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When plowing, are you relaxed or stressed?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Up North, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    I know this probably has a lot to do with what kind of plowing each person does, mine is a mix of commercial & residential. But how do you feel while out plowing? Relaxed or stressed? Personally, I like going out as it's kind of nice being out in the middle of the night or early morning and the only people out are generally other snowplowers. But on the other hand I feel stressed as I'm always worried about hitting something, having a breakdown, or something going wrong. I haven't had anything major go wrong, but sometimes I wonder if the stress is worth it, when I'm all done plowing for the day or night I just feel beat.

    Anyway, my plow is hooked all up and sitting in the shop getting nice and warm for tomorrow as we have 5-10 in the forecast, snowing pretty heavy right now. Good luck to all this season!

  2. jonw440

    jonw440 Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    I am usually excited, so thats a form of stress. The only stress I get is if there is a lot of traffic and I have to back into the road many times. And of course that "Driveway from hell" I get down right stressed with that one...Donehill with a slop off one side about 5 foot drop. Yes thats where the customer wants the snow pushed. "Just push it over the hill" BUT I do make good money on that one alone!
  3. Crash935

    Crash935 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I'm usually pretty relaxed, i dont let the what ifs get me because i cant do anything about it until it happens. Worst part is that i'm 20 to 30 minutes from the shop and if i break it, i'm fixin it, so i tend to get creative if things arent working and dont get to carried away when i get to the edges of the lots. That, and i work alone pretty much most of the night so i dont have to worry about what the other guy is doing or where hes at.
  4. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I love being out in the storm at night!!:nod:
    No stress when plowing , only time I feel stressed is when it hasn't snowed for a while.:realmad:
    It's fun watching all of the idiots (bad drivers) trying to drive around in the snow.

    O.k. .O.k. old people with blue hair who drive 4 door cars do!!:waving:
  5. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,137

    Good question Buck...For me during the day I get stressed out because I do mostly residential.My customers seem to call and check to see if we are out on the road or not.Like I would really answer the phone if I was at home and it was snowing anyways.If they complain a couple of times I try to drop them I just don't need that.
    During the late evening hours its not that bad,like you said there's not many cars on the road except other plowers.The routes go faster,less chance's for accidents and less complaints.If I had it my way I would like to plow every time at night and never see the customer.Let them wake up to a clean driveway.
  6. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    Hey Farmer, I'll be over around 10am tomorrow to pull you out of the ditch...that okay?:D Snowing much over there?

    Hey Larry, forgot to mention when we talked today...the Vikes & T-Wolves rocked Cleveland again...hee,hee. :waving:

  7. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    I have to say the time I get stressed is when the snow comes right before morning rush hour. You get out and start plowing and then here comes everyone trying to get to work. Going about 10mph on the freeway and 5 mph on the side streets. You are in a rush to get the commercial accounts done and you have folks just blocking your way. The residentials can wait until after the rush, then I just take my time and make sure they are clean for when they come home. Only have on Pita that calls and says JP I really like to run my errands early in the morning. So this year she gets bumped up to about 6:30 in the am.


    PS have fun plowing that 5-10 inches of gold. Be careful out there too.
  8. Robhollar

    Robhollar Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    I get into my own zone I find it very therapeutic being out in the middle of the night.....Rob
  9. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    Same here! It's relaxing!
  10. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    NO!! Buck, I'm very stressed:realmad: It's still raining here!!
    The weather guesser said it would be freezing rain turning to snow around 3 AM.
    Can I change that tow call for 4 AM? and bring some salt,Thanks.:waving:
  11. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    To me its the best place to be all the work in the off season and to be able to be out in the worst conditions and just look out the window and see the idiots out there that have no clue about what to do during a storm or how to get anyplace when storms hit, it's like the deer in the headlites look priceless..
  12. killed300ex

    killed300ex Senior Member
    Messages: 293

    i find it relaxing nothing better than going out early morning to a layer of fresh white stuff. Nothing can compete.
  13. sixspeed

    sixspeed Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    I'll trade ya!!!

    Hey Buck,

    You can have our 60+ degree day we had today for opening day of the season and we'll take the 6 to 9 inches!!! LOL!!! :)
  14. mike33087

    mike33087 Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    stress? ya right

    I absolutly love being out there plowing, luckily i dont have to deal with customers as i plow for my town. But i do get quite a bit of entertainment from watching the idiots drive around at 3 am cause thers snow on the road, it makes no sense. But the only time i get stressed is when we have to plow during the morning rush or the afternoon traffic rush as where most of my turn around points are on main roads. No one seems to want to be behinde a plow truck that is going to leave nice clean pavement, so they decide to cut me off :angry:

    but over all i love it, and where is my damn snow up here:realmad:
  15. murphyslaw

    murphyslaw Senior Member
    Messages: 443


    I love plowing, if i didn't i couldn't do it. i do have to say the first few years were hard and stressful. but now that I'm used to all the equipment and 97% of my accounts are returns I'm used to the lots also. it just takes familiarity. and with time you'll get there.

