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How do you veterans do it?


LawnSite Member
This is my first year plowing. I sub for a contractor 40 miles away. I live in a rural area that's in a snowbelt. While 40 miles away where I sub get's a lot less snow.

This afternoon we got about an inch where I live, so I assumed that 40 miles away they probably just got flurries. Should have checked I guess.

Stayed up late. Sure enough an hour after I go to bed, the phone rings. Contractor wants me to come down and plow. Fire up the truck, take the hour drive south. Plow for a few hours. Drive an hour back home. Really want to go to sleep. But have to get back in the truck and go to my day job in another hour.

I'm exhausted. :) Don't know how you vet's do it. But so far I do love it.

John DiMartino

LawnSite Silver Member
After 30-40 hrs in the truck during blizzards,I start getting out every hr or so,just to stay awake and keep from getting zoned out.By 50 hrs I am very tired.Get used to it,its part of the job ,you gotta work when mother nature says.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Its all part of the job.

Up to this year we used to run non stop from start till finish.

However this year drivers and shovelers will be required to take breaks. Equipment oprators must also take breaks however for them it won't be easy to find a place. I don't care if we have to take a 1 hour break. I would rather get the job done safely then have someone get hurt because of a tired opperator.



Two years ago I was on the tail end of about a 20 hour session, doing one of our bigger lots. Wide open area, I was just hammering back and forth, the dark watch, just before dawn. All of a sudden, in the middle of one reverse run, I didn't know where I was! Total blank, flat line, no discernable brain function. Pounded the brakes, sat there a minute until I "came to", got out and took a walk around the lot.

Another time I was doing a sand run to one of the few sites that calls for sand specifically. Got there well before they opened, it was all done snowing, so I took a nap in the truck before I spread sand. Must have had a dream, because all of a sudden I was wide awake, white knuckles on the wheel and trying to shove the brake pedal through the floor.

Now we've started taking off for a few hours for sleep. Less dangerous and I think it's as productive as trying to play The Iron Man and make a marathon out of it. I find that a shower and about 4 hours sleep will tune me back up for a long time behind the wheel again.

John, you shut down for a period every night as well, don't you?

John Allin

LawnSite Bronze Member
Erie, PA
Yup. We send everybody home between 7PM and Midnight. Customers know it, and those retails that we know will call get plowed a second time about 5 PM to avoid the "call out" at 8 PM. Mandatory that everyone go home and sleep - and around here that's exactly what they do.

We had to do something about 7 years ago when we went 62 days in a row, got 2 days off and then went another 24 days in a row. So, we came up with the 5 hour period that we normally don't need any services provided.

We now usually have someone in Dispatch to tell customers that no one is out right now, and that we'll take care of it after midnight.

Now... in a 36" storm that system doesn't quite work, but we do "shift" the subs so that they can get some rest - and we do have a number of guys that sleep on the floors of our offices so that they know we will wake them up at Midnight (when we go long periods of plowing every day).

Killing these guys doesn't get us much. After a few days the wives get cranky and want them to sleep (and that is just plain good sense).

It works for us...

matthew Urban

LawnSite Member
I recall, on more than one night, grabbing a few hours sleep on the first piece of furniture that presented it self, comming in the office door.
Of coarse, that was a few years ago when we had a winter. Last winter we only plowed 4 times.
This year, Still waiting.