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Need equipment guidance, Southern NH

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by oreo_n2, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. oreo_n2

    oreo_n2 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I am a one man show working on a bid for a commercial job next year. Its a 60 car lot with an access road around the back of the building.

    I have a tundra with a 7.5' fisher plow right now. I am estimating i can handle this driveway if i add a 1.5 yd polycaster and a fairly beefy skid steer... probably 5k# machine at 50+ hp to my equipment list for pushing back banks and moving piles.

    What do you think?

    Does anyone have any leads or recommendations for a nice, used skid steer with heat, hi-flo hydraulics, and a trailer in the southern NH area for under $20k?
  2. ScubaSteve728

    ScubaSteve728 Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    you are better off buying a bigger truck like a f250 or 350 and putting a spreader in that, and then you can hire someone to push back banks if needed and you could grow your business with that truck and maybe buy a skid and trailer down the line
  3. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 700

    Are you suggesting you would buy the skid solely for pushing banks and moving piles or would you use it to plow? You are under equipped for the job with a tundra and the blade you have. In my opinion I would pass on th job. You are talking about spending 25k between the skid and spreader just to do the job. Also with the plow and spreader empty you are probably at your gvwr of the tundra or close. I would upgrade trucks before diving into plowing too much more in my opinion
  4. oreo_n2

    oreo_n2 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    that might be what i was thinking. I use the tundra for 20 residential houses and one gym lot now. She works hard, but she doesn't weigh enough to push the big piles. She also doubles as my daily driver, as plowing doesnt pay the bills just yet, its still my side gig in the winter.

    Is it overly naive to think i could do this lot with the truck?

    This is a long term contract, so i am anticipating upgrading my equipment to handle this. The truck is almost paid for, rather than get into a new truck loan i was hoping to just keep it, work it hard, and add some heavy help on the back side to pick up the slack. The skid steer could do more than just banks, it could also be a plow, eventually adding a snowblower or power broom to the skid steer to handle the sidewalks as well.

    If i upgraded the truck first... would you recommend something like a SRW 3/4 ton truck like F250? F350?
    Or should i be looking to go right to a dump body?
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  5. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 700

    Well were you planning on paying cash for the skid or financing it? If you have cash what I would do is skip the skid and buy a used truck, doesnt have to be brand new. In answer to your question I would just get a 350 srw as it is probably more inline with your budget and would be easier for doing driveways. If the tundra is almost paid for just keep it for a back up and your daily driver.
    I would agree skids are incredibly versatile, but I would not buy one just because your current truck cant push snow far enough. Not only that, but your customer won't want to pay for you to come in with a skid because you cant push back far enough. Renting a machine for a day here is under 200 so if you did ever need to do it you can pretty easily.
    In answer to your question is it naive? In my opinion yes. You can do the lot with the truck, however you would really need to plow every couple inches. You can find yourself in a bad situation if you got a storm you couldn't keep up with. Plenty of guys plow with a half ton, but I dont think its a great idea.
    Is this a seasonal price or per push?
    You get another truck, dedicated to plowing, and have a back up, you are in good shape. Plus you will get a lot more life out of your tundra.
    Check out the other thread here "just got my first account" guy was in a similar situation.
    Also be careful bidding now, if you do not have experience salting it can bite you you may use a lot.more than you think you will
  6. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,034

    Why can't a Tundra plow a 60 car lot? What year is the truck and I'm guessing the lot is 3/4 of an acre. It would be a good idea to have a backup plan if the Tundra breaks down but I can't see it not plowing a lot that size. Also nothing wrong with hiring someone else a few times a season to push your banks back. Skid steers really aren't the best for pushing banks back anyways.
  7. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,976

    My thoughts exactly! If a tundra can't plow a 60 spot lot then I've been doing it all wrong, I plowed 3 acre places with a half ton when I started out, did absolutely fine and trouble free for the 4 years I had it... you'll also only need a 1/2 to 3/4 yard salter as well, not a chance will you be putting down 1.5 yards on such a small lot...

    Keep exactly what you have and as dave suggested, have a backup plan in place
  8. mnguy

    mnguy Member
    Messages: 78

    How would you haul the skid back and forth ? I don't think a tundra could tow it, I would look into a winter leasing a skid if you only have $ 20,000 for a skid and a trailer.
  9. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    How big is this lot?
  10. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,358

    I think you will be fine with the Tundra. Get it paid off and then if you decide you want to get a V plow or an XLS you can upgrade trucks. I'm positive that the Tundra can handle that lot with out a problem.
  11. pdreibels

    pdreibels Member
    Messages: 63


    And forget about the big salter. Just get a tailgate spreader
  12. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,968

    60 car lot? no problem with your truck,heck you can salt that lot by hand in 15 minutes! Don't over think it.
  13. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,976

    Can't tow a 5k skidsteer with a half ton??? LOL, it wount think twice towing that do you take a 5 ton truck to get groceries and need a 1 ton dually to move your 200lb body around too? You do realize most half tons are rated to tow about 10,000 lbs and I've need many and I mean many do it on a semi regular basis
  14. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Before I bought a skid, I would use that capital and the tundra to buy a new F350 V plow and 1.8 yard sander. As has been said, that truck will allow you to expand. Time is money, and your plow is too small to be efficient. Yes, it will do the job. But not fast. And a big dump of snow will have you chasing your tail. Just my opinion.
  15. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,358

    Exactly! Get a set of air bags and you would be fine.
  16. oreo_n2

    oreo_n2 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    i know i can tow a 5-6k skid steer with a 3k trailer no problem. been there plenty of times with motorcycles, car trailer and other skid steers.

    I have been talking to the owner about keeping the skid steer on the property for the season and having bulk sand/salt delivered to the site before the season starts. He is amenable to the ideas.

    That lotsize website is awesome! According to that i have a grand total of almost 2 acres with the road around the building. While my truck is appealing from cost perspective, efficiency is a concern.

    I am bidding this two ways:
    1: as a seasonal rate: based on 20 pushes with sand/salt and 10 trips with just sand/salt
    2: per storm, 1 rate billed per 6" of snow for snow and salt/sand and a second rate for just sand/salt

    Optional add ons include clearing and treating the side walks, fire hydrants and dumpster: i am struggling with bidding this part. I have had a number of houses that wanted walks and stairs taken care of in the past and i reserve that service for just the best customers because i haven't figured out how to spend that time cost effectively compared to time in the driver seat. Thats where the skid steer was waying into this bid. There are almost 400' of sidewalks.

    I am leaning towards a bigger truck and smaller skid steer for loading salt/sand and clearing sidewalks.

    I have been trying to find someone to push back some banks at three of my customers this year with no luck. Everyone is booked solid with the string of blizzards we have been dealing with. I think i could sell my own skidsteer seat time if i didn't have to account for the rental companies rates and delivery.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  17. oreo_n2

    oreo_n2 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

  18. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 638

    I wouldn't take a gift of a jcb, just my .02

    To echo what others have said, your putting the cart before the horse. You don't need a piece of iron for this account. Use a truck, hire someone when your stacked out.
  19. mnguy

    mnguy Member
    Messages: 78

    Triple L What skid steer weighs 5K lbs ??? John deere smallest skid 318 weighs 6500 then the trailer and a bucket and you are going to be at 10k
  20. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,719

    I'm guessing if he wants to spend $20k on a skid steer that includes a trailer he'll be looking at older, smaller machines. It's not to hard to get an older machine that's in the 5-6,000lb range.