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  #51  
Old 02-02-2013, 05:39 PM
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CreativeLawncareSolutions CreativeLawncareSolutions is online now
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Originally Posted by RSK Property Maintenance View Post
oh i forgot to add i picked up a toro single stage snow blower for sidewalks for 100 dollars, it is 10 years old but it starts every time and pays for itself every time, i take it out along with my plow, and the portion of my truck that i bought with truck pays for its self every time. also the way to make money with plowing is to set the trigger at 1" or close to an inch so when there is a little under an inch like these little storms we just got in the past week you plow all your accounts and still make money. vs. waiting for 2" or more might only happen twice a season. almost all my customers are at 2" or more which will change in december, I'm telling them i'm doing there driveway around 1" that way i get out as much as possible. I know i can get new accounts very easily, and enforce a 50 dollar minimum from 1-6 including sidewalks pretty easily. unless the driveway is long or up a hill or something extreme
The dang weather people got me all excited this morning...we only got an inch. Oh well.

I started out like you. Doing residentials with sidewalks and such. It's great money. Now I don't even have to get out of my truck. Work hard to get those cushy commercial jobs. You'll actually probably make less per hour...but you won't even have to wear a coat. Hell, I plow in flip flops. Seriously.
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  #52  
Old 02-02-2013, 05:41 PM
lawnsforless lawnsforless is offline
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Snow Blow

I currently do a small business in snow blowing during the winter months. I do not plow due to the amount of money it would cost to repair my truck to handle the weight and operation of a plow as well as the added cost of the snow plow. So instead of spending thousands of dollars for less than 1,000 I got a 24 inch snow blower and a 30 dollar shovel.
On average a drive takes 10 minutes or less from the time I take the blower off the truck and put it back on the truck. So yes it takes longer than plowing, but the gas savings and truck wear and tear savings are worth it.

I can do 10-15 houses and sidewalks on a tank of gas with the snow blower, which costs me roughly one dollar to fill up. That is about 10 cents to 25 cents of fuel cost per house( not including travel time).

I hope to next year make enough in the other months to not do snow removal, because I hate the on call the entire winter, for not enough money to justify it. It is a risk because other outfits can come in and take the business in the other seasons from you if they do a great job plowing, but that is just that much more incentive to take extra good care of them every chance you get.

You can find more information about our snow and other services at:
lawnsforless.biz
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  #53  
Old 02-02-2013, 05:44 PM
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I have a buddy who I drive for. He just has me take care of 4 lots, 2 walmarts, and a liquor store and lumberyard. The walmarts want black ground 24/7 and Im happy because I usually can get 20 or more hours per storm, and I dont have to worry about trucks and breakdowns. Ill be doing this for aslong as I can
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  #54  
Old 02-02-2013, 05:47 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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Originally Posted by RSK Property Maintenance View Post
there absolutely are, I did it, I picked up my 96 f350 powerstroke 7.3 with 238,000 miles for 3500 with fisher minute mounts and wiring, and then picked up the original plow that was bought new in 96 with the truck for another 300, not working, knowing it needed a headlight wiring harness which cost 136 from fisher in maine. and I just started plowing in 2011 with 0 accounts, got 20 my first year, and another 25 my second year, and I stopped advertising for snow removal in december 2012, as of right now I cover 7 towns with one truck do all residential, and my average driveway is 45 or 50 but in december i'm raising my plowing prices, on all driveways that are below 50 dollars. with one truck, i'm busy for 18-20hrs which is too long for me and for customers, but the addition of second truck would mean i need to find more work closer to my other accounts to keep profits high. right now my whole route is about 140 or 50 miles and cost about 85 dollars in diesel. I end up around 140hr as an average. sometimes its over 200/hr but then i have some accounts with a lot of drive time, like 15-20 mins.

hopefully this summer i'll pick up an 94-97 f350 dump truck with a mm plow and throw a sander on that, and i would like to pick up an 2008-10 f350 reg. cab and throw a stainless v plow on that. and pick up some commercial work. i need more work closer together I have alot of times where i'll do two driveways for 40 dollars and they both only take 15 mins and there is no drive time, because they are neighbors
Warning, warning, warning!! You sound like me when I first started plowing. If you're taking 18 to 20 hours to do your route with the type of storms we've had in the last couple years, you're wayyyyy overbooked in my opinion. If we get a blizzard, you are screwed. You will not be able to get to your accounts during the storm, so you'll be doing all of them with 18 inches or so of snow on them. It will take you 3 or 4 days, if your truck survives! You need to tighten and weed out that route and keep it under 10 hours for a normal storm...just an opinion from someone who's been there. If anything, that second truck should be a backup....
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  #55  
Old 02-02-2013, 05:58 PM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
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I agree with Darryl,
Any route longer than 10 hrs is pushing it during those 12"+ Noreasters. The Noreaster this year rendered our loader useless and we were on site the whole storm. That heavy snow is brutal to move even if you are keeping up with it.
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  #56  
Old 02-02-2013, 06:03 PM
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CreativeLawncareSolutions CreativeLawncareSolutions is online now
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If we got a foot of snow here people would probably commit mass suicide. We get half an inch and people go crazy. It's hilarious.
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  #57  
Old 02-02-2013, 06:15 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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One thing you may want to do if you're route is that long. Run it in one direction one storm and then run it backwards the next. That way the same customers on the tail end of your route aren't having to wait so long each time. Of course, then all of them are waiting a long time sometimes, but it is something to consider.

I actually have 3 legs to my route, basically 3 different loops that I can combine into only 2 if I want to. I have some customers that get priority service each storm (my high end lawn care customers) and some that are always on the tail end (my low budget seniors), but I do reserve the order of the ones I run in between them.
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  #58  
Old 02-02-2013, 06:19 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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I was down in Dallas one time when they got a dusting. I found it histerical the way they reacted...it was like the apcocalypse was upon them!
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  #59  
Old 02-02-2013, 06:28 PM
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CreativeLawncareSolutions CreativeLawncareSolutions is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl G View Post
I was down in Dallas one time when they got a dusting. I found it histerical the way they reacted...it was like the apcocalypse was upon them!
Every carton of milk and loaf of bread in the Dallas/Fort Worth area was sold out in 10 minutes flat. Haha....that's how it is here too.
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  #60  
Old 02-02-2013, 10:48 PM
GQLL GQLL is offline
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Virginia doesn't get much snow but when we do people pay big money to get it removed. We have a plow on one truck and 2 track loader that we run pushers on. Yes it cost money to get in to it but one good storm and it all paid for.
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