How many do snow removal for lawn customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by racer56, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. racer56

    racer56 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 285

    We are new to this area and got a short jump start on Spring by moving Thanksgiving. We hit the ground running and got seeral customers for next year(most recently moved here as well). We had a mild snow(2-3") and this morning I got a call from 3 of them asking if I was coming to clear the drive and walkway?:dizzy: First of all we had a bit of a party here last night so I didn't have my mind about me yet but said well I don't even own a snow shovel,ha. After I've had some time to think about it I called them back and told them I would get it done or have it done.
    I know plowsite has alot of good info I'm sure but I wanted to know how this ties into your regular customers billing. None of these folks even asked how much I charge and frankly I don't know :laugh:. I would guess 35/ drive? I know my insurance will handle it as I'm insured as a general contractor covering anything from construction to general repairs of any kind(long story).
    How do you handle the billing of this? Seems like you have to charge a monthly min. Dec. -Feb. of maybe 50.00 per month then so much per time you remove the snow? I would hate to just "be on call" for free. Do you lump it into your lawn service and just bill 12 months per year. I guess it is part of this industry in the K.C. area so I need to find a way to deal with it. Thanks for any help.
  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I do minimal snow removal. I have a list of about 30 residential drives, but I only usually end up doing about 2/3 of them. Most are current mowing customers, though I have 3 stops that are snow removal only. I have an older Ariens 7-24 blower, but it's slow as heck. We ended up with "officially" 7 inches from this last storm, and it was pretty wet underneath. Thankfully I have a friend that has access to a old snow plow truck. The results from it aren't terribly "pretty" at times, but it at least gets the worst of it and I can clean up the edges and tight spots with shovel or blower.

    I really was just charging what I felt was right... some old ladies I was charging about 20 bucks, and around 40 for larger drives. Well I found out yesterday that $30 is about the going rate for a standard double wide driveway. Needless to say, at those rates you need to be able to be fast and efficient to make any real money with snow.

    The other BIG problem with residential snow work is that every goofball with a shovel or snowblower is out doing the same thing! I pulled up to about 6 of my places only to find them done already! Either neighbor kids looking to make money or just the "good Samaritans" doing a good deed for the neighbor. Their good deed hurts my wallet!
  3. Frue

    Frue LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,472

    20 a drive and 5 for the walks. I use a toro singlestage snow blower works great. I usually do about 11 drives.
  4. siklid1066

    siklid1066 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 148

    I do about the same but for a little more cash.I relly dont care for snow removal its a fire drill.

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    I do about 10 houses...7 are lawn customers 3 are just snow. My prices range from 30-70 for an average 3" storm. If its more than it goes by how long I'm there and how much of a pain the snow was.
  6. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,850

    Full service. I am to the point where if a condo wants us to do snow cuz other LCo wouldn't, couldn't or doesn't offer service, I do it for them for one month - (impression goes along way) which most agree, tell them up front that Jan 1 we no longer service your condo unless we do the mowing, spraying, etc. Usually we nail it!

    But if your new - great way to start into the biz at least with residential. $20 - $35 / drive sounds good to me. I don't know your area but be reasonable. Good luck with the move and getting back into the biz!
  7. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I used to do full service snow removal during the 90s but then is quit snowing for several years so I got out of it all together. I'm re-thinking my decision these day's since we have been getting regular snow fall the last couple of years. Its getting to the point where the weather is so unpredictable these day's its hard to know what to put your money into. Buy mowers and everything else and we have a drought for several years buy snow removal equipment and it doesn't snow anymore. What about fall cleanups? leaves don't come down til it snows anymore and its a royal pain in the but to get them done this year. Oh well I guess we'll all just go out and buy what we need for the work we have if the weather doesn't cooperate just let that new equipment sit a couple years and when you think you won't need it the weather will change.
  8. MJS

    MJS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,316

    I do $20 for most driveways and $10 for most sidewalks. If people only want 1/2 of the driveway done, I still charge $15 at least. Toro Snowblowers make it go quick, though.
  9. chuck bow

    chuck bow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 701

    At 10 bucks i hope thos sidewalks are very very small , Not trying to knock anyone but thats about like a 10 or 15 buck mowisnt it. On blower work i get 55 to 65 a hr What happens if the blower for some unknown reason picks up something on the walk and pelts it thru a window at say 250.00 bucks whoops !! you will be doing that walk a long time at 10 bucks to pay for that Now if if shovel work on the walks that another story . No overhead and a shovel is cheap . Shovel work hurts my back anymore and after a while i just cant take it anymore . Why should this work be any different than lawn work . We all ***** about lowballers and not getting the price we think we should , Price the jobs right guys
  10. racer56

    racer56 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 285

    I ended up subbing them out this time. Hope he does a good job as I don't know him from Adam. HE is one of the bigger snow guys around this area from my understanding. I guess I'll just charge 10% on top. I don't want to do this without a min. monthly fee or something that covers if it snows or not. I was thinking 50.00 per month dec-feb then pay for each time we go out. Does that sound right or do you just charge only when you go out and nothing more?

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