View Full Version : Most important criteria in choosing a plow truck
06-21-2009, 11:57 AM
What would you say are the most important criteria in choosing what truck to use for plowing?
06-21-2009, 12:58 PM
other than 4x4 & heater/defrost, most things are gonna be personal preferences as to what type of plowing your doing..........You seem to have been somewhat frustrated by the responses you got from your last thread. Some of this may be do to the fact you havent stated enough info about yourself/business? What kind of business are you in? What trucks/equipment do you already have? etc,etc............utilizing what you already have would seem to be the best start, when first getting into snow removal.........Some things are personal preferences........For myself, I am in the concrete business. I already own bobcats/trucks & laborers that are used to physically demanding work. So utilizing my bobcat or truck was just a matter of buying a plow/pusher. For the laborers, well snow work is much easier than what we do the rest of the year so they love it, considering they make just as much money at it IF not more per amount of time they actually work.
For the truck thing - I own more GM vehicles than Ford, but next truck I buy will be a Ford 3/4 or 1ton srw reg cab 8ft bed 4x4 w/plow prep pkg,probably V10(unless amazing deal comes about for deisel). Other options I would like are the minor details. I have been planning to do this for a while now, but I cant seem to wear out the only ford I own, which is my personal daily driver and walk crew truck for winter.
06-21-2009, 03:19 PM
I was somewhat frustrated. I hear what guys are saying and I don't question the wisdom of folks that have been at it for a long time. Like I said I appreciate the advice. At the same time with the advice given I would have hoped that folks would also answer the questions I posed. I don't mean to alienate people on the forum but it can be frustrating.
As for me. I have a home building/renovating business. I have a GMC/Isuzu cabover 1 tone cube van. Useless for plowing and not 4x4. I also have a 1 ton Dodge pickup diesel 4x4. One of my guys has a 3/4 ton Ford pick up. The toy in it all is my Unimog. I have a 1300L 2.2 ton ex millitary best, very similar to what Unimogr has.
My tentative plan right now is to get hydraulics on the Mog and get a 10 or 11 foot plow on it. I am also going to get a V box salter for the back. The other two trucks will have plows also.
The reason I asked the question is that I am curious if the Mog will do what I want to do. I am concerned it is too large. I will not be plowing roads, just parking lots so I'd like to know.
06-21-2009, 04:47 PM
that sounds like your good to go.....2 decent trucks to put plows on and maybe have a small tailgate spreader on yours to backup the unimog's vbox.......the unimog would be awesome for plowing......I would think a 10ft vplow would be the way to go on that thing, or a blizzard 8611.......between that equipment, you have the capabilities to get a fair amount of work done......just make sure its not to much, just in case one of them breaks down...
06-21-2009, 06:14 PM
What would you say are the most important criteria in choosing what truck to use for plowing?
Can you afford it, after that it depends on the type and volume of work you do.
06-21-2009, 06:36 PM
What you have stated you have and your plans seem like a pretty solid plan. As already posted by SnoCrete, make sure to have a backup sander... And as he said, look into a 10 ft v plow, and if you feel that your not getting enough with the 10ft v, you can always add wings. It all depends on the location of dealers around you and the difficulty to get parts, that would be your basis for purchasing a plow. I know for a straight blade most of the guys on here would choose Fisher. But as far as a V blade goes, I have heard so many good things about the Boss V's.
06-21-2009, 09:47 PM
Now that we know what you have for equipment already, you seem to be in pretty good shape. You could have three trucks for the season, so you could handle alot of work. The big Unimog will be fine in parking lots, at least at night when they are empty. You can keep them clear during the day with pickups. I don't know how quick the Unimog will be for back and forth work, but you can make do. I would recommend at least one V plow. You can use the scoop function to carry snow to the end of the lot when you are just trying to keep things open during the day. Actually, I would recommend V plows all the way around, unless you get a fantastic deal on a used straight blade. If you get things put together in the next couple of months, you will be in great shape. I would do some creative marketing in Otober/November or so. Have a brochure with a picture of your trucks all geared up. Highlight the fact that you have plenty of equipment, more than you need so even a breakdown will not affect the customer. Do some one on one meetings with plaza managers, store owners, and the boss at the local banks. Get them signed up early, and locked in with you.
