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Need help as to which truck/plow or if I should get into the business...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Pjslawncare1, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Pjslawncare1

    Pjslawncare1 Member
    Messages: 38

    Here's the deal....I mainly deal with grass....I am 20 years old, I started my own lawn care business 4 years ago. I know have 55 accounts along with a condominium complex...I would only plow for a few customers each year with an ATV....An average of 10. Anyways, this year i'm looking to try to service 30 of those customers at $30 per push...and I quoted the condo complex at $300 per push. I would like to know if its worth the money plowing after expenses such as gas, time, insurance, upkeep, and initial purchase. I'm looking to spend around $6,000 and no more than $9,000....is there a truck that's way better to look for? What kind of plow should I look for? Should I buy a used plow truck (ragged out?), what should I look for when purchasing a truck that has a plow on it (the plow part, how do i know it's a good plow?) I have a 1999 Ford Explorer V8 right now but that's waayyyyy out of the question for plowing, so i'm looking into selling that to buy another truck.

    Any answers to these questions would be great as I am running out of time with what I should do for the winter this year....Thanks a lot!!
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  2. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,594

    So you gave out bids and now you need to figure out how to get the job done? :dizzy: How did you come up with a cost of $300 for the condo complex when you don't even know how long it's going to take?

    My best advice to you is to use the search function in the tool bar and go from there. Sounds to me like you're starting out behind the 8-ball. Good luck.

  3. Pjslawncare1

    Pjslawncare1 Member
    Messages: 38

    Yeah, you're right......but it's not a concrete bid I just based in off of 10 driveways @ $30 each
  4. fastlx

    fastlx Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I don't think your in that big of a pinch. You have about 2 months to figure it out. Go buy a decent truck. Then look for a good deal on a plow. Truck equipment wholesalers usually sell cheaper than your local plow dealers. Then put the plow on the truck yourself. It's pretty easy. Sell the exploder, hard to run a grass/plowing business out of a suv anyway.
  5. SS2500HD

    SS2500HD Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    also, maybe upsell shoveling and salting the walks on some accounts that are affluent, most will pay the 10-15 more for the convenience and the security of having it shoveled and salted immediately.
  6. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Dont short change yourself on a cheap plow truck to just get by. the way I see it, if your in-your in. Work will come to you. Sub from someone bigger once your done your stuff if you have to help make payments. It wont be easy initially, but I'm sure you'll learn as you go..
  7. nbenallo33

    nbenallo33 Senior Member
    Messages: 826

    thats sounds pretty cheap $30.00 what do you plow for that a driveway? and a complex only $300 with out seeing them it sounds like you can get way more dude
  8. Pjslawncare1

    Pjslawncare1 Member
    Messages: 38

    Yeah, you're probably right...I figured $30 a driveway is good and as far as the condos, im sure i can get more, there's a lot of tight spots and sidewalks as well.....As for vehicle and plow what should I be looking for? I'm typically a ford guy with no exceptions unless you guys tell me otherwise. Just to tell you off the bat im looking for an F-250 single or ext. cab gas engine (probably the 5.4 or 5.8) with a western straight blade....what should i look for function wise if I were to look at the plow/pumps/lines?
  9. ServiceOnSite

    ServiceOnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 928

    think about this. buying a "ragged " out truck can you fix it your self WHEN it breaks?? if you can good for you. do you have a back up WHEN it breaks in the middle of the night?? youll need one. these prices your giving would kinda be ok if you were doing some work next door, and doing these people a favor, and you have new equipment doing it. personally i think you need more time in a plow truck, or get some newer equipment. that way the money you make you dont have to put into late night repairs.

    have you ever plowed other than your atv???
  10. Pjslawncare1

    Pjslawncare1 Member
    Messages: 38


    No, I haven't plowed with anything besides my ATV....I'm regreting buying it now....Whenever I had people that I couldn't get to because of the lack of efficiency of the quad, I would subcontract it out...but now that I have a condo complex and about 20 other driveways, something has to give....I have to face it 55 lawn accounts with a Ford Explorer pulling all that weight isn't practical anymore...it was fine at the beginning but I need a truck.......all i'm wondering is if I should get in the business, what over-head i would have, what truck to go with (limit 6-9,000).
  11. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    My advice - You're focusing on the truck when you really need to find out what General Liability and Commercial Auto insurance will be for someone your age and experience plowing snow. I think that one factor may make your decision. Plowing snow is very hard on trucks. If you don't buy new, then buy a backup truck with mount for the plow you've got. Breaking down in the middle of your route without a backup will only lose you customers. You can't be fixing the truck when you need to be plowing so people can get out. Finally - figure your expenses before going out looking for work. That way, you'll know what you need to charge for each site to make a profit and how much work you need to make your expected income.