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plowing across the country during the snow strom

Discussion in 'Networking' started by davidmaupin, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. davidmaupin

    davidmaupin Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I'm looking for some input on following the snow storm across the country working as private contractor. How do i get contacts and collect on payment. thanks for all info.
  2. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    That will never work. But go ahead and try and let us know how much gas you spend hauling around a plow across the country. It will give us all a good laugh.
  3. davidmaupin

    davidmaupin Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Whats a good laugh is looking at your photo posted. Every site always has a A@# on it. I guess your it!!
  4. thesnowman269

    thesnowman269 Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    Some people need to calm down when they think another user has posted something that is worthless, You dont run plowsite, let people post what they will and dont criticize them for dreaming or having an interesting idea just because YOU dont think it will work. The world does not revolve around you. Also I am sure that if he is plowing with a pick up he can take the plow off and put it in the back of his truck saving SOME gas. On another note I have no use full insight to give you but I hate when people think they own plowsite and can be an a$$hole to everyone they think is stupid, To me thats just not very proffesional, Imagine if your customers saw you on here putting peoples ideas and what not down like that..
  5. davidmaupin

    davidmaupin Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Just a guy trying to make some money like everybody else. Thinking outside the box... Thanks for your info. Good luck this season.
  6. thesnowman269

    thesnowman269 Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    My thoughts exactly, Good luck yourself
  7. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    Thanks, I am perfectly fine telling you that what you are planning on doing is completely a waste of your time and money. By the time you get to the next state the storm will have been gone for two days and you will not be able to pick up any work most likely and if you do it wont be worth your time. Now if you want to drive to one state or area and get with a company and stay there then you can make some money, but traveling from state to state is a bad idea. First you will will be wasting a lot of money on gas or diesel, second long distant highway travel with a plow is not good for your truck, third if you are trying to keep up with the storm and make as much money as you can you are going to be running on no sleep. It is hard enough to be in one area and work a 3 or 4 day storm without running yourself thin. People need sleep and when you keep traveling and moving state to state you are not going to get any and that is just plain stupid and unsafe. How much money do you think a company is going to pay a guy per hour that they have no idea about his work ethic and is just here for a day or two. Not that much especially with the way the economy is now. And what if you move to one area and the storm does not produce what it was supposed. That happens alot across the counrty. Companies are not going to need any subs and you just wasted more time and money traveling there. What if you blow a tranny or get in an accident and you are 1000 miles from where you started. A lot can go wrong on a plow truck and that is just more money out the door. I think I have given you a lot of reasons why your trip would not work, but like I said go ahead and let us know how it ends up. I have no problem being called an A55 or having you make fun of my picture on my post. I know that the girl in the picture loves me and we have a wonderful life together. And if you do ever decide to try your cross country snow plowing expedition, give me a call and stop by Cleveland. Say what you just said to me in person. I may be that guy on here that no one likes and speaks his mind, or I may be the guy that has some reason to what I am saying and know what it takes to make money in this business. Good Luck..xysport
  8. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Most places already have contractors lined up and aren't looking for out-of-towners to swoop in and save the day.

    Also, think about this for a second...let's say you line up 10 hours of work in Chicago and the storm moves east dropping heavy snow all the way to the coast. How many places do you think you could travel to and still find work? Everyone would be done plowing by the time you finish up your jobs in Chicago.
  9. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    I think you would have better luck getting a motorhome, loading up with a bunch of "eager to work" people;), then give em all shovels....you would be surprised how much work you can get done with 20 or so shovels going at once all in perfect harmony. :waving:
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I think he's thinking along the lines of a Hurricane were you can stay in one spot and then go some where else. The bad thing is if some how you were to beat the storm to the next town is how well could you plow a lot you never saw? Also he's right on collecting money, if someone has accounts and no to plow for him he's a hack.
  11. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    It's an interesting idea, I just don't think it's practical. You gotta be in the right place at the right time. You don't know the area, let alone the lots. As mentioned breakdowns take on a whole new paintjob when you are "from away" and need to get going ASAP.
  12. davidmaupin

    davidmaupin Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    thanks for everybodys input. I was just throwing ideas around. good luck everybody.
  13. Cross Cut

    Cross Cut Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I would spend more time knocking on doors locally to build up your business. Now thinking outside the box.... why not a 'for hire/ not for hire" light like the cabbies have.
  14. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    This idea has been brought up and discussed periodically over the past nine years. So far, nobody has come up with any logistics that would work. The best that's happened is members going to a specific area to help out another member (one guy from Maine (not me) went to Colorado).
  15. fireball

    fireball PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 545

    When you get to Fargo, ND you can do my drive, $10.00 and I'll pay you in cash as soon as you finish the walks too. The kid across the street is a lowballer.
  16. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    I am probably the lone supporter of this.

