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what is your plowing method

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by powerjoke, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    i know i'm new to snow i was just wondering what the diferent methods of clearing a loarge open area or maybe just a driveway, i have pushed before eith equipment but am reletively new to trucks so i was just wondering
  2. ProSeasons

    ProSeasons Senior Member
    Messages: 624

    Iv'e got this one lot, basically a big square with the entrance at one corner if you will. The first time I did it it took me two hours with the straight blade, so I billed em for a two hour push. Now with the Pro Wings on a 9' 2" Boss Vee (an 11 foot plow) It takes 14 minutes. Like printing money. I start and always reverse back to the entrance in the corner and windrow to each edge like opening a fan. Faster than heck! And I STILL bill 'em for a two hour push!
  3. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    I wonder how you can charge somebody for work you didnt do. If you do 14 mins of work then the way i see it your ripping them off. If it was me i would raise my rates and charge accordingly.
  4. jpunlimited

    jpunlimited Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    fair price

    another way to look at the 2 hour vs. 14 minutes is 1) he spent more money to improve the technology for removal and now hopes to recupe it within a reasonable amount of time. 2) the first time always takes longer as we learn the best way to handle it. as our skill increases we do not lower our prices.
  5. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    Ok so look at it this way, how would you feel if you took your truck to get something fixed. Now they tell you it will take them 4 hours to fix it and they charge you for 4 hours to do the reapir. Now after you pay to have your truck fixed you find out it only took them 30 mins to do the repair. Did they rip you off, hell ya they did. Now what i was saying raise your rates the better you get. You still get the same money you just not telling the sub hes paying for something hes not. If thats the way it works im gonna start charging my subs for the time it would take me to shovel them out...Rob
  6. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    bid it at what ever the customer will take. most times bidding by the hour is a bad idea IMO. If you bid by the hour though your price per hour should fall in line with how well you move snow(exquipment and experience) so it should roughly cost the customer the same if you upgrade next year or improve your skills. But if you quote a customer x per hour and thats your rate structure then you are ripping them off if you charge for 2 hours and are there for 15 minutes. Tell them you are adjusting your rates ect for improved equipment ect...... I wouldnt go and say....I learned to plow better so my price is going up though

    A big reason why bidding by the hour is a bad idea IMO.....it dosnt give much incentive to be productive and it has a tendancy to freak out some customers if you are extremely productive and they ask....why are you 150$ per hour and x is 50? Oh....your that much faster....uh huh.....yeah what ever.... :rolleyes: were going with him now.....


    I kinda like most guys that bid by the hour though.....you can ussually go in there and "under cut" them by charging less and get it done quicker and make more effective $$$ per hour as your on the next lot :nod: not knocking you or anybody and saying guys that charge per hour arnt productive.....it just sems in this area the rate structure is set up were its better to bid as a per push.
  7. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    look at how most mechanics are paid......

    A book says job x will take x amount of time and you will get paid for that. If it takes 1/2 as long or twice as long they are still getting paid the same. there are pluses and minuses to everything regardess how you look at it.
  8. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    A tool that makes the job easier

    A snowplow and truck are tools that make the job of snow removal easier and faster.

    A roof can be put on with a regular hammer and nails, too. But roofers use air nailers and compressers to get it done faster. That doesn't mean that it got cheaper to do...just faster for them.

    Professional lawn care people have big 61" mowers that get the lawn mowed faster than I could do it with a 21" mower. But they wouldn't charge any less to do it...just because they can do it faster.

    If you are hired to clear a driveway, or walkway. It should be to MY benefit to buy equipment be able to get it done faster. A $50 driveway is a $50 driveway...wether I can get it done in 15 minutes or a half hour.

    Charging by the hour, doesn't make any sense to me, and seems like it would benefit you to show up with a shovel and "snow scoop" (if you know what that is....you must be from the U.P.). Then it can takeyou 3 hours to get it done, and charge accordingly.

  9. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    I have accounts both by the hour and by the push. I bid a very large account that would only except bids by the hour. I still don't know if I have it or not, but that is the only way the would accept bids. The biding was so confusing:3 Different size trucks, all with different =$$, loaders = $$$, tractors = $$, bobcats =$$, sand = $, parking garages with limited clearance, certain areas requiring u-blades and sweepers, certain areas open 24/7 must be kept liquid :(

