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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mc1, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. mc1

    mc1 Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    after 6 years i am retiring from plowing. unfortunate but true. i lost all my accounts to lowballers was offered to plow a few at one third my price from last year WTF. i have looked for sub work and the best deal i founf was 45 per hour for my 550 9 ft plow and 3 yard salter. i think the truck will be on ebay soon. very frustrated with the desperation of idiots to ruin a market. i am going to go bonkers if i have to sit home durring storms but oh well. :gunsfiring:
  2. PlowTeam5

    PlowTeam5 Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    There are alot of guys out there that lost their jobs due to the economy and they had trucks so they all went out and bought plows for them and are gonna try to plow now. I will bet if you hold onto your truck your accounts will call back when the other guys get tired of plowing or dont do a good job cause they dont know what they are doin. I wouldnt be so quick to sell it off right away.
  3. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    Its a tough market, thats for certain.
  4. geer hed

    geer hed Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    Yeah I agrre with plow team 5. I've seen that exact same thing happen more than once. These guys get thier trucks set up and are going to save the world. Then you get hit with a nice storm and these guys don't know how to handle it. Hey if nothing else throw a chain in the back go out and charge these guys to pull them out when they get stuck.
  5. motoxguy

    motoxguy Senior Member
    from WI
    Messages: 296

    I would call your customers throughout the season and check in to see how the companies are doing and i think you will be surprised that you will get some of them back.
  6. msu1510

    msu1510 Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 128

    sorry to hear it, hopefully some of those clients will fire their new guy when he #%cks up and calls u back
  7. nor'easter1

    nor'easter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    Sorry to hear of your troubles I echo the other responses. like others I have lost a lot and when I price a new potential I have stuck to my formula of plowing for a profit. To no surprise i have not picked up any replacements for those lost and will try and spend this winter servicing my existing better and looking for future opportunities. Lo ballers have to fail in the short and long run they are incompetent. Hang in there and opportunity will present itself !

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    With your truck I would be calling around the county municipalities to see if they have any roads.
  9. StormRanger

    StormRanger Member
    from NorEast
    Messages: 72

    There are parking lots over here going to $30 a pop. I give up on them, these are 15-20 minute jobs going for $30. Can't wait till these clowns disappear
  10. vt properties

    vt properties Senior Member
    from vermont
    Messages: 194

    I have lost a lot to a $20.00 per push. I couldnt believe it. The owner said he was cutting back and "it's just snowplowing" comment from him. I charged 65.00 last 2 years.plus 39.00 for sand application. The owner told me what this guy offered. I told him to see if he has insurance , reliable equitment ect.. but to no avail. Its everywhere. Hang in there over time tjings tend to straighten out. And this is happening in a lot of industries. Hang in there.
  11. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 272

    In my area its the first time I've seen snowplow commercials during the 6 o'clock news. Boss and Hiniker dealers are running the commercials pretty heavy. I hate saying it since I personally know alot of people unemployed but the over a year unemployment checks are ruining entry level trades since people are just looking for alittle extra "cash". I could of been in the same boat but jumped early at construction job even if it was a "downgrade". It will get better, people for the most part dont really like actual work.
  12. PPP

    PPP Member
    Messages: 95

    I feel for you as well. Run an add in the newspaper and you just might pick up some new accounts. I run a small ad for $128 a month year round for Landscaping services and this year I referred out 22 new driveway accounts at $60 per push. I don't plow residential but I offer it and give it to a friend of mine who is capable of handling it. Even municipalities are paying $90 an hour for trucks like yours w/o the sander. What about just pushing your sanding services? Good Luck!
  13. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    The prices in my area are starting to drop, it's only a matter of time before I'm in the same situation. Once it becomes unprofitable or i can only make a couple $$$ per hour, I'm done and will move on to some thing else. I love plowing snow but i can think of much better things to do once the lowballers take over.
  14. 03silverado

    03silverado Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    To borrow a phrase from one of my customers, he who sh!ts fast, don't sh!t long. Once they see the job actually IS a job, they will drop like flies. Just be ready to take over. Your customers will come back. It doesn't help you now, but if you can wait it out, it will.
  15. L.I.Mike

    L.I.Mike Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    I had all my accounts taken by lowballers 4 years ago. Now I plow for the town. See if you can do the same where you are.
  16. skeleton2135

    skeleton2135 Junior Member
    from 419
    Messages: 18

    Don't sell, You have the right idea by keeping in contact with your past customers. While it's true that some guys have been on unemployment or are unemployed totally, and these guys are looking to break into the market. What you do have is the knowledge and the insurance. Cheap guys are a great deal in the customers eyes at first, but when they don't show up(overbooking), their gear breaks(cause they can't afford to maintain) or they don't buy insurance. Stress these things to your old customers. You'ld be suprised at how many people come running back when they realize what a great VALUE you were.
    ON the flip side: Do you remember the guy you put out of work when you took on your lots? It is called Capitalism, and we do need to adjust prices when the economy takes a down turn. Try to get the customer to pay the same amount,,,BUT when the ecomomy is in the tank give them more value. Offer more services for cheap, or throw in some things that is a deal to them, but really not a ton of extra work for you. Hell, offer to do the owner's driveway if he lives close. Make a deal on his grandma's drive/walks. I'm going to offer some Majic Salt to one business as a "test market" for free on his walks only. The one lot I do, I try to help the women brush off their cars(I know liability)-but I only do this for the people that I know well and I carry a really soft broom.
    The idea is to offer value. Look to what the big stores are doing, they still don't sell for free, but maybe you buy ten and get one free. You use your imagination on your client list. Only you know what they really want-the fact that you worked for them for years gives you the edge on what to look for. Don't give up the ship so early. Good luck
  17. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    well you have been it it 6 years , thats not very long , go back to square one and pound the pavement . I lose jobs and gain jobs . I lost a big one just before the blizzards last year , it was actually a blessing , my backhoe and bobcat made twice the money hustling driveways . then we did rather well coming in behind guys that didnt have the reasourses to finish the job . picked up quite a few new accounts due to this .
  18. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    The pendulum will swing back. Don't sell your truck, and get ready to purchase some very good hardly used plows in the next couple of years.

    Good personal vehicles also, but they will all be 150/1500's, not good long term work trucks.
  19. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    At least wait for the first big snow storm!!! If the first storm is a monster, then i am willing to bet you well find work (probably more then you know what to do with)

    STRONGARM Senior Member
    Messages: 258

    Solid advise!