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I am 17 and I am going to start up a business. ATV vs?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Scottzkee, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Scottzkee

    Scottzkee Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I have a friend who is going away to college who has half a route set up. He has 4 lots and there very close to me (2 block radius). All that needs to be done is the drive way. and he uses a snowblower/shovel combo.

    I am looking to invest right away in a piece of equipment, and I need to know some quick basics. I was thinking of an ATV with a snow plow, but would that be to small to be efficient on driveways, or would it work alright? I found one on craigslist in the sub 3000 range. Theres a few actually.

    THe other option is a dunebuggy. I have a mechanic friend who says I could easily get a plow on one. Do you think this is a viable option? For those unfimiliar with the type of dunebuggy I am refering to one like this

    The other option is a UTV, but they seem much more expensive. I found them in the 7 - 12k range, and they don't seem to be much better then the atv. Is there a clear advantage/disadvantage? I did search the forum and could not find a very direct answer.

    Buying a used/cheap truck. I would buy a jeep/truck for UNDER 6k. The problem is, that's VERY little for a vehicle. I would buy one with a plow already on it, but the thing is it's not a lot of money when you can get a higher end atv for that price.

    There are other options for vehicles, like a bobcat. But there also pretty expensive, and I don't make a lot of money. I am in highschool and work a job at a grocery store part time. The maximum amount of capital I want to invest is about 8k, and that's is on the high end. Hopefully, if all goes well, in a year or so I will get a street sweeper as I found that my local target is not happy with their current one. They told me if I got a vehicle I could have the current contract.

    Any thoughts or opinions?

    Thanks again guys! :waving:

    BOSS LAWN Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    Dont rush to jump in the big boat just yet, you have to start off slow. Get a a few SOLID snowblowers (doesn't have to be expensive 200-300$), get a truck with a plow and 4x4. You can find them on your local craigslist ad for reasonable prices. Try to stay away from ATV's and Skidsteers until you get the bigger contracts otherwise you'll be sitting on money the whole season.

    I'm 18 and been in the business only 3 years, I've made the mistakes. Take your time and dont lowball.
  3. perrysee

    perrysee Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    start small and save money from profits to buy a plow truck down the road. i start with a snowblower and shovel 21 years ago and still run it ,but more trucks ,atv's and snowblowers now. dont go over your head buying to much right away,
  4. RMGLawn

    RMGLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    I plowed with a quad for two years before I could drive...doing all driveways. Still think I was quicker with the quad on the smaller snows.

  5. nick4634

    nick4634 Member
    Messages: 35

    Do you plow with that little salter on there or detach it, looks like it would be easy to jackknife?
  6. Leanworks

    Leanworks Member
    Messages: 40

    Snowblower for sure. Wait for the quad till you see the right deal as in your situation you don't need it for the stuff you have, but, it will bring in new business once you have it.

    Sound advice! This guy is your guide.

    Of ocurse not. Weighs ten pounds when empty and he drops it at the end of the drive and then hooks it up after he does them all at the end of the run and fills it with the tupperware contents.

    You have a golden opportunity to do this right. Skip the ATV, buy a great used or, brand new tracked blower and make a pile of cash. Build a clientel and then buy yourself a truck to haul the show around with and pick up girls. Next year, with it all paid for, buy that ATV and put a blade on the truck and hire one of your school mates to run it and the year after, buy a small country that needs a king with his own snow rmoval equipment.

    Main thing is, do it all on solid ground. You have the rest of your life to be stressed.

