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3/4 ton plow truck

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by fastxcr800, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. fastxcr800

    fastxcr800 Member
    Messages: 87

    i found a plow truck and the price is right, but i'm looking for some thoughts. The truck is 1988 GMC 2500 with 192,000 miles. The seller is a personal friend and i know for a fact that the truck has been maintained. He has owned the truck since new and used it to plow the parking lot at a laundry shop he used to own. He is asking $3500 for the truck. This is my first year plowing and i have a small amount of jobs lined up for this season, some driveways and small lots. I only need the truck to last my till next year when i've budgeted for a newer truck. Is this feasible?? should i walk away from the deal??
     
  2. sechracer

    sechracer Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    If the truck was maintained really well, yes. Provided it runs and drives well. Check the front end and make sure everything is tight. Is the plow on the front of it conventional or something newer style?

    $3500 aint too bad for a truck with a plow. Figure a late 90's with around the same miledge would cost you probably $3k for the truck, then atleast another $1500 for a decent used plow setup.

    Also, if the truck is mechanically sound, it should last more than 1 season.
     
  3. fastxcr800

    fastxcr800 Member
    Messages: 87

    the plow was bought with the truck from the dealer when it was new. i'm pretty sure the plow is a western. also the truck has a manual trans. will that hold up better or worst than an auto trans
     
  4. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    I would look for something with an auto. If your going to spend $3500 for a truck for one year, I would suggest bumping up your budget just a little and get something newer with an auto, and plow with it for the next few years.
     
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    My first suggestion would be the same as ducatirider944. But, for $3500, this doesn't seem like a bad deal. Just realize that with a manual, you're going to have a sore left knee. You'll also likely get more for it next year if you plan on selling it privately rather than trading it.

    Check the front end, transmission and clutch before you buy it.
     
  6. fastxcr800

    fastxcr800 Member
    Messages: 87

    the clutch was recently replaced, only about 500 miles on it. I'm bringing it to my shop later this week to make sure the truck is up to par. my only fear is the amount of miles, it might run good now, but i don't want stuff to start breaking once i plow with. is there anything on the plow that is common to go bad? the plow has been garage kept since new.
     
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Plow - check the hoses for deep cracks. Check the connectors for leaks. Raise the plow just off the ground with it angled to one side (KEEP TOES CLEAR). Try to pull it to angle the other way. If it moves, the seals are leaking. Raise it all the way up. It should stay there. If not the seals are leaking. Angle from side to side and up/down. It should respond appropriately. Look at the rams for chrome being rusted. Look to see how worn the cutting edge is to the spring shackles. Check the pins for wear. Check the springs for tension - make the plow trip and see how forcefully it returns. Just consider overall wear and rust. Look for bent angle iron or moldboard.
     
  8. Farm Boss

    Farm Boss Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    Personally I would buy the truck if it is decent. Being a first yr plower, you are not going to be plowing enough to get "a sore knee." One owner trucks are hard to find, sounds like a good old truck. Why up the budget on the first yr??? Then you have to up the drives and lots to justify the higher priced truck/plow. Point its, go with this relatively cheap set up, get your feet wet, pay for the truck and make some money, then upgrade. Nobody thats made it big started big. Goodluck!
     
  9. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    He'd probably like to, though.:D
     
  10. Farm Boss

    Farm Boss Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    Ha! Yeah that way if you get a sore knee you know you are keeping busy making money then!
     
  11. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    If this is your first year plowing, I would almost certainly go with that setup, as you will have your hands (or should I say wallet) being used to the limit. Insurance is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. If you are plowing for $ you HAVE to have commercial insurance. If you don't and hit something (or worse yet Someone) you can rest assured that the lawyers will OWN YOU! (and your regular ins won't cover a damn thing!) It SUCKS but that is the cost of doing business for your self!!!. As they say "Go big or go home":drinkup::drinkup:
     
  12. sechracer

    sechracer Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    One other thing to add ti mick's, with it raise up a little, grab one corner at the top and lift it by hand, see how much "twist" there is, it will show you how much the pivot point is worn.

    As for a sore knee, yeah if you plow alot, but I know plenty of guys that plow with stick shift and none have every really had a problem unless we get a hughe storm.
     
  13. fastxcr800

    fastxcr800 Member
    Messages: 87

    anything to keep in mind with a truck that has high miles and was used for plowing, as far as drivetrain compents going bad? how does sub-contracting work?? i would like to make some extra money because of the limited amount of customers. thanks for all the help guys!!
     
  14. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Besides the usual ball joints, shocks, transmission and rearend - crawl under the truck and twist/shake the driveshaft to check the u-joints. Shift it into and out of 4WD a few times. Look for erratic shifting or "clunking". Pull the engine oil and transmission fluid dipsticks. Smell them for a burnt smell. Look at the tires for the pattern of wear. If you don't know how to check these things or what to look for - take it to a mechanic or look online. Many sites will explain how and what to look for.
     
  15. fastxcr800

    fastxcr800 Member
    Messages: 87

    i'm a shop manager at the family repair shop, so i know what to look for. i just wanted to know if there was anything that typically wears harder than normal on a truck used for plowing.
     
  16. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Ok. Sorry, didn't mean to insult you. I make my answers general unless I know who's asking.
     
  17. fastxcr800

    fastxcr800 Member
    Messages: 87

    i wasn't insulted, i just wanted to throw that out there. i really appriciate all the great information
     
  18. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    Anything that is on the front suspension. Ball joints, Hubs, and tie rod ends!
     
  19. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,556

    Your the shop manager you tell us.
    What do you see?
    You do repair them? right?

    ------------------
    I'm not on board with the manual...
    He will not sell it next year.
    Unless he has a fantistic year.
    Its' mid oct the snow will be flying in a month.

    no truck+ no plow+ no accounts= no money....
    why wait until fall to get a snowremovel business off of the ground?

    Or your doing great for next year...
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008
  20. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Absolutly...everything between the bumpers. :nod:

    Knowing the history of the truck is an asset though. Takes a great deal of "guesstimate" out of it's history/prior usage/maintenance history.