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BigMulch
09-25-2011, 09:06 PM
I am thinking of starting a snow plowing business and i have a Chevy Colorado and a snow blower but i just don't know how to start and i don't even know if the truck will be good for plowing. Also what would be the best way to advertise for snow plowing and do i need some special insurance.

JB1
09-25-2011, 09:12 PM
we are not allowed to answer, we will get in trouble.

JDiepstra
09-25-2011, 09:12 PM
Www.plowsite.com

BigMulch
09-25-2011, 09:44 PM
Why cant u answer my question is there something wrong

DiSantolandscaping
09-25-2011, 09:55 PM
because in order to plow yards you need commercial insurance on your vehicle and commercial business insurance with plowing, plus if your state requires it you need a businss license. and you need contracts written up by a lawyer. and thats just the begining.

McG_Landscaping
09-25-2011, 10:05 PM
I am thinking of starting a snow plowing business and i have a Chevy Colorado and a snow blower but i just don't know how to start and i don't even know if the truck will be good for plowing. Also what would be the best way to advertise for snow plowing and do i need some special insurance.

To answer your question, you can put a snow plow on your truck (as long as its 4x4). If your doing driveways snow blowers sometimes can be better than a truck but I have always found shoveling to be faster than a blower. Before you go invest $5000 in a plow make sure you have the customer base. Insurance can be provided through your car insurance/business insurance provider. You can search pretty much find any info you need on plowsite. Best of luck

masonenterprises
09-25-2011, 10:10 PM
I am thinking of starting a snow plowing business and i have a Chevy Colorado and a snow blower but i just don't know how to start and i don't even know if the truck will be good for plowing. Also what would be the best way to advertise for snow plowing and do i need some special insurance.

I would advise against it. A Chevy colorado will not withstand a harsh new england winter of plowing. If we have another winter like the last, your truck wont last. Do your self a favor, buy an F-350, then you can start to really think about it.

You will need extra GLI coverage for snow plowing in ct, as well.

MGV
09-25-2011, 10:11 PM
It all depends on the size driveways you intend to plow and how many accounts you have. I think a Colorado is to small, I plow with 2 F-350's and 1 F-550 all have v-plows. You have to let your insurance company know that you are plowing. Some companies won't allow you to plow. So make sure that you check, if you don't tell them and you have a accident they will not cover it. Also besides insurance on your truck you should have personnel liability insurance.

masonenterprises
09-25-2011, 10:18 PM
It all depends on the size driveways you intend to plow and how many accounts you have. I think a Colorado is to small, I plow with 2 F-350's and 1 F-550 all have v-plows. You have to let your insurance company know that you are plowing. Some companies won't allow you to plow. So make sure that you check, if you don't tell them and you have a accident they will not cover it. Also besides insurance on your truck you should have personnel liability insurance.

I know its a little off topic, but how do you like the 6.4L F-350? I was contemplating one, but no one around me had anything nice to say about it. Just wondering if you have had good luck so far?

jsecape
09-25-2011, 10:21 PM
Hi all...How about a Ford F150 4door, good or a bad ???

masonenterprises
09-25-2011, 10:24 PM
Hi all...How about a Ford F150 4door, good or a bad ???

If its got an 8 ft bed, then probably wouldn't be too good on tight driveways. A 6 ft bed might be okay, if its got decent tires and put a little weight in the back of it.

jsecape
09-26-2011, 07:35 AM
But does it beat the hell out of it???

masonenterprises
09-26-2011, 07:41 AM
But does it beat the hell out of it???

It definately would take a beating, but it also depends how many accounts. If your only plowing like 5 to 10 driveways, it wouldnt be to bad. But if your trying to do like 40, then your gonna have some issues, you know. Every truck takes a beating from plowing. As soon as you decide your gonna turn your truck into a plow rig, count on it taking a beating and just turning to crap eventually. Ha

jsecape
09-26-2011, 07:43 AM
How about just snowblowing...Is that a pain?

