Area snow plow drivers continue to struggle with unreliable winter conditions
But for snow plowing companies in the region, it’s lost money they may not get back, though Wednesday’s snowfall did provide a glimpse of hope.
(ERIE, P.A. - WICU/WSEE/CW) –For Corry’s Dave Peru Sr., it's been a busy day, to say the least.
As the snow continued to hammer the southern part of Erie County Wednesday night, Peru was clearing paths and creating piles on piles of snow, with still much more to clear.
"We currently have about 73 clients." Peru said
Peru is the owner of Dave’s Lawn Care and Maintenance, were he works with a four-person staff. Seven years ago, Peru started his business full-time. The 73 clients are spread out around the region, with some residential and commercial spots. When we rode along with him, he was clearing the parking lots of a Taco Bell and then an American Legion post.
Even with the work split among four drivers, it's a tall task for such a small operation.
"You're out there two or at three days in a row, at 14, 16 hour days." Peru said
Last year, Peru said he once worked as much as 23 hours.
Now despite the constant stream of snow coming down, it hasn't exactly been a snowy winter, which might be fine for some people, but for drivers like Peru, it can be lost money they may not get back.
"You see a winter like this, it makes you wonder if you're heading in the right direction." Peru said
The unreliable conditions have hit his crew harder than the rapid snowfall, because while they may be busy plowing parking lots, it can all change with the weather. Peru says prior to Wednesday, they hadn’t plowed a driveway in over a month.
And as a result, they've earned less than half of what they average in profit. Peru says they can typically take in up to $15,000 a winter, depending on the size of the jobs they do.
When the weather is warmer, the crew will usually do lawn and gardening jobs, which Peru says his crew could not do during the last month, due to soggy ground conditions from steady rainfall. The crew recently attempted to do some driveway repair to make some money.
"The bills don't stop either way.” said Peru “But you've got to figure out what you can do to stay busy and keep the guys a paycheck."
But just as he's cleared room for smooth driving, Peru’s cleared room for some optimism the rest of the way,
“We're hoping, we're optimistic that it's going to be a good next couple months." Said Peru
Peru says they'll continue to keep their eyes on the weather.