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Considering buying a plow

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by xandrew245x, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. xandrew245x

    xandrew245x Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 13

    I purchased a 2008 silverado 2500 back in 2013 and specifically bought a regular cab long bed with 4x4 with hopes that one of these days I would put a plow on it. Well I think I am ready to take the jump and finally get one. I would be looking into just plowing residential drives, maybe small parking lots. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,591

    Yep. Do a search with the keywords "buying plow". You'll get hours of reading.
     
  3. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,591

  4. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,031

    Before you do anything else, price GL insurance. Once you find out the cost, add the cost of the plow in, and decide if you think you can generate enough revenue to cover your expenses and turn a profit. Insurance is the key.
     
  5. 04trd

    04trd Senior Member
    Messages: 162

    I'll be nice and say RUN!!!!! It's not worth it.
     
  6. twotonballs

    twotonballs Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    GL ins. Isn't that bad.
     
  7. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,068

    That depends on the area, and type you have.
     
  8. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,031

    Agreed. Also agree with the gentleman who said it depends on where you live. In NJ they pay an assload. I don't even know how those guys can stay in business paying what they pay. But my point was just to stress the importance of being insured.
     
  9. crazyboy

    crazyboy Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 298

    Come to NJ
     
  10. xandrew245x

    xandrew245x Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 13

    Thanks for the heads up on the insurance. I had general liability when I did lawn care before and it was only around $50 a month, I'm not sure how much more it would be for plowing.

    That is something I will look into before hand.

    I'm trying to get my parents on board of plowing during the winter for their business. We have the trucks and employees to do it, and we are always really slow during the winter so it would be a nice added income.
     
  11. xandrew245x

    xandrew245x Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 13

    I talked with my parents and they are actually interested in getting plows. One will be for an f350 diesel
    dulley and the other for my truck a silverado 2500. The main use would be to plow our business parking lot, my drive, my parents drive, and our rental houses. But we would also take some snow removal contracts to make some extra money during the winter, because we are very slow in the winter, and when it snows we can't really work. I searched buying plow and didn't come up with much information about actually purchasing a plow. Our business already had general liability insurance so we would be covered under that for plowing. We also have a medium sized front end loader, a dump truck and 2 smaller tractors with front buckets if they are needed as well.
     
  12. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,983

    Buying a plow is easy. What brand dealers are close to you? And I would look at v plows. Insurance, just for laughs, ask your agent, I plowed this strip mall, granny came in for her morning paper. Got out, fell and broke her hip. Am I covered for this?
     
  13. Billious

    Billious Member
    Messages: 72

    Just an FYI, Duelly's can suck for plowing. Not saying "don't do it", because plenty of people do. But you lose a lot of traction spreading that weight over double the tire surface.

    Definitely know *all* your costs upfront, don't skip the GL insurance, and be sure you have a rock-solid backup plan for the worst case scenario of combined snow and equipment/human failure.
     
  14. xandrew245x

    xandrew245x Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 13

    Thanks for the replies, I had read about dulleys not being the best for plowing, but thats sadly all we have. I'm going to price out plows for both trucks and see what it comes to. I also would check with our insurance, but i'm sure we are already covered with what insurance we have. We do excavation work as well, and I know our vehicle insurance is top notch. I would want to see what our break even point would be and if we would make money. Where I live the past few winters have been brutal with snow, and we could have made a great supplement with plowing. We are in the septic business, so once the snow falls, work drastically slows down. We need something to supplement income. Not only would they be used to make extra money, it would be used to clear our lots and driveways. We use the front end loader now and it rips our driveway up terribly.
     
  15. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,541

    your GL will need to amended for the add liability of snowplowing.
    why haven't you talked to your agent yet?


    next, what is taking so long?
    didn't you do this back in 2014?.


