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Need start-up advice from some old pros!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by GRplowboy, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. GRplowboy

    GRplowboy Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I am new to this site and plowing in general. The only experience I have is plowing the parking lot at work but I'd like to get into it as a way earn some extra money. I have a few people who say they would be interested in having me plow their driveways and I know several business owners who would like their parking lots plowed.

    My biggest question is, what is the best set-up for a small-time guy like me? I've seen plows on Jeep Wranglers but that seems questionable to me. Maybe not? Or perhaps it would benefit me to start out with nice, heavy-duty set-up with a 3/4 ton truck to allow room for future growth.. that way I would not have to re-tool in a year or two?

    I have a while to figure it out because I wouldn't start until next season. Is there a time of year when plows and equipment might be better priced?

    Any feedback would be much appreciated! Thanks!
  2. fordtruck661

    fordtruck661 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 404

    I would also like to get some info on this also I figured I would just post on here instead of starting a new page.

    Im new to the hole plowing thing and am looking at buying a ford f250 powerstroke and buy a used plow to put on my self. I plan on plowing driveways only. Here are a few questions I have. Is the f250 a good truck for plowing? What is a good plow to put on it? (Im looking for a straight blade plow) Is it easy to install a plow?

    Any info would be great thanks!
  3. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    It appears neither one of you have a vehicle suitable to plow with so you have to ask yourselves can you afford to buy a 4wd truck and the low mpg that comes with it?

    And can you afford to own it without any of the money you would make from plowing?

    It's the wrong way to start a business and assume that there will be enough cash flow to pay for the truck and or plow.

    Nothing wrong starting out doing DW's with a snow blower to build the capital. Also many have started out with Wranglers or 1/2 tons and used them for years. Not against the bigger trucks just going into debt.

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  4. GRplowboy

    GRplowboy Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I already have a 4WD truck its just that it is a 1500 and for plowing I'd rather have a 2500 for the heavier-duty front axle. I'm well aware of the gas mileage on a truck and also have a car to drive in the off-season.

    I'm not looking to start a business, I've got a great job - I'm just a 4WD nut who wants something to keep busy in the winter and maybe make a little money on the side. Also, I've got the personal capital to purchase the equipment. My questions are in regards to which equipment seems to have the best reputation. Ford? Chevy? Dodge? Fisher? Boss? Western?

    I don't mean to discredit your post... I guess my answers to your two questions would be "yes."
  5. Mackman

    Mackman PlowSite.com Addict
    from S.E. PA
    Messages: 1,356

    There is no easy quick way to make money in this business.

    #1 thing is insurance. You are going to have to have comm auto policy for the truck and then a gen. liability policy for slip and falls. Them 2 right there are not cheap.

    You can prob. get an older 1999-2004ish truck with plow already on it for around 15k give or take. If you get ur own lots then you will have to salt them. So now your talking a salt spreader. It adds up fast.
  6. Mackman

    Mackman PlowSite.com Addict
    from S.E. PA
    Messages: 1,356

    BTW im a Ford/Fisher type of guy. lol
  7. blee1ash

    blee1ash Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    Is the F-250 a good truck for plowing? That depends on if you ask a Chevy guy or a Ford guy. As far as asking for opinions on brands of tucks and plows, it depends who you ask. It's like asking what brand if beer tastes best. I have a f-250 and love it. As for the plows I think all the brands are frirly reliable, It comes down to dealer service. Choose a brand that has a dealer close that is good to work with.

    You can plow with a 1/2 ton truck and dot quite well with a 7 1/2' or 8' straight blade, depending on how much you plow. If you are going to drive around all winter with the plow hanging on the front of the truck, or be plowing several hours at a time a 3/4 ton will handle it better, but a 1/2 ton will work. It all depends on how much plowing you will be doing and what you can afford.
  8. fordtruck661

    fordtruck661 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 404

    Im just going to go and say i have the $$ to put into it. I will also say the reason I am not going and buying a truck with a plow is because you just dont know how much that truck has been through.
  9. fordtruck661

    fordtruck661 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 404

    yeah I know I was just trying to see what type gets used for plowing the most and what type is most reliable. (someone may use a chevy but he may have to fix something every month)
  10. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    wait till July and then shop for a plow and truck
    check insurance prices before you make promises to plow
    any time you get paid for plowing it IS considered a business
  11. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,216

    I had a 1979 Jeep CJ7 with a Meyers Plow. This was a good setup for driveways because you could get into tight spaces. I now have a Ford F250 with a 6.7 PSD and 8' Western Straight Blade with Power Angle. I do junk removal with the Ford also. I could not do this with the Jeep.
    Surprisingly ...... For plowing snow ...... And I do mostly residentials ..... I would take the Jeep. On the Commercial properties .... The Ford gets the job done faster because of the bigger plow.
  12. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,511

    Maybe you guys that mow lawns can help me, I want to mow a couple of 1/4 acre lots and two or three football fields. I was looking at either a 24" craftsman self propelled mower or a case 960 with a 8 gang reel mower.

    You know kinda like an F250 for driveways or a Jeep for wally world.

    your nuts to use a FS pickup on driveways.
  13. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    i thought Mark O drove a Dodge?
  14. KEC Maintaince

    KEC Maintaince Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 265

    im far from a pro but me and the wife went truck shoppin this morning just looking and did not wantto be bothered by sales men.
    visited ford chevy dodge toyota and jeep dealers.
    did a lot of talking for a change instead of yellin and since i really do not want to do commercial and stick with resi i came away with the jeep rubicon as my choice.
    i did god this year with resi and i dont want to get in over my head with a bigger truck by trying to take on jobs that i have no business doin but thats me.
  15. KMBertog

    KMBertog PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129


    This post is perfect.

    Full size pick up for driveways is crazy.

    IMO get a JEEP! wesport
  16. muffy189

    muffy189 Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    ive plowed with everything over the years from a dump truck to a jeep and my favorite is my dodge dakota i have a 7 foot western on it and its perfect for smaller lots and for driveways. BTW Western plows are the way to go i still use my dads original western pump that he bought new in 1969 never been rebuilt either just change the fluid every year.
  17. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 617

    If all your customers had Rubicons they wouldn't need their driveways plowed. I have an 05 unlimited.

    What made you go for a jeep?

    Did you get the 2dr or 4dr?
  18. KEC Maintaince

    KEC Maintaince Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 265

    goin with the 2 door hard top with the soft top for the summer manual trans and navigation.
    well my toyota is only 2 wheel drive and the f250 i was lookin at is a reg cab .
    my good friend has a 4 door sahara and another good friend has a 05 2 door rubi. plus they own a off rd shop .
    i have 3 kids and if i nedd to take them some where i can with no problem
    plus my other vehicle besides my toyota is a sienna 8 passanger mini van.
    the jeep will pull double duty very well after i put a little lift on her and some nicer tirers and rims. plus i can get a plow a lot cheaper as a guy i know is selling his whole set up for a good price.
    i also figured for what i need it for it will do just fine.
    would of loved to get the 4 door but that was just way out of my price range
  19. TCLA

    TCLA 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,696

    Hook yourself up (be a sub) with someone who knows what they're doing to learn the ropes. :salute:

    Since there are limited candidates in that area, introduce yourself to Mark Oomkes. He will help you.

    Do you know how to operate a skid steer?? He likes to utilize those to their limits. :D
  20. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    :laughing::laughing:...Who is this Mark Oomkes you speak of....Is he someone Special????