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Max. size lot for one 3/4 ton in Northeast

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DeereGuy, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Last year was my 1st year plowing and it didn't really snow. My question for those with experience plowing during a high snowfall year is how big of a Comm. would you wisely commit to only having one vehicle (04 2500 w/ X-Blade). The lot I'm going to bid on is approx. 1+ acre of asphalt with a gravel section 50x 100 in the back. It is separated by at least 4 continuous parking barriers and has barriers on all sides except the gravel side. Not an ideal lot by any means but also not busy until afternoon on the weekdays. Chaotic on the weekends. It will also need salt and/or sand which I would have to sub out (or purchase a spreader).

    Is this to large of an area for one truck if we get hammered. I also have a smaller comm. 25000 sq ft and a few residentials. This lot would be better off with a pay-loader to lift the snow over the barriers. However, it is isolated and I don't think that they will find anyone with large equip. willing to go the distance. I'm guessing it will take me up to 2 hrs to push everything to the back and negotiate the barriers. It also has a two lane entrance approx. 400ft long but thats the least of my worries.

    What do you think. I'm thinking no problem until we get 24" dumped all at once.
  2. I wouldn't worry too much about getting it done in a timely manner. That is, unless of course you do get 24" in one shot. :yow!: I plow with several people but we each have our own contracts. My biggest lot is a 4 acre church lot with curbs all over the place. Once last year I needed to call someone else to help me out.

    On a second note; When we are working on a lot that has traffic going through it, we block off some areas. In other words, we might close off one entrance and build a winrow across half of the lot. Our clients agree to this because they realize that we can get done much quicker and safer. :salute:
  3. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343


    I think it all depends on how many accounts you have and the size of those accounts. In the 24" storms (not many here in NJ over 8"), I like to start one account when snowfall is about 2" accumulated. I don't do a finishing job. In other words, I just clear the major thoroughfares, long parking strips, and the exit/entrance to the main road/s. Then, I move to the next account and do the same thing. And so on and so on. I wait till after the storm is over before cleaning out corners, along curbs, straightening piles, etc. I believe (works for me) you can do the larger lots this way with your size truck. FYI, I have a chevy 2500HD with 7.5 western.

    Now, with that said, I should tell you that my contracts have clauses for storms over 12". The clause is that I go from a set price to an hourly rate, per truck (per person if sidewalks are needed). This helps me in two ways. First, if I'm there 4 times within 10 hours I'm getting paid for the times I rack up at the place. Second, I make my hourly wage high enough so that I may hire subs to do the work for really bad storms (never had to yet).

    So, bottom line, I don't think a +1 acre lot is too large for your truck. Now, if you had 3 or more of these size accounts, then yes, maybe. I would just make sure you do it in increments, not all at once or you, your customer, and your truck will be paying for it. Not that I'm Mr. knowitall or anything but just an opinion based on my limited experiences.
  4. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Thanks for your replys,

    To clarify; the barriers are large posts sticking out of the ground 3 ft high every 6 ft.. Can't go though or over them when stacking so once the 1st large storm banks freeze, most of new storm snow will be going to the back lot.(looking into turkey-wings but not advert. for Fisher)

    As far as confirming the main issue about lot size, I think I can handle it but my contract will have to include some additional clauses with regards to extending times when amts are over 12"

    I hadn't thought about how to plow at busy times. Blocking off sections makes a lot of sense but more importantly to relay this concern when I meet with the owner this week.

    As far as charging per hour after 12". That sounds like a great way to do it but I don't think this Accountant will go for it. If he did, it would probably be more like 18". Which would be better than nothing. The sweet thing about the hourly rate is that there would not be any disagreement on inches plowed. And since I believe snow drift is a big problem on this lot that could ease my potential problems with billing.

    Do you guys sub out sanding or salt and how does this contract usually work. I assume that I contract with a guy who has a spreader and contract for a price per application of whatever he spreads and call him as needed. I then contract with property owner to cover the whole project even though I have little control over the sander. This sounds like trouble to me but then I like to be in control.