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Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Snowplow newbie, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. Snowplow newbie

    Snowplow newbie Junior Member
    Messages: 28


    I know that this happens all the time to everyone, but I have a question and would like some advice from everyone. Good or bad I will take it. I have a 1988 Bronco that I have been using as a second vehicle for plowing. I have a number of accounts and I can not get by with just one vehicle. The other day we noticed that there was a fluid leak underneath. Found that it was tranny fluid. Brought the truck to the mechanic and he said 300 to 1500 to fix the problem. Could be a seal, craked transfer case, or transmission.

    I have put over 2000 dollars into the truck to make the drivetrain work.
    The body is shot, but it has been running great. I'm not sure that I should put the money into it to finish the season, or try and find something else, or what to do. If I could make all the accounts in a storm with one truck it wouldn't be a problem, but I need two and if I'm paying the insurance on two I think I should have two. Subs are out of the question because we really don't have any here that want to work so!!!!!

    Any suggestions, comments, help would be great.
  2. Mark F

    Mark F Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    Sell both Trucks. Take the money and put it down on A brand new one with A warranty. Put your name on the side if you want. And right the whole thing off on your 05 taxes. The basic XL F-350 with A $5000 plow, will run you around $480 A month with 0 down.
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Lot of things to consider here. You've already got $2,000 into it. You knew the body was shot when you did that, so it shouldn't really stop you now. First thing I'd recommend is finding out what it is. If it's just leaking tranny fluid, how much is it leaking? The season is nearly over, maybe just keep adding fluid for now?

    I'm in pretty much the same situation. The 4wd went out on my backup '90 Dodge and to fix it is a $250 part. Body is rusted, but it runs like a top. I'm sure not about to take on a $4-500 + monthly payment over it.

    Transmissions are just a part of the snowplowing business. Accept it, plan for it and you won't be disappointed.
  4. b2driver

    b2driver Member
    from MD
    Messages: 89

    Learn how to do maintenance and repairs yourself and save some money.

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    Take it to a do it yourself car-wash. Take a piece of scrap carpet or cardboard with so you can get on your knee's. Then power wash the complete underside till it looks like new. Set on a clean drive with cardboard under it. Look for where the leak is. If it is between Motor and bell-housing then,most likely, it is the front seal. If it is at the end yoke of the trans check the seal there. If it is the transfer case take a flashlight and see if you can tell where it is. At the top side or the gasket. It may be as simple as a cooling line. In which case you need to fix now. It may be a fitting to the trans that needs to be tightened a tad. In either case you need to know what before you can decide on the whole of the matter.

    This is one reason it is a good idea to have basic skills and some brain cells as far as being mechanically inclined when in this business. Not saying you don't but before making a choice of putting money into something or laying out 40k or more for a new toy you need to know the basics of what. The mechanic is covering his bases by giving you that big of a different estimate because he is going to do what I just said and then call you when he knows what to fix or where to start. But by do'ing it that way you are also telling him you don't know squat about fixing things and may go for a high dollar ticket if he needs to make his payment on that new tow truck in the drive.

    Even in the long run, if you can keep it going this season I would sell it and look for a decent used one this spring. You can find 2003 or 04 models that have a warranty and have the break in period already done for you plus getting a great deal.
  6. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Reaper makes some very good points. I agree. One thing about buying a brand new truck with a plow - when it breaks, even if it's under warranty, it's just as useless as the junker truck that's broke. If you're serious, you'll need a back-up even for the brand new truck. I would look into fixing the older truck. We've got new trucks and trucks that are 15 years old. Those older trucks need repairs. It's a cost of doing business - but they make you money..... and those older trucks have saved my butt many a time. When the newer stuff breaks - it's that old faithful back-up junker that I sunk $1500 into in repairs before the begining of the season that savesmy butt - taking over a critical commercial route for a truck with a bum plow. Just my 2 cents. Good Luck.
  7. Snowplow newbie

    Snowplow newbie Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    I just want to thank everyone for their input so far. I have to be honest and state that I am a machanichal bone head. I can change oil, etc... but when it comes to the engine and tranny I might as well let my 1 year old do it. I'll take it down to the Village garage and wash it up and try to see where it is coming from. My friend has a lift in his garage so I can take the plow and roof lights off and put it up on the lift.

    Thanks for the help everyone.
  8. snow warrior

    snow warrior Member
    Messages: 61

  9. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Senior Member
    Messages: 167

    Mechanical Bonehead?!

    I admire your honesty about not being a mechanic but also remember you will be at the mercy of someone else's overhead and possible greed to take your money on your lack of confidence.Where in upstate NY are you?If close enough i would be willing to look at it for you and give you some pointers.