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Snow Blower & HOA Guys: advice needed

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by PTSolutions, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    There is a smaller HOA community for 55 and older adjacent to one of our plow routes that I would like to add for this coming season. I drove through there today to take a look and it was an absolute mess. I talked with 2 of the residents and they are unhappy with the service.

    I will be bidding for combined snow removal & lawn care but i need a bit of advice on the snow removal side.

    Heres what I know:
    approx. 60 homes with these trucklength, double drives
    less than a mile of narrow double road
    some empty lot sites that i could use to contain and snow from roads if needed

    My Plan:
    3 vehicles: 1 dump truck with 810/8611 and salter for roads, my ASV RC100 with a 7' snow blower on front for driveways and then a 1/2 ton p/u with a 2 stage snowblower, single stage blower and shovels for the short walkways to the front doors and snow in front of garage doors. 3-5 employees depending on severity of snow. Service time 2-4 hrs depending on accumulation.

    My questions:
    -what type of snowblower should I be looking at for the ASV? it has 20gpm on the low
    flow and 38gpm on the high flow along with the 14 pin electrical connector on the boom, cab, heat and ac

    -am i overlooking anything equipment wise? once i know the equipment i want to designate to this site i can come up with my bid.

    3' from curb not plowed:

    messy aprons:
  2. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    more messy pics:

  3. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537


    narrow roads, the dont clean to the curbs, maybe 4' worth of road unplowed (2' per side)
  4. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    From my experience HOA tend to go with the lowest bid, then ***** about the service. Even if you over service them at you expense & someone comes in less your out. That is what your seeing in my opion a contractor trying to make money with the low bid. That has been my experience.
  5. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,891

    wow, that is some terrible looking work. Good luck getting it, just make sure you are talking to the right people, board members, it doesn't matter what a bunch of residents say if the board doesn't want to listen.
  6. blaryslawn

    blaryslawn Member
    Messages: 70

    I have experienced the same... I went and met with the head of a HOA to give them a quote... It would be an hourly charge for each piece of equipment and a "per bag" charge for Ice control apps.... Needless to say, I was called due to the half a***** job the previous contractor did. Yet she told me I may as well leave after I explained hourly rates because the previous guy was charging almost half of what I was by the hour. So, I very nicely told her that that was the reason her property looked the way it did. You get what you pay for.
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I have one like that near my house drives are about 10 foot deep. 1st yr company was using a truck to back drag them 2nd yr new company is there and are using a cat with a snow blower on it. Between both yrs no real difference in the driveways. I think if you go with a back blade it will be to big for that place ,no room to maneuver around. Looks like in your pixs you get a look of drifting there so you better price it for a lot of return trips to clean out the road.
  8. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    My experience is limited on dealing w/ HOA's. This has been my first yr servicing a 90 unit complex/ retirement community.....some of which are stand alone homes, some duplexes. The President(ultimate decision maker) & Treasurer (cuts checks) are "usually" the ones you want to sit down with and go over the contract face to face with. I did this back in the fall, and laid everything out, went over what they wanted and what they can expect to see being done. So far I can say its been the best thing that has happened to me in snow removal. They have sent me thank you's, some of the old ladies have sent homemade cookies home with my walk guys(when they can catch them), and they have paid the bills sent to them in a timely manner.

    One thing that would concern me is a SS running a snowblower at say 4am. This may be something that they will need to just deal with? Because it appears from the pics you are very limited on space? Just make sure all your bases are covered then add some to that, then throw a little cushion on top of that. I have learned (at least the one I do) that they require more babysitting than most of my other accounts.

    Good Luck
  9. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Forget about the snow blower on the ASV. Just get the biggest snow bucket you can and pull everything out and scoop it away. Trust me on this. I've done these kinds of places before. The snow blower is just something else to go wrong, and will not be faster.

    That place is done poorly, but you will find out that money IS an issue! Will probably shock you with how much it's being done for.