Exact Rototilling
09-26-2011, 12:03 PM
Fwiw, plowsite is very truck and plow biased and most posters think snowblowers only is for noob shovelers. Well if you run a combination of single stage blowers and a high performance 2 stage you can do very well on smaller residential driveways....if your accounts are all in the same general area. My snow route is considerably tighter than my mowing service area.

The real world downside to Snow is having your.life revolve around every.pending storm and your on standby 7 days a weeks plus holidays. One needs to.weigh the.options. delivering pizzas with your truck could provide you with a less complicated flow of income
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jsecape
09-26-2011, 12:22 PM
Pizza deliver LOL at 8 mils per gal you so funny

BigMulch
09-27-2011, 10:22 PM
I think i will just use my snowblower for the first year and see how it goes and then think about snow plowing

32vld
09-28-2011, 10:35 AM
I think i will just use my snowblower for the first year and see how it goes and then think about snow plowing

Have you gone to plowsite yet?

I do residential. I have a 24" 1996 troy built bought new and a sears 28" that was hardly ever used for $150 last winter that still looked new.

If you can swing a second blower you should. Good to have a back up. Also need to have spare shear bolts and the tools needed to change when you go out there. Also tools needed to unstuff a newspaper that was buried under the snow.

My son and I usually go out together. Though I went out alone to do a driveway last winter a day after the storm. I brought both blowers. Sucked up a newspaper, just grabbed the other blower without having to repair the other one out in the cold.

Another time a woman needed a path cleared after the storm so a roofer could get into her back yard to fix her roof leak.

My son said why bring two blowers? I said in case one breaks down. Well we get there and the path needed grew into going over and widening her driveway that they had done by shovel the day before, digging out her mail box, and clearing off a 25' handicap ramp. I did path over the lawn while my son did the extra work.

Exact Rototilling
09-28-2011, 11:30 AM
I own numerous single stage blowers and I own the Honda track drive 1132 which stay on the truck for traction weight unless conditions warrant the extra time to off load it. Honda just put a bigger engine on.it now a 1332. I may buy a wheel drive 928. Track drive is slow in transport mode.

Single stage blowers are faster so.much faster under many conditions. Faster and cleaner and a better job than a truck plow in some conditions if you run the better models. I can move fast and work.smart. This is.where the plowsite folks come.Unglued with the nasty.comments. Just have to dress for.it properly....very few do. Very difficult to.find people to.work as hard as I do and.willing.to be on call 24/7 plus holidays.

Most of your accounts need to be all in the same general area to make decent money. Windshield time is a killer in snow and big storms will clog and.slow.down traffic.


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BigMulch
09-28-2011, 11:48 AM
What kind of snow blower should i get for my back up

Exact Rototilling
09-28-2011, 12:26 PM
What kind of snow blower should i get for my back up

What is your other blower?
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BigMulch
09-28-2011, 08:12 PM
Toro 32 2 stage i think

Exact Rototilling
09-29-2011, 11:38 AM
Toro single stage 21" with the biggest engine. The quick shoot models are super fast but I have not been able.to reliably keep the cables from freezing regardless of what I do. 4 stroke is nice and those engines have.a.Tad.more.grunt.than the 2 strokes.
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BigMulch
09-29-2011, 10:11 PM
what would be the best way to advertise for snowblowing

Exact Rototilling
09-30-2011, 12:25 PM
what would be the best way to advertise for snowblowing

Great question. Do what you have to do to get accounts with driveways no longer than 55 feet and not wider than double wide. Triple wide driveways are a PITA when the wind blows and you have to re throw the snow. And you need most if not all your accounts in the same neighborhood on a contract basis. If you are going to wait for the phone to ring before you roll for snow not much point in bothering. That's how I did my first winter. Didn't make beans. Had people request an estimate for snow and all kinds of crazy requests. Clowns in my area run ads in the paper for $15 driveways. Seriously who would run an ad for that and have to drive clear across town for $15 and spend all day zig zagging around town with a blower....totally insane IMO. :hammerhead:

Now that I have finally figured it out and have a profitable snow route I may just forfeit it this year due to my back injury and heal up over the winter. I don't want the hassle of having an employee calling in sick and end up being stuck doing it my self and re injuring my back necessitating a fast track to surgery or even going into the next growing season in the same condition I am now. If I sub it out same set of hassles and micro management.

