Snow Plowing Forum banner
21 - 40 of 55 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I understand that but you're looking at it wrong as others have stated. Labor costs more, is more unreliable and harder to find. But you didn't answer the questions.

Do you have other work for the machine? How many hours did you estimate? Can snowblower 1 perform other work when he finishes...plowing or walks? I can't remember the other questions I was going to axe.

In this economy it is all about efficiency. 2 guys with blowers is anything but efficient unless that is the only way to do the work. Actually, any economy.

Last year I bought another loader for plowing. Between purchase price and repairs, I spent about as much or maybe a bit less than a well equipped pickup with front and rear plows. I had another 50% into the purchase of a plow for it. The CFO asked why not a truck or trucks. For less than 1/3 the price of 3 trucks with plows I can do the same amount of work. More importantly I only needed 1 operator. I know it doesn't compare exactly but it's basically the same thing.

Plus, you will be able to get something out of the machine if you lose the contract next year or whatever.
This is a fixed price for the season contract which we already signed. We have to designate the equipment to the site. Thought process is having a guy on the snowrator or a walk behind broom consistently and that would be his only job (or two guys with snowblowers). Worried the plow won’t clean the concrete walkway like the broom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
That's why we run all tractors and no plow trucks.
First and foremost, a tractor is so versatile. I can run a front broom for light snow, a front blade when it gets heavier, or a snowblower on front if I need to. On the rear we can run a blade or a blower. I don't currently have any front blowers for the main tractors because as I stated earlier, we don't get as much snow as we used to, but I'm set up for one. I'd just have to find one if I needed it, and I don't mind driving to get one if I have to. Anyway, the tractors have dual PTO's and I could put a blower on front and rear and run them going both directions. (Both PTO's can be ran simultaneously.) Same with the blade. I can switch to a loader if I need to pile it higher. Whatever it calls for, the tractor can do it. Key with them is you need to have all your work close enough together not to have to road too far, otherwise you are loading and unloading and that takes time. I've got all the equipment set up for hauling, and I can boom down two tractors in just a few minutes, but that is something you have to consider, load time, if you have to haul. Currently, we service two towns in my rural county that are about twelve miles apart. So, we do one town and load up and move to the next. One town is tiny, about 1200 people. The other around 6,000 but we put most of our accounts together, so we aren't running across town.

There's info in that paragraph that can be taken as advice, but I didn't spell it out, so I will.
  • Get contracts close to each other to save dead heading.
  • Get equipment that can do multiple jobs. Like gcbailey said, snowblowers only make money in the winter. Look at a tractor. It can be used year round. A truck with a plow can too I suppose, but once you plow with a tractor, payloader or a skid steer, you won't go back to a truck.
  • Equipment saves labor and time. You can charge more for equipment. Sure it does the job faster, but billing rate per hour is higher the larger and more expensive the equipment. In the end, equipment will make you more than a bunch of guys do. Employees can make you money, but not as much as the equipment can.
  • Get the right tool for the job. If you have a bunch of sidewalks, look at a large garden tractor with a blade, a subcompact tractor, or a mini skid. All those can clear walks and leave little to shovel. Me personally, I don't shovel much if any at all. You might have bid shoveling all the way to the door, I don't know.
This site requires that the equipment is designated to it. I have to keep walkways and parking lot cleared through out the storm. We have two Ditchwitch's, but I don’t have the right guys to use them for the walkways. I need something easier to use than a mini skid. I have a lot of equipment and accounts, but first one this big.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Another note I’d like to make here….. you don’t have to buy brand new equipment.
The only used snowrator is the original with the broadcast spreader for $9,500. I’ve been in communication with the owner, not sure I want that style though as there’s grass along the walkway and worries of damaging the grass with broadcast vs drop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58,648 Posts
This site requires that the equipment is designated to it. I have to keep walkways and parking lot cleared through out the storm. We have two Ditchwitch's, but I don’t have the right guys to use them for the walkways. I need something easier to use than a mini skid. I have a lot of equipment and accounts, but first one this big.
So how long do you estimate for one clearing? Do you have to salt every time?

I don't think I've heard anyone sing the praises about how well those walk behind brooms work
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58,648 Posts
If you estimated 6 hours with 2 guys but you can get it done in half the time (or less) you've effectively doubled your hourly rate.

If you figure $50/hour/man and 6 hours for 2 people that's $600. But if you do it in 3 hours with 1 guy, you're at $100/hour. Yes, you have to figure in the cost of the machine but I'm confident you'll recover that by eliminating one person. Unless you're figuring $25-35/hour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58,648 Posts
Another note I’d like to make here….. you don’t have to buy brand new equipment.
Personally, unless it's super low hours I'd stay away from an air-cooled moochine that is used for salting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,853 Posts
If you figure $50/hour/man and 6 hours for 2 people that's $600. But if you do it in 3 hours with 1 guy, you're at $100/hour. Yes, you have to figure in the cost of the machine but I'm confident you'll recover that by eliminating one person. Unless you're figuring $25-35/hour.
Is 50 per man hour all you guys are getting in Meatchickin?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58,648 Posts
I wish we were that high...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
So how long do you estimate for one clearing? Do you have to salt every time?

I don't think I've heard anyone sing the praises about how well those walk behind brooms work
Two blowers I’d guess about 2-3 hours to do the entire walkway once. I plan to pre-salt and salt during as needed and then at the end.
Do the blades scrap down to the concrete or leave snow? Only reason I was thinking broom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Aren’t you going to be salting?


also try not to crack the sidewalk with those sidewalk machines, because that has happened…
Yes we will be salting as needed. Looking to minimize the amount of salt needed.

They weigh about as much as a Walker Mower. Not concerned with cracking, these are heavy duty walkways.
 
21 - 40 of 55 Posts
Top