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Residential guys how many can you do?

Discussion in 'Bidding & Estimating' started by scitown, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    Im trying to figure some things out here. In a 10 mile radius with one truck how many drives can you do? Im trying to figure out how the hell guys on here say they can plow 40 or 50 drives in a night and then the guys that say they charge 2-6 inches and 6-8 and 8-12 etc so if its 40 drives and you go for each snow depth (at least 3 times each drive) thats 112 stop and plows...right? Wouldn't that take you two days? Or how do you charge someone extra for 6-8 if you only plow once? Please ask if this doesn't make sense. In a thread last night one of the vets on here (sorry can't remember who it was) said when he did resi's he would just keep plowing thru his list houses # 1-30 the entire time it was snowing and if he finished 1-10 it stops snowing he plows 11-30 once and then has to go back to 1-10 1-10 gets charged 2 time for 2 plows.

    If I charge per 24 hours does the clock start from when the snow hits the ground or when my trigger is reached?
    Im starting to think that around here , south of Boston, One price for 24 hours may work best. We dont get the snow some of you guys get.

    Now what one will get the least complaints To avoid the obvios here, lets say every driveway is plowed absolutly perfect. Im talking about customers that need to "get thier money's worth".

    I've been drinking whiskey and dont feel like spell checking sorry and Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  2. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    they provide extremley crappy service, run multiple trucks, or are lying about how many drives they really do.
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I posted a lot of what you typed. If your in for the long haul take on a few maybe 20-40 drives see how you do this yr and next either drop some or pick some up. Routing is the most important thing if you can get them in groups you can bang out a lot in an hour.

    A plow is a plow charge them full price how many hours the storm is means nothing.
  4. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    Couple things here. First sorry for not giving you credit for the 1-30 example. I was in a typing groove so I didn't look back.
    I have a friend of mine with a shiny truck with a shiny plow. Luck has it that he has plowed and does not have the landscape customers that I do for plowing leads. I had mentioned to him if I got stuck I would throw him some customers. He is thrilled. ( I dont want to get into subbing seems like more of a headache I will just give them to him in a pinch).
    All my customers for mowing are from the two furthest points 10 minutes apart driving time on a nice sunny day. I think If I hand pick the ones in the tightest area and fill in with non mowning customers later I will be ok.
    I am confident with landscaping estimates because I've done so many but plowing is a different story. I just dont want to over do it on drives and underdo it on prices. Once Im in the groove how long can I expect to spend on a 4 car straight in to the garage 3-6 inch drive? Last year I had it down ok with a handful of customers but I wasn't under 30 resi kinda pressure.
    I know Im babbling and thanks for reading. This does help. My girlfriend is sick of hearing it so Im sure she is happy you are reading it.
  5. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    well it really just depends ont he route....

    if your talkign about a standard 20*50 drive way.... no shoveling, my rear plow on, i can do a drive in less than 5 mins, if the average travel time between sites is 2 mins (which mean s i proablly have 3-4 nehibors per stop) thats 7 mins total which is about 8 drives per hour, 6 hous and you come up with 48-50 drives

    i could see it done, you would need 3-4 neihors per stop, and your route would have to be tight... a rear plow, plus a vee blade , it could be done

    i had a route that i did 12 drives in about 90 mins , and that was having someone shovel too, which i had to wait for him to finish
  6. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    maybe if everything goes perfect. in my world nothing goes perfect and little time killers always pop up.

    i know if i met someone plowing that many drives that quick and were selling the truck i wouldnt buy it.
  7. srt management

    srt management Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    We can knock out about 4-6 drives an hour. but most of ours are at least 80*20 with shoveling.
    I think the best we ever did was 8 an hour on the light snows.
  8. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    76 drives
    average drive is L shaped 100 ft X 9 with a with a 20 X 30 pad in front of the garaged

    On an 18" storm took me 25 hours to do 76 drives ~ 19 min per dri
    4" storm 7.5 hours ~ 6 min. per drive

    All my drives are in a 6 mile circle
  9. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,264

    Go with 25, thats a good number! How big are the drives un your area?
  10. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    We have a lot of "L" shaped drives as stated in a post above but we also have smaller and bigger. Im in the suburbs so we have a bunch of "under ground power line" developments. Im also going to take that into account when I "Pick and choose" my customers. I know I wont really be able to cut out all the longer drives if I want to keep my route tight but I have customers that I am deffinatly staying away from. I have had people asking me for years if I was going to plow and I finnally broke down and got one last year just to do a customer here and there. Now some of them have driven by where I keep my equipment and they saw the plow. I had calls in July asking if I would plow for them this year. I didn't advertise anything to my customers last winter and when I got my plow in December (after most of the snow fell last year) I ended up doing 9 drives. I know Im lucky, most people on here aren't beaten customers away with a shovel but it will allow me to pick and choose a bit. So 20-30 drives Im looking at billing out $1000 per one push storm?

