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Young, ....Starting Fresh

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by whos_the_master, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. whos_the_master

    whos_the_master Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    What's up guys. My name is Leroy . And Im from New Haven ,CT. I'm Thinking much of the plowing industry. I've been looking at trucks. Never any experience in plowing, other than shoveling grandma's ol' drive way :) But I'm a yound individual, very much driven by business. And this one looks very promising. So, any tips, guidlines, laws, and common sense??????

    Thank Guys....

    Looking at a F250 Super Duty to start with 2003 Fisher plow maybe.
  2. whos_the_master

    whos_the_master Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    No Reply's????? :confused:
  3. weed guy

    weed guy Junior Member
    Messages: 2


    Chevy or Dodge. Fords don't carry plows well long term. Can't comment on Fischer. I prefer Boss.
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Best advice I can give is to go to the top gray bar - go the the word "search" - click on that and enter "Starting Business". That will bring up several hours of reading threads on many subjects.
  5. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    yes and no offense to you (whos the master) but we should put a big sign for beginners to read starting in the bussiness
  6. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    Well at least your looking at the right truck and plow:drinkup: Ask as many questions as you need. Your best bet for the season is start out for someone as a sub. You won't make killer money, But you learn a lot.
  7. whos_the_master

    whos_the_master Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I was thinking of going from place to place asking to on lots. Like CVS or STAPLES. Places like that, untill I get a good enuff rep to get non-comercial accounts.Good Idea??
  8. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I'd really suggest the other way around - start with residential and work up to commercial. Commercial accounts are more demanding and you can get in trouble quicker. lnsurance is higher with commercial. You'll have much less year to year return business as most commercial goes out for bid and they go with the lowest bid, whereas residential most often goes with who the homeowner likes. Also, bidding is easier with residential. And if you're way off, you can easier explain this to a homeowner and usually raise it next year. By then, they'll be more likely to keep you because they like you, even if you do have to raise it some.
  9. M&M Services

    M&M Services Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 501

    You are looking at the right trucks! Fords carry plows better than any other make I think....Good luck dont under bid, and dont get over booked!...start off slow and work your way up
  10. whos_the_master

    whos_the_master Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    So how's the best way to aquire residential customers??
    And what would be a decent going ratein CT. I'm not looking to be rich. More like looking for experiance,but I don't wanna starve either. And suggestions guys???
  11. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    1. Talk to anyone who'll listen and tell them you will be plowing snow - including family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.
    2. Put an ad up at the local convenience store. I've also put cards out at the local restaurant
    3. Put a short ad in the local shopper newspaper
    4. Get some magnetic signs for your truck
    5. Have business cards made up and leave some anywhere you can.
    6. If your area allows it, get a sign for the end of the driveway
    7. Depending on your area, you might pick up some one-time plows or longer term by driving around with your plow after a snowstorm.
    8. If you have the bucks, mail a flyer to neighborhoods (by zip code) you want to target.

    I'm sure others can come up with other ways, I'm just tired of thinking.
  12. whos_the_master

    whos_the_master Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks alot Mick, very helpful....Any other suggestions???
    Any comments on quoting people, pricing I should start with. Maybe some rule of thumb pricing?
  13. chironorm

    chironorm Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    1999 Dodge Ram 2500 w/ 8' Fisher plows are what you need.
    Oh yeah, I've got one for sale.
    $10,500 if interested write me at mikenormandc@mail.com

    Seriously, though. Almost all trucks work well is you just take are of them. Baby them, don't plow fast, avoid pot hole covers, take a good look at your properties before you plow them and learn what to avoid and you'll do fine. You can't put too much grease on the front end. Look twice because people will pull out in front of you and walk behind you. And if you want a great deal on a truck that you can also drive every day then get back in touch with me.
  14. whos_the_master

    whos_the_master Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Any tips on rates?? Inch?? Push?? Sq. sand??

    Whats the difference, And when should I choose to use per push, or inch?
  15. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    This is something I'd written up awhile back and seems to apply to what you're asking:

    There are three main strategies to pricing - Per Push, Per Inch and Seasonal. All those are based on the “fourth” stategy - Per Hour.

    Per Push - I will charge you $xx each time I clear the snow from a given area.

    Per Inch - I will charge you based on the total number of inches that gets cleared from a particular area.

    Per Season - I will charge you $xx for pushing any amount of snow that falls during a particular time period (ie: Nov 1st to Apr 1st).

    Hourly - I will charge you $xx per hour for the period of time I spend plowing snow from a particular area.

    The most common strategy is a combination of Per Push and Per Inch. In this you will have a “trigger” or depth at which you begin plowing. Say your customer wants a 3” trigger. He is saying he can drive on anything under 3”. So, you wake up and find 3.5” in your driveway. Do you plow? What if the customer disputes that there was over 3”? Now with this strategy, you will most likely structure price increments - ie” with a 3” trigger, you would charge, say

    $30 - for 3” to 6”
    $45 - over 6” to 9”
    $60 - over 9” to 12”

    To cover your behind and to account for those perhaps rare instances of more than 12” snowfall, you could do something like “over 12” - $60, plus $1 an inch over 12”.

    Per inch - This is generally only used for accounts requiring a very high degree is service, such as where absolutely no accumulation is tolerated and involve anti-icing by using chemicals to melt falling snow. An airport might be an example. Here, you would rely on a third-party weather service to determine snowfall.

    Seasonal - Here you indicate a price (say $1,000) to provide service for the season. With this, you will want to have a contract that is very specific and to what services, when they will commence and what will entail added charges. Example - you determine the average snowfall for your area to be 50” per season and with a 3” trigger, you expect to have seven “events” per year. What happens if it snows 80” one season and requires ten pushes? What if you get seven 2” snowfalls back-to-back? For a Seasonal account, the best strategy is have a three- (or more) year contract. This way, you take advantage of the “law of averages”.

    Hourly - You will charge so much per hour for each piece of equipment used and different amounts for different sized equipment. This may include plow, pusher, dump truck, sander, loader etc.

    How much to charge in each of the above situations is determined by local custom. It’s been tried here on Plow Site before and the variance between areas was pretty surprising.

    I mostly use a variation of the Per Push / Per Inch and offer a price for plowing anything up to 12”.

    I hope this helps a little.
  16. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    if you are trying for residential / driveway's ... just pass out flyer's's and do either a seasonal contract or per push. < one of the other posts did a great job explaining that >
    just about any one can do residential work and make a few $$$'s .

    if you want to get into commercial work ... sub for a larger company first.
    plowing snow is by no means rocket science but you need the experience on bigger lot's before you can go out on your own.

    you also need to learn how to not only bid correctly but be competitive with the other contractors bids. and of course still make a little $$$ at the end of the day. this in my opinion is the hardest part of the job.

    other things like de iceing / salt ... when and how to apply it, the costs of salt , how long it takes to apply. these are things you can't really learn from a web site. you can get some great information about it here but experience trumps any thing you will learn on this site.

    anyway , GL with what ever you decide to do :)
  17. Vaughn Schultz

    Vaughn Schultz PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,565

    Buy a blizzard and join SIMA:rolleyes:
  18. whos_the_master

    whos_the_master Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Whats SIMA????
  19. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Snow And Ice Management Association: http://www.sima.org/