I hit a deer while plowing. / Is plowing undervalued in CNY? / And other thoughts about business and the local economy.

I was out plowing the other night and I hit a deer sometime around 5am. It was awful. As a vegan, it pains me so much to know that I unintentionally took the life of a beautiful creature. I guess the lucky thing for me is that I was in a plow truck and it hit the plow and didn’t damage my truck. It was also good for the deer that I was in a plow truck because it killed the deer instantly and she was not in any pain. After dragging her body off the road so nobody would run her over, it left me feeling so sad and emotionally drained.

I don’t know why I am sharing this. Maybe it’s because I am not sure if most people realize everything that goes into making sure their driveway is clear for them when they get up to go to work. I am literally on call 24 hours a day for 6 months of the year, regardless if it snows or not. I don’t get to take winter vacation. I check the weather constantly like a meteorologist to see if there is a change in the forecast and we will get an unexpected snowfall. I set my alarm for 1am so I can check to see if there was enough snow to plow. And so very much more. Even during the off season, there’s still lots of work to be done. Maintenance to the plow and the truck, repairing lawn damage, purchasing and installing stakes, making and sending contracts, paying the expensive plow insurance all year (again, and so very much more). That’s all before even dropping the blade on a single driveway. And then people want to haggle over $20?

I am incredibly fortunate to have some really amazing and understanding clients who I believe have some sort of an idea of what actually goes into making sure their driveway is cleared. So by no means am I complaining about them. In fact, I have the pleasure of working for some really wonderful people who tell me on occasion just how appreciative they are of all my hard work. If you are one of them, THANK YOU!!!!!! I wouldn’t have made it this far in my business without every single one of you!

But hitting a deer at 40mph at 5am and then dragging it’s dead body off the road was something I hadn’t experienced before. It shook me. And then I had to keep working for another 3 hours without skipping a beat. But after reflecting, it made me start to question something that has been brought to my attention over the last couple months…

Back in November I did a video about plow pricing. From the comments I received, I’ve learned that Central New York has completely devalued plowing. Instead of appreciating the hard work, time, energy and the enormous amount of money that us plow guys have invested in providing this 24-hour emergency service, we often get haggled on our price and service. I know I’m not the cheapest plow guy in Caz but I try to provide the highest quality service and give exceptional value. A LOT of the comments said things like “I wouldn’t get out of bed for $18” or “How do you make money with those prices” or “I charge at minimum $40 a driveway”. There’s dozens of comments like these.

I’ll put links to the 2 videos about my pricing at the end of this post if you want to watch them or just read the comments for yourself.

The comments that I’ve received so far about my prices shocked me. Apparently in the rest of the country, including other parts of New York, plowing is worth DOUBLE OR MORE than what I am charging. Yet around here, there are guys doing it for even less than me. I personally know 2 guys who quit plowing this year because it wasn’t worth it and they were undervalued. All of this has me questioning my own plowing business…

Waking up at 1am, sleep deprived, rushing to get everyone done, hitting deer, backing over mailboxes, driving with a foot of snow on the road all night during a whiteout, getting stuck in the middle of the night on a back road with no cars in sight and shoveling for what seems like an eternity to get out, dealing with equipment failures, causing extreme wear and tear and damage to my truck… then getting emails complaining that I did the driveway too early, or too late, or too many times, or whatever other complaint that day…. all while wanting it cheaper… meanwhile you’ve got other guys who are undercutting you and doing a lesser quality job and from what I’ve been told by a bunch of my clients, they have horrible customer service. It is frustrating.

But the real reason I plow isn’t for the money anyway. I plow because I love it. Some days waking up at 1am and going out to plow is more magical than Christmas morning was as a kid. There is nobody on the road except for a few other plow guys and the occasional drunk person trying to make their way home… Driving around when there’s a fresh coating of snow on everything, the houses are all dark and the world is sleeping, it feels like I am in my own world. Knowing that people will wake up and look outside and be thankful that their driveway is clear and they can get to work on time. Those are just a few of the reasons that I love it.

As I show in my YouTube videos, I am trying to share my knowledge and experience with the world. But there’s a whole lot that goes on behind the scenes in the business world that doesn’t get shown or talked about. The trades are often looked down upon as jobs that are “less than”. But in all reality, without tradespeople, the world would be stranded. I think the same goes for people in any area of the service industry. Waiters/waitresses, nurses, grocery store clerks and so many other “essential workers”… a new term that has really had me pondering…

Why is it that in a supply and demand economy, when the demand is incredibly high and the supply is low, people still undervalue and deflate the actual worth of someone who is putting in an honest day of hard work? It’s almost like the harder you are willing to work and the more you sacrifice, the less you get paid. It really is a screwed up economy that I will never understand. It makes me think of the show “Dirty Jobs” and just how many people are out there doing jobs that the rest of the world wouldn’t be caught dead doing.

I could keep writing forever on this because it is a real pain point for me but I’ll wrap it up. This all started with me talking about hitting a deer. But it just goes to show how intertwined everything is in my head. And it also makes me think about just how quickly my own life, or yours can be taken away.

So please, be kind to others. Be extra kind to anyone doing a service job. You have no idea what they are going through or how hard of a toll their job takes on them physically, emotionally and financially.

We all deserve to be valued for everything we do in life. Many of us want to have a purpose and find a way we can help others. I am just a spec on this planet and trying to do my part to make it a better world.

Oh, and watch out for deer…


My videos about plow pricing…
How Much To Charge For Snow Plowing in 2020! With Real Examples! https://youtu.be/ZpPRLKWY6YY
Snow Plow Pricing – Dealing With Hagglers & Why I Can’t Charge More https://youtu.be/tvzxGomac9U

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