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Need some help...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by 1208jake, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. 1208jake

    1208jake Junior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 5

    Hey everyone.

    Im new to the whole plowing/landscaping business and need some advice.

    Im in the process in buying a truck, but need some help scince you guys are more experienced.

    Im looking at some of the older trucks becuase my budget is tight...and my dilema is.

    gas or diesel.im 17 years old working a minimum wage job diesel is around $3 45 give or take. i was leaning toward a diesel because i drive ALOT, and they get better mileage than a v8 gas.

    but im just looking for something to get me on my feet, something reliable and on the cheaper side.

  2. JeepPlow18

    JeepPlow18 Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    Welcome to plowsite! I have been in your shoes before, actually last season is the first time I bought a plow truck and started my own business 19 years old, it is hard at first money wise but it gets better in a year or two. My first plow truck was a 89' jeep cherokee with the 4.0 inline six with a 6-5' western. this was perfect small and easy to get used to. Now I have a very nice truck 95' chevy silverado k2500 in excellent condition along with 5 commercial properties and 6 residentials( just myself and maybe a helper from time to time), v8 I forget was size it has in it at the moment. But anyways depending on your situation, meaning if your doing all driveways or some drives and small lots, i could recommend a better choice. But chevys mid to upper 90's will do just nicely for you. strong truck. and then put a western on it. I couldnt tell you what size yet. Hope this helps. Mike
  3. 1208jake

    1208jake Junior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 5

    well im looking for a 3/4 ton i know that, but im not sure if a diesel would be better or a gas for mileage just something cheap.

    what size engines and years of makes and models were most reliable also...

  4. JeepPlow18

    JeepPlow18 Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    Mine is very reliable have not had a breakdown yet. A lot swear on diesel but to me its a personal preference. As for what years are reliable google it and you can find reviews. Good deals for chevys on e-bay I was just looking myself. Need to possibly get another truck ( backup). and for what size blade if your doing just driveways 6.5' and for small to larger lots a 8' would do fine. I throw you some links if I see some good ones. Mike
  5. 1208jake

    1208jake Junior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 5

    hey thanks alot.

    im just mainly concered with gas...i dont want to be throwing every pay check into the tank so thats why i suggested a diesel.

    but iv heard that diesels are more expensive when the break.

    around what mileage would i be looking at with a 3/4 gas v8?

  6. JeepPlow18

    JeepPlow18 Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    Thats what I used to ask, how many miles? But if it is already a plow truck you should be asking what shape is it in? just because if some one bought it new put a plow on it and has been plowing with it for say 50-100k then it most likely has the piss beaten out of it. This is not always the case though. Here are some that I found on e-bay and auto trader for ya, just click on the link last one I think looks really good plow needs help, then again you would have to visually inspect them. didnt know exactly where you live so put in the middle of MA. these are examples so hope this points you in the right direction. Mike




  7. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    to start ur own company is to know how to fix whatever u buy until it makes u like 3 times what u need to replace it. i am a ford guy i like the 90s fords gas or diesel the 5.8 gas has alot of balls and they run along time. but the 7.3 powerstrokes run nice and with out turbos and stuff there not to bad to fix. both about the same in miles they suck but hey if ur starting ur own company make sure they pay for ur travel time.
  8. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Check out the cost of diesel fuel. Add to that the higher cost of a diesel engine that you probably won't ever recoup the loss from purchasing. Stick with gas -- it's gonna be more in your price range (both purchase & operating).
  9. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,196

    We need to know what cheap is in dollar terms. Are you looking for a $5,000 truck or a $10,000. one. You could get a lot newer gas truck then a diesel. When the diesels brake they are more money to fix. The gas trucks aren't that bad on fuel until you put a trailer behind it, then they are real bad. The older 6.5 diesel had it's problems but the 350's are bullet proof. If I was looking for an older truck I would look for a mid to late 90's gas GM product. One that hasn't plowed and then put a used plow on it. Have you checked the price of insurance yet. My son at 19 was paying $350/month for a 1996 Ford Escort without collision.
  10. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,032

    I agree a 90's GM with a 350 will be your best choice. Diesels when they break can cost alot more then you paid for the truck.
  11. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600

    It's definitely NOT just about the price per gallon or mileage. There are many threads on cost of ownership on plowsite.com You need to consider easy of parts, cost of parts, service charges, oil changes, etc, etc.

    You really need to find a price point. Then assume the truck will need 20% more in repairs from the get-go. Then assume spring maintenance will be another load of cash 5-10% of purchase before your onto a schedule with the truck. Be realistic .. shiny paint could be hiding problems. Maybe consider a jeep and a sno-way - capable of most everything or Chevy for lower cost. Just make sure you have side cash to fix from the get go.
  12. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    What type of landscaping will you be doing? That is important. Will you be halling heavy trailers and or loads? I went with the gasser in my 1 ton dump. I am mostly mowing and maintenance. I fill up my mowers (also gas) everyday in the summer. If the truck was diesel I would be handcuffed to only a couple of gas stations around here. I can only think of one station that has diesel actually. Since I am pulling a small trailer and the truck can carry five yards of mulch no problem, I am happy I went with gas. Oh and you should look into how much its going to cost you just for an oil change in the diesel.
  13. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    the chevys and gmcs with the 5.7L are unstopable. same with the 6.5L diesel. i would not recomend the 454 as they are gas hogs. maybe 8mpg city. i have an 8.1L 496 and its gets 8mpg city and 12 highway with a cold air intake, magnaflow exhaust, and superchips programmer for gas mileage. so id have to say a 454 is gonna be about the same. so look for a 5.7 or 6.5 IMO

    idk your budget. but you can probobly find an 00-02 2500hd with 80-100k on it for 10k or less. possibly even find one with a plow.
  14. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    if your budget is tight go with a gas motor. oil changes on a diesel will hurt you as well. what brand are you looking to go with? also are you in school or you graduate already? maybe it would be worth looking around your area to see if you can get a warehouse job and work grave yard or second shift. if you got a wal mart dc in your area get a job there to get some start off cash. i started at mine making like 13.50/hr and am over 18/hr. now after two years and work 4 days a week from 3 pm till 1 am... also they have 3 day shifts too.. just a thought for yea..
  15. 1208jake

    1208jake Junior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 5

    hey thanks everyone...

    looks like im going to go with a gas.
    but just for everyone who was asking, im still in highschool and work part time at a car wash so during the summer i wanted to start cutting lawns and during the winter plow for extra money.
  16. iowaplowboy

    iowaplowboy Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 37

    Which truck?

    I have a couple of trucks, mostly plow with the 1972 Ford F100 1/2 ton 4x4. Got a 360 gas motor and a 4-speed manual transmission. Hooked up a little thing (in the machine shop) to mount the Meyer toggles to the stick shift. Sweet.

    Lots of guys don't like the manual tranny for plowing, but I love it. Half ton truck goes anywhere I want it to, good traction, and parts for this thing are SO cheap.

    Did a "tune-up" a month ago. Distributor, rotor, cap, plugs, wires, ignition coil, fuel pump and filter, water pump (since I was in there anyway), air cleaner. Total investment ... about $150 and a couple of hours.wesport

    Some fellas only drive the "fancy" trucks, but I invite anyone to drive by a lot I plowed and tell me what kind of truck plowed it. prsport
  17. JeepPlow18

    JeepPlow18 Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    Hey you finally came back on. Didnt hear from you in a couple of days:waving: