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The look on peoples' faces....classic

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by lawnboy11, Mar 17, 2007.

  1. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    I saw tons of people out chipping away at ice today and boy did they look angry! I don't think I've ever seen people look so pissed while shoveling their snow (ice). It was a biatch to shovel, if you could. People also looked exhausted, standing at the end of the drive trying to clear the foot of soild ice at the end of it. As I drove by with my trailer of snowblowers they would look at me with a look like they wanted to jump out in the middle of the street and beg me for help. Tooooo bad suckas! you should have called in the fall. Ha ha! They would follow me with their eyes as I went by, maybe looking for a phone #, but Disco Stu don't advertise. Sucks to be them! Anyone else notice this or was it my exhaustion playing with my brain? Hope ya had a fun storm. Stupid, stupid ,stupid snow.
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    ??? You don't want business? Then why are you in plowing snow at all? Yes, the snow today was heavy, but that's why I've got a truck that can handle it. I also advertise with my name and number on the doors. Today, I'm driving down a private road and a State Trooper calls me on my cell phone. I just turn around, clear out his drive (doesn't take much, but it would be for him with a shovel), clear in front of his squad car so he can get it out and I just made another $35.

    I guess I don't understand. I ride around in a nice, new, warm truck - I'm not even wearing a jacket - drinking coffee and push some snow around. My customers send me notes with their payments, telling me what a great guy I am for taking care of them like I do. When I decide I want, I take a break for more coffee or a few hours rest and go back out when I'm ready. And for all that, I make pretty good money.
  3. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    No buddy, you don't understand. I don't want MORE business. I'm beyond maxed out. No one plows here. No one. Only commercial lots, Resis need to be done w snowblowers and shovels, it's the only way. You could do the drive w/ a plow, but you can't push the snow anywhere (no room on props, illegal to push onto street) and still have steps, walks, etc to do. Also, dry pavement is expected, not the crap plows can leave. I have plenty of business too. So much I don't want more. Maine and LI are different worlds. No BS, I too have nice notes. I wasn't talking about my customers, only the suckers that wish they were!
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2007
  4. Mark in MD

    Mark in MD Member
    Messages: 40

    It's different up in Maine. Because it's so cold up there, the snow just stays snow. You can take your time.

    Down south, we have to get the snow right after it falls, because if we don't, it'll get wet at the height of the day, and then it will freeze at dusk. And then we, the plow guys, are totally screwed.

    Down here, we can't be screwing around drinking coffee and stopping for every Tom, Dick, and Harry that needs help, because chances are we've got too many jobs lined up already and our window of opportunity is closing.

    I guess you have it better up there for winter work. We have it better down here for wam weather work. :)
  5. ppandr

    ppandr Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    Last Friday/Sat we got 6" of sleet, NOT SNOW. It stopped sleeting at 2 am on Saturday. We began plowing at aroung 4pm on Friday straight through to Saturday at 5pm. We do 80 drives and two large commercials all of which want to be done as soon as possible with 3 guys. The sleet that fell was froze solid by 9am was impossible to plow thereafter. By 9 am customers were calling wanting to know why thier drives had not been plowed or finished (luckily we did single passes around 3 am prior to freezing). Most of the secondary roads still were unplowed at that time. In our area, as in LI, NY there is a shortage of reliable residential snow guys. Saturday and Sunday I got about 20 additional calls that I deleted from my voicemail, then more irrate callers because I hadn't called them back...half were former customers that hadn't signed our contract in the last year or two. Where were they during the smaller storms in the last two years??? We have a good snow business that provides winter pay for my guys as well as pays our few offseason bills. During previous seasons with heavy SNOW falls we have taken on addition drives (when we are not busting equipment for ungreatful homeowners). I direct my employees to charge double our contract rates which they pocket themselves.

    I guess the bottom line is I'm not your slave, if you call I might answer if I want to, but if I don't it's my f-in business.
  6. AbsoluteH&L

    AbsoluteH&L Senior Member
    Messages: 573

    There are pros & cons everywhere. You are both right. But if you got time to sip coffee or go for more then you need more drives. Around here people want it done NOW! (picture plow guy with cell phone at arms length flicking it off listening to pissed off customer):realmad: LOL Never been to Long Island, but that must be a PITA. If you have to many customers put your prices up.
    As for the foot of ice that sux bad too. I however deal with the joys of LAKE EFFECT, 60 & sunny:cool: one day, 12" of snow the next. We all get it rough once in a while.:cry:
  7. troy28282

    troy28282 Senior Member
    Messages: 178

    I could agree more. Here, this winter we have had some really heavy/wet snows in the beginning of the season and then a "blizzard" in the beginning of Feb and we got a ton of calls in and there was a reoccurring trend that I saw. Its was that people wanted there driveway cleared within 15 minutes of calling and only wanted to pay pennies to have it done. Thats all fine and dandy for some guys that are happy to move 12+" of hard pack for $15. If it isn't worth my time then I don't bother. If they wanted to finish out the season, it would be a totally different situation which the majority did not want to do.

    This sign at the bar sums up my situation well,"Why should a lack of planning on your part constitute an emergency on my part?"
  8. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    Man, I'm from LI but went to school near rochester, I know what real cold and snow are like! Not as bad on LI, but the ice blows! The only snow customers I do are landscaping customers and a few of their neighbors (since I'm there anyway, might as well). I think my prices are high enough so I'm happy, I just liked to look at all the pitiful folks looking like puppy dogs at me as I drove by with my trailer of snowblowers!
  9. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I say go with the best of both worlds! Advertise on the doors, sip coffee/cocoa/bourbon (j/k) riding in a new truck to do all the contracted accounts first, and anyone new who calls goes to the bottom of the list (with an expression of our gratitude, asking if they will mind waiting a couple hours -- if not, have a nice day; if so, it's possibly a new contract). The last storm I did 5 places I haven't normally done before, and they all fit into my route pretty well. Next year, they'll be contacted along with my other regulars. I agree that it's not good to make the contracted customers wait because someone can't be bothered to shovel today, but again I'd be glad to help them out when I'm caught up on the rest of the route.
  10. xlr8

    xlr8 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    I agree with yard medic I do all my accounts first and any add ons at the end cause if my truck/plow break doing a new drive and I cant do my contracted ones I and my customers are going to be angry.
  11. Mark in MD

    Mark in MD Member
    Messages: 40

    Yes. This is valuable advice to the noobs. With one pass, you have at least a decent chance to get the plow underneath the ice sheet when you come back later. Otherwise you're out there with a pick and a spade. This statement should be in the "New To The Industry" forum.