Considering dropping snow relocation for good. Other Winter employment options...?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Exact Rototilling, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Doing snow is fairly iffy in my area unless all accounts are flat rate.

    I'm considering exiting the Snow Relocation biz for a regular job however I don't want to play games with an employer and up and quit in March.

    Need to decide quickly since past snow clients are asking now.

    So what has worked for you...?
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  2. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Posts: 4,128

    not sure your location but its hard to keep the summer work without doing winter work here in mn. I dred snow work. finding shovelers is hard. and the timing of the snow stinks most of the time. and don't get me started on the city plowing snow 24 hours after snow fall
     
  3. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Yeah I hear you. There is a reason I didn't post this over on Plowsite. :laugh:

    I'm in north Idaho. We can get as many as 20 nominal snow events of less than 3". Or as little as only 6 or as many as 10-15 heavy snowfalls. I'm done with the per event crowd. Too many wasted trips to see that the neighbor cleared them out or they do it themselves before you get there.

    I do [have done] small driveways with single and 2-stage blowers only. I have this drill down and I'm fast at it. Problem is I'm solo. No willing able bodied family members to help out. Even rigs with blades have to bow to this blower drill. Crazy hard to get more than $350 for a small driveway for the entire winter. Actually common to see rates down to $295 for the entire winter and less. Market density is critical or you simply can't make decent $.

    I'm not very concerned about loosing growing season clients since my quality to price point is tough to beat.

    The decision to do snow again vs. take my chances with getting a regular job then quitting in March seems equally iffy.

    All options are on the table. I have even considered working and oil field job over the winter.
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    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  4. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Posts: 4,128

    I had neighbors and even them doing it themselves before I got there too. I put it in my contract that they will still get charged if that happens. any new ones will be 400-450 season. only one company charges per season. any size drive for 555 a time. a few years ago it was 500
     
  5. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,525

    Flat Rate for the season or their not on the list.

    Figure out what it takes you to "keep the lights on" during an average winter, divide that by number of months, divide that by number of customers you can keep happy during an average event, add a little extra for the PIAs, factor in wear and tear/maintenance and fuel and add some profit and thats what you charge flat rate.

    Probably will be 5-1200 per customer per season. which would be about 100-240 bucks per month per client, required to be paid a month in advance.
    have a cap clause for extreme events like over 18" in a 24 hour period is extra and/or more than 12 plowable events is extra.

    Sanding is always extra and so is stacking/hauling.
     
  6. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,735

    Work at a ski resort.
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  7. RedSox4Life

    RedSox4Life LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,413

    Man it sounds like you are in the exact same situation as me right now. I am so ready mentally to give up plowing right now. There's just so many other considerations I have to take into account before taking the plunge. Not the least of which is winter income.

    I'm not too stoked about trading in my one shift a week plowing job for $1500......for a 32 hour a week part time job for $300.
     
  8. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,088

    You're not getting $500+ a driveway for a season

    300 is about average
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  9. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Posts: 4,128

    My per times last season exceeded that. Would you like the companies info that gets 555 per drive? Just Google snow removal Owatonna Mn and you'll figure out who they are. Call or email for a quote.
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  10. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,088

    Wasn't towards you. How much snow do you get?
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