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How many sole operators have backup trucks

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DAZ982500, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. DAZ982500

    DAZ982500 Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    I have a 95 Chevy 1/2 ton with a 7.5 Western Ultra mount.The plow is 1 yr old,I have always been concerned about breakdowns and also wanted to take care of myself when a problem arose..i took the plunge and purchased a 1984 Dodge PowerRam with a Fisher 7.5 Hydropump plow.The truck is a 3/4 ton its rusty but runs good ,has 125k cost $1900.My question is the truck,the Dodge is not on the road yet but I am thinking that maybe it was a waste of money.I know if the Chevy breaks down it will be money well spent but in the mean time it sits idle.I thought about selling the Chevy and mounting salter on Dodge cut expenses even greater but I have'nt realy driven this truck.It is a standard too.Anyway the question is how many guys have trucks that perform 1 single task snowplowing and just sit around the rest of the year.Do you ever reconsider the purchase,do you run it in the winter just to fire it up.This is an additional expense once it is licensed and ready to plow.My work load was medium last year 25 drives 4 smaller lot and 1 medium size lot and a h@ll of alot of driving. I think I wanted to be prepared if the truck broke down,one goes to shop jump in the otherone and away I go.Rather than making calls begging for help,I hate being in this position.DAVE
     
  2. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802

    I do not have a backup, that is why I sub. plus i dont have to deal with custoers, employees, issues, or anything else. if i break, i go home and fix and then return. I profit more this way too.

    Oddly enough, my truck only seems to break in the summer, the winter i had no issues but last summer and this summer i have all sorts of things going wrong.

    Good luck
     
  3. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,546

    i also sub but cant justify another truck at the moment....and if i get another truck itll be out just as much as my truck nw,,,which in NJ isnt much:cry:
     
  4. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    I thought about getting a backup truck, but right now I can not justify the expense of buying another good, dependable truck. I have a Kawasaki 650 4x4 w/a plow that I can use in a pinch, or if that won't work, there are several equipment rental places close to me where I can rent a skid steer, tractor, or a loader. The cost of renting one by the day is kinda expensive, but this way I don't need to purchase, maintain, and insure another vehicle for a "what if" situation.
     
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,569

    My back up truck has saved my azz more than once.
     
  6. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    I have a back-up truck but it gets used in the summer more then I do plowing with it. Sure is nice to have it in case of breakdowns tho. Saved ne several times last winter. I highly suggest either a backup truck or a sub if you need one in a pinch.
     
  7. stroker79

    stroker79 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,802


    thats a good sign that it may be time to make your current equipment a backup and buy some new equipment! lol J/K
     
  8. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,263

    I say if u keep good up keep on ur equipment and truck....nothing will happen that ur not prepared for! I check all my stuff before a storm and also have spare parts for everything! Plus i do check ups of my truck constanly! Get on a good maintence plan and have spare plow parts...u will be alright!
     
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,569

    LOL... no,
    The operator just needs to take it a little easer on his equipment;)
     
  10. PLOWIN DOUGH

    PLOWIN DOUGH Member
    Messages: 56

    Last winter I several breakdowns you never know what might happen especially at 1 in the mourning in a blizzard. I am going to buy a backup for this winter season , I dont think having a bunch of accounts and only one truck is a good idea plus if you get stuck you can get yourself out. Go Prepared
     
  11. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    well iv got a few trucks, stil kinda a small operation...we lost a contract at the last second (damn employee) , so i did have 1 truck kinda sitting around all year, and man ill tell you, for once it was nice to have it sitting

    I have always said that if i had a back up truck, lol. it wouldnt be a back up for long and we would just sell more accounts and put it to work, ..we all could use more payup

    but this was nice, because if one of the trucks broke, i could just tell the driver to make his way back to the shop and switch

    if ur gonna have a back up, i suggest this.....if it is gonna only be a back up, take it for a 10 mile drive at least once per week, start it up at least 2 times per week,....fuel goes bad, batteries loss power, ud be surpirsed how many times, iv parked a truck for 3 weeks, and walked out to use it...and something , like a u joint, or solidnoid rusted in place, make sure it goes thru all the gears, and when u park it, make sure u park it already in 4x4

    but this kinda stuff , you should be doing regularly with ur normal driver during the off season.....(slip the 4x4 in and out a few times a month, )