BigMulch
09-30-2011, 09:59 PM
What should i put on the contract and do i only give one price after the snow storm or different prices for different amounts of snow and should i snow blow during a snow storm or after and thanks for all the help

Darryl G
09-30-2011, 11:14 PM
Plowsite really is the place to be for these types of questions. But yes plowing beats the hell out of a truck...you can blow a transmission or rear end at any time, slide off into a ditch or simply just work the hell out of it. I used to have a dedicated plow truck that I didn't mind abusing...that what a lot of people do.

hackitdown
10-01-2011, 01:22 PM
We plow 40+ driveways with 2 trucks, which is quick and easy route. It beats the heck out of the trucks (and the drivers). But there is money in it if you plan right. Keep customers expectations low, they will expect you to be there at 5am. I make no promises, and let them come to me. Just let your insurance agent know that you are plowing for hire, run an ad, and your phone will ring.

I can't imagine snowblowing.

BigMulch
10-01-2011, 03:33 PM
I think that for my first year i will get a couple of accounts and do snowblowing then if everything goes good i will but some type of a plow truck or jeep.

Exact Rototilling
10-01-2011, 03:36 PM
We plow 40+ driveways with 2 trucks, which is quick and easy route. It beats the heck out of the trucks (and the drivers). But there is money in it if you plan right. Keep customers expectations low, they will expect you to be there at 5am. I make no promises, and let them come to me. Just let your insurance agent know that you are plowing for hire, run an ad, and your phone will ring.

I can't imagine snowblowing.

I did 35 driveways with blowers [fastest single stage and 2 stage blowers available] solo last winter on each storm. Some of those where twice per day due to contract.

I showed a prospective employee my snow route last winter and told him he would be expected to do this solo if he was hired. His eyes bugged out and he got stressed. He is very fit and athletic.

Trying to find a helper to do what I do is next to impossible IMO very fast paced. I would never work like this for anybody else.

This is part of the problem with asking questions about commercial snowblowing on plowsite. Tends to stir up all kinds of bad karma etc. Maybe lawnsite will add a snow blower forum or THEY will add a commercial snowblower over on plowsite with less bad karma. :)

JDiepstra
10-01-2011, 03:38 PM
Bigmulch the fact that you are still posting here and not on plowsite as advised has me doubting that you will be successful anyway. Just use a shovel as backup

BigMulch
10-01-2011, 03:42 PM
I had actually posted on plowsite before this site but i wanted to see what kind of answers will i get :laugh:

bad93blaster
10-06-2011, 11:28 AM
I would have no worries with a Colorado with a 6.5 or 7 fisher. I have been up in the air on buying one just for driveways. I do driveways with a std cab 8ft bed truck 3/4 ton with a 8ft sometimes 9ft fisher and I find it to be to big sometimes. A Chevy truck has a staggered wheel base and gets bet traction than other trucks so there don't get the all the abuse. Plus if your in it for 20 plus hours why not be in something that rides nice lol
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BigMulch
10-08-2011, 10:26 PM
What would be the best way to advertise

Darryl G
10-08-2011, 10:40 PM
I had actually posted on plowsite before this site but i wanted to see what kind of answers will i get :laugh:

The guys over at Plowsite aren't always the friendliest to newcomers.

Exact Rototilling
10-09-2011, 12:07 AM
What would be the best way to advertise


Flyers and door hangers for market density reasons. Tell them your available 24/7 and on holidays....your family will love you for that. Itís one thing to mow lawns all week and have a bit of windshield time in good weather with no snow on the roads between service area pockets. Having to zig zag around town on bad roads with bad drivers with bald tires is not worth it to me. You want the vast majority of your residential snow accounts all in the same general area preferably next door or 2 doors down. My snow service area is much more dense than lawn service. Avoid traveling through congested areas during morning or going home traffic. Add a big storm in the mix your travel time is greatly increased. Frankly If I was limited to a 2-stage blower of ANY kind for hire Iíd get out of snow permanently too slow most of the time....painfully slow. And If I had to really on single stage blowers exclusively Iíd also get out of the biz for good. If youíre serious about this you have to own both. I typically ran with my Honda HS1132 2 stage and two Toro single stage blowers running solo.

