1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

New guy has some questions

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by thelawnkid, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. thelawnkid

    thelawnkid Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Thought I would say hi first, but I have some questions.
    I am 17 and have been mowing for several years, and I just bought a 2000 F250 powerstroke 4door shortbed 4wd. I want to start plowing, but I am not sure what equipment to get, and I am not sure if I want to do driveways, or parking lots. What do you guys think , what plow, and driveways, or parking lots. wheres most of the money.
  2. JElmWin

    JElmWin Senior Member
    Messages: 232


    Welcome Kid!:waving:
    Parking lots are definitely where the green is.payup
    However it's also where the most competition is.
    Ask anyone and the first thing they'll tell you is GET INSURANCE!
    You'll need liability insurance for your plow. This covers damage caused to other vehicles. personal property, and people. Don't roll the dice and go without, you could end up working the rest of your life for someone Else's misery.
    Tell us a little more about your situation. The ideal plowing scenario is to have a bunch of customers close together. You might make more doing driveways if you live near a large housing development. You might also consider sub-contracting for a larger company until you build your own client base.
    As for what equipment. How much are you looking to spend. Plows aren't cheap so you might want to consider used equipment.
    Be careful not to take on too much debt too quickly. You're probably already making payments on your truck. So make sure you're not just plowing to break even.
    Put out some advertising early next season and see what kind of response you get.
    Use the "search" feature at the top of the page. This question comes up almost daily.
    One more thing...
    Good Luck Kid!;)
  3. thelawnkid

    thelawnkid Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    No I paid cash for the truck, and my parents didn't help. How well will my truck push snow. I know I can line up alot of driveways. I like in a very large neighborhood, and there are many others close by. I would like to do parkinglots, but I am not sure that I can get the jobs. And for the equipment price is not a problem just as long as there is a good return. I want something that will take some abuse, because I have been known to be pretty hard on my equipment. Thanks for the advice Chad
  4. 2004F550

    2004F550 Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    The truck would be fine in parking lots by a little harder to manuver in driveways. What ever brand you get it should be at least 8'. Some plow brands are fisher, western, and Boss. I have only had experience w/ Fisher and it has been great. Their Minute Mount system works very well. However, Boss seems like a very well made plow too. For driveways I would get a straight 8ft blade but if you think you may do parting lots I would have to recomend a 8.5ft V-plow from any of the manufacturs I stated before. The Fisher should take ur abuse and come back for more if they are as good to you as they are to me. JMO
  5. lawnmedic

    lawnmedic Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    Check out dealers in your area... Support is a big thing when you need parts... I hope you already have lib. insurance for your mowing operation. I had no increase in cost when I added plowing to mine 5 years ago. ....Chuck
  6. legoconstruct

    legoconstruct Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    the big thing is to make sure you make money.
    find out the going rate for snow plowing in your area.
    a good new plow set up will cost 2500 to 3000,
    if you can only make 500 per storm it aint worth it.
    unless it snows alot in your area.
    it puts a lot of wear and tear on your truck.
    if you can make money and maintain your truck then go for it.
    good luck.
  7. lawnkid

    lawnkid Senior Member
    Messages: 234

    Hey minime :D just kidding. Anyways, I have a 99 F-350 7.3 Powerstroke and I'm gonna be putting a Blizzard 810 on it in the spring for next winter. There's lot of money out there in both residential and commercial. Out of about 120 businesses I called this week, I got maybe 25 accounts. I'm leaing towards all commerical because they're not so picky, they always pay ontime and they're usually big open lots to plow. Have you ever plowed before or is this your first time. Good luck.
  8. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407


    your truck will push fine. i have an f150 and iam impressed with how well it does so your 250 should be great for plowing. as mentioned above don't go with any thing smaller than an 8' plow. V's are more expensive but will greatly increase productivity in large parking lots, you won't have to chase snow trails around all day. Does your truck have snow plow prep? If not you might want to make a few upgrades to the truck.
  9. thelawnkid

    thelawnkid Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    thanks for the help guys. and this will be my first time plowing, and how do you get the commercial plowing jobs
  10. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    I would recomend trying to sub for a guy the first year so you are gaining experience and some insand outs of the biz and some tips and such on his dollar. Make sure you are covered on insurance!!! If you are sticking with comercial see if a 9'6" fisher ezv will be to heavy for your truck, if it is go with a 8.5 v. If you are going to do lots of driveways a 8.5 fisher v with a rear pull plow would be tits. These set ups would be on the pricey side though. Fisher and western are bother the same co. and make great stuff. Dealer support is the big thing though. If you are subing I wouldnt go with a pull plow yet unless they will pay you quite a bit more, save and get it if you go on your own and get into lots of backdraging situations.

    The resi vrs com is a big debate and it depends. If you have a big neighborhood and everything is condensed then you might be able to make more if you are efficent there than commercial but then you have extra headaches. It all depends. Doing sub work will help you figure out what you prefer and how to do it.

    It may be tempting especially if you do resi work to not tell "the man" about all of your income. DONT HIDE IT! It will hurt you long term if you do most of your biz or a large part under the table. Taking a 20 from a flag down and buying a nice stake dinner at the end of the night is one thing but not reporting a chunk of your income will hurt you long term. Also sit down with a tax guy or someone knowledgable so you can get the most back on your return. SAVE ALL YOUR RECIPTS! Even if it was for a set of tires you were going to buy anyway, at the end of the year your tax guy will let you know if you can deduct it or not.

    Did anyone mention to make sure your insurance will cover you?;)
  11. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    and getting comercial jobs is more of a PITA and a bit harder to bid for a novice than resi. You need to start early and do bids of jobs. Then there are the contracts...... DO a search on bids-bidding-contracts and the like and you will get reading material for days.

    Its all the same process that needs to be started early and should be finished well before the first flake starts to fly. First you contact possible customers you want either in person or on the phone and return the incoming requests, then you go out and bid the interested parties, then you whip up the contracts with the bids in there and zap it to em and if they like they sign and voila!

    How to contact customers and the like can get pretty detailed.

    Check out Chuck Smiths book, its pretty good for a beginer. If you come accross Chuck smiths chevy page or the like you should be able to find a place to get it. His page has got some other neat stuff too. Also be sure to take a look at sima's page.

    And dont forget a blinky light. Chicks dig Blinky lights and straightpiped deisels ;) Maybe not.....but I think I found one that tolerates it anywho, even though she gives me crap about it inciting riots.....long story:D