    If ur really good, try to keep ur back up truck, using the same plow as ur every day truck, this gives you so many more possiblitys


    hey no offense
    - were you prepared when ur driver hit a curb and bent the A frame, and had to disasenble the entire plow? Or when ur Alternator went out, with very little warning? Yes iv fixed lots of stuff in the snow, and spare parts save ur life.....but u cant always fix every thing, in a timly manor, even if u have the parts


    and keep alot of friends in ur plowing areas....iv bailed out both big and small companys that im friends with......iv only had to ask the favor 1 time, but i got it coming to me......
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2008
  12. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    im not a one man operation. but i own 2 trucks. i have one as a personal truck/plowtruck and one as a work/plow truck. it really depends on the snow to tell me which one to use. if we get hammered i use my d-max with the V plow. if we dont i use my other truck. but for the most part i use my work truck for plowing. ive been using it as a daily driver for a while too b/c of fuel prices.
     
  13. tls22

    tls22 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,263

    Point taken, yet here in NJ we had 2 plowable events last year! I dont believe a back-up truck is needed for me! Was the parking lot properly mark with plow markers when ur driver hit that curb? Also the altenator? perhaps the driver was to hard on the equipment during previouse storms! "The plan did'nt fail, you failed the plan!"

    I do belive you bring up a good point by keeping friends with plowing people in the area!
     
  14. Blazin

    Blazin Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    I have two trucks and I am a sole operator. The last few years my primary truck has been undergoing a rebuild. Circumstances in life have forced me to delay the rebuilding. It will be done this winter, 86 GMC 2500. At that point my 86 Chevy K 30 will be the backup, and for sanding. I would like to put a short bed 1/2 ton together for those pesky little 2' or 3" storms. I have the truck, 87 Chevy and all the plow parts. Just need to find the time and $ to do it. I also run all Fisher plows so I have all the same extra parts around, or worst case I can rob a part of the other truck until the next morning etc.
     
  15. nicksplowing

    nicksplowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,226

    BACK UP TRUCKS WHAT ARE THEY ?:confused:



    :D:D:D
     
  16. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609



    dunno. thinking its something about a truck that backs up with a back plow. ie. backup truck backing up/back plow.
    :confused:
     
  17. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,715

    I have 3 trucks at the moment....going to add 2 more before this coming winter. Also have subs on call if need be.
     
  18. T-MAN

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

    I think a back up truck is needed when you start handling higher maintenance accounts.
    Such as: business's with deadline times, and zero tolerance. High maintenance homeowners etc.
    You can have all the parts in the world to fix anything, but when the clock is not on your side, theres no substitute for jumping in another truck and on to the next one.
    With all the snow we had last season, my back up truck rolled twice. Both times were caused by my driver. One he bent a drive shaft on a boulder, the other he blew a line on the Blizzard. That truck could of kept going both times, but "I" elected to pull it off the road, do to the fact I was too busy to monkey around with the truck, and I knew the other truck was fueled and ready to roll.
    Saved me alot of grief, and the sites were completed in a timely manner. Cost me 45 minutes to send the driver to grab the other truck. No BFD there, and I delt with the repairs after I got some rest :drinkup:
     
  19. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    Point taken, yet here in NJ we had 2 plowable events last year! I dont believe a back-up truck is needed for me! Was the parking lot properly mark with plow markers when ur driver hit that curb? Also the altenator? perhaps the driver was to hard on the equipment during previouse storms! "The plan did'nt fail, you failed the plan!"

    QUOTE]
    Yes it was marked, I was actually riding with the driver to relieve a skit steer operator. when he hit it...he clipped the side of an island,after a car decided that it would try to sqeeze thru coming the other dirrection

    and I personally, Totalled the Alternator, and Battery, doing loading docks, the bobcat was occupied else where on the property...too much up /down

    point taken , about the 2 snow falls, iv felt that pain before, :drinkup:
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  20. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    like T-man said, if ur doing higher end, Time is never on ur side,....and until this season, iv never had a back up truck.....

    Im thinking of having a truck with maybe like a 2 hr plow route......? using it as the back up,...only keeping the 2 hrs, to justify its own existance dollar wise