we do as full time plowe contracters to take the weekend warior out of the game? Legislation,licencing?what di you think/
  2. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Fifth Ave.,
    Why do you want to eliminate the "weekend warrior"? You're both out there for the same reason: Money. Yes, you might enjoy it more than the weekend warrior, but that doesn't matter to anybody does it? is there something i'm missing or why do you see it this way???
  3. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    There is no way to totally get the the guys with a truck and plow looking for some quick cash out of the "game". We live in a free enterprise system, so they are allowed to play. The way around them is to change the rules of the game. You do that by service to the customer. You offer the customer services that the other guys just cant. One thing we do, is gaurantee that during heavy snow events we will dedicate a truck just for them. We have a network of subs that help out when the snow comes heavy. We have had to use this system 2x this year.
    Another way to distance yourself from the other guys, is to join SIMA (snow and ice management association)
    They are the only trade association for professional plowers and manufacturers.
  4. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    We also do sealcoating in the summer.Talk about fly by nighters in that business..
    I feel being in the snow business,you should already have your route by October and if Mrs.Jones waites to the last minute when it snows to call"Maybe she will wait to the last minute to pay"
    Just my 2 cents...
  5. Plowboy

    Plowboy Member
    Messages: 34

    I would like a fair, un biased defintiion of a FBN, I fear I may be one. I farm full time, and use plowing snow for supplemental income to offset the expense of having 3/4 and 1 ton trucks. I carry full commercial insurance, sign contracts with customers, and have people who can cover my lots if I am down with repairs. I don't ever have a route laid out untill the snow is over, because I always seem to get non commital customers who don't call untill it is already piling up. they pay dearly for this, because I operate on a first call first plowed basis.

    Any thoughts, I will be joining sima soon, but what am I.

  6. GeoffD

    GeoffD Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I don't think your a FBN.

    I am a utility contractor, we do a lot of new construction and underground work. We plow becase sometimes we are slow in the winter, and it adds to our income. We need 4X4 trucks so that was kinda how my dad got into to plowing, 50 plus years ago. We just plow a lot more now. Plowing keeps the equipment at work all year, and keeps the guys busy all year long.

    We have the proper insurance and equipment to do the jobs.

    I don't think very many people plow for their entire income. I do know John Parker or NY Snowpro's plows for all his income, and John Parker might be a close second. I think the rest of the guys on this forum, plow in the winter and do something else the rest of the year.

    So I don't think you are a FBN.

  7. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 702

    FBN guys have no insurance,only take cash,plan more than a couple weekend sking or snowmobiling,etc trips that require someone else to try and fill in,rarely have more than one truck,attempt to get accounts midseason,usually never keep the same accounts more than one year,over charge like crazy and for that do a really poor job, and are not looking to improve.
  8. MJ

    MJ Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Thanks, all. I'm glad to finally have a definition of a Fly by Night. I was getting pretty tired of having to defend myself if only to myself.

  9. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Good Morning Gentleman,

    Just because you work somewhere else and do this part time doesn't classify you as FBN.There is a lot of money to be made from the poor soles that wait till the last minute!
    The way I took the question was how we could stop the FBN's from taking our work!As far as I am concerned they aren't taking my work.You will always have people who wait till the last minute to have their driveway or lot plowed(Human Nature).That's when you can make alot of money.Lets face the facts,we are not in this for the practice,we are here for the money!
    As far as NYSP and John Parker they only make money in the winter.Gary and I have other companies that do summer work.Hope someday we can just do snow.

    well just my 2 cents Good Luck to all...
  10. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    Mike nelson,
    you hit the nail square on the head... that's just the point i was driving at. there's no reason why the FBNs can't go out and make money off of foolish people who don't think ahead about snow. Consider the FBN a helper to you because they keep all the wait-till-the-last-minute people from calling you and bugging you while you're doing all the places you had contracts for. Why don't you all see it this way? I'm not a FBN, at age 13, but what's wrong with FBNs? they don't steal your business really...
    my $0.02 worth...if it's worth anything....
  11. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Bush Hog Boy
    Since I run our dispatch office.We get a ton of calls from the Last Minute People,thought about putting another truck on just for them.Voted against it,I just don't need the headaches!!!
    Maybe we could put together a referal list and sub it out.Always looking for a way to make money.
  12. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    FBN's can actually be helpful.We have picked up several contracts that were attempted by FBN's and they did a disastrous job.This open's the door for you to provide top notch services,and charge a fair price for them,as the customer has first hand knowledge on what happens when they contract services based on price alone.The FBN's are also educating the customer to plan ahead for snow removal services.

    Mike - as far as the last minute people,we have a system where they are put on a list,and the drivers have the option of doing them after their routes,for extra cash (we split it with the drivers).Usually we gain a few extra customers,and keep the drivers happy,as they can make some extra money if they want.It's not uncommon for a driver to make a couple of hundred dollars for a few extra hours of work,and it's extra cash for us too.This was also how we got our start,as one of the driveways we did,belonged to a large property management owner,and he has been giving us work ever since.He manages 70% of the properties we are contracted to do.He now gets his driveway done no charge.
  13. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    At the risk of offending, I believe the only ones threatened by FBN'ers are other FBN'ers.
  14. Deere John

    Deere John Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    We call the FBNs "Last Year's" because, almost invariably, any new conversation with a potential customer includes the phrase "The guy we had last year ...."

    A professional service provider must be balanced out by a "professional customer". Those who are not, on either side of the equation, drop out. I could express a formula of sorts for this, but I believe everyone here is on board with the concept.
  15. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    The lawn guy:
  16. Waterchikn

    Waterchikn Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    It seems that everyone kinda agrees what the definition is for a FBN. I know I am one, the thing is, I recieved the plow free, had the truck, so now I do my neighbors drives and a couple of people that I know in my area. They are happy and I get "their" neighbors. Its like a chain reaction, for the most part, I just plow cause its cool, I am sure everyone can relate. ALSO, i was driving by a lot and I noticed a gentleman trying to fix something on his plow truck, he was having trans problems, so I asked him if he wanted me to finish the lot. (It was about half finished)
    I finished it for him, outa kindness, and didn't ask for any money. Later that week, he paid me what he gets for the whole lot and took my number, now every once in a while, he will call me when it snows hard. I just like doing it. He didn't have to pay me!

    PLOW ON!

    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    excellent outlook on life waterchickn!!