  16. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Right now I am stressed right out. My own truck needs some repairs still and my employee's truck needs its safety inspection before it can go anywhere but I still need to reassemble the dash and interior... AND change the driveshaft hanger bearing.

    One of my largest headaches is that I am still setting up the building. I tried tonight to seal the concrete but my "water-clear" sealer looks a lot more like skim milk.... you know, white with that bluish tint..? I tried an area but this 24hr dry time is BS. I can't wait on experiments while I determine if the crap they sold me is garbage or not.

    Meanwhile I am ripping my hair out about other things.

    Once it is all set in motion, I will probably find it relaxing once again. At least, once a half-hour has passed from the 2am alarm clock... :D
  17. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Getting back into my "zone" right now. Going to bed at 5am and getting up at 9:30am everyday is alittle out of my norm.

    I really love what I do. But this business has its days. I stress alot, sometimes to an unhealthy point. I find being solo is alot easier because all you have to worry about is yourself. I have 7 yahoos working for me all winter. Most of the them are good, but every once in a while one will sleep in, forget, or plain old won't look at the cell phone when I page them in.

    I'm a really heavy sleeper for the 4hrs I get everyday and usually sleep right through the 3 alarm clocks next to my bed (all 1min apart for alarm time). I usually don't even hear my phone ring during the night.

    But anyway, I love this biz. Gets to be challanging dealing with my customers needs and maintaining a level of care that I push for. My crew is great, but when something goes just "alittle" away from perfect, my day is ruined.
  18. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I would not be plowing if I did not enjoy it, at my age id just go work at the supermarket carrying bags if I wasent plowing snow for most of my money. I like being my own boss for the most part except for when I sub but even then owner/friend of ours thinks iam doing him a favor because he is short guys.

    I dont let anything get to me while out on the road, it all comes with the job. My favorite time to plow is at night or early morning, I perfer the visibility of daytime but will trade it for less traffic anyday. Weekends up until 10 AM are usually dead on the roads so thats always a good time to be out. I have a cheap cell plan and a cheap phone just for my customers to call me. I pay very little for it and use none of the minuites. The phone stays off while plowing and customers are told to leave a message and I will be back to them within an hour max (I usually check every half hour). I use my main cell for all my calls, even to call the customers back (but I block the # so they cant get it from caller ID). I find this method to work VERY WELL! It has cut down on the Pain in the ass customers that will ***** about anything and everything. If they cant talk directly, they tend not to call over the things that are not such a big deal after all. I only have a few PITA customers but i still dont want to listen to the phone when iam trying to plow. All the plowers I know have my regular number as do the people I sub for on occasion so they can always contact me. The biggest stress for me is my mother calling either worried sick about me or wondering when iam going to be home so we can all go somewhere.

    I just relax and enjoy the sights and sounds. Plowing is very interactive and your contstantly thinking of how to do it best and most efficently. It never gets old for me, I enjoy being out in the storms and helping people. The money is not bad either.

    I dont worry too much about breakdowns until they happen but that is the one thing that will get me flamming mad:angry: . I spend so much time and $ making sure everything is in ok shape and if something gets screwed up Iam not very happy for the rest of the day, its always the little things too. Nice to know I have a back up sitting in the driveway or not far away and also know enough people that could help me out in a jam. I still dont like things to deviate from what I expect on a normal plow run as far as condition of truck/plow and if it does it tends to ruin my day even if its minor.

    Iam doing about as much as I want to do now, I dont see myself being able to enjoy managing an entire crew of drivers/shovlers, etc and having lots of equipment to deal with like you guys that own companies. That would get me stressed fast when the snow comes and id be sick of plowing after a few years.
  19. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    I'm plenty familiar with the accounts and plowing as all my customers are repeat except a couple new ones. And I've been plowing since I was 16, been in and out of it a few times. I guess I'm just a worry wort when it comes to dinging the equipment, and we all have to admit...plowing is hard on a vehicle. When I plowed for my dad as a kid and later for my step brothers I was using their equipment, and even then I didn't want to bang up their equipment, but it's just different when it's your own. I tend to be ultra cautious and face it, that's hard to do in this business.:dizzy: Plus last season I'd just got back into plowing again and since I worked a full time job also, I felt really rushed and had to get things done by a certain time, this year will be different as I don't have to worry about being to work by 8am. Being your own boss certainly does have some benefits.:)

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to heading out in the morning as we have about 4 inches on the ground right now and still snowing...starting to really blow around as blizzard warnings are out right now just to the south of town. I'll try thinking of relaxing thoughts while out there tomorrow...until I back into that same fricken tree I backed into twice last year.:angry:

  20. murphyslaw

    murphyslaw Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    yeah Ur right about banging up equipment that is my #2 concern. i hate coming home and having to fix something before i go to bed. that and i just bought a new blizzard and I'm gonna scream the first time i hit something with it but it will be OK after i jump out and look things over with a fine toothed comb. i didn't know how long you have plowed, and i hope you didn't think i was insulting you in anyway. it was just a mere generalization. the hardest time for plowing is the first two-three storms then everyone is back in the grove of things. now banging up costumers stuff thats # 1 and that does ruin my day.