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How far is too far for a dealer?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JMHConstruction, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Okay, things are slowing down for my summer business, so I'm getting a little time to think about way to make a little more $$ and make things run a little smoother in the winter.

    Currently I have a 99 dodge 1500 excab LB, and run a sidewalk crew. The truck as an 8' bed, but even then it's a little hard to get everything to fit when the snow falls. I've been debating on getting a small box truck for the sidewalks. If I do that, my 1500 would sit unused.

    I've been looking into plows for the 1500 to maybe get back into some residential or small lots for myself (I currently am subbed for all my sidewalks). I already know some guys who could help if something happened (for a backup). If I can make it work and be profitable, I'd look into picking up a larger truck and using the 1500 as a backup.

    My question is how far is too far for dealer support? I have within 5 minutes (good weather) 2 dealers, a Snowex and a Hiniker. I have been looking into the Snowdogg MD 8' straight blade. I love the idea of the Hiniker C plow for doing residential, but the dealer said it's too heavy (my front weight rating is 3850 lbs). I looked into the Snoway, but it seemed like it wouldn't hold up. The closest Snowdogg is about 25-30 minutes away (good weather). Is that too far?

    Thanks for reading all that, I wanted to get as much info on the table as possible. Let me know if I'm an idiot for wanting to try this, if you think it's a good idea, and all your other thoughts.

    Edit: I should also note that boss and western (seem to be the most popular on here) are even further. Also, is 435ish lbs (don't remember exact weight) enough to back drag? I've only ever done residential a handful of times and it was with a Boss V that I assume weighed over twice that.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  2. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    I am looking to buy a plow and the dealer that am leaning to is 20 minutes away.
  3. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,917

    Get the plow you want regardless of dealer location.

    Most are not open Sundays, Holidays or after 5pm or open before 9am.

    As a pro even with a "new" plow with a "warranty" you should still be carrying spare parts like hoses, a relay, a coil etc etc.fluid....

    if you just need "support" there only a phone call away....
  4. LogansLawnCare

    LogansLawnCare Member
    Messages: 47

    Just consider how long it will take to get there in the middle of a storm if your plow breaks and you need parts. If a 30 min or more drive is an option than go for it. As you get more and more busy having a good dealer close by is a must.
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,917

    At 2am the distance is moot, there not open....
    If there is a defect in the welding or materials, it's not going to get fixed quickly.

    He should have a back up plan if he is a one truck show
    regardless of the plow dealers location.
    Close proximity to a "dealer" is not a back up plan.

    in my humble dumb a$$ opinion. if you cant troubleshoot and fix most all of your issues yourself, maybe plowing is not for you.
  6. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I would think any of those closer dealers would have a 7.5ft straight blade that would be a good fit for your 1/2ton. SnowEx is basicaly a re painted Blizzard now days and Hiniker has been around a while.
  7. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I agree, so many guys talk about dealer support as if they're following them around with a tool truck waiting for a break down and jumping on it like a pit crew. There's one place around here out of 4 or 5 dealers that say they're open during a storm but in my experience that's been hit or miss. When I talk about "dealer support" I guess I'm thinking if they have the parts, staff and experience to fix things quickly.
  8. mwalsh9152

    mwalsh9152 Senior Member
    Messages: 434

    get whatever you want, but I would also make sure to have spare common parts for your plow. I have a Diamond because it was practically given to me, but the only dealers are an hour away in good weather. So I have coils and valves, a spare motor, and a spare angle ram in case. Anything else structure wise we can deal with.

    I'd rather put out $5-600 on spare parts and be able to fix anything rather than have the truck go down and lose money paying a backup in a blizzard
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,917

    spot on.

    or when you get to your dealer , do you think hes going to just drop everything and fix your plow?

    dealer, sorry. but there are 5 plows ahead of yours. call back tomorrow and we'll let ya know how things are going..
  10. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    I would always have spare parts in the truck with me. Since I personally won't have a back up truck, and I'd have to give most of the $$ away to a sub if something were to happen.

    I will look a little more into the 2 closest dealers. The Hiniker is through a trailer dealer. I've worked with the other dealer before (picked up all my blowers from them) I'll talk to them about when they're open in a storm, how many parts they have in stock. This would be my first plow, but not the first time I've plowed. I don't have much experience, but I've done a little maintenance here and there. I'm also pretty good at figuring out mechanical stuff.
  11. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I'm not familiar with either manufactures but most of these new plows you'll be able to repair a lot of common things in the field and honestly, as long as you don't abuse it and take care of it you should get many years of work before it needs anything. I could go on and on but in a nutshell you'll get familiar with whatever you buy, learn how to repair or replace things yourself the more years your doing this. I've come to know what brakes on our Fishers so I carry a couple extra solenoids, spare hose sets and a couple pairs of the U bolts that break after time and those are all very simple fixes.
  12. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    10 min - 1 hour - Does not matter - where are you going to be when it stops working and can you get it to them or back to the shop? Have spare parts and most important a spare truck and plow.
  13. info4tim

    info4tim Senior Member
    Messages: 230

    Are generally a wrench Turner? Are you into fixing pump/plow probs outside at 3am in driving snow? If not, after your first breakdown you will be or you'll lose at least that client next yr without an Immediate backup!
  14. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    X2, completely agree. Get what you want, get some spare parts.
  15. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    10-4 good buddy.:drinkup:
  16. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    I don't think anyone is "into" fixing anything in the middle of a storm, but I've done it. I had to replace a starter on my old 84 ford with 8 inches of snow on the ground and it was around 0 degrees. As much as I hate it, I'm not scared of a little hard work. Hell, I do sidewalks now, I'm in the cold at 3am with driving snow anyway.
  17. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Thanks guys for the advice. I'll look into everything. Most of you said get the right plow, so I may look closer at Boss. I'm most familiar with that brand (both my uncle and the company I've worked for in the past used them). I think the dealer was around 40 minutes away, maybe closer. I'll run up there in the next week or so and check out some of their lighter plows. With this slow start and the fact that I have no contracts of my own, I'll probably wait until next fall to pick one up and see how my summer went.
  18. Mister Plow

    Mister Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 138

    Maybe not so much in Kansas, but up here in MN, the local tractor supply stores have a decent supply of generic repair parts for plows. Hoses, solenoids, springs, pins........ The new Fleet Farm in town even has pump motors and hydraulic actuators for some brands.

    Check around.
  19. JMHConstruction

    JMHConstruction Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    They might, I'll have to check it out. Thanks
  20. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Mostly Meyer stuff, but I did just buy some markets.