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Can I plow with this truck?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Diablo, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Diablo

    Diablo Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Good morning gents, as a North Carolina native who came out to Colorado with the Army a few years back, I have never plowed a thing in my life. I run a small lawn maintenance/landscaping company now mostly specializing in residential and small commercial accounts. Unfortunately the growing season is fairly short in Colorado (compared to NC, where nothing seems to ever stop growing) and I definitely need to break into snow business to make it through the winters. This is the first year I am offering any sort of snow services and currently they are limited to shoveling/snow blowing of residential properties. I do, however, intend to break into plowing next winter and have a question for you guys. I have a 1985 Ford Bronco that I was going to put out to pasture soon, but I was wondering if you guys think I could use it as a plow truck. The reason I ask is because it is the inline six cylinder motor, manual transmission, 4x4. I know that the Broncos with the bigger motors do ok, I was just wondering if anyone with more experience than me could weigh in on this. The truck doesn't have much power at higher speeds, but it does have a granny gear, that I normally don't even use because I don't need the torque, and second gear is pretty decent too. What do you think, any suggestions on whether it will work? What type of plow setup to look at, etc.........
    Thanks in advance, Mike.ussmileyflag
     
  2. Andy96XLT

    Andy96XLT Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    what kind of accounts areyou looking to do with it? That 6 cyliner is a great engine and the manual trans is great too, if you don't mind plowing with a manual. It will definitely push snow and would be great for driveways...
     
  3. Diablo

    Diablo Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks for the reply Andy!

    I am mostly looking at doing residential and small commercial lots next winter, most likely nothing bigger than say a small insurance agency parking lot, maybe 100' by 150' or so. I wasn't sure if the Bronco would work or not as I have virtually no experience. (this year I'm pimping myself out to anyone who needs shovelers, drivers and such, hoping to learn something). The truck runs great, I just replaced the tires, brakes, battery, alternator, voltage regulator, ignition and charging wiring, master cylinder and thermostat. It only has about 90,000 original miles so I think I can get many, many years out of it yet. 4x4 on it absolutely loves the snow, in fact it does twice as well as our fancy four door jeep, I just didn't know how much power I needed. Any suggestions on plow size and/or model?ussmileyflag
     
  4. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Throw a nice 7'6" plow maybe even as big as an 8' plow on the front and it will do fine. Just remember while first learning plan on going slow to learn as you go. Make sure to stake out and islands, or obstructions. Take pictures before the season on each and every account, so if there is a claim, you have proof of what it was before and after.
     
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    get a 7 1/2' plow and have fun
     
  6. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    7.5' all the way. an 8' might be too have for it
     
  7. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    Put a 7.5' plow on it. 8' is to big and under 7.5' is to small.
     
  8. clp94

    clp94 Member
    from S.E MA
    Messages: 88

    look around on craigslist in your area and try to find an old fisher speedcast or something along those lines, unless you come across the option of something that is newer electric/hydraulic rather then straight hydraulic. those i6's will run forever as well.
     
  9. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,315

    Diablo there's a few great guys that hang out on the Colorado Weather thread that are from the Springs area. They could be a good resource to tap into for used equipment and local dealer support recommendations.

    There's a ton of stuff on CL, both good and crap so beware. A 7.5' as mentioned would be a great fit, if you needed some extra width you can allows put a set of wings on it for bigger areas providing the snow isn't two deep or wet. What ever brand you go with make sure there's great dealer support close by and preferably one that will come in during non business hours if needed during a storm. Also stay away from the older stuff, parts are still available but typically not stocked locally and you can find yourself with days of down time,

    Try to have a back up plan you can call in the event of a break down. Customers want the job done and don't have a problem dropping you if your a no show. Networking is key for a single rig operations, besides you may get lucky and sub for some one who can help you out if needed.

    Also keep in mind our snows on the Front Range are very sporadic, last year was a great one, this year not so good and guys are feeling the pain. Whatever you do don't become reliant on a steady income from plowing in the the winter months.

    Your 300 six banger is a torque monster and will do fine. One thing you may consider is putting a heavier coil spring up front, that era of Bronco/F150 had a tendency of squatting under a load. Also make sure your liability insurance for your lawn care gets snow removal coverage added to it.
     
  10. Diablo

    Diablo Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks so much for the advice!!

    I couldn't have asked for better and/or more consistent advice. I love these forums for that. So, I hooked up with a guy up in Monument that I'm gonna run a crew for this year in order to get some experience before I set out on my own next year. I am going to be in the market for a 7.5 plow over the next few months though, preferably when the prices come down a bit.....glad to hear the truck should work, it runs great and I hate to just let it go.ussmileyflag
     
  11. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    Your biggest issue would be reliability of the vehicle. It will handle a plow just fine (for the most part) but will it handle 30+ straight hours of plowing? If I were in your shoes I would keep it and find an inexpensive blade for it and use that as a back up truck.
    I would NEVER plow all night in a manual. Driving a stick in rush hour traffic sucks bad enough...
     
  12. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    I agree....My legs get worn out with an automatic..
     
  13. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 7,315

    I've never own a vehicle with an Auto in it and dread the day when that's all there is.
     
  14. Bigrd1

    Bigrd1 Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    Driving a manual in a storm isn't bad I did it for a year in a plow/salt truck. It was tedious switching gears all the time but it worked.. A 7'6" would be perfect for your bronco 8' is just too big and like BUFF said if you need get a set of wings. They are pretty inexpensive and work good for that light powdery snow and easily removable. Take it snow and happy plowing!