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Box truck for the walk crew??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Bossman 92, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    Who all has dedicated sidewalk crew trucks, or am I the only one who doesnt? :laughing:

    Here's the deal, for the last 7 years I Iooked at sidewalks as a pita, something that I had to do in order to secure the account for plowing and salting. Well last year I really sat down and took a hard look at what we had, how long it takes to clear the snow, and what it pays to do it. I was really surprised at the numbers I came up with, and soon realized that we were making good money doing them. I hired a "sidewalk guy," he would use his own truck and fuel and in return he would make really good money. Well we lost a plow driver and I hired him so we lost our sidewalk guy. We then did what we have done in the past, hire a guy to ride around with the plow guys and do the walks. It does suck, but at the time I couldnt find another driver or afford another truck.

    Well I want to add a walk only truck, but if I add a pick up, I will put a plow on it or a spreader on it and try to use it as an "all around truck"

    I guess my question is, does anybody use a box truck for walks? I've thought about it alot and a box truck seems like a great idea. From storing all the ice melter (some places get different products) inside a dry place, to having all blowers and shovels inside where they wont blow out or be stolen, to having a big rolling bill board.

    I will wait to see if anybody responds before I give all the good points, I've rambled long enough. :drinkup:

  2. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    Were adding (2) of these this year. Great for sidewalk crews in fact we rent them for some of our crews others run out of pick ups but the box trucks are way to go for reasons you listed. We run dedicated hand crews, that circle properties during continuing events, dedicated plow trucks and/or equipment and totally different trucks that are dedicated salt only trucks. That's what works for us not right for everyone but it works well for us.
  3. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    Yes ~ Those, cut off vans and full sized vans too. Dedicated only for walks.
  4. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    TCLA, of the 3 what work better? I've found several smaller box trucks around, and they are selling for cheap. I figure their are a ton of downtown business that shovel their own walks and with a little work we can service quite a few of them. I have a decent route now, but with a little work I can make a great route for 2 guys and provide a better service for all.

    It would be nice to keep all the sidewalk equipment in one truck. I am not sure how they would do driving in the snow, but I bet with a couple tons of bags in the back it would go through anything.

    Keep em coming!

  5. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    I hate sidewalks to, but I have 1 truck with a plow and small tailgate salter and shovellers that do all the properties that require shovelling. Works out basically even for time spent by everyone, but the shovellers do get a little more of a break while the driver is plowing at a couple places.

    Necessary evil.
  6. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,538

    Have you thought about a trailer? Then you only need to find someone with a 1/2 ton pickup to pull it. I added a trailer this last year, a 6x12 equipped with a 4 wheeler with plow and spreader, a single stage, 2 stage, push spreader, boatload of shovels hanging on the wall, enough bags of salt to get through an event, and all the spare parts I could think of. Worked out amazingly well. I cringe at the thought of another vehicle to maintain, insure, etc just for that purpose. The trailer costs $5/month to insure for comp and collision, and maintenance is next to nothing.
  7. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    Depending on the equipment and materials you carry, that will detirmine size of truck. My solution was a Astro all wheel drive. Can be bought in great condition cheep. Holds 1 32"-1 24" and 2 sm Toros. Shovels-800 lbs of chemical and 2 guys and good to go. This truck support all of our residential and commerical and about 12 sidewalk only accounts. May add a second one for sidewalk only accounts for growth next year.
  8. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    For our sidewalk crew we started with a half ton van the side door/ rear door combination is very nice blowers by one door spreader ice melt by other. Down side was being a half ton we were constantly refilling it as we could only carry 25 bags of ice melt . We now use a 14 ft box truck it's nice as far as carry the material bad part is the pallet needs to be shifted all the way to one side so you can get blowers out the rear, slide out ramp is just wide enough for our 30 in blower. The shear amount of room in the box truck is great we haven't had it stuck but once because they backed off the asphalt at a new development into soft soil, they got themselves out with a bag of melt under each tire & I only have basic tires that were on it when I bought it, if we put dedicated snows, or traction tires on it would be even better I'm sure.
  9. bigc1301

    bigc1301 Senior Member
    Messages: 145

    THe company i worked for used a box truck. Carried salt snowblowers shovels and anything elseyou could think of. Sometimes they would just put more people in the back. It worked out great
  10. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,035

    The only problem we have with vans and box trucks is they are two wheel drive. No biggy on the 2-4 and even 3-5 but the few times a year we get 6-12 inch we end up wasting time pulling our sidewalk crews out
  11. Chris112lee

    Chris112lee Member
    Messages: 64

    I prefer a similar sized trailer, the lower deck height makes loading and unloading much easier.
  12. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    We tried a trailer. It was an open one, that said after it started sliding, etc. & stuff plastered in slush once or twice, after that season, we ditched that idea.
  13. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I worked for 2 contractors that used box trucks for side walk crews. They could carry all you needed to do sidewalks.They would follow me around. As I finished a Condo area they showed up and did the sidewalks. Good drivers with some weight in the back of the truck should not be getting stuck all the time.
  14. GOOG

    GOOG Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Works great for us

    I have an ex Snap On tool truck. It's a P30 Chevy step van. We have everything we need right at our fingertips. It stays on site. We have never had it stuck. It has a lot of weight in it at all times. The three guys that use it can stand and move around. We installed a Red Dot 30K BTU aux heater in it. So they can hang clothes to dry. It is also a giant billboard. I have gotten a lot of compliments on that truck, and it isn't't anything special. I would recommend anyone doing a lot of walkways go with a step-van. - Tom
  15. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    this is the inside of one of ours. we also put in totes full of bulk salt for the walks that don't require a blended ice melter. Everything staying dry and out of the road spray is awesome. Our vans are all 2wd, never had one stuck.

  16. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,538

    What do you use for a ramp to get the wheeler in and out?
  17. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    We have a welding shop install "custom" ramps on our cube vans, since the ground clearance isnt great with the plow on, the ramps typically end up being just a bit taller than the back of the van. We also use the same vans for landscape maintenance