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Pros and Cons this year with too much snow

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by supercuts, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. supercuts

    supercuts Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    everyone seems to have the misconception that lots of snow is great. i for one hate it. I've always said all i want is 3" storms. we have been hammered with a 12", 6", 28", and 20" storms in less than a months time. I've never had problems with where to put it in over 10 years. I'm very careful to push back far in the first few storms just in case.

    well the Cons
    driveways are taking 2-3x longer because the banks of snow are soo tall, about 4' tall down the sides.piles are too big to move with my large kubota at some driveways. blew out 2 transmissions, snapped a pump clean off a meyer plow, dealers cant fix because they are too backed up, the stress and complaints from customers has been getting to me. I dumped a dozen customers last week who complain and leave too many messages. they are not worth it. during storms i now leave messages that no one is a priority, if i cant get into your road or driveway due to stranded cars (very common this year) your skipped till the end of the storm. people don't know why I'm not there within 2hrs after 28" of snow in less than 24hrs. roads are so narrow we can hardly pull in many driveways. our pumpers are pushed in from backing into snow banks. we've been stuck more times than i can count this year. fuel cost way up due to extended time. costs in general way up from normal. plowing in excess of 20hrs straight per storm is really taking its toll, then hours on the phone to reply to complaints and hours to enter billing. same number of accounts as last year. last year took 6-8hrs a Storm with 2 trucks, takes 18hrs this year with 3 trucks!

    yes lots work means lots of money. this will be a record year. although things like trannys have broke and cost alot, better to happen when lots of money rolls in vs no snow winter. better to have too much work than not enough. now im making money running my Kubota L pushing piles back. also, ive never been paid so fast for snow removal. i think people realize if they loose me they will not find anyone else. checks have never come in so fast. the people who dont pay have received phone calls that we will discontinue plowing. one even drove to my house that day to pay all late bills and pay ahead!

    although we are making more than last year im going to say, to me, its simply not worth it. ill look back at this year and pray we dont have another like this. ive been so stressed out wondering if we will be able to do many driveways because of all the difficulties. my wife said it was supposed to be a slow winter and she wished for alot of snow in early December. i had a bad feeling them and told her to be careful what you wish for! im worried about all my new landscaping and bushes. i hope the snow packed in good around them so they dont snap off. as a landscaper i dont know when we will get to start this year because its going to take a long time for this snow to melt.

    VT an NH guys......i feel for you if you deal with this every year. id imagine a tractor/blower setup has to be must in the fleet even if you dont use it every storm. ive considered a 3pt blower to clean up this year but ill probably never use it again, at least id hope.

    good luck to all
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  2. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Anything over 12" is a tough storm, the 20" and 28" storms are just ridiculous. Sounds like you're having a rough year, but making money. Those are some tough conditions you describe, but as long as you're still going it's all good. Buy yourself something nice at the end of the season, or like you said a tractor and blower in case this year happens again. If you better your equipment for heavy storms it will take some of the stress away, not much, but a little.
    Hang in there! It's almost over.:drinkup:
  3. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    Pros: My honeymoon in July in Aruba has now been paid for.

    Cons:I have to wait 6 more months:nod:
  4. watatrp

    watatrp Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    I hear you about all the snow. As I type this, I'm hearing that there is another storm on the way w/ 12-18" or more expected w/ 20-30 mph winds. Fun, fun.

    I don't mind all the snow this year but as many have said, I prefer to get it a few inches at a time instead of a few feet at a time. I'm needing to get creative in where I push the snow to. I've had 78" of snow so far this season.
  5. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    Winter's are tough. I stress through the whole thing. Customers that don't understand need to go. We are all human not miracle worker's.

    I don't know how you guy's deal with those amounts of snow.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  6. 525Enterprises

    525Enterprises Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    man that sounds like a gold mine with hidden problems. Fortunately for us, we have only plowed twice so far this year. Or wait, is that unfortunate for us? After reading this, I really dont know. Hope all your equipment holds up, and you get it all done...
  7. wenzelosllc

    wenzelosllc Senior Member
    Messages: 406

    Con: Roads are so narrow from snow banks and parked cars that I can't get my truck down them.