Iím sitting this winter out....Iíll miss the $9k to $11k gross but I will not miss the back breaking work, never being able to travel anywhere for fear of a snow storm at home, peeved household members on holidays, and setting my alarm for super early am looking out the window at the snow accumulation on the railing trying to second guess if snow at my house was the same as my service area.

It took me 4 years to get my snow route profitable and worth doing. If your not in it for the long haul other part time winter work is frankly a better option. Pizza delivery etc.

Kartanimal29
10-10-2011, 03:21 PM
The Colorado isn't the best truck for plowing but you said you doing driveways , go for it. I have a Ranger with a 6.5 Fisher on it and all I do are driveway. The smaller trucks are best for smaller driveways. I have around 18 driveways I do during the winter and I have no problems. Just make sure you plow with the storm, every 4 or so inches and make sure you push the piles back far enough at the beginning of the season, the further the better. Just make sure you raise the plow up a bit so you don't take the lawn with you when pushing piles back.

BigMulch
10-10-2011, 08:27 PM
how should i charge for snow blowing and for snow plowing is there some type of method by the square foot or something like that

Darryl G
10-10-2011, 08:59 PM
Per storm, per push, per inch, per season, per hour, take your pick. The most common method around her is per push, where you do something like have a 2 inch trigger and a maximum amount, like 6 inches. So when it snows 3 inches you go out and plow/blow it and charge whatever price you agreed on. If it snows 5 inches, same deal. One problem I have with that method is that there is a hell of a big difference between 2 inches and 6 inches if it's a heavy, wet snow, which is what we usually have down here on the shore. So for the last 2 or 3 years I've been using a hybrid billing of per push/per inch/per storm. I give a base price for 2 to 4 inches and then use a multiplier on that as the snowfall total increases. When it can get complicated is when we get these multi-day start and stop storms. I also give the people at the end of my route a bit of a break since they don't receive the greatest service, but they know that in advance and are the kind of people that are not in any hurry to get out during or after a storm (seniors).

The problem I had with doing a staight per push was that some people would say, well I only want you to come once when it's all over. Pushing a foot of snow all at once is really rough on the truck. So now I just fire up my truck when there's 2 or 3 inches on the ground and keep going around until it stops snowing and all of my accounts are clear and bill them based on how much we got.

BigMulch
10-11-2011, 09:30 PM
So if i go with the plow option i will have no back up plan and if i went with a blower i can get two blowers and have a back up. Should i go with a contract since it is my first year plowing. Any help will be appreciated

Darryl G
10-11-2011, 09:43 PM
I don't do contracts for plowing but I do for lawn care. I have my terms and conditions on my invoices. My backup plan for plowing is to get it fixed ASAP, lol. I plowed for 8 years with a 1985 Chevy K20 that sometimes required "bandaids" during a storm. It can be stressful but I always got it done, even if it meant laying in my driveway under it on a tarp in a blizzard with my fingers freezing off.

Actually I do have a backup plan, but not much for backup equipment. I have a few friends who also plow and we agree to help eachother out if someone breaks down and can't finish their route. The problem is that it will be after their route is done, unless the routes overlap.

You're more likely to need a backup with a snowblower. Just eating one brick can put them out of commission as can plenty of other things. With a plow and truck, unless you wreck, blow the transmission or rear rear differential or fry the plow hydraulics, chances are you can limp through it. It's no fun finishing a plow route with only rear brakes or your plow only able to angle right, but you do what you gotta do to finish up. A lot of people do break into the snow removal business with a snow blower.

