Welcome to the site and welcome your worst nightmare and your wildest dream.
In all seriousness this is the place for any information that you could need about plowing. A very good cross - section of the populace.
i am in west omaha mainly but if need for the right money i can plow anywere i will be using a 8ft blade and a reciever sander so i figured small bussiness would be the best if we have a heavy snow i could rent a bobcat
Karl, West Omaha? I'm jealous. High end residential and small business (for those who don't know). There should be a Chamber of Commerce that puts out a newsletter you could put an ad in. Maybe some contracting for the city?
Most people start out by low-balling or under - bidding the hard working guy down the street, if that dont work, try knockin on some doors , but then again it s back to stealing work again.. see some people can afford to have a landscraper and that would be stealing, so try asking someone who plows a large lot , see this way you can bounce off of a piles of snow and keep safe away from the public .. hopefully, good luck!
You seem to be on the right track by asking questions first. Sometimes it works well if you know someone in the business to sub for another contractor in your first year or two. You can get started in the right direction by learning from an experienced plow contractor. Either way the majority of the people are here to help and respond in good faith to your questions.
While torque has a point or two in that garbled message of his, dont feel like you are stealing work. However be warned that there are customers that will price out work every year no matter what. they will always say that we not happy with the guy we had last year, even tho the service was fine. Dont get the metality that you have to bid low to get work. It simply isnt true, if more of the plowing contractors kept reasonable margins, we as a whole would get more respect. that is what SIMA has been trying to do, and this forum as well has helped a great deal.
Look in the classifieds come about August or Sept, many school systems put their bids out about then. Also every 3-5 years most contracts come up for renewal, so ask around. If all else fails, sub for a larger company.
If you want to knock on doors and or low ball work, thats ok to, we live in a free enterprise economy, but low balling is a fast route to failure.
Keep your truck in good working order, and have back ups available.
If you've never plowed before you might be better off with business that a local add would bring in. I ran one, it brought in mostly local compaines no national corporations which can be hard to deal with. Just local business owners happy with a simple contract. Don't work w/o a contract. There's a lot of info here about why not to and what to put in one. The National corporations and bigger companies usualy pay more. The local customers will give you good references which the bigger companies will be looking for. Just get your foot in the door, do a good job and make the client happy, keep very good records and be organized. Most importantly listen to what the guys with all the posts(senior members) have to say, even though they almost had me mixing magic salt in 5 gallon pails once. They realy know their stuff!!
Welcome aboard Karl,you can learn alot about some of the do's and don'ts of the snow business here.I gotta agree with Dino (Plowking35).Theres money in snow that is all i do year round and we are just 75 miles north of NYC.
Again I am looking for ways to help keep us going or at least cash flow year round. We have won several smaller mowing contracts for commercial mowing that we would have normaly not bid on due to the fact they need snow removel also. Snow here is not much maybe 2-3 snows of 5 inches or less, looking at only probably 2-3 pushes per year and maybe 2-3 saltings per year. The lots are smaller but for the most part wide open..such as banks and small retail stores. Would your reccomendations for my area, southern Indiana with the above pushes and saltings, Best to go with a seasonal contract? Also how many of you operate with one truck and truck reccomendtions for the above snow amounts. Thanks for your help to the new kid when it comes to snow! Sorry guys this was supposed to me a new thread!