    Pro: Get to make use of the very expensive Snow Dragon snow melter the company bought....con: It uses 300 gallons of diesel a day. :dizzy:
  8. M&M

    M&M Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    I'm up in NH and yes, we have dealt with this in the past. I think the mindset is different up there than down in CT and RI. The attitude of my customers has been great "We live in NH what do you expect?" has been the phrase of the year. I have been getting more requests for special timing of plowing this year more than any other year but I don't bend over backwards time wise. It may sound crazy but I don't want to give too much to my customers. Just enough to let them feel like they are getting something. Breaking out of my route loop cost me time.

    After this 1-2 footer comes through this week I plan on renting a loader and pushing back piles and charging alot for it. This is the benefit of a lot of snow.

    Lastly, take a deep breath, get some good sleep, and keep your eye on the prize. I calculate my earnings after each storm and that is good motivation for the next one!
  9. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    I'll be in Aruba with you end of July for sister's wedding! :drinkup:
  10. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Very good Advice.
    Dont go nuts worrying about everything.
    Obviously it is Jan so you need to get a loader to push back snow.
    The more work you can get for a machine is more money for you and much less work for
    your trucks to do next storm. Win Win
    Good Luck
  11. Scottscape

    Scottscape Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    I didn't hear anything about lack of sleep. We got dumped on 23 inches 3 years ago almost and that was the toughest part. If you can keep up with the storm yes you can plow every 6 or what your agreement but that is almost impossible. Good luck to you and good post.
  12. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    by using blowers and shovels and not sitting around I won't be as fat at the end of the winter as I usually am!
  13. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    We've gotten more snow than the OP in SW CT. All the big storms have come down so fast, 3-4 inches per hour in some cases, that 2 passes have been impossible to complete by storms end. Currently we have about 36" on the ground with absolutely no room for snow. Streets are barely 2 cars wide, mailboxes are buried. People are ready to kill the city plow guys. Sent out round 3 of bills this month. Not sure how to break it to them that they will need to pay for equipment time to move piles. Have not seen this in my 20 yrs.
  14. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    Too much snow for a snow contractor?

    That's like too country.
    A girl too pretty
    A beer too tasty
  15. supercuts

    supercuts Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    lol, why is an AZ guy on plowsite anyway?? its a pickup, not a bulldozer, yes too much snow for a snow contrator! Even my kubota L3600 is having a tough time moving some of these piles
  16. supercuts

    supercuts Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    here is shoveling 36" of snow off a 30'x50' garage. luckily at the half way point was 1/4" of ice which made it easy to do half at a time. took 6 hours. the bad part is the 35x45' garage to left in the picture, oh yeah and my house!

  17. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,264

    Cet to be honest its one of the most stressful things ever.....i still dont understand why people want big storms like this.....we have had 60 inches this winter...40 of which came in january and the 20 more came in one storm in december...just has been crazy.
  18. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    I usually start from the top and let the snow work as my footing....just sayin'. That's a huge job. No help?
  19. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    To be honest I want the bigger storms because that's what were equipped for. Our routes and equipment are all set up for the big stuff. If you really think about it, pretty much anyone can handle 2 inches of snow. The problem begins when someone has 8 hrs of work lined up for 2 inch snow falls. Drop 12 inches on him and he is done.
    This is that nature of the beast, we never really know what we are in for. 3 Years ago we had such a winter, best thing that ever happened to us. Following year less guys out there doing snow and the prices finally went up. Now its 3 years later and below normal snow years, prices are dropping and whole bunch of new companies sprouting up everywhere.
    In the end, snow is only good for business, lack of snow and your hurting. Trust me, you may be feeling the pain now, but in the end you will be far better off for it. Next year will see a huge improvement, ride it while you can. payup
  20. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    Neige has it right, we are way above average this year, and customers are plentiful and grateful. I have seen quite a few "uninsured shovel jockeys" who are only making it a snowfall or two before realizing doing large drifted snow really sucks.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011