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Looking for ideas...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by kcolagio, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. kcolagio

    kcolagio Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I'm looking at doing plowing this winter for some extra money. As such, I'm not looking to invest a lot, not looking for big jobs, and basically targeting the driveway market.

    Since I'm completely new to this, I'm looking for some ideas on what type of equipment I should look toward (I'm thinking small and cheap...), what to watch out for, input on whether to get seasonal contracts or per-visit agreements, and how much to charge.

    I'm located in the Rochester, New York area. Snow fall averages about 92 inches per year (as per a website I found).

    Also, how many residential customers can I reasonably expect to be able to handle?

    Thanks in advance for any and all input.

    Kevin, newbie at plowing.
  2. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Welcome to plowsite!! :waving:
    First question is do you have a full time job? The reason I ask is if you do, can you get away from work to plow? As far as equipment, the 2 basic things you need is a truck and plow. Do you people wanting snow removal? Do you have an hourly rate in mind? As far as how many accounts you can handle, the depends how big and close they are to each other. Some people have alot and some only have a few.
  3. kcolagio

    kcolagio Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I do have a full time job, which is from 3pm to 12am...so I planned on being able to plow in the mornings, and then for my regular clients, visit them before going into work (so the drives would be clear at 5:30 to 6 when they get home).

    A truck and a plow are needed? Really? :jester: Really, I knew that, but I have no idea on what size I should start with (planning on staying small for now...).

    I think most people want plowing....what I see going on is shoving it out of the driveway and across the street. If they want removal, well, I guess I could dump it on some of my 6 acres.... ;)

    For the rates, I have no idea. I've seen mention of rates by inch, hourly, etc... What I've heard of as common is "spontanious" customers for $20 each....but I'd rather have more consistent clients lined up (and maybe a few of the one-offs throughout the day).

    I'm going to try and keep the accounts close together by simply not advertising heavily elsewhere. Just go door to door, talking to the home owner or leaving a flyer with information, a phone number, and possibly an estimate for the drive. That would limit the distance I'd need to travel and (hopefully) get all the customers in one area.


  4. bterry

    bterry Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    Insurance. Both commercial vehicle and General Liability. And because you live in New York, first - good luck finding it, and second - good luck affording it. Plan on spending at least $2000 for insurance.

    I don't mean to sound arrogant, I'm just stating the blunt facts.

    Alternatively, you MAY be able to get by without, if you do strictly subcontract work. Be prepared however to discuss this with the contractor you'll be plowing with. This, btw, is a very good way to start out, and comes highly recommended by the majority at this site.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2004
  5. eng50

    eng50 Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    As far as insurance, contact an agent that carries Erie Insurance Group, they are quite reasonable..I have full liability for snow removal operations and Med pay with a 2 million cap for less than $300 year! I cover 2 trucks, tractor/loader and blowers. Hope this helps..