  7. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,044

    He gave you some great advice, Im 17, 2 years doing snow removal, sidewalks for me, and my buddy runs our plow. The best advice is not to lowball and be the a@# that lowers the prices other people will pay us.
  8. Canplow

    Canplow Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    You have the idea right go buy a used atv it will be your best bet! I started with a atv Arctic Cat 650 Twin with a 60" plow and 28" mudlight radials and its all you need! I trailered it around when needed and never had a problem. You do need to be carefull with the way it mounted I reinforced the frame where it mounts the U bolts were starting to wear the frame caught it in time and is no problem now. You will want a 400cc plus with auto shift tires make a huge difference. I have move to a truck with plow now but my atv is very efficent you will use way less gas then a truck I could plow all day for $30
    the 5ft plow is alittle wide for side walks a 4ft might be better but for driveways Bigger=better I would put my Atv against most trucks In tight avg sized driveways the only disadvantage is stacking ability You can also get heated grips for the handlebars , atv parts are generally cheaper and most repairs can be done on your own! Try the atv until you have the need to go bigger every thing is just more affordable insurance, parts, fuel, plow, tires, and way more moneravable!
  9. Was under priced by one of you.
    The customer can stay with ATV when get 36 inches over night.:laughing:

    When or if it comes :laughing:
  10. Canplow

    Canplow Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    If we get 36" over night get out and start shoveling not much will move this short of a dozer
  11. Yepper we was also under priced. BUT when got 24 inches of wet & heavy snow they call us back.

    After leaving a second time. We do not take them back. Without signing a seasonal contract.
  12. DuraBird02

    DuraBird02 Member
    Messages: 76

    I would look into a work truck with a plow on it. You can find a reliable one for about the same price as a nice ATV with plow. I would buy the truck because it will give you the "just in case" safety factor. Also you can use it to plow your accounts and also be able to sub-contract for someone else if they need extra help. Just thinking that if you are looking to spend 3k on an ATV, you can surely find a older truck with a plow for that price. Good luck to you!
  13. TomsSnowPlowING

    TomsSnowPlowING Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    Even a small Truck can do. With extra weight in the bed for the wet & heavy snow.
    With 1/2 ton I had to put With extra weight in the bed for the wet & heavy snow.
    My weight is 20 bags of Rock Salt & 40 bags of Anti-skid.
  14. Canplow

    Canplow Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    Start with a newer Atv it will run like you need it to and there should be no repairs for a few years. Stay away from a P.O.S work truck that will be broke down more then plow down making money! Then in the summer and fall you can Ride the s**t out of it and have no worries other than lining up work for comming winter Your a kid have some fun !Buy a plow truck when your career gos bottom up and you need to try something different
  15. slimquinella

    slimquinella Member
    from maine
    Messages: 30

    i just saw a video on youtube about a guy who was plowing with an ATV and got in trouble with the law because he was driving it on the road to get to all his lots.

    BOSS LAWN Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    I believe I saw that one also, I plow the first 80 ft infront of my driveway and mailbox.
  17. fordtruck661

    fordtruck661 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 404

    I started when i was about 13 plowing with a lawn tractor then upgraded to a Polaris sportsman 450 when I was about 15 and just this summer went out a got myself a Ford f250 Powerstroke with a fisher 8' plow.

    If I where you I would go find myself a good used truck and a plow. Try to find a truck without a plow then look for a plow that came off of the same year truck and comes with all the mounting hardware needed. If you buy a truck with a plow you never know how the guy before you treated it. BUT ONLY BUY THE TRUCK IF YOU PLAN ON PLOWING FOR SEVERAL YEARS its going to take 3 or more years for you to brake even on playing for the truck.
  18. Canplow

    Canplow Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    Its funny that everyone is saying they started with a atv plow or snow blower and are telling him to buy a truck! Think about it buy a quad figure out the way pushing snow works work your way up to a truck. First make sure you have the numbers to support what you need! and a atv will do alot less damage when you hit your first obsticles put a slow moving triangle on the back and get it plated! Wait on the truck! Build some clientel!
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  19. fordtruck661

    fordtruck661 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 404

    yeah but since he can drive and will have to drive a truck to each driveway anyways why not just get a plow. He would be spending more $$ having to buying a truck and then having to buy a quad.
  20. slimquinella

    slimquinella Member
    from maine
    Messages: 30

    agreed with fordtruck, he can find a truck and a plow for decent money, bu this late into the season to start making decisions is a little late. but being 17 and able to drive why not get a truck that way when it is time to expand he'll be set, not saying to start with a one ton, but maybe a used half ton with a plow for a few thousand?