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Advice

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by thomas, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. thomas

    thomas Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 14

    I own a few rental properties in Maine and have, for the past three years, shelled out the money to have my driveways plowed. I am a teacher and have the time, since school is usually cancelled, to do it my myself. However, I ahve never plowed before and am not sure if my current truck would handle it. I may also be taking on a few other "jobs" being plowing my friends.family out. I am looking at about 4-5 driveways per storm. I have a 2000 GMC 1500 4X4 (not the Z71 ) ext cab with a 4.8. Is this truck suitable for plowing and what type or size plow would I need? I am thinking of purchasing a new truck (hopefully under 20K). What type of truck/plow do you suggest for my situation? Thanks for the help!!
     
  2. Mick

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

    Your GMC should be able to handle a 7.5' plow easily. I'd suggest limiting it to your own property, though, until you get the insurance you'll need for commercial plowing. Check with your insurance agent as far as plowing rental property on your current policy. Mine would allow that, but I've heard others who wouldn't. As far as a new truck, I'd suggest a 3/4 ton model and an 8' plow (I'm partial to Fisher). I saw an ad today for a 3/4 ton GMC for just under $20,000, but the plow would take it over that.

    If you're close to me ( half way between Augusta and Belfast), I'd be glad to meet with you for any pointers you may want.
     
  3. thomas

    thomas Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 14

    Thanks

    Thanks for the advice. I heard that since I don't have a Z71 they will need to do some work on my truck before I get a plow, what is the deal with that? Also, what "type" of plow should I get? I would like something that is very easy to put on-take off.

    Thanks
     
  4. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    If you keep your current truck (2000 GMC) then I would suggest turning up the torsion bars a few cranks and or looking into a set of timbren load boosters for the front end more info here http://www.timbren.com/. You will also want to have some weight in the bed of the truck to pull some of the weight off the front end and to help with traction.

    You absolutely need an auxilliary transmission cooler. Some people will upgrade their alternators and or batteries but I would do it on an as needed basis. Most 1/2 tons have good enough charging systems to handle the load of the plow. Its mainly the compact 4X4's that have problems at times.

    As far as plow goes, all of todays plows attach and remove quickly and easily. You will get varying answers as to who has the fastest system. Since your in Maine, Iam sure you will find plenty of Fisher dealers nearby, you would want to look at the Fisher RD 7'6" if you choose fisher. Beyond that I would say check out the sites of each plow manufacturer. Some have links right at the top of this page. Id go as far as recommending the Fisher, you are bound to have a dealer close by, they are excellent plows and it will suit your needs.
     
  5. larryjlk

    larryjlk Member
    Messages: 66

    I plow with the same truck you have except it's a regular cab. It had the towing package which included HD cooling. I added timbrens on the front and left the alternator alone cause it was working fine. Last year was the first year I used it and it plows great. My run is about 6 or 7 hours if I can go at midnight, 7 to 10 hours during the day. I chose snowway because it is lighter than the other plows and with the timbrens on front and 400 lbs sand in the back for balast it's awesom.
     
  6. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I see your point about school being canceled but what about the big storms during school hours and the storms that hit right about 7am. It takes a certain person to be able to stay up for 2 days straight. How are you going to be able to teach clearly if you have been out plowing all night. Just some thoughts to keep in mind.
     
  7. thomas

    thomas Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 14

    rental properties

    I only plan on plowing my own properties and my friends. If there is a big storm even during school we get out early. Since it's my properties if I get there a "little" late, they can deal. The people I "hire" out usually are late anyway. I see your point though, if I decided to do it more for added income I would have to think about the time..
     
  8. douglasl330

    douglasl330 Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    One question "WHY" Would you want to get out of a nice warm bed in the middle of the night? "WHY" would the property owner open himself up to the liability of being the one who does the snow removal? You are opening yourself up to a can of worms possibly.
    Average out the last two years what you spent for snow removal if it covers the cost of upgrades and the plow then by all means go for it. If you just want to get out and play in the snow -see if someone is looking for drivers. I usually let my driver do a couple of his own driveways(relatives and friends when he is off the clock)--It eases the pain when I have to wake him up at three A.M. to say we're goig out!
     
  9. douglasl330

    douglasl330 Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    One question "WHY" Would you want to get out of a nice warm bed in the middle of the night? "WHY" would the property owner open himself up to the liability of being the one who does the snow removal? You are opening yourself up to a can of worms possibly.
    Average out the last two years what you spent for snow removal if it covers the cost of upgrades and the plow then by all means go for it. If you just want to get out and play in the snow -see if someone is looking for drivers. I usually let my driver do a couple of his own driveways(relatives and friends when he is off the clock)--It eases the pain when I have to wake him up at three A.M. to say we're going out!
     
  10. Allagash

    Allagash Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    Mick,

    You live in God's country! Are you anywhere near Knox, Unity, Troy? I came close to buying some land there 2 years ago.

    Allagash
     
  11. Mick

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

    Yes. 20 miles straight south of the Knox corner. I go there to the implement dealer and to Unity to the log yard. I bought 60 acres of woods a few years ago, cleared about an acre and built a new house back away from the road. Now I'm retired and just bought a 4wd tractor to skid my own logs.
     
  12. thomas

    thomas Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 14

    liabilities

    I own 3 rental properties, plus my own home, 4 driveways total. My plower charges about $40 per storm and there are typically 8-10 times they go out. I spend about $1,200 a year in plowing. After two years I should have recouped the money I would have spent and have a plow to show for it. As far as getting out of bed in the middle of the night, that will not happen. The snow is not going anywhere and the tenants can wait. If I did this for a job, then punctuality would be a concern. What type liabilities would I be facing? Thanks
     
  13. Mick

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

    First, that you might damage somebody's property while you are plowing. Typically what would happen is your truck would slide into a car. If it was the plow that hit the car, it could actually do a lot of damage since there'd be a lot of surface area making contact. Protection from this type injury is usually provided through Commercial Vehicle insurance

    Second, someone might slip and fall on an area where you'd plowed (or should have plowed). You'd be liable for at least physical injuries. Protection from this type injury is usually through a General Liability insurance policy for plowing snow.

    Since you're plowing your own property - even rental - you MIGHT be covered with the Homeowner/Rental policy. Check with your agent. It should be clarified somewhere on the policy.

    Regarding insurance - something a lot of people are unaware. If you hire a contractor without proper insurance, your homeowner insurance may not cover any damage done by that contractor.
     
  14. douglasl330

    douglasl330 Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    Well posted Mick !!!

    Just to add--Seems like every one is sue happy lately--Make sure you are you are covered! It would be a shame if something happened and all your assets were frozen(mysterious back injuries). Most of us go out early to beat traffic on our driveway and parking lot routes. (bussiness's want lot cleaned up and sanded before they open) One benefit is you can sometimes cut travel time down by as much as triple do to slow moving traffic(normal 15 minutes can turn to 45 ). If you don't go out early, how are you renters going to get out of the lot/driveway to go to work in the A.M. (big storm / big pile at end near road). If thier cars are still in the lot and driveway then you have to wait before you get to do your work. I was born into this industry, so I didn't have much of a choice. We call it blood money for a reason. Last year at the end of the season we were all happy and relieved. If you go forward go slow and protect yourself. If you do get a lot of snow in your area get an upper end plow unit and not a Home Depot or BJ's brand type. This will be money well spent.

    Take it slow

    Doug