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Who plows gas stations?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by NASConst_land, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. NASConst_land

    NASConst_land Member
    Messages: 54

    We just got asked to bid 20 speedways in our area, and well ya thats fine and dandy but it just seems like plowing more then 1 or 2 would be a pain. We picked out 10 that we already drive by in our plowing route and only bid those 10. Is it worth the extra couple bucks to stop and spend 30 minutes plowing a gas station on the way to another site or to much hassle.

    I guess the one good thing about gas stations is they need to be cleared several times during a storm so you could make some pretty good money. I just hate to stop for that short of time when all of our other sites the truck is there for 1 1/2 hrs all the way up to the big stuff. Any hints or tips to plowing gas stations would be appreciated.
  2. victoryrider

    victoryrider Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    I've done sub work at a Seven Eleven with pumps a couple of times during big storms. It's a rather large store, so I don't know how it would compare to what you are looking at. Over all the experience that I have had is that they are a pain in the ass. There is constant traffic in and out, and people couldn't care less that you are trying to do a job. They look at you like you are in their way. The other thing is the tank caps, they always seem to comeoff and get plowed into the snow bank, then you have to go find them. Fortunately for me I only did it as a sub so I didn't have to do it every storm, and any complaints went to the contractor to deal with.
  3. jcesar

    jcesar Senior Member
    from Mi
    Messages: 492

    As Victory said, they are a PITA!!!!
    The gas lids always come off.
    Traffic sucks.
    Most open 24 hours.
    Liability on those are HUGE!!!!
    I have one, that I plow but i know the owner. It is not open 24 / 7 and it is in a very small, rural area. Not alot of traffic at 3am.
    But to bid on larger ones, no thanks....
  4. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    Like said above....caps always come off and everyone is always in the way. On the other hand, they need to be done more than other properties during a storm so there is a large amount of $$$ to be made. I think they are perfect for a smaller plow business since they can make money and have time to mess with the caps! ;) But there is, like said above, huge liability!
  5. snowplowpro

    snowplowpro Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 926

    i plow a gas station and its okay if you get there before they open quick cash but watch they sometimes dont like to pay but also you gotta watch out for those idoits that fly in and out of there pull up behind you when your backing up and want to make you wait till there done but yea quick cash is always good.
  6. JeffNY

    JeffNY Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    Our family owns a gas station, and this is my first year with a plow, i'll be plowing it, I'll let ya know.
    I do know it would be a pita/almost inpossible to plow it while its open.
    And another thing, in 7 years, our caps have never popped off from plowing. They have like a rim around them so you wouldnt actually hit the cap with the plow, I dunno, its weird.
  7. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,160

    Gas stations around here do not get plowed that often. Unless its snowing hard, the traffic going in and out drags enough salt off the roads to keep most of the snow melted or slushy. Besides that there are just too many foriegn owned stations here and rarely do they even plow at all.:dizzy:
  8. 353628

    353628 Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    30 minutes no way

    If you can get in and out of a gas station in 30 minutes I would be surprised. Between the pumps, gas tank covers and customers that seems to optimistic. Maybe if they are small stores and small lots. I have a c-store, fortunately we don't open till 6:00 am so I can make it there and plow the lot before then. When it's snowing and I have to plow during the day it is a royal pain. Remember the customers are customers, they pay the bills, they don't care if your in a rush trying to plow. They need fuel and a place to park. Most folks try to stay out of your way but their is only so much room in the lot and they need a place to park.

    On the other hand because of all that you should demand extra fees. Since I only plow for my self I can't say what to charge but 50% more wouldn't be out of line if its a 24 hr store.

    Good Luck.
  9. 2moresleeps

    2moresleeps Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 131

    Gas stations are only bad during certain times. Any place anyone plows can be difficult. Ever plow a major road and have to back in and out of a driveway when its rush hour? Its the same thing but on a larger scale....its all relative. If you get paid well, there is never an issue.
  10. spittincobra01

    spittincobra01 Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    last winter my friend plowed a shell station, open 24/7, small store with a dunkin donuts... I covered for him twice, and would NEVER do it again...

