Do you plow snow?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Landscraper1, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,486

    you are absolutely right, I just can't take myself to drop a customer. they all pay in a timely manner for the most part. And the order i do them is the order they need to be out by, so the ones that are retired get done last, and everyone gets done end of storm, unless there is a big storm and it snows hard for 6 hours and its still snowing at 6am and there's 6" of snow and they need to get out to go to work then i will do the driveway before it stops but if it keeps snowing i will do it again and charge them a full second price. not half but 100% of the price. Some are lawn customers and if I drop them for snow they may drop me for the spring/fall clean ups and lawn.
  2. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,064

    I was in a similar situation like I said in an earlier post. I'd be out running around like crazy, hammering on my truck, plowing when either myself or truck were no longer in any shape to do so. I plowed half my route with only rear brakes on my truck one storm, plowed for 36 hours straight on ringing with people wondering where I was and when I'd be there. My route now consists mostly of my residential lawn care customers and some of their neighbors and one factory lot, which is also a lawn care customer. And with them all being close I can start as soon as there's a couple of inches to make sure that they can all get in and out at all more worrying about what time they go to work. I just do a quick pass and open them up and then come back for any additional accumulation and the detail work later. If we get a really big storm I just "camp out" at my factory lot so I don't have to be driving around in blizzard conditions.

    With a route like yours it's only a matter of time before you get a storm that totally overwhelms you and leaves many of your customers trapped in their homes. In the mean time, I'd suggest that you always bring a helper with you to hop out and get the sidewalks and garage fronts, to help if you get stuck and to also make arrangements with some local guys you're friendly with to help out in a pinch. If you want I can PM you my phone number for emergency coverage of the Old Saybrook area...I think you said you had some lawn accounts down here....not sure if you also have plowing ones.
  3. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    I currently do between 18 and 20 residential driveways and 1 commercial lot.

    on average it takes me anywhere from 6-10 hours to go through my route. that's including drive time between properties and the road condition obviously affect the time as well.

    yesterday I did a 2" storm in 6 hours. I don't see the point in loading your schedule to where your plowing for much more than 12 hours a storm. I know people like money but I personally am not gonna risk my health with lack of sleep for some green backs.

    I take on enough snow removal to keep me busy for up to 12 hours at most.
  4. dnc19694339

    dnc19694339 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 208

    Been plowing since 1994. When i was in my 20s i loved being out all night. This bigger I got the more stressful it got. trucks breaking, plows breaking, people not answering there phone when you call at 2am.

    I wont be doing it much longer! I run 6 routes right now and its time to cut about half of them out. I might drop all the ones that I dont mow in summer.

    This is the most stressful thing I have ever done in my life. Having to get everything done between 3am and 7am on overnight snowfalls. On the rare occasion we are late ( due to excessive snowfall) customers are calling wanting to know when we are coming and why we are not there yet!

    Im done with it!!! Leave it for you young guns!
  5. RSK Property Maintenance

    RSK Property Maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,486

    Negative on the old saybrook area, I'm down there 2-3 times a week in the summer at the pavilion and the beach, and I go to claudios in greenport,ny on the weekends but no accounts down there too far. I have arrangements with a buddy of mine, but he has a few lots he has to do by a certain time. but i used his truck when mine was down. I always bring a helper for the sidewalks and in front of the garage doors. I do need to drop customers or raise the price on the ones that aren't lawn customers or near lawn customers so that it will offset another truck, and get new accounts only near my current lawn customers my fuel bill for small storm is around 85 dollars, big storm like 12" is about 100.
  6. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 774

    My route can take 6- 11 hours. Saturday with 2 inches was 6 hours, today with 6-8 inches it was 8.5 hours. IMO, you should have a back up truck if you have a route like mine. Actually 2 of everything. I have 30 stops. 3 very small commercial, 26 drives and 9 sidewalks. I have a break down kit in the truck for the plow and snow blower for the simple break downs, but I have another truck and snow blower all ready to go if something major goes wrong. Don't normally need them, but this year needed the back up truck one time and the back up snow blower too. I keep the newest truck for the back up. Want to keep it out of the salt as much as possible. If I need the back up, I want to go get my best piece and know it should be better than what just had a failure. I also do METICULOUS maintenance on snow equipment.
  7. kyles landscape

    kyles landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 331

    i love doing snow but like everyone said if you dont have seasonal contrats then dont make squat if it doesnt snow.

    i had my first 2 plowable snowfalls this week, didnt even bother taking the plow truck just used snow blowers the first time knocked all them out in about 5 hrs (all residential)

    today went out used the plow truck plow motor craps out 30 min in so had to grab the blowers and other truck great to have a backup thats for sure!

    i dont fully count on the money it is nice and a huge bonus if we get a lot but if not im more the less bored just waiting to landscape.

    for all the people sick of plowing or the headaches why dont you just jump on with another company for 70 + dollars an hour ?
  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464


    that's it?

    that's only a tank of gas for my pickup. that wouldn't cover the snow blowers. I guess I don't consider a tank of gas per storm anything to loose sleep over.
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,064

    I put 84 miles on the truck during the 10 inch storm we got this season but I'm never more than 5 miles from home on my plowing route...5 miles west, 5 miles north, 5 miles east (can't go south). I only get like 6 mpg when I'm plowing the bigger storms because I'm in 4wd a lot. Also the factory lot I do burns a lot of gas because most of the lot has to get winrowed and stacked in one corner so I'm in it deep and on the throttle hard and sometimes in 4WD low if it's a heavy push. At least my Silverado has a big fuel tank. The 20 gallon tank in my old truck was kind of a pain. I calculated horrible mileage in that truck and it took me a while to figure out why. When I do that factory lot it's forward, reverse, forward, reverse over and over. It had the old style odometer so any time I went backwards it took off the miles that I did going forward, thus my odometer under reported the actual miles, scewing my mileage downwards. Am I rambling yet? lol
  10. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 774

    I burn 1 gallon per hour of plowing. I leave the truck running from start to stop.

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