Rates for plowing snow?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by All country, Aug 21, 2004.

  1. All country

    All country Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2003
    We've just acquired a 1 ton Ford with a 8 1/2 ft. snow blade. DH would like to be able to pick up extra cash this winter. His employer is interested in having him plow the parking lot this winter. A rough guess is 1- 1 1/2 hour plow time. What would be reasonable rates to charge? Any suggestions?
    This truck has dual rear wheels & a dump bed. A real blessing for us when hauling firewood. Some suggestions on rates to charge for hauling other things(sand, gravel, etc.) would also be appreciated.
  2. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

    Dec 11, 2002
    NE PA
    Call up a sand/gravel pit and ask the price of a truck load of sand
    that you'd pick up yourself. Know the size of the truck. Then ask
    what they would charge if it was delivered.
    Charges are so different in different areas. If your DH is in good with
    his company, he might ask what they paid the previous plow person.
    If you don't get enough and blow the transmission, you'll definitely
    know you got the short end of the deal. Plowing is hard on any
    Good luck.

  3. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    Northern Wisconsin
    Around here in Northern Wisconsin, snowplowing is usually around $2-$3 per minute as a ballpark figure. Some charge more, some charge less.

    Making a profit plowing snow is tenuous, at best. Just when you think you're ahead of the game, the truck needs expensive repairs. Snowplowing is extremely difficult on the entire drive train, suspension, etc.
    You are gambling big time.

    While its possible to plow snow with any 4 wheel drive vehicle, most of the people that are serious about it around here have short box trucks, which are the easiest to manuever in often tight spots.

    There are 2 types of people that plow snow around here. Type 1 is the professional. They have top of the line equipment (expensive.....very expensive....$40,000+ rigs) and usually trade there vehicles in when they are 3 years old. The type 1 people get nearly 100% of the commercial accounts. They get the commercial accounts because they are reliable, and have a backup plow vehicle should a breakdown or repairs take place.
    Type 2 is the casual snowplower, which generally takes care of private residences. Very few of these guys have newer vehicles. Nearly all of these guys do their own repairs.

    Another thing to consider when determining rates is this: Are you going to charge by the individual snowplowing occurence......or are you going to be charging by the season.
  4. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

    Mar 11, 2004
    Northeastern Minnesota
    Until one of my daughters married a guy who plows dirves in the winter I paid $20 per plow visit if the snow was not too deep, but I have paid up to $200 when the weather was bad, the snow got a bit deep, and the plow guy had to bring an end-loader to dig us out.

    Usually our old plow guy came once or twice a week, but when the wind got nasty he might come three or four times a week. Now my son-in-law does it for free and I like the new price.
  5. definately check the supliers i know in my parts it is not practical to haul sand or gravel by pickup the supliers have a 8 yard minumim charge i think it is so you pay way to much for the material as compared to a dumptruck. you can buy the material delivered cheaper than hauling several pickup lods and that is not counting any money for gass or wear on the pickup
  6. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    missoula, montana
    I remember looking into this a few years ago for similar reasons. I have a half mile long driveway and the lowest price I could find was $120 per plowing.
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 20, 2004

    Dual rear wheels makes a poor snowplow truck. Too wide and very poor traction on snow. I'll assume it's 4wd anyhow. :)

    Depends on if you are doing this professionally. Sounds like you would be doing it for a business. Then you need insurance - if you pop off a gas line or an electrical box, you are liabel for some big-buck repairs. Five years ago a machinery dealer was charging $90 an hour and not coming out because of the insurance cost, I'm sure it is $120-150 now.

    I can't imagine hauling sand on a pickup would pay - you'd have to find a place that loads small amounts, and that's the catch. Again, you rip off an overhead line, or wreck someone's pretty lawn or septic leach field, and you get sued - need the insurance. There goes any profit.