Plowing? - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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Plowing?

I was wondering if anyone here plows during the winter. I was talking to one of my uncle's friends today who owns a huge landscapeing business and he said if I got my own truck with a plow he'd pay me $50 an hour, and he already has all the accounts. I thought this was a pretty good deal, and would be much eaiser then trying to get my own accounts, I could also do a few jobs for friends and family.

Does anyone else here plow during the winter? What are your rates? Anyone doing it commercially, what do you pay your drivers?
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 12:15 AM
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I plowed commercially for 10 years.

$50/hour is low, at least around here it would be. Guys get ~$70/hour as plowing "subcontractors", like you would be.

I can tell you flat out, you'll make much more on your own. Even with driveways, I would get $40 for a small driveway that took ~15 minutes. Get a whole lot of them and you can easily make $1,500 in one decent snowfall.

However, with him giving you the work, you have no billing or no sales to have to worry about. Might be a good way to get started to see if you like it.

I just pounded on doors in my younger years and called all the businesses I could till I had over 70 customers.

The commercial lots paid even more. :Thumbup:
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 12:17 AM
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Insurance can be costly.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 12:33 AM
 
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50 bucks is low think of the cost of fuel and also the beating it puts on your truck
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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However, with him giving you the work, you have no billing or no sales to have to worry about. Might be a good way to get started to see if you like it.
That's what I was thinking, I could work for this guy this year, just for a little extra cash and if I like it I will do it on my own next year. I figured it would be a good learning experience, and also if I decide I really don't want to, I dont have to worry about dropping accounts half way through the year. Also when my truck breaks down, I don't have to worry about loseing accounts.

As far as insurance goes, the truck I am getting is already going into my uncle's business name, which will be cheaper, and I'm tecnically an employee so I'm fully insured.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 01:33 AM
 
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ya plowing puts a beeting on a pickup lol, we do a lil and we use 2 tractors with blades, and 2atv's with blades, alot cheeper than trashing your truck
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nummit
Insurance can be costly.
One would think so, but my insurance company actually covered me for plowing in my general commercail policy. My trucks cost about $800/yr each to insure.

When I started to make money, I did buy an "umbrella" policy that covered me for about 1 million in damage, but surprisingly only cost me ~$500/yr to cover my entire business-trucks, sanders, plows, backhoes, etc. for any damage they might cause.

One other downfall I see in hcr400ex's idea is that if he has to fork-out $3,500 for a plow and he doesn't make enough to pay it off, it could prove costly if he doesn't like it.

I used to figure one moderate snowfall would pay off a plow or sander.
He would have to plow for 70 hours @ $50/hr just to pay off the plow. That doesn't include fuel @ $3.00/gallon and wear & tear on his truck. You can easily burn 40+ gallons of fuel in one 10 hour night of plowing. So there's another $125/storm in fuel.
He would have to plow 10 storms for ~10 hours just to pay off the plow and fuel alone. Maybe his uncle gives him fuel, too, but we don't know.

On the positive side, he lives in CT which sees a lot of snowfall. So the payoff could be 1/2 plowing season if there's lots of snow.

I'd ask for $70/hour (minimum) based on the huge increase in fuel & plow equipment costs since I got out in 2000.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 02:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcr400ex
That's what I was thinking, I could work for this guy this year, just for a little extra cash and if I like it I will do it on my own next year. I figured it would be a good learning experience, and also if I decide I really don't want to, I dont have to worry about dropping accounts half way through the year. Also when my truck breaks down, I don't have to worry about loseing accounts.

As far as insurance goes, the truck I am getting is already going into my uncle's business name, which will be cheaper, and I'm tecnically an employee so I'm fully insured.

I'm not sure, but you may be thinking of the wrong insurance....
You need actual snow plowing insurance. Just incase you tag someones car or push in a garage door, run somebody over ect.

Unless your uncle is the guy you are directly working for I don't think you will be covered.
I own a small business and have seen other small business owners skimp or try to bend the rules of insurance. Guess who always looses......
Try to talk him into a few more bucks. If he says no, maybe try for some kind of fuel payment...
At over $3.00 a gallon you will be amazed at how fast your truck will drink $100 in diesel.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 10:57 AM
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Do it on your own or use their equipment. These deals thrive on other people running their equipment into the ground to make their profit. Even if they only clear a small margine, they did not invest the major expenses. I plow with my truck on the side and did the same with the other. It is no more abusive and anything else if you know what you are doing. Chris

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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You have a good thought on subbing for another guy for the first year or 2 and learning the ropes a bit. There are so many reasons for this that it would get rather lenghty but it is really a good idea. 50$ is kinda low.....but it depends on blade, driver, market and also is he paying you 50$ per hour for the time your blade is on the ground or for travel time ect? That makes a huge difference.

As was said insurance is HUGE. There are 2 kinds of insurance related to plowing. First is what you have in case a lil old lady slips in the lot and sues you. Second is for your truck to be covered for whacking a car ect while in the act of plowing. If you already have a biz most times they will throw a plowing rider on ther for little to nothing. Now if you call up your insurance man and say I want to be covered for plowing snow LOOK OUT! They will probably ream you. I found it was cheaper for me to be a landscaper year round and maybe do some plowing than just a plower. Same coverage except I have coverage year round for other comercial work.

hope this dont offend the mods.....if so yank it....
cruise over to www.letstalksnow.com Good group of guys
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