    Look at it this way, a $50 driveway:
    4 hours by hand $12.50 per hour
    1 hour with blower $50.00 per hour
    15 min with truck $200.00 per hour
    its still just a $50 driveway
    Equipment will dictate the hourly rate. If we add wings to blade we factor our hourly to account for the equipment upgrade.
  10. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    I think we are saying the samething we are just going about it differently. I was just trying to say if your billing somebody for time spent on the job then thats what you should be charging them. But if your on the job 1/8 of the time your charging then thats just not rite and you need to rethink how the billing is done. Flat rate would be the better way to go on this one.
  11. smiti105

    smiti105 Member
    Messages: 90

    Isnt this thread supposed to bo about how to plow the lot and not about how much money eveyone makes?
  12. all seasons

    all seasons Member
    Messages: 61


    i dont think that i actually saw an answer to the original question
  13. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    it is next to impossible to explain how to plow and its impossible to do it in a couple paragraphs. We can answer questions or give some general tips but to write down how you plow is next to impossible. There are so many different situations and types of equipment and different kinds of accounts that you attack differently depending on the situation. Think about trying to explain to somebody how you do the wild monkey dance......big parnter? small parnter? in a car? on a couch? ect. too wide of a topic IMO to nail down. Would be easier if there were some pictures or if you could sit in a lot and explain things but without props......major lenghty PITA. Sorry, I dont mean to be a dick. And even though the above info may not be directly OT with as wide as the topic is its still good info for a new guy to think about. JMO
  14. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

  15. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    I was looking for that. It gets pretty detailed for those beginners on here.
  16. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    My general tips......

    There is no solid rule, sometimes you gota do what you gota do. Everything changes, dont get into the habbit of doing things a certian way or clearing a lot a certian way, constantly try to think of ways to do it better. There are really no hard rules!

    try to back as little as possible, there are many reasons why.

    Try to stack as little as possible, many resons why

    Go as fast as you can. Things that should slow you down are things like visibility, traffic, condition of the lot(speed bumps, is it torn up with lotsa big cracks man holes ect) if there is lotsa ice or hardpack ect., other obsrtuctions you are going around like fire hydrants and the like or around blind corners of buildings. You shouldnt go faster than conditions allow, also if its a lot your not very familiar with you obviously have to go slower. Going fast is more productive for one and its easier on equipment. You fling your windrow out farthur and your using momentum and not acting like a bulldoser. For the most part stay the hell outa low range. Actually try to stay in 2wd as much as possible. If you strt having problems getting stuck or getting flung side to side then go for 4 but if not there is no reason to be in it. On line with going fast also....get a deflector, you wlll need it.

    Ditch the plow shoes for the most part.

    Dont move snow 2wice, if you are plowing over clean ground you are doing something wrong.


    If you are in a large lot and you are having trouble moving your windrow since it has grown......take a couple of perpendicular swipes blasting it every so often to were you are windrowning it to and then after you have thinned it a bit you should be able to start windrowing again(yes i know you will be plowing over "clean" pavment) Windrowing snow to a location is the best and most efficent to move it.

    Use the snow to slow you twards the end of a run, it'll save on your brakes.

    For the most part do all your major snow moving and windrowing and then go back for the "cleaning up of the crumblys" Example: when doing a lot with light poles, buzz around windrowing everything dodging the poles, when you are done you will be leff with a long narrow triangle of snow extending in each direction from the pole, now go back and clean up those trails and push em to the pole.

    Pro wings or a V blade makes clean up and such much easier.

    All make sense? That about all I can think of now.......
  17. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

  18. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Start in the center and work out in a circle getting larger with each pass, dont lift your blade and dont backup till you are at the edges then you can push off ware needed.
    you can cut your plowing time on a large lot by 75% this way.
  19. ProSeasons

    ProSeasons Senior Member
    Messages: 624


    You know, your'e right, dude! This year I'm gonna show up with a spoon and bill 'em for a 26 hour push!! :rolleyes: And screw the 72" diesel Dixie! Where's the scissors!!!! I'm gonna be rich!

    If my mechanic says it's gonna be 4 hours, I got two choices. Sit my big butt in the customer's lounge or fix it myself. If the mechanic has to use jacks and bricks and a creeper the first time he fixes your ride, it's gonna take 4 friggin' hours! Because he wises up and gets himself a new dual post lift and makes himself faster, he should penalize himself?? What's the difference if he raises his rates? The customer don't know. If they did, THEY WOULD FIX IT THEMSELVES! It's not any of their business HOW I run my outfit. If I want to run a 7' 6" straight blade, a monster pusher box or a freakin' jet engine, I'll do it the way I want and bill it the way I want.

    There's only two ways in business to make a profit. Price and Volume. a simple fact a lot of LCOs forget. and there are a lot of ways to increase volume, thank God.
  20. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    I start in the middle and windrow to the sides, stacking at the end. This is for a big lot by the way.