As for the spare sander, put a used V-box in the Dodge. The weight is nice, and you can probably get a used full size unit for less than a new tailgate job. And you can load the V-box with a tractor, no shoveling.
Most importantly, start building a relationship with your closest plow dealer. While many guys are very brand loyal, most will tell you service is the most important thing, not the color of paint.
Keep us posted what you decide to do.
06-23-2009, 10:21 PM
Thanks alot for all the help. I spent the day today running around and getting info. The closest place to me for plows only has Western but they can order a Fischer. The Fischer is 10% more money. Is that difference in price worth it? If so why?
I priced the hydraulics for the Mog and a used Schmidt plow. For the price of the hydraulics and the Schmidt I could buy a brand new V box and a WEstern V plow. What makes more sense? I kind of think the Schmidt is actually overkill to start off with. Its a MONSTER PLOW.
The guy trying to sell me the Schmidt said that the Western can't take the 12000 lbs Unimog behind it and it will eat itself in no time. The thing is the Western is rated for 17000 +lbs. It should be okay, right?
My feeling is go for the cheaper plow and get the V box. For one season it will make me more money. THen see if I can justify the bigger Schmidt and the hydraulics.
06-23-2009, 11:25 PM
I think the MVP is basically identical to the Fisher XV, except for the truck hookup. If you can get wings for the MVP, I would probably save the 10%. If not, order the Fisher. As for the weight, I have run my truck well over 10,000 lbs. many times. I have a friend who has a Chevy 4500 with a 9.5 XV. He has to be will over 12,000 with the spreader. The problems we have had with the plows do not seem to be related to the weight of the truck. When you buy a V-box, get STAINLESS STEEL. It will be cheaper in the end. Truthfully, I would see if you can find an Airflow. Two electric motors would be sweet.
Any pics of the Unimog?
06-23-2009, 11:38 PM
What problems have you had with the plows?
I'll put some pics of the Mog up later. Which sections should I put them up in? Does it matter?
06-23-2009, 11:51 PM
There's a pictures forum, or you could put them in Heavy Equipment. Doesn't make much difference.
As for issues, do some searching. Read through the Fisher and Western Forums. Here's a couple of good threads.
As much as I grumbled in a couple of my threads, I would buy another one. It's a great plow to use. Fast, versatile, scrapes very well. I also think it's safe to say the major kinks have been fixed. But these issues show why it's important to have a good dealer. Ask your guy how many of these things he's fixed. And, I really beat the snot out of this thing. Almost 40 storms, averaging at least 18 hours of plowing per storm. Like I said, I wouldn't be afraid to buy another.
06-24-2009, 05:06 AM
You get what you pay for. I'd put the largest plow I could on the Mog and if I wanted a vee I would install it on one of the pick-ups.
One of the beauties of a Vee is clean up and tight areas where snow needs to be transferred to a different location. The Mog is just not maneuverable enough in the tight spaces.
If you do put a DD blade on the mog regardless of what color it is (Fisher, Western same basic unit different paint) go with a 10 foot heavy weight, or try to find a Blizzard 8/11 made by Blizzard, not one of the newer lighter built DDizzards. A install the largest V box you can in the mog, the fewer runs back to the supply yard the better. Using the proper truck for the proper application is key to effective, efficient, profitable snow moving.
06-24-2009, 09:59 PM
Thanks guys, this is such excellent info.
I've been doing a lot of research. I've met with three property managers and got tons of info on what they want to see from the contractor.
One point though about the Mog. It will run circles around a full size pickup. The turn radius is significantly better and the size is pretty similar.
I totally agree with the largest plow I can get on the Mog but I would like it to be a V. The more versatility the better I think. I am still trying to justify the Schmidt but its so much money.
06-25-2009, 11:00 PM
I put some of the pictures of the truck up in the picture forum.
06-25-2009, 11:13 PM
Axles and Trans most important IMO.
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