BigMulch
10-12-2011, 07:39 PM
What website is the best for making door hangers and what should i put on my snow blowing door hanger

BigMulch
10-15-2011, 07:41 PM
how dangerous can it be if i don't have insurance for the first year

Darryl G
10-15-2011, 07:51 PM
I don't do door hangers. I run a simple add in a local paper. Snow plowing accounts are actually pretty easy to pick up compared to lawns, but most people don't plan ahead for it. I hate how many calls I get after there's already 6 inches of snow on the ground. I don't take new customers after the storm warning is up...I wanna see the place before it snows.

Personally I woulnd't even think about doing anything I'm not insured for, but I have a fair amount to loose too.

BigMulch
11-10-2011, 11:09 AM
I have 5 snow plowing jobs that i am going to price out and i need some help with a contract and what to put it on it.

Exact Rototilling
11-10-2011, 01:01 PM
how dangerous can it be if i don't have insurance for the first year

People frankly will not care all that much if you're insured or not. My first year in the lawn biz I didn't have insurance and I was frankly scared to.death.of offering snowblowing with all the Sue happy people. So my first year I watched a record snowfall come and go and stayed home.

I put a clause in my contracts about trigger amounts, when service ends in late March and a slip free surface is not guaranteed nor implied. I have them sign and return.

I would not personally do snow without insurance. Again pizza delivery ....seasonal retail etc.
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Darryl G
11-10-2011, 01:20 PM
Snow plowing can be really good money as long as you're not ripping your equipment apart. I make up to $650/hr snow plowing...briefly, lol. That's a $75 account that takes about 7 minutes to plow with a 3 or 4 inch snowfall. But that doesn't count the times where I'm pushing back the sides and doing slush runs and spending 20 minutes down there for the same price. But I can sustain $125/hr or more any time I'm plowing. I bill per storm per inch pretty much so I might make 2 or 3 visits during a storm for my priority high service accounts. I have a bunch of senior citizens on the end of my route that typically only get serviced after the storm and after my higher priority customers are done. They get a significant price break for being on the end of my route and will call me if they need to get out sooner.

jsecape
11-10-2011, 01:24 PM
What do you have for a truck? I just had a Fisher HT on my gmc 1500..
I am new any advice ?? Be nice :)

Darryl G
11-10-2011, 02:26 PM
I started with a 1985 3/4 ton Chevy K-20 and a Fisher 7.5 foot Speedcast plow. 350 4 barrel with the 4:10 rear. It was a good plow truck but died of rust. Now I'm running a 2003 Silverado 2500HD standard cab 4WD with the 6.0 gasser and the 4:10 rear. The plow is a Boss Power VXT. Much better setup. I just missing having the sliding glass rear which is really nice for plowing. A 3/4 ton truck is really more up to plowing duty than a half ton.

jsecape
11-10-2011, 02:28 PM
I have a 1500 with a fisher HT 7 1/2 plow my first year...Any advice

Darryl G
11-10-2011, 02:54 PM
The best advice I have is book your plowing BEFORE it snows so you can see all obstacles and plan out how you would plow it. Just take it easy and try not to rip up too many lawns, lol. Plan on fixing any lawns you do rip up for free in the spring.

What I do is roll out when there are 2 or 3 inches on the ground and just go around my route until it stops snowing or 24 hours, whichever happens first. Then it's 4 or 5 hours sleep and back out. For the smaller storms my route is 7 to 9 hours. For the big storms it's about 24 hours. For the really big storms I'm plowing for days because everyone and their borther needs to be plowed.

jsecape
11-10-2011, 03:34 PM
Will i have any problem with my silveradeo 1500 with a HT Fisher plow??any one

Darryl G
11-10-2011, 03:57 PM
It should do fine just watch the transmission temp, don't shift back/forth without being stopped and your rpms down, and try to stay out of ditches, lol. And be carefull about running your real wheels into the pile on tight turns...you can get a little more width by not angling the plow all the way. It can be a pain on circular driveways. And be sure to run ballast in the back...it makes a huge difference. The bigger the storm the more ballast I add.

And the number 1 thing....push AWAY from buildings! Think fire/emergency access.