BOSTON (CBS) – Like a lot of people, including all non-essential state employees, Peter Schuler was told to work from home during this early January snowstorm. But as the snow piled higher, so did his concern over clearing his driveway so he could get out the next morning. “I went out at lunch and in about 20 minutes I realized this was going to be about a two hour project now and two to three hours tonight when it is all over,” he said.
That time would have put a major dent in his work day.
But the Needham dad managed avoid catching heat from his boss thanks to Christopher Jenkins and Plowz&Mowz an App that matches plow operators with homeowners who need help clearing snow. “A couple of clicks on the phone and the guy is here a little bit later to do the professional work,” Schuler said.
The user types in an address and the size of the driveway. The App calculates the cost which can range from about $50 to $100 or more. The job is then sent to hundreds of drivers in the area. If a driver sees one that is convenient to them, they accept the job. When it’s done, they snap a photo to let the company know the work has been completed. “It’s as easy for me as a contractor as it is for the consumer sitting at home on their couch who decides they would rather binge Netflix than go outside and shovel the driveway three times,” Jenkins said.
The App doesn’t just work for anyone with a truck and a plow. The company only accepts drivers who have commercial liability insurance. So for the most part, drivers are professionals who are picking up a few odd jobs in between their regular customers of residential and commercial properties.
For Schuler it is easy and cheaper than hiring a plow service for the season. “A couple of $80 or $100 clicks of a button for the really big storms gets me what I need and lets me do my work, help my wife with the kids and not break my back,” he said.