Originally Posted by RSK Property Maintenance
I don't rely on plowing for income in the winter, but i see it as a bonus, and it does snow where i live in the winter, and I charge enough money where I make about 5-8 dollars a minute while i'm actually in the driveway plowing or shoveling a sidewalk or steps. none of my customers live in million dollar houses, none live in 800,000 dollar houses. most are probably 3-700,000 average sized for the area. And none of them complain. my 16 year old ford f350 with 271,000 miles doesn't require much maintenance. There actually is a pretty good amount of profit in snow plowing if you price it like I do, so you make at least 130-140 hour, which is having a bad route that is 14 hours long and driveways spaced apart so you can only do 3 per hour.
Exactly...it is decent money if you do it on your own terms. To me a 14 hour route wouldn't work, but that sounds like a profitable day for you regardless. My route used to take 8 hours because the driveways were spread out. But I kept advertising, searching for better customers. When I got some new ones closer to home, I would drop the distant ones. It took 6 or 7 years to get where I am, and I don't have that many plow customers. But what I do have works well, it is fast, and I make good money for such a short route. As an example, I have one shared driveway with 4 houses. It takes 20 minutes to plow all 4. They all pay $45 each per push. I also have 3 additional drives on that same street, maybe another 25 minutes. I do 3 of my neighbors, all 3 take about 20 minutes. So that is 10 driveways that (even with drive time) are all done in under 90 minutes. Situations like these are the way to make it work.
A lot of landscapers don't realize that often times you are better off saying "no" to a customer. And that is especially true when it comes to plowing. I have a standard response to people who call from too far away, I just say that "I would love to help them out, but because of the distance I would not be able to provide the level of service they would need or expect". And at this point, even a mile off my route is way to far.