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Discussion Starter #1
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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'Ol Builder guy
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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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50 bucks is low think of the cost of fuel and also the beating it puts on your truck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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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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
robert
out
 

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'Ol Builder guy
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nummit said:
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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hcr400ex said:
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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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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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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and if you run the right equipment, maintain it, and operate in a smart manner you wont tear your truck up. JMO
 

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'Ol Builder guy
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Extra caution does keep your truck looking better, but the resale value will be lower if a truck is used for plowing.

Anyone experienced in buying used trucks will look for a plow mount on the frame or tell-tale holes in frame or dash to see if it was a plow truck.

Make sure you factor the extra cost of the plow, fuel, damage to your truck, extra wear & tear and depreciated resale value before you get to caught up in the hourly pay.

I used to sub-out my bigger dump with an 11' plow and salter at $100 per hour and a pick-ups' were $70/hour 5 years ago. $50/hour is way low today.
 

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I plowed for a big landscaping company near cinn. they paid 65$ an hour for a truck with a plow. You would have to get ins for sure they carry like 500,000- few mill ones
 

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Duke said:
You can easily burn 40+ gallons of fuel in one 10 hour night of plowing.
What were you plowing with? My Dodge NEVER used more than 10 gal plowing snow in Anchorage AK. I usually ended up plowing for 8-12 hrs. each time pushing anywhere from 6-12" OF SNOW.
 

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Most diesel PU trucks see about 2 gallon per hour or so it seems. Gas seems to gobble it much quicker. Just what I have seen
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I did run into the guy today breifly and talked to him a little more. He said it would be commercail lots only, and depending on the size I might be responsible for a couple. I did mention that the price was a little low, and he said that because I have no prior experince, thats what I would START out with, but if I prove myself worthly, he would raise it up. I forget to ask about the plowing insurance though, I'll have to look into that a little more I guess. He did mention I would get free food at a couple of the Diner's since he plows for them.

I do not have a truck yet, but i was wondering if there are any precautions I should take when i do get one. I was thinking I should get some kind of undercoating. Is there anything I should beef up in the front end? I will be getting a ram 2500 diesel.
 

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LOL....I was kinda thinking you were talking about your dump. slight BOMBed 466 in a dump might be a wee bit harder on fuel than my lil 403" duramax in a 9000# plow rig;)

Chevys do well with timbrens up front.

One thing that helps up front and also aid in traction and safety big time is BALLAST! I say thins becasue I have 2 plowing pet peves in life. One is plowers without proper insurance and the other is ballast! Get em both, trust me. Run your ballast secured and behind the rear tires.

Make sure you also get upfront what your going to get moved up to;) or atleast make sure you can trust the guy. Also work out if you are getting paid transit time or just when the blade is on the ground.

Trust me.....letstalksnow.com ;) go there, read some of the posts from the noobs there is a ton of good info over there for starting out.

No offense ment but you are basicly asking how do I BOMB my cummins. Short question with a BIG answer(or answers) A post wont cover it since there are entire websites to trying to answer what you are asking.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have been reading letstalksnow.com and have found a lot of great info. Excellant site!

However I am not really wondering how to BOMB the truck, cause I have been reading about that for a couple months, and know the basics I want to do. I am more interested in what to upgrade for plowing, stuff like suspension, any weak points that I should replace before they break? Any common problems, or stuff that will stop me from plowing when a storm comes.

I am not so sure what you mean by BALLAST? But I am going to check into the plowing insurance, and definitely get it.
 
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