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Too much for 1, not enough for 2

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ALarsh, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. ALarsh

    ALarsh Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    So right now the plowing accounts are coming in good, but I am in a little predicament. I have too much work for one truck (or at capacity, pretty much full let’s say) and I don't think I have enough work for two trucks. How do you guys overcome this? Do I just suck it up and not profit as much this year by getting another truck and try to book more for it next year? Do I just go all out with my single truck? I can't find any good reliable subs so i'm thinking all the work will have to be "in house" so to speak.

    Advice? Suggestions? Thanks.
  2. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    Find a sub

    Or drop the accounts that dont pay good

    I should Add I'll take any thing I can get, and hire subs :)
  3. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    I'm in the same boat. I get 2 calls a day wanting an estimate. I call them back and tell them my schedule is full. Good news is that the yellow pages and the web page is getting customers to call. Bad news is that I don't want to add another truck and driver. My employees are great for landscaping and mowing, but not sure I would trust any of them to get up, get in my truck, and plow a customer of mine.

    Do what feels right. If you have enough, say you're sorry when they call. Next season drop the less than profitable ones and realize that others will call wanting bids. When that big storm drops all that snow this year you will be happy you said no to some of them.
  4. yard5864

    yard5864 Senior Member
    Messages: 149

    ALarsh -

    Where you at in SE WI?
  5. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    get a sub for a couple or you can get the other truck and put it to work and have a lighter load for both trucks until you can fill both routes

    IDOCTORTREES Senior Member
    from MONTANA
    Messages: 792

    No guts----no glorywesport
  7. ALarsh

    ALarsh Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    Well I think I decided I am going to get the Boss wings to bring my blade size just shy of 10'. That will increase my productivity and i'll give it a whirl.

    Yard- you have a pm.

  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    I might be late to your decision, but I ended up taking the hit on a 3rd truck this year.

    I was at the point where it was 24 hours each time it snowed for myself, and 12 hours for my dad when he plowed. He's 73.

    We drive new trucks (2006) and have new plows, to keep breakdowns to a minimum, but it still happens.

    I had the opportunity to pick up 4 more accounts this year, 2 of which are on contract, to pay for the 3rd truck, 2 are on per time to pay for fuel / wages.

    Now my load is lighter, and sure, I'm not going to profit quite as much, but now the 3rd guy can get a year under his belt without us busting balls trying to get everything done, and if he works out, then next year I have room to add 5-7 more commercial accounts.
  9. ALarsh

    ALarsh Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    Lwnmwr- How big are these accounts your talking? Are they condo's or business? How did you land them (methods of advertising?). If I could land 2 or 3 large commercials i'd probably go the additional truck route, but at this point in the season they must all be contracted.
  10. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    My niche market is banks, restaurants, small strip malls (4-6 tenants).

    Stuff where if you do the sidewalks too, you can do it all in an hour or under.

    I do them for $300-400 / month, for 6 months, depending on if they're more towards 40 minutes total or 60 minutes total.

    I average $125-150 / hour and have approx. 16 plowing events / year with a 1" trigger.

    For November now, they're forecasting nothing for the next 10 days, so that'll mean I'll invoice $6500 of work this month, having done nothing. I haven't even put stakes out yet.

    I get most of my accounts now by word of mouth. I haven't advertised in 7 years for plowing.

    Also, I have a fair amount of new construction in my area, and I target those properties pretty hard, trying to find the contact person as soon as there's a "coming soon" sign up or I find out what the property is going to be.