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Best affordable tractor & plow set up?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by acecool2000, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. acecool2000

    acecool2000 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Hi:

    I'm a newbie in the plowing business so please forgive me if I seem a bit green. I live in Truckee, California. During a normal winter, we can get up to 400 inches of snow here (this winter was the exception). I've been approached by a good friend to start a commercial snow removal business here. The idea is to start with plowing just commercial accounts near the Truckee airport. Since we won't need to drive too far, I am considering the purchase of a tractor that will accept a rotary plow. My concern is that to move the amount of snow we may get, I think I may need a tractor that's at least 100 HP. Would like to know your thoughts on best tractor to look at and also best value for a snow blower to attach to said tractor. I looked at some Kubota tractors over the weekend but I'm not sure they have the horse power to move the amount of snow we get here. Obviously price is an issue so I'm looking for the most plow for the buck. Many of the other contractors out here use the Holder tractors with snow blower attached. They seem overpriced to me and I hear they're high maintenance. Thank you for your thoughts and comments.

    Acecool2000:salute
     
  2. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    What models of Kubota tractors did you look at, last I checked they make 100 plus horse power machines. You said you get up to 400 inches of snow, how often does that happen? From your comments you are starting out in the business do you have a business plan? What dealers are in your immediate area, what type of snow lowers do you have access to? What type of insurance.... Oh I'll stop, probably the best one is the one you have a support plan in place for so when days happen that snow falls 24 hours on end and something goes down you are back up and running a.s.a.p. Good luck.
     
  3. Defcon 5

    Defcon 5 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,668




    They average over 200 inches of snow there....It is gods country....I was out there skiing at Lake Tahoe and it snowed 46 inches in 3 days...:eek:
     
  4. acecool2000

    acecool2000 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    You're right Defcon5. 400 inches would be the amount pf snpw that some of the ski areas receive on average and that would be at around 8,000 foot elevation. Where we will be doing the plowing is at around 6,000 elevation. By the way, the model number of the Kubota tractor I looked at is the L5460HSTC. This tractor is rated at only 54.0 Net Eng. H.P and 46.5 PTO HP. I had the dealer include the snow blower attachment in the quote but I'm not sure if the Kubota snow blower will be up to the task.
     
  5. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    What kind of budget do you have?
     
  6. acecool2000

    acecool2000 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    My budget is about $60,000. That would put my payment on the equipment at about $1,000 a month.
     
  7. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Do a user search for neige in here. He runs a full fleet of tractors and blowers. He has YouTube videos as well
     
  8. Defcon 5

    Defcon 5 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,668

    Seek out some local contractors in the Truckee/Lake Tahoe area and see what they are running......:nod:
     
  9. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Did you check out Neige's video, I have a question do you have a plan for the machine in the none snow months or will it sit having paid it's way over the winter?
     
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,853

    I'm not an expert on blowers, but I would say that based on the amount and type of snow (wet, heavy) that you better up your budget. You're going to be sorely disappointed with your productivity with a 46 HP PTO.
     
  11. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Your budget is good my pmt is just over $ 1000-1100 for a JD 5101 with a SHoule inverted blower, I think I put 4-5k down @ 60 months.
     
  12. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,197

    You will need at minimum 100 hp tractor. You mention doing commercial accounts, and with that amount of snow any smaller and you will be toast. If you have long pushes you will want added wheel weights and maybe even have your tires filled. Personally I would start looking at 120 hp and up. You are going to want to purchase at minimum a semi industrial blower and definitely an industrial plow for the tractor. A Kubota, John Deere and any other tractor make blower will not last for the type of work you are looking at doing. I understand that in your area it is hard to find a dealer that sells 100 hp tractors nearby. So dealer support could be hard to come by.
    I just checked out the Truckee airport and looked at the types of commercials you may be doing. My suggestion is a 120 hp Kubota, New Holland, John Deere, Case, and or Challenger tractor. I would put a Normand semi industrial blower with two augers and a rotating drum. In the front I would install a Metal Pless Agrimax 9 -14 HD.
    This will cost you more then you have budgeted for, but is what I believe you need to handle the type of snows you have described and the commercial lots I saw on Google earth. There is a chance I will be up in Lake Tahoe mid August, if that should happen I would gladly come up and see you and we could look at your sites together. The ideal tractor if you could afford it would be a New Holland TV140 bidirectional tractor. You could install a powerhouse blower, and heavy duty plow giving you plenty of power, weight and agility. Goodluck on your endevor.
     
  13. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    Neige do you buy new or used? How many hours are too many for that size tractor. 1500?
     
  14. acecool2000

    acecool2000 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanks for the great info

    Thank you to all that took the time to reply to my original thread. This info is very helpful and will certainly help me making decisions about the equipment. Of course, first things first. Need to do my business plan to make sure it will be profitable. Again, thanks again to all of you.
     
  15. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,032

    I find that a low hour Kubota tractor sell for a low price. This could be an alternative for you over the cost of a new one and save some dollars.
     
  16. acecool2000

    acecool2000 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Re: used Kubota tractor for snow removal in Truckee

    Right on. Thank you for the suggestion about the used Kubota tractors. I'll check it out.