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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Jay brown, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i only have about 5-6 guys to help me this year and i have 7-8 commercial side walks that i have had for the past 9 years. i need to either quit doing them(and put the labor behind the steering wheel) or raise my prices to make it worth doing. keep in mind that we do all of these manually. i've had the same prices from day one..... what would you charge ex....8'x150' (our price $35) 8'x 150' and 3'x60' and many steps (our price $75) 3'x350' (our price $35) these are all 1/4"-1/2" trigger, salt extra. my labor cost is apx $25 per hour. i know i could figure this out on my own, but i would really like some input.
  2. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    buy a single stage snow blower, like the toro 3650. even with that little amount of snow it will throw it and you can move alot faster than a man with a shovel.
  3. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Jay, your entitled to raise your rates a little bit if you have had them so long without any increase. So do it, on that note, I use a single stage toro and it really whips along. The rubber paddles scrape the concrete clean. just put some clips on the frame to hold a shovel for the steps-although I end up using the machine on steps too, just depends on the type.

    So know you've decreased the time it takes you to clear them and you are making more money and keeping the work-which doesn't seem to be coming easy any more. WIN WIN
  4. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,771

    I would raise my prices if i were you. 25 an hour is nothing to clear walks. Do you jump out and do them when you plow the lot or send someone out to take care of them? I dont do a lot of walks, banks and small offices, but they pay very well. I get 60 an hour plus ice melt.payup payup If you fear loosing the account because of increased prices just raise them 10 or 15 bucks. fuel is not the same $ as it was a few years ago. Unless they can be done after I am finished plowing, i price high. Remember you are there to provide a good service, and make money.payup payup
  5. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    i'll have to try one of these Toro blowers. currently we have a 22" craftsman, that i.ve had from the beginning. we never use it because i always thought the shovel was faster.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    i have a 4wd quad with a plow for side walks .

  7. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    that's what i would like to have, but can't justify the ROI maybe a mule.... i could use it for my regular business and around the shop.
  8. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    On a light snowfall a shovell is just as quick if not quicker than getting the snowblower off the truck and than running around and you still have to make 2 passes where a shovell you only have to make one. On heavy snowfalls than ya, you should get some single stages. I think i'm gonna buy a simplicity. They look real strong
  9. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    I'll take that bet;) that my single stage is faster than a shovel that is. Remember, were talking about commercial sidewalks here, not a 30" x 15' walkway to someones door. In 2" of snow I am literally running behind my toro
  10. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    I'll agree. On 2'' of light to moderate snow the shovel is usually faster if you can just kinda whip it at the end and don't have to throw it far.
  11. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    lol, then like me you find a crack in the sidewalk and almost go over your snow blower. :)
  12. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    I always have shoveled everything but i'm going to buy a little Toro snowblower this year. I agree, 2" or less is easier and quicker to shovel but when it's about 6" or above, it sucks!:nod:
  13. 4x4Farmer

    4x4Farmer Senior Member
    Messages: 953

    I used to do sidewalks. I had 2 John Deere GX335s ( I think thats what they where?) I had a plow on one of them and a snowblower on the other one. The blade worked really good, till there got to be alot of snow on the side of the walks. Then I would usually go in with the blower and get rid of it. One thing with the blower, like 04superduty said, watch out for the cracks in the side walks. In two years I pretty much wrecked that snowblower. Even with the cutter bar a 1/4 inch of the ground, I still managed to seem to catch it on the cracks. At least the blade would trip. One other thing with a snowblower. If you are ever wideing a side walk out to make room for more snow, make sure things off the sidewalk are marked, (like cable boxes) I ran one through and knocked out cable to 2 whole aprtement complexes on a sunday afternoon, there where some unhappy people with me, lol. But now we sub all of out sidewalks, and thats the way to do it. I dont have to deal with it anymore. Just make sure you have someone reliable to do them for you.
  14. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    thanks for all of the advice.... i have decided to keep the sidewalks, and raise the prices on them. this week we put a 46" blade on my cub cadet mower( wheel weights and chains too). also rented a shed in the downtown area to keep all of the sidewalk equiptment in. it is across the street from one of the walks and the others are within 1-2 blocks.
  15. tgumby4

    tgumby4 Junior Member
    Messages: 17

    Anything under 4" on my sidewalks get the old backpack leaf blower treatment. Works great on powder, gets that packed down snow off after someone walks on it also. Gets the concrete bare and usually requires minimal ice melt. Does not really work good for heavy wet snow though.

    Just my 2 cents.