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How are you outfitting your sidewalk crew?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Dstosh, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Dstosh

    Dstosh Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    Picked up an account this year that has over a linear mile of walks. I am entertaining the idea of picking up a van and outfiting it with a couple blowers, pallet of ice melt and some shovels and so forth. It'd be nice to stock some tools and stuff in there. In the event we need something while plowing.

    I probably could find a use for the van in the summer- hauling plants, tools for landscaping etc etc

    How are you setting up your sidewalk crews?

    Did you find that having a seperate crew was worth it? It seems like it would be eaiser than having shovelers ride around with drivers.

    But there is also the investment of van, insurance, fuel etc etc

    Vans seem relatively cheap-I'm used to looking at trucks though
     
  2. highlander316

    highlander316 Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    pretty much looking at going the same route as you. Looking for a used Econoline (or GM equivalent). They are everywhere, out of fleets and stuff, so gonna pick one up for $1500-2000. Salt and push spreader in side door, blowers in back. Gotta pay sidewalk guys (at least driver) decently well. It's pretty much ***** work in crappy weather conditions.
     
  3. grf_1000

    grf_1000 Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    i have one guy with a small trailer with 4 wheeler with a plow, small blower and one guy. i do have to many walks to worry about, just over 600 feet. most around here make their employees take care of them.
     
  4. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,795

    I am looking at a used E-350 with the 7.3 in it for under $5000. Looks like it has been through alot though. I want to be able to hold large numbers of guys, at least 14 seats.

    Problem is, I don't know how well they will handle in the snow and I want to tow a dump trailer with it.... anyone had that experience?
     
  5. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    Box trucks are the way to go. They can hold 2 -3 pallets easy, every thing stays dry, large enough to hold atv,tractor,small bob cat, lord knows how many snow blowers and shovels, it's large enough for the guys to stretch out take a break or a nap. You can insulate them extra thick, Tommy lift, list goes on and on
     
  6. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    If u can afford the extra cost of the truck it's worth keeping them separate, that way neither the plow or side walk is weighting on the other to finish. If the plow truck breaks at least the side walks get done on time
     
  7. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,246

    Is this the only account that they will be shoveling? If so, just have them show up there in their own vehicles.

    I have two accounts that are side by side and they require a ton of shoveling. I drop off the blower and shovels and they show up and get the job done. Once they are done, they pile the tools and head home.
     
  8. Dstosh

    Dstosh Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    This wont be the only account that needs shoveling- I have a 28 unit HOA that needs shoveling in front of garage doors and small sidewalks.

    These would be the two main accounts that need to be done

    I also have a few banks, but they arent really too bad- I as well as the other drivers shoveled those last year

    I did find what looks like a decent cube- See Pic It seems to me like that one would be a little bit better- Not as big and bulky as a drw cube

    3m23p33od5Q45W65S3a978451521901dc19fc.jpg
     
  9. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    We have done both ways as to vans, I started out with a 1500 dodge van. The plus' were you could load ice melt in the back (but not whole pallet because 1500), blowers in side door, other than the 1/2 to it worked well. We now use a 14' cube van, the weight capacity is great we go p/u entire pallet, has slide out ramp which is nice, lots of room. Bad, when pallet is loaded in it NEEDS to be tight against one wall in order to get blower over to ramp, ramp is just narrow enough for 28" blower tire track. If was just going to run a ice melt/blower crew I would go with a 1 ton van SRW, pallet of melt in back, two blowers in side door. The cube would be ideal if your going to run an ATV.
     
  10. MIDTOWNPC

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,452

    14 people! ? what are you going to start doing airport runs/limo service
     
  11. JpLawn

    JpLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 208

    We run E 350 box trucks. That's definitely the way to go. A pallet of ice melt, 3 snow blowers, a bunch of shovels and 2-3 guys. Everything stays nice and dry.
     
  12. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,715

    Van, carries 3 snowblowers, 3 guys, shovels, spare plow parts, and half a pallet of deicer. They can replenish the deicer off of another truck along the way.
     
  13. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Thats what I was thinking... just imagine how much an extended coffee break or piss break is going to cost Jon. LOL.
     
  14. Mdwstsnow512

    Mdwstsnow512 Senior Member
    Messages: 168

    F all that

    why give yourself more headaches, liability, and cost.

    make them drive themselves. carpool

    i got quite a few shovelers, have for years.

    they all drive themselves, generally 4 guys together, each throw the driver 5 bucks for gas and i pay the driver average $2 more per hour.

    little storms he eats it a little, but big ones he makes out like a bandit.

    might cost him 20 bucks in gas, but he will make an extra 40, plus the cash from the other guys.


    just my 2 cents
     
  15. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,795


    haha, I didn't say there will be 14 people. I just want to be able to if I need to. Most of the shoveler crews will be in the 4-6 person range, but having that ability will be nice, or if they want to lie down.

    I agree though, it would be nice if they all had cars!
     
  16. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    this has to be a joke.


    FWIW, I had about 5 guys on average doing walks last year. And I have pretty much the same situation this year. I have always sent 2 guys in one of my pickups thats not setup with a plow... 2wd 1/2 ton.....With good tires, and about 3/4 of a pallet of bags,shovels, etc etc. It has always gone where we need it. The other guys drive there own trucks.

    It dosent sound like much work to justify buying a dedicated walk rig imo. If one of your walk guys has a truck or something, maybe you can give them some type of incentive/compensation for using their own rig. Save yourself some hassle/expenses, and put more $ in your guys pockets.
     
  17. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,795

    It might not be realistic, but it is what I am hoping to somewhat do. It isn't a joke, I see roofer's all the time with a bunch of guys in the van and a dump trailer behind them, but like I said, asking for advice if it has been done before with lots of snow on the ground.

    We do condo's, and having full service condo's means having alot of guys to do the shoveling. We do around 2500 full service units. Most of my guys do not have vehicles, and it can be hard to have the plow truck drop guys off and pick them up without messing up their timing with plowing and salting. I don't plan on having 14 guys in the truck, but I do plan on having space for 14 if it were to ever come up.

    This would be 2 seats at the front, and 4 rows of 3 in the bed area. I have been in many E-350's like that, so I know they exist, but I don't know if snow will be impossible or not. The dump trailer would put weight down on the drive tires, but may hold it back to much. I know nothing about vans, hence the reason for asking if it made sense. I will take your comments as a "no".
     
  18. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Understandable...I can see wanting to consolidate THAT many guys for such large jobs. But just from my experiences, pulling trailers with vans sucks....let alone in bad weather.
     
  19. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,795

    that's kinda what I am thinking, but I guess I was hoping for someone to tell me that it wouldn't be a problem.
     
  20. JayD2

    JayD2 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    Could you use a open small trailer instead of heavy dump trailer?