    PITA doesn't even scratch the surface. Customers walking out in front of you, cars pulling in right behind you, rude comments on and on. A lot that would take 20-25 mins was taking almost double that! One more thing, he was plowing the last storm of the season and cracked the cement pretty bad around the metal retainer ring holding the cover in place. It loosened up the metal ring and it all had to be replaced. $2000.00 later it was fixed, and on his dime.

    I wouldn't do one even if it was the only work I could come across.

  11. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    You get asked to bid 20 jobs and thats "Fine and Dandy"

    You must have too much work already to have that tude....dude.
  12. Snowpatroler

    Snowpatroler Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Depends on your equipment

    It really can depend on your equipment, Like many of the people said there is always going to be an issue with traffic so the fewer passes you have to make the better, so using a v plow in the scoop position or a skidsteer with a box plow are the best bets for quick moving of the snow being it is generally slushy and if you hit it early and then again later it works. Also there is less spillage so there are less trails to clean up and if you remove the caps before you plow which takes all of 2 sec to pop em off and set them aside you won't have to dig for them. Finally people can and will be stubborn and traffic is a risk so have proper warning lights epecially in high traffic stations like SA's and Speedways is a good idea so they can't say "didn't see you".
  13. NASConst_land

    NASConst_land Member
    Messages: 54

    There is no tude about it.. We are full for all the trucks that we have at the current time. Just because we got asked to bid this places does not mean we will get them. We bid properties in our route... well enough to make it worth the hassel cause we thought the same as everyone else. Now if we get the properties, from what everyone says here and what we think as a company we will definently be subing the stations out. We do have one extra truck that could do them, but we leave that truck empty so it can go out and plow if something were to happen to any of our other trucks, most of the time it ends up plowing one of the department stores we do just to cut down on time, and if a truck goes down it picks up where it left off.

    Thanks to all that replied..If we end up getting the stations I will let you know.. Thanks again.
  14. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Gas stations are a major pain in the ass
  15. LLM Ann Arbor

    LLM Ann Arbor Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    Well all I meant was that theres a lot of people here that would dance a jig at getting the chance to bid 20 properties, and at sometime you would have been a lot more excited about it as well.

    Good luck.
  16. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    I don't plow them period. There is a rod that goes in the tank to measure water in the fuel. if you hit the cab that covers that, you can snap off the rod. Which is $10,000 to replace. Just not worth the $$, unless you own the gas station.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    i have my shoveler snowblow the gas fills

  18. DJC

    DJC Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    I plow 3 gas stations in town and one is a speedway. As long as you back blade over the caps you should have no problems. I have never had one come off.
  19. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,366

    I've plowed one in my town for 8 years, and 2 times the cover has come off.

    I do it cheap enough that the people that run the gas station go out and dig for the cover.

    It's on a monthly contract, with extra stuff like that charged as an extra fee.
  20. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I plow a huge truck stop in town here. The only saveing grace is that it has a 2" trigger. Usually we only get about 1" of snow. We end up plowing it 5-6 times a year. The tank caps are a real pain. I just plow really snow over that area. Plowing between the pumps is also a pain. I work by the hour so the slower I go to be easy on my equiptment the more they pay. We do them at 1:00 AM or we don't do them that day. Yesterday we had 1" of snow by about 9:00 Am and about 2" by 10:30. By the time I got to my 2" accounts the snow was aready packed down. Too much constant truck traffic. We live on a major Interstate going into Canada, so we see a huge amount of trucks. There are always about 40 trucks parked in the back lot overnight. Another pain in the ass to plow around. I guess that it sounds like I ***** alot huh? The good part about this account is that I sand them when they Ice down, and THEY ICE DOWN ALOT. He, He, He.