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How big is too big?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Bossman 92, May 18, 2009.

  1. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    Here is the deal. I have 3 plow trucks, 1 ton and smaller, and it is all we can do to plow everything in 8 hours per truck When we salt we spread 6 tons of salt, which is 3 trips to the pile, and it takes 7 hours to do that.

    I have several places that are more than 5 acres each, and was wondering if I decided to buy a "BIG" truck and install a big plow (10') what would be your choice for a truck and plow combo?

    I would want the truck to have central hydro's to run the spreader, and figured a bigger rig would do the job just fine.

    I figured the bigger rig would move more snow and solve the many trips to the pile at the same time.

    So what do you think .... I like the boss plows but I think mabey a blizzard with wings may be best. It would only be used on big lots to move alot of snow.

    Thanks Bossman
  2. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Be careful...big trucks are not easy to get around small sites. if your sites are big enough then you could pick up another 1.5 acres per hour or 12 acres per run. I think you will get your biggest savings on not running to the salt pile as often. since you would be able to carry atleast 6 tons on a big truck plus what you are carrying now.

    if your sites are close enough together you might be better off getting a machine out there.

    If you are dead set on a big truck, I like the ex-pendot trucks. 40k gvw internationals al. body stainless spreader and get a 2way blade. they can hold 10 tons on them and run all nite. plus easy to repair.
  3. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    We enjoy the Internationals with belly blades. You can get them on the cheap at auctions. On that size truck building your own always seems to cost more.

    Front plow is better on certain sites, pro's and con's will come into play. The larger salt capacity is to your benefit.

    Can you justify utilizing it all year? One of those with a belly blade can grade dirt roads in the spring-fall also to keep it busy.....just an idea for you.

    We don't run our snow fleet for summer work.....the rest makes them last longer.

    You will also need a CDL driver for it, I'm sure you know that though.
  4. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,954

    we have an 11' schmidt (sp?) which is way too slow for my tastes. we have two 10' boss power v's which are nice plows also, but the bigger trucks with those plows end up sitting except in major storms. Smaller trucks ex: chevy/gmc 2500/3500/4500 run circles around our internationals and kodiak, therefore the big trucks spend a lot more time sitting, most of our jobs are around an acre, but even on 2+ acre jobs jobs production rates are much much higher on a 3500 than international. Obviously if you had a truck that you could put all 6 tons of salt in at once it would be real nice instead of making three trips back to the pile, but what about 3 salters each holding 2 tons....
  5. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Any chance you could put a salt bin at one of your jobs? That's what the guy who does the local Home Depot does. He lets them use it for storage in the summer, then puts em on the end of the lot and fills them with salt in the late fall. Uses a Bobcat to fill and load trucks, and puts a pusher on it too. Probably the same money for a Bobcat as a big truck, and pick up some awesome productivity with the extra machine.
  6. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I would recommend a single axle ex DOT truck. I use one for parking lots and with a 10' blade you can clear alot of snow. Single axle dumpers have a shorter wheel base, tight turning radius and generally more manuverable than double axles. 33k gvwr. Many of these trucks are already plumbed with hydraulics for rear salt spreaders and front plows. Alot of the equipment out there though is rusted and shot to pieces. Buy something reliable or at least easy to maintain and repair.
  7. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    f-550 with either a 10' v or blizz 8611 with a 4 yard salt dogg spreader. . . what would the truck be used for in the summer? that would help decide between dump body or flat bed. . .
  8. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    That F550 would be great but will cost a heck of a lot more then an ex dot truck.
    i paid 15k for an international 2554 with al. body, 11ft valk plow, and stainless frink spreader...you are looking at 15k for a 4yrd salt dog and 8611 alone.
  9. K&N Snow

    K&N Snow Member
    Messages: 45

    I have a Chevy 6500 with a 10 foot v-box on the back that holds 6 tons of salt at a time I don't have a plow on it and i don't think I ever will. that truck makes more money than any other thing in my fleet per storm. Well now that I think about it my 12' artic pusher might make more but the salt truck goes out more. The truck will turns tighter than a Ford Taurus. I turn that truck around in a T intersection. I would never go back to running a spreader in the back of a pick up
  10. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    true but if he can gain 12 months use out of the 550 that would make it cheaper to own. ex dot truck would be nice though... both routes have there advantages and disadvantages personally if i was in his situation with my needs and what id use the truck for id go with the f-550or 450, id have to know his circumstances better to give more input.
  11. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    Keep these ideas coming! We are a full service landscaping company, so the truck could be used also in the summer time as well. I figured depending on what I buy it could also be used for hauling mulch, stone, soil, ect. If the truck allows a leaf box attached to the back with our leaf vaccume in the fall.

