Rob recently shared with us some of his tips and tricks on how to perform snow plowing for your residential lawn care customer accounts. You can join the conversation further on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. One of his suggestions was this. Do get your snow plow accounts in place before it snows so you can mark hazards. That ditch doesn’t look as scary once it full of fluffy snow.
Rob: “The beautiful thing about digital cameras these days is the photos can be printed at home and then discarded. I take a photo of the account and put it in a binder in my truck to refer to after I cannot see anything becasue of the snow. I also buy furring strips from Lowe’s and cut them in half (with a point). Then I drive it into the ground near something I should be aware of - say that ditch. Trust me, driveways and such get pretty big in winter because it’s push - push - push. It keeps me from taking liberties of going too far that I shouldn’t take. Anyway I buy some of the fluorescent orange paint and paint the tips that I can see. Make sure they are tall enough to see after you get 4 feet of snow. I try to get them back in the spring but if they come up missing, then thats OK because it costs me next to nothing to make them.
Well I am still learning but I think getting to that last account 8 hours later may get some people up in arms. I watch the news and when they say the snow will out of the area by 7am, I try and make it so that I am at the last account right at 7am. This can get tricky but thats what I did last year.”
John: “Residential snow plow accounts are easier to bid than commercial snow plow accounts. I won’t touch a drive way for under $20 a push, take into account the length, width and obstacles and if they want salt or not when bidding. you can usually make good money salting. I.E.. when we were called out to salt and a bag costs us $3.50 we would would charge them $4.50 - $5.00 a bag. Try to mark out the layout of the drive with stakes or photos BEFORE the first snow, makes it easier to remember obstacles, culverts, foundations ect… Try to push snow back as far as you can the first snow so it’s easier later on in the season and you dont have to bust out a snow thrower or shovel to widen thing out so you can fit your plow in there..
Commercial snow plow accounts are a bit trickier they usually require ALOT more time and money than residential snow plow accounts. Look at the area you have to plow. Ask yourself, will you have to use heavy equipment to knock banks down or move them? Salt is a killer here. We had a few snow storms that after each plow we would have to lay down a whole pallet of salt though out the area. Just like residential snow plow accounts, take photos or use install marker stakes in the plowing area. This will help remind you of grass and obstacles and save on you snow plow damage clean up in the spring.”