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Yet another new guy looking for advice...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by mike_dmt, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. mike_dmt

    mike_dmt Member
    Messages: 39

    Here's the deal, I'm a sweeper here in Washington, maybe looking to start plowing. And only because one of my potential customers offered me a season of plowing on contract. As of now I have no truck and no plow. LOL! But I have searched through this site for a few hours, and have seen that a decent 1 ton with a nice 8.5 or 9' V with some wings will work just fine. The lot is huge to do with just one truck as you can see, so I'm half thinking I might HAVE to hire a sub.

    The contract is for plowing and de-icing
    Sidewalks and entryway is handled by store
    2" Trigger
    Start by 3a.m. (for loading dock and employee parking)
    Snow piles will be mostly at the north end which is a deep grassy area, and the lower left parking area snow will have to go to the West (a long push form what I understand)

    All loader work is over and above contract. I AM responsible to have loader work done, so a little markup is probably expected.

    Again this is a huge lot to do by myself, but it will be the only thing I have to plow, so maybe it wont be too bad.

    A good friend of mine plows on the same 2" trigger, and only went out a dozen or so times last year, which was the worst for snowfall we've had since '92.

    Let me know what you all might expect to get for a contract as opposed to a per push agreement. And the kicker, how long will it take, roughly? Thanks for all replies!

    costco birds eye.jpg
  2. erkoehler

    erkoehler PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,279

    WOW, that is a large lot.......I'm pretty new to the plowing game, but I don't think one truck is going to cut it. I am surprised they are on a 2" trigger with the high risk of slips and falls surrounding the retail industry. When I was a manager at Target we were at a 1" trigger for plowing and immediate salting when precip. began.

    I would think 1-2 trucks and a loader on site w/ pusher.

    Can you get all of those outlots as well? If so, go w/ 2 trucks a loader and a skidsteer :)
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  3. mike_dmt

    mike_dmt Member
    Messages: 39

    Pretty much everything in the pic is included in the lot. The right side is a gas station thats part of the store. The only thing I wouldnt be doing is the little bit you see at the bottom right. So, yeah, it is a ton for one truck.

    As far as the 2" trigger, I will also be de-icing really regularly. Anytime the temp drops and there is any chance of precip or ice, probably standard procedure for everybody, right?
  4. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,707


    Where are you planning to get your salt, and what's it going to cost ya?
  5. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,215

    Ok Mike here is a patient mans response to you question.

    You are not even a newbie yet, you are still in Mother Natures warm summer womb. You have yet to enter the birthing process into the cold harsh reality of snow removal.

    Now as I understand you have 0 plowing experience. You have a few of hours on this site, and have learned that a 1 ton with a V works fine, but you don't know on what. You are half thinking ( thats a loaded statement I will leave alone) that you might need to hire a sub.
    You are not ready to take this on. But like most Newbs, you don't want to hear that and will go ahead anyways. So read as many posts as you can on this site for at least 10 hours, and then you will know what real questions to ask. I will answer one of your questions. Yes you will need a sub, and make it someone with a loader.
    I hope you listen and learn.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2008
  6. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Did it snow in Montreal already? LOL:drinkup:
  7. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    looks like a 2 truck one skidloader with a box to me. It also looks like a 5-6 push for the three too. Are you sure you don't want to be a sub first????:help:

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    Thats a huge job to jump into, do you have a sander? or a loader to load the sand? innsurance? how much are they willing to pay you? Just imagine when its snowing like crazy and all those cars are moving around. *** that
  9. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    RUN, FORREST RUN!!!!!:drinkup::drinkup:
  10. ultimatetrucks

    ultimatetrucks Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    I don't tink you realise what it is goin to take to do that lot. You are going to have to plow into rows and hog that along way to get it off that lot around here that lot would be 4 trucks and 1 if not 2 loaders hogging to end of lot. Just a thught salt and sand are a whole other game as that is going to reqir alot more than the ole tailgate spreader you would be best to offer this to someone you know who carries snow contracts and have them take you on as a sub. I know it looks like a big amount of money but get yur calculator out and start punching time and money!!!!
  11. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    I thought the ex might have burried you in a hole some where? Nice to see you back ben:jester:
  12. mike_dmt

    mike_dmt Member
    Messages: 39

    I appreciate the words of wisdom, I really do. Thats why I have taken the time to read and read, and hopefully ask intelligent questions.

    As far as deicing, around here guys run liquid. Thats what has been run on this lot for years. Thats what the city and county run on the roads. So, I was thinking a small skid mounted tank with a 140" boom.

    As far as equipment, this lot, from what I've been told was plowed by 3 trucks, in about two and a half to three hours.

