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100% clueless newbie

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by cmos123, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. cmos123

    cmos123 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I currently live in Austin Tx, but will be moving to the Pittsburgh area in a few months. I currently own a very small lawn and tree business down here, but want to take advantage of snow removal for winter cash once we move. I have around $800 to spend on equipment, and I am leaning towards the Ariens compact 24, a two stage blower. I have read several forums on here but still have questions. I know many have already been discussed, but I will waste everyone's time and ask again. Thanks.

    Is snow blowing done mostly at night and extremely early morning?

    Should I get a single or two stage blower? Plow is out of the question for now.

    How long will a typical four car flat drive take with a 24 inch blower, and how much should it cost?

    After using a two stage blower do I need to use a shovel to get up the last bit of snow, or just leave it?

    If I do a drive while it is still snowing, do I need to go back to that account, if so,do I charge anything for that?

    How much snow is enough to start blowing? (yes, I am talking about the snow)

    Is salt bad for concrete drives? if so what do you use?

    Any other advice will be gladly accepted, and remember, I have lived in Texas for 29 years, and I know nothing of snow, so even the most basic of advice can help.

    Thanks again.
     
  2. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Nothing in Pittsburgh is flat. Be prepared to climb some mountain-like driveways. I would also suggest doing trees and lawns since it doesn't snow that much in Pittsburgh. Also make sure you are insured, I can't possibly stress that enough. Read up on steelers, penguins and pirates history, it'll more than likely be a conversation piece with those people. They bleed black and gold down there
     
  3. cmos123

    cmos123 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Most of my family is in the Pittsburgh area, and I am already a Steelers fan. I know it is very hilly, but I was just trying to describe an easy driveway for a price point. I will definitely be doing trees and lawns, but I would like to make some money during the winter instead of starving. Thanks.
     
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Problem whit Pittsburgh besides all their crappy teams is you kind of on the boarder of rain/snow. Just north will get the snow and south gets the rain. When you move up there try and hook up with a company or two to do some sub work.or be on call for snowblowing or shoveling.
     
  5. CashinH&P

    CashinH&P Senior Member
    Messages: 448

    Dont count on snow for an income unles you can get some contracted seasonal accounts and Im not sure if people will go for that with a snowblower. Why is a plow out of the question?
     
  6. 2006Sierra1500

    2006Sierra1500 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,758

    To the first question:

    No, it is done whenever it snows. Snow plowers don't have set hours, the storm controls us.
     
  7. mpriester

    mpriester Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    you may want to look for a 4 wheeler with a plow if a pick up mounted plow is out of the question. Pgh is full of small businesses that are dificult to work with a pick up but very workable with a quad and plow and it will also handle driveways but i'm assuming you already have a pick up and a used plow can be had for a few hundred that needs work but it will be a start and you can upgrade as you go. Don't forget salt, i'm south of Pgh and we get more salting events than plowing and when it does snow enough for a plowing event you'll wish you had a truck mounted plow, the first plowing event we had around Christmas kept me out for 31hrs straight due to repeat plowings and i have only a handful of accounts. On another note you may want to work for another snow removal company and get an idea of what your dealing with since its completely new to you and than break out on your own and not only that but learn how to drive in it if you never have before you go out hauling or pulling equipment in a snow storm.
     
  8. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,114

    Salt is bad for EVERYTHING, especially cars. Despite that, it still gets used.
    But not by me. I don't do commercial plowing, I only do my own stuff, and I wouldn't touch salt. Not ever.

    From the commercial snow remover's perspective, however, salt prevents people from becoming injured and/or dead, which prevents them and their families from suing you.

    The world sucks badly, everybody nowadays sues everyone else for their own stupidity. You need to protect yourself from this.

    Quite frankly, if I wiped out and hurt myself on an unsalted piece of ice on private property, I would be EMBARRASSED to complain about it. Certainly wouldn't bring lawyers into it. More people should be like me.


    Note: I'm also against salting roads. I'd much prefer snowy/icy roads, keep the wusses off the road, I can use spikes, chains, 4wd, and slow down as needed. Throw down a little sand on intersections, hills, and curves, and call it good.
     
  9. 2006Sierra1500

    2006Sierra1500 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,758

    Never thought this day would come but I agree with JasonV
     
  10. trustyrusty

    trustyrusty Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    Me too... this once.
     
  11. willshome

    willshome Junior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 29

    if your going blower I would get both
    Single is great on wet snow and easy out of truck (check craigslist Toro's sell for like $100)
    2stage is good for deep snow
     
  12. tread lightly services

    tread lightly services Member
    Messages: 89

    agreed x2:mechanic:
     
  13. cmos123

    cmos123 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Dont count on snow for an income unles you can get some contracted seasonal accounts and Im not sure if people will go for that with a snowblower. Why is a plow out of the question?

    I have an old 92 chevy and I do not think it could handle having a plow on it, also with a $800 dollar budget a snow blower seems more affordable.

    Someone else here said get a single and a two stage blower. With $800 to spend I found a toro single stage 18 inch with a 87cc engine. Is that too small of a engine??
    For a two stage I found a power smart 24" with that cheap LCT on it. But Ariens has carried the Sno-tek brand under their wing for 10 years now with that engine, so is this engine really that bad? From what I can tell, the power smart is similar to the snow-tek.
     
  14. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    Is snow blowing done mostly at night and extremely early morning?

    Should I get a single or two stage blower? Plow is out of the question for now.

    How long will a typical four car flat drive take with a 24 inch blower, and how much should it cost?

    After using a two stage blower do I need to use a shovel to get up the last bit of snow, or just leave it?

    If I do a drive while it is still snowing, do I need to go back to that account, if so,do I charge anything for that?

    How much snow is enough to start blowing? (yes, I am talking about the snow)

    Is salt bad for concrete drives? if so what do you use?

    Any other advice will be gladly accepted, and remember, I have lived in Texas for 29 years, and I know nothing of snow, so even the most basic of advice can help.

    Thanks again.


    yes
     
  15. willshome

    willshome Junior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 29

    I have a "toro ccr powerlite 3hp" it is a great little blower paid $80 used. Today I used it to move snow/water I could never move this water with a 2stage
     
  16. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    let me guess , rubber squeegee on the tines ?
     
  17. willshome

    willshome Junior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 29

    yes and it does not clog like the 2stage blowers i have used with real wet snow
     
  18. perrysee

    perrysee Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    i would start out with a 2 stage snowblower and work your way up to getting more equipement.
     
  19. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    i think ur ready for a meyer 7'6'' power angle w/ a polyethylene cutting edge
     
  20. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079