Is Snowplowing Worth It?

Plowing snow during the winter keeps you busy during downtime, but for some, it may not be worth the hassle

Is Snowplowing Worth It?

A few years ago when Eddie Harrison reoriented his business, BAT Onsite, toward servicing advanced onsite systems and away from excavation, other changes came along. One of them was a big risk: quitting snowplowing.

Based outside of Baltimore in Mount Airy, Maryland, he made off-season revenue for 16 years plowing for the Maryland State Highway Administration. When he gave up the state contract, he also gave up $20,000 to $100,000 annually — how much in any given year depended on the regional snowfall.

His routes varied year to year. One wasn’t bad — 16 miles through a mostly rural area with a few gas stations and a restaurant where he could take a break. A more challenging route covered 10 miles along a busy four-lane highway through a business district.

He plowed using the dump trucks from his excavating business. For most of his time plowing, he ran four trucks. When he quit the state contract in 2018, he was down to two.

The money was good, but there was a price to pay.

“For every hour we pushed snow, we spent another hour working on the truck because the salt was so hard on the trucks,” Harrison says. “Then, when you go to work on it, it’s so rusted up you can’t get anything off.”

He says he’s happy he gave it up. He was in the middle of an annual truck inspection the state required of its contract drivers when a state supervisor told him he would have to follow another new requirement sent down from upper management.

“I was polite,” Harrison says. And he walked away.

You can read more about BAT Onsite in the April issue of Onsite Installer.


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