    Loader wise, also from what I've been told, has almost never been needed. I know that sounds really newbish, but in my earlier post I mentioned that last year was the heaviest in a decade, and they only got a loader on site twice, only to move piles.

    To answer Ducatirider, I don't want to be a sub, simply because most guys that do sub, haven't made much money around here in a long time. As I also said before, a buddy of mine only went out 12 times last year whaich was the most he' gone out in the ten years he's ben a sub. So for me, to buy a truck and plow just to sub wouldn't be worth it.

    Again, I really appreciate the input. I like to think that I have the humility to listen to you guys. I am of course doing this to make money, but I'm not even convinced yet that I want to do it.
  13. mike_dmt

    mike_dmt Member
    Messages: 39

    Any more insight?

    I thought this might be feasable, but the responses I'm getting have me really concerned. And rightly so, I'm sure.

    Could this be done with two trucks in a reasonable amount of time?

    I did find out the average snowfall here is 50".

    I do also have a sub to do my loader work. I dont want to get in over my head here.
  14. mike_dmt

    mike_dmt Member
    Messages: 39


    No one has anything else to add?

    My sub with the loader picked up a comparable account for plowing and de-icing in my area and is planning to use fairly similar equipment for an account about the same size. Being a truck, a skid steer and his loader.

    Is it the fact that I want to use liquid deicer?

    Is it because I haven't run a plow? I wouldnt dream of it if I didn't have experience with equipment. I have hundreds of hours on a skid steer. Hundreds on a track hoe too. So it's not as if I have no idea how to move material around. I'm not trying to minimize the experience thats trying to advise me here, I'm really not. But plowing the amount of snow we get around here can't be the rocket science that I feel you guys have to deal with.

    Again, what would you guys charge for a lot this size, with a couple of trucks?

    Thanks again!
  15. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i plow a costco , you need a loader and yes hes correct its a 2 inch contract, unless you up sold them for more
  16. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    not sure i understand the "how long will this take" statement.
    If its open you need a truck there from when the snow starts to fall until it stops pretty much. Everyone is quoting you lots of equipment because i think they are considering getting the job done in a timely manner but if it were me i would leave a truck on site to plow and sand during the storm and have another run over toward the end of the storm for final cleanup. Amazing what one truck can pull off in six hours or more hanging around in a lot but you would need a second. If you have a heavy snowfall i would plan on two trucks staying there and a third toward the end. A loader as you said to organize and remove snow if necessary.

    You seem like a smart guy go for it. Just careful not to get in over your head you dont want it costing YOU money to babysit this place or have their lawyer calling you. Imagine if you only could get one truck on site because your sub didnt show and the third truck broke down. The parking lot full of five inches of snow because its coming down hard. Thats the type of thing you have to consider.
  17. mike_dmt

    mike_dmt Member
    Messages: 39

    Elite, are you going by contract, or by push? Do you do the deicing? How should I figure the pricing/contract?

    If I figure a reliable sub somewhere between 75-100$ hr.
    Then deice at 1 gal per 1000 sq. ft. ( best case scenario) 2-3 for post storm....

    I dont want to screw myself, or especially my customer here. I just want to have an idea before I even consider committing to something.
  18. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    i was looking at the parking spaces. the buidling is only like seventeen parking spaces or car lengths one way and maybe twenty five the other ?
    so the building isnt that big.Based on what i noticed on the size of the building (that it aint that big) i compared it to the lot and it really isnt that big either. not undoable by any means. I have seen one truck do more in light snows as long as its left on site and not sent over to try to do it all in two hours.
  19. mike_dmt

    mike_dmt Member
    Messages: 39

    Thanks Bribrius for the vote of confidence! I get the impression that if I don't have a bunch of equipment, I shouldnt even consider this as a venture.

    As I mentioned in my original post, I'm a sweeper first, plow boy second. So, obviously, if I cant sweep, I've got nothing but time to babysit a lot. I don't mind window time one bit.

    I think I could handle this one account with the amount of equipment that will be at my disposal. I'm not trying to be arrogant here, but it's only one place that I am trying to maintain.

    Keep the criticism coming though, it just makes me see the potential problems. (which I try and avoid!)
  20. shredder781

    shredder781 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    mike, I think this lot can be done with 2 dependable trucks with 9.2 V blades and 2 very experienced drivers. I also think your DE-ICING strategy will make or break you!!! Timing is everything so my suggestion would be to have someone work for you that has alot of experiance in this field. It's alot harder than it looks. all said and done I would go for it but make sure you also have one back up truck that you can depend on if you fall behind.

    Good Luck, Shredder.