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Maybe an oldie, but.........

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Switchless, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. Switchless

    Switchless Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 74

    I'm still rather new to plowing, but my 20 year plowing friend and I disagree on double plowing or one time plowing residential accounts.
    He keeps insisting on bigger storms, that can still be easily down in one shot, that doing them twice is the ticket. Of course, price wise you still should make your money.
    I just can't see it. First, you must drive the whole route twice. And second, you usually do only about 20% more pushing, which save 80% on the trans, running gear, tires and gas.
    Most of us are all runing 250's or bigger, so I sure don't see any particular extra strain put on the trans. In fact, towing my 18 ft. enclosed trailer taxes the trans a ton more than plowing.
    Anyone else having a different opinion.
  2. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    There is no one answer, snow fall amounts, time of day, what day, snow type wet or dry and your contract.
    If you can wait then I would but if it's snowing for 24hrs you need to make a pass or 2 to keep things open
  3. Switchless

    Switchless Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 74

    Yup, I and "can see", doing a first 10" will let some people get to work with their SUV's, while waiting for 16" to fall will keep everyone home.
  4. Jpocket

    Jpocket Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    Multiple Pushes is where I make my Money. I'd rather do 3 Pushes 4inches each for $120, than One big one for $275
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    I do everything on contract, so every 4" it's kept open as long as I can get to it..............
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    How do you open a road to the 24 foot curb to curb in 16" of snow in one push with only 20% more plowing? can your truck push 16" of snow up a 30 deg. incline easily? How do you deal with entrances that the state has been pushing all the roadway snow in to on their way by? Are your customers willing to wait for you to plow after the snow has stopped before they open their businesses.
  7. Switchless

    Switchless Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 74

    I may have forgot to say this is residential plowing, not commerical lots. As soon as it's commerical, it's a whole different ballgame.
    Also, 20% is an approximate time. Even at 50% increase, if you don't have drive the route twice and save 50% of the amount of back and forth on the trans., but still charge for 90% of doing the driveway twice, it seems more money in the bank.
    And, isn't anything over 13" of snow at one time basically "cart blanche" even for commercial work, or is it still straight time???
  8. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    The more snow you're pushing at a time the more work exponentially your truck does. Just because you can haul a 10K lbs trailer doesn't mean you can or should be trying to plow 10 inches of snow in a single pass.

    An f150 will haul a ton, but done regularly it will destroy the truck because the proper sized truck for the work is not being used. Does that mean use a 1 ton and plow a foot of snow? No- it means plow intelligently so as not to abuse your equipment. You're saving drive time between customers but putting MORE wear on the transmission with the higher load from the heavier snow.

    If you're plowing contracts are based on snowfall you need to factor in the number of passes needed for the amount levels (8 inches would be 2 passes for example) if you're worried about not making enough money that way go on a per pass system. Each pass incurs a charge. Realistically, it's the same amount of work on the truck and on the driver to clear the 2nd 4 inches of snow as it was on the first 4 inches, so charge accordingly.

    Your first post has the root of the issue-
    so, tell me again why you're not listining to him?

    I plow per pass, quote per pass, and plow between 3 and 5 inches depending on the storm. As long as my customers can get out when they need to (providing it's not a blizzard and everything's closed) there's no problem.
  9. Switchless

    Switchless Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 74

    Funny, but he's the guy that's gone through a trans, while the other guys who one time, haven't. Go figure (G).
    FWIW, maybe it's the snow I'm plowing, but my f250 SD has absolutely no problems pushing 14" of standard snow.
    Of course, I've seen 4" of snow that can be a tough go, but I plow slow and still my truck will push/coast 12" of snow many feet, with my foot off the gas, before it finally stops.
    I guess, I relate to the effort of towing my 18 ft. enclosed trailer to the easy of plowing 10" to 14" of snow.
    Again, I can totally agree that 5 or 6 inches of the right type of snow can be a killer, but it seems that you usually don't get 20" of snow that is also very heavy.... Kinda just doesn't go together.
    I remember the blizzard of 96' and we were snowblowing 5feet of snow, no problem. The problem was, you go 2 feet, back the blower out, and let the other 3 feet fall on the ground and then do it all again (G).
    My point is, I've had plenty of snow where 3 inches was harder than 2 feet of snow, and naturally, you need to use your head.
  10. KLC99

    KLC99 Senior Member
    Messages: 160

    Good to see you again Doc. I hope you made a killing last sunday.

    I wound up plowing circles at a large commercial lot for the majority of that storm(we got 12+in) and, as a result, hit most of my drives after all the snow had fallen. While my cummins had no trouble moving the snow I can say that I really prefer hitting drives after the first 2-3 inches or so because it sets up the boundaries and saves turf. Even with markers it's difficult to get the boundaries perfect when there is no visible edge.
  11. Switchless

    Switchless Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 74

    NOW that I can't agrue with!!! Good point.
    With the 16 to 20 inches we had it was hard to find the edges.
    NOW....... that you mention that, I can now see it's worth buying cheap markers (for my regulars) to make things easier.
  12. Switchless

    Switchless Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 74

    Since I'm banned on LS (secrectly), Sean seems to have let me post here, knowing I shouldn't butt heads with BG, since he doesn't plow.