Snow Blowers

Snow Clearing Services

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Snow Clearing ServicesIt is the middle of summer and who wants to even think about clearing snow and the cold winter that is coming. Yet this is the best time to start making arrangements as well as deciding whether you are going to purchase a snow blower and clear snow yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Calling early might net you a discount for early contract signing or a sale price on a snow blower, but make sure you do your home work in both cases.

Snow Clearing Services – Hire or Buy

For some people the decision is pretty easy. They have no desire to be out in the cold weather clearing snow and are very willing to have someone come in when ever there is a snow fall. Other people look at the economics and for them it it is a clear decision. They want to have a snow blower and they want to do it themselves, because they figure it will cost them less money over the life of the snow blower.

I fall into the latter group and would never consider hiring someone to clear the snow. But what are the economics of the decision. Once you get past the emotional part of the decision and the discomfort part of the decision it just comes down to cold hard dollars and a set of assumptions. We will try to list a few of these in our blog to help people make a decision for them selves.

Click snowblowers for many different snowblowers sold on Amazon, shipped to your home,

Snow Clearing Services – Economics of Purchasing a Snow Blower

In making this type of analysis you really need to make a few assumptions. They will be different for each person based on where you live and how large a driveway you have. Adjust the numbers to fit your situation and recalculate to see what the trade off is between hiring someone to do snow clearing for you vs. purchasing a snow blower.

Snow Clearing Services – Assumptions of Purchasing a Snow Blower

  • Medium cost of a snow blower is around $1200
  • Annual maintenance is approximately $100
  • Assume that you do not do your own maintenance
  • Operating cost is several tanks of gas, assume $30
  • Assume $300 in repairs every five years

The cost of owning and operating a snow blower over five years based on the above would be : $1200 to purchase the snow blower, 5 times $100 for maintenance, 5 times $30 for gas and one repair of $300 for a total of $2150 in cost spread equally over five years is $530 per year. This is probably the most unfair advantage since while your operating costs will occur every year, we have spread the capital cost of $1200 over five years when we know that your snow blower will last much longer.

So lets break this down slightly differently. Your average annual operating cost will be 5 times $100 for maintenance, 5 times $30 for gas and one repair of $300 for a total of $950 in cost spread equally over five years is $250 per year.

Assumptions of Hiring someone to do Snow Clearing For You

  • 2 car width driveway
  • no clearing of snow from the steps
  • snow cleared after 2 inches has fallen
  • snow cleared whenever snow plow has past
  • Clearing snow for months of Dec, Jan, Feb and March
  • Snow clearing contract would be in the range of $450 per season

Total cost of snow clearing over five years is $2250 or $450 per year with potential increases each year.

The cost that you may have to pay for someone to come and clear your driveway really depends on the amount of snow you get on an average year and how large a driveway you have. Also whether you want them to clear your steps as well. Ask for a written quote and ensure that it specifies how they will handle the assumptions listed above.

Deciding To Buy a Snow Blower or Hire a Snow Clearing Service

Obviously with the numbers we have chosen for this analysis shows that the cost of purchase vs. the cost of snow clearing is pretty close. In your situation the numbers may be close to what we have assumed or they may be quite different. Substitute your own numbers based on your situation and the location were you live to help you make a decision regarding what you should do from a purely economic perspective.

You can also take into account the cost of money i.e. the interest rate you could earn if you invested the money or the interest you would pay if you borrow the money. With interest rates today, these numbers are pretty small and do not play a significant role in the decision to buy vs hire.

Assuming our variables are close to your situation, you will quickly realize that the decision to buy vs hire snow clearing services really comes down to an emotional issue. Do you really want to get out their and blow snow when it is cold and windy. Imagine your are trying to get to work on time and you have to be concerned about clearing the driveway so you can get your car out.

Enjoy Using your Machine

Personally I enjoy getting out and playing with my snow blower. Sometimes I will also clear snow from the neighbors driveway to give him a break. He will often return the favor as well for us.

Finally one last comment on the buy vs. hire decision. My snow blower is over 22 years old and I might have spent $500 on repairs over the past 22 years. I do all of the work myself and purchase any parts I need from a local repair shop. In my situation the decision is obvious. Buy the snow blower and clear the snow myself even if I need to hire someone to maintain the snow blower.

Feel free to make any comments on this post. We will be glad to add them as comments providing they are not spam comments. For more general information about snow clearing, snow tire chains and more, click here.


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One Response to “Snow Clearing Services”

  1. i almost decided to have someone come and clear my snow for me from the driveway this year, but my poor old snow blower will be good for one more year. it is cheaper for me to do it myself than hire a snow clearing service

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