     
  16. Billious

    Billious Member
    Messages: 72

    SnoFarmer is correct. Your GL policy does NOT just cover anything you do because you're a business. If you went out and started building skyscrapers, your $50/month policy isn't going to cover a beam of steel falling and crushing innocent bystanders. Likewise, you need specific coverage for snow management - which includes defense for slip-and-fall incidents, et al.

    You'll also need to update your auto policies to reflect that you're plowing as well. If you get into an accident with a plow on your truck, your auto insurance will *not* cover you without it.

    Finally, you need a rock-solid plan for what you'll do when the inevitable strikes. If you get hit with a 3' snow, and your plow truck breaks down mid-storm with a trashed transmission, how are you going to get to your customers?

    We're not saying this to be total downers. This is what legitimate snow management contractors do to retain customers, charge prices that reflect expenses, and stay above water. You'd be shocked at the percentage of snow guys who strap a plow on their truck, think they're going to make it big, and end up with a trashed truck, a lawsuit threatening all their personal goods, and no customers.

    I pick up customers from these kind of guys ALL THE TIME.
     
  17. xandrew245x

    xandrew245x Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 13

    We are going to contact the insurance angencies tomorrow and get prices on what it would cost to add plowing to auto and general liability. Then we are going to price out plows, price what it would cost for maintenance, fuel, and wages for plowing. We are going to see what it would take to
    break even and make profit and see if its going to be worth adding it to our services or not.

    The plan would be to have 2 trucks with plows. If one goes down we have another. We also have a tractor with a bucket if worse came to worse.

    Its not something were just going to jump into without timely consideration. I appreciate all the advice.
     
  18. twotonballs

    twotonballs Junior Member
    Messages: 13


    If your just getting started a straight blade should be fine. Especially if you plan on plowing mostly driveways. Personally I prefer Western plows mostly because that's what I'm familiar with. It's also nice when you run multiple plow trucks to have all of your parts be universal between your trucks. A lot of people in my area run Boss plows also. You also have to consider buying new plows or buying used. A new straight blade plow will probably cost you $6,000.00 - $7,000.00. If you prefer v plows it'll probably be more like $7,000.00 - $8,000.00 range per plow. You could probably get plows ised in pretty good shape for less than half of that. Whatever you decide I'd recommend if you're setting up two plow trucks buy 2 of the same plows.
    Good luck.
     
  19. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,031

    Disagree with the above poster. I would NEVER buy another straight blade again. They're the least efficient plow there is for snow removal. At a bare minimum I'd add wings to the straight blade. And I also wouldn't buy two blades to begin with. Why?? For the work you've listed so far one blade is more than enough to cover all of those. Don't add a second blade until you need it. Why lay out 5-7K on a blade that you may never need, or at a minimum not need for another year or two if you pick up more contracts? You realize that Winter is almost over for the year already, right? In most areas, you've got about 8 weeks of plowing left, and you still don't have plows or insurance coverage. By the time you got that done, you'd probably be down to six weeks of plowing left. I WOULD however get the second truck a mount and wiring harness in case one of the trucks went down, you could just put the plow on the other truck and go, and you can always purchase a second blade if needed next year or the year after.
     
  20. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,068

    Pretty much everything I was going to say has been covered. Your current GL won't cover plowing or S&F accidents (you say you're already going to look at it). I also agree with Jeff above about only getting one plow. Expecially this late in the season. You probably won't get any accounts this year except your places you guys have, and one plow is plenty for that. Make sure you like it.

    Even though it's your properties that will need plowed, pretend it's for a business. Make sure you're up all night watching the storm, do site checks everyday (you'll learn when you can probably skip it for a day with time), plow with the storm, pretend your trying to impress a client. Do everything this year as a practice, and make sure it's something you really want to do before investing in a ton of equipment. You also haven't said anything about spreaders. If you're going to be doing commercial (and even some residential) it's something I would at least look into.

    I'm also a little confused. Is this for your parents, or for your lawn care? I think I'm understanding it's for your parents business.

    Let us know what you end up doing.