Plowing you either love it or hate it.


LawnSite Bronze Member
I had an employee that used to run the Kubota 540 loader for the past 5 years. This year I moved him into a truck to plow with. He went from loving plowing to wanting to quit. He said he didn't mind sitting in his Kubota and working 3 lots all next door to each other. However running all over the place in the truck was a real pain.

Like I have said before ya either love it or hate it, there is no middle ground. After your first winter you will no for sure.

When I here guys that say oh you mean we are going to have to plow again. I tell them that if they don't like running the truck, I can find another spot in the snow removel opperation. I have found if ya don't like doing it, the quality goes down hill, and I don't need that.

So for all the new guys out there. I april sit back and think about this winter, and ask yourself If you want to do it again. If you don't hang up your hat and let someone else do the accounts. I really do believe that if ya don't like doing it, the quality will go down hill. The the problems get worse, more complaints, more problems ect.

Just some thoughts that came through my mind today.


John DiMartino

LawnSite Silver Member
Geoff ,I agree,and until they try it,everyone thinks its easy and that its all fun and games.I get young kids tellingm e why wont you let me plow for you at 17.These same kids have 3 tickets,wreck ed 2 cars in 9 months,and want me to put them in my truck in a snow storm?They must be nuts.

SlimJim Z71

LawnSite Senior Member
I really enjoy plowing. As much as I've been compaining lately, I really do. I'm just getting to the point where I'm forgetting how nice it is to sleep (more than 4-hours). It's hard trying to plow, and work a full-time job. I think having to plow Motorwerks is killing it for me. It's such a pain in the @$$ dodging cars all day, and then having to move inventory cars and plow frozen snow. I've barely seen my wife and daughter these past two weeks. Oh well, I can wait till spring to sleep...


[Edited by SlimJim Z71 on 12-20-2000 at 02:48 AM]

Chuck Smith

LawnSite Senior Member
Nutley, NJ
I had a guy at work ask me what I did before I started my "new" job... I told him I have done grounds maint. for the past 15 years, and on my own for the past 5. I told him I got out of it, but I am still very active in snow plowing.

Now I know he plows there, so I added that I have also written several articles recently on snow plowing for a trade magazine. He laughed at me, and said "How hard is it? Push switch, plow goes up, push switch, plow goes down" I replied "If only it was that easy!" He said well, it is. Then he said he was only kidding, but I know he wasn't. I didn't go on to mention my handbook.

It's a shame, even after plowing for years (at least 5 I am told) that he thinks that's all there is to it. "Just drop the plow and go" as I often say when referring to those who have little or no experience.

Bear in mind he plows government property, with a government truck, on OT only. This year, I am going to plow for them on OT as well, as soon as I get my gov't drivers liscense (tons of red tape). This year, I subbed out my important accounts, but next year, I will have enough time off accrued to plow myself (I've already accrued 2 days off so far). You have no idea how hard it is to be indoors when it is snowing! It kills me to look out there and see snow now. It snowed here about 2 weeks ago, and it was the first time in 17 years I was NOT out in it plowing, shoveling, or salting. I guess I can truly say I love plowing! (And that's an understatement by far!)




LawnSite Senior Member
This is my third full time year of plowing and I've been wondering if I do or don't? I worry if I'll get stuck, if I'll break something, am I charging enough, should I buy extra salt today, why don't others have any consideration for you when you're plowing, can I afford to buy a newer truck, can I not afford to have a backup truck, what will my wife say when I trade the minivan in on a F450 SD, and so on. Then today one of my commercial account managers came out and told me that the owner was very pleased with our service and to keep up the excellent work. I gotta quit thinking so much and realize that providing a quality service to reasonable customers is all that any independant should hope to attain as long as the money's there. I think I like plowing. Now, if the Bears get rid of Cade and shore up that defense and...


Moderator, Friend, Angel
South East
I dont do any plowing. But have had jobs where i didnt get much sleep. And it seems to me that some of you are suffering from classic signs of sleep deprivation. And those of you that do get enough sleep have been thrown off your sleep time schedules. People who work odd hours and swing shift usually have this problem. This can affect you no matter how money you are making. Just from reading this I can tell that depression and anxiety that comes along with this is setting in. Making your job seem much harder and less enjoyable to you. Making a tough job even tougher. Employees and the owner will start to suffer from this. But some can handle this type of schedule better than others. Our police dept has gone to just straight shift to combat this problem. You may not realize this is happening to you. Anxiety is a terrible thing to go through and can become so severe as to be incompacitating.
Websters dictionary definition of anxiety: 1) a feeling of uneasy or worry about what may happen.
Anxiety exagerates problem and you worry about things in the futer they may never even happen at all etc

Maybe you and your employees(everyone together) can have a meeting at regular interval to talk about this and reasure them before it gets too serious

[Edited by Charles on 12-20-2000 at 02:11 PM]

Deere John

LawnSite Senior Member
I think that if you are a person who;
enjoys the first sight of snow,
enjoys preparing for winter
gets satisfaction from seeing the situations of others who do not prepare,
look for new winter business all year,
look for ways to modify your rig to make your life easier,
know the left-handed pipe wrench and can-of-steam jokes,
have a loving, understanding family
are a people person
and have a reasonably long fuse,
you have the basics needed to turn your love for winter into a business opportunity. You gotta love it.

I too have seen (and have experienced) being put in the wrong position. A really good person may do a really poor job when put into an environment that they don't like. They may try just as hard as usual, and fail, and they may try even harder, and fail or not achieve. Been there. Good thread Geoff.



LawnSite Silver Member
I think it could be both! With everything else I love doing the work, but a lot of times hating putting up with all the bs that comes with it. Always a challenge and fun at the same time though, so I'm biased on the love side!


I have only been out a few times myself. This is my first season. Thanks to SIMA, the many helpful people at this forum, and a little good judgement on my part, in 11 days I have grossed 1/3 of what it took me seven months to gross doing lawn maintenance.

When I started the lawn maintenance division, I was adamantly opposed to snow removal. My father helped with the financial end of things and generally encouraged me to do what seemed nuts at the time.

I understand others that advise if this business is looked at as a viable profit center, it will be profitable. Ask and ye shall recieve. I'm in a "terrible" location as far as normal snowfall and perceptions of need for snow removal. Half the commercial lots here aren't plowed, even when we get a 5" snowfall. This tells me that some of those are just uneducated customers waiting to be signed.

The work isn't bad. It would be nice to grow to the point that I don't have to be out during every storm, all of the storm. Additionally, I want to shorten the time employees are behind the wheel of a truck (once I am running more trucks), since I see what it does to me. Lots of potential for accidents after so long behind the wheel. I notice I'm more careless and mishaps are easier at this point. Other than that, I don't have many complaints. If I made $1,000,000 a year, I'd still have complaints.