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Question for the big game players

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by drivewaydoctor, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. Hey guys,

    I'm just wondering how long it took you guys to work your way up to having all the big game equipment such as dump trucks and backhoes etc.
  2. Scott's

    Scott's Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    You will find most guys with dump trucks and loaders use then year around with their other buiss. I dont know anyone that has a loader just for snow removal.
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If you want to be in the poor house you can start today!
  4. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    Lol. Poor house. Thats funny..
  5. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    I have 2 loaders just for snow.
  6. Scott's

    Scott's Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    How many others do you use everyday?

    Also said "I" dont know anyone, I havent met you yet lol
  7. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Any time your up in the great white north look me up. Really most of my equipment I own is for winter use only. The 2 loaders, 22 Ag. tractors, 1 backhoe and 1 truck are only used to do snow. The other stuff I use for landscaping.
  8. So how long did it take you to work up to that then?
  9. Wieckster

    Wieckster Senior Member
    Messages: 131

    all it takes is a check book with afew blank checks and you can have all the equipment you want
  10. mulcahy mowing

    mulcahy mowing Senior Member
    Messages: 718

    thats going to depend on your market, profit margin and really how well you run your business its also going to be based on need. i work for a large company we don't have a loader...we don't need... it we have 4 dumps two f550's and two internationals they're mostly used for sanding. we service everything from driveways to large lots. im a sub there....
  11. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    The first loader we got 3 years a go with a Costco warehouse account. This guy was selling his loader with a 275 HP independent snow blower. If we bought his equipment he guaranteed the Costco account that he was doing with this equipment. The second loader we bought this year, to do a shopping mall that we have been doing for the last 10 years. The loader replaced 3 pieces of equipment, 2 Ag. tractors and a truck.
  12. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    My dad started this company 49 years ago. I have been doing it for 30 years now. Two years ago we increased by 40% our business when we bought two competitors who wanted out. I prefer increments of 5% growth, but sometimes you got to jump in when the opportunities come up. It is now a full time job 9 months of the year, and very often I put in more than a years worth of hours in those 9 months.
  13. Thanks Neige, so based on the equipment you have in your avatar and signature would you consider all those hours in the 9 months worth it? Or do you ever wish you were smaller?
  14. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    I think its very worth while. So much so, I am considering only doing snow, no more landscaping. :drinkup:
  15. Wow, very impressive if its really doing that well.

    BTW, checked out your website. Did you know your English option button doesn't work?
  16. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    You have to Pay to Play.. I started (On my own) 3 years ago with 2 trucks and a skid loader. I had 17 accounts. (Condo associations and commercials) Second season I went to 32 accounts (Same stuff as before) I had 3 trucks and 3 loaders. This year we plow 40 accounts (All commercial) with 2 Wheel loaders 2 skidloaders 1 tractor, and 4 trucks. Next year I am going even bigger. Hopefully 60 plus commercial.

    I rent the Wheel loaders, but have now found use for 1 year round. Now its just a matter of making enough to pay for it. Everything else I have gets used everyday.

    I look at snow in a different way than most (I think) to me it cost less to operate in the winter than the rest of year. I make as much in one night of snow, than I do in a week of reqular work. So if It snow 4 times a month, I break even (By normal standards) If we get more than that, Then I get to go shopping for new or newer equipment.

    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  17. Scott's

    Scott's Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    Sure will then I can change my other post:D
  18. sk187

    sk187 Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    My dad started our excavation company almost 30 years ago as of 5 years ago we had 30 employees.

    Due to hard times we are now under 10 employees but do around 5 millions sq ft of plowing every snow fall, all commercial.

    We currently have 3 loaders 2 skid steers 2 county trucks and a hand full of plow trucks.

    Most of the listed equipment is used year around in addition to excavators scrapers and dozers.

    The best advice to go big in plowing if you do not have year around use is to rent equipment but shop around dont always go to deere and cat there are a lot of options.
  19. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    That has not been true for me.
    Example 1, I can rent an Ag. tractor for $7 grand a year, or buy one for $55 grand 0% financing for 4 years. I usually keep the tractor for 15 years, and then sell it for around $12 grand. So total cost will be $43 grand vrs rental over 15 years of $105 grand, and that is only true if I can still rent for that same price for 15 years.
    Example 2, I just bought a used 1995, Volvo L90 loader for $45 grand. Or I can rent for 6 months at $ 4 grand a month so $24 grand a year. To be fair the rental will not cost much on maintenance. The used loader who knows, so I am willing to tack on $5 grand a year for maintenance for the used loader, time will tell if it is enough. So with in 3 years its making me money, instead of someone else. JM2c:drinkup:
  20. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    I would say it took me 3 years of truck pushing before I started getting into sites that required machinery. Now trucks are secondary and more of a support item to our plowing operation.

    At first I rented, and added my pushers or plows to them. I also had a few good owner operators working for me with guaranteed hours.

    I agree with Paul, owning will cost you less in the long run, but the safety net of being caught with too much eqt and not enough work is sometimes worth the additional costs of renting the gear over the winter. Nowadays, I wouldnt consider purchasing anything unless I had a solid 3-5 year deal to back it up. Anything can happen, and it did to me a few years ago-I can't imagine where I'd be today if I had to keep making payments on idle gear. Most of my pieces are used only for winter, except for a couple of backhoes and skid steers which we use all year round.