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What gives???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by grotecguy, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. grotecguy

    grotecguy Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Lately I have read a lot of posts about plowers not wanting to spend money on their rigs.

    I have read so many posts stating "I'm on a real tight budget" or "I don't want to sink a lot of money into" something and so on. What are you to do at 3 AM when your truck or plow is broke down because you are on such a "tight budget" or you "didn't want to sink a lot of money" into your setup. That $12.00 hose or the $1500.00 transmission rebuild isn't in the budget, what about insurance.

    You're customers aren't going to care. They need their lots/drives cleared, not excuses. You will be replaced by a plower with an operating budget and does their preventive maintenance.

    I spend several hundred to several thousand dollars each winter to lessen the chances of a breakdown. I myself have 2 very capable trucks. Last winter I broke a radiator. I finished my route in the backup truck and had the radiator back in by 2 PM. Seems to me this would sideline many plowers on here.

    I am not pointing fingers or picking on anyone, I just have a question. How can a plowing operation survive the winter on little or no budget??

    What gives?
    Mark K
  2. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    Well some have two budgets I guess. Myself I watch my bottom line closely where possible so when unexpected expenses arise they can be meet without problem whatever they may be.
  3. new2it

    new2it Member
    Messages: 38

    Seems like most of the people who don't want to spend a lot of money on their setup are not plowing commercially. There are always exeptions, but I believe the majority don't have any "customers" to worry about.
  4. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    A good business man subtracts his repair/maintenance costs from his revenues and then sets his prices.

    A foolish business man does not subtract his costs then thinks he is making a bigger profit. Thus he thinks he can do it cheaper than the other guy.
  5. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    Here's my story..

    I don't have a lot of money to start this business. But I'm going for it. I try to do things as inexpensively as possible. And try to sneak by....until things get better.

    I don't have the capacity to go to the bank and get a startup loan for many thousands of dollars, so I can start my snow service business.

    I try to think of myself as the small-business people of old. Like my step dad, who fixed cars in his mom's garage when he first started out. Then when he earned a reputation, and a few dollars he grew into a brick and mortar business with 2 locations, a salvage yard and wrecker business.

    I HOPE beyond hope that I make a profit this year, and in future years. I plan to buy a building in town, buy more trucks, offer expanded services (salting, loader service, etc)...but for now.... Its just me in my garage, so to speak. Its me and my truck. I'll inch by as I try to grow my business.

    So, while I understand the thought that small time operators with no budget are maybe not doing things exactly right. I, for one, am doing it the only way I can.... for now. Until I am the biggest, best, most well equipped snow contractor in the county.

  6. Tarkus

    Tarkus PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,113

    A smart bussiness man also takes good care of his equipment and does not buy new all the time which increases his overhead and costs. A 10 or 20 K dollar truck will push snow just as good as a 40k one if bought and maintained wisely.
  7. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176


    That is the attitude that is required. Face your problems as they come, but the point is, spend a little on repairs and you will avoid the loss of revenues which you need to grow and customers.
  8. grotecguy

    grotecguy Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    Nice posts here guys.

    Glenspot I commend you on your attitude and business philosophy, i am in the same boat.

    But as Bolts stated, "spend a little on repairs and you will avoid the loss of revenues which you need to grow and customers."

    This is so true. We who plow for money are in the customer service industry. How can someone plow on a "wing and a prayer" or less budget??

    I have a small operating budget. I have 2 dedicated plow trucks that I have less than $10,000.00 in. They may not be pretty but they are 100%. I don't have to worry about the slipping tranny or the questionable pump. I spend part of the summer and all of the fall doing my repairs and maintenance. I am ready to go before the first snow.

    There are a lot of posts where the plows haven't even been bought yet. I don't think mid December is a good time to think about buying a plow.

    I guess what I am trying to say is...If a somewhat major breakdown is going to put you out of business, you really need to rethink your business situation.

    Once again, let me say I am not picking on anyone.
    This is just an observation I have made in the last few weeks.
    Mark K
  9. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    well you have to remember that no-matter how much preventive maintenance you do some things just plain wear out.if something breaks I go to my new shop and grab whatever I need off the wall and go, but having that convenience is at a price

    I have to agree with you all though, my winter buget for snowplowing is $2500, I figure thats about what I have to make before I turn a profit.... some on here will say "damn thats alot of $$ to have wrapped up in a season that could go bust easily" think about this, when I started ordering Rubber Stock, Rubber Edge Material, Plow Pumps & plow parts back in june I had no clue how this season was going to unfold, I am happy to say that my $22,000 investment has made double it's money back so far this season.

    overall it is a big crapshoot with 21 sided dice :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2004