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MA State vs. Commercial ?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by snownj, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. snownj

    snownj Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Looking to go one way or the other next year, MassHighway or Commercial; hoping to hear pros/cons for each situation.
  2. Dirt_Werx

    Dirt_Werx Senior Member
    from MASS
    Messages: 129

    what about plowing under your local township? we send our trucks out on a route for them, good pay and hours, cant really beat that.
  3. vipereng2

    vipereng2 Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    what are u running for a truck .
    i got a 05 chevyhd and was thinking about the same thing
  4. makplow

    makplow Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    I sub contract plow for the town I live in. I run a 03 f 250 super duty with a 8 ft. curtis. I am enjoying it. I back out my driveway , and my route starts I do 16 tricky streets my street being one of them. I can run into my house, use the bathroom, grab a coffee, etc. Can`t beat it !!! The big storm back in December I plowed for !5 hrs. The other day I plowed for 12 hrs. No worries, sure pay, no chasing money!!! Just wait for the highway super. to call, put in the time, turn in your invoice, and 30 days latter I get my money. Preaty basic., Works great for me. Good luck on what ever you decide. Mak. :nod: :D
  5. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    State you get paid later in the year, you need a big enough truck that they can use (if they get alot of guys submitting with 1 ton pickups versus 6 wheelers....) Depending on what you drive depends on where your route may be. Pickup may be on a route that starts 10 miles away where a larger truck might be closer- or might not. Depends on what they need. Pay is pretty good- sander is almost a definate in a big truck- get paid extra to salt in a bad storm.

    Smaller trucks usually (3500's dual or single) are doing roads like Route 20, 117, 62, rt2 at the biggest or clearing on/off ramps. They usually have bigger trucks for highways. Your locality or neighboring locality may be a good option- keeping you closer to home for close to the same pay usually sooner in the year. State has been known to go as late as June for the preceeding season.

    Commercial, you set your customers and route, you set your income rate. You can get more $$ in a single season if you have the customers, equipment and drivers.

    The state also requires GPS tracking devices- so if you're on of those anti-establishment guys forget it. It really depends on how much of a bank roll you have to operate on (do you have the capitol to wait on payment for a few months from the City or State) and do you want to be calling the shots or driving a route.
  6. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    Like JUSTME said there are a lot of drawbacks to the state. If you don't want commercial look into working for a local town and or city. They usually pay pretty good(not quite as good as the state) and usually pay every two weeks. The longest you ever have to wait is 4 weeks to get paid.
  7. vipereng2

    vipereng2 Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    anybody in ct do this
  8. wirenut

    wirenut Senior Member
    from nh
    Messages: 529

    you wont be stopping too long with the gps you have to carry
  9. Chris-R

    Chris-R Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    There are some drawbacks when working for the state. Take a look at the www.masnowfighters.com and you will see what I mean. Town work is better as long as the town pays good. Also, some towns have a 4 hour minimum so if you're called out to plow, you get 4 hours even if you only plowed for an hour. On the other hand, commercial work usually pays more but you don't have a 4 hour minimum. I think both have their ups and downs. It also depends upon how you get along with the boss. A friend of mine plows for a small city and he says the superintendent is great. He wants you to take your time and plow right. On the other hand, I know a commercial outfit where the boss is always pushing the drivers to get things done fast. The faster his guys finish, the more money he saves as all his accounts pay by the season.
  10. Dirt_Werx

    Dirt_Werx Senior Member
    from MASS
    Messages: 129

    we send 2 trucks out to plow for the town of sharon, we do a residentail route consiting or approximatly 12 side streets, the pay is good, and the town covers damages to smashed mail boxes, dug up lawns, broken curbing ect. we get checks within 2 weeks, the super is a real nice guy and they encourage taking our time and doing it right the first time, scince its a pain to get sent back out again. like someone said above, we have a 4 hour minimum even if were only out for an hour or 2. all in all it works great for us, we use big enough trucks that they dont take to much of a beating and get great hours, good luck and id be happy to help with any questions.
  11. bullit340

    bullit340 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 87

    We have been plowing for our town for 8 yrs now. I usally recieve 2 calls, when to go out and when to call it quits. Turn in our time sheets and 2 weeks later there is a check in my mailbox. I think if you have a good route, its a good option. I have found that there is less wear and tear on the equip. We do both and with our commercial lots we have to sand them and there are a lot more repairs necessarry to that truck due to the salt issue, with the city trucks we dont have that issue to deal with. Most of the time we just run the dual wheel dumps in 2wd. I think there is more plowing time with the city but most of it is just scraping >1 inch at a time whereas pulling into a parking lot and looking at 4" over the whole lot. I have debated this for a long time and we are still doing both. I like the reliability of the city and knowing that my route is not going out to bid each season. The money may be a little less on city when its all said and done, but I often wonder if the liability and headache of commercial is worth the extra $. One advantage of the commercial aspect is if there is a 2" storm lots will still need to be plowed but city or state may just salt, then unless you run a sander for the state, you dont get called. I could debate this on and on I debate whether we should do one or the other but as of now we still do both. I guess we keep our city contracts for the stability aspect. Hope this helps