Exploding Residential Snow Removal Costs

Exploding Residential Snow Removal Costs

Labor shortages, skyrocketing fuel prices, and a meteoric rise in the cost of parts and machinery. You’ll have to pay a lot more to clean your driveway this winter, and some customers may even have a hard time finding a snowplow.

No, there will be no discounts for homeowners looking for a snow removal company. Prices are jumping everywhere in Quebec and no one seems to be escaping.

On the southern coast of the Quebec region, Déneigement S. Laroche had no choice but to raise its rates by 30-37%.

The company’s co-owner, Steven Laroche, even posted a message on his Facebook page last month explaining to his customers the reasons for this strong growth.

“Customers expected it. But it’s still a big spike all of a sudden,” she agrees.

In Charlesbourg, Entretien JFB has increased its rates by 15%. “It’s $50 to $75 more for a residential down payment,” says Jean-François Bédard, owner of the company, “one of the highest increases we’ve had in years.”

Jean-François Bédard, owner of JFB Maintenance

Photo Stevens LeBlanc

Jean-François Bédard, owner of JFB Maintenance

However, it specifies that the company is moving forward by “graduation” and that an increase is also expected for next year.

Despite everything, the renewal rate is 98%, highlights Mr. Bédard. “Customers understand our reality.”

More expensive shoveling on foot

The situation is no different at Entretien PJP in Beauport, where residential customers will pay 15-20% more. And the bill will be higher for those who need pedestrian shoveling services.

“It is certain that the increase is more than 20%. We have a hard time having people on the tractors, imagine having employees shoveling by hand. It can go from 30 to 40%, the price increase”, evaluates the co-owner, Jean-Philippe Perron.

Jean-François Lauzon - Snowplow

Photo courtesy of Jean-François Lauzon

This boost is the largest he has ever sent to his clients, he says. “It is not profit that will go into our pockets, it is only to cover the costs incurred. »

The Association of Residential and Commercial Snow Plows of Quebec (ADRCQ) confirms that all companies in their industry must increase their prices between 20% and 40%.

“The salary of a snowplow has gone from about $19/hr three years ago to $30/hr in 2022. Fuel has also increased. If customers can’t understand the increase in their bill, there’s a problem,” says Annie Roy, CEO of the ADRCQ.


File photo, Didier Debusschère

Orphaned clients?

Jean-François Bédard estimates that he could have gained up to 1,000 more customers this winter because snow plows near his sector have stopped working or reduced their activities.

Which makes him say that people will have to get shovels and elbow strength, in the absence of getting the services of a tractor.

“Right now, there are people who don’t have snowplows. They think they will find one, but it’s not guaranteed,” she said.

Seeing orphaned clients is not impossible, Steve Laroche also predicts. He cites the case of a friend who has ceased his activities on the north coast of the Quebec region and whose clients have to find a new snowplow.

—With the collaboration of Francis Pilon, Le Journal from montreal

Tighten your seatbelt to pay for the snowplow

Quebeckers who depend on a snowplow to get out of their homes in winter say they will have to tighten their belts from now on to pay for this service, which has become a luxury.

Francis Pilon, The Journal from montreal

“The costs have become too exorbitant! We are asked to pay double the price. One wonders if some snow plows are not exaggerating this year”, Denyse Dubé worries.

This retiree lives on a small private street in Quebec where there are 15 residences, most of which are elderly. The problem is that they must bear the costs of snow removal themselves since the City refuses to blow snow on their Lac-Côté road, which is gravel.

Mrs. Denyse Dubé, you can no longer afford a snow removal service because prices have skyrocketed

Photo Agency QMI, René Baillargeon

Mrs. Denyse Dubé, you can no longer afford a snow removal service because prices have skyrocketed

“Last year we paid $635 per residence. This year, we made two presentations. It’s between $1,300 and $1,500. I’m sure someone will have to tighten their belts. It is a surplus and we are still looking for someone,” says M.me Dube.

possible solutions

Annie Roy of the Quebec Association of Residential and Commercial Snowplows reminds that the government could help snowplows reduce their costs and thus reduce customer bills.

“We would like to attract retired workers to our businesses, but most of them don’t want to work because they are overtaxed. They should be rated zero,” suggests Annie Roy.

It also proposes that Quebec stop financially penalizing unemployed workers who work snow removal 10 or 15 hours a week during the winter.

Why does it cost more?

  • fuel by 87% (in June 2022)
  • New parts and equipment increased by approx. 30%
  • Shortage of mechanics and significant increase in their salary
  • Tire prices that rose to 41%
  • Insurance costs increased 35% for 2-3 years

Source: Association of Residential and Commercial Snow Plows of Quebec

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