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beginner snowplower.....maybe

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by rferoni, Jul 27, 2003.

  1. rferoni

    rferoni Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Hello all,

    I just bought a truck and am thinking of trying to do a little snowplowing this year. I've NEVER done any plowing before behind the wheel of a truck. I have done a few large country driveways using tractors. I have a ton of questions......

    First off, I work full time so plowing will be on the side. I would only like to get one or two small businesses at first to see how it goes. How do you determine the price? hourly rate? per job? What are going rates? I'm located in south eastern Michigan. What is a good way to actually present the bid for the job?


    What kind of plow should I get? The vehicle is a 1995 F-250 ext.cab 4x4. 351w 5spd manual w/4.11 rear end. I will be buying used and don't want to spend alot of money as I'm not even sure I will like doing it(although I think I will, snow and big trucks just sounds fun!)


    If anyone can point me in the right direction I would sure appreciate it. Thanks,

    Ron
     
  2. Mick

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

  3. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    To be honest, if you already have a full time job with inflexible hours (is that even a word) you may not have the tim for plowing. There is no set time to plow, nor is there any set time that snow comes and stops. It is a very time consuming and unreliable business to be in, unless you are in say, LaGrangeville, NY. Pelican seemed to never park that truck this past winter.

    As I have found, since I started almost four years ago, you have to be large scale, at least grossing say 1500 per night for it to be worth the time and effort. I tried to stay small, but with ins costs and operating costs, it adds up quick. Oh yea, don't forget about insurance, and bonding, many counites up in Michigan also require liscenses for each county. Get in touch with PineIsland, he's from around there I think. He may be able to answer some of your more specific Michigan-related questions.


    Good luck and may the snow dieties be good to you,

    John
     
  4. rferoni

    rferoni Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    Thanks for the replies. I've been busy going thru all the FAQ's and using the search engine.....so much information to be had here!
     
  5. meyer22288

    meyer22288 Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    Well for the plow i think a 8ft fisher or Western would work just fine.
     
  6. sos

    sos Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 53

    IMO a stick shift has it's place, depending on how much your looking to plow even if it's not alot for a couple years and you do start doing more then I would upgrade to a automatic and save the 5 spd for the hot rod:D unless you feel like replacing clutches. It can also get a little tireing pushing that clutch in constantly.
     
  7. nor'easter1

    nor'easter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 140

    MY ADVICE IF YOU GET INTO PLOWING IS RESIDENTAL FIRST. YOU WOULD BE CRAZY TO START OFF WITH BUSINESS. LIKE EVERYONE SAYS YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE THE TIME TO GET OUT OF WORK AND CLEAR A BUSINESS. SECOND TO LEARN YOU WOULD BE BETTER OFF WITH HOME OWNERS. DOING BUSINESS YOU RUN A TREMENDOUS RISK OF PROBLEMS BIGGEST BEING WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOUR ONE PLOW TRUCK BREAKS DOWN. THE MONEY IN THIS SPORT CAN BE GREAT BUT THE TIME AND EFFORT IS SOMETHING THAT ONLY PEOPLE WHO HAVE PLOWED UNDERSTAND. iF YOU HAVE A FAMILY LET THEM KNOW THAT YOUR THINKING ABOUT DOING THIS BECAUSE YOU CAN KISS VACATION TIME AWAY FROM DEC-MARCH. IF YOUR SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING IN TO IT I WOULD TALK TO LOCAL PLOW CONTRACTORS AND MAYBEE PLOW FOR THEM THIS YEAR AND SEE IF IT IS WORTH IT TO YOU IT IS A LOT OF WORK. GOOD LUCK!
     
  8. Manx

    Manx Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    Well,
    Congrat's on the new truck

    you can pick up a used plow pretty cheap
    I'd go for at least a 8'

    If the truck is your daily ride buying a new plow
    wouldn't be a bad way to go, they hook up allot faster
    (Western Ultra mount or Boss fast hitch)
    that way you don't have to drive around with it on the truck

    as far as permits, there are none that I know of around here
    (In Michigan)

    I think the easiest way to get started is to be a sub-contactor
    for buss. lots, skip the res. there to high mant. if it's a part
    time jig

    check the paper in the fall, there's always 3 or 4 contactors
    looking for sub's, going rate is 60-70 a hour
    Invoice that week and your paid the next
    No head aches of collecting, or listening to raving idiots
    telling you it's snowing. and you just need to carry insur. on the
    truck not the lots

    Best of luck, it's a great way to enjoy the winter
    every time it snows, I think it's money falling from heaven
     
  9. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Most importance of all, you will need proper insurance for snowplowing. Actually two separate type of insurance. One is for Commercial Vehicle Liability, and second one is for Commercial General Liability. If something bad happens and you don't have insurance, you would be in big trouble.

    Snowplowing is not an easy job. You would sometime have to get up at 2am and start plowing so people can get out in the morning. Are you willing to do that task?

    I would advise you to buy a new plow. It is not easy to find an used plow WITHOUT vehicle for sale. Alot of people sell their plow on their vehicle. You never know the history of the plow or pump itself, how much abuse it has goes through. You also would need to deal with wiring. You probably would have to buy a new harness anyway because the wiring probably would be worn and dirty. Some owners even do not have the owner manual and wiring/install instruction. So you could be stuck on your own. I think that is too much of headache to deal with. Just walk up to the dealer, ask him how much for a specific plow installed, and buy it. Drop it off in the morning, come back in afternoon to pick it up all installed. Newer plows have better and faster mounts, so when you are not plowing, you just simple unhook it in a minute or two, then drive away. It also will keep your vehicle look nice.