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Ridiculous residential rates

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Wplc, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Wplc

    Wplc Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Hey Guys. A normal double drive plowed for the season goes for around $200 around here. We have about 25 snow events. That is less than $10 per plow. What would you guys do if you were in my position? Join the crowd, and try to become as efficient as possible, or do something different? I have been snowplowing on my own for the last few years, and have about 120 drives signed up at the going rate.
  2. snoworks1

    snoworks1 Senior Member
    Messages: 111

    I would try and get 300 total driveways at the $200.00. Make sure they are close together. Switch from the plow truck to the AG tractor with an inverted blower and don't look back.
  3. Wplc

    Wplc Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Thanks for the reply. My 120 drives are pretty close together. One truck can do them all in 6 hours, as I have a 16 foot ebling swing wing on the back of it, so I think that would be just as fast as a blower. It is just so cut-throat around here, and its almost like its a race to the bottom.

    PLOWTRUCK Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Unless they are right next to each other your probably spinning your wheels. I do a condo development with 48 driveways which are 12 x 22 on average. It takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to do them all. On another note 25 events for an average of 70 or so inches doesn't seem right. We get about 5 inches less per year and we average 15 events. still pretty cheap though.
  5. Wplc

    Wplc Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Grand Rapids gets lake effect snow from Lake Michigan. Our trigger depth, along with every other company around here is 1.5 inches. So there are many times where we are going out because 2 inches of lake effect dumped on us.
    I am not sure what you mean by "spinning your wheels" But normal double drives here are 16x70.

    PLOWTRUCK Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Meant at those prices you may be working for nothing, not getting ahead. Seems pretty cheap to me unless they are very close together. I would do drives that cheap if I had about 20 them in one development. Otherwise it's cheap. Look at it this way

    120 drives at 10 per = 1200 per storm
    You say it 6 hours to do the route so,
    That's 200 per hour for you and your truck. can you make money with that? And you have your answer
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  7. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,053

    Does you're seasonal include any shoveling or is it strictly plowing?
    At $10 a push I think you're way low, also I think your 20drives an hour is off as it ends up being 3min per driveway with no transit time. I see you have a 16ft Ebling but you still have to push the snow after you drag it.

    I have several resi's that are 16X24 and have about 30ft of side walk. For 1-6" its $35.00, 6-12 its $45.00, from start to finish they take 8min ea 1-6" and 10min 6-10". BTW we average 20 pushes a season.
  8. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 595

    I have been very frustrated with residential pricing in the Grand Rapids area. There are way too many residential snowplow operators in this area plowing at rates that were out there 10 or more years ago. Often these operators do not service their clients in a timely manner when the event is a bit more significant in nature. In addition proper plowing procedures are often ignored. FYI, it's January 11 and we have in excess of 20 visits under our belt. At $200.00 I hope the op does not run out of money.
  9. daddy daniels'

    daddy daniels' Member
    Messages: 32

    I don't think $160 per hour is a bad rate at all! There are sub's who do the same work for $75 per hour. It seems the benchmark for successful companies in your area try to stay around $125 per billable truck hour, so that would allow you to make a maximum of 32 visits if you use that criteria.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  10. Wplc

    Wplc Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    If I was making 200 per hour I would not be complaining about the snowplow rates. The going rate for subs is $60 an hour around here. I do have 35+ in one development and many surrounding it, but I would be happy to make 80 an hour at this point.
  11. Wplc

    Wplc Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    I can do a driveway in 1 min with my ebling. It takes me 30 sec to back up and make one pass. Then all I have to do is stack with a v-blade which takes 2 passes. Many companies around here just spread in the road, but that is illegal, so I don't do that too much unless I am really behind.
    I wish I could charge higher prices, but there aren't many selling points where you can be different then the other snowplowing company, so I am pretty much stuck at the going rate.
  12. Wplc

    Wplc Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Only thing that will save me this winter is the fact that my truck is a diesel, and it only takes me $50 to go through my route. I also have two other trucks subbed out, that make me about $150 profit each per night, so I think I will be fine this winter.
  13. Wplc

    Wplc Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Subs work for $60 here..lol. Everything is cheaper in Grand Rapids.
  14. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan Senior Member
    Messages: 727

    I would stay in bed
  15. MajorDave

    MajorDave Senior Member
    Messages: 968

    x2 LOL haha
  16. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    You sub 2 trucks out for the night and only make $150 profit? I would stay in bed also.
  17. Wplc

    Wplc Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    $150 each, 300 total after paying employees, gas, repairs, insurance, etc. I didn't choose the rates around here.
  18. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    This is why I don't do seasonals, it seems like they get cheaper every year. The best way is to charge by the amount of snow.
    Jim CBLC likes this.
  19. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I wouldn't get out of bed for a $200 seasonal.
    $2k with a heavy snow clause and I want to have more drive in the immediate area to cut travel time.

    so,,, you can do a drive in one minute>

    Does that mean you only charge $10?
    You need a minimum rate.
    It costs money to equip a truck/tractor and to have a competent operator.
    Your Ins costs didn't go down because production went up did it?

    or should you slow down and charge more?

    I think you might be plowing for beer money at best?

    The incremental billing model leads to future arguments with the home owner that results in nonpayment.
    Go seasonal with a storm clause or
    per push with a storm clause.

    I try to obtain $120hr,min
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  20. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    Let me ask this. Do most guys price a drive for the season, per event, per increment, or per push? We only do 1 drive so I don't know.