    I have done it in the past. 93/94 and 94/95 seasons I did exactly this.

    It takes a lot of planning ahead. You have to be able to know exactly what to take in your truck to sustain yourself for at least a month at a time if not 2 months.

    You have to be very fit health wise and mechanically able to do much more then just repair the truck/plow. You have to almost think as a engineer for every move or task you approach.

    You have to be willing to be that "lowballer". A good smooth salesman approach is also required. You have to be willing to plow the 24 hr lone gas station for a tank of gas. Driveways for $5 and $10 no matter size and depth.

    You have to be experienced enough to do a fast job yet good enough that if someone close by notices you they become a prospect as well. You also have to be willing to do more then just plow. Shovel walks. Pull cars out of ditch's. Give someone a ride from a disabled car to their destination.

    One time in a bad storm there was probably 20 trucks parked and or stuck on a off ramp. For $200 I plowed a lane next to all the drivers doors and went and got everyone of them coffee. Like I mentioned above you have to be willing to do anything it takes to make the green.

    Back then CB radios were still more popular then cell phones and I made many contacts or made a opportunity just by listening. Now with cell phones I don't see this working as well. Also back then gas was just at $1 a gallon. This will be your #1 cost.

    If you have a source military MRE's are the way to go. You can choose what you like and cook hot food at anytime anyplace. Socks/underwear/TP. Take plenty of all 3.
    Stay ahead of the storm and never commit to a lot that would take more then a hour. Quick cash is what you are after and you have a better chance of getting cash if it is a lower amount.

    I did it 2 seasons like I said and made money each year doing it. At the time I will say I was a concrete sawman working road construction and was in extremely good shape and health. I could go 20 hours on 2 hours sleep. I have been involved in some sort of mechanically challenged jobs almost my entire life and have the proper tools and knowledge to do quick repairs. I also had a brand new Dodge 3/4 ton with a brand new Western plow so trouble was limited to a flat tire only.

    The last year while pulling a car out of a ditch I came extremely close to being killed on the highway. Close enough to see the flash of light and thoughts of my children. At that point I realized while it was fun (to me) to be doing what I was it just was not worth it.

    In todays world I would not suggest doing it just for the liability issues involved and I am older and supposedly wiser. If I was still young enough tho. I would probably be out there now.

    A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. If I had not done it then I would be sitting here now wishing I woulda. :drinkup:

    DERBYDON Member
    Messages: 39

    I've thought about it every winter. Down here in Louisville we have some kind of force field around the city and snow veers north and south...everywhere but here. (Example: How the hell does Bowling Green Ky, Nashville TN, and even Raleigh NC get 6 + inches and we had a dinky 2-3 here yesterday).

    IMO the best chance of success in chasing storms is to load up one or two skid steers and go to cities that are hit with snowfall amounts higher than truck plows can easily handle.


    1. Able to get on station faster pulling trailer than driving plow.
    2. Much easier on truck and equipment.
    3. Skid steers bring higher $/hr than plow truck.
    4. Skid steers often in high demand during major storms. I'm sure there's more than one or two plow contractors per major city with contracts for large lots that don't own a skid steer.

    Still the biggest negative in going on the road for snow work is getting paid. If I ever do it again I'll make sure and carry plenty of blank contracts and a check or credit card verification device. Insist on meeting who you're working for face to face, get a signed contract and initial payment at a minimum, and keep your fingers crossed about getting the balance due.

    I speak from experience on this..$4,500.00 worth of experience last time out. (Thanks Indy, I'll always feel a deep penetrating pain in my rear every time I drive through).
  18. jkiser96

    jkiser96 Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    Sorry that you got the shaft but like you said, you live & learn. I had calls from Bowling Green DPW & they wanted us to come help but wouldn't guarantee anything so I just stayed home & watched all the news. I have an in down there but like I said no guarantee, no travel. I can stay home & for sure not lose any $$$$.

    DERBYDON Member
    Messages: 39

    Like you say, live and learn...or as my grandfather used to say "Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice, shame on me"

    Lesson learned.....it was just such an expensive tuition!
  20. kashman

    kashman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    give me a buzzz if he calls:D