snow removal questions

Wayne Offiler

Junior Member
Looking for income this winter; but never got into snow plowing. (I did a search, and checked the snow plowing forum, but still looking for info, pls)
1) How do you figure rates? number of inches in conjunction with square footage?
2) Is it common to also clear walks and steps?
3) To minimize equipment investment, is it feasible to use a large snowblower (like 13 HP, 36"), or how about a garden tractor, like a Gravely or John Deere with snow thrower attachment in front. A friend is selling an older IH Cub Cadet with 36" snowblower and enclosed cab for $975. Thought that if I stuck to my average size residential account, this approach would be feasible. Any comments?

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Mentor, Angel
If you use a tractor and snowblower, watch out for newspapers in the driveways all covered with snow. Shear pins will break right and left. A blower works good for small driveways. I do big driveways, but use the JD 430 for small areas and clean ups and it works good. I have a 48" blower, but only use it for deep drifts. We use the 54" blade on it mostly. If you use a blade, the power angle is nice to have and I can also put down pressure for scraping hard packed snow. The heated cab is also nice. If you want to see it, it's on my equipment page on my website. Click on my signiture or the little red house below.

Rates, we go by inches, 2 to 6" is one rate, 6" to 9" is more and keeps going up. We don't do sidewalks, just driveways.

I found out that bar tires are lots better than chains for doing driveways. Chains will mess up black top and concrete big time. I put 350 lbs. on the 3 point hitch and the cab I made is about 250 lbs, so with that and traction lock I have traction galore. I hope this helps.


Junior Member
charge by the hour its the best way
do siedwalks its where the money is
home owners drives and walks you make money
use a small blower eaiser to take off the truck
scoop in sometimes faster than a blower
biggest bad thing about winter you cant leave and always on call

thelawnguy Addict
Central CT
I started out doing snow with that thinking, then got into commercial establishments which pay by the season, quite frankly if I never do another sidewalk or driveway it will be none too soon. One commercial job bid right will pay you more in a snowless month than a whole street of driveways during blizzard season. Less overhead too ;)

John Allin Addict
Erie, PA
You CAN make money at residential plowing. There is a guy in Syracuse that does predominantly residential plowing and is generating over $165 per hour per truck in revenues (although is is charging 'per occurrence'). Sidewalk work takes considerable effort, and most people perceive it to be a pain in the butt, however - if you can make money at it, go get it. Most guys I know that don't like doing sidewalks, charge an arm and a leg and continue to secure business and just have to take the profits and live with it. Plow operators usually don't want to get out of the trucks, so a dedicated sidewalk crew may be necessary. THAT takes organization and a dedicated group of employees. Good luck. If you view it as a profit center, you can make good money at it. Treat it like a business, think of yourself as a professional (which you are), treat customers with respect and be honest.