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Chuck Smith

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by GeoffD, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266


    When you return sometime next week. Let us know how it all went I am sure you guys are running right at full tilt.

  2. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Chuck, you never told us how the Big Storm went for you guys down in NJ. So now that it has calmed down, how about an update.

  3. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    What, you don't believe the posts from the rest of us from Joisy?? ;)

    I'd like to hear how you did also, Chuck.
  4. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Nah, I believe the rest of you guys. But Chuck usually give a pretty good rap up.

  5. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Sorry Geoff, when I got back to PlowSite I only went back 5 pages reading posts. Didn't see this thread. I only had a disposable camera with me, and I pick up the film and picture CD on Monday, so I can post some pics.

    I was in the 02' F-450 (4WD) with 9.5' Western V for 34 hours straight.... no breaks, no naps. The truck handled the snow well, and stacked A LOT higher than I expected. Traction was a problem, due to the highway tires on the truck, and no weight in the rear. I posted a little about it in the "Western Plow Cracked Welds" thread. Which by the way, the plow was never repaired, and I plowed 24" of snow with the creases and broken welds with no apparent additional damage. I should note that I plowed with the storm, so the most I probably pushed was about 8". The plow definitely got a work out stacking though. I was pushing back piles from the skid steer, the other 9' Western straight blade, and even the 14' Pro Tech. I stayed on one large shopping center site for the entire storm.

    The stacking ability of the Western V in the scoop position is awesome. I wish the blade would angle more, as it is clear the 9' Western has a much sharper angle when fully angled. The V position isn't a sharp enough angle to really cut through deep snow well. With a sharper angle, it would cut through much easier IMO. There wasa couple of areas of the site that had cars parked, and when they moved there was about 16" of snow in that area, which I could barely drive through, let alone plow, even in the V position. Instead I let the 14' Pro Tech cut a swath down the middle, and I worked it in the scoop postion, with little trouble.

    All in all, we got about 24" total. I started plowing Sunday night at about 9:45 PM, and finished up about 7 AM Tuesday morning when the snow stopped.

    The other truck working the site was an 02' F-550 (4WD) with a 9' Western straight plow. The truck has (I am guessing) a 10' dump body, with high sides and barn doors. The bed was loaded with logs, and he actually got stuck more than me. I should note that the truck has the same highway tread tires on it too. It is clear these trucks need ballast, and a more aggressive tread tire on them. The F-450 I was driving will be getting a V box next year, so it should do better.

    I put about 120 miles on the truck just plowing the one parking lot.

    The biggest shock to me was that only a few of the sites we do wanted stacking! The shopping center was a mess IMO with HUGE piles everywhere, and the property manager was OK with them. The lot slopes toward the store fronts, so some piles ended up near the store fronts, and the manager was ok with it! Don't get me wrong, the lot was cleaned great, it was just the size and placement of piles that made it look like a mess. When you get 24" you pretty much move the snow as best you can, thinking you can stack better, and trim the piles after the storm is over. I tightened up the piles, and shaved them to open up the lanes , but the piles were still huge, and there was no way you could see traffic if you passed between them.

    Now, the real kicker..... I plowed for 34 hours, come home, and my apartment complex is basically untouched! I could not even park the truck and get some sleep. ALL the residents were in the lot complaining. The property manager was here. She was talking to me to get a price to plow the place. The contractor they hired did make one pass down the center of the lot, so I would have been able to plow it. I gave her a price, and gave her a price for a skid steer to stack. She gave me the OK. Then the contractor showed up. He got stuck, so again they told me to proceed. I was talking to the association board president, explaining where the snow would go...

    I walked back to the truck, and the contractor was telling the property manager that he had a loader on the way, and it would be here in 10 minutes.... so again, I was told thanks, but no thanks. They did ask me to wait until the loader showed up before I went to bed. In the interest of my friends and neighbors, I waited. The loader did come in 10 minutes, so I plowed out one spot, parked the truck, and went to bed.

    I went out when I woke up that night, and the guy did a horrible job. Even with the loader he missed 1/2 the snow that he could have moved and stacked. I later found out he charged them $300 an hour for the loader. I can understand that, but I can't understand the horrible job.