    The guy I used to work for got out of plowing a few years ago (40 drives two trucks) and once I get a hold of him I can just ask what the market price is in our area. He may even help patch in some of my route with some of his 160 lawn customers.

    The guys that said they had shovelers doing resi's at the same time as they plowed...I was thinking of having my guy come out after a strom if it is 3-6 in and just blow the walks and allow me to do some cleanup and help blow. I know noone noone around here will get out and do a walk so we can make a little money doing it. I was thinking after because I just picked up a toro single stage and he already had an older toro single. Thnk maybe people would be annoyed to be snow blown at 3 am. I guess it depends on the timing of the storm.
  11. terrapro

    terrapro PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,912

    definately depends on the difficulty of the drive. and oh spit someone left there car in the drive for me to have to work around, great! and there is no where to deposit the snow so i have to take all the snow to the end of the drive. and here comes the neighbor to yell at me for plowing at 4am again! great i just got stuck between their retaining wall and a boulder wall?! :realmad:

    there are a lot of things to take into consideration. i would have to say my quickest drive is about 6 minutes. 40' straight shot up to the garage, 10' wide. no backblade...yet. the hardest part is its on a main road and i have to put the snow at the end of the drive.
  12. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    I have somone looking into the price of a Daniels pull plow. So it shoud speed up some of the backdragging. Two of the drives I did last year are straight shots with enough space to the side to cram the cars in out of the way. The first thing they said to me is that they would always park to the side so I could push the snow straight in. In all three of the storms I plowed they were either to the side or parked in a gravel town lot down the street. Those are going to be pretty nice drives. They are right next to the dpw so the ends get salted and sanded every time a truck goes by leaving almost nothing for them to plow into the drives when they do put the blades on. If only they could all be like that I could do 80 a storm.
  13. 06HD BOSS

    06HD BOSS 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,611

    we've got 50 drives split between 2 trucks. Takes about 6-8 total depending on the type of storm. All accounts are in a 5 mile radius. Pricing is based on a scale like 1-4, 5-8 etc... And no that doesnt mean we got out every 4" and plow twice. If its gonna be a heavy snow and more then 10" is expected we'll go twice just to make it easier for us and the truck. But for example on a 6" storm, we go out a couple hours before its over. If anything we might have to hit the first few again just to clean them up, but 90% of the route is done in one pass. Theres no need to do a resi 2 times for 6" of snow, thats just a waste in my mind.
  14. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    And you still price on the scale? Until last night I was planning a 3 in trigger -6 6-9 9-12. I still may go back to that. Im going to look into average snow storms for around here I think I can sell the scale. if I can tell people most snow falls around here are below
    X= inces so they can expect to pay X per storm sometimes more. Can't control the weather right...
  15. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    It really depends on the area you are servicing. If you tried that here, there is no way you would survive. We hit our resi's twice even for 2 inches of snow, when it falls over night. At 6 inches 3 passes is more than likely. An average winter we will pass 50 times minimum. Oh and we charge seasonal, no caps.

    With a tractor and a experienced driver, we average 50 drives per hour.

    Snow and stuff 001.jpg
  16. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Stop showing off Paul and stop giving all your secrets away. BTW guys look at Pauls avatar and tell me how many pickup trucks with blades are in that picture.:drinkup:
  17. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    I saw a video on here somewhere with guys busting out drives with those machines...I dont know if it was you...Does anyone have a link to those in action??? I can't find it.
  18. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Hey JD, its the only area I can really brag.:D:drinkup:
  19. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,264

    Well my father does 25 driveways was out for 2 hours last winter, made over 1200! So you def can make a good profit doing driveways. He is just like you where he picks and choices which driveway to do. I would say around 20-30 is a good amount for one truck! My father also shovels the sidewalks for a added price. All he uses is a arnes single stage, it works great. He does have some drives that like to be plowed early, so they can get to work. But with everything it depends on what time the storm comes!
  20. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    so your father can plow a drive, take out the snowblower and clear the walk. put the snowblower back again in 4.8 minutes?
    guy must be a worker.

    as i said before i figure my truck making x amount per hour. no so much on how many drives but on what the drives pay compared to how long they take. if i am at my hourly im happy and i try to only plow a few hours worth of drives (but that kind of depends on if the snow stops).
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008