    Other thing you might want to look at is Cage or Snow Wolf plow/pusher combo. Place like that would be perfect.

    Good luck, hope you get it.
  10. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    i have been contemplating the noise issue if we are out at an early time. but we live in cleveland and ya gotta deal with the snow and everything that it entails.

    i have thought about a reverse push box setup for pulling the drives with the ASV into the street, the issue then would be having to move those piles to a specific location (empty lots) to then get them off the road.

    as you can see from the pictures the amount of lawn between the drives is minimal so not much room for snow piles.

    the two residents i spoke with are neighbors of the board president and good friends with him. they informed me that each resident pays $110 per month every month for maintenance. this includes the snow removal duties and mowing. so if 60 homes that comes to about $79200 annually in gross revenues.
  11. djagusch

    djagusch 2000 Club Member
    from mn
    Messages: 2,107

    This amount seems pretty high. I bet it is for everything (their monthly dues), it covers insurance, water (sprinklers), reserve fund (to replace sidewalks, siding, paving, etc over time), management fees, etc. My bet is that around 40% of that goes to the actual contractor (aka you) for maintenance.
  12. nms0219

    nms0219 Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    I agree about 40% goes to the contractor.
  13. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    i thought that was a bit optimistic. the way the resident told me about it made it seem that that was strictly for maintenance.
  14. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    x2, in this case (as with most HOA and Condos) a snow bucket well allow you to get into tight areas and pile it high when you start to run out of room.
  15. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    but thats just the issue, theres almost zero room to begin with!

    here, copy and paste this lat/long into googlemaps.com and you'll see the arrow pointing to the HOA.


    Look for Harvest ln. and Falling lane, its the homes arranged in the rectangle. the empty lots are on the lower left corner of the HOA and thats a retention pond on the other side of the road. as you can see, id have to drag all the driveways into the street and carry the piles to the empty lots.
  16. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    not necessarily, we back drag our drives, then scoop and lift onto the lawn and then push it back periodically, eventually you are going to have to move snow to those empty lots, but you should be able to keep a bunch of that snow where it is, and if those are 16ft garage doors, you should have no problem turning around there. unfortunately that place looks like a bit of a mess already, you are going to have to spend a bunch of hours just getting it back to a acceptable condition.
  17. RTEnt

    RTEnt Member
    Messages: 42

    I couldn't agree more, we use a Bobcat S250 with a 8' straight blade to do a complex very similar to what you have described, 45-50 units. The beauty of the blade is that our operator is able to plow the roads as well. Start to finish he's done in 3 hours. We also keep the snow bucket on site just in case we have to move or stack snow.
  18. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    When i go back there ill try and get a picture of an entire yard to see how much space there will be for piling snow. we have had lots of steady snowfalls with very few periods warm enough to melt. Which is why we have massive piles at the end of driveways that ive had to bust up.

    i got the feeling from the residents that many are not happy with the piles, and even more so that they are intruding onto their driveways. although i realize that your gonna have piles if you have snow. Once i talk to the prez i can get a feel if they are willing to pay a premium for blower work in the site. this way with no piles the place will look better. if they arent gonna be paying more than what they are now, ill go the cheaper route with a kage type system and snowbucket, at least with a skid steer i can get the piles spread around the yards more so than a truck can.
  19. deere615

    deere615 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,919

    Thats funny when I first read this I was thinking a kage system might be good for you back drag all drives- nice and clean with the down pressure-through the kage on and take the snow where you want it
  20. kipcom

    kipcom Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 455

    We do & have done tons of these retirement villages......

    2 trucks to push
    6 2stage snow blowers ( drives & walks )
    2 to 3 skid steer w bucket ( move snow and can clear drives )
    8 to 10 groundsmen ( clearing walkways & etc )

    Have a plan for where to put the excess snow (push or remove) be careful of clearing between the hours of 11pm and 5am unless u have in your contract "anytime" for clearing and removal.....we have had the cops called on us for "disturbing the peace"....ussmileyflag