    THe truck would not be used full time, but I think enough to justify one.

    As far as CDL I have that handled. A skid would be another idea, but the sites are several miles away and the unit would have to be trailered to each site, and there is still the salt issue.

    We take care a ton of lots, most are less than an acre, but 6 are 3 acres or better. I think the biggest benefit would be being able to have the bigger truck plow only a couple of the biggest lots then start salting. The last few years we salt alot more times than we have plowed. I have a western ice breaker now and would keep it to salt the smaller lots, banks, gas stations ect. Central hydro's would be great, but if the unit doesn't come already plumed I may look into Salt Dog's new Electric units. I would rather hydro's but don't want to spend the extra 8k to plumb it up.

    Thanks again, you have brought up some great advice and now you have me thinking. Oh yea the last few years our average snowfall per event is only a few inches. Usually once a season we get hit with a 6" to 12" event, but not very often.

    Thanks Bossman
  12. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    I run 2 tonner dumps that have 8ft Boss polys with Boss wings. I run SnowEx 2400 tail gate units on them as well.

    We find that with these set ups we only load them both once in a storm. Both can carry 4 to 5 tons of material when they go out. They both plow a small route, around 3 to 4 accounts each. Then they just chase the other trucks and loaders around untill they are finished.

    We can usually have everything plowed and salted in between 5 to 7 Hrs depending on conditions.

    We also use a couple smaller Snowex units for the real small or out of the way accounts, where its just not feasable to send the bigger sanders.

    I have also thought about getting a single axle ex-dot truck as well. But not use it to plow, only salt. It sometimes gets hard chasing the loaders around, they can really clear a lot fast, and its nice getting the product down as soon as they leave an account.

  13. K&N Snow

    K&N Snow Member
    Messages: 45

    here is my 2003 chevy 6500 I looked into mounting a heavyweight western but I salt to much with is to carry a plow around. I don't like using dump boxes to spread with I know some day I would leave it up and tear something up.


  14. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    Now that's what I need! If you don't mind me asking, what that run you?

    I think a 9' or 9' 2" Boss plow with wings may be my best choice. I like the idea of the plows being interchangeable with each other also.

    I know the pro wings on the western are kind of a pain to take on and off inbetween jobs, how tuff are the boss wings to take on and off, or do they fold in?

    I am still up in the air on which truck and spreader would work best for our needs. I like the idea of no drag chains and gas motors with the hydro. under body unit, but I also like the idea of using a V box.

    I still have a few months before I need to have this all ironed out, so I'll be bouncing these ideas off you guys all summer long.

    Thanks Bossman
  15. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    The contractor that does our town uses 4WD 5500 trucks. It's very hilly and the roads are junk. The trucks really seem to do a good job.
  16. TurfSolutionsMN

    TurfSolutionsMN Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 302

    I plow with a Int. 4600LP it has a 8611 on it. That thing turns on a dime, I believe it turns the same as our F250's or better.
  17. K&N Snow

    K&N Snow Member
    Messages: 45

    I wouldn't buy a 4x4 it would cut down on the turning and I don't think that you can buy the 4x4 in a low pro. I paid 9k for the truck and spent around 5k setting it up for the spreader and I think around 11K for the spreader. This truck is a true money maker.
  18. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,032

    We have a similiar truck and not sure if you have a cover over the bottom of your bed chain but we've found that they really save the truck. You can also make up a front for the chain to stop salt from dropping there, just a suggestion.:drinkup:
  19. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    You will destroy a little plow like this on a 6500 or better truck hauling 5-6-7+ tons. The wings wont stand a chance either. the western wings fold up on pickups. One good curb in a medium truck will fold it for sure.
    Even the big 10' Boss V wont last long on truck with a 33K GVW.
    Theres a reason muni's run Wausau, Monroe, Schmidt equipment. Its made to handle a big truck, and the weight behind them.
  20. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    A friend of mine runs a Fisher 9.5 XV on his 4500. He runs a sander, but I don't think he really freights it. He has been running it for three years, no issues outside of the ordinary. The trip edge gives alot of protection, and the pressure relief will protect the wing if you hit something solid. I've done that myself. It's kinda scary to watch that wing fold up, but everything was OK. Fisher also makes the MC series. Heavy duty stuff.