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Starting residential plowing company, Pricing tips??

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Zorinoqc, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Zorinoqc

    Zorinoqc Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hi ive been working in commercial snow plowing for a few years now and i am feed up of working for other people. My plan is to buy a tractor with a inverted snowblower . I think that i coud handle between 125 to 150 single and double driveway (all in the same area).But the only thing is i need help to get a pricing method .Companys in the area charge about 320 bucks a year for a double driveway.

    Thanks for your help
  2. strokerpuller

    strokerpuller Member
    Messages: 36

    About how many inches of snow do you get a year?
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Well is that a good price? If it's is why would you go lower? Maybe even raise it up a little.
  4. jschmitz93

    jschmitz93 Member
    Messages: 62

    For snow only seasonals I figure out what I would charge per time and then figure between 12-15 plows. Seems to work out ok. I usally go towards 15 since I am not doing their mowing. Or price would be a less if it was a 12 month account.
  5. Zorinoqc

    Zorinoqc Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    in average we get between 60 to 80 inches of snow
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    First off, I would scale back your service number to an acceptable level. 130-150 is a lot. The way I look at it, if you can't complete your residential route 6 hours after a storm, then you need more equipment.

    For the big snows, I would say 50 is going to be more feasible. Thinking you'll keep your route tight and close isn't going to work either. While getting established, you'll probably end up taking everything you can get.

    As for price, I would think $400.00 + (US dollars) a season would be a bit better. But, it might be hard to compete already established companies.

    I have no clue what your market is actually like though, only you can make that pricing decision.

  8. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    With the right combo, Paul said he can do, on average 50'ish driveways per hour so a lot will depend on how tight your route is or can be. Around here your lucky to get 275/seasonal for an average driveway. This was "supposed" to be the year we pay some stuff off early so as to enable us to look into buying a AG tractor with an inverted blower but..... Our marketing alone was going to be about 4-5k just for this piece of equipment, then another 12-15 for the blower then 30-50k for a decent used tractor. We were going to really push 3 year contracts so we're not ars out in a year and stuck with a huge payment.
  9. paper65

    paper65 Junior Member
    from Quebec
    Messages: 16

    If you plan to use blower in the area of Quebec city, you may be better serve with a regular blower. Every saleman that I have talk about inverted one seems to say that we have to much snow in the area. They can work for rural use cause you have long drives but I don't think they can be efficient as regular blower for close Quebec city neighborhoods. Everybody use versatible with pronovost pxpl blade or ag tractor equiped with front blade and reg. blower.

    125 to 150 driveways can be done in 6 hours but it may takes couples of years and severals units addition and recuts of the initial territory deserve. We have 6 tractors for residential and operators handles from 90 to 175 accounts (mix of driveways and appartment parking) in this period of time. All have inverted expendable blade to drag snow in the street and we blow pile using standard blower.

    Pricing is right, If you plan to charge more than that you can't imagine having those numbers. I was 350/year 3 seasons ago using 100hp average tractors and agressives contractors bust me many accounts pricing 280 to 300 a year and using small compact tractor.
  10. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    wow i guess i need more equipment then.......

    this HAS to be a location thing.

    i'm solo and currently do 14-16 residential driveways per snow fall. that includes snow blower time on the sidewalks and walkways. with drive time it takes me a good 8 hours to get them all done. thats non stop working. no breaks, maybe one stop at a gas station for fuel in the truck and to use the bathroom.

    i know most guys in my neck of the woods would be working much more than 8 hours doing residentials depending on the snow fall. if we get a good 4 inches or more sometimes they are still doing them the next day.
  11. Golfpro21

    Golfpro21 Member
    Messages: 84

    it is taking you 8 hours to do 16 driveways including drivetime........are you driving all over the region, we have a shovelling crew that also does 20 drives that are too far out of our main route to take tractors, but it only takes approx 15 minutes per drive including shovelling walk, unloading/loading
  12. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Either your making a ton of money or your losing a ton..
  13. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    That's barely over one minute per driveway in ideal conditions. I guess that's possible but how bad do you whip a truck to do it my question. I like to think I'm pretty efficient but that seems ambitious. However I guess of you're using say a 9 1/2' fisher with wings that gives you somewhere around eleven feet or better. I suppose with that setup then yeah but I go back to how bad do you have to beat your truck to do it?
  14. Golfpro21

    Golfpro21 Member
    Messages: 84

    the 50 drives per hour is using a tractor with inverted blower, not a plow truck
  15. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Ahh I see. I take it that's also in a subdivision and going from one house to the next.
  16. Golfpro21

    Golfpro21 Member
    Messages: 84

    pretty much, in order to be able to do a hundred drives you need a very tight route with very little drive time...........you want the shortest route possible so that when you get those storms where you have to go back around as soon as you have finished your first visit you get your clients clearedquickly, so the guys doing it with plows or a walk behind crew are left in the dust compared to your turn over time.

    Around here, 5-7 hours is good time for a route, much more and you run the risk of getting behind if you need to do 2-3 back to back visits
  17. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    This video will explain best on what we are talking about
  18. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    I followed you. Like the video though. Around here people would sh!t if you showed up with that thing. Not to mention they would ***** about the noise at night. You don't see a lot of the ag tractors around here for snow removal. Everything is done by either truck, backhoe, loader or skid steer. I used to work for a guy that did a whole subdivision and we put a truck, skid steer and a shovel crew up there. As I recall it took them about 6-8 hours to do but a lot of them were rookies.
  19. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Interesting, the only thing we do not run is skid steer, but I would think they all have roughly the same noise output. Ag tractors are not as noisy as you think. The pickup truck is definitely the quietest of all.
  20. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 595

    Ag tractor no louder than a skid. Second season on our Ag tractor with inverted blower after 50 plus years of jeeps, pick ups, and skids, zero noise complaints.