    I told the property manager I would gladly take the contract next year, and that I wanted to see the contract the current contractor had with the association. Here, we got 20", and the contractor came through once on Monday night about 11 PM, and didn't return until Tuesday morning. That is what really made everyone mad... the LACK of service. I explained to the property manager that with a storm like this, you need to plow every 6" or so to keep the lot accessible to EMS and the fire dept. and she agreed.

    When waiting to park, I was sitting on a side street, and watched an F-250 show up to do a lot 50' from me. The guy turned in and got stuck. He got out, turned around, and tried to come in from the oppsite way, and got stuck again. He got out, drove up next to me and decided he wanted to chat a little. The lot next to his was done. He asked me if I plowed it, and how. I explained I did not. He asked how he was supposed to plow his lot with so much snow. I told him that he should have made a few trips during the storm, and he wouldn't have had such a problem. His reply was that he never saw so much snow before, and "thought" he could plow it.

    My brother was out an about doing his accounts, and he took about 100 pics with his digital camera. He is going to e mail me them, and I will post a few. The truck he and his buddy were using was a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500, with Western straight plow. They kept their lots open, taking turns driving and sleeping. While my brother was sleeping, he got a call from his friend that he got stuck doing a $50 driveway for cash, and blew the trans in the truck.

    I spoke to my brother this week. his friend works at the Dodge dealer that sold him the truck, with the plow prep package, and the plow already on it. His boss assured him the trans was covered by the (extended that he paid for) Dodge warranty (if it is lubricated by oil, it's covered). The insurance rep showed up, and said no go, the truck has a plow, and the trans is $3500 which they will not warranty.

    That was Tuesday, and I have not spoken to him since. I would like to hope that the trans was fixed under warranty though.

    Sorry to go on and on but Geoff asked!

  6. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    Chuck awesome write up! I love to read a good story when the person who types it actually uses proper puncuation and puts a space between each sentence and starts new paragraphs such as Chuck did here. No need to be sorry Chuck!! :drinkup: Now where are these pics you talk of?? ;) Mike
  7. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    My brother is on his way back from Tug Hill right now. He went up Thursday night. I'll call him later and ask him to e mail the pics. When I was there Sunday, he had a problem with his Comcast cable modem. It's fixed now. I pick up the picture CD with the pics I took, tomorrow, and will post them. (I hope they came out OK, remember it was a disposable camera :( )

  8. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Chuck 34 hrs straight,you must have been dizzy by the time you were done!! I get in a groove,and time passes and you dont even know it,after about 30hrs I start to get real tired.With good tires and 2-3 tons in the back that F450 should be next to unstoppable. We had a lot of guys here do the same thing go out after the storm thinking they could plow it,most could because the snow was failry light and fluffy,but we only got 18",that last 1/2 foot makes a big difference.I thought id get a lot of extra work with my loader,no one wanted it,they just let the piles sit in there lots and melt down/refreeze every night across the traffic lanes. I am not suprised Dodge didnt warranty the tranny. The Daimler part of Chrysler is tightening its belt,and Warranty repair orders are getting kicked back to the dealers left and right. If the trans was abused it isnt covered, its in the warranty pamphlet to much rocking it to much must have done it in.6 yrs ago they would have covered that no questions asked.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2003
  9. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Did you tell him that if he were a member of PlowSite he wouldn't have to ask questions of some guy he saw along the side of the road? That he'd at least have the opportunity to get a clue about his profession before he tried to practice it?
  10. sno-mover

    sno-mover Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    Chuck, I can't wait to see all of thoes picts :D
  11. Dockboy

    Dockboy Guest
    Messages: 0


    You are right, they sure can stack! This pile was made completely with my 250 and a 8.5 V!! I plowed this lot at 11pm Mon. It had not been touche and there was 27" on the ground! I have found that the V config. is not practical after about 8 ". The plow tends to start riding up on the snow. I plowed many places Mon. and Tues. that had not been touched. I would dig my way in in the scoop position, pushing to the left and then right. Worked very well. Plowed allot of places other guy's refused to touch without loaders:)


    PS, Look at the amount of snow on the car behind the red truck!:D

  12. Dockboy

    Dockboy Guest
    Messages: 0

  13. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Chuck great reply.

