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how do i start?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Diablo, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. Diablo

    Diablo Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    hi everyone, i am a soldier stationed at fort bragg, nc. my wife and i have decided to move to madison, wi at the end of my service. i have a lot of landscaping experience down south, had my own business before i enlisted, but i know almost nothing about snow plowing and it seems i will need to. i was hoping for some advice on which type of equipment is a good starting place, what to price, and which types of jobs i should try to take on at first. Also, if anyone is from that area, how is the business there?:help: :drinkup:
     
  2. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    well first off thank you! for everything you guys are doing...second off it really depends on how involved you are looking to get. You can start by just snowblowing driveways or you can go full scale multiple truck plowing. Its probably already too late to pick up any "good" jobs this late in the season. but if you develop a strong lawncutting business that is a great way to pick up residential snow plowing. Just start small for one season, get the hang of how fast and efficently you can plow then go bigger the next season.
     
  3. All_Clear

    All_Clear Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    As far as a first season goes... You could find someone that will let you run one of their trucks. Good way to get started without much of an investment. Besides lets just say you dont like plowing (hey you never know) You wouldnt have spent big money on a rig. Just a thought.


    All_Clear
     
  4. Diablo

    Diablo Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    thanks for the help

    thanks for the responses guys. I think I will be driving trucks for others as well, but being that i sold my business when I joined the army, I have a clean slate to work with and I plan to buy two trucks, a new reliable one, and an early 90's diesel. The second is for the small amount of overflow lawn maintenance business I will have during the first year or two. The thing is, I've noticed that I can get the same truck with a plow on it for nearly the same price as one without a plow. I am not moving until the spring but want to get a head start on things. What are the most efficient ways of drumming up new business? Any good ideas on starter rigs that will enable me to provide comprehensive residential services without spending a fortune?confused:
     
  5. All_Clear

    All_Clear Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    I bought my first plow truck as a complete unit.

    I'll never do that again. Just to much you dont know about it. Same thing can happen with a truck that doesnt have a plow but more then likely it hasnt been run in the ground like one thats had a plow. Not everyone takes care of their rigs. Thats just my preference now.

    Well if your going to provide lawn service you should be able to pick up snow plowing from some of them. Flyers, Newspaper ads, Yellow pages and Lettered trucks are some good ways to drum up biz. Each has its pros and cons.

    All_Clear
     
  6. Diablo

    Diablo Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    thanks "all clear"

    Good point about the pre-assembled rig. had not thought of that, being a southerner and all I wouldnt know anything at all about the wear and tear associated with plowing. anyway, thanks again for replying.
     
  7. All_Clear

    All_Clear Senior Member
    Messages: 206

    No problem, I'm not saying you cant pick up a good complete rig cuz they are out there. But from personal expierence i will put together my own rig next time. Alot of times things dont get changed unless they break or atleast thats what i have found looking at plow trucks.

    I can't justify a brand new truck and brand new plow.


    All_Clear
     
  8. gkm

    gkm Senior Member
    Messages: 305

    Diablo thanks for your service to our country..... Navy vet myself You will find all or most info here that you may need. good luck:salute:
     
  9. Diablo

    Diablo Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    thanks,

    thank you GKM, im a young pup myself, only got 4 years in, you did 20, thats good stuff. I appreciate the responses guys, this site is great. Ive learned alot the past couple of days. Think I might be addicted. I sure would welcome any more advice. Thanks again.:gunsfiring: :yow!: Airborne!
     
  10. QMVA

    QMVA Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    Another thing to remember is the best time to buy equipment is right before spring. Dealers usually want to get rid of their left overs and guys getting out of the business for what ever reason will most likely not keep that equipment around for the summer.
     
  11. frostservices

    frostservices Member
    Messages: 63

    Well first of all I would not buy a early 90s truck in wisconsin if u can avoid it unnless you can get it really cheap and wanna buy a junker I would buy a southern truck and find a good deal on a plow and put um together even if you had to spend a few more $$$ The salt up here really eats um up I have seen 95 s that are rust buckets so avoid getting a truck and plow together unless it is nearly new.
    Seth
     
  12. Diablo

    Diablo Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    thank you

    thanks for the new advice guys, i think thats what i will do. just wait until early spring and clean up on some equipment. i appreciate all the help.
     
  13. genrock

    genrock Member
    Messages: 60

    If you plan on doing large commerical type jobs you may want to invest in a bucket or skid steer of some sorts. Also consider purchasing a dumper so you can remove snow from the lot. Charging for all of this service is discussed in the commercial removal threads but is a necessity for landing those wal mart, mall parking lot type jobs which bring in alot of cha ching.
     
  14. Diablo

    Diablo Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    i was wonderin' bout that

    hey gen rock, i have been doing alot of thinking about whether to invest in that type of equipment out of the gate or not. couldnt afford it the first business i started, never got that big. i have found myself with alot more capital to start with this time, the only concern i have is with the possible difficulty of obtaining those big commercials to begin with. dont know if it would be worth the money for the first year or two. do you think i would be able to find a fair amount of subcontracting work during the winter for a skid steer and a dump. My old man has a dump that he would let go cheap, southern truck, old but well cared for. just wasnt sure if it would be worth the trouble of getting it there. what do you think for a guy just starting out in the area? thanks again.
     
  15. QMVA

    QMVA Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    Thats another big thing to remember. Don't grow to fast. Especially in a business you've never been in. True scoring a big commercial lot like a Wal-Mart or Home Depot would make you alot of money but they also have high expectations and for a rookie plower it can be hard and frustrating. I don't mean your not capable of it but plowing is alittle more then just pushing some snow around. You have to be able to figure out the most efficiant way to move the snow where you want it and how to be flexible to that pertaining to different types of snow or the usual car parking in your way. This will be my third season plowing and I'm still learning. Going from 5 1/2 hours to 4 hours on a lot I've been plowing sense I started. So just stay within your capability and only you really know what that is.