Snow removal in Western NC? and many other questions

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rapid_darby, Jan 31, 2007.

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  1. rapid_darby

    rapid_darby LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I am 2 years into my lawn care business ... Freedom Lawn Care - My question(s) are:
    I am starting to go after commercial accounts. I have one commercial account that may be interested in hiring me but they will only hire a land care company that also does snow removal. ...The past 2 years here in Western NC there has been little to no need for snow removal ...Is it worth it to offer it just to get this account? 24k a year account w/out snow removal.
    I plan on trying to get the account then this coming fall get just enough equipment to do snow removal if there is a need - I would get a salt/sand spreader and a (cheap) plow for my truck - or possibly just buy a cheap beater truck that is already set up for snow removal/sand spreading.
    --what would be a good option for equipment to do this?
    --am I crazy to be considering this?

    --Commercial accounts that are like this will not hire seperate snow removal companies because there is so little need for snow removal that they are afraid that if they hire someone just for snow removal that they will not get good service or they will not be able to find someone who they can contract just for snow removal and no other services.

    ---what are snow removal rates? salt? sand? etc... -
    ---Do you charge a flat fee to contract plus additional fees each time you salt/sand plow?
    -- help!!!!

    I have a 06 Ram QC 4x4 and I really don't want to put a plow and/or spreader on it... its too nice, but if it gets me this account it may be worth it?

    I hope to expand my business enough to justify a new (old) truck and trailer to run a seperate crew ...this would justify a new (old) plow truck too.

    what do you all think?

    what is the best way to go after more commercial accounts?
  2. Clear-Cut

    Clear-Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    go for it...24k for the year should pay for a used truck, plow, and sand spreader that are all in working condition...hell if the lot isnt too small just get a large snow wont damgage anything like a plow could (if you screw up) and it cleans just as good...just takes longer..but if this is the only account you will offer snow removal for id say why not
  3. rapid_darby

    rapid_darby LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    No one else has a comment for me? ...I'm asking for advice and no one else has anything to add???
  4. westwind

    westwind LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 444
    You will find alot of information on this there. The site is run by the same company and is very informative.
  5. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,113

    I'd say go for it but don't go cheap on the plow and truck...what if it does actually snow like 10 inches or something and your plow or beater truck breaks down...then your commercial account is screwed and will fire you and there goes your $24k lawn the job with snow removal in it...and get a decent set up next year...and don't wait for the snow, get it before it snows. As far as charging usually salt/sand is charged per pass...if you spread 2 times change 2 times, and snow removal is charged per push...if it snows 6 inches and you cleared it at 3" and again at 6" charge 2 times. Here in STL we get like no snow...maybe 10" total in the past 4 we got a centimeter of snow and EVERY school is closed it is crazy...when I was in Boston we needed 6 inches or more to get out of school. So anyway what some people do in areas where it doesnt snow much is charge the account for one storm whether it snows or not...because equipment isnt cheap and we cant be buying it just in case it snows we need to get paid.
  6. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 798

    Figure the size of lot to be plowed and ask someone what they would charge for it. Then add it to your lawn maint. contract and submit.
    Even bid the snow removal a little low if you want to get the lawn. but watch it, i know here in maryland we can go a few years with little or no snow, than BAM, we get hit good.
    Just bid something on the snow removal, just in case you do get some you will not feel you are out there for free.
  7. Ric3077

    Ric3077 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,113

    ...Another option is to sub out the snow plowing...then you can offer it but wont have to shell out $$$ for equipment that may or may not get used.
  8. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,740

    Try the above site. There is plenty of help there
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