  14. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Dockboy, with the size of those piles ,you'd justified to charge them for stacking with a loader:D .Man they are big,

    DYNA PLOW Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    i'd like to experience pushing that much snow at least once, great piles dockboy!!!
    once again great job guys.
  16. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466


    i have to agree with you on the angle of the V blade.my little f250 with a western 7.6 standard straight blade was throwing that snow 15 feet away from the truck doing 25 mph...lol lol.when the V kind of just pushes it to the side of the truck rolling the snow a few feet away from the truck.but stacking with the V is awsome.the piles it makes are almost as big as the ones my case backhoe makes. have to say my two big rigs had a tuff time during the blizzard ended up putting the chains on one and using the on spot chain system on the other all day and night.yeah the stock tires for the f350s and up suck for plowing.i had 4 yards almost of sand/salt in the rear but it just slowed me down.same for the big rigs.went back to the shop and dumped the sand out of them so we could get up to ramming speed faster......lol lol.but i have to say my smaller trucks did better than the bigger ones.my f150 f250 LD and 250 HD worked great hardly ever got stuck.i guess they just get up to speed faster or there just a better setup for the kind of work i do.loved using that case for 6 days straight.i love going out at 1 in the morning with it to move piles and what not.....LOL LOL
  17. nben

    nben Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    The angling of the 9.5' is kind of odd. We have two 8.5' vees and they are fine. The 9.5' just doesn't angle quite enough. Funny that they would be that much different.
  18. Dockboy

    Dockboy Guest
    Messages: 0

    Thanks Dan:D

    I can't wait to see some of Chucks pics:cool:

    Dan, I'll take 3-4 8" storms over one 30"+ storm anyday!!! My route and sub work is set up to take approx 12-14 hrs. on a 4" storm and about 20 hrs. on an 8" storm. With this much snow, it was impossible to keep up! Plus, the residentials are a royal PITA!! I only have a few regulars(Thank God!!), but was bombarded with first time callers. Had to turn allot of them away. It was a "State of Emergency" but some people just couldn't handle being snowed in! I had to explain to most people that called, if I didn't finish plowing the Comercial accounts, they would have nowhere to go if they got out anyway!:confused:

    Most people(customers) just had no comprehension what it is like to push that much snow, let alone, how big the piles would be in thier yards! LOL!!!

  19. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Heck John, Chuck's been dizzy as long as I've known him !!!!! :D

    J/K ;) Seriously, people don't realize what it takes to plow a storm like that one. We got between 20 and 28 inches in my area, I was up for 2 days straight caught a nap and then proceded to supervise hauling out over 300 triaxles of snow from two of our Hospital sites.

    That moron who "never saw that much snow before and thought he could plow it" shouldn't be behind the wheel of a plow truck.

    If he worked for me, I would have handed him a shovel and pointed him to the sidewalks and told him not to stop until he was done !!!!:realmad:

    He had to be a scrub, because I cant believe that a real pro would have waited that long to hit his accounts.
  20. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    34 hours straight plowing is unbelievable, i can't go that long without a break. since my trucks are stick, i get serious clutch-leg-aritis.

    i almost had a coronary this last storm, on sunday morning, i went up to pawling to get my skid loader off a land clearing job. about halfway there, while pulling my trailer, the f-350 starts overheating. now i'm freaking, because the "blizzard" is coming.
    truck is boiling over, nothing visible wrong, so i let it cool down, fill it back up with anti-freeze, and get to the jobsite with no more problems. on the way back down, it overheats again.

    i get home, unload the machine, take the backhoe, and tracks off, fuel and grease it, and put the big, low pro bucket on. get to my buddies shop, and i change the thermostat in the truck, luckily i had one. that must have been it, no more overheating, but it works too good, no more heat.(need's some cardboard)

    by the time i finished all this, it was 10:30pm, i went home for about an hour to eat, then started plowing around 12:00am. by monday night around 10:00pm, i was shot, i went home to crash for a couple of hours. went back out at 3:00am tuesday morning, plowed until 2:00 am wednesday morning, slept again, and went back out at 6:00am for another full day.

    i could'nt believe how many extra calls i was getting (total extra was about 90 people, driveways & lots), i almost threw the phone out the window a couple of times (why?).

    i had 3 trucks going the whole storm, and i ended up still plowing driveways on friday. it's a good thing the snow was pure powder, very easy to push, just did'nt stack very well.

    i could'nt imagine waiting until the snow stopped, before plowing. some of the windrow's from the town trucks were 5' high. definetly not easy to get through if you waited to plow.