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Plowing Driveways, Unprofessional?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by lawnlandscape, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Alright guys. This post may make some people a little cranky... lol, but all the posts I see on this site about driveways is talking about how people plow them.

    I have been in the landscape business for many years, but just started doing snow removal 3 years ago.

    I do have some nice commercial accounts, but for driveways I have NEVER used a plow. Ok, well I have once or twice, then thought it looked like crap and did not have the professional look I was looking for

    I did not get complaints about the few times I plowed the driveways, it was more that I was just not happy with the way it looked over snowblowing.

    So thats how I do them. I have about 12 resi accounts, and 100% of the time they are done with snowblowers. I think they look a lot more perfessional looking when done this way. We do the sidewalks, front step, everything! This this also adds value to our service.

    My largest house has 2 driveways, each about 120' long. They are curved so it would be easier to plow a home like this then most, but I still have my resi crew snow blow it.

    Does anyone else agree with me, that it just is a lot more professional to be snowblowing driveways, then to be attempting to backdrag them.

    Or am I on my own on this one?
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    you're on your own. i dont get out of my truck when plowing.
  3. jimspro

    jimspro Senior Member
    Messages: 200

    i have been plowing drives for over 20 yrs, and i am pretty anal on how it looks, if you have the right equipment, you can do drives and they will look great, and take a lot less time, therefore you can do more in the same time and make more $$$ isnt that whats its all about?
  4. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    Not sure if you're on your own, but I'M not with you! ;)
  5. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    umm.. yes.. we all work to make money, but its also about keeping my customers happy and retaining customers, striving for the highest quality, and getting the word of mouth going to get new ones.

    And I have yet to see a plowed driveway to look as nice as a blown driveway, done by anyone.

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    i plow like 60 something driveways and have never had someone complaine about how it looks. and i have only lost maybe 3 customers in the last 5 years. one died, one moved, and one was a dead beat,
  7. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Yes, ok, but based on your previous post, about how you dont even get out of your truck, then who does the walks? 98% of my customers and elderly, and will not be getting out to do the walks, if they are not able to do the driveways
  8. cubicinches

    cubicinches PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,415

    We do 700+ drives and don't get out of the truck. Not shoveling doesn't seem to be affecting our business.

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    the homeowners do the walks, and whatever i cant get with the truck, i get as close the the garage as i can, and move on to the next place, if i got out to shovel every driveway i plow it would take me 10 hours to do em all.

    i tell them straight up i dont shovel,i dont snow blow, ill do my very best for you, and thats all i can do. time is money in plowing.
  10. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I am extremely surprised, as I thought I would be, and the responses so far.
  11. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Thats when you hire another guy, and increase your rates for those who want full service. Sounds like an easy way to expand your business to me
  12. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    well i tell you what, I AM WITH YOU, we do many residences and we use shovels and blowers, only pull out skidsteers and such when it gets really bad, otherwise it is all blowers
  13. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    I have 2 or 3 guys in each residential truck so that the truck is never really sitting around other than loading and unloading. Works pretty good for me. You have to offer a full service around here, otherwise people will look elsewhere.
  14. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Only had one person complain about my plowing. It was my father in law! He was one of those guys who would setup a survey line ,mark the driveway ,blow it out then take the shovel and round the sides.

    As for everyone else if that's the service you want to provide I hope your getting well paid for it. I'm sure if some dude came in for half the price and just dropped his blade and left ,you know the customer would drop you.
  15. Mick

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

    You're going to snowblow 500' of this? It's my driveway.

  16. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Buck a foot ,each time.payup
  17. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,253

    Great, that's what makes America what it is, the freedom and ability to do as you please and get paid for it.

    It doesn't make it unprofessional, it is just another way of doing the work.

    What works in your area may or may not work in another area.

    On the other hand, once you start talking 100 drives or more per route, get back to us on those snowblowers and your profit.

    Sorry, you may not like this, but you have 12 drives, have been plowing for 3 years and now are lecturing on what is and isn't professional. By myself, I have 8X as much experience as you do. If you want, we can ask my father, he has 16X as much experience as you do.

    But you know the saying, opinions are like a-holes, everybody has one.
  18. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I agree a snowblower does a better job than a plow.
    That said, I have no complaints about the quality of my plowing. And I can plow about 10 faster than a snowblower can blow payuppayup

    As for shoveling... after back surgery 13 years ago I no longer shovel, my customers know this.
  19. Jon Geer

    Jon Geer Member
    Messages: 834

    My legs would get cold.:blush2: I only get out of my truck for fuel and to relieve myself. I do not think that many clients would pay the price I would charge for snow blowing or shoveling.payup

    The warmth of a truck feels great.:yow!:

    Just a guy who plows.
  20. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707

    I can agree with you lawnlandscape. IMO a shoveled or snow-blown driveway does look better than a plowed one.

    However, doing more in less time is the ultimate goal. for production purposes plowing is the way to go.

    I happen to like the look of my driveways after I hand shovel. :D

    ::::time to duck and weave....incoming!!::::